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Old 09-05-2009, 01:26 AM   #1
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1973 Argosy 20
Alpena , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2009
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Inherited '73 Argosy 20'

I have inherited both a house and an Argosy trailer, and being on a very limited budget, have been making plans of attack for fixing them up. I will be moving to the house in the spring of 2010, and decided to live in the Argosy while fixing the house, mostly preparing for winter (northern Michigan).

I came across this wonderful site while researching the Argosy, and am excited about getting it roadworthy - eventually.

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(I hope the pics come through all right!)

There is a bit of rust on the steel endcaps, and definitely needs a wash!, but not too bad at first look...

I will be occasionally asking questions as I go through the trailer checking things out.

It is located 3 hours away from where I currently live, so I can't do continual work on it until I move there next spring.

But, I did change the weather stripping for all windows and doors. There are hornet nests in the range vent and possibly others, but none are inside at this time (although they had been in previous years - remains of wasp "honeycombs" and mud wasps nests were prevalent. I figured I would just wait until next spring to remove the nests from any vents. I will be pulling the trailer onto the driveway so I can get underneath to check things there as well at that time.

So far, I have hooked up the 110v electric, and lights, water pump, and refrigerator work.

I don't know where the keys are to the trailer, but was able to find a water fill spout key. So far, no luck with the access door keys (I need one for battery compartment, refrigerator access, and front door). I might come across them next year, after I move up there, and can search more.

Two questions right now:

1) the access door for heater is not connected at the bottom. From pics of other Argosy / AS, it looks like there is a curved metal bar on each side is missing. Is this an item for sale somewhere?

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2) the screen door is apparently missing the stationary part to latch to - the part on the door frame. When I try to close the screen door, the sliding latch on the door has nothing to connect to on the frame. Is this something I can purchase? Or should I just cobble something together?
(Sorry I didn't take a pic of it...)

Thanks in advance for any and all help,

Tom
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Old 09-05-2009, 03:56 AM   #2
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
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Inherited '73 Argosy 20'

Greetings ozy6205!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Argosy ownerhsip!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozy6205 View Post
I will be moving to the house in the spring of 2010, and decided to live in the Argosy while fixing the house, mostly preparing for winter (northern Michigan).
You will find information here on the Forums regarding winterizing. The biggest concern is typically winterizing the water sytem -- pump, pipes, and fixtures.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ozy6205 View Post
There is a bit of rust on the steel endcaps, and definitely needs a wash!, but not too bad at first look...
The end caps don't look too bad . . . I have seen some coaches where the rust was so severe that the end caps were almost orange with rust. You will also find several threads here on the Forums with suggestions for preparation of the galvanized metal for paint as well as preferred materials.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozy6205 View Post
But, I did change the weather stripping for all windows and doors.
Your coach will thank you for that update! The door is a has a real issue with leaking if its seals aren't maintained. . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozy6205 View Post
There are hornet nests in the range vent and possibly others, but none are inside at this time (although they had been in previous years - remains of wasp "honeycombs" and mud wasps nests were prevalent. I figured I would just wait until next spring to remove the nests from any vents. I will be pulling the trailer onto the driveway so I can get underneath to check things there as well at that time.
To reduce your chances of being stung, my suggestion would be to remove the nests during the dead of winter while the insects are in hybernation - - I have had to fight wasp nests on my Minuet each of the last three seasons -- they like the battery compartment and the recess in the entry door handle among a few other hiding places. . . I also wouldn't be surprised to find a nest inside of the trailer's coupler. . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozy6205 View Post
So far, I have hooked up the 110v electric, and lights, water pump, and refrigerator work.
It sounds like you have the good luck to have some of the more costly to replace appliances operating . . . new Dometic refrigerators are quite expensive. . .If the water pump is original, it should be a PAR -- while a bit noisy they can be rebuilt multiple times while the new pumps are basically throw-aways when they quit working. Operable lights also indicate that the Univolt is likely at least partially operable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozy6205 View Post
I don't know where the keys are to the trailer, but was able to find a water fill spout key. So far, no luck with the access door keys (I need one for battery compartment, refrigerator access, and front door).
I believe that the same key should also fit your other compartments, but that may not be correct. My suggestion would be to try injecting some penetrating oil into each cylinder -- then work the key gently to spread the oil -- it may be that the locks have corroded and will work once the corrossion is loosened up -- if this works, then you would want to inject some graphite to provide the proper lock lubricant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozy6205 View Post
1) the access door for heater is not connected at the bottom. From pics of other Argosy / AS, it looks like there is a curved metal bar on each side is missing. Is this an item for sale somewhere?
The water heater is standard issue RV and was manufactured by Atwood or Bowen. In either case, new doors are available with or without attaching hardware. Just about any RV dealer should be able to get a new door for you with the name of the manufacturer and heater size (six or twelve gallons -- and my suspicion is that it is a 6 gallon based on your photo).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozy6205 View Post
2) the screen door is apparently missing the stationary part to latch to - the part on the door frame. When I try to close the screen door, the sliding latch on the door has nothing to connect to on the frame. Is this something I can purchase? Or should I just cobble something together?
(Sorry I didn't take a pic of it...)
Again, this is something that is standard RV issue in terms of replacement parts. Slightly different methods of closure devices were used over the years -- some were spring-loaded clips that held the screen to the door frame -- more typically, there was a barrell bolt type of closure that was accessed through the door handle slider. You can find that one that I have seen most often on Argosy coaches in this link.

Good luck with your coach!

Kevin
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Old 09-05-2009, 08:11 AM   #3
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1976 Argosy 24
Joplin , Missouri
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Copngrats on your Argosy! You will love it, they are great coaches!

You can find that same screen door latch at Lowe's or Home Depot for about $5. We bought one for ours.
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Old 09-05-2009, 01:10 PM   #4
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1978 Argosy Minuet 7.3 Metre
Dayton , Texas
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Thats exactly how I got our Christine. I bought my Grandmothers house and our Argosy was sitting behind the house. Apparently she had bought her for my uncle, who didn't want it, so it sat there for ten years. When I first saw her, I was going to tow her out to a junk yard. She had mold on her so thick you couldn't tell what color she was, let alone look through a window.........took about a year to get her back in shape and still going.

Good luck, hope you enjoy yours as much as we do ours...

Al
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:02 AM   #5
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1973 Argosy 20
Alpena , Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post


The end caps don't look too bad . . . I have seen some coaches where the rust was so severe that the end caps were almost orange with rust. You will also find several threads here on the Forums with suggestions for preparation of the galvanized metal for paint as well as preferred materials.
Excellent

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post

Your coach will thank you for that update! The door is a has a real issue with leaking if its seals aren't maintained. . . .
I am not sure that the door is really sealing - to me, it looked as if the bottom of the door is bent outward a bit. The door did not close flat to the sides. Again, I wish I had taken more pictures... Are the doors fairly easy to bend back to shape? I suppose I should actually spray it with water, and watch for leaks to verify...

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post

To reduce your chances of being stung, my suggestion would be to remove the nests during the dead of winter while the insects are in hybernation
I plan on going up again in late March to remove those wasps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post

It sounds like you have the good luck to have some of the more costly to replace appliances operating . . . new Dometic refrigerators are quite expensive. . .If the water pump is original, it should be a PAR -- while a bit noisy they can be rebuilt multiple times while the new pumps are basically throw-aways when they quit working. Operable lights also indicate that the Univolt is likely at least partially operable.
Yes, I was very happy to find the refrigerator working. It has a few chips in the paint, but at least the food will be kept cool. Water pump is a PAR, and I still am not sure it does more than make noise.

The Univolt did take about 15 seconds of power before lights came on. Is that normal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post

I believe that the same key should also fit your other compartments, but that may not be correct. My suggestion would be to try injecting some penetrating oil into each cylinder -- then work the key gently to spread the oil -- it may be that the locks have corroded and will work once the corrossion is loosened up -- if this works, then you would want to inject some graphite to provide the proper lock lubricant.
The water fill key is double-edged teeth, and does not fit the other access doors.

I tried loosening the cylinders on other doros with LockEase (silicon / graphite), but the replacement key I bought does not fit far enough in, and both locks allow it the same distance, so I assume it is the wrong key (#1101).

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post

The water heater is standard issue RV and was manufactured by Atwood or Bowen. In either case, new doors are available with or without attaching hardware. Just about any RV dealer should be able to get a new door for you with the name of the manufacturer and heater size (six or twelve gallons -- and my suspicion is that it is a 6 gallon based on your photo).
You are right - it is a Bowen 6.2 gallon. I did see a silver one at out-of-doors mart, but I really don't know if it actually fits to the frame. I will have to order and hope. I have the door - it is the bottom hinges that I would need, and I don't know if those come with the door or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post

Again, this is something that is standard RV issue in terms of replacement parts. Slightly different methods of closure devices were used over the years -- some were spring-loaded clips that held the screen to the door frame -- more typically, there was a barrell bolt type of closure that was accessed through the door handle slider. You can find that one that I have seen most often on Argosy coaches in this link.
I think I found the proper latch - as I recall, it was a spring latch, that simply caught on frame as it was closed.

Thank you for all of the info - it is priceless!

Tom
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:08 AM   #6
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Contact Out Of Doors Mart at 336 993 4518. They have information and parts for vintage trailers.
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Old 09-06-2009, 01:21 PM   #7
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1974 Argosy 24
Winston Salem , North Carolina
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Greetings

i just replaced my water heater- a Atwood 6 gallon- which i think you have. it was a easy.
i ordered one on eBay and it came with the hinges, so i was able to use the original door
The only thing i encountered was, i had to reroute the gas line, the new water heater had the opening for the gas line in a slight different place.

good luck
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Old 09-07-2009, 03:09 AM   #8
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1973 Argosy 20
Alpena , Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael13 View Post
Greetings

i just replaced my water heater- a Atwood 6 gallon- which i think you have. it was a easy.
i ordered one on eBay and it came with the hinges, so i was able to use the original door
The only thing i encountered was, i had to reroute the gas line, the new water heater had the opening for the gas line in a slight different place.

good luck
Oh my - the hinges came with the new water heater, not with the door? Well, I haven't tested the water heater yet (not until next spring when I go back up north), so that might need to be replaced anyway.

Thanks to everyone for their kind help!
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:01 PM   #9
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1973 Argosy 20
Alpena , Michigan
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finally, accessing the argosy

A month ago, I moved up north to where the argosy is located. After dealing with many priority issues with the house there, I finally got the argosy out of its rut. Here are some pics:

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Anyone know of a way to patch this crack on the back?
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Cleaned up pretty nice...

Ozy
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:07 PM   #10
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1973 Argosy 24
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Adrian , Michigan
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Mine's craced in the same spot. JB weld, sold at home centers, will do the trick.
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:28 PM   #11
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excellent

Sounds good. Thanks, Nick
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