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Old 04-03-2011, 06:50 PM   #1
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Shelby Township , Michigan
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Honest price for 1972 20' Argosy (Airstream)

My parents are getting beyond their travel years and looking to sell their trailer. We're having trouble coming up with a fair asking price. It's been modified many times over the years as my dad likes to change anything that's inconvenient. It's well maintained, stored indoors, and travel ready (everything works) as they've used it in the past couple years.

Appreciate any feedback. I'm somewhat sad to see it go as I grew up with it.

I've posted some pictures here

Here's the bullet list my dad came up with:

1972 20' ARGOSY MADE BY AIRSTREAM
NICER THAN NEW

* REMODELED
* REPAINTED
* STORED INSIDE POLE BUILDING
* ELECTRIC TONGUE JACK
* 4 BALANCE LEVELING JACKS
* AWNING
* SPARE TIRE
* WINEGUARD AMPLIFIED TV ANTENNA / CABLE HOOKUP
* REAR VIEW CAMERA & MONITOR
* WATER ACCUMULATOR TANK
* SHOWER CONVERTED INTO STORAGE
* AIR CONDITIONER
* MATTRESS (front) SPRINGWALL CHIROPRACTIC
* GAS & ELECTRIC WATER HEATER & REFRIGERATOR
* THERMOSTAT CONTROLLED OUTLET FOR ELECTRIC HEATER
* WATER TANK GAGE
* BATTERY METER
* REFRIGERATOR THERMOMETER
* EXTENSION CORDS
* DISHES, POTS, PANS, & SILVER WARE
* MICROWAVE
* ELECTRIC HEATER
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:17 PM   #2
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You can tell that that is a very well-loved trailer. The modifications appear to have been very nicely done, especially the bathroom. Dad should be proud of having such a well-cared-for trailer.

My thoughts: It's in much better shape than most other surviving Argosy 20's. This greatly benefits from being a turn-key trailer. Not a lot of these trailers are in that condition anymore. Hopefully the stored-inside-ness means the floor and frame are solid.

Concerns: The paint combo is on the dark side, and I'm not sure two-tone brown is eye-catching. The floorplan modifications might not thrill the buyer looking for a near-factory trailer, but I'm not sure there are that many of those buyers. Some functionality is lost with the missing shower.

During my shopping a few years back, I found very similar trailer. It had a repaint in the original paint colors, a new axle, and the addition of a gray water tank (very helpful.) It also had the original bath layout. There was a lot of restoration work done by a well-regarded professional AS restorer.

That trailer, one of the best Argosy 20s I've seen, had an asking price of $5500. I think that's the ballpark price for this trailer. I'd price it at $5995 and not drop too much and see if it sells.

The biggest thing someone can likely haggle you on is that it probably could use an axle replacement (the rubber torsion rods that provide absorbency and travel get brittle.) Honestly, the casual buyer won't know that. You didn't mention how old the tires are either.

Note that Argosys seem to top out right around that price point, unless they are super clean Minuets (I've seen them go up to $10k) or highly restored larger models.

I'd put a more modern-looking bedspread on the front (something a bit more colorful or Adirondack-y) and put it on Craigslist. 'Tis the season for shoppers to be trailer buying - good luck selling!

Tom
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:31 AM   #3
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Thanks Tom for taking the time to reply. Your kind words and questions give us more points to mention in the bullet list.

The floor and frame are solid thanks to the storage.

The tires were last replaced about 10 years ago and have low miles (they've only done shorter trips around the state in the last decade and usually only once per year).

It wasn't on the list, but my dad also added a gray water tank soon after purchasing the trailer.

The axle is still original but they've had no trouble with it. My dad mentioned he completely replaced the breaks and shocks something like 15 years ago.

Based on the pictures, is this a Minuet? He doesn't know the sub-brand name. Is there an easy way to tell which one this is? The Argosy badge doesn't say much except what appears to be a model or serial number "20D2V0317".

Again, thanks for you time,

Victor
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:42 AM   #4
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One warning about Craigslist pricing... LOTS of craigslist buyers seem to think that nothing is worth buying unless they can get it for a significant discount off the asking price. Of course, if you price it too high, few people will call.

Like selling a house, I think you want to price it at your nice-to-get price, and expect to dicker a bit and get down to a "still agreeable" price. If you price it at what it's genuinely worth, lots of people with the "bid low" mindset will not be satisfied unless they get it for 10% less than you're asking, regardless of what they perceive the real value to be.

Oh, and it's a very pretty little trailer. I'm especially jealous of the bathroom sink, mine is still the original and is... umm...let's just say "less aesthetically appealing."
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Old 04-04-2011, 12:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by victor412 View Post
Based on the pictures, is this a Minuet?
No. Minuets were produced 1977 - 1979.

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Originally Posted by victor412 View Post
He doesn't know the sub-brand name. Is there an easy way to tell which one this is? The Argosy badge doesn't say much except what appears to be a model or serial number "20D2V0317".
Argosy trailers were made by Airstream starting 1972 in Versailles, OH near Jackson Center.
The VIN says it's a 20', 1972 Argosy, rear bath, double bed, made in Versailles, OH and that it was probably the 317th Argosy to come off of the line that year.
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Old 04-04-2011, 12:02 PM   #6
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I'd put it on our classifieds section. It's free and that is one nice trailer. Even though your tires look good they will need to be replaced. 10 yrs is too old for trailer tires. Good luck and thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-04-2011, 12:14 PM   #7
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It is, as Tom says, a unique trailer, in that they just don't exist in this good a condition and more. His comments are all spot on.

I would only add that the list you posted could be further improved by adding dates of replacement for some things, and a bit more dstail. Also, the ALL CAPS styling makes it look a bit too strong. Here is my revised version of it for your contemplation:


* Remodeled and repainted (interior, exterior?)
* stored inside pole building since 19XX
* electric tongue jack and 4 balance leveling jacks
* grey tank added for wash water
* matching awning, fabric replaced in 19XX
* spare tire mounted under vehicle
* wineguard amplified tv antenna / cable hookup
* rear view camera & monitor
* water accumulator tank (??)
* shower converted into storage
* air conditioner
* mattress (front) springwall chiropractic
* gas & electric water heater & refrigerator
* thermostat controlled outlet for electric heater
* water tank gage, battery meter, refrigerator thermometer
* heavy-duty RV extension cords to connect at RV park
* dishes, pots, pans, & silver ware
* microwave oven
* electric heater (details: built in, free standing?)

The only thing that might stop a buyer from just driving up and leaving with it is that your tires are too old to be used safely, and this despite their condition. 3-5 years is commonly accepted as the maximum age for tires, whether they have been used or not. I would replace them. And tell people you did.

If you then add that the exterior lights all work, and that you have a good umbilical to conncet it up to the tow vehicle with, you have a winner!

So, as for price, I believe that DKB_SATX's comments are correct: you want to be able to haggle a bit. So since you need to buy new tires, assuming you do, I would go out at $7,900 and for the people that contact you and say it's too high, ask them what they have seen around that's in better condition than had it just rolled off the assembly line?

Good luck!

ps: why aren't YOU keeping it yourself?
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:06 PM   #8
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Nice looking trailer. There are some ingenious storage solutions in your images. What is this plate rack? Was it handmade?

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Old 04-04-2011, 01:47 PM   #9
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Worth the money

I would put the price at $9000.00 which might give you some wiggle room. But I would certainly hold out for $8000.00 It's a nice looking rig and looks like it has been well taken care of. There aren't that many out there and I've seen them for asking prices of $10,000.
Good Luck!
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:18 PM   #10
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I don't do business with relatives. If my son wanted my trailer and I was done with it, I'd just give it to him.

A third party price will be set by the buyer. I like offers and auctions.
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:01 AM   #11
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I would only add that the list you posted could be further improved by adding dates of replacement for some things, and a bit more dstail. Also, the ALL CAPS styling makes it look a bit too strong.
Thanks, and yes I was planning to retype the final list so it wouldn't be screaming at people. I just copied what my dad had done for the post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aage View Post
* water accumulator tank (??)
Maybe there is a better name for it? Basically he added a smallish tank after the water pump so that there is a greater volume of pressurized water waiting for use. This allowed anyone who got up in the middle of the night to use the water without turning the pump on.

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The only thing that might stop a buyer from just driving up and leaving with it is that your tires are too old to be used safely, and this despite their condition. 3-5 years is commonly accepted as the maximum age for tires, whether they have been used or not. I would replace them. And tell people you did.
Thanks for that info. I'm honestly surprised that trailer tires are not considered as durable as regular car tires today.

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ps: why aren't YOU keeping it yourself?
I was seriously considering it last year, but over the winter I decided that it really wouldn't get used enough to justify keeping it (and would limit my vehicle choices). While not ideal, tent camping works for the 1 or 2 long weekends I do it each year. I may reevaluate that decision in 10 years when I'm in my 50's ;-)

Thanks for your comments.

Victor
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:45 AM   #12
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Maybe there is a better name for it? Basically he added a smallish tank after the water pump so that there is a greater volume of pressurized water waiting for use. This allowed anyone who got up in the middle of the night to use the water without turning the pump on.
An accumulator is exactly what that is - no better name for it. I had one installed in my trailer too.

Quote:
I'm honestly surprised that trailer tires are not considered as durable as regular car tires today.
Current rule of thumb is that all tires, including car and trailer tires, are considered to "age out" after five years from manufacture. Not like that many people follow that premise for their car tires though...

Tom
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:35 AM   #13
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Nice looking trailer. There are some ingenious storage solutions in your images. What is this plate rack? Was it handmade?
Yes, it's handmade. I should probably take a couple more pictures of the inside of things and delete some of the redundant wider shots.

Thanks for your kind words.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:31 AM   #14
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Here's a followup for those who may be interested.

We decided to post it on craigslist for $9500. We got some hits but interest was low after two weeks. However, as everyone knows, it just takes the one right buyer. It sold for $9200.

Thanks to everyone for their comments and suggestions. I incorporated many of them into the final posting.
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