Clean Camper: 1978 Airstream Argosy Minuet

After purchasing my 1981 Toyota HiAce and later acquiring a 1986 Isuzu Trooper, I began to explore the world of overlanding and camping across this great nation of ours. Along with that, as a gearhead, you start to notice the variety of intriguing vehicles and accessories that accompany such a lifestyle. Chief among them are portable living spaces, like roof top campers and cool, vintage pull-behind trailers like this Airstream Argosy Minuet. The only problem? Like any other hobby worth having, nothing comes cheaply, as this tidy example demonstrates here on eBay. Bidding is approaching $10K with no reserve.

Now, Airstream trailers tend to command a high price tag simply because of the name. Their products have always been in style, and the desirability factor is through the roof if a trailer is kept in preserved, original condition. It’s just like a vintage 911 or Camaro – if it hasn’t been altered dramatically from stock, it’s going to command a high price. This Argosy isn’t perfect but it’s been carefully updated while leaving what works of the original components intact. This includes the bathroom, which retains its original sink, toilet, and shower, all of which are still functional, according to the listing.

The Argosy features two benches that pull out to form a bed capable of sleeping 4-5 comfortably. The listing says it’s been redone to be more comfortable, but specifics aren’t offered other than noting that the cushions are new and from Pottery Barn. Most importantly, no leaks are noted and the floors are said to be solid throughout, with none of those disconcerting soft spots. The mixture of new and old comes together nicely, with original fake wood paneling and kitchen appliances intertwining with the new cushions. However, you can see the potential of giving this Argosy a stylish refresh.

The paint is original, which is ideal considering how awesome this period-correct finish is. The glass looks clear and crack-free, and the listing claims it has solar power hook-ups that work well. All lights were also replaced with LEDs. Trailer brakes and lights work fine, and the light-weight of the Argosy (3,800 pounds) should make it a fairly easy tow for most SUVs. In looking at the pictures, you can definitely see where the cabin could be tastefully upgraded further while leaving the period exterior cosmetics in place – and I’ll be you wouldn’t lose a dime on an investment like that, all while getting to enjoy using it as intended.

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Comments

  1. chrlsful Member

    I like many of these as apposed to someada motor homes – glass, so less leaks. Don’t know what they’ve done up top with a/c etc (holes) but the glass is solid – a seam is dwn at the waist (red line seen here) OH wait, no, this 1 is pannels. Well, gotta ck them out then. No length cited on our site, the “3,800#” helps. Lets take the model name’n see what some research sez….?

    Thnx Jeff, sent ya a link to another HiAce U just gotta see
    8^0

    • Ken Wittick

      What?

      Like 5
  2. MCH

    Even 5 years ago you could still find Airstream shells (bad and/or neglected interiors) for a grand or two… Good luck now! We had our exterior polished – took 2 guys about 10 days of arm-busting, chemical-laden work, but man, few things look as cool as a fully polished Airstream. The interior starts this Spring!

    Like 1
  3. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    This would go good with the family hauler we had back in the day: a ’75 extended-size Plymouth Voyager van (before the mini van days), white with orange stripe.

    Like 1
  4. Scott

    My parents had this same model and size. It was a replacement for a ’68 26 ft Airstream. Much easier to pull due to the weight. Really nice trailers. I always heard that they used seconds from the Airstream factory for panels. That way they could cover the scratches.

    Like 1

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