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Old 05-18-2009, 06:48 PM   #1
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1972 Argosy 20
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Hello all from a wanna be owner

Hello,

I'm John and I'm new here at the Airstream forums. I am currently looking for a camper trailer. I have my eye on a 1972 Argosy 20'. It appears from the photos that it is in good shape. I intend to look at it next Saturday. It's about three hours away or I would have already gone to see it. My tow vehicle is a 2003 Ford Explorer 4.0 L with the tow package. The Explorer Manual says that the total allowed weight is 10,000 lbs and the trailer weight is 5,380. The man who is selling it said that the tag on the camper indicates that the "dry" weight is 4080 lbs and the loaded weight is 4580. Does this seem like a good fit?

I look forward to comments and wish me luck,
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:20 PM   #2
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I have a 2002 Ford Explorer with the 4.0 L engine for a work truck. Even though the manual says the GCVW of 10,000 is allowable, I, my self would not feel comfortable towing the Argosy with that SUV.
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:59 AM   #3
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1972 25' Tradewind
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Welcome,

Make yourself a chck list of what to look for as far as problem areas. Mainly the perimeter of the floor, floor by the door and under the bathroom floor. These are the main spots for floor rot.

Sometimes our eyes glaze over and we over look stuff that is important until it's too late,i.e. the ink isn't dry on the bill of sale and you discover the bumper is held on by a bungee cord and when you remove it the bungee cord the bumper and part of the frame fall out, sad but true, happen to a guy on here. Not me ,we just had lots of floor stringers that were rotten. But all that is fixed now. Anything can be fixed just depends on how much time or money you want to invest.

Post some pictures we all love pictures, and good luck Saturday hope you have found your AS.

Annette
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:00 AM   #4
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1972 Argosy 20

Greetings airfoil!

Welcome to the Forums!

Quote:
Originally Posted by airfoil View Post
Hello,

I'm John and I'm new here at the Airstream forums. I am currently looking for a camper trailer. I have my eye on a 1972 Argosy 20'. It appears from the photos that it is in good shape. I intend to look at it next Saturday. It's about three hours away or I would have already gone to see it. My tow vehicle is a 2003 Ford Explorer 4.0 L with the tow package. The Explorer Manual says that the total allowed weight is 10,000 lbs and the trailer weight is 5,380. The man who is selling it said that the tag on the camper indicates that the "dry" weight is 4080 lbs and the loaded weight is 4580. Does this seem like a good fit?

I look forward to comments and wish me luck,
The Argosy 20 has a wonderful floorplan -- it is basically the same as my Minuet 6.0 Metre. The biggest difference between the Argosy 20 and the Minuet 6.0 Metre is that the Argosy 20 is 7' 8" wide while the Minuets are 7' wide. When you check-out the trailer, I would suggest examining the data plate -- 4,080 is somewhat higher than what I would expect for empty weight -- my Minuet 6.0 Metre is 3,200 pounds or slightly less when fully loaded for a vacation.



I have posted a scan of the 1975 Argosy sales catalog as it is the closest that I have to 1972. The weights did not change drastically during the run of the Argosy line so what is listed in 1975 would be within 100 to 200 pounds of the 1972 weights. The floorplans would also be very similar. As you can see for the Argosy 20, the factory lists the Empty Weight as 2,880 pounds with an empty hitch weight of 470 pounds.

If the weights that the seller is providing are correct, I wonder if the coach could be an Argosy 22 or and Argosy 24 rather than an Argosy 20. The Argosy 20 would be a single axle coach while both the Argosy 22 and Argosy 24 would be tandem axle coaches.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin

P.S.: It appears that the only Argosy that had an empty weight close to the 4,080 pound figure is an Argosy 28 at 4,040 pounds.
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:11 AM   #5
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inspection checklist

You can find an inspection checklist to take along with you when you go to check her out. On the portal page, right hand side under Inspectors. You can click there and print it out.
We love our little Minuet! Good hunting!!!!

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Old 05-20-2009, 05:00 PM   #6
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1972 Argosy 20
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Here are a couple of photos of the72 Argosy 20

Thank you all for the welcome advise. I'm a bit confused about the weight that I was told is from the data plate. As you can see from the photos, it clearly has only one axle indicating that it is an Argosy 20. The seating looks a little like the 24' but it has a single closet as does the 20'.

Does anyone think a new paint job is in order?

Anyway, thanks again and please provide any comments you think may be helpful.

John
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Old 05-20-2009, 05:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airfoil View Post
Thank you all for the welcome advise. I'm a bit confused about the weight that I was told is from the data plate. As you can see from the photos, it clearly has only one axle indicating that it is an Argosy 20. The seating looks a little like the 24' but it has a single closet as does the 20'.

Does anyone think a new paint job is in order?

Anyway, thanks again and please provide any comments you think may be helpful.

John

The inside looks nice...........


Annette
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:08 PM   #8
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Hello all from a wanna be owner

Greetings John!

I am 99% certain that it is an Argosy 20. It is possible that the data plate may have been mis-stamped at the factor regarding the weight. The interior is the standard "Double" arrangement with the two pull-out lounges. I am fairly certain that the upholstery on the lounges is original. The drapes/window treatments are almost certainly later replacements. About the only way that I can think of to verify the weight reliably is a trip to the scales for an empty weight as equipped. I would be shocked if the loaded weight of an Argosy 20 that is reasonably loaded would exceed 4,000 pounds maximum -- there could be some special feature on the coach accounting for the weight discrpancy, but I can't imagine what.

Good luck with your inspection!

Kevin

P.S.: The first two digits of the VIN will describe the length in feet. If the coach was a factory custom the word "custom" would likely appear and VIN tag as well.
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:50 PM   #9
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Don't Tow with an Explorer

Two years ago when I was looking for a tow vehicle I went to the nearest Ford dealer to get a copy of the Ford brochure that reviews towing issues.

When I sat down with the dealers towing "expert" and asked about which Ford vehicles he would recommend if the trailer was 28" long and had a GVWR of about 7,300 lbs.

I was somewhat surprised when he advised that they would not recommend an Explorer for towing anything, no matter the length or weight.

He was very clear, "Do not tow with an Explorer."

SRW
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:09 PM   #10
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Hello all from a wanna be owner

Greetings John!

After carefully examining the photo of the front of the coach I really wonder if the data plate could be accurately read. In the photo it appears that the data plate has been painted over as the paint is solid in the area where it should be located. These plates weren't well stamped to begin with and a coating of paint would render it nearly illegible.

The coach has what was referred to as the "standard" floorplan with the front lounge. A dinette was available as an extra-cost option at $50.00.

Kevin
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:04 PM   #11
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painting

Most of the Argosys of this vintage need a paint job! This one looks like it needs an update for sure. There are several threads that address the issue of painting them..from professional painters to backyard painters. Good luck with your inspection!
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:45 PM   #12
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Still looking at the details...

While checking into this endeavor, I've discovered, since I'm a newbie, that my Explorer doesn't have the electric trailer brake controller. I was wondering what the consensus is regarding my towing this '72 Argosy 20 without trailer brakes, just to get it home. The route is mostly interstate highway.

I spoke to a Ford dealership today and after we talked for a while, the man indicated that he thought that My 4Dr 2003, 4WD Explorer, with a class III tow package would be able to tow 5,200 lbs. Again, without the electric brakes on mostly level roads.


What do you think? Should I buy a Electric Break controller before I consider towing the camper or just hold up traffic?

Thanks again,

John
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Old 05-21-2009, 06:11 PM   #13
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Does it look like it needs a new axle? anyone?

I don't want to even come close to telling you to tow without the necessary equipment on an interstate highway!!!! Even towing on backroads could be a hazard, altho if they are not busy, you might make it going slow. My one experience towing a small, loaded utility trailer on a back road ended with the trailer, our tow vehicle and us on the opposite side of the road, upside down an embankment after I hit a small patch of water and hydroplaned at 35mph. FYI
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Old 05-21-2009, 07:34 PM   #14
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Hello all from a wanna be owner

I second Leigh's advice -- don't skimp on the safety -- get a brake controller installed even if it is the cheap "ramp" type of controller. You never know when an unexpected gust of wind, a pair of speeding semis, or something similar is going to pass you and start sway and yaw. I too had similar experience to Leigh only with a Nomad 17-foot travel trailer in 1982 -- trailer brakes are a necessity. In fact, just last week I was towing my Overlander with my Cadillac which outweighs the Overlander by several hundred pounds and has a very low center of gravity -- an unexpected strong cross wind started the trailer to sway -- a quick tap on the electric trailer brakes brought the coach into control and into a straight line -- if I hadn't had trailer brakes, I don't think it would have been possible to overcome the event with just accelleration as the crosswind was encountered at the base of a rather steep grade.

Please, think carefully about the potential pitfalls of towing your coach without brakes. Just one encounter with sway could potentially have very serious results.

Kevin
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