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Old 04-18-2013, 12:52 PM   #1
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1977 24' Argosy 24
Gresham , Oregon
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Unhappy Well, Poke me with a fork, cause I'm done

I had such high hopes for my 77 24' footer.

Yesterday on the trip driving it home, the hoses, belts, etc. to the water pump ruptured and the radiator overheated. I barely made it off the freeway and into a strip mall parking lot. While backing into the parking lot, I hit a guardrail, cracked the fiberglass and pushed the bumper into the fiberglass.

Couldn't find anyone to come out to look at it since it was a little after 5 pm and it seems that everything closes at 5 pm.

No, I don't have Good Sam or AAA to call for a tow. Left the motorhome and drove home, about 200 miles away.

Finally got hold of a mobile RV mechanic and told him the problem. He charges $75/hr. Said he would look at it and get back to me. I asked him if he knew anyone who would just take it off my hands. He said yes and that he might be interested. Waiting for the call back.

It's located in Bothell, WA if anyone is interested in it.


Dragonlady12
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:04 PM   #2
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Hey, don't give up that easily! The water pump repair is a simple one, and while I am no expert, I will venture to say the Fiberglas one is something you could do too!

Especially with the help of all the experts here...

Look what it says right below this line.
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aage View Post
Hey, don't give up that easily! The water pump repair is a simple one, and while I am no expert, I will venture to say the Fiberglas one is something you could do too!

Especially with the help of all the experts here...

Look what it says right below this line.
Thats right it could be a pretty easy fix. Do not throw in the towel and don't sell when your upset.
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:43 PM   #4
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The pump/belt/hose part should be pretty straight forward on a 454.

Any pictures of the other damage? Was it the fiberglass bumper skirt that was damaged?
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonlady12 View Post
I had such high hopes for my 77 24' footer.

Yesterday on the trip driving it home, the hoses, belts, etc. to the water pump ruptured and the radiator overheated. I barely made it off the freeway and into a strip mall parking lot. While backing into the parking lot, I hit a guardrail, cracked the fiberglass and pushed the bumper into the fiberglass.

Couldn't find anyone to come out to look at it since it was a little after 5 pm and it seems that everything closes at 5 pm.

No, I don't have Good Sam or AAA to call for a tow. Left the motorhome and drove home, about 200 miles away.

Finally got hold of a mobile RV mechanic and told him the problem. He charges $75/hr. Said he would look at it and get back to me. I asked him if he knew anyone who would just take it off my hands. He said yes and that he might be interested. Waiting for the call back.

It's located in Bothell, WA if anyone is interested in it.


Dragonlady12
We have all been here before.
Sorry you are having troubles.
I find that my attitude always improves with time and sometimes after a beer (or two).
Good luck!
Bruce
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:53 PM   #6
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I agree with Aage; water pump and hoses are an easy repair. While not cheap at today's labor prices, it's minor compared to other possible mechanical problems. Plus, once it's fixed, you don't have to worry about these again in the near future.

Also, fiberglass repair is not like having aluminum panels pounded out or replaced. Any reputable boat repair facility can work on your fiberglass damage. And, again, while not cheap, it's much, much less than sheet-metal work. Depending on the severity, you may be able to fix it yourself; although, if you have no previous experience, you will probably get better results by having the professionals handle it.

Our "trip-from-hell" mechanical breakdown story (one of many):

A few years ago, we had one trip that was doomed from the start. My wife and I were taking our two granddaughters from Phoenix to Tucson for the weekend; and our old Chevy crewcab pickup, "Hal" (a long story on the name), stalled in the major intersection two blocks from our house.

When I opened the hood, I could see that the engine was flooded; because when cranking it over, gasoline was pouring out of the carburetor, boiling on the top of the engine and running over onto both hot exhaust manifolds.

It took about two hours for the big-rig tow truck to arrive, necessary because it needed to tow our truck and 19-foot Bambi, together. So a two-block tow cost us two hours in time and $150.

Not to be outdone, we loaded up tent camping gear in our Prius and headed out again. About 15 miles from home, I-10 was closed for construction near the airport; and as we drove down the off-ramp, the dreaded blue screen and orange triangle of death appeared on the dash display, as the gasoline engine sputtered and died. We were now running only on the electric motor and batteries.

We limped to the Toyota dealer, about five miles away, whose service technicians had gone home right after lunchtime (this was a Saturday); so we limped another ten miles home with the gas engine running sporadically, and planned on driving it back to the dealer the following week.

So, with three crying girls in the car (two granddaughters and my wife) who had planned on spending an exciting weekend in Tucson visiting friends and going to the Desert Museum, we ended up camping in our backyard, in June, in Phoenix -- Daytime temperature was 110; nighttime, 85.

Then, the following week, we had Hal's carburetor rebuilt ($150) and the Prius hybrid system coolant pump replaced ($350), which were difficult considering that both of our vehicles were broken down at the same time. Luckily, our son and his wife lived next door to us at that time (another long story, similar to an "Everybody Loves Raymond" episode); and the repairs were easy to diagnose.

In any case, years later, this is just an amusing anecdote about that summer's "trip from hell".

We've all had bad days, but things look better in the daylight when you aren't so flustered and overwhelmed. While you may end up selling your motorhome, I hope it's after considering all alternatives and the situation has cooled a little. This may just be the dues you pay to have your own exciting "trip from hell" story.
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:58 PM   #7
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Well, Poke me with a fork, cause I'm done

Greetings dragonlady12!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonlady12 View Post
I had such high hopes for my 77 24' footer.

Yesterday on the trip driving it home, the hoses, belts, etc. to the water pump ruptured and the radiator overheated. I barely made it off the freeway and into a strip mall parking lot. While backing into the parking lot, I hit a guardrail, cracked the fiberglass and pushed the bumper into the fiberglass.

Couldn't find anyone to come out to look at it since it was a little after 5 pm and it seems that everything closes at 5 pm.

No, I don't have Good Sam or AAA to call for a tow. Left the motorhome and drove home, about 200 miles away.

Finally got hold of a mobile RV mechanic and told him the problem. He charges $75/hr. Said he would look at it and get back to me. I asked him if he knew anyone who would just take it off my hands. He said yes and that he might be interested. Waiting for the call back.

It's located in Bothell, WA if anyone is interested in it.


Dragonlady12
Please don't despair, and don't give up at the first comparatively minor mechanical problem. The big block GM V8s are hearty devices and the water pump failure is an issue that is a part of the ownership experience with these big V8s. We have all experienced trip where unexpected mechanical failures have produced their own brand of stress . . . you were able to get safely off of the highway and that is important.

I can assure you that in a year or two . . . maybe three, you will be able to look back on this experience and chuckle. My "been there -- done that" story happened on the way to the 2008 WBCCI International Rally in Bozeman, Montana. I was only about 250 miles from my homebase on the way to the AirForums Rally at Moraine View State Park when the Charge light began flashing accompanied by the alarm buzzer on my '75 Cadillac Eldorado. The alternator had been replaced with a newly remanufactured unit days prior to my departure. The car was able to limp into the parking area behind a truck stop just off of the Interstate. I had both Good Sam and AAA-Plus-RV for towing so I called AAA. Three-quarters of an hour later, a small, flatbed roll-back tow truck arrived . . . it wasn't even large enough to carry the Eldorado let alone pull the Minuet as well. That tow truck returned to headquarters with the assurance that a more appropriate truck would return. When more than an hour had passed with no truck, I called the dispatcher and she informed me that they had been unable to locate an appropriate truck. Called Good Sam and again explained that I had a 6,000 pound Cadillac Eldorado towing a 3,200 pound Airstream and that I needed a tow due to bad alternator . . . 30 minutes later, Good Sam dispatched the same "too small" tow truck. This time, it was decided that the truck might be able to handle the Eldorado by itself so the Minuet was unhooked and the Cadillac loaded . . . the Eldorado was towed 18 miles to the garage and unloaded . . . then the truck returned to tow the Minuet to the campground near the garage where I spent the weekend waiting for the new alternator to arrive on Monday. On Monday, the warehouse sent an alternator for a 1985 rather than a 1975 Eldorado so it meant another day's delay while the correct alternator was sent from the warehouse . . . finally was on my way to the International Rally on Tuesday (I had already missed the Moraine View Rally). It wasn't so funny then, but today, it makes a good "campfire" story about the perils of towing a Vintage Argosy with an equally Vintage Cadillac . . . .

Kevin

P.S.: I had spent three years preparing the Cadillac to tow the Argosy so when it experience a mechanical failure of a component that was new immediately prior to departure it was a huge disappointment . . .
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:01 PM   #8
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1977 24' Argosy 24
Gresham , Oregon
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Thanks for all the good advice, I am a little calmer now, but the issues still seem to be overwhelming.

I need to make a decision soon, because the RV doesn't have tags and only has a 3 day trip ticket and today is the second day.

Dragonlady12
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:06 PM   #9
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Bummer, bummer, bummer!!

Some days you just can't win. We've all had them.

Let your mind calm, think it through.

Good luck,

Maggie
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:06 PM   #10
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Take a deep breath and relax, it could of been an airplane, I had a new Sailboat crap out on me on a maiden voyage with involved having the Coast Guard coming to the rescue, made a good sea story a few years later.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:19 PM   #11
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Richmond , Kentucky
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Stephanie,

As everyone has mentioned, the belts and hoses are really not a major issue. Many of us have suffered the same issues including myself! On your Argosy engine there are 3 v-belts. Quite often when one belt breaks it will cause the other two to slip out of their grooves in the pulleys.

I don't remember if you mentioned previously if you replaced the belts and hoses after you bought the motorhome and if you didn't I'm not surprised you had a failure. The upper and lower radiator hoses are no longer available in the factory OEM configuration however parts houses sell hoses that will work in their place. So, if someone tells you they can't get the correct hoses don't dispair!

The upper radiator replacement hose is Gates 25808 (called a bend to fit replacement)

The lower radiator replacement hose is Gates 26612 (called a bend to fit replacement)

As for the bumper it can be straightened and reworked at a later date. Same with the plastic bumper surround. By the way, it's not fiberglass, the plastic surround is made from ABS plastic. There are a variety of ways to fix the plastic. Again that is something that can wait for a later day to repair.

If you really want to keep the Argosy hang in there, I'm sure you'll figure something out!

Brad
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:17 PM   #12
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I'm sure these breakdown stories didn't help ya feel much better, BUT here's another vintage tow vehicle / Vintage trailer one for ya;

Broke down outside boise, Idaho on a FRIDAY AFTERNOON on our month-long honeymoon. First trip with the 62 GT and a early 80's 'burban. (the suburban had more room than the trailer, i think).

A $200+ tow and loong weekend later we learned that the engine was down to 5 cylinders. It took another 2 days to find a suitable replacement vehicle, (a 5 yr old car not 25 yr old car) get a brake controller installed and get back on the way.

We missed crate lake and the redwoods, but got to walk downtown Boise by foot for a few days.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:42 PM   #13
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How can a guy be so lucky ---- an extended HONEYMOON!

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Old 05-05-2013, 08:46 PM   #14
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1977 24' Argosy 24
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Unhappy Dispirited and Disillusioned

Hello All,

In the ongoing saga of my 1977 24' Argosy MH, I have to sadly report that I've had to abandon the poor girl to the evil machinations of a thoroughly vile tow truck operator.

No matter how hard I tried, I could not find anyway around having the MH towed after the water pump hoses exploded on the drive home on the Freeway. Left her resting in a strip mall. Got a phone call from the management office that owns the mall telling me that it was going to be towed. Ok. Then got a phone call from the tow truck operator telling me that if I wanted the MH, I needed to pay $200 for the tow and $200 for one day of storage. Found a local guy who sells Airstream parts and asked him if he wanted the MH, for free. He said yes as long as I paid the fees and whatnot. I agreed, but told him I couldn't fine the Affidavit in Lieu of Title. He didn't care. Got to the tow yard and told the truck operator that I couldn't find the Affidavit, but that I would pay the fees so I could hand it over to the parts guy. That's when the tow truck driver told me that since I didn't have anything to prove the MH was mine, he refused to let me have it. I just turned around and left.


That was a week ago. Now, what can I do? I tried to do the right thing and got whacked for it.
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