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Old 11-13-2013, 10:15 PM   #1
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Eureka springs , Arkansas
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Looking to buy an airstream/argosy... Need help

I'm new to airstreams... This Argosy is for sale near me & I was wondering if anyone here had an opinion. Is it a good deal? Should I offer a certain amount for it? Anything to be aware if or ask about? All help/advice is welcomed. I'm completely new but would like a simple & affordable airstream that is a good deal. argosy by airstream... What do you think?
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:05 PM   #2
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Looking to buy an airstream/argosy... Need help

Greetings Jujudancer!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstream/Argosy!

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Originally Posted by Jujudancer View Post
I'm new to airstreams... This Argosy is for sale near me & I was wondering if anyone here had an opinion. Is it a good deal? Should I offer a certain amount for it? Anything to be aware if or ask about? All help/advice is welcomed. I'm completely new but would like a simple & affordable airstream that is a good deal. argosy by airstream... What do you think?
While the Argosy appears to be in good condition in the photographs, there are several items that could be of concern:
  1. The receiver hitch on the rear bumper is a big RED FLAG on any Airstream product travel trailer. Adding weight to the rear of a long Airstream or Argosy travel trailer is an almost sure path to rear end separation that can be quite dificult (expensive) to repair.
  2. The ad indicates that the refrigerator is electric only . . . this will greatly limit its versatility for travel unless it is one of the newer 12-volt DC compressor type refrigerators which I suspect would be mentioned if that were the case as they are as costly if not more costly than the typical RV gas/electric refrigerators.
  3. Nothing was said about the air conditioner , furnace, or water heater . . . appliances that can cost as much as $1,000 or a bit more to replace each one should that become necessary.

As with any Vintage Airstream product the caveats about checking axle condition, frame condition, and floor condition would all apply in this situation. A quick sprucing up can hide a multitude of problems with the floor. Replacing even a small portion of the floor is an involved process so it is critical to check as much of the perimeter of the floor for soft/weak/perforated areas. With the Argosy an additional caveat is to be certain that the deep-wrap wing windows (Panoramic windows) on the front of the coach are in-tact and in good condition (this is critical as new clear Panoramic Windows are no longer available . . . the new replacement windows are all solar gray tinted (not to mention quite expensive). The price being asked would apply to an Argosy of that Vintage that is in very good ready to camp condition. It may need a little cleaning and a few minor repairs, but all systems should be sound and fully functional. The paint should be sound, but it would not be terribly surprising to find that the galvanized steel end caps may need to be repainted as the paint on these two areas is prone to flaking/peeling so is almost a routine maintenance item.

Taking a copy of the volunteer inspectors checklist along when you inspect the trailer can help you to focus on the potential trouble areas. It appears to be a worthy candidate for consideration, but a thorough inspection would be necessary to determine whether the asking price is a reflection of the trailer's true condition.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:39 PM   #3
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Kevin is right. The photos on the craigslist entry clearly shows a "dorm fridge" installed where the 2-way refrigerator should be.

The AC unit that's installed appears to be the original Armstrong. The one on my '75 works great, though it's a bit noisy. The furnace isn't mentioned, so I would assume it's the original one. That essentially means it's ready to be replaced. Ask lots of questions and verify as many of the answers as possible.

Argosy trailers have the same basic qualities as Airstreams. When evaluating one from the 70s check for soft spots in the floor, especially near the front and rear of the trailer and around the door, refrigerator and wheel wells. Find out if the electrical system has been modernized or is still using the original Univolt converter-charger that's hard on batteries.

Definitely take Kevin's advice about using the Trailer Inspector's Checklist. Also, if you want to try to find someone experienced to look at it, you might consider contacting some volunteer inspectors in the area near the trailer to help you inspect it in detail.
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:20 AM   #4
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Thank you for the help/advice! My family member who knows trailers very will be checking them out.... But we don't know airstreams/argosy well. This is great assistance for us ... Thank you!!!
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