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Old 06-17-2008, 05:22 PM   #15
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The square figure on the arm represents the axle, the circle represents the wheel. If the wheel stub axle (wheel center) falls below the level of the axle, the angle is negative - desirable. If the arm is level, 0 degrees. If the arm has the wheel stub axle above the axle centerline, the angle is positive - not desirable. The further up in the wheel well the tire rides, the poorer the condition of the axle.

As for the floor, there are epoxies and hardeners that may work and keep you from doing the frame off resto. Frame off is usually for the REALLY bad floor that has large areas that have the consistency of wet toilet paper. Taking the carpet out and treating the floor with a hardener before recarpeting or installing a laminate floor is likely what you will have to do judging from your description. The hardeners and epoxies are usually available in places like Home Depot or Lowes.
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Old 06-17-2008, 06:17 PM   #16
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It could be registered as either a '75 or '76 depending on when it was sold. The serial number would be more helpful in determining what model year the factory thought it was.

Rules of thumb are very helpful in buying a used Airstream/Argosy. First, determine how much YOU are willing to pay for a particular trailer if everything works. You need not be reasonable or even ballpark the market value. Consider what you're willing to spend. Then, price out all of the systems that can and do go bad; water heaters, refrigerators, axles, pumps, etc. etc. etc. Deduct the cost of replacing those items from the purchase price you're willing to pay and make the offer to the owner. He'll either take it or he won't; either way, you're position is good. Either you get a deal you're happy with, or you're not paying "too much" for a trailer that may be a money pit.

BTW, you can just plan on that thirty five year old rubber torsion axles will need to be replaced. They have a design life of about twenty years, and some actually make it to thirty. Few make it past that.

Refrigerators fail. Old refrigerators fail more often. Rust, sitting around unused for long periods of time (years), and running an ammonia absorption fridge grossly unlevel are the big killers of refrigerators.

Good luck!

Roger
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:51 PM   #17
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Welcome D23!!

Did you look at this one? were you the winning bidder? I went to look. If I had some room I would have bought it. good solid starting trailer.

I cannot add any more wisdom than was already given. I would highly recommend an argy though. I got lucky and got a really nice one last Sept. I just finished installing a new fridge (literally just walked into the house) It is so so easy to work on.

If you need any assistance I will help, although I'm not sure how much help I would be since I've only been an owner for less than a year.
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:09 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by thatismytruc View Post
Welcome D23!!

Did you look at this one? were you the winning bidder? I went to look. If I had some room I would have bought it. good solid starting trailer.
Thanks for the welcome. Which "one" are you talking about?...the one in Orange on E-bay? If so, yes I did look, no I didn't bid. That was a little more work than I'm willing to sign up for.
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:11 PM   #19
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I bought my argosy 3 weeks ago with no research, and no knowledge of trailers. paid 4k for my 24' 72 Argosy. Seemed like a decent enough deal. i towed it around the guys neighborhood, good tires and no obvious structural damage. the heater, ac, and fridge all worked. He told me about a winterizing issue, and that it needed some plumbing work. outside of that things were in good shape...no major dents, just a few small ones on the bottom. My decision was made considering mainly that it was in good usable condition, seemed like a pretty good deal, and that I could gradually do the plumbing as i had time.
I have camped in it 3 weekends already, and its been a lot of fun. Sometimes instincts seem to be a good guide.
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Old 06-18-2008, 07:42 AM   #20
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duh. forgot the link. yes the one in Orange.
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Old 06-19-2008, 12:04 PM   #21
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How come?

Okay all, I've come up with a couple questions after staring at various pictures of Airstream and Argosy's over the past couple days.

Q1: Is it generally true (although I'm sure it's a matter of taste) that the more desirable interior storage compartment door design on these vintage trailers is the solid doors rather than the tambour doors due to the lack of robostness of 30+ year old tambour doors?

Q2: How come the Airstreams have a large access door in the rear under the window and Argosy's do not?

Q3: How come some bathroom designs have the toilet mounted up on a little step and other designs offer a taller toilet mounted directly to the floor?

Q4: I think I read that Airstream started installing gray water tanks in 1973. So it should be safe to assume that a '75 Argosy has one?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-19-2008, 12:29 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Duff23 View Post
Okay all, I've come up with a couple questions after staring at various pictures of Airstream and Argosy's over the past couple days.

Q1: Is it generally true (although I'm sure it's a matter of taste) that the more desirable interior storage compartment door design on these vintage trailers is the solid doors rather than the tambour doors due to the lack of robostness of 30+ year old tambour doors?

Q2: How come the Airstreams have a large access door in the rear under the window and Argosy's do not?

Q3: How come some bathroom designs have the toilet mounted up on a little step and other designs offer a taller toilet mounted directly to the floor?

Q4: I think I read that Airstream started installing gray water tanks in 1973. So it should be safe to assume that a '75 Argosy has one?

Thanks in advance!
Answers.

# 1. Technology improves with time.

# 2. Different designs, plus costs were minimized for the Argosy, ala Chevy and Cadillac.

# 3. Small black water holding tanks usually are on top of the floor. Larger capacity tanks, are below the floor.

# 4. Airstream started installing gray tanks in 1974. There is no mention of gray tanks, in the 1973 "service manuals."

Andy
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:28 PM   #23
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1976 Argosy 26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Answers.
# 1. Technology improves with time.
So which design do you think is superior?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Answers.
# 2. Different designs, plus costs were minimized for the Argosy, ala Chevy and Cadillac.
So is it just storage or do you lose the ability to access something with Argosy?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Answers.
# 3. Small black water holding tanks usually are on top of the floor. Larger capacity tanks, are below the floor.
Does that mean that the Argosy has a smaller black water tank than an Airstream?
Thanks for the answers.
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:44 PM   #24
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So which design do you think is superior?

So is it just storage or do you lose the ability to access something with Argosy?

Does that mean that the Argosy has a smaller black water tank than an Airstream?
Thanks for the answers.
Which design is superior, is up to the owners.

Basically, storage.

Argosy's do not necessarily have smaller black water tanks than Airstream. Just depends on the models.

Andy
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Old 06-19-2008, 10:33 PM   #25
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Is there any advice for checking frame condition prior to purchase? Everything seems so "buttoned up" from the bottom...is there anywhere to peer in under the floor from the inside with a flashlight to spot check general frame condition? Are there any tell-tale signs from other spots on the trailer that might look a little worse from the weather?
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Old 06-20-2008, 05:58 PM   #26
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Look at the structure around the wheel wells. The outriggers that are there give a loose idea of what the rest are like. Looking at the rear bumper compartment and the tongue area where it enters the trailer for signs of rust are other possibilities. I somehow doubt the seller will allow you to drop the belly pan, but you never know. In the final analysis it is a crapshoot. If you don't see signs of rot around the wheel wells, rear of the trailer, or tongue, then rot elsewhere isn't as likely. If there aren't signs of big leaks on the inside, water likely hasn't done much to the frame. Argosies are pretty tough and haven't been on the road as long as some of the AS that are rusty. Desert Argosies are less likely to rust than those in the East, but it will take you an arm and a leg to get them back home. Find one you like, at a price you can afford, look it over as closely as you can, and decide if you can take the chance. I bought my Minuet off ebay, had it transported from Ohio (cost a mint), had to do some appliance replacement, and went off to CA. Never looked back.
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Old 06-22-2008, 09:20 PM   #27
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Deal or No Deal??

Well I took all my newfound Argosy knowledge and went back for my 2nd look today. Below are the facts as I know them, now I need to make a decision.

Although I can probably get it home the trailer definitely needs axles, tires and rims. The exterior is also in desparate need of paint (terribly faded and end caps have surface rust). We pressurized the plumbing and water started spewing everywhere so it needs to be replumbed (but the water pump works). We tried running the refrigerator with electrical power and nothing happened whatsoever so I am assuming it is broken. The A/C blows air but not cold air...perhaps it just needs a charge. We didn't have any propane but the furnace makes noise with the thermostat turned up...I imagine that's just the blower. So it's inconclusive whether the furnace, oven, range, or water heater work. All the other electical things seem to work (interior lights, exhaust fans (stove and cabin). All windows are intact, all cabinetry is 100%. In looking for soft spots in the floor I hopped along the exposed floor, I went under all the cabinets and poked a screw driver wherever I can reach...everything was solid and dry except for the two small spots I mentioned in an earlier post (6"-8" around just forward of entry door). One spot I'm not so sure of is below the shower....I got into the shower and pressed down with my feet and it seemed kind of soft. The bathroom floor also seemed soft but upon pulling back both the shag carpet and the carpet pad the floor was solid with no staining. Could they have also put some kind of cushion under the shower enclosure to make it more cushy for the shower user?...or is the floor rotting in the corner? I think I'm prepared to deal with all the problems mentioned except for a rotting floor.

But I saved what I perceive as the potential deal-breaker for last. Three out of the four outriggers have surface rust, the fourth (right rear) has enough rust that a gap opened up along the bottom edge (probable 1/8" wide and 3" long). Is a rusty outrigger a strong indicator of what may be lurking beneath the belly skins? Is it reasonable to assume that the soft floor under the shower coupled with the rusted outrigger...both in the right rear section of the coach...is indicating major structural damage in that area?

I believe I can obtain this trailer for a very modest cost but those two items may put me in over my head.

All suggestions/advice will be appreciated.

Duff
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:51 AM   #28
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Shower first: The shower tends to feel spongy as it doesn't always ride on the floor. I don't think I'd be too concerned there.
Surface rust on the outriggers is not a big concern. Rot, where the material of the outrigger is truly attacked, holes appear in the middle of the outrigger, etc. is a concern. It sounds like you may have some POR 15 work to do but not heavy welding or restructuring. The interior could be rotted out, but that isn't too likely if all you see is one questionable outrigger.
Wheels: I found wheels at Trailer Wheels. They were reasonable and comparable to what was on the trailer to begin with except much prettier.
Tires: Shop around. Buy trailer tires.
Post a picture of the way the wheels look as you look directly at them. Sit on the ground to take the picture. Andy at Inland RV can scope it out for you and sell you the axles if you really need them. The best deal is to get the axles complete with brakes so you get away from any problems there may be with older parts not fitting the replacements.
The fridge is a problem. Sitting unused is not good for them. Wait until you can get propane to it and see if lighting the gas starts it up. Cleaning the chimney doesn't hurt, either. Careful with the compressed air, but blowing up from the heater area to clear the vent is sometimes helpful. Be sure you don't just have a bad electrical heating element, thrown switch, etc. before going to dometic.com to see what replaces what you have.
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