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Old 06-28-2010, 07:43 AM   #1
4 Rivet Member
1976 Argosy 28
Eckville, Lacombe County , Alberta
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 446
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Well, we got it! Profile updated.

Alternative message title is

When collecting your Argosy, allow time, then add some more time, then a little bit extra.
This is long, and there is no shortened version and there is no prize for reading to the end.
I will post pics in a separate thread.
What a roller coaster ride this weekend has been.
We had the brake controller fitted middle of last week by a mechanic that wanted to barter services, mine for his, no problem.
Took the 6 hr drive (on Friday) to my wifes cousins place and decided to plug his trailer into my TV "just to see". Found all sorts of funky things going on but too late to do anything about it, and probably just a couple of wires need putting i the right place. WRONG. Started the process of checking and got different results almost every time we did something. Pressure to get going the 21/2 hours further journey and our lack of knowledge hindered our progress as well, I am sure.
So, I decided to strip back the taped wiring in the front of the vehicle. The red brake wire (the one that ties into the brake switch, was carefully folded back on itself and UNUSED. Called the mechanic and all he said was "I figured you could just use the lever on the controller as I ran out of time installing it". My phone dropped the signal and I have not been able to talk to him again. So we called a mechanic friend of Randys (wifes cousins husband) two hours later we had it re-installed. Cousin has arranged BBQ for us (my son Thomas and I) so leaving now was not an option. Still, early off on Sunday, check trailer, plug in and go right? WRONG.
Get to trailer on Sunday morning, plug in and no lights plus the TV will not switch off. OK, lets fix the lights. Bad ground is sourced to the rear passenger side. Ground it to the curb side by running a piece of new wire to the working light. Now the more major issue. Finally figure that the way my mechanic installed the 12v feed to the trailer was directlt from the battery through the fuse box. Trailer battery is feeding the ignition and fuel pump even when the key is out. Only fix for that is pull the 12v just before cutting the engine. Done, fixed.
Next is installing the Reese hitch and equalizer bars, no issues here 20 minutes.
We put all the tools in the trailer to put more weight on the front and remove weight from the van.
Next is the Reese anti sway bars. It arrived with no self tapping bolts for tube set up, but I figured as most (I had been told) units are "C: channel this will not be an issue. WRONG, it was tube steel AND the PO's anti sway bracket was in the way and welded in place. OK we will not use the anti sway bars then even though the wind is blowing pretty bad.
Last job was to drop a wheel and check a bearing but the PO's son said no, they will be OK, so I trusted him.
So, paid for the trailer (for anyone interested, $3500.00 Canadian) conected up and headed for a carpark to set the equalizer bars and brake controller. 1/2 hr later we are ready to go.
Back to cousins place, quick pee break, get water bottles filled and off we go. Two miles down the road and not yet out of town I noticed the battery compartment door open. Screws rotted out of floor. Duct tape fixed that and the furnace hatch as well, just in case.
Filled up with fuel and drove the 7 hour journey home.
20 miles in and noticed window trim falling out. Stopped, pulled it off and patched with duct tape as it was starting to thunder storm.
What a dream, I kept expecting the trailer to start swaying in the wind but no, it didn't. We had a pretty severe side wind and a truck blew past us one time and the trailer did sway a little but not really enough to cause a heart flutter even.
Our van is a little underpowered though, we were down to 80km per hour on some of the bigger hills we encountered, 60 klicks on a couple of others, but overall the van performed well. Used some oil though.
Bearings held up, tyres OK and nothing fell off, out or ran into us.
I wonder how much better it will be when I have replaced the axles?
I still cannot believe I have it, intact, with every thing working, but no A/C.
In summary:
We took and used
Electrical tester (need more education on its use)
Fuses, kept blowing them whilst fault finding the brake controller.
14 gauge wire and soldering iron for remaking the ground connection.
Torque wrench and larger wrenches for the hitch.
Various smaller Phillips flat and Robinson heads.
Engine oil
Wood for the hitch lifter when we stopped to set up the hitch.

Now begins the process of making this project livable. I will be asking question (lots of them) and posting updates on progress.
Thanks once again for all your support and encouragement. I can say without doubt I would not have entertained this idea of buying and renovating/restoring my Argosy if this forum, and the information it contains, were not here.
Cheers for now



A wise man once told me he wanted to stay fit enough to run a marathon on his hundredth birthday. Another said he wanted to be shot by a jealous husband on his, I'm with the latter. God bless you Richard.

Carpet Cleaning is what I do, it's not who I am.
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:30 AM   #2
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1980 31' Excella II
Davenport , Iowa
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 57
Images: 17
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What an experience. We are glad you made it back home with it ok even with the trials. We are at this time half way to ours (390 miles one way). We bought an Avion on Saturday night. Either I kept getting outbid or when I called they would be "just sold." Sunday I installed the brake controller, other one was real old, been though 3 vehicles and this larger (34') trailer was what I used to justify getting a "smart" controller. Ok so after reading your post I am really feeling anxious about the unknowns we may encounter. Wife does not understand my anxiety but she will if we have these issues. We plan on camping in it tonight at Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park tonight. I need more than the exterior lights to work, LOL. Good luck on the updates and renovations. If/When we get our new home back to Atlanta I will update the profile also.

Mike and Kim

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Old 06-28-2010, 09:40 AM   #3
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Vintage Kin Owner
1973 Avion Travelcader 25' , ...
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 8,988
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Whew...A day in the life of vintage trailer ownership? Bex you experienced quite a bit on your initial voyage. Glad to here you were able to work things out and returned home unharmed.while maintaining your wits.

You deserve a beer or three.


"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

Eleanor Roosevelt

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Old 06-28-2010, 04:00 PM   #4
4 Rivet Member
1976 Argosy 28
Eckville, Lacombe County , Alberta
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 446
Send a message via Skype™ to Bex
Hey Mike and Kim
My anxiety was more the performance of my (underpowered) TV and what sway would feel like more than about the other stuff. Although I did only have upto midnight last night (legally) to move it home. I had a temp "in transit" license only for the weekend. The rest, in reality, was just about getting things done. Had I done the smart thing I would have just taken the van to Canadian Tire or some other place with time and paid to have it done correctly, first time. I would then have been at the trailer Saturday AM, messed with it for a few hours as we did (the graounding issue) and then headed back to home or Cousins for the BBQ and beers. As it was, I still had the beer, so it all ended well.
Best wishes on yours.

I will be having a beer or two tonight to make up for last nights late finish. Thanks for the support



A wise man once told me he wanted to stay fit enough to run a marathon on his hundredth birthday. Another said he wanted to be shot by a jealous husband on his, I'm with the latter. God bless you Richard.

Carpet Cleaning is what I do, it's not who I am.
Bex is offline   Reply With Quote

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