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Old 03-27-2011, 04:57 PM   #1
New Member
Henderson , Nevada
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2
Looking for some veteran advice...

I am new to Airstreams. I own a classic car (68 Mustang convertible) so I know that the classics need TLC and I am willing to put it into an Airstream.
My husband and I have thought and thought about finding an Airstream, working on it, and potentially living in it full time. We will spend a lot of time on the road touring with my husband's band and would like to spend the winters somewhere warm. With that said, we just started earenstly looking and found this in the local Craigslist ads:1978 Argosy (Airstream)
Went to visit it today and of course I loved it. A 1979 Argosy priced at $3500. Here's the background:
Purchased at Boulder Highway RV in 1978, parked at Lake Mead campground for 30 years, purchased by this gentleman in 2008. He bought new tires, wheels, and repaired electrical and plumbing. Interior is decent, could use a good scrubbing. Original appliances are gone, though the rolladex cabinets are intact and in nice shape. Windows are all intact (none broken) and apparently all apparatus works. Hitch was new with electric brake hook up. Owner has take in out only a few times, but said it worked well. Apparently this model has no axle. Minimum exterior damage. What do you think Airstream vets?
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:17 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums Rosy. From whar you say about travelling you are going to put in new appliances. There are four gas appliances for the trailer, fridge, stove, water heater and furnace. They are going to run you $3000 for all four. there should also be an air conditioner which will be at least another $500. Ther is indeed an axle for the trailer, where do you think the new wheels and tires are bolted too. If it has been sitting for 30 yrs the axles are shot. That`s another $1000+ with shipping.
You didn`t talk about the condition of the floor or the frame. These are common failure points on older units. You need to check the floor all around the perimeter of the trailer right where the walls meet the floor for rot. Pay extra attentio below all windows and doors and at the rear. Airstreams have a common leak problem at the rear causing the floor to rot and then rust out the frame.
A 78 Argosy with no appliance and a shot axles is worth $1500 to $2000 if the body is perfect.
I just looked at the ad. I would be wary. That new flooring could be hiding serious sub floor rot.
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:03 PM   #3
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Sioux Falls , South Dakota
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If I find a trailer I like, remind me not to post the link to it here (or anyplace else). I like competition eating watermelon but not buying trailers. :-) Welcome!
Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:17 PM   #4
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Henderson , Nevada
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Thank you for your input.
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:47 PM   #5
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1966 24' Tradewind
Placerville , California
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The Mustang is a nice car. The Argosy is a nice trailer. BUT the trailer might be too big for the Mustang. If the Mustang has a 282...not enough torque. My Buick 455 is plenty big for our Trade Wind which is the same size, a little lighter, than the Argosy. I wouldn't tow it with anything less than a 350. The light weight of the Mustang could be something to take into consideration. A smaller 60's or 50's Airstream (22' and under ) would be perfect for the Mustang.
Neil and Lynn Holman
FreshAir #12407

Kirk Creek, Big Sur, Ca. coast.

1966 Trade Wind

1971 Buick Centurion convertible
455 cid

1969 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight
455 cid
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:01 AM   #6
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1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
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It looks like somewhere in the neighborhood of 26' to 28' There is a definate advantage in a trailer that has been in a dry climate for all of it's life. The chances of frame rust being severe are greatly reduced.
I would check for floor rot as mentioned earlier. Look inside the storage compartments as well as the interior perimeter.
A tandem axle (4 tires), you are looking at $1500 to $2500 for new axles. Depending on who does the work.
I don't see any propane tanks or even the connecting hardware (ie regulator and piping) on the front of the trailer.
With no appliances, furnace? the price is high. But a good professional paint job is worth $3,000.
If you pay the $3500; plan to spend 1 1/2 to 2 times that to make it roadworthy and livable. That's somewhere in the $10,000.00 range.
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