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Old 08-07-2003, 08:30 AM   #1
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Wink new member/new motor home

Just returned from a 2000 mile trip - Okla to Maine - with our new/old 81 excella 28 motor home. It was fortunate that my family lives in OK and they checked it out before we purchased one-way tickets to OK.

It was in very good condition inside and out. It has a new engine, transmission, exhaust... everything seemed ready to go. Took a small trip to the Texas border and it purred like a kitty cat.

We were so impressed with the quality and comfort of a 22 year old rig. The windshield wipers were the only thing that seemed dated.

The trip home only had two problems. It overheated in the 104 degree temp...but that was fortunate as a nearby Chev.garage in Okla City was experienced with motor homes. They found a leaky hose refilled the coolant, checked everything over and said we were in good shape for the trip home.

The second problem was a rock blew out the passenger side slider window and now we are in the process of locating a replacement...time consuming!!! Are we in for a disappointment here? Were hoping insurance will pay for this replacement.

I can see how addictive owning an airstream can become...we are anxious to return it to like/new condition. My husband and I are newly retired and plan to leave the cold Maine winters in January - like many snow birds do. So it will be home away from home for 3-4 months.

Learning how everything operates is a challenge and I guess we are learning the hard way. Our first question is tires. The tread looks good but sadly upon close inspection they seem to be old and cracks are showing on the outside. We had just read about some new michelins made for motor homes to help in a more stable ride....anyone know about these? Taking some of the play out of the steering would be nice; although, we are beginning to feel more comfortable as we drive it more on highways. Its the back narrow roads that cause some concern.

We also seem to have a crack in the gray water tank...any advice here?

Thanks for any help and hope we can add to this forum in the future.

Marty
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Old 08-07-2003, 02:51 PM   #2
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1981 28' Airstream 280
Griffin , Georgia
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congrats on the new to you airstream.
sound like you had a good trip except for the overheating and the broken side window.

I have the Michelin tires on mine and they ride well.
there is a great deal of knowledge in the forums so
there is help with the grey water tank and the winndow.

below is a link to Michelin USA

http://www.michelin-us.com/public/in...lashdetected=1


this should make the trip to florida in the winter a fun event

good luck
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Old 08-07-2003, 03:12 PM   #3
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Santa Rosa , Northern California wine country
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Malski

I know how you feel about buying this one because I have the same one too! Just got it about 4 mos ago and have been on three trips with my two boys already! We have the rear bath and two twins version. I sleep on the sleeper sofa. I wish I would have found the sleeper dinette instead of the barrel chairs tho. You will notice many people pointing at your rig and you will know that almost everyone considers it unique. I will soon be upgrading a few things like the side mirrors to remotes, and the exhaust and tranny. I knew these items would be needed but I got a real good deal on this. The PO kept it almost pristine. Email or PM me if you have any particular questions on this model, or better yet, keep it on threads for everyone to read.
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Old 08-07-2003, 03:50 PM   #4
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answers

Wecome aboard! Check at the bottom of the page and go thru the motorhome threads there and you will find many interesting answers and probably some new questions as well...lol...jem
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Old 08-07-2003, 06:44 PM   #5
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Thanks for the cheery replies....

Astrodokk....we love the barrel chairs...I never liked the dinette style...Ha!

Jpurdy....thanks for the link...were yours especially for motorhomes?

We got some bad news today....the glass window in no longer available from Airstream....bummer!!! Now we are being advised to put in a form of high grade plastic...sure is a big disappointment as we wanted to keep it in the original style. Are there any graveyard airstreams around that can help us here??

We spent most of the day messing with the rig and we are loving the home more and more!! Everything is working and we are so pleased!!!

The exhaust is new but it is loud! Is this typical? Sounds like the 80's hot rods.

Tomorrow we tackle the crack in the gray water tank!!
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Old 08-07-2003, 08:00 PM   #6
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Hot Rod Rumble

Congrats!!

The 454 exhaust manifolds in these beasts get incredibly hot.

Check for casting cracking or gasket failure.

One other heads up, even though I have only had the '87 since February, I have become quite adept at changing out the starter. It seems they fail (at least on my unit) with some regularity. Fortunately, they are easy to replace once the motor cools down. I always carry a spare.
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Old 08-08-2003, 06:11 AM   #7
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1981 28' Airstream 280
Griffin , Georgia
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Michelin tires

my Michelins are XZA's (8Rx19.5)
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Old 08-08-2003, 06:22 AM   #8
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tires

jpurdy.....there is an XRV made just for RV motorhomes.....did you consider them? The features sound pretty impressive. I haven't checked on prices....that may be a determining factor HA!
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Old 08-08-2003, 06:57 AM   #9
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glass

You might try these people for glass.
I am told they supply glass for most all glass replacement places
I have never delt with them,I am told they are wholsale but I dont know.
http://www.parkin-acc.com/
Lets us know how you do on the window.
luck, George
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Old 08-08-2003, 12:37 PM   #10
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1981 28' Airstream 280
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there is an XRV made just for RV motorhomes

The Previous Owner purchased these tires.
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Old 08-08-2003, 06:02 PM   #11
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another glass supplier

here is another supplier,
hope it helps.
Geo.

http://www.dcmco.com/rvglass.htm
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Old 08-09-2003, 05:32 PM   #12
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glass

George....thanks for the links....it seems plastic is the only solution unless we can locate old ones from an expired a/s. The problem is that the window is curved and tempered. The new plastic is suppose to be more scratch resistant than previous stuff...hard to believe...this is really a disappointment and a real hassel to get taken care of. Our local glass company will be installing it when the VERY expensive plastic is delivered. I'm still thinking we are not out of the woods yet....getting it leak proof might be the next hurdle. Thanks again for the help.
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Old 08-09-2003, 06:02 PM   #13
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Glass,

I have heard that glass was hard to find, but IF there is a markett somebody will built it I always say.
If the window is the slider, it will be no problem sealing, as the felt pretty well takes care of that.
on my 76 I had a time of it stopping windowl leaks UNDER the felt channel. They have a "gutter" that catches the felt weep and direct it through 1/4" copper tubing down under the coach, not only were the tubes plugged but they had pop rivits so low in the gutter, that the rivits leaked and the sheeting wasn't sealed well with vulcum I spent some time fixing that on both sides,
it was leaking from its birth.
I can't believe that somebody doesn't step up to the plate on making the curved side windows
like restoring old cars, anything can be made. it is just locating them and at what cost.
obviously airstream had a supplier, they didn't make them themselves, it's finding THAT supplier and convincing them of the need.
ARE you Listing ANDY?
luck with your new "baby", George
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