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Old 09-15-2013, 11:10 AM   #1
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1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Woodland , Washington
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 17
Taking inventory and cleanup of the Argosy 6.0 Minuet

In August we purchased an Argosy that had been parked outside for the past 4 years from a neighbor. It was being sold through an estate sale, and while a bit smaller than what we wanted (24ft was ideal) the price at $1000 sucked us in. The trailer was rough. The side goucho had been removed and then when returned, stacked against the wall. The trailer had been used as a shortwave shack, but no holes had been drilled for antennas. It was DISGUSTING. The interior was moldy (we live in the PNW), sinks, toilets, stove beyond gross. No clue on the exterior, it had some road rash, but the moss had collected so deep that we had no idea how bad it really was. We figured that worse case, we could part it out and make our money back.

Well, a pressure washer (I know) some serious elbow grease, two bottles of 409 and 6 cans of oven cleaner and its not so bad. Actually its kinda cute. And we have lots of pleasant surprises.

The first story was getting it home. I am a trailer novice, and worse I don't ever pull anything, so we hired a local trailer guy to give it a quick once over and then drive it up our road to our home. He showed up with a massive 2wd dually, looked the trailer over, mentioned it had new suspension, new tires and that it seemed very fit except for the crud. Smiling, I followed him home, which included our mile long dirt driveway with two steep hills. Well, at hill two he came to a dead stop. I ran up and he said he can't make it up the driveway. I nearly died right there. We know our driveway was steep, but now we owned a trailer that a massive pickup could not get up the road. He said relax, its the 2wd and dualies that make it act like its on ice. He said lets back down, put your truck on and up we go (I have a 4.6L F-150 4x4). Well, my truck didn't even notice the load.

We landed the trailer, (no where near level) and he drove off, $50 richer. I thought the drive would get the wasps to go away, how wrong I was. So, after some stings, and some payback with wasp spray, I said wtf, and went and got the pressure washer.
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Old 09-15-2013, 11:14 AM   #2
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1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Woodland , Washington
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 17
And the final results from pressure washing. No real leaks, lots of missing paint and rust on the end caps, but all surface. Lots and lots of sealant on the vents (like a ton of it), but all in all, I am pretty surprised. Maybe even a bit of a smile on my face.
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Old 09-15-2013, 11:18 AM   #3
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1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Woodland , Washington
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 17
So now the interior. OMG. OMG. Truly it was as shocking as walking in and seeing your parents doing the dirty. Nearly barfed in my mouth when I opened the door for the first time. But what I could see through the mold and dirt and grease was that it was pretty much all there, and it was all pretty solid.
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Old 09-15-2013, 11:28 AM   #4
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1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Woodland , Washington
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Posts: 17
So I decided to pull everything that was removeable out and begin cleaning. And the phone rang, and it was my mom. Now I am in my late 40's my mom early 70's. She is all excited about new trailer and is forcing my father into a car and on a 2 hour drive to come see the trailer. Well, when she shows up she says she loves to clean (and she does, go figure) and she wants the challenge. So she does. 2 days of hard work and I can honestly say We could go camping in it. as is. It ain't perfect, no, its kinda ugly, but I know with the $100 investment in materials we now have a trailer that if we need to, we can easily double our money on (money is not the reason behind any of this, but we also don't want to be upside down). A few big notes on cleaning. The trailer is all aluminum so we could flood it with little recourse, but that being said everything cleaned up with 409 and wipe except for the floors. No matter what we did, we could not get any of the crud to come up. That is when it hit me. Lets use the most caustic cleaner I have in my arsenal, and I sprayed part of the aluminum floor with oven cleaner. Well, it is pretty amazing. None of the paint came off and the floor was pretty darn clean. Nasty stuff, but it did the trick.
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Old 09-15-2013, 11:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by woodlandfarm View Post
So now the interior. OMG. OMG. Truly it was as shocking as walking in and seeing your parents doing the dirty. Nearly barfed in my mouth when I opened the door for the first time. But what I could see through the mold and dirt and grease was that it was pretty much all there, and it was all pretty solid.
Clean-up is the first task.

Then water proof the trailer.

All the exterior gaskets, unless they were replaced, will be history, especially the sewer vent pipe cover gaskets that only last 2 to 3 years.

Remove the furnace and overhall it.

The water heater may need replacing as they don't last 40 years.

Reading the following article will help you check out the axle.

The Dura-Torque Axle

Andy
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Old 09-15-2013, 11:39 AM   #6
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1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Woodland , Washington
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So now to taking toll of the hardware. First the lights never came on when being towed. Turns out that the wasps had gummed up the connector and with some electrical contact cleaner, all light, brake and otherwise come on.

So we then tried out the water systems. First pressurizing with a hose. Well, the internal pressure regulator had frozen and ruptured. But the owner had a hose regulator, so I cut out the pressure regulator and just put in some pex. Problem solved. Turn the water on again and woo hoo, we have pressure with no leaks. Now then we try the faucets, they work as expected. Leaky but useable. The shower is broken, so no testing there. Grey and black seem to be holding the waste. Then the toilet. It works. And works pretty well (i know nothing about trialers so it fills with water, flushes and you can fill it up and it hold water. So then we turn off the water and hook to shore power. Surprise. All the lights work, the fans and switches. The transformer hums like its an antique, but it is putting out 12 volts and all the 110 outlets work fine. Battery is dead and gone. We put water into the front storage and turn on the pump. Pump works. Now to the appliances. I know NOTHING about trailers, and the instruction manual is good, but not great (yes we got a stack of papers with the trailer, including bill of sale, and all orginal manuals). Oh, all the keys were missing, so I drilled out all the locks, put in non keyed locks on the compartments, and got a lock from a place back east that went into the latch no problem.
So now to Propane. I figured nothing worked. The fridge did not work with 110, so I didn't feel good about it working with propane. We hook up a tank and do a leak test. Pressure holds perfectly for more than an hour. So I go to the hot water heater. Fiddle a bit, put a lighter in and whooomp, off it goes and it works like a charm. Turns out it is an early 90's replacement so crossing my fingers it works for a while. Next to the furnace. The fan goes, but I can't get the pilot light to catch. Then to the fridge. WHOOMP, the pilot light catches and we have propane flowing, but not cooling. Then to the stove. It lights right away. I have to say I have a huge smile on my face. Furnace and fridge appear to be gonners, but hot water and a stove, not bad, not bad at all.
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Old 09-15-2013, 11:41 AM   #7
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It is really very, very cute!

Adorable, actually, and great that some scrubbing alone has made it habitable.

There is something in mothers (most of us) that enjoys scrubbing things til they sparkle. Probably harkens back to moving into cheap apartments in our earlier, and poorer, days. Nice that yours was there to help.

Now, make sure all the internal bits and pieces are working properly before you set out any distance from home.

Have fun, and keep us posted!


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Old 09-15-2013, 11:55 AM   #8
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1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Woodland , Washington
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So my neighbor comes up, a regular camper trailer owner, and a smart man, and he says your trailer isn't level, the fridge won't work. He helps me level it, and suddenly with propane we have cold. We then find out that the heating with 110 the heater wires have coroded. Looks like I can order a replacement so great news. The furnace is a goner. I am sure we could get it fixed but from what I see on this site, replace is better than repair.

So we are excited. Not so bad. Two immediate things I need help from the group on. The fiberglass flue that vents the refrigerator is pretty busted up. Does anyone make a replacement? As well, the shower has a chunk missing. I can probably figure out how to do fiberglass repair, and we are not sure we are keeping the shower in the new design.

And to that end, I think we are going to try and make this a bit more livable (not original). Not sure what that truly means, but we are up for the challenge and are looking forward to all we learn from this group.
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Old 09-15-2013, 11:58 AM   #9
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Looking good for sure, I really. Like the aluminum floor.

Enjoy your cool trailer.
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Old 09-15-2013, 12:05 PM   #10
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There are some folks on here from Wisconsin who beautifully rehabbed an Argosy trailer and then bought a second one to work on.

They are tiger on the Forums, if you want to pm them.


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Old 09-15-2013, 12:09 PM   #11
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
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Originally Posted by woodlandfarm View Post
So my neighbor comes up, a regular camper trailer owner, and a smart man, and he says your trailer isn't level, the fridge won't work. He helps me level it, and suddenly with propane we have cold. We then find out that the heating with 110 the heater wires have coroded. Looks like I can order a replacement so great news. The furnace is a goner. I am sure we could get it fixed but from what I see on this site, replace is better than repair.

So we are excited. Not so bad. Two immediate things I need help from the group on. The fiberglass flue that vents the refrigerator is pretty busted up. Does anyone make a replacement? As well, the shower has a chunk missing. I can probably figure out how to do fiberglass repair, and we are not sure we are keeping the shower in the new design.

And to that end, I think we are going to try and make this a bit more livable (not original). Not sure what that truly means, but we are up for the challenge and are looking forward to all we learn from this group.
Great story so far. Yes, replace the furnace. I don't know of any replacement refrigerator vents but Inland RV would be the best place to ask, Andy may have some. Do keep the shower, the next owners will want it, even if you don't. Your old banana yellow end caps and the yellowed tambour doors on the upper cabinets can be made nice and white again with Krylon Fusion paint for plastics, white, satin finish.

Great starts so far, best to you for the next phases.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:50 AM   #12
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Great find and great story! Congrats and I look forward to seeing/hearing more!
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Old 09-16-2013, 12:58 PM   #13
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What a great find, you did very well buying that trailer.

The Argosy Minuet is a great little trailer.

My Safari has the original furnace, and it works, but I don't trust it to be safe after 36 years. We have had no trouble camping in to October heating with an electric space heater. If we ever decide to camp late in to the season without a hydro hookup I will have to replace the furnace, but for now I'd rather hold on to my $.

Good luck with your project!
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Old 09-21-2013, 06:45 PM   #14
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1977 Argosy 24
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Good luck with your trailer. I know it's a lot of work, but the end result will be worth it. There is a lot of love for the Argosy 6.0 Minuet.

We lok forward to reports of your progress and photos, of course.
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