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Old 07-12-2012, 04:32 PM   #1
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Searching for Argosy Honeymoon Suite/Fishing Lodge

Hey Gang! Just a short note of introduction.

My fiance, Samantha, and I are in our early 30s and ready to start our married traveling life in a TT. For 3.5 years we've been doing the car camping/Tumble Inn version of seeing the country, and it's time to step up to a coach. We're both from the Northeast, and have been working on a big construction project on the New Mexico/Texas border. The small oil-patch city we live in doesn't hold a lot of charm for us, so most weekends we try to get out of town. We've been all over NM, CO and other parts of the West, either tent camping, sleeping in the Suburban, or crashing in a mom-and-pop motel for a few days. All well and good, but for the amount of travel we do, we think an Airstream makes a lot of sense as an investment in US.

So with that in mind, we've been doing our research into a vintage trailer. We've decided to go with an older coach for a number of reasons, mostly financial. The forum has proven to be an excellent resource, bolstering the knowledge I already have from being a kid from a family that had a succession of campers. Here's a big 'thank you' to all the members for having the sense of community to pass along all your hard won knowledge.

Most of our searching has been into 20'-22' TTs, and Argosies seem to fit our needs/wants perfectly.

The hope is to find the right coach for the right price before our wedding in early October. Samantha and I couldn't imagine a better honeymoon than heading back west from Pennsylvania and taking a leisurely trip in an Airstream. With one ear on the weather band radio, the plan is to visit Yellowstone and head south to New Mexico from there. Trout will be caught.

As I assumed when we started dreaming, the financing has been the biggest challenge. Sam and I both make excellent money, but our cash - for the moment - is tied up in home improvements and wedding expenses. (We're being married at our 1860's farm in central PA.) And, as expected, it's easier to finance a brand new or late model AS than it is to borrow $10K for a 70's-era Argosy. We'd have cash in hand the day after our wedding, but we'd like to have a coach and do a shake down trip or two before spending 3 weeks on the road. We still have our fingers crossed that we'll happen across the right trailer that's in the hands of a dealership or find a lovely seller willing to self-finance for us.

Yeah, we know.

Any and all help pre- and post-purchase will be appreciated. And once we're set up, we hope to contribute back to the forum that has already been a tremendous help to us.

See you soon (we hope!) in an Argosy!

Be well, and safe travels,
Ryan and Samantha
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Old 07-13-2012, 10:45 AM   #2
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I used this website to help us find our Argosy last year. Ad Hunt'r - Search ALL of Craigslist™ and more! Allows you to search all of Craigslist. you can narrow it down by region or state.
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Old 07-13-2012, 10:50 AM   #3
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Hey thanks saburkha! We have all sorts of searches and alerts set up. Appreciate the advice. If you see a small 20'-24'er in your travels, give me a holler.

Best,
Ryan
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:37 PM   #4
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Ryan,

Glad to see that you are not taking the advice (truck camper) given by some on that other forum we both frequent.

As for the financing, it can be a problem. You can find other Air Forums threads showing that the "book" value of an older Airstream (or Argosy) is much lower than the market prices. That makes financing the market price difficult. If you can find a prior owner who will finance, great! If not, try to get the money together beforehand. Good trailers can be snapped up quickly and you might lose just what you are looking for because of delays in financing.

By the way, you might improve your chances by not restricting your choice to an Argosy. Aluminum on the outside isn't all bad!

Tim
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Old 07-13-2012, 01:16 PM   #5
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Ryan,

Glad to see that you are not taking the advice (truck camper) given by some on that other forum we both frequent.

As for the financing, it can be a problem. You can find other Air Forums threads showing that the "book" value of an older Airstream (or Argosy) is much lower than the market prices. That makes financing the market price difficult. If you can find a prior owner who will finance, great! If not, try to get the money together beforehand. Good trailers can be snapped up quickly and you might lose just what you are looking for because of delays in financing.

By the way, you might improve your chances by not restricting your choice to an Argosy. Aluminum on the outside isn't all bad!

Tim
They'll certainly increase the # of trailers to choose from by considering AS and Argosy equally and focusing more on the size, plan and condition they're looking for. Having done a similar search a year and a half ago (with less restriction on size) I'd guess that in the same condition and size, generally an Argosy is a little less expensive, but more scarce. I have yet to camp in the same campground with another Argosy, and I see very few on the move. That lets me convince myself that my Argosy is unique enough that it doesn't need to be perfect!
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Old 07-13-2012, 04:36 PM   #6
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This one seems pretty nice. not a bad price either.Argosy Travel Trailer (Airstream)
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:22 PM   #7
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This one seems pretty nice. not a bad price either.Argosy Travel Trailer (Airstream)
I agree that one looks promising. It's a little sad that someone gutted the oven to install a microwave, but other than that it looks pretty original.

Even with the cost of a pair of axles and some other money spent on bringing it up to snuff for long-term use, if the floor and frame are solid that one is well-priced.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:20 PM   #8
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Tim! Nice to see a familiar face here! Yeah, the gang at Clark's all have an opinion, and I value that. But... Samantha and I have a pretty good handle on what we want to do. I did the whole truck camper thing when I was in my early 20's in PA, and actually had a good time in one of my buddy's while boondocking in Alaska. Not the right thing for what I want to do right now. Ditto the pop-up. Been there. In February. Not swell.

What goes better than bamboo rods and Airstreams, eh? Ha.

Ralph (czkid) has been helping me along the whole AS journey. He's been a good sounding board, as have been the people who've responded and PM'd me here.

BTW Tim - how many things in your Bambi did you find to use Gorilla Glue on? Ha!

We're certainly not limiting our search to just an Argosy. We'd absolutely take a shiny one! As DKB says, it's mostly length, condition, and floor plan that we're looking at. The Argosy seems to be a bit less expensive when you look at prices, but we'd jump at the right TT wether painted or bright.

Floor plans... The rear door Argosy seems to be just right (yeah, I know), but there are floor plans even in a 16' length that would probably do Sam and I well. We'd like to find something that has at least one sleeping area that wouldn't need to be converted into it's other function daily. No biggie if that doesn't work out. Sam thinks we could be happy in something like the late model Bambi that has a bed aft, and dinette forward.

Length... 22' is about the max I'd want to take boondocking in some of the NF and BLM spots I've sniffed out. Sam thinks we could always do that in a tent, so something slightly longer could be in the equation. Slightly. So... 16'-24'.

Condition... Ready to roll. Doesn't have to be perfect, but functional, clean and safe. We're capable of doing pretty significant repairs and improvements... we're just not at 'home' right now. Far away from my shop and all my tools.

Financing... We know. We're saving. And I have some reels and rods that may go to new homes to help fund the camper cause. We have some options in the back pocket and you never know... the right trailer might be for sale by a previous owner who will finance. But we're not counting on it and making some moves to free up cash. Tough with the wedding approaching!

So there ya have it. Can't be much more detailed or honest than that! We both really appreciate all the advice and encouragement. It's been a warm welcome!

Ryan
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:26 AM   #9
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Just a quick update gang... we have a '75 rear-door 22'er located that's just about ready to roll. A kind forum member has really taken the time to talk us through the unit, and must has send 50 or 60 photos documenting everything. Really impressive. I'm pretty excited, but Sam needs just a little more convincing.

Any one out there have the size of the table for the 'L' dinette? That's pretty much the only thing this coach is missing. And any input into how a Zip Dee would work out on the rear door model would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again gang.

R
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanAK
Just a quick update gang... we have a '75 rear-door 22'er located that's just about ready to roll. A kind forum member has really taken the time to talk us through the unit, and must has send 50 or 60 photos documenting everything. Really impressive. I'm pretty excited, but Sam needs just a little more convincing.

Any one out there have the size of the table for the 'L' dinette? That's pretty much the only thing this coach is missing. And any input into how a Zip Dee would work out on the rear door model would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again gang.

R


Ryan,
We recently acquired. 74 Argosy 22 rear door as well and I'm deep into repairs and re-conditioning.

We have the L dinette and we'd like to replace the overly large table w something smaller. Want the table?

The gaucho is being given the futon treatment, new plastic guides for the curtains.

Smart move re: the size. Many FS campgrounds have a 22ft limit on rv's.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:35 PM   #11
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Hey pal! Thanks for the offer of the table. We just might take it. Samantha had sorta decided that we'd build one from butcher block and the available legs, but an original might be nice to have. The 22'er we're buying is in Idaho and has to come through MT on it's way to where we'll pick it up in WY. Might be able to coordinate a grab of the table on it's way south... If not, we'll be in Yellowstone in October and might-could get it then. Hmmm...

Otherwise, dimensions would be a great help!

Sam is vacationing with her family this week, but when she gets back I'll put the question to her. Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanAK
Hey pal! Thanks for the offer of the table. We just might take it. Samantha had sorta decided that we'd build one from butcher block and the available legs, but an original might be nice to have. The 22'er we're buying is in Idaho and has to come through MT on it's way to where we'll pick it up in WY. Might be able to coordinate a grab of the table on it's way south... If not, we'll be in Yellowstone in October and might-could get it then. Hmmm...

Otherwise, dimensions would be a great help!

Sam is vacationing with her family this week, but when she gets back I'll put the question to her. Thanks in advance!


We're in Hamilton, Mt, which is on hi way 93, due north of Idaho. Definitely drop by if you're coming through the area.
Trophy fly fishing on the Bitterroot!

Kurt
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:00 PM   #13
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Ryan, the specs are 56"X20.5" but we need to keep the screw-in mounts since I'm going to fab a new top for our needs.
This one is way too big for just two of us and it blocks the walkway a bit too much.
images in photo section.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:06 PM   #14
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Looks good, and the owner says he has no problem picking up the table. Thanks so much man! Really appreciate it!

R
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