The Painted Airstream: 1977 Argosy Camper

When we think of Airstreams, it’s hard not to envision the iconic polished aluminum trailers that have dominated the camper and R/V scene for decades. Lesser known is the “painted Airstream” known as the Argosy. This example is a 24-footer with a rear bathroom and is in fairly sound shape, with some wood rot the biggest issue for the next owner to fix. While the market for tow-behind campers is vast, one with an Airstream connection will always stand out as an enticing project. Find this 1977 model here on eBay with no reserve and bidding at just over $3K.

Said to be a “barn find,” this Argosy looks way better inside than expected for a camper presumed to have been laid up for years. The cabin is quite nice, with full curtains, kitchen, bathroom and couch / sitting areas. The Argosy was basically an Airstream, available in 20- and 24-foot lengths, with a painted exterior. There were other differences in construction not immediately available to the naked eye, but Airstream enthusiasts can certainly tell them apart beyond the obvious cosmetic differences.

The iconic “Tambour” doors on the cabinets are still in place, and the seller notes that the upper cabinets are in excellent condition and said to have been replaced at the factory under a previous owner’s care. Though it looks like it has a complete set of curtains, the seller says he attempted to clean them, an attempt that failed and will now require “…two trailer girls” (is this a thing?) to make a new set for a few hundred bucks. The only known working systems are the roof AC, the 110 volt and 12 volt electrical outlets and the refrigerator.

Wood rot is noted at the floor near the door, but the seller says this is a modest repair, only requiring the removal of one bulkhead and replacing the wood. Otherwise, the Argosy is in usable shape with a clean body and only one dent noted on the exterior. The listing also mentions the need to replace the original copper tubing plumbing with updated PEX, but I’ll leave that to our R/V experts to debate its importance. Tires are good, brake lights work and heck, maybe the “trailer girls” will join you on the first cruise!

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Comments

  1. Classic Steel

    Infamous breaking bad second trailer for Mr white?

    Seriously this looks nice other than usual floor rott and mold !

    I still think god still hates trailers though. evidenced by news always ..careful 🙄

  2. C.Jay

    Hook it up to the 1977 Blazer! Almost a perfect color match!

  3. Rod K

    My wife and I have talked about doing a restoration on a trailer to take to shows and things. This would be the perfect candidate if it wasn’t so far away for me. I love the layout and it looks to be in great condition. Also this is the first painted one like this that I have seen so it would turn heads for sure.

  4. David C

    II have a 1975 Argosy 28′ that my wife and I gutted and restored about 10 years ago. We still enjoy it very much. We repainted ours silver on the outside. They were painted because the curved end caps are steel on the Argosy’s to keep cost down. So the Argosy’s were a slightly less expensive version of the Airstream.

  5. jdjonesdr

    I’d love to have this. Nice little Trailer.

  6. Tim S. Member

    Interesting camper. I wouldn’t mind having it. But is a cabinet door design on a travel trailer really “iconic”? Soon that word will mean the same thing as “characteristic” or “identifying.”

  7. Steve

    The comment about replacing the copper tubing with pex means that there is a leak(s) probably due to freezing. It can be repaired or replaced. A whole new system is best. Usually the bottom skin and insulation needs to be removed to replace the pipes. (I am assuming this, base on previous projects with an Avon and a Airstream.) It’s a intensive job.

  8. Whippeteer

    I think the copper tubing comment is an indirect commentary on water leaks in the plumbing.

  9. Bwolffy

    I had a 1977 26 footer – looked just like this one. It was a trip back to the Seventies inside with the orange plaid upholstery and carpeting – even had an 8 track tape player. It was a very well build trailer and was a whole bunch cheaper that the comparable Airstream. I would have kept it, but my neighbor was giving be grief about the trailer park look I had going. Paid $3K for it – sold it for $3K. Had a whole lottta fun in between.

  10. funfunfer Member

    I thought the end caps were fiberglass. Nice looking trailer.

  11. Donek

    I didn’t know anything about these until now: https://www.airstream.com/blog/argosy-short-history-painted-airstream/

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