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Old 05-02-2012, 08:46 PM   #1
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1971 31' Sovereign
Watson , Louisiana
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Deal or Pass

I have had my eye on this 26' Argosy for a while now and I am already deep into a reworking a 31' Sovereign. While I am not ready for another project but I was prompted to stop and talk to the Argosy owner. She was not willing to part with the trailer for any amount of money but I did find something she wanted and left an offer on the table and my number. After taking a few days to ponder my offer she called me and we are working on a trade. As you can see from the picture it is pretty much in the worst shape. I know a lot of this is subjective on condition but I am assuming the worst. I thought if it is not restorable, at least many of the parts would hold some value like the aluminum rims and the curved front windows, door, panels etc. I can store it at my place until I am ready to part out or restore.

I won't have much money tied into it so I won't really lose anything but is it worth it to try to fix it up or acquiring for the parts to sell? Should I make the deal or pass?
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:53 PM   #2
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Goodnight! That thing is a mess. It looks like a set for the TV show Breaking Bad! Personally just the eyesore alone would keep me from taking it, even for free. Is it true that these have steel endcaps? If so, then you can't use those panels for your 31' if you ever need em, and there could be a chance that they are rusted looking at this picture... The scrap price isn't as much as you would think I've heard and it's a lot of work... How about the awning parts? Anything good there? Even just the moving of it seems like it wouldn't be worth it...just my 2 cents...but only you know the level of pain you're willing to endure to make something great out of this!
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:07 PM   #3
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Yep. The awning was another thing I was looking at for the 31'. That and the wheels were the only things I was thinking about for the Sovereign. If the Argosy is not restorable, the rest of the parts would be sold through eBay or this forum. I would then save the trailer, if it could be saved, for a utility trailer. I have not even looked inside yet.

I only have to haul it a couple of miles.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:13 PM   #4
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Do you keep chickens? It's a nice coop and the bird whitewash wouldn't stand out on it.

OMG, just went back and expanded the picture - noticed the large ding on the side between the axles - and a sag in the body.... Broken Frame?

Salvage value only $300 max

Paula
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exsys View Post
Yep. The awning was another thing I was looking at for the 31'. That and the wheels were the only things I was thinking about for the Sovereign. If the Argosy is not restorable, the rest of the parts would be sold through eBay or this forum. I would then save the trailer, if it could be saved, for a utility trailer. I have not even looked inside yet.

I only have to haul it a couple of miles.
Well, it sounds like there are a few promising parts for you. I guess it would need a close inspection to see if those parts are worth it. I've never parted out a trailer, but it seems like a large undertaking with all the shipping etc... If you can get it for next to nothing, get it home easily and cheaply and have a place for it where your neighbors won't make subtle (or not so subtle) remarks about it then why the heck not.... "the person who dies with the most trailers wins!"

PS, get a good look at that frame, I imagine it could be in pretty bad shape with the moisture from the field, rain etc.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:21 PM   #6
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I find myself in this sort of position tine and again. Please....Let me help you.....Allow me to intervene!!! Stop, before you have:

1) accumulated more junk in your yard
2) parted someone with a thing that they hate to part with
3) acquired another project that will haunt you for the next decade while you restore it!
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:57 PM   #7
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I think it has a sort of interesting patina! Like a rat rod...it could be slick if kept like this on the outside but redo the inside...talk about not judging a book by its cover. Then call Hollywood and let them know you have the set for their next camper slasher film ready and the rent is cheap!
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:37 PM   #8
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Pass. IMO, your notions are admirable, the potential pain involved immense, the parts marginal, and only a truly adoring spouse would let you live through it. Then, on the other hand, you could drag to your yard and paint a big FEMA label on it as a shrine.
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:26 AM   #9
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After looking at the photo, I thought you were maybe joking about fixing it... aren't you?
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:30 AM   #10
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Unless you plan on hauling marshmallows the frame would be useless for a utility trailer. These frames have zero strength without the hull.
What does the inside look like?
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:28 PM   #11
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1971 31' Sovereign
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I appreciate everyone's input. That is just what I wanted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Friday View Post
After looking at the photo, I thought you were maybe joking about fixing it... aren't you?
No I am not joking. I have seen others on this forum start with trailers just as bad. How many on here have done major frame repairs? Basically many Airstreams on here are restored salvaging nothing but the shell and some of the frame and they probably paid something for them. I am undaunted by work and have a good idea on how much work is involved since I am working on one already. I pretty much have all the trades covered required bring this back into shape. My Sovereign had rear end separation and floor rot in the bath. Frame repair on it will commence this weekend.

The picture is taken from a distance so it is hard to tell what is actually wrong but I will fully inspect it before we complete any sort of deal and the condition will weigh heavily on how much I reciprocate.

No I won't be keeping chickens in it but it does remind me of one posted on this forum that was indeed a chicken coop and some members commented on how it was a shame to waste a good Airstream. I know the capacity is not high but I would not haul anything heavy with the trailer and would likely strengthen it or shorten it if I decide to scrap it.

I am still undecided until I get a chance to fully inspect it. I am sure it is pretty ratted and moused. I would still like to get more opinions especially on the value of hard to find parts that this unit has like the rounded front windows, undented end cap, etc. I will update as more progresses and provide more pictures. Just think how amazing it would be to have this restored and showing where it started. That is what inspires me.

Thanks again and keep 'em coming.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:46 PM   #12
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Well considering it's an argosy you may just be looking at mold and dirt on a badly faded paint job. I wouldn't let the exterior scare youl it's what inside or not inside that would make the difference. I would be concerned over the way it's been sitting unlevel like that. Assume youd replace every appliance in it is a good way to start.

For reference, I paid 3k for an argosy with terrible paint but everything original inside. I'm just completing the resto now, I've farmed out some of the tougher work and I'm at almost 12k.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:58 PM   #13
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Oh and in regards to parting out, yes the wrap windows, tail lights, curved awning parts and maybe a few other odds and ends are hard to find. However, cheap used argosys for some reason are not hard to find and god forbid I need a wrap window, I'd probably acquire a donor trailer on my own.

So if you want to part it out it will likely be some effort for not a lot of reward in my opinion.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:17 PM   #14
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Normally I would say "Pass" but it would be fun to see the pictures of the recovery effort.. Kind of like raising the Titantic..
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