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Old 08-16-2018, 10:07 AM   #1
New Member
Brooklyn , New York
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 1
Argosy Minuet Qís, upgrading, kitchen, solar, water


New member, longtime lurker. Honestly, this community is one great reasons to buy an Airstream.

I havenít bought mine yet but Iím doing the research and Iíve narrowed it down to an Argosy Minuet, 22í or 24í but I have a few concerns that could change my mind óIím hoping you can help. About me: 50, single, aging parents and family scattered about the country (more than half are rural and living in the west), experienced traveler, passionate cook, can work remotely. My plan is to travel for a few years, checking in on family and hopefully, finding a place to settle down where I can afford land. Iíll be living in the trailer for a few years, moving frequently. Iíll be doing quite a bit of boondocking, as camps are expensive and some are really depressing, Iím also a forager so, being close to the wilds is important.

I view buying and fixing/upgrading a trailer as an investment so, a frame-off restoration is not out of the question and may even be preferable. The Minuet sounds very easy to tow, I love all the windows and natural light, and the lighter weight will give me a few more options of tow vehicle. Concerns are in regard to modernizing the kitchen, solar power capacity, water capacity (blue, gray, black), winterizing. Specifically...

Being narrower, will I be able to install enough solar panels on the Minuet to generate a reasonable amount of power?

Is there enough storage area inside the trailer for the batteries and equipment? Without maxing out closets and such?

Whatís the most effective freezer I can hope to install?

Whatís the best I can hope for in upgrading fridge, oven/stove?

How long can one person comfortably boondock with the Minuetís water capacity? Is it possible to increase its water capacity?

Any difference between an Argosy Minuet and an Airstream in the winter?

Iím sure answers will lead to more questions, thank you in advance.

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Old 08-17-2018, 11:25 AM   #2
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1969 18' Caravel
Greenville , whereEverIroam
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Can't answer all of your questions, but can give you a few guideposts.

Winterization: No, no difference between any kind of trailer, all need to be winterized: all need antifreeze and/or blowing any standing water out of all pipes. If you replace existing copper with Pex, you will realize an extra few degrees of cold tolerance, but still need to winterize.

AS and Argosy are not four season trailers, so if you full time, you will want to head south for winter.

If you gut and rebuild, be especially conscious of WEIGHT and BALANCE. Everyone wants to add granite countertops, solid wood panels, heavy flooring, etc. -- none of which make sense in a TT that's mobile. You can indeed add storage, be aware that means you are adding weight -- where are you putting it? Is it going to increase the tongue weight, or add to the rear and thus increase sway forces? Up high means more rolling force is added. Low weight helps keep all the tires on pavement.

Avoid the temptation to install a five-star restaurant kitchen in your TT. Instead, alter your cooking style. It's cheaper and way more fun. You can cook outdoors much of the time (keeping odors down from inside which will permeate your bed spread, your clothes and every permeable thing inside) Get to know the joys of Crockpots/Instapots, and thank me later.

Solar installed on your roof will never give you as much as portable solar you can optimize for the sun at your site, placing out of the shade and adjusting a couple times per day.

Li batteries will do you much better than Lead-acid, and are lighter weight but more expensive. There are several great threads here on those who have done the conversion. No doubt, the longer you wait to do this upgrade, the better and cheaper the tech will get.

How long you can go on water is just something you will have to experiment with, as YMMV. What's your tolerance? What are you willing to put up with to save every drop?

You probably already realize most of this, but thought I'd start the ball rolling with this response.
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Old 08-17-2018, 03:22 PM   #3
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Eric 26 Argo's Avatar
Knoxville , TN
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 165
Water issues around boondocking really goes back to waste water management. You can always buy more water by the gallon but disposal is a little trickier.
When it comes to refrigeration you will probably want a three way unit, $$$$. While you could get away IMO with a two way and rely on propane you would have to manage the propane and factor in travel. (you don't want to run propane while in motion) As far as brands there are not many choices.
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Old 08-22-2018, 12:00 PM   #4
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1966 17' Caravel
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Las Cruces , New Mexico
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 571
I have lived in a 6 Meter Minuet while volunteering at a National Park. The factory kitchen and fridge were quite adequate. The stove was fine. Lots of storage if you plan. Boondocking is a water management problem as the shower drains straight out. A week for the black tank barring stomach/intestinal upsets. 15 gallon gray tank for sink and wash stand doesn't last long. Fresh water is good for 3 -4 days with planning.

My .02$: buy the best you can find and use it for a while before doing any unnecessary 'renovation'. Portable solar so you can park in the shade while the PV panels are out in the sun.
1966 Airstream Caravel
2006 Toyota Tacoma
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