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Duff23 06-15-2008 09:52 AM

Looking to jump in
Hi all, I am brand new to the forum and not currently an owner. I have been lurking for a couple months now trying to learn the little things that will enable me to make a wise purchase. I want a camper trailer to enable my small family of three (+ hound dog) to spend some long weekends camping at the beach and perhaps take some longer trips to national landmarks.

I'm looking for a vintage trailer because that's all my budget can afford and I'm trying to stay in the mid-20' range to keep the entire setup at a reasonable length (pulling with a '99 Tahoe). I would like to ask for some feedback on a few of my primary concerns regarding this inevitable purchase.

Firstly, I'm shying away from the 70's vintages due to the potential for a sagging rear end from the rear bath. Is my fear justified or is the phenomena so unlikely that I really shouldn't factor it into my decision? Additionally, I understand the Argosy being initially marketed as an affordable Airstream. Was one of the cost savings in the Argosy line a lower quality of cabinetry? I looked at one and it seems that the cabinet wall coverings are something of a wood grain wallpaper. Is this accurate? Were the flagship Airstream cabinets made of real wood? This Argosy I came upon ('75 26 footer) has really bad paint but the interior is all original and in decent shape. I can replace the flooring and the upholstery with some confidence but I found a couple of soft spots in the floor just forward of the door (both sides near the wall). This intimidates me a little bit as I understand the right way to fix the floor is to lift the shell off the frame. Is it possible to lift the front of the shell off the frame (cantilever style) and fix the front half floor and then do the same for the rear?...or does the entire shell have to come off at once? Any ideas what it would cost to repaint a 26' Argosy? Any advice with these questions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Jeff

FreshAir 06-15-2008 11:10 AM

Don't be mislead that an older coach will be less expensive. We bought a '66 in good shape. We paid a little more than what like models were going for 2 years ago. However, it was OLD so were the important things that made it "go" like the first to go, the Univolt...then the plumbing began to leak....then the black tank split...revealing floor rot....and it needs 2 axles....and the beat keeps going. Fortunately I am handy with tools and all the labor was/is free. I coukl have spent more on a less aged coach but then I would not have had the 'fun' that I am having.:lol:

Hawk_Man 06-15-2008 11:24 AM

Hello Jeff and welcome to the Forum. I'm currently finishing up restoring

my 75 Argosy 28 and can say that it takes some patience and alot of

questions to my fellow streamers. First thing I did was measure the rear

end hieght from the ground and the seems along the rear to check for

seperation. I also would advise checking the axles a trailer of vintage

quality may have some bad/ worn axles, which would give the back end a

droop. I replaced the front section of my floor by first taking the banana

wrap off and then removing everything that would be in the way on the

inside. Remember just reverse the reinstall. Basic carpentry 101 took

over after that. If yours are just soft spots you may be able to delay a

major undertaking till after you did some camping :). The exterior of mine

looked bad, but turned out to be in great shape, the aluminum portions

anyway the endcaps had to be painted. I've posted pictures showing the

disassembly of the front and rear floors and also the painting of the

endcaps. depending on how long you plan on keeping the trailer and the

use it will get may determine how much money your willing to spend on a

great trailer. I recommend fix it a little at a time and go camping with the

rest of the time.


Duff23 06-15-2008 04:52 PM

Thanks to both of you for your input. One of my primary concerns is that this Argosy has been sitting idle for 7 years and it's no secret that things tend to break from lack of use. So not only am I worried about the cost of painting it and repairing the floor but the potential for a system or two to be inoperative upon applying power is very real. I can definitely handle Carpentry 101 stuff and probably most of 201 but I prefer to do the "fix a little - camp a little" approach so I'm trying to figure the potential immediate costs to camp a little. I wonder if any auto body shop could paint it or if I need to take it somewhere with an extra big spray booth.

azflycaster 06-15-2008 05:07 PM

You could always paint it yourself with a roller...

CaddyGrn 06-15-2008 05:54 PM

Welcome to the forums! I am sure in today's market you can find a used Airstream in good shape at a reasonable price. There are likely folks near you that might be willing to check out the A/S for or with you... post a request when you find one you want to look at. The newer types will have better power, etc. But it is the safety factors you want to really check out. Brakes, axles, tires, etc. Much of the other "stuff" can be repaired as you go. Depends on how easy it is to "rough" it.

Somewhere there is a nice checklist on the forum (but I don't remember where it is... maybe someone will chirp in) of what to look for when purchasing a used Airstream. Good luck!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi traveling in S Tardis ~ from the Great State of Jefferson
My new blog: Yreka History

Duff23 06-15-2008 07:04 PM

That rollered Argosy looks outstanding!

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