Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-07-2007, 08:48 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
bkahler's Avatar

 
1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,350
Trip of a lifetime.....

As some of you might remember Susan and I bought off of eBay the little 1974 20' Argosy Moho that had a fresh 350 engine installed but not yet running. Well we finally found time to go pick it up. Needless to say it made for a very interesting road trip!

The options we had for bringing the Argosy from eastern Tennessee to central Arkansas were to A) hire a trucking company B) fabricate a tow bar and tow it back or C) find a trailer and haul it back ourselves. We couldn't afford option A and my concerns in fabricating a tow bar was the lack of brakes on the towed vehicle so we settled for option C. Of course that option didn't turn out as easy as I had hoped because my first choice in a trailer which was a gooseneck ended up being unavailable during the time frame we could make the trip. At the last minute I located and was able to borrow a 16' dovetail that had hydraulic brakes. However when I pulled the master cylinder cap it became readily apparent that the brakes were beyond repair. So......I ended up buying new electric brake backing plates complete with shoes and magnets and installed them. Fortunately the brake drums were setup for electric brakes as well as hydraulic. So $125 and a complete rewire of the trailer wiring later we were ready to make the trip. The trip to eastern Tennessee was pretty much uneventful other than the horrible roads we suffered through in Arkansas. With the empty trailer on back the ride was so bad Susan was having 2nd thoughts of making the trip with me. Fortunately once we got into Tennessee the roads improved dramatically.

The night before we were to pickup the Argosy it started raining so wouldn't you know it we had to deal with the rain during the loading process.

Being as this Argosy wasn't running we had to manually winch it up onto the trailer. Right from the get go I could tell it was going to be a long process using a come-a-long. The first thing we found was the wheel track was about 3" wider than the trailer. That didn't concern me to much as the trailer didn't have fenders but it did make it a little more difficult to get it up onto the trailer. Susan got to "ride" the Argosy up onto the trailer while she performed steering duties. I don't remember if she made any comments about the quality of the ride but I'm sure it wasn't all that great!

Click image for larger version

Name:	Arogsy trip 1.JPG
Views:	84
Size:	185.1 KB
ID:	42757 Click image for larger version

Name:	Arogsy trip 2.JPG
Views:	71
Size:	137.8 KB
ID:	42758

After winching it up the first 6 feet or so I talked the seller into bringing his Isuzu Trooper (?) over and we hooked a chain from the Argosy to his hitch and he helped pull it up onto the trailer. Since we were doing this in a gravel parking lot he spun his wheels a few times until he put it in 4-wheel drive!

Click image for larger version

Name:	Arogsy trip 3.JPG
Views:	84
Size:	157.1 KB
ID:	42759
Click image for larger version

Name:	Arogsy trip 5.JPG
Views:	95
Size:	156.2 KB
ID:	42761

But with his help we managed to get it fully up onto the trailer. Even though we only had a 16' trailer we were able to load the Argosy far enough forward to be able to balance the load properly and still keep the rear wheels far enough from the end of the trailer. I'm really glad we had a weight distributing hitch as it made a big difference in creating the proper load balance overall.

Click image for larger version

Name:	Arogsy trip 4.JPG
Views:	264
Size:	117.6 KB
ID:	42760

Between the humidity and the spitting rain I managed to stay soaking wet during the loading process I think the loading process took somewhere around 3 hours overall. I don't think that was to bad considering all that was involved in tying it down properly and safely.

Now the fun begins.............

For obvious reasons we wanted to use a trailer with brakes to provide additional braking power due to the increased weight we were hauling. The Argosy weighs somewhere around 6,800 lbs and the trailer was 1,500 lbs. The truck weighs around 6,200 lbs and then add in two adults, luggage, tools, etc we end up having a rolling load of around 15,000 lbs. As we pulled out on the road I did a quick check of the brakes and wasn't happy with what I felt. It seemed that there was little stopping power. As we went down a small grade to the next major road I started pumping the brakes and realized at that time that we did NOT have the braking power needed to haul this thing home. I calmly (ok maybe not so calmly) mentioned to Susan that we didn't have brakes and we probably should do something about it. I know the trailer brakes were working because when I was trying to stop going down that small incline I could see the trailer tires lock up and slide when I hit the brakes!

We stopped at the first available parking lot to try and change a tire and while I did that Susan went and made some phone calls. I couldn't budge the lug nuts so we were then directed to a nearby tire place and they put the spare on for me. While there they helped us get in touch with a Firestone service shop that was a few miles away. When Susan called them they said "sure they could help us". They had a truck just coming off the lift and if we could be there in 30 minutes they'd take care of us. Boy did they! We got there (very slowly I might add) and after we unhooked the trailer they put the truck on the lift while Susan and I went and had lunch. When we came back they gave us the bad news. The right rear axle seal had been leaking and the shoes were saturated. On top of that the front pads were glazed and the rotors were to thin to turn. So here we are 650 miles from home with the heaviest rolling load I've ever towed and with no brakes except trailer brakes. We were extremely lucky in that the Firestone place not only took the time to check the brakes for us they were able to get them fixed in less than 3 hours. We were actually on the road headed home about 2:30 pm.

Once we actually got onto the Interstate we found that anything much higher than about 55 mph would cause the trailer to sway a little which made me uncomfortable. We ended up settling on 53 mph as our top speed. Originally my only real concern on the trip home was how well I would be able to control my speed going down some of the long grades in Tennessee on I-81 & I-40. Well it turns out the only thing I had to worry about were how long it would take to climb those long grades! Our truck is a 1988 3/4 ton Ford with a 7.3 non-turbo diesel. Its old, a little tired but was up to the task. We found that going down the grades the diesel engine did a great job of engine braking which helped slow the truck. On some down grades I actually had to accelerate to keep moving down hill. During the entire 650 mile return trip I only had to pass two vehicles which made me happy to say the least! I'm not sure what kind of mpg we got on the return trip and I don't think I want to know

I was able to test the new brakes one time. We were coming off an entrance ramp that was located on a curve and as I accelerated (ok crawled) down the ramp I checked my side view mirror only to see two 18 wheelers in the right lane with a half dozen more in the left lane. There was no room for the fast moving vehicles in the right lane to go should I try to merge. The entrance ramp was a short one and at the end of it was a bridge rail so I quickly slammed on the brakes and we came to a quick stop. YEAH brakes

Once we made it into the flat lands of eastern Arkansas the only problems we had were the various rain storms that we ran into. Wouldn't you know it the windshield wipers decided to fail at the worst possible moment during a horrendous down pour. We were lucky to make it to the shoulder because the rain hadn't slowed the 18 wheelers or cars down and I couldn't see past the windshield. That was probably the most nerve racking moment of the trip for me.

All in all the trip could have been planned a little better but overall it was a good trip and we really enjoyed (mostly) the looks and comments we got from people. Here it is at home.

Click image for larger version

Name:	Arogsy trip 6.JPG
Views:	84
Size:	171.0 KB
ID:	42762

Brad
__________________

__________________
Air forums # 1674
1974 20' Argosy Motor Home
1974 31' Excella trailer (parting out, as of 4/1/2015 I have wheels, brake drums, windows & holding tanks left to sell)
bkahler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2007, 08:55 PM   #2
Moderator
 
moosetags's Avatar

 
2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 10,762
Images: 5
That is one cute little guy. We're glad you got him home OK. Please keep us posted on his progress. You need to give him a name.
__________________

__________________
SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2018 Silverado 2500 (Lillian)
moosetags is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2007, 08:55 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Fyrzowt's Avatar
 
2000 25' Safari
West of Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,697
Images: 8
You're a brave man.
I'm glad it all worked out for you, and that you found the brake problem before you got on the interstate!
Dave
__________________
Fyrzowt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2007, 09:11 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
str8strm's Avatar
 
1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Tujunga , California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,969
Images: 6
its a cutie

My husband wants to get one and trick it out to set a land speed record for MoHos!!! but we have to sell AS #2 first----I am pushing for a 79 28' that is polished!
__________________
Ron and Debbie Lawrence
1985 345 Motorhome...... delightfully tacky......yet unrefined
AIR 7992
str8strm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2007, 09:28 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Alumatube's Avatar
 
1984 31' Airstream310
New Holland , Ohio
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,080
MOST STRESSFUL Trip of a Lifetime!

Brad forgot two words in his title, added above! I think we each lost a few years off our lives over this one. It was a white-knuckle trip all the way back. But we got home safely! We will not be doing that again, for sure!

Brad being the mechanical guy he is, posted all of the "technical" photos and skipped over the other neat aspects of the trip! So here are some other things I took pics of along the way.

This sighting in Tennessee got the trip off to an absolutely PERFECT and fortuitous start!

Click image for larger version

Name:	7-27-07 Argosy University.jpg
Views:	84
Size:	323.7 KB
ID:	42763

We saw this RV on our way up - he was carrying a full-size cruising Harley on the back of the RV along with a bicycle, then towing the Jeep carrying another motorcycle and stuff we couldn't figure out. Amazing.

Click image for larger version

Name:	7-27-07 RV with STUFF.jpg
Views:	87
Size:	156.4 KB
ID:	42764

When we got to Kingsport Saturday morning, we stopped to check directions and I saw this rainbow. It was a whole rainbow, but the right end came down right where we picked up our new little baby!

Click image for larger version

Name:	7-28-07 Rainbow close.jpg
Views:	87
Size:	85.4 KB
ID:	42765

Here we are at the dollar store parking lot, where I ran in to ask about a brake shop.

Click image for larger version

Name:	7-28-07 On trailer in Kingsport.jpg
Views:	86
Size:	155.4 KB
ID:	42766

The sign in this picture says it all. $514 later, we were back on the road.

Click image for larger version

Name:	7-28-07 Ford at shop.jpg
Views:	91
Size:	166.0 KB
ID:	42767

We saw no Airstreams on the road on the way up, but on the way back, we saw two in quick succession on I-81 east of Knoxville. The first one was being flat-towed and I am still amazed I got that shot off in time.

Click image for larger version

Name:	7-28-07 Airstream 1 on I-81JPG.jpg
Views:	82
Size:	127.3 KB
ID:	42768 Click image for larger version

Name:	7-28-07 Airstream on I-81JPG.jpg
Views:	74
Size:	105.1 KB
ID:	42769

This horrific looking thing followed us all the way back from Kingsport!

Click image for larger version

Name:	7-28-07 The monster in the back window.JPG
Views:	74
Size:	133.4 KB
ID:	42770

Here is what the view from the front window of Ruby Tuesday looked like as we stopped for lunch. I still can't believe we got it safely home!

Click image for larger version

Name:	7-28-07 Parked at Ruby Tuesdays.JPG
Views:	82
Size:	195.3 KB
ID:	42772

I was talking to my mom on the phone as I saw this sight, and calmly kept talking as I yanked out the camera and desperately angled for the shot. Got it! (Okay, it's not the best...)

Click image for larger version

Name:	7-28-07 Tennessee AS dealer.JPG
Views:	76
Size:	273.3 KB
ID:	42771

More in the next post. I ran out of picture space!

Susan
__________________
"Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how popular it remains?"

1984 310 Limited Motor Home "The Rockin' A"
Alumatube is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2007, 09:29 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
Alumatube's Avatar
 
1984 31' Airstream310
New Holland , Ohio
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,080
Hee hee, Debbie - I told Brad we needed to put the hopped-up 454 in it and go around collecting pink slips at the street races! It's a REAL sleeper, ha ha!!

Susan
__________________
"Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how popular it remains?"

1984 310 Limited Motor Home "The Rockin' A"
Alumatube is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2007, 09:38 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
Alumatube's Avatar
 
1984 31' Airstream310
New Holland , Ohio
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,080
Okay, here's the rest of the trip. Here's something cool we saw on the way back. For those of you who do not know Cirque du Soleil, you MUST get a DVD and check them out. They are absolutely amazing.

Click image for larger version

Name:	7-28-07 Cirque truck.JPG
Views:	94
Size:	106.9 KB
ID:	42775

This is a power plant in the mountains of Tennessee. It was wild to come over a mountain and see it all of a sudden. VERY impressive stacks!

Click image for larger version

Name:	7-28-07 Power plant.JPG
Views:	73
Size:	127.1 KB
ID:	42776

We woke up, had breakfast and went to the gas station Sunday and saw this.

Click image for larger version

Name:	7-29-07 Cool car at gas station.JPG
Views:	90
Size:	135.5 KB
ID:	42777

This truck backed into the gas station we were at later in the day. Moo!

Click image for larger version

Name:	Truck with horns 7-29-07.JPG
Views:	93
Size:	185.8 KB
ID:	42781

This is the Argosy moho and trailer outside Memphis on I-40 I didn't get such a good pic of on our last trip. We stopped and asked about them, and I have the name and phone number of the fellow who owns them if anyone is interested. We have no knowledge of condition other than what these pics show.

Click image for larger version

Name:	7-29-07 Argosys outside Memphis.JPG
Views:	92
Size:	150.7 KB
ID:	42778 Click image for larger version

Name:	7-29-07 Argosys outside Memphis with ours.JPG
Views:	83
Size:	153.5 KB
ID:	42779

And lastly, here is a tiny peek at an AS at a dealer/repair place outside Little Rock on I-40. I saw it on the way out, but wasn't quick enough to get the camera. I almost forgot it this time, too, but caught the very tip end of it amongst the SOBs.

Click image for larger version

Name:	Airstream at lot outside LR 7-29-07.JPG
Views:	87
Size:	81.8 KB
ID:	42780

I hope you enjoyed our trip! I'm sure most of our hair will grown back in RealSoonNow...

Susan
__________________
"Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how popular it remains?"

1984 310 Limited Motor Home "The Rockin' A"
Alumatube is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2007, 10:19 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
safari57's Avatar
 
1951 21' Flying Cloud
1960 24' Tradewind
West Coast , BC
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,790
Images: 10
Send a message via MSN to safari57
First off Susan, you are very quick with a camera. I'm impressed, and great photos. I don't think I have managed to get a photo yet of an Airstream on the road as we travel. Donna just shakes her head and laughs now when I start to go through the motions.

What an adventure you two had. I'll bet you were exhausted mentally and physically when you got home. These are the kinds of trips you can relate for years to come as you sit around the campfire. There's nothing wrong with that, now that you have it safely home of course. Is this a longer term project or something you intend to tackle pronto? More pictures of it would be great.

Brad - when you started mentioning that you had the fellow assist to tow it on with his Isuzu and you said he was spinning his wheels in the gravel I had visions of you saying that he managed to knock out the window or something. Glad that went well. Man, you guys sure went to a ton of effort for that little puppy. It owes you big time for rescuing it.

Thanks, and congratulations.

Barry
__________________
safari57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 05:58 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
bkahler's Avatar

 
1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,350
Quote:
Originally Posted by safari57
First off Susan, you are very quick with a camera. I'm impressed, and great photos. I don't think I have managed to get a photo yet of an Airstream on the road as we travel. Donna just shakes her head and laughs now when I start to go through the motions.

What an adventure you two had. I'll bet you were exhausted mentally and physically when you got home. These are the kinds of trips you can relate for years to come as you sit around the campfire. There's nothing wrong with that, now that you have it safely home of course. Is this a longer term project or something you intend to tackle pronto? More pictures of it would be great.

Brad - when you started mentioning that you had the fellow assist to tow it on with his Isuzu and you said he was spinning his wheels in the gravel I had visions of you saying that he managed to knock out the window or something. Glad that went well. Man, you guys sure went to a ton of effort for that little puppy. It owes you big time for rescuing it.

Thanks, and congratulations.

Barry
Barry,

After the trip both of us were mentally and physically drained. We've got a lot going on right now and this trip didn't help any

My biggest concern for the trip was that we would have some kind of break down and have to find a place to store the Argosy until we could make another try. Needing the brake job just about met that criteria, fortunately throwing money at it solved that problem, and a lot of luck of course

I hadn't even thought about breaking a window when he spun his tires . Thats an image I don't even want to think about. Fortunately he was parallel and off to the side of the Argosy so that might have helped. Once he put it in 4-wheel drive the wheel spinning stopped.

We're going to be pulling the 350 out and replacing it with a rebuilt 454. The plans are to use the Argosy to pull our race car trailer which is being made out of a 1974 31' Excella 500 trailer. I figure out rolling load is going to be somewhere around 15,000 lbs so I don't think the 350 thats currently in the Moho is up to the task. I'd love to throw a diesel in but the odds of finding one we can afford are pretty slim. Besides I have the 454 sitting in a donor truck ready to pull.

We'll keep a post going detailing our progress. For the next few months though I think I'll catch up on my sleep.......

Brad
__________________
Air forums # 1674
1974 20' Argosy Motor Home
1974 31' Excella trailer (parting out, as of 4/1/2015 I have wheels, brake drums, windows & holding tanks left to sell)
bkahler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 06:25 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
Alumatube's Avatar
 
1984 31' Airstream310
New Holland , Ohio
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,080
And it will be a longer-term project. We were going to pull the Excella with our 1953 Chevy one-ton panel truck, but this will take the place of the Chevy (which was a longer-term project as well).

One Chevy panel truck for sale soon! Needs restoration, but very cool!

Susan
__________________
"Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how popular it remains?"

1984 310 Limited Motor Home "The Rockin' A"
Alumatube is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 07:07 AM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
brownsmtnlab's Avatar
 
1970 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
Greeneville , Tennessee
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 60
Images: 8
Congrat's!!
We saw you on I-81 near Knoxville! I was Jealous...
Have fun with it
Kevin
__________________
If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there
brownsmtnlab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 07:34 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
Alumatube's Avatar
 
1984 31' Airstream310
New Holland , Ohio
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,080
Yeah, I figured if we were to be seen on any trip we made, this one would be it (wry smile)!

Susan
__________________
"Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how popular it remains?"

1984 310 Limited Motor Home "The Rockin' A"
Alumatube is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 09:05 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
Chaplain Kent's Avatar
 
1994 30' Excella
Currently Looking...
Milwaukee , Wisconsin
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,934
What a great trip. 53 miles per hour is two less than Chummy's top speed, now you can appreciate all the wonderful things we see at that speed.
__________________
Chaplain Kent
2015 Coachman Freedom Express 19RBS, Chummy IV- Ford Excursion- 7.3 Turbo-diesel
Chaplain Kent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 12:05 PM   #14
Tom, the Uber Disney Fan
 
Minnie's Mate's Avatar
 
2006 30' Safari
Orlando , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,693
Images: 7
Congratulations on a safe trip home and good luck with the restoration. That should be a great size for racing trips.
__________________

__________________
2006 30' Safari - "Changes in Latitudes"
2008 F-250 Lariat Power Stroke Diesel Crew Cab SWB
Family of Disney Fanatics
WBCCI# 4821
http://streaminacrossamerica.com/
Minnie's Mate is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Longest Trip in a Classic AIRSTREAM Motorhome winner Airstream Motorhome Forums 17 01-26-2005 09:11 PM
Longest Trip with a Vintage Airstream Pick On The Road... 7 11-03-2002 08:44 AM
South Carolina Trip Ideas rdm Our Community 4 10-17-2002 10:17 AM
Trip report (long and maybe boring) mkeith54 On The Road... 4 07-26-2002 10:39 PM
Took Globetrotter on first real trip Jim Clark On The Road... 4 07-01-2002 10:41 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:45 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.