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Old 04-24-2006, 06:17 PM   #1
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Argosy Minuet

We are from Southern Alberta, and would like to travel extensively in Canada and the USA. The only time that we have camped, was in a VERY small Boler(what a disaster-way too small). We have seen an ARGOSY MINUET 6 METRE for sale. Can anyone tell me a bit about them? How much do they weigh? Are parts easy to get? Could we live in it for months at a time? What should we look out for, if we view it? Any advice that you can give us would be greatly appreciated,
Many thanks

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Old 04-24-2006, 07:06 PM   #2
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Argosy Minuet

Greetings anniefanny!

Welcome to the Forums!

Originally Posted by anniefanny
We are from Southern Alberta, and would like to travel extensively in Canada and the USA. The only time that we have camped, was in a VERY small Boler(what a disaster-way too small). We have seen an ARGOSY MINUET 6 METRE for sale. Can anyone tell me a bit about them? How much do they weigh? Are parts easy to get? Could we live in it for months at a time? What should we look out for, if we view it? Any advice that you can give us would be greatly appreciated,
Many thanks
The Argosy Minuets are certainly fun coaches in a reasonable size. They were produced from 1977 through 1979. The 6.0 Metre Minuet tends to be the most common followed by the 6.7 Metre Minuet, and then the largest of the Minuets -- the 7.3 Metre. As with other Argosy coaches, there are a number of features that were either experimental and never made the transition to the Airstream line; while other features appeared first on the Argosy coaches and then were later added to the Airstream line.

The Minuet's construction is quite similar to all other Airstream and Argosy coaches with the rounded aluminum exteriors. There are a few differences and/or distinguishing features:
  • Many of the 6.0 Metre Minuets and a few of the 6.7 Metre Minuets have composite aluminum floors which eliminates one source of rot. There are two potential down-sides to the composite aluminum floors:
    • With heavy use, the composite aluminum has been known to develop a noticeable sway with some "bounce".
    • Floor covering choices are somewhat limited by the rivets utilized to attach the composite aluminum flooring -- the choices usually are:
      • Carpeting as was utilized originally in the coaches.
      • Laminate floor coverings with at least one extra layer of the quiet step underlayment or equivalent.
  • The Minuets are narrower than the standard coaches of the period.
    • The standard Argosy coaches were 7' 8" wide.
    • The Minuets are 7' wide.
      • There are two minor down-sides to this situation.
        • There isn't a standard stone guard available to protect the deep-wrap wing windows. The solution is to modify the center section of the current three-piece Airstream rock guard. Protecting the deep-wrap wing windows is important as it is nearly impossible to find the non-tinted deep-wrap wing windows -- they are identical to those in use by Airstream in the current Classic line, but were not solar tinted as are the current versions.
        • The narrower body does slightly reduce the storage.
      • There are a few up-sides as well.
        • These narrower coaches are much easier to see around and thus are much less stressful to tow in heavy traffic.
        • With a narrower, mid-sized tow vehicle, there should be far less trouble finding tow mirrors that will permit a good view around the coach.
    • All of the interior cabinetry of the Minuets is made from vinyl-clad aluminum so that it can be rather difficult to duplicate damaged pieces.
    • Most of the upper lockers have laminate tambour that doesn't always age well, particularly if stored in a location where the interior was frequently exposed to high temperatures. Mine was badly warped, but replacing the original with pickled birch laminate tambour proved a very pleasing alternative.
    • Tambour was also used in at least two of the base cabinets -- below the kitchen sink as well as below the bathroom vanity. Again, problems are often found with the originals, but replacement material can be found -- it is, however, nearly impossible to find the off-white laminate tambour identical to what was originally installed.
    • The major appliances were all of major manufacturer that are still around today -- Atwood/Suburban water heaters, Suburban furnaces, Dometic refrigerators, Magic Chef ranges, PAR water pumps, Thetford Aqua Magic toilets, etc.
    • The original factory air conditioners were Armstron Bay Breeze units, and they are among the most durable units available -- many are still in operations today -- if you find a coach with an operable unit, it is one of those things worth rebuilding -- it may take a bit of searching to find a technician willing to tackle the project as parts will likely need to be cross-referenced.
    • Since these coaches were targeted at the down-sized cars of the gas crisis years -- Dodge Aspen, Ford Granada, Chevrolet Malibu, etc. -- they were built with an eye toward reduced gross weight -- the empty weights were as follows:
      • 6.0 Metre Minuet Empty Weight 2,450 pounds/empty hitch weight 395 pounds.
      • 6.7 Metre Minuet Empty Weight 2,725 pounds/empty hitch weight 280 pounds.
      • 7.3 Metre Minuet Empty Weight 3,820 pounds/empty hitch weight 510 pounds.
    • The only coach that I have Gross Weight Ratings for is the 6.0 Metre Minuet, and it has GVWR of 3.250 pounds. Generally, my 6.0 Metre Minuet averages 3,100 pounds when loaded for an average length trip (14-days), and the hitch weight averages 525 pounds.
    • Most of the Minuets were equpped with 20 pound, Worthington aluminum LP tanks, and if they are still with the coach, they are well worth the cost of re-certification and new OPD valves.
    • The side windows on Minuets were typically made of acrylics, and if well-cared for, they often are still serviceable -- mine are original, and all I have had to do is utilize an aircraft acrylic window cleaner/polish to maintain them (it is readily available via mail order/Internet order from Aircraft Spruce Company).
    • The coaches could be ordered with either a dinette across the front of the trailer or a front lounge. There are distinct advantages to each, but most owners have very definite prefences for one or the other.
    • Beyond the front arrangement, there were few floorplan options for the 6.0 Metre or 6.7 Metre -- the 7.3 Metre Minuet could be had with one additional floorplan variance -- either center twin beds or a center lounge that folded out into what was advertised as a double-bed.
    • The coaches (as are all Argosy trailers) have galvanized steel dome panels at the front and rear -- these are one-piece units rather than the multi-segment aluminum panels used on Airstream coaches -- there can be paint adhesion problems particularly at the joints between the galvanized steel and the aluminum body panels.
There really aren't any particular problem points with a Minuet. In fact, with the 6.0 Metre, the likelihood that it is equipped with composite aluminum floors eliminates one of the potential problems -- rotting of the plywood floor particularly around the perimeter.

I have spent as much as eight weeks traveling in my Minuet, and have found it to be a wonderful traveling companion -- it often is my choice over the Overlander due to the Minuet's ease of towing and the fact that it reduces my tow vehicle's fuel mileage by somewhat less than 2 MPG. I am a Free Wheeler, so cannot comment on the comfort level for two -- I could see the potential of cabin fever if much time were spent in the coach during the day.

I have attached a scan of the Minuet brocher page below:

Good luck with your investigation!


Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 04-24-2006, 07:30 PM   #3
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Here's a link to some pictures of the Minuet units.
Fred H.
1977 Argosy 20' Motorhome
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Old 04-24-2006, 07:35 PM   #4
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Minuet 6.7 Argosy

Welcome to the Forum! Kevin hit all of the highlights!
We have the 6.7 Minuet. Nice place to stay for two of us. Would not want to try it with more, or at least not for MONTHs at a time. 6.0 seems way too small for a family unless you plan on sticking the kids in a tent! You did not say how many are camping with you!???

Have fun looking! Let us know what you end up with!
Larry and Lou --in sunny Ohio!
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CP: Water/30 amp/waste dump/WIFI & Room for 2-3 units; PM us if you are headed our direction!
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Old 04-24-2006, 07:48 PM   #5
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The Argosy Minuet

Kevin Allen has said it all !! The Minuet trailer from Argosy is a unique travel unit. I get lots of attention when it is seen in camp and also at gasoline stops. I love to talk, so towing the Minuet is a converstion starter. Go for it!!
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Old 04-24-2006, 07:49 PM   #6
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Hello Kevin,
Thank you so much for the information. The more I read, the more enthusiastic I feel. I will find out a little more about this particular trailer,
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Old 04-24-2006, 07:53 PM   #7
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thanks to all for the good wishes etc. It will only be my husband and myself, as all the kids are living their own lives. After we sell the house, we intend to do lots of travelling within Canada and USA-so I guess that an RV is a good thing to have!-especially it seems, an Argosy Minuet!
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Old 04-25-2006, 08:12 AM   #8
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Welcome from BC! Good luck with your search!

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