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Old 09-11-2011, 06:26 PM   #1
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Pullman , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Argosy Minuet 20' Sleeps 6

I have been reading airforums for a long time, and wanted to post and show some things we've done with our Argosy trailer in the past year. Hopefully this will be useful to families with 3 or 4 kids wondering if this works. Starting out, we had a very specific set of criteria that drove our decision-making. We wanted a trailer we could pull with a minivan that would sleep all 6 of us (we have 4 kids). That is kind of a tall order, but since "finishing" the trailer we have taken a few trips, and found that we love how everything works.

From the start, we didn't try to maintain the original look of the interior, which was good, since that Minuet we bought was missing the dinette and gaucho. You can see what it looked like in the first attached picture.

We took everything out, painted the interior panels, put in a cork floor, put contact paper on the vinyl-covered aluminum panels, made back/side splash out of sheet metal, bought dinette and gaucho from a guy in Seattle that was gutting an Airstream, re-upholstered them, and fabricated tambour doors for the overhead cabinets.

Concerning the systems, everything worked when we bought it, but that situation didn't hold. The LP forced air heater started making noise and refusing to fire up. After a $400 quote from a local RV joint, we just replaced it with a $280 Wave 6 cat heater, and have loved the results. Right before our first trip, the water heater sprung a leak. After debating on whether to replace it with another Atwood 6 gal., or go to a tankless system, we decided on the latter. In spite of repeated dire warnings on this forum, we bought a Marey 5L, installed it with some advice from an HVAC guy I know, and have really loved the results.

A pic of how the interior looks now is attached. My wife is the genius behind the fabric stuff. Next problem was sleeping all of us in it. We worked with a local fabricator to make aluminum frame bunks that attach to the wall of the trailer. As the kids get bigger, these won't work as well (the one over the dinette, in particular, will probably be obsolete when our youngest is about 10) but that gives us about 7 years of good service. I've attached a picture of how it looks now.

The one over the gaucho folds in half like the ones Airstream made all those years ago, and fits nicely behind the gaucho back. We can take the one over the dinette out, but rarely do since it's nice to store all the sleeping bags and pillows there during the day.

The only big thing we would do differently is: no cork floor. It looks great, but it shrunk noticeably, showing cracks between tiles in most places. Also, when we have a leak, which seems to be inevitable, the water-based adhesive gives up, and we have to re-attach the affected tiles.

Many thanks to everyone on Airforums who has shared their knowledge and experiences over the years. It really made a project like this possible. Next problem: repainting the exterior, which has got me pouring over all the useful posts on that subject.
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Old 09-11-2011, 06:32 PM   #2
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1972 29' Ambassador
grants pass , Oregon
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nice !

Hey,that looks great ! More pics please.Including exterior.Also,can I ask what sink that is ? and the measurements ?
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:54 PM   #3
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Pullman , Washington
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More pics

The sink is just one we picked up at Ikea for $20. Very simple, and we have found doing dishes in it is very nice because it's so big. It's similar to this one, although I'm not sure why this one is $46.

Here are a few more pics, although I don't have any good ones of the exterior right now - they are on another computer so I'll have to get them and post later. One of them shows the accordion door for the bath, which again was done by my wife. Another shows the bathroom, which was all painted with a 2 part epoxy as suggested by the prolific airforums member Sergei. The last one shows the sleeping arrangement with the dinette and gaucho down.
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:13 PM   #4
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
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I too have the same Ikea $20 sink in my Argosy 20' and think it not only looks good but is very functional.
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:26 PM   #5
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1965 24' Tradewind
silverton , Oregon
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Very Cool! It's looks great. I want to know more about the tankless water heater. I love the bunk beds that you put in, a very clever idea.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:18 PM   #6
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1958 22' Flying Cloud
Folsom , California
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Can i ask how much to make another bunk? Its exactly what im looking for. I too seem to have a lot of little people that follow me around.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:25 PM   #7
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sink

thanks for the info on the sink,It looks great.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:09 PM   #8
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1975 Argosy 26
Vienna , VIRGINIA
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Thanks for sharing! It's great to see how you've made the space work for your family and I'm sure it will be a lasting memory for your children.

What did cover the paneled walls with or did you replace or paint them also?
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:15 PM   #9
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1977 31' Sovereign
South Wilmington , Illinois
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I love the accordion door!! Did your wife somehow cover the old one or did she make it from scratch? I'm looking for ideas to get rid of my '77's groovy decor.
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:35 PM   #10
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Pullman , Washington
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Outside Pic

First off, below is a pic of the exterior - very standard for a six meter Minuet. As far as I can tell, paint looks like all the other Argosys I see. There are lots of small dents on the front corners, presumably from someone doing extended gravel road trips. I plan on putting "wrap protectors" on the front that will just cover these dents, but I haven't decided what to do about paint yet. Plus, since the "wrap protectors" are for Airstreams, they are aluminum - not exactly a good match for the Argosy almond.

Thanks for the questions - the bunks were made for us by a local fabricator for $600 even. That was for both bunk frames, and all wall/ceiling mounted hardware installed. We had to figure out the fabric for the bunks, but we just used a type called "duck", cut it out, sewed velcro to the edges, riveted the other side of the velcro tape to the inside of the aluminum frame, and stretched the fabric into place on the frames. Sounds complicated but it wasn't that bad.

The accordion door was done by my wife. She picked out the fabric (Ikea, again). We got some rigid corrugated plastic material, and cut out long strips that we inserted into the sections of the door she had sewed. We saved the hardware from the old door, and that's what is on the end where the handle is. Lastly, we put grommets in the top of the sections, and riveted them to the tabs in the overhead rail that slide back and forth. I was impressed with what she did.

On the walls, all we did was paint them in the exact same way Sergei did on his restoration, which can be found at:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f227...-18448-11.html

Post #152. We have been happy with the results.

Lastly, the tankless water heater job turned out to be pretty fun, but as I mentioned, it's something of a controversial topic because the unit I used is cheap and not officially sanctioned by RVIA. I'll get some pictures and post on that sometime soon.
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:35 AM   #11
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I'm curious about your kitchen countertop. Did you resurface it and if so - how? Thanks
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