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Old 09-14-2010, 09:54 AM   #1
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1973 Argosy 20
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Question about current truck

Hey all.. I'm new here and my wife and I have been looking around for a hobby Airstream to make our own.

I've found a 1973 Argosy 20ft. I emailed the fellow selling it about the weight and he replied with 4000 lbs.

I have a 05 Colorado with the 5 cylinder. 4x4, Automatic, 3.73 gear ratio and a GVWR of 5300 lbs, factory frame mounted tow bar.

Can I ask your opinions is this Argosy will be suited to my truck? Or am I pushing it?

Thanks everyone!

Andrew
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:13 AM   #2
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While this owner may know the specs, he/she may not be right on the mark. The folks here are more likely to be able to give you the correct numbers.
While the empty weight gives you a margin before being maxxed out on your truck, none of us truly tow an empty trailer. IMHO, I think you're at the upper limit of 'OK'.
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:07 AM   #3
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Just my opinion, but I wouldn't be afraid to tow a 20 footer with that truck, but I also don't believe you will enjoy it. I think you can do it, assuming you have a good hitch, adjusted correctly, know the rigs limits, are an experienced driver at towing trailers, and drive accordingly.

I agree it will be marginal.

Almost forgot.....welcome to the forum, and good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:17 AM   #4
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

As to your tow vehicle question. I agree with Ford Truck, you would be pushing the upper limit of OK. Since you already have the Colorado, you can try it on a back road and see how it feels. Make sure that you are very careful as the experience is likely to scare you.

Any trailer that heavy is not a good match for a mini-truck.

Brian
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:19 AM   #5
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Sounds like the current owner is quoting a loaded weight. a '73 25' Tradewind has a dry weight of 4100 lb, so I'd expect a same-year 20-footer to be well under 4000 lb. In any event I would want more truck to pull it.
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:22 AM   #6
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Thanks for the comments!

I have a utility trailer that I've hauled up to a ton before so I feel I'm pretty accustomed to "safe hauling".

I've been doing some further research and I've found various years of the 20 ft Argosy ranging from approx 2800 to 3800 lbs.

She looks in good shape and is a good price ($4200 cdn) so I'd hate to pass it without proper knowledge. I'm going to take the drive to have a proper look at it tomorrow.

Any suggestions on things I should be on the lookout for?

Thanks
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:33 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by AndrewV View Post
Thanks for the comments!

I have a utility trailer that I've hauled up to a ton before so I feel I'm pretty accustomed to "safe hauling".

I've been doing some further research and I've found various years of the 20 ft Argosy ranging from approx 2800 to 3800 lbs.

She looks in good shape and is a good price ($4200 cdn) so I'd hate to pass it without proper knowledge. I'm going to take the drive to have a proper look at it tomorrow.

Any suggestions on things I should be on the lookout for?

Thanks

Check the operation of all appliances and systems (plumbing, etc.). These things can be some pretty pricey repairs/replacements. If the current owner refuses to run the systems, I would be suspicious.

Also check for evidence of water leaks inside the trailer.

Take a look at the production date on the tires. If they are much over six years old, they will have to be replaced regardless of the amount of tread that they still have.

Check the brakes and bearings. This is another major cost item if these need to be replaced.

Brian
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Old 09-14-2010, 01:14 PM   #8
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A 20' Argosy doesn't weigh that much unless he did some pretty big modifcations. Empty weight is approximately 2880 lbs.

Tom
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Old 09-14-2010, 02:00 PM   #9
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hey, neighbour!

Howdy and welcome to airforums.com, Andrew!

I have attached a copy of the check list for trailers. Although it looks long, it pays to take the time to print all the pages out and go through it while you are at the trailer. All the pages except the last one, "moho". You'll see that there are 6 pages, print on both sides of the paper and it'll seeem like less.

It goes without saying that you need to go see it during daylight.
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File Type: xls Trailer inspection 1.xls (53.5 KB, 22 views)
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:24 PM   #10
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1973 Argosy 20
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Thanks everyone. I'll be taking a look at it tomorrow.

Thanks Aage for the list. It will come in handy.

Cheers!
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:21 PM   #11
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Well..... we bought it. It does require some love. Mostly updating and cleaning. The worst is the belly pan shows signs of rust/rot. And there seems to be a bad ground for the marker / rear lights.

Towed it from Cornwall to Ottawa. The tongue weight is 470lbs and the Colorado felt comfortable with it. As some have commented its probably getting near the top end of what the truck can handle. But in all the trailer didn't really push it around at all. Mostly on hills she worked for it.

Looking forward to diving into it and starting the restoration.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:22 PM   #12
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Well, congratulations on your trailer, Andrew! OK, so where ARE the photoze!?

By the way, did the trailer coem with a weight distributing hitch? If not, start looking around for one used, Reece is (I think) the most popular in this part of the world.

Once you get that dialled in, you will barely know you are towing a trailer, except for the big beige thing following you in your rear-view mirror.

Mazel Tov!
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:11 AM   #13
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1973 Argosy 20
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Here she is. I'll open a new thread in the appropriate forum later with more photos. I think I may also track my progress as well with photos.. And I'm sure I'm going to have LOTS of questions...

Cheers!
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:39 AM   #14
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Andrew welcome to the forums and congradulations on your purchase. It looks in pretty good shape. Nice looking paint job. Axles height looks good. Check the axles for travel by jacking up the trailer and watch for the axle to drop down several inches. Do not jack on the axle bar itself just on the axle flange.
You say that the underbelly shows lots of corrosion/rust. That may be a problem. you may have some frame damage. That would be a larger problem to fix. To thoroughly inspect for frame damage the belly needs to be removed.
Check the floor all around the perimeter for rot. Most of the rot will be right under the edge of the walls where they meet the floor.
The first thing you should do is make sure the shell is watertight. Things like roof vents, plumbing vents, TV antenna, awning mounts and windows. Basically all the openings need to be inspected for water leaks and fixed. Most gaskets and seals are available from a couple of dealers in the U.S.(INLAND RV in California and OUT OF DOORS MART in North Carolina) CAN-AM RV here in London has parts also but I found that they aren't interested in helping find parts for older units. They are hitch experts and there is no better place to get your hitch set up and get advice on towing.
Good luck and I look forward to seeing more pictures of your A/S and the repairs. If you need any advice let me know and I will try to help a fellow Cannuck eh.
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