Tuesday, April 9, 2013

1973 Argosy "The Twinkie"

A few years ago my brother called me. He told me that a cousin of mine had an old camper for sale. "One of those silver bullets" he said.

My heart skipped a beat. I have a passion for vintage and I have long dreamed of owning a "silver bullet" aka Airstream camper.

I called my cousin, he did have a camper he was interested in selling. As I soon learned it was just sitting on the back of his property being used as storage, we headed his way.

He charged me $150.00 for the camper that turned out to be a 1973 Argosy '20.



I remember driving home with the camper. We had borrowed a truck and we were pulling this old beat up camper, with a sprung door that did not even latch shut and I had the biggest smile on my face. Like I had a secret and could not wait to tell the whole world!


                                                 


We have owned the 1973 Argosy since 2006. We used it a lot the first summer we had it but we have not used it much at all since 2007. When we brought it home in 2006, the door was severely sprung. Lucky for us back then my sister-in-law was married to an airplane mechanic. He remade us a new door.  The photo below is of the old door. We camped the entire first year with a broken door!


Restoring "The Twinkie" as we call it, is our new project. 



This past weekend, with the help of a friend, we made an assessment of what we needed to work on.
  • There is currently a water leak although we have it isolated to the kitchen sink.
  • There is a leak around the toilet; we think just a new gasket.
  • There is a soft spot in the bathroom floor which might indicate a need for a new floor.
  • The shower does not work.
  • The furnace does not work.
  • The hot water heater does not work.
  • The strike-bolt on the door is broken.
  • The lights are hit or miss.
  • There are many missing light covers on the outside.
  • The propane tanks are old and no longer meet current safety standards.
  • New curtains.
  • New upholstery.
  • It is missing the removable bunk bed. 
  • No awning. 
  • Exterior Paint


 It only feels fair to list the things that do work:

  • The floor feels solid throughout the rest of the camper.
  • There are no leaks, other than the toilet and kitchen sink.
  • The air conditioner works.
  • All the windows are intact.
  • Most of the screens are intact.
  • The current seat cushions do not look horrible.
  • The stove works.
  • The refrigerator {original} still works. 
  • Good tires
We can never fix everything at once, so we prioritized our projects for this year. If we accomplish this list, I think "The Twinkie" will be useable. 
  1. Fix the door's strike-bolt.
  2. Fix the water leak with the sink. Which may be as simple as changing the faucet.
  3. Fixing the toilet.
  4. Replacing the hot water heater.
  5. I am also exploring the re-upholstery on the seats. 
I have already ordered the parts to fix the door. Thank goodness it was just the strike-bolt and not the entire handle as they have been discontinued and currently cost a fortune!

Let the rehabilitation begin!



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