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Old 06-16-2008, 09:48 PM   #1
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1976 Argosy 26
Oxford , Connecticut
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Information Overload!!!

Wow! I'm new here and have been researching whether or not a particular Argosy is a wise purchase...and while all this forum experience and knowledge is a HUGE benefit it is also very overwhelming. Perhaps I can start with a simple question. The trailer I am looking at was advertised as a 1978 Argosy 26 but the tag on the front says it was manufactured in March 1975. Is it really a 75 model?

This trailer has been sitting for a number of years and my obvious concern is how much of the stuff isn't going to work when powered up. I've seen a few posts with expected replacement costs and the potential hit to the budget is substantial. It needs paint, but that poster that painted his Argosy with a roller gives me hope. The axles seem fine, but tires are necessary. I'm trying to figure the bare minimum functionality required to take the family camping. Any opinions? Are there a lot of electrical gremlins in these trailers? It would definitely be an ongoing restoration. Please excuse my disorganized post but my mind is super-saturated with random Argosy thoughts. I just want one.
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:06 PM   #2
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Look for the VIN # on a plate somewhere on the otter skin of the trailer. That will tell you the year and conformation of the Argosy. There are active members in the CT area who might go with you to take a look at the trailer. All vintage trailers will cost you to get them up to whatever level you can live with. The Argosy is a good sturdy trailer and you just need to determine what you can do without for now and what really needs to be done before it's safe to take the family camping. Running gear, wheel bearings, brakes, connector, good hitch and sway bar are your first priorities. You can always take an ice chest and bottled water until you can get that stuff fixed. You may be surprised at how much actually works right now. Go have a look.
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:42 PM   #3
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It may be worth your while, and save you some worry, if you were to look into buying a newer trailer that is ready for the road...say late 80's to early 90's. The lower price of 70's vintage can be deceptive and by the time you upgrade various systems, you may have spent the same money you would have for a newer trailer. Just a thought.
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:44 PM   #4
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Fixer upper

Duff23,
My wife and I are remodeling our (new) 63 Ambassador so our family can camp together. My advice is to look at the bones, sags, soft spots in the floor, broken windows, signs of leaks.... We have found most items can be purchase at home improvement centers unless you must have original equipment. Our biggest challenge has been finding compatable plumbing fittings. Good luck and enjoy.

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Old 06-17-2008, 07:56 AM   #5
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1976 Argosy 26
Oxford , Connecticut
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Originally Posted by cameront120 View Post
It may be worth your while, and save you some worry, if you were to look into buying a newer trailer that is ready for the road...say late 80's to early 90's. The lower price of 70's vintage can be deceptive and by the time you upgrade various systems, you may have spent the same money you would have for a newer trailer. Just a thought.
That's what my wife is afraid of!...but we just don't have the up-front money for a newer trailer. I actually embrace the idea of buying a vintage trailer and slowly restoring it...not necessarily to original condition, but rather to a state that is functional and tasteful.
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Old 06-17-2008, 07:58 AM   #6
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1976 Argosy 26
Oxford , Connecticut
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Originally Posted by 63Silver View Post
Duff23,
My wife and I are remodeling our (new) 63 Ambassador so our family can camp together. My advice is to look at the bones, sags, soft spots in the floor, broken windows, signs of leaks.... We have found most items can be purchase at home improvement centers unless you must have original equipment. Our biggest challenge has been finding compatable plumbing fittings. Good luck and enjoy.

63Silver
Is the "sag" check just a visual from the outside?...or is there a panel I should remove to look at the frame?
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Old 06-17-2008, 09:00 AM   #7
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Just a few thoughts.
First, the tires. Get the size and shop the local suppliers for Marathon tires Load Range C or D. I found the best price at WalMart but local suppliers might beat the price.
If you have propane cylinders or can hook up to the trailer with a cylinder of your own, check the stove top and light the water heater. For prices on stoves and water heaters, check some place like Used RVs, Motorhomes, and Consigned sales - PPL Motor Homes or Leading the WORLD in RV Parts Sales - RV PARTS OUTLET to get an idea of prices. Water pumps are relatively inexpensive (below $100). Stomp around on the floor to see if you get any 'springiness' especially near the door. This doesn't preclude the floor being bad near the watertank or in the back, but you may be able to see these areas by looking into the lower cabinets in front or around the water inlet in back. The refer is a guess as it takes time to see if it is going to work. You can buy a small 12v fridge at WalMart for about $80 that will get you by if the fridge doesn't work and needs replacement. Not large, but you can 'make do'. As for the axles, if you can see about 4 - 5 inches of tire below the wheel well when you are sitting looking directly at the tires then the axles are good enough. If you have access to a vehicle with a 7 pin connector you can check the lights easily.

What does that leave? Lots. You may have to do water pipe replacement (easy with today's pipe and press on fittings), electrical trouble shooting (more fun than you should have), brakes (backing plates and magnets are not too expensive @ etrailer and they are easy to put on), bearings (local machine shop to replace them and turn the drums if necessary), and many odds and ends. Oh yes, complete cleaning. I don't mean to discourage you as you can usually get the trailer 'good enough to use' with a little work and then do a little bit at a time until it is all up and running. It all depends on the purchase price vs what it will take to get it usable and your own time/spending limits.
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Old 06-17-2008, 09:15 AM   #8
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1966 17' Caravel
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My better half chimed in and pointed out that if you buy it and get it to your satisfaction, you will have a trailer you know how to repair when something goes wrong. You will have a trailer that is an attention getter when you are out camping. You will have a strong trailer that is better made than most available today. You can make decisions about the interior decor (see the various posts on redoing an Argosy for some of what has been done). There is satisfaction in owning something vintage that looks good and performs well. Needless to say, there is a lot of advice and help available for AS and Argosy.
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Old 06-17-2008, 09:36 AM   #9
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Welcome to the forums. As everyone here has mentioned, if you are handy around the house, these trailers are not rocket science. With a little time and effort, one can fix most problems in the driveway.

Just spend some time looking at the trailer of interest, and know what you're getting into. Looking under the beds, in the back of cabinets and storage areas for signs of leaks and soft floors is a must. An ice pick can help locate such problems under carpet. Asking the selling party to power up the trailer for an inspection isn't much to ask, and will save headaches later on.

Good Luck and happy streamin'!
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Old 06-17-2008, 10:13 AM   #10
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Duff23,
Welcome to the group. Might I suggest you make and appointment with the current owner to look at the trailer. Make sure they understand you want to inspect ALL the systems and mechanics and ask that it be hooked up to shore paower, the batteries charged, hooked up to a water supply, water in the potable (fresh) water tank, and the refrigerator on.

Then do a search on this site for pre-purchase inspections and checklists and study it.

Make your visit and stay focused on the checklist and make sure EVERYTHING works to your satisfaction. As you find problems make notes and consider how much it will cost in time and money to repair. Set a break point. If you reach that break point, thank the current owner and walk away.

Don't get hung up on one trailer, becuase there will be another one along shortly. The seach for a trialer and the forum research is half the fun. It took us a year and a half to locate our "treasure".

Good luck, ask questions, and keep us posted.
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:35 AM   #11
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1976 Argosy 26
Oxford , Connecticut
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Originally Posted by Argonaut20 View Post
My better half chimed in and pointed out that if you buy it and get it to your satisfaction, you will have a trailer you know how to repair when something goes wrong. You will have a trailer that is an attention getter when you are out camping. You will have a strong trailer that is better made than most available today. You can make decisions about the interior decor (see the various posts on redoing an Argosy for some of what has been done). There is satisfaction in owning something vintage that looks good and performs well. Needless to say, there is a lot of advice and help available for AS and Argosy.
That is EXACTLY how I feel!...thanks for putting that to words Argonaut.
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:46 AM   #12
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1976 Argosy 26
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Thanks for all the "welcomes". I have looked at this trailer once already and found a couple of small soft spots (6-8" diameter) on the floor (just forward of the entry door but aft of the couch and also on the left side just forward of the couch), but the rest of the trailer "seems" sound. The entire unit is original so I like the idea of having a clean canvas from which to work.

To be honest the only thing that intimidates me is a soft floor because from what I've read here the proper way to fix it is to pull the shell off...that's a little more work than I'm set up for.
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duff23 View Post
Wow! I'm new here and have been researching whether or not a particular Argosy is a wise purchase...and while all this forum experience and knowledge is a HUGE benefit it is also very overwhelming. Perhaps I can start with a simple question. The trailer I am looking at was advertised as a 1978 Argosy 26 but the tag on the front says it was manufactured in March 1975. Is it really a 75 model?

This trailer has been sitting for a number of years and my obvious concern is how much of the stuff isn't going to work when powered up. I've seen a few posts with expected replacement costs and the potential hit to the budget is substantial. It needs paint, but that poster that painted his Argosy with a roller gives me hope. The axles seem fine, but tires are necessary. I'm trying to figure the bare minimum functionality required to take the family camping. Any opinions? Are there a lot of electrical gremlins in these trailers? It would definitely be an ongoing restoration. Please excuse my disorganized post but my mind is super-saturated with random Argosy thoughts. I just want one.

If the trailer has been parked for an extended period of time, the axles could be bad.

The folowing article, will help you check them out in less than a minute, without taking anything apart.

Dura Torque Axle

Andy
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:04 PM   #14
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1976 Argosy 26
Oxford , Connecticut
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
If the trailer has been parked for an extended period of time, the axles could be bad.

The folowing article, will help you check them out in less than a minute, without taking anything apart.

Dura Torque Axle

Andy
Thanks for the link, I just need a little clarification on the figure.

Am I correct in stating that the provided view is "looking inboard from the right hand side"?
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