Originally Posted by vanman250
I have been looking for an airstream and found an Agosy in looking at the two what I see as diffarent is that the Agosy is painted and for some reason weighs less then the Airstream but there has to be more one v/s the other I see more Airstreams then Agosy ???
I had exactly the opposite experience when I was looking for my first Airstream product - - was searching for an Argosy but my Airstream found me. Now, with one of each, I can appreciate the differences and similarities.
One part of your question regarding numbers observed in the marketplace and on the road can relate to several issues. One of the greatest differences is the length of time that Argosys were manufactured in comparison to Airstreams - - Argosy was in production about two decades in comparison to Airstream's nearly seven decades of production. Another reason Argosys may be slightly less obvious in the market is that they were viewed as something of an "orphan" in the market up until somewhat recently - - much like the Edsel and Studebaker once their parent companies discontinued their production - - as a perceived "orphan", I tend to believe that the resulting suppressed values meant that once an Argosy hit the used market it was less likely to receive the level of preventative maintenance (from second and subsequent owners) that would have resulted in greater survival rates - - I tend to believe that the perceived "orphan" situation for Argosys has changed tremendously in just the last five to seven years (I also believe that the WBCCI's decision to welcome Argosys into the club as well as other Airstream products (B-Vans, SquareStreams, Integrity, etc.) helped in increasing the marque's current recognition). A third issue that appears to have helped to increase the acceptance is the realization/recognition that the Argosy line was a test-bed for features/models that would one-day make it to the Airstream line (such as the motorhome, and the deep-wrap wing windows) - - as well as some features that never made it to the Airstream line (such as the rear door models and the aluminum composite floors).
Your observation that the Argosy weighs less than the Airstream is generally true at least as far as empty weights of similar sized Argosys and Airstreams. My observation has been that when the Airstream and Argosy being compared are of the same size with similar options and accessories, there is actually very little difference in weight between the coaches - - it seems that difference is often that what was standard on the Airstream but optional on the Argosy resluting in a lower factory empty weight. My observation has also been that when comparing similar vintages of Argosys and Airstreams that the GVWR of similar sized coaches is often quite similar with the exception of the Minuet series which was 8" narrower than its size peers in the Airstream line, and also contained cabinetry made of vinyl covered aluminum.
For instance, the following was found when comparing 1976 Argosys and Airstreams:
Globetrotter 21 - - 3,410 lbs. empty weight - - Argosy 20 - - 2,880 lbs.
Safari 23 Double - - 3,850 lbs. empty weight - - Argosy 24 - - 3,620 lbs.
Safari 23 Twin - - 3,800 lbs. empty weight - - Argosy 24 - - 3,610 lbs.
Trade Wind Twin 25 - - 4,090 lbs. empty weight - - Argosy 26 - - 3,830 lbs
Trade Wind Double 25 - - 4,175 lbs. empty weight - - Argosy 26 - - 3,850 lbs
Overlander-Twin 27 - - 4,520 lbs. empty weight - - Argosy 28 - - 4,020 lbs.
Overlander-Double 27 - - 4,550 lbs. empty weight - - Argsoy 28 - - 4,040 lbs
My information on Airstream GVWR is not complete, but for those that I have, the similar length coaches (usually not exact as Argosys were usually even size measurements while Airstreams were odd size measurements) had GVWR within 200 lbs of one another.
The Argosy tends to have fewer of the "bells and whistles" of similar vintage Airstream coaches with the resultant weight savings as well as some reduction in complexity of the systems to be maintained. The extent of weight savings measures applied to the "non-Minuet" coaches can have an impact on weight - - where vinyl-clad aluminum is used for cabinetry, a weight savings is realized; but the long-term appearance qualities of the vinyl clad aluminum can pose restoration difficulties. When moving between my '64 Overlander and my '78 Minuet, the greatest difference that I notice is the cabinetry - - fine wood veneer plywood in the Overlander and vinyl clad aluminum in the Minuet - - despite being similar in color and texture, the Overlander just feels warmer and more inviting. The Minuet feels more modern and bright. Both coaches have a similar level of creature comforts and accessories. There were some differences in the quality of the upholstery and finishes used in Argosys - - Airstream fabrics tended to be plusher with greater use of button-tufting and other decorator treatments while Argosy upholstery tended to be rugged fabrics with minimal use of button-tufting and other decorator features - - - part of what gives the Argosy a more modern appearance IMHO.
The original intent of the Argosy line can be seen in the quote below from the Intorductory (1972) sales brochure:
*Quoted from the Introductory Brochure for the Argosy Line.
"The all-new Argosy meets today's demand for a travel trailer of superior quality in the medium priced field. The Argosy offers every major feature that made Airstream famous, yet suggested retail prices range from only $3,990 to $5,755. These are introductory prices subject ot change at any time. Nearly forty years of Airstream trailering technology have gone into the Argosy along with many years of careful planning and thousands of miles of shakedown tests. The Argosy is udeniably the most pre-tested new trailer ever to be intorduced and carries a 12-month warranty in plain language that is straight and to the point.
Argosys aren't necessarily for everyone. The Airstream "mystique" while present to some degreee isn't as widely recognized, but is increasing in its recognition among many Airstream product owners. While values have increased significantly over the past few years for Argosys of all descriptions, the value of a restored Argosy often is less than that of similar Airstreams while, at least in my experience, the restoration costs are very nearly the same. The biggest difference is that once the coach is restored, the paint is less costly to maintain than a polish job or a polish/Plasticoat system. I am on my third season of the Polish/Plasticoat on my Overlander and to my eye it looks as good today as the day I towed it out of the Ruth's facility in Helena, OH - - but it has taken twice-yearly Walbernizing to keep the Plasticoat up. I am hoping for at least 10 years from the Plasticoat. While I haven't had the exterior of my Minuet repainted, my estimates have been equivalent to what I spent on having the Airstream Polished/Plasticoated when related on a linear foot basis ($125 to $175 per linear foot).
Good luck with your research and coach selection process!