So, considering the list of tasks I've already made in my head, and the length of time it'll likely be before the new addition is ready for easy, comfy travel, I have named this one "il Progetto" in part to set the right expectation in my mind and my partner's.
Curiously, both my '75 Argosy24 and this new one were listed with no photos and fairly minimal description on my local craigslist. Weird coincidence?
Sunday 2 June I agreed to purchase (and exchanged a cash deposit for a written sales agreement for) a 1976 Argosy 28' Center Bath trailer north of Paris, TX. It's right at 150 miles from our house, so compared to the Kentucky Expedition
it was right next door, and absolutely a night-and-day difference in the situation. The seller was quick to tell me "it ain't no cream puff" and he was not wrong, though compared to the disaster in Kentucky it's pretty close to cream-puff status!
Money-wise, this it its worst angle. That curbside rear pano is plexiglass, and the panel below it will need some expensive help. The owner before the current seller had put some sort of heavy rack where the bumper belonged, and the current owner just lopped it off, assuming (correctly) that it was bad juju and he reconnected the subfloor to the shell where the abomination had started to separate it. It's not the most professional repair, and of course the bumper is still missing but I have a plan.
The subfloor is mostly good, though there's some thin OSB laid over parts of it as a platform for carpet that the current owners replaced with stick-down tiles. It's fairly haphazard, so I was able to access the edges of the real subfloor in most places and only found real rot in an unsurprising place, between the rear edge of a wheel well and the battery box. It's possible there are some unpleasant surprises lurking under the underlayment, but probably (hopefully!) not in structurally-sensitive places.
The seller is a master plumber and has redone the previous shade-tree-mechanic nightmare of copper and various hose clamps and garden hose with well-done red+blue PEX with crimped connections. Unfortunately, he chose to retain the enormous electric residential water heater that occupies nearly all the galley cabinet and causes an external eyesore, but that's going. Anyone need an electric water heater?
As you can see, the owner prior to the current sellers really, really loves screws. He thinks they're wonderful. He likes ugly plumbing fittings, too, and apparently used regular green garden hose as his supply line in addition to his plumbing patches, but the plumber uses white hose and removed all the old stuff except the water heater (that he flushed before rebuilding the plumbing) so there's probably not much lead left in the lines.
It has an AC unit the works really well but drools on the shell, no condensate provision. It gets its power from a bit of maybe-20A extension cord wired into the box, so there's my excuse to go for a Marinco or Furrion inlet.
It still has a Univolt, and the dead battery was HOT, true to form.
I'm keeping the 24 at least until the 28 has run through my bank account and is ready for the road, so I can take time to do it right! And take lots of pictures, of course. Here's one last one of the "chandelier" that will be staying with the sellers, but the plumber has forbidden his wife from putting it into their newer trailer.