I had a '77 Excella 500 31 footer. It was my first trailer. While I was a proud papa the day I brought it home, I discovered (mainly from reading on here) what I was in for. Mine had both sag and separation. The sag was so bad that the skin was buckling where the back of the trailer tried to touch the ground, causing the easily visible buckle right behind the rear wheels. The double pane windows had the scotch tint disentigrated, the tambour slider doors were all shot, the list goes on. I could have handled everything but the frame. Though I didn't see any actual cracks, she was definitely sagging hugely. In my opinion, the only proper solution was a new frame.
I designed one for it. I even went to welding school to learn how to weld. I really wanted to do a first class rebuild. But when I started looking into it, everything seemed to domino. Just like Andy said above....you can come home on top of the world, but once you start digging...man you can really be in for it.
Sadly for me, with the position in life I was (am) currently in, I didn't have the time to do the total shell off rebuild. I'm in the middle of trying to get my house finished (had this crazy idea to design and build my hown house myself....not too unlike rebuilding an Airstream) and it's taken a lot longer and a lot more money than I figured. Again, just like restoring a 'stream
So, I sold it to a nice couple who already had one Airstream they were using, but wanted to do the full shell off on the 31 footer. I wish them well.
I wound up getting a newer trailer; an '87. You might say I went to the dark side, as I got an Avion. Truth is I was looking for a newer Airstream, but came across the Avion, really liked the way it was made, so bought it. It's very similar to an Airstream, though one big difference is the frame; Avion has a much stouter frame. You don't get sag and separation with them. But I still really like Airstreams a lot. Truth is, I like all the silver trailers. Especially Spartanettes!
But anyway, for you, I would recommend that if you want a long one, get one newer than a 1985. Supposedly Airstream beefed up the frames in '85 or '86 and that fixed a lot of the sag problems. I guess you can still get the separation from loading it wrong (i.e. hanging too much off the back bumper), but separation is easier to fix than sag.
Or, get an older coach but a shorter one. Maybe like a late 50's 26 footer.
But if you want a mid 70's 31 footer, unless you get really lucky, better figure on a lot of work. About any of them with a lot of miles is going to have the sag/separation because the frames were so flexible.
You can learn a ton on these forums. I wish I'd read more before I bought mine. But, live and learn. The flip side is that if you like fabricating things, rebuilding a '77 Excella would really be an awesome project. I really like the lines of that model. Very sleek!
Best of luck,