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Old 09-17-2015, 11:11 AM   #1
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1974 Argosy 26
Pensacola , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 10
How should I go about restoring the Argosy I recently bought?

Hi, all! I recently purchased an Argosy. Although I've done a ton of research about separate components of the restoration process... I am not sure exactly where to start. For example, although I'd love to give it a fresh paint job right away, my guess is that it makes more sense to reseal windows and doors first as crummy Ohio weather is on its way soon.

I found this recommended "order of operations," if you will, at Vintage Airstream (another great resource!). Thoughts on this order? What do you all recommend?

Running Gear – axle, brakes, tires, shocks, suspension
Trailer/Tow Lighting
Weathertight the exterior – fix vents, A/C, windows and doors
Floor repairs – remove cabinets and furnishings if required, replace or repair floors
Address all frame, bumper and tongue issues
Fix Belly pan
Remove interior skins if required
Replace insulation if required
Route and install plumbing, gas and electrical provisions
Install choice of flooring
Interior wall finish – clean and/or paint the Zolatone
Reinstall cabinets and furnishings, repairing as necessary
Repair and check the appliances
Install appliances and fixtures
One last pass over the exterior, making sure all work is done
Seal and Polish trailer Paint the steel parts – tongue, bumper, steps, etc.
Replace cushions and curtains
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Old 09-17-2015, 01:45 PM   #2
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1973 27' Overlander
Portsmouth , Virginia
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posting some pix showing its general condition would help alot. If you have it where you can work on it, then getting it weather tight would be the first priority. Avoid going for "pretty" till you have "safe and functional" sewed up.
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Old 09-19-2015, 09:17 AM   #3
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1974 Argosy 26
Pensacola , Florida
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Thanks, aquinob! I'll see what I can do about the photos.

However, since I bought a 1976, and I am pretty certain very few alterations have been made to it over the years, I'd be most comfortable giving everything a good once over to assess its condition. My question is what order makes the most sense for that?
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Old 09-19-2015, 11:33 AM   #4
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1978 25' Tradewind
Metro Phoenix , Arizona
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I'd go with brakes and tires first. Either of those can obviously cause you big problems right off. Male sure your lug nuts are torqued on to specs.

Make sure your tow vehicle is up to the task, and make sure your safety chains and break-away switch are good. You should have - at bare minimum - a weight distributing hitch with some form of sway control. An equal-i-zer or Reese Dual Cam are relatively inexpensive and safe enough to get you there and back. There's a zillion threads here about setting up either of those.

The next thing might be to check for water damage and water tightness. That will show up first on the floor, so you should do some low level snooping there. If there's a wet or water damaged spot on the floor, figure out where the leak is in the wall or ceiling above, and fix it. Never, never, never use silicone sealant.

Also check for rear separation.

Make sure all your trailer exterior lights are working like they should be, like the running lights, brake lights and turn signals.

Turn on the water pump and see what happens. It should pump up the system and then stop. It should not cycle again every few minutes; if it does, there's likely a water leak in the plumbing somewhere.

Turn on the gas at the tanks up front and sniff around. You'll smell gas right off if there's a leak; don't be afraid to get your nose right up to the furnace, stove, water heater and refrigerator. You should NOT smell any gas with all the appliances off.

Make sure you have a working smoke / carbon dioxide detector and the batteries are good. You might want to pick up a new one, just on general principles.

The next step might well be to take it out for a weekend with a full set of tools, silicone spray lube for the awning, and a roll of duct tape. You'll have a busy weekend!

Lotsa luck!

D
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Old 09-20-2015, 11:25 AM   #5
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1989 35' Argosy 5th Wheel
1979 rgosy 27
Danville , Vermont
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I agree with the order of attention for your restoration that you reproduced. I have done a 1979 27' argosy. In general, a approached it in the following order; Safety, Structure, functionality, cosmetic. Good luck.
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Old 09-20-2015, 11:51 AM   #6
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1989 29' Excella
Lorain County , Ohio
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Start with axles.
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Old 09-20-2015, 12:11 PM   #7
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.7 Metre
1971 27' Overlander
1973 31' Sovereign
Griffin , Georgia
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 151
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I am finishing a '77 Argosy22'.. And fixing to start a '79 argosy '30.
I took delivery at my local tire dealer, where they mounted new tires and checked the axels, lights and brakes. Then I brought "Opal" home... Removed all furnishings except bath area. Cleaned her up. Fixed the leaks and removed outside attachments. Then took her (gutted) to a paint and body shop.
After a few weeks of sanding and auto paint, I brought her home and began the interior restoration. A full interior paint job with outside oil based paint was done while the subfloor was installed. Also did window repairs and wiring and plumbing replacements during subfloor stage.
When all painting was complete and any other messy job was finished we installed new floors...
I plan to follow a similar order of work on the 30'er
Post photos, please.
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Old 09-20-2015, 02:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sospeso View Post
Hi, all! I recently purchased an Argosy. Although I've done a ton of research about separate components of the restoration process... I am not sure exactly where to start. For example, although I'd love to give it a fresh paint job right away, my guess is that it makes more sense to reseal windows and doors first as crummy Ohio weather is on its way soon.

I found this recommended "order of operations," if you will, at Vintage Airstream (another great resource!). Thoughts on this order? What do you all recommend?

Running Gear axle, brakes, tires, shocks, suspension
Trailer/Tow Lighting
Weathertight the exterior fix vents, A/C, windows and doors
Floor repairs remove cabinets and furnishings if required, replace or repair floors
Address all frame, bumper and tongue issues
Fix Belly pan
Remove interior skins if required
Replace insulation if required
Route and install plumbing, gas and electrical provisions
Install choice of flooring
Interior wall finish clean and/or paint the Zolatone
Reinstall cabinets and furnishings, repairing as necessary
Repair and check the appliances
Install appliances and fixtures
One last pass over the exterior, making sure all work is done
Seal and Polish trailer Paint the steel parts tongue, bumper, steps, etc.
Replace cushions and curtains
There is always, only one thing that's at the head of the list.

Weather proof the trailer.

It doesn't matter what condition the trailer was in when you bought it.

Protect whatever is left in it.

Yes, gaskets is a excellent start, but pull one of the sewer vent pipe covers, and check those gaskets. They only last 2 to 3 years.

Then, take your time, and make up a list of what you find that need attention.
Add to that list, the cost of the materials, the cost of outside labor, the amount of labor you will need to spend.

Then you can budget what and when to do things.

Yes, the rubber rods in the axles are history. However, it's not necessary to replace the axles at an early date. You can wait with that expenditure down the road. When your nearing the end of the repairs, paint job, and whatever, then that's the time for axles.

You may chose to add additional weight to the coach, which is another good reason to wait on the axles. In that way, you can upgrade the weight rating as necessary, and at no additional costs.

Andy
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Old 09-20-2015, 07:29 PM   #9
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2003 31' Classic
Terra Alta , West Virginia
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Being in northern wv we know weather will soon be an issue...seal and protect ASAP. Maybe you are lucky enough to have a large heated garage for winter work on your project, but if not seal it and make your spring plan.
Good luck
Dave
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:49 AM   #10
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1974 Argosy 26
Pensacola , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 10
Thank you all for the advice and input! I've been able to get a working list together of what to tackle when, thanks to your input.

Still working on getting the Airstream to my workspace, but once it's there, I'll post photos.
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