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Originally Posted by topshelf069
Hi just bought a Argosy 24 a week ago I'm new to pull behind campers. Where can I get the unit that tells the tank levels and such mine is missing :-( univolt dead a/c news charged and fridge don't work.
Argosy was Airstream's entry into the mid-priced RV market in 1972, and throughout its run, one of its characteristics was the lower level of standard features when compared to the Airstream. Throughout the run, so far as I have been able to determine, the monitor center was optional and was not a terribly popular option. When so equipped, an Argosy with the optional monitor panel typically had the monitor panel mounted inside of the cabinet above the kitchen range (this varied, but was what seems to be the most common location). One of these panels can be obtained from a salvage yard, but installation could be complicated by the need of compatible sensors for the blackwater tank, graywater tank, fresh water tank, and the charging system . . . . a task that wouldn't be impossible but would present a challenge as well as an expense.
For the most part, tank level indicators seem to pose more of a problem than a benefit. From reading the Forums as well as talking with owners, I am content with my coaches that never had monitor panels. A quick glance down the toilet when the valve is open confirms the level in that tank. The graywater level will make itself know by backing up in the shower/bathtub drain first . . . it doesn't take too long to be able to sense when your graywater tank is nearing full without a level sensor. Your Argosy's fresh water tank is mounted above floor and is constructed of tanslucent plastic so a quick glance into that storage compartment will reveal its level.
Charge rate/charge level can be helpful, and I have had an aftermarket panel installed in my Overlander that monitors charge rate and level. On those rare ocassions when I am camping without shorepower these gauges do provide useful information. Even though I enjoy the extra information in my Overlander, it hasn't proven to be critical to my usual mode of travel so I haven't added a similar panel to my Minuet.
It is not surprising that the Univolt may have succumbed to age. The Univolt in my Minuet was the second appliance in my Minuet to fail . . . the water heater was first and the Univolt was second. My suggestion is to consider a modern converter with a battery charger/conditioner. Using the Forums search function, you will find multiple discussions of what the current technological preferences are when choosing a new power converter.
Don't automatically condemn the Dometic Refrigerator. There are a number of things to check before it can be determined to be inoperable.
- Level is critical with this era Dometic Refrigerator. The coach should be leveled by placing a small level on the freezer floor of your refrigerator. Once the coach is as near absolutely level as possible (based on the level of the freezer floor), you can begin your assessment.
- The first consideration regardless of which fuel is being used is that it will take eight to as much as 24 hours for the refrigerator to reach normal operating temperature. If you aren't accustomed to Absorbtion type refrigerators, this can be one of the most difficult things to understand.
- Cleaning the coil and chimney may be necessary as well. Bees, Wasps, Mud Daubbers, Spiders and various other insects have been known to build their nests in the chimney and or coil compartment behind the refrigerator. Cleaning and evicting any of these insects will be necessary to insure the correct operation of the absorbtion cooling unit. Rust and scale is also a problem that needs to be addressed . . . some surface rust is normal but flaking rust scale needs to be cleaned out.
- While cleaning out the chimney and coil compartment, if you notice any yellow staining . . . you may have identified a problem. The cooling media in an Absorbtion refrigerator is Amonia, and it will leave yellow staining and possibly yellow powder to evidence its leakage. A leaking cooling unit isn't an automatic death sentence for your refrigerator . . . rebuilt cooling units are available and for some our coaches where there aren't any modern replacement equivalents for our OEM refrigerators they can make sense . . . my Overlander's refrigerator had so many problems when I acquired the coach that I went with a new 3-way Dometic refrigerator and haven't looked back. My Minuet still has its OEM refrigerator and the only reason that I haven't replaced it has to do with the fact that neither Dometic or Norcold makes a new refrigerator that will fit in the cabinet without modification which is undesireable in a coach that has vinyl-clad aluminum cabinets.
- If cleaning doesn't turn up obvious evidence of an amonia leak, there are a number of cleaning and adjustments that can be employed to improve the performance of the LP gas side of the equation . . . I take my coach to a qualified Dometic technician for burner adjustments as well as testing of the electric element. The electric heater unit is a fairly common replacement part, but an exact replacement isn't apt to be available, but a generic part can often be substituted that will work equally as well.
- If the refrigerator springs to life, door gaskets and seals are available that can refresh the compartment seals and help to improve the efficiency of the refrigerator.
- Should all else fail, some will suggest "burping" the refrigerator. It isn't a particularly easy process as it requries removal of the refrigerator. A Forums search on burping will return a number of threads with instructions for the technique.
Your air conditioner may or may not be rechargable. Armstrong Bay Breeze air conditioners were heavy duty units with commercial grade components and can be recharged by a competent heating and cooling technician or a refrigeration technician (I found the refrigeration technician in my area more willing to work on the roof mounted Armstrongs). Some of the Dometic air conditioners were also servicable in regard to recharging, but most of the other RV rooftop air conditioners are not readily recharged. If you take your coach to an RV service center, be prepared to be told that even an Armstrong air conditioner isn't servicable . . . in my experience, an independent refrigeration technician is more likely to service the unit, but it will likely be a waiting game on the initial service call.
In your photo of the coach, the exhuast vent for one of your LP gas appliances shows a dark soot stain above the vent. Sooting can be an indicator of an appliance that needs a burner adjustment, or as I have discovered with both of my coaches, can be an indicator of an LP Gas Regulator that isn't performing properly. Improper LP Gas pressure could be the root of problems with your refrigerator.
I am sure that your Argosy will give you years of enjoyment!
P.S.: You might want to check the VIN on your coach. While not the best indicator, the wheels on your coach both style and color were more typical of the 1978 models. Some states titled travel trailers based on the year of production . . . so you may have an Argosy that was produced after June 1, 1977 but before December 31, 1977 making it a model year 1978, but titled by the state where it was initially titled as a 1977. Wheels being such an easily changed feature, this is an absolute guess but could prove to be an interesting bit of history for your coach.