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Old 10-08-2015, 12:27 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
bjmckernan's Avatar
1967 26' Overlander
1974 Argosy 26
Charlotte , North Carolina
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 45
Need help purchasing (or inspecting) near Winchester/Martinsburg, WV/Northern VA

First time posting, so my apologies if I'm not doing this properly or this is in the wrong spot
I've been scouring this forum for the last few months and it's been an invaluable resource as my husband and I have started the process of acquiring an airstream for us and our 4 young kids.

Originally, we've been looking for a decent condition, older one to use right away and fix up over time BUT we just found a 26' semi-gutted Argosy that's just too good of a deal to pass up. The catch is we're in Charlotte, NC and it's in WV ( not far from where we recently moved from in VA). Which is almost perfect since my husband will be back there with his truck next week. HOWEVER, he has people coming to see it this weekend and I'm sure it'll sell before my husband gets there Monday/Tuesday

I searched for an inspector near there, which wasn't producing many results, but as a long shot, I thought I'd check to see if anyone is near Slanesville, WV who would be able to check it out, pass our payment on to the seller until my husband arrives, maybe pick it up, etc. before Saturday.

We would be happy to pay someone! While I don't know the seller at all, he seems like a friendly guy with good communication, etc., but I certainly don't know him enough to send payment sight unseen and keep my fingers crossed that he'll hold it until next week .

If anyone is from that neck of the woods and would be willing to help us close the deal before my husband gets there we would be super grateful

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Old 10-09-2015, 08:53 AM   #2
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bjmckernan's Avatar
1967 26' Overlander
1974 Argosy 26
Charlotte , North Carolina
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 45
GREAT deal on a 1976 26' Argosy...Picking it up Monday!

So the seller agreed to hold it until my husband could get there Monday. Very excited

Like I mentioned it wasn't exactly what we were originally looking for being a rear-bathroom, semi-gutted, and an Argosy, BUT it is only $800!

He inherited it with a property and started renovating it, but just lost steam. He pulled out most everything except the bathroom (a fridge and a futon are in there) and repaired a leak (from door handle), cleaned it all up, and replaced all the flooring. Axles are in good shape, and no more leaks that he can find (and there's been a LOT of rain). Plumbing will likely need to be replaced or investigated (he hasn't tested it), electric seems to be all working. Windows all seem to be functioning and in good condition. I asked if he kept any of the stuff he pulled out and he still has a lot of it in a big pile outside (it's been exposed to the elements), but we might see if anything is salvageable. The paint looks to be in very good shape, though there is a dent in one place.

We had originally planned on doing the renovation ourselves, but since we're getting it for such a good deal, I'm hoping we can sub some things out to some professionals now to speed up the process

Hoping we can make it functional to take lots of trips in, for us and our 4 little ones, so I'm seeing some quad bunks in our future ;-) We'd love to move the bathroom so we're not waking kids up every time someone uses the bathroom, but from what I've read here it may not be the best idea.
Time to roll of our sleeves and do lots of reading on here...

Thanks for the great resource!!

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Old 10-09-2015, 09:41 AM   #3
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2014 27' FB Eddie Bauer
Chelsea , Michigan
Join Date: May 2010
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A professional redo of a gutted Airstream or Argosy can to $50,000 or much more! It's hard to imagine your getting away with much less than that amount. The parts alone are at least $15,000 and it can take hundreds (if not a thousand) man hours, depending on what you plan to do and how meticulous you want to be. If you think that you are going to buy this thing for $800 and drop a couple thousand more in it and have a camping ready trailer you are going to be sorely disappointed. The world is full of gutted Airstreams and Argosys that well intended restorers start but then realize they have bitten off more than they care to chew (perhaps this occurred to your seller?)

Most successfully completed restoration projects were undertaken by someone with a lot of spare cash who hired a professional or by a serious and talented hobbyist who spent years and many hours meticulously restoring their unit AND ENJOYED THE PROCESS! If you are just looking for an affordable trailer I would strongly encourage you to find one that is currently in working order and that fits your budget. Even if that means you have to get a brand other than an Airtream or Argosy.
Bob Martel
WBCCI# 5766
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Old 10-10-2015, 08:38 AM   #4
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bjmckernan's Avatar
1967 26' Overlander
1974 Argosy 26
Charlotte , North Carolina
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 45
Thanks so much for your input! Ha, I probably should have been more clear. I realized the way I said that sounded pretty naive

While we are new to airstreams, my husband is a contractor, I'm from a family of tradesman, and my brother renovates trailers (though not airstreams). We are no strangers to plumbing, electrical, building cabinets, gutting bathrooms, creating kitchens from scratch, sourcing parts, crafting custom triple bunk beds, etc.

By calling in some "professionals" I simply meant he might be able to call in his plumber to save us some time or pay his company's mechanic to knock some dirty work out that we don't feel like doing... Because right now our biggest hurdle is not ability or necessarily money, but TIME. Babies and little kids have a way of doing that ;-) But we're in no rush. While having something we could have used right away would have been lovely, I feel better now knowing we can have more oversight into making sure things are done right and to our specifications rather than buying someone else's "remodel."

While I am the first to say, an airstream is NOT the same as a house, we're the ones who buy all those houses no one else will touch, make them wonderful and sell them to the types of people who love new, beautiful houses where everything works (and who probably buy new airstreams or pay $50K to get one renovated by someone else). Ha, as much as I WISH we could be more like those people because it would be so much easier, here we are living in our 7th fixer upper and buying an airstream that I'm sure will need tons of love, because it's the kind of thing that's just kind of ingrained in you. We're gluttons for punishment I suppose.

Now I just have to translate these skills to renovating an airstream ...And reading tons of these threads already from people who have chronicled the process from start to finish has been a huge help thus far...
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