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Old 02-28-2013, 05:41 PM   #29
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1976 Argosy 28
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Originally Posted by ozobu_1 View Post
The trailer is listed as a 26' from 1973.
Here is the description:

"Has full kitchen with all original appliances. Fridge is gas /electric. Has furnace and new gas hot water heater. Full bathroom. 50 gal holding tank. Two 50lb gas tanks. Was painted when I purchased, but all aluminum underneath in good shape.

What are the ramifications of having no gray water tank? I plan to tow with a 2003 Tahoe (BTW I've never towed before.) The seller towes with a Silverado.
Oh, the paint job is newer but pretty bad. I have no idea about lights, brakes working...I'll have to ask the seller.
No gray tank means that you'll have to either have an external tank to collect wash water (sinks and shower) or have a full-hookup campsite. Very few places allow discharge of gray water except into the sewer connection or dump station.

From the assertion of a 50-gallon "holding tank" and 2 "50-lb" gas tanks I'm guessing that the current owner doesn't know a lot about the trailer. Argosies had 30-gallon fresh water tanks, and a tiny black water tank (and later on, tiny gray water tanks.) Common propane cylinder sizes are 30 lb or 40 lb. Trust more to a detailed inspection of the trailer than anything the seller says (that's good advice with an unknown seller who DOES know what he's talking about too, of course, but doubly so with one who seems to be shooting from the hip.)
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:29 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
No gray tank means that you'll have to either have an external tank to collect wash water (sinks and shower) or have a full-hookup campsite. Very few places allow discharge of gray water except into the sewer connection or dump station.

From the assertion of a 50-gallon "holding tank" and 2 "50-lb" gas tanks I'm guessing that the current owner doesn't know a lot about the trailer. Argosies had 30-gallon fresh water tanks, and a tiny black water tank (and later on, tiny gray water tanks.) Common propane cylinder sizes are 30 lb or 40 lb. Trust more to a detailed inspection of the trailer than anything the seller says (that's good advice with an unknown seller who DOES know what he's talking about too, of course, but doubly so with one who seems to be shooting from the hip.)
Thanks for spelling things out for me. I think that I have alot to think about and to pray about. You know, I thought having a trailer would be a way to escape a high-tech lifestyle and have a simple, relaxing pasttime. Now I feel that I need to ramp up technical knowledge of anything and everything science oriented in order to buy a trailer. But I'm not giving up! I just need to educate myself. Thanks for your help
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:42 PM   #31
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Pano-panic

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Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
The nice-nice-nice thing about the center-bath Argosies is that they get pano windows at all 4 corners.
Beware DKB, it's also the most expensive thing about them . But gosh, are they lovely! I just spent 3x as much $$$ as I did on my trailer (you know, the 'down-payment') just for two original clear replacements .

I also think there's less tail rot/separation in the center baths (less weight and plumbing back there). Hopefully one less surprise for me when I open her up.

(Good luck with your search! If you find a beater, let me know if you want/need any interior original parts for a 28'-30', I might be able to help.)
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:19 PM   #32
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ozobu_1
The PO's capacities are a little off. '26' Argosy has a 30 gallon fresh water holding tank. The propane tanks weigh 55 pounds when full. That means they hold about 30 pounds of propane each. The black water tank is 12 gallons.
Do you have the hitch capacity on the Tahoe? It should be at least a Class III. Class IV would be better. Either way you will need a weight distribution hitch.
You should make sure the refer works. On both gas and electric. Don't take the PO's word for it. Have him show you how to light the refer in the gas mode. Then check to see that the bottom of the freezer gets cold. This could take several hours. The trailer MUST BE SETTING LEVEL for the refer to work. A new refer is in excess of $1,000.00.
If the furnace is original. It will need to be thoroughly checked out by a qualified technician. A replacement is around $600.00. If it has the original Univolt converter, it should be replaced.
Does it have a good "house battery"
Do you have a brake controller in your TV?
Do you know how to check to make sure the brakes work?
Do you know how to check for leaks in the fresh water plumbing?
If it has the original axles. You are looking at $1500.00 to replace them. If you have to hire it done.
It is pretty easy to wrap up $10,000 in one of these old units. And that is not talking about any kind of serious renovation.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:15 PM   #33
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ozobu_1
The PO's capacities are a little off. '26' Argosy has a 30 gallon fresh water holding tank. The propane tanks weigh 55 pounds when full. That means they hold about 30 pounds of propane each. The black water tank is 12 gallons.
Do you have the hitch capacity on the Tahoe? It should be at least a Class III. Class IV would be better. Either way you will need a weight distribution hitch.
You should make sure the refer works. On both gas and electric. Don't take the PO's word for it. Have him show you how to light the refer in the gas mode. Then check to see that the bottom of the freezer gets cold. This could take several hours. The trailer MUST BE SETTING LEVEL for the refer to work. A new refer is in excess of $1,000.00.
If the furnace is original. It will need to be thoroughly checked out by a qualified technician. A replacement is around $600.00. If it has the original Univolt converter, it should be replaced.
Does it have a good "house battery"
Do you have a brake controller in your TV?
Do you know how to check to make sure the brakes work?
Do you know how to check for leaks in the fresh water plumbing?
If it has the original axles. You are looking at $1500.00 to replace them. If you have to hire it done.
It is pretty easy to wrap up $10,000 in one of these old units. And that is not talking about any kind of serious renovation.
Um,
I honestly can't answer one of your questions. I only know that the Tahoe has a square hole near the rear bumper with an electrical outlet next to it. Yep, am going to have to seriously hit the books on trailer mechanics before I take the plunge.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:07 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by ozobu_1 View Post
Um,
I honestly can't answer one of your questions. I only know that the Tahoe has a square hole near the rear bumper with an electrical outlet next to it. Yep, am going to have to seriously hit the books on trailer mechanics before I take the plunge.
Just take a deep breath. I'm doing what I'm doing because I enjoy working on stuff and a trailer is cheaper than a sailboat. I also don't want to have to redo any of it in 12 months or 15 months.

I tow with a 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited. When I brought it home I had no trailer brakes, a few lights, and no sway control. According to the internet my tires should have wound up looking like pretzels and my Jeep in a ditch in the first 50 feet. The reality is that even with sway control and brakes you need to go slower and drive responsibly. This means not driving like a bat out of hell or Mario Andretti. A Tahoe is a little high, but otherwise a solid full size vehicle.

Stop by a U-Haul store. Not a dealer, a store. Tell them you are thinking about towing your Mothers 1972 Cadillac Roadzilla across country on a auto-trailer. Ask them if they can look at your Tahoe and tell you if the hitch is the right capacity. If you feel guilty about this give the guy $5 and tell him thanks for his help you'll be back when your Mom has a Caddy. A full size Caddy on a auto-trailer weighs in about the same as a 26' trailer.

Next, find the owner's manual and see what it says the maximum tow length is. Chevy's engineers will have determined what you can safely tow. They will have a max length, max weight, and max size. Airstreams in general are fine on the max frontal size. You need to check weight and length.

If your hitch is not a Class IV or V then you need to get that upgraded. It shouldn't be more than $300 or $400.

As you are in Cali, you could also talk to Andy at Inland and see if he would be willing to inspect the trailer for you and have the seller meet you there. Andy is a reputable dealer and member of this forum who routinely helps others out. It's only fair to pay him for his time in inspecting the trailer, but you will get a true professional assessment of the safety and suitability of the trailer.

Lastly - in one of your posts you mentioned something about tools and being a woman. Don't let that stop you from doing it. Every guy that can turn a wrench learned by getting his hands dirty, reading a book, or having someone show him. Yes, guys can often spin smaller nuts and bolts by hand, but you'd be amazed what a electric impact wrench can do to level the playing field. Women can do damn near anything they put their minds to. Take your time, be safe, and have fun. Pay others to do what you don't enjoy.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:18 PM   #35
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Argosy edge detail -- unsure what best way to proceed is

Well tonight was almost productive. I freed the rest of the edge panels and banana wraps. I dealt with the bastion of torture known as the battery door.... and the bonanza of rot under it.


Photoset:1973 Argosy bracing and edge detail - a set on Flickr


I found a new problem though.... AS used a different moulding style on the wall for the base channel. It has an extra slot that wraps around the floor.




From what I can tell my three options are:
1) cut the floor up so I can get the shell off and then put the floor back in in pieces when I get to putting it back together.

2) Cut the channel off with a grinder so I can lift off the walls.

3) unrivet all the sides and remove the channel.

Option 2 seems the easiest and then figure out a new edge detail on the floor. I was considering wrapping it in aluminum flashing anyway and then riveting that on the inside a couple of inches up.

Option 1 is the next best but it will be a pain to put the floor back in. I had wanted to avoid extra floor seams.

Option 3 seems like it will be a mess. I have not figured out how to remove solid rivets without it looking like a grinder massacre occurred.

HELP!
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:30 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozobu_1 View Post
Um,
I honestly can't answer one of your questions. I only know that the Tahoe has a square hole near the rear bumper with an electrical outlet next to it. Yep, am going to have to seriously hit the books on trailer mechanics before I take the plunge.
Haha ... I just bought a 1976 22' Argosy myself a few weeks ago, and am absolutely amazed not just at the helpfulness of the community here ... but also how small it is.

In the 3 weeks since I bought mine, I've run into the purchaser of a 1967 Airstream shell that I was looking at while picking up my new axles this week at Inland RV; the purchaser of another one that I looked at, a 1974 28' Argosy in San Luis Obispo, CA is now posting about his new toy in the Argosy forums; and now here is ozobu_1 posting questions about the same 1973 26' Argosy that I telephoned about this morning (it's located in Santa Maria, CA).

The purchaser of the Airstream shell bought it from the Hoffmans in Santa Barbara, CA (as seen on the Retro Roadhomes TV show), and coincidentally, I'm getting my axles replaced by a trailer company in Ventura, CA that has apparently done the running gear work for the Hoffmans.

It's a very small Airstream world!

My reaction to Hotpuppy's thread and pictures is a similar horror to ozobu_1's except in my case, I'm already considerably invested in the trailer, new tires, wheels, and axles!

Anyway, ozobu_1 ... so as to avoid going even more off-topic in Hotpuppy's thread, I'll start one of my own in the Argosy section. BTW, I was also thinking of looking at the Santa Maria trailer this weekend, possibly to purchase, but from curiosity if nothing else.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:08 AM   #37
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My advice to any Argosy owner is to check your shower.... from what I could tell there is a water intake built into the sides of the shower that adds grey tank storage to the plywood located under the shower.
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:49 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Hotpuppy View Post
My advice to any Argosy owner is to check your shower.... from what I could tell there is a water intake built into the sides of the shower that adds grey tank storage to the plywood located under the shower.
Thanks, I'll do that as soon as I get Argosy back with its new-and-improved axles/rims/tires.

Your photos also show some other good locations to check like behind the water tank.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:18 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Hotpuppy View Post
Just take a deep breath. I'm doing what I'm doing because I enjoy working on stuff and a trailer is cheaper than a sailboat. I also don't want to have to redo any of it in 12 months or 15 months.

I tow with a 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited. When I brought it home I had no trailer brakes, a few lights, and no sway control. According to the internet my tires should have wound up looking like pretzels and my Jeep in a ditch in the first 50 feet. The reality is that even with sway control and brakes you need to go slower and drive responsibly. This means not driving like a bat out of hell or Mario Andretti. A Tahoe is a little high, but otherwise a solid full size vehicle.

Stop by a U-Haul store. Not a dealer, a store. Tell them you are thinking about towing your Mothers 1972 Cadillac Roadzilla across country on a auto-trailer. Ask them if they can look at your Tahoe and tell you if the hitch is the right capacity. If you feel guilty about this give the guy $5 and tell him thanks for his help you'll be back when your Mom has a Caddy. A full size Caddy on a auto-trailer weighs in about the same as a 26' trailer.

Next, find the owner's manual and see what it says the maximum tow length is. Chevy's engineers will have determined what you can safely tow. They will have a max length, max weight, and max size. Airstreams in general are fine on the max frontal size. You need to check weight and length.

If your hitch is not a Class IV or V then you need to get that upgraded. It shouldn't be more than $300 or $400.

As you are in Cali, you could also talk to Andy at Inland and see if he would be willing to inspect the trailer for you and have the seller meet you there. Andy is a reputable dealer and member of this forum who routinely helps others out. It's only fair to pay him for his time in inspecting the trailer, but you will get a true professional assessment of the safety and suitability of the trailer.

Lastly - in one of your posts you mentioned something about tools and being a woman. Don't let that stop you from doing it. Every guy that can turn a wrench learned by getting his hands dirty, reading a book, or having someone show him. Yes, guys can often spin smaller nuts and bolts by hand, but you'd be amazed what a electric impact wrench can do to level the playing field. Women can do damn near anything they put their minds to. Take your time, be safe, and have fun. Pay others to do what you don't enjoy.
Thanks so much for the advice and the pep talk. I just started looking at the owner's manual and it appears that the minimum maximum trailer weight for my vehicle may be 5,700 pounds. That's for a 4800 V8. But, if my Tahoe is a 5300 V8 the minimum maximum trailer weight is 7,400 pounds. So, I'm going to have to figure out what type of V8 my car is. I will also go to Uhaul and ask about the Roadzilla Actually I will follow all of your suggestions. And as an aside - I love the 2008 Jeep Cherokee. I looked at one before I got the Tahoe. Mom wanted me to buy that as a tow vehicle but the Tahoo was better for my budget. Well, I look forward to seeing more pictures of your progress
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:29 PM   #40
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Haha ... I just bought a 1976 22' Argosy myself a few weeks ago, and am absolutely amazed not just at the helpfulness of the community here ... but also how small it is.

In the 3 weeks since I bought mine, I've run into the purchaser of a 1967 Airstream shell that I was looking at while picking up my new axles this week at Inland RV; the purchaser of another one that I looked at, a 1974 28' Argosy in San Luis Obispo, CA is now posting about his new toy in the Argosy forums; and now here is ozobu_1 posting questions about the same 1973 26' Argosy that I telephoned about this morning (it's located in Santa Maria, CA).

The purchaser of the Airstream shell bought it from the Hoffmans in Santa Barbara, CA (as seen on the Retro Roadhomes TV show), and coincidentally, I'm getting my axles replaced by a trailer company in Ventura, CA that has apparently done the running gear work for the Hoffmans.

It's a very small Airstream world!

My reaction to Hotpuppy's thread and pictures is a similar horror to ozobu_1's except in my case, I'm already considerably invested in the trailer, new tires, wheels, and axles!

Anyway, ozobu_1 ... so as to avoid going even more off-topic in Hotpuppy's thread, I'll start one of my own in the Argosy section. BTW, I was also thinking of looking at the Santa Maria trailer this weekend, possibly to purchase, but from curiosity if nothing else.
Hi,

Such a small world. Well, I plan to drive out to Santa Maria tomorrow. Let me know if you want to meet up and see the trailer together. Feel free to e-mail me if interested at ozobu_1@yahoo.com. If the trailer is still available, that is

And, have a look at your 22'... I haven't seen one am curious to see the layout in person.
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:22 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozobu_1 View Post
Thanks so much for the advice and the pep talk. I just started looking at the owner's manual and it appears that the minimum maximum trailer weight for my vehicle may be 5,700 pounds. That's for a 4800 V8. But, if my Tahoe is a 5300 V8 the minimum maximum trailer weight is 7,400 pounds. So, I'm going to have to figure out what type of V8 my car is. I will also go to Uhaul and ask about the Roadzilla Actually I will follow all of your suggestions. And as an aside - I love the 2008 Jeep Cherokee. I looked at one before I got the Tahoe. Mom wanted me to buy that as a tow vehicle but the Tahoo was better for my budget. Well, I look forward to seeing more pictures of your progress
The Jeep is a great vehicle. Awful on gas mileage.. but the 5.7 Hemi tows like a dream. When I was bringing the Argosy home from Kansas I got into some nasty traffic in Dallas. I swear that's all Dallas is good for... Anyway I scared the devil out of a few drivers when I had to pull out and accelerate. They aren't used to seeing a trailer and tow vehicle change lanes and accelerate quickly. While the Hemi will get up and go it ought to play the sound of money burning when you step on the gas.

The Jeep will get 18 MPG on cruise control, not towing on the freeway. Towing at 55-60 using cruise control I can get 13.5MPG which is about what I get in the city without towing. Yes, you can go faster.. but I was towing a trailer with no brakes, no stabilization, and tires that I didn't think were gonna make it home with air in them. Slow and safe is the name of the game with trailers.
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:29 PM   #42
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1973 Argosy 24 floor removal - a set on Flickr

Here's the set from removing the floor today.... I'm really glad I'm taking the floor out. It is mostly in good shape but this will let me address all the minor frame rust and fix some underlying issues. It will take longer, but be better in the end.

The inspector and helper:


How to dress when you wanna play with Mice Dirt, Fibernastyglass, and 40 year old Airstream pixie dust:


Catwalk - Argosy Edition:


What I did here is remove the central plywood permiter. I left the plywood between the sleepers. I'll be dealing with that after lunch.
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