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Old 07-11-2005, 08:12 AM   #1
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what to fix first

Okay, so let's say I'm going to fix up my '77 Argosy. Where do I start?
Electrical: A/C doesn't work. Only about three outlets work.
Heater: Puts out soot inside cabin.
Refrig.: Stopped working electrically.
Body: Rust has been developing at the seam between aluminum and steel.
And it hasn't been on the road in nine years.

Is this too much to tackle?
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Old 07-11-2005, 08:36 AM   #2
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Talking Axle!

Mgmahan,



I would start with the axle(s), inspection of all running gear. Condition, life remaining, brakes, bearings, seals, etc…



Regards,

Henry

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Old 07-11-2005, 08:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgmahan
Okay, so let's say I'm going to fix up my '77 Argosy. Where do I start?
Electrical: A/C doesn't work. Only about three outlets work.
Heater: Puts out soot inside cabin.
Refrig.: Stopped working electrically.
Body: Rust has been developing at the seam between aluminum and steel.
And it hasn't been on the road in nine years.

Is this too much to tackle?
First, A/C: If it is a replacement A/C unit, just pull it off and install a new one, an OEM Armstrong will probably be worth trying to fix.
Second, heater: You will probably need a new one, or get a heat strip installed in your new A/C unit, only about $65 extra if you get it with the A/C.
Fridge: Probably the electric heating element has gone South, new ones are available without buying a new refrigerator.
Body: dissimilar metal corrosion is a "normal" problem for Argosies. It can be repaired, and repainted, it will take some elbow grease.
The biggie, is that it hasn't been towed anywhere for so long. Everything may be okay, or it may need averything. It will certainly need new tires, and the wheel bearings repacked, if nothing else.
Good luck with it.
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Old 07-11-2005, 08:42 AM   #4
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no experience

I have no experience with such things.
I can try a friend who might know something.
Or should I take it to a RV place. There's a Airstream dealer an hour away.
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Old 07-11-2005, 10:31 AM   #5
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The best thing to do is start from the bottom up - outside/in - fix your running gear so you can move it around then fix everything on the outside - then move to the inside and fix everything there. Its VERY important to take it one step at a time - write down all the projects that need to be done, then do one at a time - and don't worry about the other ones. If you look at it as one big project, its likely you will get overwhelmed. Take it one step at a time and enjoy the project!

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Old 07-11-2005, 12:44 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mgmahan
..Is this too much to tackle?
Depends on if you like doing this kind of work. Having the items you mentioned repaired/replaced by an RV place will be quite expensive.

If you have lots of money at your disposal, and do not like to tinker, first decide if this particular Argosy is important to you to fix. You may consider selling it, and buying one in better repair.

If your cash flow is limited, and you want to keep it, you will find answers to just about anything you could ask on this forum.

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Old 07-11-2005, 01:11 PM   #7
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what to fix first

Greetings mgmahan!

Welcome to the Forums!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgmahan
I have no experience with such things.
I can try a friend who might know something.
Or should I take it to a RV place. There's a Airstream dealer an hour away.
Have you established your goal for the refurbishment -- returning the coach to traveling condition -- or preparing it for "cottage-use" in its current location? -- The answer to that question could have a bearing on where you wish to start. If travel is the answer, then you will want to start with the running gear and work up -- if, on the other hand, you want "cottage-use", then starting with waterproofing/finish maintenance and interior issues would likely be more useful.

As has been stated by others, having the work done by professionals can be expensive but the trade-off is that you can have a functional Airstream product coach for far less than the cost of a new or late model Airstream in most cases -- for instance, the cost of professional refurbishment of my '78 Minuet will be approximately $14,000 (including its original purchase price) upon completion while the cost of professional refurbishment on my '64 Overlander will be approximately 2.5 times that much (including its original purchase price). Something to keep in mind when considering whether to have the dealer perform the work is that not all Airstream dealers are comfortable with the idea of working on Vintage Coaches -- it would be worthwhile to interview the service manager of the shop to determine whether there is any interest in performing the work that you need -- it may take visiting several shops to find one who is ready to consider the work (and you may find that a non-Airstream dealer may be a good choice for much of the work that isn't specialized to the Airstream product such as body panel repair/replacement). I interviewed two Airstream dealers in nearby states before finding Ace Fogdall, the Airstream dealer who has performed almost all of the mechanical and systems restoration/refurbishment on my coaches -- be prepared to "shop" to find a shop that is willing and prepared to work on a Vintage unit.

With my approach, I estimate that I have two coaches for slightly less than the cost of a new Airstream 25' Classic with floorplans that I like better than anything that Airstream now offers. In addition, both coaches are eleigible for participation in all Vintage Airstream Club activities -- in fact, I just returned from a Wagon Wheels Carvan to the International Rally and a week at the International Rally with the Minuet where I was parked in the VAC parking area with 50+ Vintage units. Later this month, it's off to Colorado for the Rocky Mountain Region Vintage Airstream Club Rally in Colorado, Springs, CO.

Good luck with your coach!

Kevin
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