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Old 12-25-2014, 09:05 PM   #1
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1977 Argosy 24
1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Salem , Virginia
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 28
Our Tin Foil

Hi all, I am going to make an attempt to document our repairs to our new found classic.

We got bit by the MoHo bug last summer after while camping in Yellowstone with our 77 Argosy trailer. So as soon as we got back from our 2 week trip with the kids, the wife and I started looking around for a 345. Like all Airstreams I knew they would be expensive but I just could not justify the prices I was seeing on the net so we kinda dropped the idea.

Well, I'm pretty sure the Airstream found us. One day the wife and I were driving nowhere and there it was sitting in a yard, the wife says "pull in there and see if they will sell that Airstream" so we turn around and pull in the drive. The for sale sign was faded and half hanging on the tag bracket but there it was, so the first part was done.

The second part went smooth too. The 85 year old couple had owned the 345 since '92. I bought it with out driving it but it started right up, perfect interior, the outside has the usual sunburn look. Also the generator would not start but at $6500 i think we got a good deal.

They bought it with less then 20k on the odo and had kept amazing records for the next 60k miles. Every oil change, repair, he even kept a log of every fill up down to the price of gas, gallons and miles on odo and what town the gas was bought. Its pretty cool going back and looking at the gas prices over the years.

Several repairs have been done while in the previous owners hands, new tag axle in '02, front roof air conditioner in '03, upgraded radiator in '00 and numerous smaller items replaced over the years. He did knock out a back corner window but instead of replacing the window he riveted in two sheets of aluminum in place. Being a airplane mechanic for the Navy he did an excellent job in side and out, I wish the other side matched but I do have the replacement window if I ever get the money or the skill to put it back original.

The enterior is absolutely perfect. The only thing inside that is not working is the instant hot water faucet. After putting a couple hundred miles on it a couple small issues have turned up but it has been sitting since '08 so it is to be expected.

We are planning on towing an enclosed trailer with our motor bikes from Virginia to Utah with our new ride this summer so I have some work to do. I figure why not share the experience with you guys so here is my stab at it.

If you guys have any suggestions please speak up!!


Here is a pic or two and thanks for reading!


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Old 12-25-2014, 09:25 PM   #2
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1977 Argosy 24
1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Salem , Virginia
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 28
Here is my ever changing "to do" list

the must haves

New front tires
front wheel bearings growling
beef up the tow hitch
check brakes
fix generator (6.5k onan) has a weak spark, getting fuel, hopefully it's the points.
fix exhaust leak at manifold
a/c unit on engine not working
the normal fluid changes and belt hose checks


the fun list

new stereo with dvd gps
new television
strip and polish
for some reason there was no gas oven form the factory so we want to add that at some point
rewire front a/c unit to run on shore power

So far we have stripped the decals with a pressure washer and I fixed the door bell (which the kids think is the coolest thing ever put on a RV).

I am putting this on the web to keep me motivated with this project and meet my deadline this summer. So any help at all will be greatly appreciated. Again, Thanks!
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Old 12-25-2014, 09:51 PM   #3
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1982 28' Airstream 280
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I'm looking forward to watching the adventure unfold!
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Old 12-25-2014, 10:27 PM   #4
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1982 31' Airstream 310
champaign , Illinois
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Your front ac should run on shore power or generator. Rear ac runs on generator only unless you rewire and add an extra shore power chord.
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Old 12-26-2014, 07:49 AM   #5
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Front AC powered by engine may only need to be recharged. Important to have wheel bearings checked to eliminate possible expensive repairs if they fail. I think the exhaust leak us Normal, someone else here will chime in with a fix. You have the 454 Chevy engine? Peace, jim
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Old 12-26-2014, 08:28 AM   #6
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Ahhhhh, I thought they were talking about the front roof ac since they want to run it on shore power.
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Old 12-26-2014, 02:49 PM   #7
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Hanalei, /Chino Valley , Hawaii / Arizona
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Welcome to the Forum Tradera. I must say that your patent approach to hunting for your Motorhome resulted in what looks to be an exceptionally good buyin price. It also sounds like you are quite realistic about the ongoing projects involved in getting these older coaches . Going well and reliably.

There is a great crew of classic motorhome DIY owners here that will try to help out with any challenges you come across in your projects.

We love pics here so don't be shy in posting them for us!

Cheers Richard
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Old 12-26-2014, 03:40 PM   #8
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Good looking rig-
I noticed in the second pic that the awning arms were in the middle. I thought the awning arms went all the way at the top.
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Old 12-26-2014, 03:51 PM   #9
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Oh yes, the awning set up challenge. There is a very helpful video on YouTube I think. Try to goggle it and see if it comes up.

I still find it somewhat difficult to set up but having watched the video has helped.

Good eye Mike

Cheers Richard
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Old 12-26-2014, 10:58 PM   #10
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1977 Argosy 24
1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Salem , Virginia
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 28
Thanks all, It seems the front roof unit runs on generator only. Id like to rewire it for shore power too. The p.o. said the engine a/c hasn't worked in years. I was restiching the awning in that second pic, that's why I had it set with the arms in the middle, so I could reach the fabric from the ground. I will say the zipdee is a much better awning, and easier to set up, than the one that was on my Argosy before we lost it on the hiway. I like how the fabric is covered when rolled up and it actually locks down to the RV when closed.

The RF wheel bearing is definitley growling and needs replaced. Anyone have a clue on what to ask for at the parts counter for these rigs? I'm guessing a p30 GMC?
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Old 12-27-2014, 04:11 AM   #11
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$6,500 for your airstream? You sir did nicely.
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Old 12-27-2014, 06:45 AM   #12
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I've seen rigs set up with 2 power cords- a 30 amp for the rest of the house and a 20 amp for the one a/c. I've also seen thermostats that work both a/c units on a 30 amp rig, but not at the same time or with the microwave running at the same time.
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Old 12-27-2014, 08:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tradera View Post

The RF wheel bearing is definitley growling and needs replaced. Anyone have a clue on what to ask for at the parts counter for these rigs? I'm guessing a p30 GMC?
Welcome to the forums

$6,500, I concur with Vycan that you did quite well. The Classics are all over the map when it comes to pricing, diesels and single axles seeming to be increasing in value quite a bit these days. The price of gas will increase the price of the gassers as it becomes cheaper to run a gasser.

You may find it difficult to replace rear window as the tiny grey gasket is not made anymore, however you maybe able to work around that. Nothing is impossible with the ingenuity and ability to think outside the box that most Classic moho owners display here on a daily basis.

P30 chassis so most parts are very cheap and numerous other than Airstream specific parts like tag axle components or OEM air compressors. There are aftermarket suppliers like Henderson for example that make all kinds of better than stock suspension and front end gear for our rigs.

Steve(Keyair) has a motorhome sticky at the top of the forum with all manuals and all kinds of info on your rig

Enjoy your rig.
Cheers
Tony
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Old 02-12-2015, 09:08 PM   #14
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1977 Argosy 24
1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Salem , Virginia
Join Date: Nov 2014
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So I got new front tires for the Tin Foil, went with the 225/70r19.5. They are wider and a little shorter. I like em so far. On the test ride I noticed the growling noise from the right front come back and pull over to check it out. After jacking the right front up I find out we have a sticking brake caliper.

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Quick trip to OReilly and $50 later I have work to do.

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Easy fix. Drive the wedge out, replace caliper and hose, bleed the system and voilà it's fixed.
It took me longer to find the fluid reservoir than to change that parts out

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got a cool new key fob too.

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Apologies for the sideways pics.
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