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Originally Posted by ccbrand
Hi, I need the collective wisdom on the forum. I'm looking at a '73 Argosy 24, the seller is asking $7500. I hope it's ok to post the link: Argosy - Airstream Trailer Classifieds - Airstreams Trailers For Sale
The seller can't tell me anything about the systems( plumbing,gas), so I'm going to assume it's all original. Also, it's going to need new axles. I found a lovely member who's possibly willing to go have a look at it for me...but I don't want to waste her time if it's not a good deal for me. Help! What would you pay?
I see by your profile that you are located in Western Australia, and that may make a difference in some decisions that you are faced with making regarding the coach if your plans are to export to your home in Australia.
Cosmetically, the coach looks to be in good condition. It isn't often that the end caps don't need repainting on a coach that is offered for sale. . .that isn't to say that there may not be imperfections but the photos do not reveal major rust or chipping. Observing the relationship of the wheel well lip to the top edge of the junction of the wheel and tire makes it appear that axles will be needed in the very near future . . . I don't know what regulations you would face exporting the coach to Austrailia, but if a requirement is hydraulic brakes . . . this would provide an easy opportunity for that conversion. Converting to hydraulic brakes would definitely impact the cost of the axles as the hydraulic disc brake equipped axles are somewhat higher in cost than the electric drum brake equipped axles.
Further observation makes it appear that the rooftop air conditioner is likely a later model Coleman. I have a Coleman Mini-Mach on my Argosy Minuet and a Coleman Mark III air conditioner on my Overlander and they both cool the coach to the extent of being cold in even the hottest weather. The one caveat is that they didn't (at least when mine were installed) have condesate drain capabilities so the condesate drained over the side of the trailer which wasn't a problem on my Airstream, but on the Argosy it causes rust colored stains that need to be polished out three or four times per season.
The interior appears to be exceptionally clean with the original appliances. It appears that even the upholstery may be original. I do believe, however, that the drapes are newer additions . . . the color approximates that of the originals but the fabric is lighter in weight and/or not lined. The toilet appears to be original, and that may spell a replacement not too far down the road as repair parts are becoming quite difficult to locate for that model . . . I replaced the one in my Minuet for that very reason.
The LP tanks appear to be original, but don't let the paint fool you. Those tanks under that paint may very well be Worthington Aluminum tanks. Argosy utilized the Worthington Aluminum tanks as options and many coaches received this option. If those tanks are Worthington Alumin, then they are well worth the cost of upgrading the valves to the modern OPD standard. If they happen to be steel and don't have OPD valves, the likelihood is that replacement will likely be less costly than upgrading the valves in old steel tanks.
The water heater has been replaced at some time in the past as evidenced by the white door. The original door would have been painted to match the lower body of the coach. This is a good thing as the water heater, if original, would be one of the first appliances likely to fail in my experience.
The tail lights and surround appear to be stock and original. It would be advisable to carefully examine the surround as these are prone to cracking and subject to hail damage the older that they get. There are many work-arounds if this issue should be discovered as the surround can be removed (attached with rivets) and repaired with Fiberglass Matting Kits and Resin; or as an alternative it can be removed entirely and the coach can be converted to more modern Airstream surface mount tail lights.
Overall, considering outer appearances, the coach looks to be in very good usable condition. While the original refrigerator may last another decade, it is just as likely that it may decide to perform its finale on your first trip . . . the absorbtion refrigerators tend to be undpredicable so in a Vintage coach with an original refrigerator, you need to be prepared to either replace the cooling element or the entire refrigerator at just about any time. I am still running with the original Dometic in my Argosy, but I do know that it days are likely numbered as it has traveled all over North America since the previous owner purchased it new in 1978. The water heater is newer so isn't likely to be an immediate concern; the furnace on the other hand isn't obvious so a close visual inspection would be necessary to determine its age/likely condition. My Argosy still has its original furnace which is professionally inspected prior to each season and as long as it passes it will remain, but I am prepared for its replacement as it is one that is known to fail suddenly due to a rusted out heat exchanger . . . the nice thing about a new furnace is electonic ignition . . . no more lying on the cold floor to light a cantankerous pilot light.
Given all of the new items . . . awnings all around, solar system, Fantastic Vents, and HD Antenna, the price isn't terribly unreasonable. From a buyer's perspective, I can see where a price closer to $6,000 might be desirable. My susupicion is that the coach is likely to sell for probably no less than 80% to 95% of its current asking price based upon the photos . . . of course, an in-person visual inspection can always change observations made in photos . . . as a PhotoShop teacher, I know how much can be done to digitally enhance any photo taken.
Good luck with your investigation!