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Old 03-02-2018, 07:11 PM   #1
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Decatur , Georgia
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Checked out a 26' - General Questions

So I looked at a '73 26' today. I like the overall size. It's been sitting for about 5 years. It's had some "extra" wiring done with a few toggle switches here and there.

I have a few general questions if you don't mind.

Are the drawers in the lower places under the beds/couches supposed to be just free floating with no kind of rails or slides?

There are two smaller areas where water got in. One at the battery. There is an aluminum tray that has dropped somewhat and you can see the wood is rotted around it. Hoping I reach just these areas by removing the lower rockers to get at them. True?

The floor wood where it meets the sidewalls, like say, in the closet area or under the sink, would it be painted white from the factory? The floors feel really solid. However, I stopped reaching around behind things after after discovering snake skin next to the water pump!

I'm about to look up if the closet door latches are reproduced. Do they respond to light oiling?

I have to assume that the water heater/fridge/ furnace don't work since he can't show me that they do.

In the rear compartment between the bumper and back wall has collected water and is rusted out in the back. Also, there was another snake skin in there . Does that whole assembly just pull out of there easily? I can weld new panels in without issue.

The entire outer surface has been painted with something but I kind of wanted to paint it anyway so I'm not too worried about that.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Chad
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Old 03-02-2018, 10:02 PM   #2
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Post some pics. Btw what is your price range? If it looks its original it probably is. This camper sounds like it need the usual done- rear rot and such
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Old 03-02-2018, 10:48 PM   #3
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Hi Chad,

I'm sitting in my '76 after spending the day working on my '78 so I'll try to answer your questions the best I can. It's been a long day....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaemo View Post
So I looked at a '73 26' today. I like the overall size. It's been sitting for about 5 years. It's had some "extra" wiring done with a few toggle switches here and there.

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Um, why? Is there a pirate radio station installed? Chances are if someone felt the need to put more switches in it was to try and fix an existing problem. If not then they probably caused one. If they are clearly labeled and operate something cool it might not be anything to worry about. If not you will be fixing it eventually.
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I have a few general questions if you don't mind.

Are the drawers in the lower places under the beds/couches supposed to be just free floating with no kind of rails or slides?

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Yes, just removable brown tubs. This is probably one of the few things that's the same on all of them. If you find a Rubbermaid tub that fits please let us know.
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There are two smaller areas where water got in. One at the battery. There is an aluminum tray that has dropped somewhat and you can see the wood is rotted around it. Hoping I reach just these areas by removing the lower rockers to get at them. True?

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Assume there is three times more rot than just what you can see. The one I'm in right now had the front floor already removed so I could tell that part needed to be replaced. Found out about the battery box later. You can patch either from above or below, I did mine from the top. There is a reason people lift the shell off the frame to fix floors. It really depends on how nice you want it to be, it doesn't make sense to put a bunch of work on top of rotten floors.
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The floor wood where it meets the sidewalls, like say, in the closet area or under the sink, would it be painted white from the factory? The floors feel really solid. However, I stopped reaching around behind things after after discovering snake skin next to the water pump!

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No idea about the paint. Mine aren't but Airstream did a lot of different things in Argosy's. It was their "experimental" platform as well as being lower cost. Don't think snakeskin was an option though, might be custom
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I'm about to look up if the closet door latches are reproduced. Do they respond to light oiling?

----------------
Yes, I have had some luck with lubricants on latches and tambor doors. YMMV.
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I have to assume that the water heater/fridge/ furnace don't work since he can't show me that they do.

----------------
Good assumption. That stuff isn't cheap and household stuff doesn't really cut it for camping.
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In the rear compartment between the bumper and back wall has collected water and is rusted out in the back. Also, there was another snake skin in there . Does that whole assembly just pull out of there easily? I can weld new panels in without issue.

-----------------
Yeah, rust. See comment on rot above. I spent the better part of today just removing the rear belly-pan so I can fix the dump valves. Assume that the factory used rivets, screws, bolts, glue and nuclear fusion to hold that stuff together. Also rust....
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The entire outer surface has been painted with something but I kind of wanted to paint it anyway so I'm not too worried about that.

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Ever paint a car? It's like that but a whole lot bigger.
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Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Thoughts? Thoughts and Prayers You already know if you want it or not so I won't try to talk you into or out of it. You said in the last thread that you want to be camping this summer, is it just you or the whole family? The trailer I'm sitting in now was bought because I couldn't get to the one I had purchased a few months earlier and I had a deadline for towing it across the country for a big trip with my wife. As I said before the whole front floor had been removed when I got it. It also had split copper fresh water pipes throughout, bad dump valves, non-functional water heater, crappy stove, rotten counters, and a whole lot of other things wrong with it. I spent six weeks working on it pretty much full time and was able to get it "camp-able" but by no means restored. Since my intended use was to go out into the middle of the desert and shelter from alkali dust storms at a giant party I didn't mind that I didn't finish the interior all nice. I'd say I put about $2500 or $3000 into it above what I paid. I'm an experienced mechanic and already had most of the tools I needed. It needs a whole lot more to be a showpiece worthy of bragging about. So, If you need a camper this year you may want to find something in better shape. I don't know what your budget is but decent used campers are available for less than $5000. Keep in mind that many campgrounds restrict their spaces to trailers less than 10 years old. They will often make exceptions for "restored classic" units but be prepared to show them how nice your rig is. That's one of the reasons I'm into the Argosy's to start with, plus they are actually worth putting work into unlike most other 40+ year-old trailers. So, If you want to do this then go for it. But, there's no shame in going to your local RV dealer and picking up a newer unit with financing if you can afford it. My wife wanted the Argosy, does yours?

Cheers,

John
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Thanks,
Chad
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Old 03-02-2018, 11:16 PM   #4
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Decatur , Georgia
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Hey John,
Thanks for all of your input.

Budget is around $5K +/-

He wants a bit too much for it but I haven't made an offer on it. Unlike everything else with wheels I have ever gotten into, I am not rushing into this.

I just want to make this camp-able. I just want to fix or tune up the mechanics the systems and the smells so the family can enjoy it. It's our test trailer to see what we like and don't like. Not trying to win any awards.

Thanks for the heads up on the trailer year restrictions! I had no idea. We'll be at state parks rather than RV parks.

Pics: Outside would clean with a wash.
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Old 03-02-2018, 11:17 PM   #5
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More pics......
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Old 03-03-2018, 07:06 AM   #6
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Hey John,
Great and accurate info on what to expect. I had two campers at one time also- both argosy, 28ft and a 24ft. I bought the 24 so we could camp while working on the 28. When I started to spruce up the 24 it had more issues than the 28, I just couldn't see them. I promised my wife I would recycle the 24 if I hadn't repaired it in a year.... now I have parts. If one can overwhelm you two will body slam you. Anyway I wish I still had it. I know how to approach them now. That 24 is a great towing length.

Chad,
There are lots of other silver aluminum options out there too. Avion, Avaliar, silver streak, travelair, apart on and the list goes on. I like all of them- rivets and aluminum- timeless. Airstreams get the most attention because the name sounds cool plus they are still around.
Keep in mine the 70s campers are 40 to 50 years old and unless they have been barn kept most need major repairs. Not saying you can't find one. I love the building process....but I love to camp too, that why I bought a popup. Unfortunately I had to rebuild that from the ground up too. I thought it was "tow and play too".
Last thought- be cautious of interior cosmetic improvements without proof of floor and frame repairs. Snake skins in the camper are a sign that big holes are present. If a window is duct taped it another pause moment. Anyway, great hunting.
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Old 03-03-2018, 08:57 AM   #7
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See the lexan window replacement thread before you pull the trigger on this one.
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:28 AM   #8
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1978 Argosy 27
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Did you find one you like?
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Old 04-10-2018, 07:38 AM   #9
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1974 Argosy 26
Athens , Georgia
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I see in his classified want to buy ad that he "found one".
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:49 AM   #10
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Yes! A 1974 26í found me. I received the best responses to my Craigslist want ad. I wouldnít have thought that.
She has dents but is getting new axles today and working on finding a new fridge and cleaning and cleaning.
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:52 AM   #11
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It had 5 new tires and wheels and the correct 7 pin wiring hookup so there was no reason not to pull it home for $3000!
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Old 04-22-2018, 06:46 AM   #12
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Congrats, looks like a great deal!
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Old 04-23-2018, 08:41 AM   #13
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1979 30' Argosy
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Looks great! Welcome to the Argosy 26 Club
Post some pics of the interior when you have a chance.

I was about to comment that the earlier one you saw seemed to have all its interior panels in good shape which can be rare. But it sounded like there was not beauty beyond the surface of that one.
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