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Old 04-05-2014, 01:58 PM   #1
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1987 33' Argosy
Colorado Springs , Colorado
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towing an old trailer with an old truck

I have a 87 Argosy 33'. I'd like to match it with a truck of roughly the same vintage for the aesthetics.

I have a 77 Chevy K10 "Heavy Half" 1/2 ton pickup (350 cid engine, Turbo 350 transmission, 4x4) but it is kind of a beater and am pretty sure it isn't up to the task.

Any suggestions? What were the tow vehicles of the day in 1987?

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Old 04-05-2014, 02:09 PM   #2
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1979 23' Safari
1954 29' Liner
Orange , California
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Suburbans and pickups. Cars were downsized in about 1979-1980. Some 1980's cars would work for a shorter trailer.


Originally Posted by tworavens View Post
I have a 87 Argosy 33'. I'd like to match it with a truck of roughly the same vintage for the aesthetics.

I have a 77 Chevy K10 "Heavy Half" 1/2 ton pickup (350 cid engine, Turbo 350 transmission, 4x4) but it is kind of a beater and am pretty sure it isn't up to the task.

Any suggestions? What were the tow vehicles of the day in 1987?

Bill Kerfoot, WBCCI/VAC/CAC/El Camino Real Unit #5223
Just my personal opinion
1973 Dodge W200 PowerWagon, 1977 Lincoln Continental, 2014 Dodge Durango
1979 23' Safari, and 1954 29' Double Door Liner Orange, CA
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Old 04-05-2014, 02:14 PM   #3
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It's probably doable. The one thing that I would want, though, is a tow vehicle with disc brakes for a trailer of that size. I'm not sure what years the pick-ups went to discs. There are kits available to retrofit disc brakes.

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Old 04-05-2014, 03:00 PM   #4
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IIRC, GM trucks had disc brakes in the front in the 70's, but did not get them in the rear until recently....something about corrosion.

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Old 04-05-2014, 06:50 PM   #5
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1984 Airstream advertisement. Not disagreeing with anybody, perhaps expectations were different those days.

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Old 04-05-2014, 08:01 PM   #6
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Big drum brakes work pretty well, and even my 08 Silverado uses drum rear brakes.
The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

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Old 04-05-2014, 09:12 PM   #7
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An '87 Ford diesel pickup F-250 will handle it with no problem and the 6.9 is a very reliable diesel engine. Not the power of the new turbo diesels, but has much better mileage and less maintenance issues than the newer diesels. The gas rigs from the same era are plenty good to tow an AS regardless of brands, but the main issues are the trannys and rear end ratio's. You want a 4:10 or 4:30 if it is an automatic or a manual with a "granny" gear first gear.
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Old 04-06-2014, 01:25 AM   #8
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1988 Argosy 32
Lomita , California
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I tow A 1988 argosy 28' With F-250 Diesel 6.9 = 421 cid no turbo, 4x4 We call it The
Beast, and it is.
Got it new in 1985 used to tow A 28' x 12' Farlon up and down the west coast. it was way way Heavy,
Came with Front disk brake's and rear drums, Works for me for the last 29 years.
Rebilt trans for heavy towing, added LARGE trans cooler (needed)
Added 1 rear leaf spring each side.
I runs great
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Old 04-06-2014, 05:29 AM   #9
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1960 17' Pacer
London , Ontario
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In 1985 I took a trip to Florida with a 32' Argosy and a 1985 Oldsmobile Delta 88. It worked very well, a little more cross wind effect than an Airstream but certainly an excellent towing trailer for not being all Airstream. Most of these that we sold went on 1/2 ton Suburbans with 3.73:1 axle ratio and a 350 engine. They had 15x8" rims with 235/75R x 15" LT tires.

If you are going to get a period truck try and find one without four wheel drive. All the 4x4's of that era had straight front axles the rear drives had independent front suspension which handled and rode dramatically better. Also if you find a great truck with the wrong axle ratio you only have one ring and pinion to change.

I hope this helps.

Andrew T
Andrew Thomson
London, Ontario

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Old 04-06-2014, 05:37 AM   #10
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Greenwood , Mississippi
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Restore the '77 and tow with it.
I know a guy with a red and white '74 in nearly mint condition, but he won't sell...

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