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Old 06-23-2007, 12:34 PM   #1
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Argosy motorhomes - improving MPG

Hi all,

I'm planning to import a small Argosy (20/24) or Airstream Motorhome (250) to the UK. I'll probably go for the 20 or 24. Anyhow, here is the rub (as we say in the UK). Petrol in the UK is very expensive (8 dollars a gallon) which is a killer for taking the children camping. So, I need to work out everything I can do to improve the fuel efficiency before I import (cause maintenance in the UK will be more difficult) and probably get the work done in the US. I'm not very technical (yet) but was hoping to swap out the 454 engine for a 350 diesel and go for an overdrive unit. Can anyone let me know whether there is anything else I can do to improve the MPG (I need to try and get to 15 minimum). Note that diesel is cheaper in Europe than petrol/gas so this is my preferred route. Any suggestions or thoughts gratefully recieved.

cheers

Nick
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Old 06-23-2007, 03:53 PM   #2
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Yes, try to find one of the Airstream diesels. They have a small Isuzu diesel already installed.
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Old 06-23-2007, 04:09 PM   #3
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I get around 12 with my 20'er. The Crate 350 bolt right in. The rear end ratio will limit you, I have 411 gears, drives nice @ 55 mph, 65 mph my milage starts to drop.
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Old 06-23-2007, 04:24 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies guys. If I buy a Argosy 20, do any of the diesel engines (Cummins, Detroit, Isuzu and Cat) fit? Also, is this a common mod in the US?

Also, if I go the Airstream route, can you let me know which, if any, sub-25ft Motorhomes originally came with a turbo diesel?

Lastly, if I buy an Airstream e.g. a 250 or 24 ft, do the Diesel engines above fit or are the Argosy/Airstream slightly different. Which you could recommend?

thanks in advance from London!

Nick (a newbie)
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Old 06-23-2007, 05:44 PM   #5
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We love London, what a cool place to roam around in! Have pint for me will ya!!

The smallest diesel I can think of is the Airstream 280. The Isuzu makes a crate motor that will replace a 454, but that is all I know about that. I like the gas engines, eay to work on, lots of power.

A 24 foot Airstream is EXTREMELY rare. Maybe even more than my 20'
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Old 06-23-2007, 06:31 PM   #6
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You could find an older pickup truck or van with a 6.2 liter diesel, and have it shipped over with the Argosy 20. The 6.2 will fit the chassis, and you will also then have most parts you need to perform the conversion. If you do this, make sure you use the transmission that you get with the diesel, as the Turbo 400 uses vacuum to shift, something diesels have very little of.
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Old 06-23-2007, 07:00 PM   #7
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Someone from the UK bought my 345 and intended to convert it to LP. Is that an option for you?
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Old 06-23-2007, 07:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 1985air345
Someone from the UK bought my 345 and intended to convert it to LP. Is that an option for you?
Brunooffrance here on the forums converted his tow vehicle (F150) to run on LP, you could PM him for details.
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Old 06-23-2007, 08:21 PM   #9
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Bottom line is that if money is no object, then a diesel conversion is a good start on top of the typical things, tire pressure, air cleaner, etc.

You could forego all that as has been indicated by buying a 280 Turbo Diesel that was a factory build in the early 80s. I think that means it's a 28 footer, so slightly longer than what you were looking at, but most likely less costly than an engine swap.
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Old 06-24-2007, 09:05 AM   #10
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28' is the shortest for the Izusu TD. However if you buy a 24'er like the Argo on eBay right now you can add a gearvendor under/over, headers, electric fans, and all those good things that will get you better mileage.
Using the right setup with the smaller coach will yield double digit fuel economy in a factory setup.... but for the money I'd be looking for a 280. There is a very nice 310 TD with a fresh engine on eBay right now though.
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Old 01-21-2008, 10:42 AM   #11
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Diesel engine in an ARGOSY24

Dear folks I am sort of new here at Airstream.com and i think i have searched to no avail. Here is my ?????Has anyone or does any one know anyone that has done a diesel conversion in an Argosy/Airstream. Here are my thoughts on this from reading some of your information. Purchase an old school bus Diesel with
automatic transmission in my case a dodge 5.9 diesel with automatic transmission rear end wiring .running.Take the bus body off and chop the 35 foot frame to fit 24 foot argosy OR take the engine transmition combo out of the BUS and put this in a 24 foot Argosy MH. Now there must be someone with some common sense ideas. OK lets have it



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Old 02-03-2008, 07:24 PM   #12
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It's more work than it's work are my thoughts.
I have a 350 chevy in my 24' and I built a 700R4 (4 speed overdrive) tranny to go behind it.
It has a 4:56 axle, so I drop about 1000 rpms or so with it in O.D.and get about 25% better mileage.
First and second gear are lower than the TH 400, so it is much quicker in city traffic (drives like a 3/4 ton P.U.) and with it being all chevy, if it were to ever need service away from home, it is as common a chevy as there ever was.
If you use a C4 corvette tailshaft and housing, you don't even need to shorten the drive shaft.
Now I don't want to get into a discussion about if the 700r4 will hold up. yes it will.
it will however, shorten the life if you tow a large dingy constantly in the mountains.

Now it you are dead set on a diesel, go with a isuzu out of a chevy box truck and keeping it all Gm will make things cheap and simple.

Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 11-01-2008, 05:36 AM   #13
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Thanks!

I know this is an old thread but...
I just wanted to say thatnks to everyone able for your answers.

It's exactly the information I was looking for about options for converting and ArgosyMH 24 to diesel.

Now that I know the options are there I'll look more into it. Has anyone completed the conversion to diesel for an Argosy? How did it go?

Thanks
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Old 11-02-2008, 09:20 AM   #14
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Thumbs up Argosy Motorhome-improving MPG

Well I got into this discussion back in March of 2008 and since that time have done a lot of crazy things . One of which was to leave well enough alone. I cant help but AGREE with George 110-%. If its not broken dont fix it .By the time your up and running changing everything over to diesel concidering all that must be changed to get it operating,You will have spent so much money time and labour that you would have to drive this thing a million miles to recover any of your costs. Right now here in CANADA Eastern end of lake Ontario you would be lucky to save $25 on a 1,ooo miles,so ask yourself ,how many miles are you going to drive this tank. With us its 1500 miles from our doorstep to where we park in good old Florida and 15-to-16 hundred return.so thats a cost over diesel fuel of around $75.so lets tack on another thousand so were at $100 dollars and lets say, just say we drive another $3,000 miles from around home during the summer thats a cost over diesel of around $200.00 dollars.a year thats not counting any costs to purchase and install all the parts plus the cost of engine and transmission and all the little things nplus the labour. If you did this for 10 years thats a cost over 2,000 dollars if everything else was to stay the same ,and we know that isnt going to happen the price of gas here is dropping like a stone in the pond.. Its just not worth the time and effort. Unless you won the lottery and have nothing else to do but get dirty and play with the stinky diesel. enough say'd Just the opinion of MOI
PS and all this cost and down time while this is taking place ,the guy with the 350 or 454 is long gone down the road and enjoying life
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