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Old 12-21-2015, 12:01 PM   #1
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UP_Argosy's Avatar
1976 Argosy 26
Escanaba , Michigan
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 5
Lurker turned owner

Hello everyone,

I've been a lurker at these forums for a number of years now, but have finally (and somewhat unexpectedly) jumped into ownership. After years of daydreaming over ads online, I recently came across a trailer in my area on Craigslist. My wife offered to accompany me on the trip to see it, which I thought would surely bolster my rational side and I'd talk myself out of it. Instead, she gave me the encouragement to buy it!

My camper is a 1977 Arogsy 26' twin-center beds, rear bath (the drop down menu during registration didn't give me an option for a 1977 26', only a 1976 26'. I think my camper was built in '76 for the '77 model year, but not completely certain). It's in fair shape: Useable as is, but needs some TLC. The body is relatively solid, with only a couple of the usual dents/dings. It had been repainted at some point in its past, but could use a new paint job.

This winter, my priority is to work on the inside. It needs a good thorough cleaning, removal of old bubbled window tint, new toilet, new mattresses, new screens, new curtains, and new upholstery (the couch is with the upholsterer now). The previous owners installed a laminate floor, which is fine for now, but will be replaced at some point. Next spring, I plan to have the bearings and brakes inspected before any road trips.

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Old 12-21-2015, 12:14 PM   #2
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2017 26' Flying Cloud
1976 Argosy 28
Alamo Heights , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,926
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 7

If your Argosy has a VIN that begins 26T6 it's a '76 model year. If it begins 26T7 it's built as a '77. The titles often have less-than-accurate info (my own title lists the empty weight as my '75 trailer's gross weight, for example.)

While you're working and getting into normally-hidden areas, carefully check the condition of the plywood subfloor all around the perimeter of the trailer. That's where you're most likely to find any issues that have developed over time from uncorrected leaks.

Bearings and brakes are a good pre-trip check. Also check to make sure the axles still have a decent range of motion. You can jack the trailer up using the axle flange (the piece of steel to which the axle brackets bolt) and see if the spindle end still has a few inches of motion to it. If the axles are "frozen" in place, you'll have a rough ride that will take a toll on the trailer, and this is common in an old trailer. Here's a description of what I'm talking about.

— David

Zero Gravitas — 2017 Flying Cloud 26U | Il Progetto — 1976 Argosy 28 Center Bath | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. — Sir Winston Churchill
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Old 12-21-2015, 03:56 PM   #3
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1976 Argosy 26
Escanaba , Michigan
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 5
Thanks for the info and advice. I checked my VIN plate when I got home. It was manufactured 9/76 and the # is 26T7.

I skimmed the linked article and will read it in more detail. I think the axles are still in decent shape, but I definitely want to know for sure.

As I've been digging into the interior, I've checked out the subfloors in a few areas (under the couch and beds). The spots I've checked aren't as solid as new, but they aren't terrible either (I've looked at Airstreams in the past whose floors felt like trampolines). At what point should I consider replacing? Can the subfloors be repaired without gutting the interior?
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Old 12-21-2015, 04:02 PM   #4
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2006 23' Safari SE
Lexington , Kentucky
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2,175
Images: 6
Congratulations on the acquisition of a new hobby and welcome to the forum. Glad to have you on board.

Rich & Yvonne
2006 Safari SE -Dora-
2004 4Runner SE

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Old 12-21-2015, 04:27 PM   #5
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1999 30' Excella 1000
small town , Maryland
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 770
Welcome and congratulations. I can't think of a better x-mas gift to each other. Make sure she's winterised. Now the fun begins.
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Old 12-22-2015, 09:40 AM   #6
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1976 Argosy 26
Escanaba , Michigan
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 5
Here's a couple of the interior pics prior to cleanup and dismantling.

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