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Old 07-15-2011, 01:13 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1979 24' Airstream Excella 24
Cape Breton , Nova Scotia
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 17
Should I buy a 1979 Excella 24'? (Boy do I want to!!)

I have been making some enquiries on a 1979 24' Excella MoHo. I haven't gone to see it in person as it isn't very near to me, but have been reading like crazy on the forums here to get some idea about what's involved in owning one of them. (Apparently a large wallet!) Anyway, I wondered if anyone could give their thoughts on owning one and also wondered what the market value is on one of these (in the condition below). It has 140,000 miles on it, and the owner isn't sure if the engine has ever been rebuilt. There's a new starter and the alternator, brakes and (some?) belts were new 2 years ago. It was driven by the current owner (they've had it for 5 years or so)on 3 trips of about 5000 miles each trip.

Here's a quote from the owner, "drives very good, sound body, its a 454 GMC motor, the model is Excella, 24 feet long, 140,000 miles, air conditioner on roof, good frame and axle, good tires, had it all overhaul 2 years ago, and no sign of rust damage, good brakes, put a new starter & alternator, new toilet"

I've seen pictures of the interior which looks in pretty nice shape. The decor is a little too 90's floral, but hey, I can live with that! The outside isn't polished, but looks ok cosmetically.

So, any advice? Is the engine liable to die at 141,000 miles? I know that's probably getting pretty elderly for engine age, especially since I don't know if it has been rebuilt. If I did get it I would probably not be doing many (if any) long road trips with this. Just hoping to do weekend getaways and shorter trips. I've never really done any mechanical work (I lean towards electrical and carpentry type stuff in my fix-it mode) and my husband isn't Mr. fix-it by a long shot, so this would not be a DIY project for us if there were any engine issues...but I do have a good backyard mechanic! What other things should I ask about when I talk with the seller next? And from the description I've given anyone have a ballpark value on this? Of course I need to work on the hubby about this purchase! I figure I'll use the "honey, wouldn't it be romantic to get away more often?" approach.

Thanks in advance! I've really been enjoying my forum reading here off and on over the last year. I've got an airstream addiction, but this is the closest I've come to finding one. I'm looking for a trailer to convert into a retail-type space too, but I'm waiting for the right one of those to come along.

Have a great day everyone,

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Old 07-16-2011, 10:58 AM   #2
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1984 31' Airstream310
Honokaa , Hawaii
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 526
The market is small and so there is not a lot of consistency in prices, it comes down to "what is it with to you?". We paid $12,750 a year ago for a 1984 310 Limited with 60,000 miles and in average shape. 140,000 miles on an original engine would worry me, although if it has been cared for it might go awhile longer. Yes, you should buy it.

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Old 07-17-2011, 01:47 PM   #3
1 Rivet Member
1979 24' Airstream Excella 24
Cape Breton , Nova Scotia
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 17
Thanks very much for your reply. I guess my main concern is the life of the motor and of course the price of gas! But for shorter trips like I want to do, I think it might be worth it....definitely leaning towards going for it!
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