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Old 06-12-2016, 07:21 AM   #1
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Greenville , Mississippi
Join Date: Jun 2016
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New here! And trying to decide on a (Argosy) purchase :)

Hi everyone! I have been following this forum for a few weeks now and am glad to have finally registered. You seem like such a helpful group of people! My name is Rebekah and my husband is Burt and we are from Mississippi. We are in the market for an airstream and we have come across a '78 30' Argosy a couple of hours away. The seller is asking $5000. It appears to be in good, original condition and everything is working fine and/or is new (ac, tires, axle, etc.). Pics attached. We do, however have a few concerns / questions and would appreciate any input from seasoned owners!

1. Is this a fair price? After doing some research it seems like these stay on the market for a while. I know it's a personal preference thing for the painted vs. silver.

2. Towing vehicle. We currently have an '06 4Runner V8. Owner said the weight of the trailer was 6500 but my research said it should be in the upper 4000s. I know we would need to get an equalizing hitch. We are in the market for a new vehicle within the next year or two (probably an Expedition), but not right now. We will only be traveling in Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana for the most part for a while (we have two young sons who can't handle really long distances) so no cross country or anything. Does this sound safe?

3. What are INITIAL ownership costs that I might not be thinking of? The exterior seems fine but would like to touch up in a few places - this is possible without an entirely new paint job, right? And the cushions - I don't really like the idea of sleeping on cushions someone else has slept on for 30 years. Does a professional cleaning get the job done or do most people make new ones?

My apologies for the long post, and thank you all in advance for your help!
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brcaraway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2016, 09:50 AM   #2
4 Rivet Member
2015 28' International
Ofallon , Missouri
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 313
Welcome and congratulations!

I can't advise you on price. Search the Internet for sales and see if you find any that are close.

For TV check both the tow rating and combined vehicle rating of your truck. Both are important. Since the stated weight is higher than spec weight ask the owner if he weighed it as it is possible it gained weight over time. You should definitely get a weight distributing and sway control hitch.

As far as expenses don't be too quick to buy everything in sight that you think you "need". Get what you must have, go camping and learn what you need and want. Essentials for us included: water hose, water filter, water pressure regulator, sewer hose and connectors, wheel chocks, leveler pads, shore power cable, hitch, brake controller, hitch lock, tool box with basic hand tools. As we camped we added outdoor chairs, outdoor mat, gas grill, stowable table, outdoor lights.

Do a good maintenance check before hitting the road. Tires, brakes, wheel bearings, spare tire, way to change tire if needed, propane system works and no leaks, appliances work, battery condition. These are important for safe and carefree travel and will cost you a few bucks to check and maintain but will cost you big time if you don't.

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Old 06-12-2016, 11:27 PM   #3
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Baltimore , Maryland
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 107
Older Airstream/Argosy's are much lighter than current Airstreams. The older models used aluminum framed cabinets with plastic panels. The newer models use plywood which is much heavier.
The interior looks like it is in good shape. The refrigerator is not original. Does it also work on gas?
My parents had a 28 ft Argosy that weighed about 5000 lbs. loaded. So, 6000 lbs seems high, but better high than low. The builder's plate with the weight of trailer should be on the street side front of the trailer.
I think new upholstery would be in order, due to age alone.
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Old 06-13-2016, 01:55 AM   #4
4 Rivet Member
1991 25' Excella
Stanfield , Oregon
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 317
Doulbe check those axles, torsion axles dont like sitting. But it sounds like your on top of it.
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:20 AM   #5
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1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
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Our 26' Argosy weighs 4,200 empty, 5,500 loaded ready for travel.
I believe the 4Runner has a 4.7 Ltr V8. Hills and mountain travel could be a challenge with a 30' coach. Not sure what the max tow capacity is for your 4Runner. If it is not equipped with a tow package you may be overloading the TV. Overheated transmission etc.
Knowledge: "A gift to be shared. A treasure to receive."
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:42 AM   #6
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Spokane , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,203
That is a nice looking trailer. Costs up front? Assuming you don't have any of this you will need a hitch first. Also you have to have a brake controller for the 4Runner. After that you will need hoses and electrical cords but those should come with the trailer. Leveling blocks are necessary but can be made with some 2 by 6 boards laying around.

Two other big issues come to mind and they will have to be addressed sooner than later. First are the batteries. If this coach has been sitting for a long time chances are the batteries are bad. How are the tires? How old are they, how long have they been sitting?

If you have a hitch go out and get a controller. I would suggest the Prodigy 2. They make a pigtail that will plug directly into your Toyota so installing it is a simple procedure. I did it in my '02 4Runner and again in my Tundra. The controller should be $150 or less.

Get out on the road and enjoy. You will find plenty of places to spend a few bucks. It never ends.

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