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Old 03-11-2018, 08:01 PM   #1
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Baton Rouge , Louisiana
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Newbie. Should I?

Hey everyone,

I have been looking around these forums for a while so I wanted to finally make a post. This forum has so much info and has really helped me out in my search. I have been looking to purchase my first Airstream for the past month and have come across some good/bad ones. I came across one the other day (I have attached pics). It is a 1976 Airstream Argosy 26'. I was able to negotiate down to $1,500 bucks. The owner is in a rush to get rid of it. Judging by the pictures, it definitely looks like it will be a lot of work which is what I am wanting. But I am not too sure if I am going to bite off more than I can chew. I have been in the homebuilding business for a few years now and have a lot of tools and am very good with construction. But as far as welding and steel construction, I am a total newb.

It is missing the large front window so due to that, I am expecting for the subfloor to be pretty damaged. It is completely gutted. The owner has said the axles, frame, and tires are in good condition but I would like to check that out before I think about purchasing.

I have attached pics for you guys/gals to check out and would love to hear feedback. For $1,500 bucks, what do y'all think?

Look forward to hearing opinions. Thanks!
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Old 03-11-2018, 08:31 PM   #2
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Oh my. Please take this as well meaning advice. Walk away. If she has been sitting there in that condition for as long as she seems to have been I would bet you a cup of coffee that the axels and everything else is shot. Can she be made whole again? Yes. Do you want to sink tens of thousands of dollars and every weekend for the next 3 years restoring her? Do you have a covered barn or something to put her while you work on her? If you are married, do you want to stay married?
Keep looking. There are other Airstreams around out there that are ready to use with minimal work or time.
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Old 03-11-2018, 10:34 PM   #3
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1973 Argosy 24
hartselle , Alabama
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If you are looking for a project I'd say you found one. Understand it will take a lot of work to get her back functional.The body looks pretty straight but will need a seal and paint job. It doesn't appear to have a roof mounted ac, did it ever? Do they still have the front window frame or rear bumper? Sourcing replacements could be a daunting task. From the amount of rust shown where the rear bumper once was, I'd be willing to bet she has several bad outriggers on the frame. Make sure you figure in the price of every appliance you will need for the unit to be to your standards, rv appliances are expensive but provide the ability to camp away from hookups. 1500 is cheap enough but there are units out there for not much more money in much better condition. If I were looking for another one to rebuild I'd want to find one that was still complete. Even if you plan a complete remodel having the original equipment to measure and plan from goes a long way. So many gutted trailers are passed from one owner to the next as projects that are never completed. I'm all up for saving every Argosy out there but I'd pass on a gutted trailer.
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:00 AM   #4
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1974 Argosy 26
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You are looking at $10K minimum to make this coach useable again.
Keep looking.
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:45 AM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback. Really glad I posted it in here since I was on the fence on it. I have been looking for gutted ones due to the fact they are cheaper and since Iím remodeling the whole inside, Iím gonna gut it anyway if itís not. But 1973Argosy, what you said makes a lot of sense. Even if Iím gutting it, it would make it easier on me to do it myself so I can remember where everything goes

I came across one that Is 100% original, everything works, exterior is in crazy good condition (stored in a storage unit the past 10 years) and its a 1975 27í Overlander but heís asking 7500. If I get it for 6,500-7,000 would that be a pretty good deal? Iím thinking thatís kind of steep since Iím removing everything anyway but if everything is working, it wouldnít have to be a complete gut job huh? Any feedback on this would be great.

Thanks
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:06 AM   #6
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1973 Argosy 24
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With the length on the 75 I'd say he is asking close to top dollar for an unrestored trailer. If the unit proves to be as described I'd probably start with an offer around 4500.00 and work up from there if needed. If you buy a trailer that is original remember that once you're done with the redo you can recoup some of your investment by selling off the original appointments, so be gentle on your deconstruction and save everything. There are many like myself that like the original feel of things and are willing to buy the parts to put their trailers back to factory condition. In many cases it's hard to beat the factory appointments when it comes to weight.
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Old 03-12-2018, 02:45 PM   #7
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If the dog is included with the '76, buy it As stated by 1973Argosy. Start low, and expect to meet in the middle, on the '75. You will know if ''she's the one'' when you see her. Clean her up, inspect, and try her out before making major changes. She just may surprise you. I'd rather see you camping this spring, than on a project. Remember...the hunt is half the fun.
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Old 03-12-2018, 03:08 PM   #8
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I think I have found the one! Going this weekend to look at it in person and hopefully purchase it. It is a 1972 Trade wind 25' Double. All original. Everything works flawlessly. Stored at a hunting camp for the past 30 years before the current owner bought last year. He had plans of renovating but ended up sitting instead. It has 2 dents on the front but since everything else is in excellent condition, I am not focused on those right now. Listed at $9k and told him I could do 6k max and he accepted. Just need to make sure it is in as good condition as it looks. Let me know what y'all think. Once again, thanks for all the input. It really is much appreciated.
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:01 PM   #9
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Get under it and check condition of frame. Examine the floor for soft spots which would indicate leaks. The stuff that is easily visible is NOT the stuff that can bite you.

Since it has sat for 30 years, the axles probably have lost their springiness.

Look through/search the forums for data on how to inspect and evaluate this one.

True, it LOOKS decent. Dig deeper to be sure...
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:13 PM   #10
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Practise your cough...your gonna be sick tomorrow. ''Very clean trailer''. If you do get it tomorrow...try not to smile on Wednesday when you go back to work...good luck on that. Where's my manners...welcome to the forum ryoung035.
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Old 03-12-2018, 05:21 PM   #11
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Thank yíall! Iím psyched. Leaving Saturday to go look at it. The owner did say that the axles are in good shape, brakes are good (just not hooked up right now). Also, he said the AC and Furnace works but it trips the breaker after a couple minutes of it running. This shouldnít be a major issue correct? I asked him about the rear end sag and he said he is 275 pounds and has never felt anything out of whack in the rear. But anyway, I will send an update Saturday after I take a look. Any other advice such as things I should look at or ask before I buy would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 03-12-2018, 05:33 PM   #12
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The ac tripping the breaker could be a weak breaker or could be a bad compressor. Easy and cheap enough to check with a new breaker from a hardware store.
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