Renovations

We are renovating our 1977 Argosy by Airstream while keeping much of it’s originality as possible. This trailer came with a lot of originality…. and a lot of “quick fixes.”  Our goal is to update the decor, add modern style and comfort as well as correct/eliminate any safety issues.
To keep track of every major (and some minor) updates to Tartaruga, I’ve decided to keep it all on one page. I will still do a specific blog post for each update but this page will give a photo recap with short captions. If there is a blog post with more detail, I will link it under the picture. Our goal is to keep as much as possible original but updating for comfort and safety.

A few notes: We purchased this 1977 (rear bedroom) 28 ft Argosy, in April 2013, from a family in South Carolina for $6200. We are the 4th owners of this trailer.

We feel that we got a steal.  Several new items were installed like a new (tall) fridge (estimated at $1k), new stove top (estimated at $200), new tub (too small but clean! bought for $250), fairly new awning and (supposedly) a new professional paint job. Well, the paint job was not professional but it’s workable. The new tub was the cheapest one offered and the PO bought it instead of buying the correct sized one. The fridge is wonderful and works great. I should also mention that all the cabinets (tamboor doors) are in excellent shape and work great. The trailer was super clean (i.e. no mouse poop seen) but did have the familiar musty smell. Here is why we purchased this one….. it was an Airstream Argosy (that I wanted over the silver Airstream) and it had the rear bedroom. The rear bedroom has the panoramic windows and a definition of space for us, the parents, and Nick, the kiddo.

We have named our trailer, Tartaruga (Italian for turtle), because “Argosy” is an Italian word (def = fleet, armada)….. and well too many other people had already named theirs Tortuga.

TarTar (for short) is in really good condition. The major items are a serious dent on the back left side and the tragic bathroom. The PO before the PO ripped out the bathtub, cut through the skin, to make an outdoor shower. The PO bought a too small bathtub and rigged up a shower curtain to go across the bare wood from their PO. The bathroom is the tragic mess and will be addressed sometime later due to low funds and confusion on how to fix it.

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Rear Damage (not yet fixed)… the PO’s PO did the damage backing up. Also, this PO of the PO was definitely screw happy. He screwed everything he could get his hands on. Tons of stupid stuff inside through the original wood grain…. and the back light bar. Although, I appreciate he was able to keep the “Argosy” name plate and the back bar, it’s a mess! Long term, Mike is going to do his own fiberglass build to replace it.

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The Good, The Bad, and well... what needs fixed.

The Good, The Bad, and well… what needs fixed.

 

 

 

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Quilts, Sheets and Curtains…

I am keeping the original “burlap” curtains, for now, since they are in decent shape, neutral color and have the blackout backing. The jack knife couch is in excellent shape. Shame it’s so ugly! I don’t think even my Grandmother would like that pattern! Mike and I had originally thought that we would sleep on it but it’s just too small. Instead, the Nickster gets it. We have thought about rebuilding it as a plush futon or replacing it with big comfy recliner type chairs but just can not make up our mind. So, for the long term, the couch gets a brand new quilt thrown over it to match TarTar’s interior color scheme and the green counter top!

A funny thing about that green counter top… it helped sell this trailer to me. I am addicted to the bright colors of green and blue. When I saw the counter top, I knew what color scheme I was going with. The PO took Mike aside and asked if he was going to rip out the ugly green counter top. I thought it was funny. One man’s trash, another’s treasure!  But guess what?  We installed a new counter after all!

Threw a new Tahari Quilt over the old couch until we can decide to ditch the couch or have it re-upholstered.

Threw a new Tahari Quilt over the old couch until we can decide to ditch the couch or have it re-upholstered.

Current Groucho Couch Design

The back bunks with new sheets and new quilts. The PO had a dark red color scheme and it just was not my style. The stripes were killing me. I am not thrilled with the quilts I picked (too much white) but I think the colors make the back room “pop” especially when the sun shines through. I did try to take off these curtains, carefully, so I could keep the plastic curtain clips and reuse them. Tragically, those curtain clips practically disintegrated in my hands. All of TarTar’s windows are tinted and the PO gave us the silver solar screen thingys to cover up the windows. I found a burlap colored curtain with pops of colored flowers but have not had the time or patience to sew those pesky curtain hooks onto the fabric yet. For now, TarTar is curtain-less in the back. Oh, an interesting note: TarTar has the original pull down shades in the kitchen and bath windows. That was a super cool find!

Old vs New Color Scheme (curtains & bumper has since been removed)

Old vs New Color Scheme (curtains & bumper has since been removed)

New Bedroom Headboards, New Pin Up Wall and New Barn door for the Bathroom.

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Glamping.

Yes, TarTar is a simple little travel trailer but I plan on fixing it up and making it a second home while we camp. I truly do not understand why people would spend a lot of money on a travel trailer and then “rough it”. I like comfy things. TarTar will have memory foam on top of the existing hard foam bedding, actual wine glasses (because all wine should be sipped from a glass), a fabulous color scheme (because this is me we are talking about) and cozy quilts and pillows. Since it will be at least three weeks before we can dig into the major renovations (flooring, lighting, fans, bathroom and cabinets), my favorite stores (Ross, TJMaxx and Homegoods) provided me the necessary distraction for glamping supplies.

This trailer came with none of the basic requirements in the kitchen and all linens needed replaced. There is one thing I should mention…. we love to cook at home. I wanted TarTar to have the same quality of kitchen supplies as home. Kitchen Aid is my preference for such supplies. Luckily for me, I found everything in the colors I wanted: turquoise, lime green and orange with a splash of pink thrown in.

New Dishes, Lighting and Kitchen stuff

New Dishes, Lighting and Kitchen stuff

More New Kitchen Stuff and decorations for the front lounge

More New Kitchen Stuff and decorations for the front lounge

 

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Flooring….

After much research (specifically on Airforums.com), we decided to go with a Home Depot product called “Allure.” It is a vinyl laminate that is super easy to cut and install. We went with the faux light cork. I think it will suit the colors already in TarTar as well as in the future, if and when, we decided to do a full restoration vs. our current renovation. The PO’s before us had put down a really odd colored peel and stick tile. It was not put down in a linear fashion and truly looks tacky. I really thought I could put off buying the flooring for a year and spend the money on other meaningful stuff such as a hitch stabilizer or proper fitting bathtub or even the new fancy composting toilet…but nope. The old tile floor has got to go! Click here for the full blog posting on TarTar’s floors.

Sadly, this flooring didn’t last a year without popping up all over. Click here for details.

Ugly Old Tile

Ugly Ugly Ugly and got to go!

Allure "Light Cork" from Home Depot.

Allure “Light Cork” from Home Depot.

 

 

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New Cork Flooring

 

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The Bathroom….

This is our big expense and remodel.  The bathroom was gross!  It was a mix match of stuff.  Click here for the full blog on TarTar’s bathroom remodel.  It is STILL on our To Do List. It does look a lot better now but definitely a work in progress.

A Total Mess!

A Total Mess!

 

               

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Updated Bathroom

 

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Lights….

TarTar came to us with the original round covered lights in the back and outside the bathroom and small (super ugly!) fluorescent light bars in the kitchen and front lounge. Sure, they would last and be just fine. After all, who looks up at the ceiling and lighting?!? Uh, I do!!! Click here for the full blog on TarTar’s Lights.

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Makes me Happy Happy Happy!

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Old Look and has got to go!

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Excuse the mess… but doesn’t the ceiling look awesome!

We have been looking at Home Depot, Lowes and a local lighting warehouse for replacement lighting. I found the perfect crystal light for the back bedroom (wow, is it bright!) that puts an awesome pattern on the ceiling.

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Home Depot Pricing as of 4/2013. In 2017, Amazon has it much cheaper.

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First Light Turned On


Sadly, the Disco Ball has been replaced. A total update in 2017 for a more manly feel and we installed a Mission Stained Glass Light.

New Mission Light


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2017 – Major Renovations and Updated Style Changes

To follow the 2017 Renovations, read details on each step and the final reveal:

2017 Complete Renovations 

New comfy memory foam. 2017 Renovations.


New Renovated Kitchen. 2017 Renovations


 

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Super Shiny after 2nd Coat

 

NOTE: I am not paid or receive products for free to blog. Everything you see here, we paid for ourselves.

 

3 thoughts on “Renovations

  1. Michelle says:

    Love…we r driving from Fl to Arkansas this weekend to buy the same argosy!! Any suggestions on inspections? My husband is super on it. We currently own a 22ft 1972 Argosy. Love it. A bit small…want a bedroom. We have child w service dog, another dog and the two of us.

    • kitcatsz says:

      Our main inspection is to crawl underneath and inspect the flooring. So many vintage trailers have tons of rot. This model is a great one since the bath isn’t in the back & won’t get “rear rot”. :). Make sure all the turn lights work if you don’t have temp ones. We were lucky and were able to check & turn on the water (to check for leaks), water heater, furnace & propane.

      Bring a bungee (just in case) to make sure the door is secure driving down the road. My son is an expert at inspecting the cabinets and under beds for mice poop. He brings his led flashlight & does a thorough inspection. Bring something that plugs into a cigarette lighter (cell phone charger) to test the 12v. Bring a tester (regular 3 prong tester at Home Depot) to test the other outlets. Stop after about 30 minutes and check the rims to see if they are hot….that means the bearings are messed up. Open all the windows to make sure the levers work. Once you get it home, there is always something that pops up with vintage trailers but that’s part of the fun.

      The biggest suggestion I can give is to use a bug bomb in it ASAP. I learned this the hard way. We have another vintage trailer that had fleas, cockroaches, silverfish and more. My dogs got the fleas and it was a mess. I’ve learned my lesson.

      *Congrats* on finding a rear bedroom! They are hard to find! Ours makes such an awesome camping experience since most campsites are “back in.” If we can camp with 6 dogs and a kid, you should have lots of room for everyone. Please let me know how it goes. I love hearing about other’s experiences.

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