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Old 03-20-2011, 01:49 PM   #1
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Long distance possible purchase: looking for advice/help

My wife and I are looking to purchase an Airstream or Argosy and upon much reading and discussions, it seems an older 22ft unit would fir the bill. It would give us enough room without being too big, and it remains within the towing weight we are comfortable with.

We are still green about what to look for and/or what avoid besides the obvious, but it seems that we have found a unit that may potentially work, a '77 Argosy 22ft. Of course, every unit we find interesting in not in our own backyard, and this one is no exception (we live in MN and the unit is in OR )

Anyway, I have a few questions and I welcome any advice you folks can give us.
  1. Any general advice you folks can give, whether this unit or any other?
  2. Any thought on this unit and where to have it inspected (Corvallis, OR area)?
  3. What price range should one expect (owner is asking $10K)?

Here are a few notes from the ad:
Changed the original copper plumbing tubing to pex • Added a second battery (both group 24 batteries) • Added front window rock protectors/shade • Replaced shock absorbers • Re-upholstered the gaucho and dinette seating • Reconfigured closets with new storage bins • Replaced ceiling lights with led lighting • Added a breakaway switch (none on original trailer) • Added fire extinguisher (none in original trailer) • Added smoke/carbon monoxide detector • Replaced all window screens • Replaced water pump • Replaced leaky old fan with new Fantastic Fan • Replaced the original univolt with new converter • Took out the forced air furnace (wall mounted propane heater in place) • Replaced original carpet and pad with new carpet and pad • Added a cable tv cable to hook up in RV parks

Additional info:
No Air Conditioner • No Awning • 2 steel 7 gallon LPG Tanks • Original Dometic Refrigerator • Original 6 gallon Water Heater • Original Gas Oven • Original 3 burner Stove top • Original electric Jack Stand • Fresh water tank - 30 gallon • Grey tank - 20 gallon • Black tank - 12 gallon

Link to pictures:
77Argosy001
77Argosy002
77Argosy003
77Argosy004
77Argosy005
77Argosy006
77Argosy007
77Argosy008
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Old 03-20-2011, 02:02 PM   #2
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LPMM welcome to the forums by the way.
The trailer looks good but is priced way too high. In that condition without an awning or A/C $4K to $5K is more in the price range.
You can try contacting wlj1943 he is an active member here and does inspections. He is willing to drive 75 miles to inspect and he is 73 miles from the Argosy. Do a member seach for that name and contact him about doing an inspection.
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Old 03-20-2011, 02:19 PM   #3
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$$$$

I think $6K to $7K would be more like it. The rock guard alone is worth $1100.00 plus the labor and those corner windows are more than a grand apiece. So the rock guard is worth every penny.
You don't know what has been covered up with the carpet. So check the floor out in places like; on both sides of the entry door. Look in the storage locker doors for water damage. You can check the floor under the bath with a flashlight and mirror.
But it also depends on whether you are willing and able to do repairs on a trailer yourself. If the quality of workmanship on items like the PEX tubing and the upholstery is good, then this must be considered.
If it is a professional paint job, that alone could cost over $3K.
Can't tell by the photos if it has good axles, it looks like it's still riding high.
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Old 03-20-2011, 02:36 PM   #4
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You don't know what has been covered up with the carpet. So check the floor out in places like; on both sides of the entry door. Look in the storage locker doors for water damage. You can check the floor under the bath with a flashlight and mirror.
TG I'm always concerned by new carpet or hardwood flooring installed on older units without any mention of floor repairs. It can hide a multitude of sins. That is why I lowered my estimate of value and it does not have and awning, A/C or furnace.Those three items alone would set you back close to $2500. I missed the rock guard because I was looking to fast at the pics. Good catch on your part.
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:10 PM   #5
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Hi, I wouldn't have a clue what it is worth, but it looks pretty good in the pictures.
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by wasagachris View Post
LPMM welcome to the forums by the way.
Thanks for the welcome. We were looking a few years back and then life got in the way and we never did anything.

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Originally Posted by wasagachris View Post
You can try contacting wlj1943 he is an active member here and does inspections. He is willing to drive 75 miles to inspect and he is 73 miles from the Argosy. Do a member seach for that name and contact him about doing an inspection.
Thanks for the info.

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Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
I think $6K to $7K would be more like it. The rock guard alone is worth $1100.00 plus the labor and those corner windows are more than a grand apiece. So the rock guard is worth every penny.
What do you mean about the corner windows? The owner only mentioned that he added the window rock protector.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
But it also depends on whether you are willing and able to do repairs on a trailer yourself. If the quality of workmanship on items like the PEX tubing and the upholstery is good, then this must be considered.
If it is a professional paint job, that alone could cost over $3K.
Can't tell by the photos if it has good axles, it looks like it's still riding high.
The owner mentioned he is not handy and that he has someone do the work, I guess I could find out which place in case some of the locals are familiar. He also stated that the paint job is old and that it is peeling at the rear light bar, it probably needs a repaint. Good to know on the axles, I'll have to confirm when the pictures were taken. He also mentioned that he could take any picture I wanted, so any specifics to ask for?

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Originally Posted by wasagachris View Post
TG I'm always concerned by new carpet or hardwood flooring installed on older units without any mention of floor repairs. It can hide a multitude of sins. That is why I lowered my estimate of value and it does not have and awning, A/C or furnace.Those three items alone would set you back close to $2500. I missed the rock guard because I was looking to fast at the pics. Good catch on your part.
The owner welcomed an inspection with an ice pick, he mentioned there are no leaks and no rot. I agree that no A/C is not as desirable as having one, but not a deal breaker and I'd rather install a low profile unit if I had a choice and I am looking into the pricing. Any idea where to look for regarding the awning and how much to expect? The owner mentioned something about taking out the original furnace because of it not working and having a wall furnace in place
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:48 PM   #7
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LPMM you are welcome. BTW they all leak, it may just be not apparent to him. Look here for an A/C unit.
RV Air Conditioners and Parts
There are only two choices for an awning Zip Dee or Carefree of Colorado. Zip dee is much more money but definitely worth it.
Awnings By ZipDee

Carefree of Colorado - Recreational Vehicle Awnings
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:57 PM   #8
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I almost bought a trailer sight unseen. I went to look at it 300 miles drive with my cash wad and hitch all buttered. I liked it until I smelled inside. It had that "I'm rotten" smell. I looked at another one locally that smelled worse.

The one I bought didn't smell bad. In fact the owner had it open and was using it the day I stopped to look at it. It was a perfect storm. It was spring, I liked the trailer, and I had the cash.
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:33 PM   #9
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From the photos it looks like a nice unit. I wouldn't pay until you see it in person. If you can get someone to inspect it for you before you make a trip you at least would travel with some assurance that you're not wasting your time. Sometimes you have to go a great distance to get what you want at the right price. We bought ours from a dealer near Detroit. I decided from the extensive photos that I requested and they provided that it was worth the risk of a weekend to travel from Alabama to see it. We ended up driving home with it and we've been real happy with our purchase.

As far as price comparisions, you can look up similar units through Google, eBay, etc. There are a lot of RV for sale sites on the web. This might provide you with a reasonable feel for what you should offer. I don't know how Argosy holds value but $10K seems high for a trailer that old.
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:22 PM   #10
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Hello... Great looking Argosy... This trailer looks well cared for by the pics but... smells can only detected in person. This trailer is well worth even 7-8 thousand without an awning or ac. We redid our Argosy from the axles up and a paint job. Check out thread Costalotta start to finish. If pics were taken at different intervals of repair, good. One of the best Argosys we have seen in the 22' length. Good luck... this trailer will not last long for sale.
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:58 PM   #11
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Thanks for the replies, this is helpful. I plan on flying out to check out a unit (this one or another), but I'd like to ask the right questions to the current owner or have a trained set of eyes look at it before booking a flight. I do have a friend in Portland that could help, but he is not knowledgeable about AS.

I does seem to be a nice unit, but it has been on the market for over 4 months and it has me thinking. The owner (member here) seemed forthcoming when I spoke to him, but as wasagachris mentioned "they all leak, it may just be not apparent to him". Also, I just realized that the pictures were taken 3.5 years ago, so I'll ask for some recent ones.

Bottom line is that we're looking for a fairly "nice" unit we can enjoy now and think about "customizing" to our liking as we see how we use it. So, we don't mind some work, but we don't want to get into a full blown restoration project.
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:18 PM   #12
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We redid our Argosy from the axles up and a paint job. Check out thread Costalotta start to finish.
What a beautiful trailer, thanks for the link. Can a similar end result be achieved with moderate restoration/tear down or, given the age of these units, should one expect a major tear down?
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:50 PM   #13
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Wrap around Corner Windows

What do you mean about the corner windows? The owner only mentioned that he added the window rock protector.
Behind the wrap around rock guard there are windows that wrap around the corner on each side of the front of the trailer. These windows are very expensive to replace. Ask the guy inspecting to make sure they are not broken.
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:13 AM   #14
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Ask the guy inspecting to make sure they are not broken.
Or in any event, that they are the original clear glass & not a plexiglas replacement.

You'll probably camp in freezing conditions in mountains or some fall/spring scenarios. I'd replace the furnace with a similar forced air unit so that the ducts will run alongside the plumbing to keep it nice & cozy.

Is it still plumbed with copper? The shower mixer valve is installed in the wall and vulnerable to damage. See if you or the inspector can check that the shower works correctly.

Floor rot I found in my '74 Argosy:
  • From aging window seals on front pano windows -- significant floor behind gaucho under water tank damaged. Quite a few people have noted this vulnerability.
  • From aging of caulk bedding under battery pan. This is a hard area to check -- especially if it's been recaulked. Open the closet door in the bathroom -- lay on the floor with a good flashlight and check the floor forward of the Univolt. This is about as close as you'll get to the under-battery area.

My Argosy had 'that smell.' It was oh-so-sweet once I fixed leaks & replaced floor.
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