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Old 10-02-2005, 03:32 PM   #1
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1978 24' Argosy 24
Elkins , Arkansas
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Advice needed for towing with my Explorer

I recently came across an offer that is too good to pass up. My father wants to get rid of his 1978 24ft Argosy, and needless to say I want it. It is in really good shape and he only wants $1500 for it whenever I can pay him for it. Like I said it is too good to pass up, but the vehicle that I have to tow it is not as powerfull as I would like. I drive a 1999 Ford Explorer Sport with a V6. My wife and I enjoy going to some of the local fishing areas, so it would not be taken on a long trip. Maybe 2 hours at the most, but there are a lot of hills in the Ozark mountains. I guess my question is what would you do? I cannot afford to upgrade to a more powerfull truck right now, but maybe next year. I just hate to pass up a good oppourtunity for us to have many years of enjoyment with our Argosy. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-02-2005, 04:05 PM   #2
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Buy the argosy - upgrade the tow vehicle when you are able. If you have to store the trailer - that's OK. The empty weight of a 24 foot argosy as about 3700 lbs. Add water and stuff and you are to heavy for your vehicle. I sometimes tow with an exploder - but our trailer is 2400 lbs dry and 4 feet shorter AND we are still maxed out.

One of the issues you have is the wheel base of your vehicle is short to be towing a trailer that long. Buy the trailer though - they are way cool. It's important to remember that vehicles come and go -Airstreams last forever.

If you have the larger V6 and a weight distributing hitch you might be able to tow a short distance - but personally - I wouldn't be very comfortable. Remember when you are calculating the amount of weight you can tow, to include the weight of what/whom is in the tow vehichle....

Buy the trailer - did I say that already?
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Old 10-02-2005, 04:18 PM   #3
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1978 24' Argosy 24
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Thanks for the feedback

I was thinking the same thing. It would be motivation to get a vehicle that could tow it. Looking at it in the driveway everyday would make you want to get everything together so that you can start enjoying it. Like you said they last forever, and until then the wife and I could just pretend to camp in the driveway. LOL
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Old 10-02-2005, 04:43 PM   #4
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We bought our trailer before we had a tow vehicle for it, so a friend helped us get it home. Within a couple weeks I had traded my Mustang for a ford E-150 van, best move I ever made. The van is more than enough tow vehicle, and it makes for smooth sailing.

Buy the trailer, get a bigger truck when you can, and enjoy. If the trailer needs some work, you can catch up on that while you sort out the tow vehicle issues. You'll never regret it, it will be your favorite fishing spot wherever you take it!
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Old 10-02-2005, 05:01 PM   #5
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Haven't you bought it yet?

Just an FYI, I towed a 1977 Argosy 24 with a Dodge Dakota, it gave me no problems doing it. It had the 318 (5.2L) and the HD automatic, and towed in overdrive. If you are itching to start camping right away, sell the Exploder and pick up a decent used full sized van with a V8, or a small full sized pickup, also with a V8. The reason I suggested a van first, is most people are wanting SUV's right now, and good, clean, vans can be had for a song. They have the same mechanicals as the pickups, and usually close to the same towing capacity. You can get a van for about 2/3 to 1/2 the price of a comparable pickup. A 1/2 ton pickup, or 20 series van, should be adequate for your needs. If you play your cards right, you may even be able to sell your SUV for enough to go get a van.
Oh, did I ask if you had bought the trailer yet?
Oh, and welcome to the forums!
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Old 10-02-2005, 05:03 PM   #6
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Get a real big truck

Many will tell you what will do the job, I'm telling you to get er done and then some.

I pulled my bambi with a Jeep cherokee until it made me certifiably crazy.

Now I have a dodge diesel one ton. Upgrading trailers is all I will have to do from now on.
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Old 10-02-2005, 05:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by campcollector
Many will tell you what will do the job, I'm telling you to get er done and then some.

I pulled my bambi with a Jeep cherokee until it made me certifiably crazy.

Now I have a dodge diesel one ton. Upgrading trailers is all I will have to do from now on.
Ummm... I have seen some of the roads he will be having to tow on. Being crazy would be an advantage.
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Old 10-02-2005, 05:10 PM   #8
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1978 24' Argosy 24
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That is a good idea

I did not think about purchasing a van instead, and your are right it would be cheaper. I could also use it for work since I am a rural mail carrier for the postal service. My dad said that the Argosy is mine, and I think that my uncle will help me get it to my place. I cannot wait to discover all of the fishing spots with our home on wheels. It is nice to find a group of people who are so enthusiastic about this hobby. I bet the memories that you make are priceless.
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Old 10-02-2005, 05:14 PM   #9
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Pictures! We need pictures....
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Old 10-02-2005, 05:32 PM   #10
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A towing option - since this is primarily "local" use - and depending on parking at your home, you could also pick up an older truck relatively inexpensively - that would be used for hauling the trailer, and keep your Ford for the regular use you give it. I used to have a '73 Chev half ton with V8 and automatic that wasn't the prettiest truck in the world but it was clean, ran very well, and towed my trailer anywhere I needed, and come Monday I had my newer car to commute, etc. An older van would accomplish the same thing. I've seen reasonable older Ford, Chev and Dodge trucks for well under a grand that appear to be quite serviceable. Just an option to think about. Congratulations by the way on joining the world of Airstream/Argosy ownership. Barry
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Old 10-02-2005, 05:58 PM   #11
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1978 24' Argosy 24
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Pictures coming soon

I plan on trying to get the Argosy over to my place on Wednesday or Thursday depending on my work schedule. I will then take plenty of pictures to share with everyone. It is white with blue striping and my dad say's that the air conditioner will freeze you out. No kidding he actually woke up in the middle of the night to turn it off. LOL
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Old 10-02-2005, 08:13 PM   #12
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Advice needed for towing

Greetings fisherman12!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Argosy ownership!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fisherman12
I plan on trying to get the Argosy over to my place on Wednesday or Thursday depending on my work schedule. I will then take plenty of pictures to share with everyone. It is white with blue striping and my dad say's that the air conditioner will freeze you out. No kidding he actually woke up in the middle of the night to turn it off. LOL
You may even have something a bit unusual if you coach happens to have the 7.3 Metre designation on the side. There is evidence to suggest that both the Argosy 24 and the Minuet 7.3 Metre were produced in 1978 -- in most states, they were both registered as 24' coaches since that is the way that Airstream sold them. I don't know whether the early 7.3 Metre Minuets had the Minuet badging or if they only had the 7.3 Metre badging. The 7.3 Metre Minuet had an empty weight of 3,820 pounds with an empty hitch weight of 510 pounds while the Argosy 24 had an empty weight of either 3,820 or 3,840 pounds (depending upon floorplan -- Twin Bed model was heavier) with an empty hitch weight of 510 pounds. These figures are from the 1978/1979 sales literature -- I have to wonder if there is some error in one of the brochures as the 7.3 Metre Minuet is 7" narrower than than the Argosy 24 so it would seem that it should be somewhat lighter.

P.S.: Something to consider if you happen to look at a Conversion Van as a potential tow vehicle -- be very cautious as the weight of the conversion can impose a significant burden that must be subtracted from the net carrying capacity of the van as well as being additional weight when considering the GCVWR of the combination. I know that my G20 Vandura Conversion Van was overloaded with my 19' Nomad (slightly under 4,000 pounds).

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Old 10-02-2005, 10:19 PM   #13
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We avoided a conversion van just for that reason. Try to find a passenger van. Ours is a "club wagon". They're lighter than a conversion van, and you can easily remove seats to make room for more gear (we sometimes carry a small boat in ours).
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Old 10-02-2005, 10:53 PM   #14
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I see a Cummins Turbo Diesel in your future.....

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