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Old 03-06-2013, 01:08 PM   #1
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1977 24' Argosy 24
Gresham , Oregon
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A new and proud parent of a 1976 24' Argosy Motorhome

Hello Everyone,

I'm a new and proud parent of a 1976 24' Argosy Motorhome. Named her Stella and she's waiting to come home with me as soon as I figure how to get some license plates on her cute rear end. Here are the issues:

Seller:
Got her as payment for a debt
Did not get any paperwork
Did not register her or do any research
I drove her and did a cursory inspection (Since I was going to buy her anyway)
She's located about 150 miles from home base and am doubtful she'll be able to do the trip on her own
Interior is livable as long as I don't expect to be too comfortable
No generator (Looking at buying a Portable, either Powerhouse or Honda)
Motor sounds ok (But she could just be waiting to get home first before complaining)
Water, heat, sewage etc. still need inspection
  1. How do I go about getting her legal? I have the original Owners Manual and it has the original owners name and address. I have both VIN #'s. I only have a receipt for the sale.
  2. I'm planning on driving from the west coast to the east coast in about 4 - 6 weeks.
  3. What do I need to focus my efforts on to make sure that we get there safely and without any mechanical breakdowns?
  4. Planning on towing a medium utility trailer.
Thanks.

Stephanie H
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:20 PM   #2
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Richmond , Kentucky
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All I can say is Oh WOW!, that schedule might be a little ambitious!

By the way welcome to Airforums

From what I understand from your post you've just obtained a 76 motorhome and are expecting to get title paperwork and get it running good in four to six weeks. There is so much for you to check I'm not sure where to tell where to start.

I guess first you need to pursue the title paperwork immediately. I don't know what Oregon's laws are so I would suggest you contact your local DMV to get that paperwork rolling. Without that you're not going anywhere whether the Argosy runs or not.

Next, if you're going to drive cross country then you need to thoroughly check the brakes. It will likely have drum brakes on the rear and disc on the front. I just went through getting my rear brakes rebuilt and I had a hard time finding someone to turn the rear drums. I would suggest taking it to a shop that services larger vehicles. Most places like Goodyear or Meineke, etc won't tackle anything that large.

Assuming the brakes are checked out and/or repaired then you want to check the tires. If they are more than 5 or 6 years old, no matter how good the tread looks replace them. I've driven a motorhome with tires that looked absolutely perfect but were 8 or 9 years old and had one rear tire blew and shredded part of the floor board at the same time. Figure $1200 for tires.

You will want to inspect the steering closely. If it felt loose or sloppy during your test drive then you will want to get that fixed before your trip, especially if you're going to be driving in the mountains. Nothing like driving a vehicle that wanders all over the road while you're winding down a mountain side, don't ask how I know

Now that you have tires, steering and brakes it's time to look at the engine. With luck there isn't anything wrong with it that a tune up and a fluid change won't cure. The 454 engines are pretty tough engines especially if they are taken care of.

Next you need to make sure all the lights work. I wouldn't worry about any of the appliances at this point because you'll be way to busy worrying about the stuff I mentioned previously.

Bottom line is you've set your self a very tight schedule and you really don't want to scrimp on any of the above for a cross country trip (or any trip for that matter).

Good luck and post some pictures!

Brad
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:14 PM   #3
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1977 24' Argosy 24
Gresham , Oregon
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Proud parent of a Untitled 1976 24' Argosy Motorhome

Thanks Brad,

The tires look like they're new. I was going to drop her off at a local RV shop for a thorough check-up.

But, now I find that it hasn't been registered for over 10 years and after 10 years, the Washington DMV purges all it's records and they won't re-issue a title. So, now I don't have a title and can't get a new one without the old one.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to go about getting another title? Can I claim it's an abandoned vehicle or a reconstructed vehicle? I saw a website claiming to be able to get vehicles a new title in Maine for $500.

Please someone tell me that I'm not $600 out of pocket and no RV.

Stephanie
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:32 PM   #4
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So it was titled and registered in Washington, but you live in Oregon? Try Oregon and see if you get a better answer about buying an old vehicle with only a bill of sale and applying for an OR title. The worst answer they can give you is no worse than what WA already has.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:48 PM   #5
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1974 20' Argosy 20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonlady12 View Post
Thanks Brad,

The tires look like they're new. I was going to drop her off at a local RV shop for a thorough check-up.

But, now I find that it hasn't been registered for over 10 years and after 10 years, the Washington DMV purges all it's records and they won't re-issue a title. So, now I don't have a title and can't get a new one without the old one.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to go about getting another title? Can I claim it's an abandoned vehicle or a reconstructed vehicle? I saw a website claiming to be able to get vehicles a new title in Maine for $500.

Please someone tell me that I'm not $600 out of pocket and no RV.

Stephanie
Stephanie,

All is not lost. I've obtained titles for three different vehicles that I didn't have titles for so it's definitely possible. I'm pretty sure this is the place I used ITS Title Service and had no issues with their service. I would recommend getting a Bonded Title but they do offer several alternatives.

If you only paid $600 for that Argosy you got a bargain. Windshields alone are easily worth twice that.

Now as far as your tires, you definitely need to check the date codes. Just because they look good doesn't mean a thing. The rubber deteriorates over time and there is nothing you can do about that. If you had a blow-out on a front tire you could be in a world of hurt.

Good luck!

Brad
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:57 PM   #6
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1974 20' Argosy 20
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Stephanie,

Is this the Argosy you just acquired?

Brad
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:21 PM   #7
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In Washington you can get a conditional title. I allows you to own and legally register and drive the vehicle. However for a period of time, around 5 years anybody who can prove a legal interest in the vehicle can make a claim and you lose. After the time period with no claims, you will recieve a clear title. I would guess Oregon will have something similar.

Welcome to the world of Airstream moho ownership.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:57 PM   #8
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We hope to see you and your new baby on the road.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:03 PM   #9
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1977 24' Argosy 24
Gresham , Oregon
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Yes, that's my girl. Both of us have seen better, prettier days.


I can't believe the hassle I've gotten from the local DMV's. Washington insists that since it hasn't been registered for a while, it's been purged from the records. Oregon won't do anything without a title. Virginia(my drivers license state) might issue a replacement title, but it would take 4 weeks, and no guarantee.

Brad, I'm going to try that website you suggested.

Thanks.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:08 PM   #10
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1974 20' Argosy 20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonlady12 View Post
Yes, that's my girl. Both of us have seen better, prettier days.


I can't believe the hassle I've gotten from the local DMV's. Washington insists that since it hasn't been registered for a while, it's been purged from the records. Oregon won't do anything without a title. Virginia(my drivers license state) might issue a replacement title, but it would take 4 weeks, and no guarantee.

Brad, I'm going to try that website you suggested.

Thanks.
I'm not surprised at all that the DMV hasn't helped. There are good DMV departments and there are some really bad ones out there. My experience has been a mixed bag when dealing with them.

Good luck with ITS!

Brad
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:34 PM   #11
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1977 28' Argosy 28
dexter , New York
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did you look in to mechanics lean it may get you to a title also hemmings motor news has listings for titles ,it will never titled if wa. is right thats good . Good luck
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:12 AM   #12
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1977 24' Argosy 24
Gresham , Oregon
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Good idea, but I went to the WA DMV and much to my surprise, there is a title from 2006, with the owners name and address. Got an Affadavit in Lieu of Title, which the current registered owner needs to sign.

Found the owners phone number, called her, explained what I was doing. She called me back this morning. Told me that she got it from a family friend who developed Alzhiemers. She then sold it to someone else for $1. She mailed her paperwork to the DMV and forgot about it.

The guy never completed the transfer. Explained everything to the registered owner and she agreed to meet me next Saturday to sign it, get it notarized and finally wash her hands of it. Then I'm going to take it to one of the Quick Title offices and complete everything so it's legal.

Hoping I don't have to deal with the WA DMV ever again. Once I have it titlted and registered in my name in WA , I'm going to take it for an emission test, hope it passes and title and register it in OR.

Paid $48 for a certified copy of my birth certificate that I'll need to get an Oregon Drivers License, if they won't let me register it with only a VA license.

Oh, and the WA DMV has no paperwork from her saying that she sold it. Can't wait to tell her that she's been liable since 2006 for the MH.

Wow, no good deed goes unpunished.


Stephanie
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:43 AM   #13
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Nice find...looking forward to seeing some inside pics!
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:07 AM   #14
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Stephanie,

Looks like things might be going your way finally! Maybe next weekend you can celebrate

You need to post pictures soon.


Brad
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