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Old 09-08-2013, 08:22 PM   #15
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mattydale , New York
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Hi all!

My hubby and I went and viewed a '77 24' Argosay and we're not sure if we should jump on it, or run for our lives...

The noticed items needing attention:

-floor is wet and soft by dinette up to the twin beds section, and two patches can be felt under the cheap linoleum

-no covers on the cushions

-no inside door

-no sink cabinet door

-regulator for propane didn't work so none of the appliances could be checked

My hubs is handy with 12v and plumbing, etc, and some light construction, but our desire to become owners of one of these beauties, might be clouding our judgment..

Anyways, they originally asked $3500, we've got them down to $1250.. but I dunno....

Any thoughts on initial cost vs restoration costs?

Thanks for any advice!

Lesley
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:01 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by lesleyness View Post
Hi all!

My hubby and I went and viewed a '77 24' Argosay and we're not sure if we should jump on it, or run for our lives...

The noticed items needing attention:

-floor is wet and soft by dinette up to the twin beds section, and two patches can be felt under the cheap linoleum

-no covers on the cushions

-no inside door

-no sink cabinet door

-regulator for propane didn't work so none of the appliances could be checked

My hubs is handy with 12v and plumbing, etc, and some light construction, but our desire to become owners of one of these beauties, might be clouding our judgment..

Anyways, they originally asked $3500, we've got them down to $1250.. but I dunno....

Any thoughts on initial cost vs restoration costs?

Thanks for any advice!

Lesley
Soft wet floors usually means that it is rotted. It will not provide any structural support to the trailer. Depending on how much is rotted you may be able to replace that section, or you might be looking at a shell off job. A lot of work.. Now for $1250 that's a good price. If your willing to put $5000 + into it not a bad plan. Give you want it like new.

If your only going to use it locally 2x per year you could get away with just keeping up the basics and new axles and tires. What was your plan for use?
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:32 AM   #17
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Soft wet floors usually means that it is rotted. It will not provide any structural support to the trailer. Depending on how much is rotted you may be able to replace that section, or you might be looking at a shell off job. A lot of work.. Now for $1250 that's a good price. If your willing to put $5000 + into it not a bad plan. Give you want it like new.

If your only going to use it locally 2x per year you could get away with just keeping up the basics and new axles and tires. What was your plan for use?

We want to use it as our camp at a Adirondack ATV/Hunting camp.. (ironically, we don't have either an atv or gun, but the membership includes a site that is yours for as long as you renew/keep paying dues) We would need to tow it about 2.5 hours away every spring and back right before hunting season.. It would stay parked the in between time..

We currently camp with a large popup, which we close up and leave on our site, but if it rains, we have to tow it home so we can dry it out.. Plus, some times we don't get up to the site until late and it's a pain to set up a large popup when skeeters are biting our twin 6 year olds.. Did I mention there's also no "hook up" so no sewer, power, running water, etc.. lol

SO... we'd use local artesian water, and basically dry camp. My mom, who is the original inhabitant of the site, built a nice outhouse with a flushable camp potty in it, so no one sees the muck underneath, or smells it, and they added a line into it, on the outside, so if we had a macerator we could pump up the black/grey water to empty in it...

We're willing to fix it up, but we don't need to fully restore it, per say.. We'd like for the structure to be sound, but don't have the capacity to do a shell off floor job.. If we were to replace the front section only, from the doorway to the back twin beds, is it possible to do with the shell on?

The pics are of the site we camp on... it's awesome and our kids love catching frogs on the river front...
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:47 AM   #18
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You just need to seriously manage your expectations. Essentially, when you buy a 40+ year old trailer, you need to recognize that you are buying a shell, and pretty much everything could be replaced. With that thought in mind, find one with the best shell and frame possible to minimize the new skills you will have to learn. I know there are plenty of folks riding around in trailers with rear end separation, sagging axles, and marginally functional systems, but if you do it "right," you will invest thousands of dollars and a similar amount of time. Take the detailed cost estimates above, and double them, and triple the time you expect to spend on it.
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:57 PM   #19
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Smile Do you really want to know?

I think when you consider this question you have to look at several ways to get an AS "ready". I have seen some people clean out the cobwebs and mouse nests, throw in their gear, and get camping. Some others get new curtains and put a patch on the floor; good to go. Some people do a bit more and want to make sure from top to bottom their AS is not only comfortable but safe.

For better or worse, we were the top to bottom people and about $22,000 and 3 years of labor later, we are almost done with the Albatross. The new Fantastic fan goes in soon and we have a bit of trim to complete. Wait...there is the finish polish, and the trim around the surround in the kitchen, the rub rail, the detailing in the bathroom.....so it goes. Would we sell her to recoup the $22,000? Not on your life...she's part of the family.
Sandy
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:33 PM   #20
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I think when you consider this question you have to look at several ways to get an AS "ready". I have seen some people clean out the cobwebs and mouse nests, throw in their gear, and get camping. Some others get new curtains and put a patch on the floor; good to go. Some people do a bit more and want to make sure from top to bottom their AS is not only comfortable but safe.

For better or worse, we were the top to bottom people and about $22,000 and 3 years of labor later, we are almost done with the Albatross. The new Fantastic fan goes in soon and we have a bit of trim to complete. Wait...there is the finish polish, and the trim around the surround in the kitchen, the rub rail, the detailing in the bathroom.....so it goes. Would we sell her to recoup the $22,000? Not on your life...she's part of the family.
Sandy
$22,000 could be conservative depending on how much work you can do yourself. To have a repair center do it you could be closer to $30,000.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:38 PM   #21
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Well for what it is worth, for $1250 I would buy it, put new tires bearings and fix the leaks. Patch it up and use it.

Check the front frame as closely as you can, if the frame in the front it is good then two trips a year should be ok. There is no requirement that you do a full restore, just fix what you need to make it useable. Fix it up as you go. Many AS of this age is being towed around with rotted floors and rusty frames.

Consider new axles as well. That will keep from beating up the unit to badly. 2x that is you got rough roads leading into the camp.

Great camp!! Something to pass on to family..
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:36 PM   #22
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.....Old Airstreams are like old cars, it is much cheaper to buy a restored one or a newer one than restore one from scratch. There is nothing economical about the process and nothing is cheap about it. If you figure the time and money to rebuild on of these things, you can buy a new one. You can't justify buying old with the hope of making it new. It is something you want to do, not something that makes any sense at all. .......

Perry
Thats a great answer. I have about $7,000 in a 1975 BMW R90 that is now easily worth $2 or $3 thousand.

For me, going new on an Airstream was not an option, but I did just replace my 1977 29 footer with a 2010 27FB that was never used by the original owner. I probably spent at least twice what I would have spent restoring the old one, but I had more time to work on things when I was working full time. Now I just want to use them.
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:51 PM   #23
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Great info,


Still what if they want to use one of the Top outfits in the country. The real renovator/restorers. Not an Airstream dealer.

Can anyone speak to what they got done and what it cost them.

Tony
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:50 PM   #24
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Well, I'm crossing our fingers that the Airstream GODS are going to be blessing us with a better fitting Airstream to purchase. It's a 1960 Tradewind 24'... New floor over a repaired frame, new skin, painted and installed correctly, and all the guts to reuse or use as templates.... Add to this that the restorations so far have been done professionally, and by a fellow AS connoisseur... To say we're excited, is an understatement! We've wanted a vintage AS for so long, that getting this, and finishing it, is a dream come true! Now, cross your fingers we're the lucky buyers of this beauty!!!
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