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Old 09-04-2009, 01:41 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1982 28' Airstream 280
Cooper Landing , Alaska
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 24
Alternator ID for 1982 Excella 28' Motorhome

I want to buy a rebuild kit for the alternator on my 1982 Excella 28' Motorhome to keep as a spare. I am unable to read the alternator ID without removing it. Can anyone advise the ID for the alternator so that I can buy the correct rebuild kit.

The engine is a code "w" (454 Chev). The motorhome is on a GM P30 chassis.


Fred Hudspeth
1982 Airstream 28' Excella Motorhome/Anchorage, Alaska
1978 GMC Royale Motorhome (remanufactured 2007)/Tyler, TX

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Old 09-08-2009, 07:22 PM   #2
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1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,132
Fred, sorry I can't help you with the parts information you're asking for.

However you might want to consider an alternative. What I've been planning on doing is adding a bypass switch that will energize the isolation relay that sits between the coach batteries and the engine battery. There is already a momentary switch in the glovebox installed by Airstream that lets you tie the two sets of batteries together in an emergency start situation. What I want is to be able to have them tied together via the additional switch so that if the alternator fails I can flip the switch, start the auxiliary generator to charge the batteries which will provide power to start and operate the engine. I can then replace the alternator at my leisure.

I will either use a fixed position switch to do this with or else add a relay into the existing momentary switch circuit that would energize when the momentary switch is toggled and de-energize when the engine is turned off.

That beats trying to fix the alternator along side the road which is something I've had to do in the past and not fun.

Just a thought.


Air forums # 1674
1974 20' Argosy Motor Home
1974 31' Excella trailer (parting out, as of 4/1/2015 I have wheels, brake drums, windows & holding tanks left to sell)
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:04 PM   #3
2 Rivet Member
1982 28' Airstream 280
Cooper Landing , Alaska
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 24
Alternator ID for 1982 Excella 28' Motorhome

Thanks, Brad -

When an alternator fails underway, I also start the Onan. I then install a heavy duty jumper from the house batteries to the engine battery so as to charge the engine battery with the Onan. I also remove the connections at the alternator in case there is a condition inside the alternator that could result in battery drain. For starting the engine under those conditions, I engage the auxiliary start switch ( 'places the house batteries in parallel with the engine battery). I believe this is operationally consistent with the process you described. Your method, however, is a lot more convenient than what I do.

When I stored the Airstream at the general aviation airport in Anchorage yesterday PM, the alternator appeared to have failed completely. When I first noticed a no-charge condition a week earlier, it lingered for about 15 seconds and then resumed charging. That happened again about 20 minutes later during a 100 mile trip. My plan now is to replace the alternator rather than buy a rebuild kit for contingency. We use the Airstream only during summers in south central Alaska. Summer is now over and we left for our Texas home last night. 'Will replace the alternator before returning the Airstream to service summer '10.

Thanks much for your comments.

Fred Hudspeth
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:53 AM   #4
3 Rivet Member
1982 28' Airstream 280
Norfolk , Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 135

I have a 28' Excella as well and the thing likes to eat alternators, so I keep a spare in the coach. From my readings in the forum, I have come to the conclusion that the original alternator is just too weak. As I recall the output is 65 Amps which is just not enough when you are trying to charge the two house batteries and the coach battery. The alternator never gets a chance to rest, so it fails.

You can probably get a local re-builder to make you one that is over 100 Amps. There are also online places that will do the same thing.

Also, read the threads about the alternator.

Good luck.

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