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Old 01-23-2018, 05:41 PM   #1
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1979 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Dawsonville , Georgia
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 13
So What Have I got Here?

I had a buddy notice how well I did research on the internet finding things. He put me to the task of finding him an airstream made of unobtainium, a 74-78 Airstream Argosy20 motorhome. Piece of cake I tell him. He didn't care much about condition or price as he had looked for awhile and couldn't find ANY for sale. This was during a trip to Ct. to visit my Mother wh and been diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer on the day my Dad passed away in Aug. They told her to gather the family for the holidays as she would not see the new year. She just had to prove the doctors wrong, but sadly at 8:30am on NewYears day she passed away. I came back home to Ga. and started my search for the Argosy. My buddy told me there would be a healthy finders fee if I found him one. So I start searching and spend a considerable amount of time each day looking for one of these and find they are made of unobtainium and there just aren't any for sale. Every for sale listing was old and the units had been sold long before. So I started to contact everyone who had a "want ad" for one and let them know that if they had any leads on one in any condition at any price that they were not interested in to forward the contact info to me.Well after a few months a woman emailed me stating she had one Grand Pa left after he passed 4 years ago and would get me pics and details when she got home from work. Never heard from her after , even though I made several attempts to reply to her. Then about 2 weeks later my phone rang early one morning before I got up, rang once and went dead. When I finally got up and check the phone I immediately recognized the number as hers and was excited to call her back. No answer, no messages set up. I replied by email and got no reply. did an internet search and found her name, address, etc, to no avail. dead end and I start looking again. Then about a week before ChristmasI get an email for a guy 40 miles from my house stating he has a 78 and is looking to liquidate assets to cover some medical bills for the cancer he has. I go and look at it and it is just what my buddy is looking for and it is partially disassembled inside, which is ok because by buddy is going to strip it and build it out himself. We both have long carpentry backgrounds. The seller is asking $3500 for it. He bought it a year before from Philadelphia and drove it home to Ga. where it was parked and sat for a year. He also had 31' Land Yatch with no roof for $1K and this small Airstream trailer of unknown year or model that had been sent back to the Airstream factory to have vending/concession type doors installed on both sides. I look and think this would make a nice motorcycle hauler for myself. He's asking $3500 for it also. I tell my buddy I found him his Holy Grail and he is ecstatic. I tell him about the trailer and he tells me he is not interested in it, but if I can use it to get a package deal and save some money to go ahead and deal. Now I just came back from 5 months in Fla. in Aug. working in a trailer repair/ fab shop for another buddy and had recently purchased a 27' Airstream shell for $750. Granted it needed a LOT of work,but hey, it's a vintage Airstream. I get back with the seller and let him know that to me the trailer was not worth anywhere near $3500 and that I would offer him $4k for both. He came back with $4500 and we shook hands at $4250. I tell my buddy the deal is done and that I got the trailer for basically $750 and that if he's not interested in , I am. He said "Why don't I give you the trailer for part of your finders fee". I love my buddy. I finally get them both to my house after much dealings with Murphy's law. I have to get the 20 road worthy enough for me to drive it from Ga. to Ct. in the next week or so, not really looking forward to that trip, but I will be well compensated for the trip. I get the trailer home and see that it is not ideal for a bike hauler in the configuration it is in. It has large vending doors on each side, a fold down window in the back with wrap around windows in each corner and a fold down window door on the front end. Instead of a "Y" shaped trailer tongue, it has a single 4" straight tube that plugs into a tube on the trailer and is secured with a large pin. So when set up for vending the tow part can be removed so no one trips over it or can tow the trailer off. Start thinking this is not good for a bike hauler as each time I will have to park, unhook the trailer from the tow vehicle, remove the tongue, load the bikes, install the tongue, and hook back to the tow vehicle and the same when unloading. Not fun. So I decide I really need to sell this to someone who will use it as some sort of concession. I had worked on doing the concession conversions on larger airstreams while in Fla. that were being sent to Dubai. I will use the money to buy a 40' school bus to build my bike hauler/mobile home.
So as the title states What is it that I have? Seller told me it was an 83 20'. After some research I found that Airstream didn't make a 20' trailer in 83 and it must be an older model. I got it home and measured it, it is a 16'er. That explains why I couldn't find out what it was. There are no ID tags anywhere on it. Can anyone here determine what year and model trailer it is from the pictures? This thing has huge potential and if I can sell it I may build it out myself and tow it behind my bus.

So long story short, help me determine what year and model trailer I have. I promise subsequent replies will be much shorter.
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Old 01-23-2018, 05:44 PM   #2
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1979 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Dawsonville , Georgia
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 13
A few more pics, don't know why load sideways.
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Old 01-23-2018, 06:40 PM   #3
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Airstream measures length from the coupler to the rear bumper. IF you measured 16' of trailer body, it could be anything from 18 to 20 feet, as they are not always rigorous about the measurement corresponding to the name of the trailer. There are 27's that are longer than 28's, for example.

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Old 01-23-2018, 06:43 PM   #4
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Sympathies on the passing of your parents. A hard time for all of us.

Welcome to the Airstream Forums. Chances are someone will recognize the "body" year that this vending trailer was made from. It looks longer than 16'. Airstream sizes their trailer from "ball to bumper", not just the length of the body. If you can post the VIN from this trailer, that too may give some clues, especially the year.

I see some clues in your photos:

1. It has panoramic front and rear windows. These started in the Argosy line in the mid seventies. But Airstream trailers didn't start using them until the early eighties.

2. It has a script "Airstream" logo on it. My 86 has this type of logo. My 75 has individual cast block letters. My 75 does not have panoramic windows.

3. It has the same taillight assemblies as my 86. I don't know when these started.

4. It has aluminum slotted wheels, same as my 86. However wheels are easy to swap.

5. It has a similar "wood grain" vinyl stripe around the middle molding. My 86 also had a similar vinyl stripe before I changed it.

This old trailer may have value to those business people who like to vend from a vintage Airstream.

David
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Old 01-23-2018, 10:56 PM   #5
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1979 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Dawsonville , Georgia
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Sympathies on the passing of your parents. A hard time for all of us.

Welcome to the Airstream Forums. Chances are someone will recognize the "body" year that this vending trailer was made from. It looks longer than 16'. Airstream sizes their trailer from "ball to bumper", not just the length of the body. If you can post the VIN from this trailer, that too may give some clues, especially the year.

I see some clues in your photos:

1. It has panoramic front and rear windows. These started in the Argosy line in the mid seventies. But Airstream trailers didn't start using them until the early eighties.

2. It has a script "Airstream" logo on it. My 86 has this type of logo. My 75 has individual cast block letters. My 75 does not have panoramic windows.

3. It has the same taillight assemblies as my 86. I don't know when these started.

4. It has aluminum slotted wheels, same as my 86. However wheels are easy to swap.

5. It has a similar "wood grain" vinyl stripe around the middle molding. My 86 also had a similar vinyl stripe before I changed it.

This old trailer may have value to those business people who like to vend from a vintage Airstream.

David
I could not find a VIN tag anywhere on the trailer, where would it be? I did measure the box right at 16'. I don't believe the hitch assembly is stock, am I wrong?
When I decided to sell it instead of keeping it I started checking CraigsList in different areas and found a want ad for Vintage Single Axle Airstream Trailers, thought I had a good lead. Messaged him asked what this was worth to him. He replied "Nothing", not the answer I was looking for. I asked him if it had any value at all. He replied " Yes, to the guys wanting to convert to concessions it is worth $3k-$5K as is." I said I would probably at least put a floor in it before selling it and he advised to not do anything to it. Anyone wanting to set it up for vending would need to put plumbing and stuff in before flooring it, so leave it as is and list it in Asheville, N.C. CL.
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Old 01-23-2018, 11:29 PM   #6
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1979 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Dawsonville , Georgia
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 13
After some searching I see the 78-79 Argosy 20 and 6.0 Minuets have the panoramic windows, but only on the front, not front and rear. I wonder if I have a custom one off that when the concession doors were added that they added panoramic window in the back also. I can't find a pic of any trailer that has them in all 4 corners.

Pic below is a 79 Minuet 6.0. First thing I notice is the axle is further back than mine.
Another thing I found interesting on mine was that it looked like all 4 corners had big dents in them. They just cut big circles out to remove them and then reskinned each complete corner over the old skin.
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Old 01-24-2018, 03:21 PM   #7
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1979 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Dawsonville , Georgia
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Posts: 13
Well I'm disappointed in the help I got from Airstream. After they told me where the VIN tag would be (outside drivers front corner) and not seeing one I realized that when the corners were repaired from previous dents the tag was not replaced. At that point they told me due to the changes made (that were done at their factory), the windows and flip doors, they would no longer be able to provide me any further info. They noted the aluminum slotted wheels that came on 95-97. I'm sure the trailer is not that new.
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Old 01-24-2018, 06:13 PM   #8
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Our 86 Limited came with slotted aluminum wheels. They are sort of a classic Airstream look.

I would agree that your "vendor's project trailer" would be worth $4k or so as it is. It will need a lot of work, but those big side opening doors are a real plus.

Advertise it and see what happens. You might like to advertise here on the Airstream Forums Classifieds as people interested in Airstreams tend to look here. You will need to go through the hassle of getting a clear title for it. I don't know how that is done, but it can be done somehow.

David
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Old 01-25-2018, 09:04 AM   #9
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1979 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Dawsonville , Georgia
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I'm concerned about the title issue now, as it has no VIN plate. I'm assuming it was removed when they did repairs and never put it back on. I'll try and apply for a title as a homebuilt trailer.
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