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Old 03-03-2015, 09:29 AM   #1
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tucson , Arizona
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cotimundi

New to air forums and have enjoyed what I've read so far. We are presently looking for a 22 to 26 ft argosy in the southwest but they are hard to find. I've got a background in building so have no problems if we have to do some work but had a few questions. Where if possible could I find curved front glass and shower pan at a reasonable price if we have to go to option b and rehab a unit. My other question as I'm just starting to look is how do I determine if axles are ok? How long do they last? They seem to be real pricey to replace! Like everyone I'd like to find one in good enough shape to just get on the road. Thanks Neale
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:42 AM   #2
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Greeting from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:45 AM   #3
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Houston , Texas
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Welcome to the Forums!

Step 1 in the search for a vintage Airstream is to manage your expectations and to make sure you have a realistic budget for the project. You might get hold of the old episodes of the Vintage Airstream Podcast (The VAP). These episodes discuss a lot of aspects of what to expect from a Vintage trailer.

There are many threads on these forums that discuss how to evaluate if an axle is shot (try doing a google search from outside the forums for "airforums axle worn out" and you will get half a dozen threads to look at). If you are buying a 40 year old trailer that is still riding on the original axle, you can pretty much guarantee that the axle needs to be replaced, as they only have an expected lifespan of about 20-25 yrs.

If axles seem expensive, hold onto your hat! You won't find the curved panoramic (front corner) windows for an Argosy for less than $500 apiece, and things like original shower pans in good condition are very difficult to find (as they get old and disintegrate and they are no longer manufactured).

Yes, many of us dream of picking up a road-worthy trailer for a few thousand dollars that only needs some cosmetic sprucing up (I was there myself), but so many of these turn into shell-off rebuilds when the new owner discovers that the floors are rotten, the frames are rusting away, the walls are infested with mice, etc., etc..

good luck!
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Old 03-03-2015, 11:17 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input!!! Neale
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:02 PM   #5
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Portsmouth , Virginia
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Welcome aboard. Just curious, why an Argosy and not an Airstream? Do you like the painted finish better?

Axles will always be shot if they havent been replaced already. Not sure when they made the last Argosy, maybe around 1980 or so, but that puts them well over 30 years even for the youngest ones.

Interior fixtures can be modified to fit or created from scratch. I used an off the shelf shower pan but one other user, Bart, made his from scratch out of fiberglass. Really depends on your skills and time available.
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:40 PM   #6
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Alamo Heights , Texas
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I purchased an entire trailer for parts. Unfortunately only one of the panorama windows was still safety glass (but it was the one I actually need for my 28' rear-bedroom Argosy) but I got the whole trailer for the high end of the going rate for a clear pano (I paid $800 and have sent the center-front window on to improve another renovated Argosy, and I'll be using the rear bumper and a few other bits (in addition to the pano) myself and what no one needs for a trailer will, alas, go for recycling.

If you're handy, the axles really aren't that pricey to replace. The new Rockwell American torsion axles for my 24' trailer (a couple of years ago) were about $400 each (already loaded with bearings and electric brakes) delivered to a Redneck Trailer Supply near here. Granted, $800 isn't chicken feed but it was worth every penny in hindsight.
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Old 03-04-2015, 09:53 AM   #7
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This forum is great! I'm looking at argosy mainly due to weight. My dream tt is a 25ft excella but they are hard to find #1 and there don't seem to be many available. The ones I've found are primarily out east that are in my price range. I'm in Tucson AZ. if anyone knows of something in the southwest.
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