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Old 07-19-2005, 06:46 PM   #1
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I am thinking of buying: is it worth it?

1982 AIRSTREAM 31 Ft Excella,1982 31 ft Excella w/ rear bath and twin beds. Stonegaurds and Zip Dee awnings. Large refrigerator, microwave and new furnace.
asking 6500.00 a 5500 offer will do

my question is its super clean...is it worth it?


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Old 07-19-2005, 07:00 PM   #2
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We just bought

an 83 31' excella - rear bedroom. It has new tires, new fridge, new mattress, Zip Dee, rock guards and is in exceptional condition. Only problem is it is baby blue inside..Choke.....but that can be fixed. lol

We paid $7000 and feel we got a great deal. We have been looking and shopping for most of the year and have seen lots for more in worse condition.
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:06 PM   #3
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I bought my '74 31' Excella (upper Michigan) for $5500, Didn't know much about the problems to expect, so I just towed it home to WV in Nov. of 2002, I started checking it out ....... numerous leaks, floor wrought, etc. It had a new refrigerator, new (cheap battery), it was very clean and I loved it at first sight. I have the mid bath, rear twin model. If I were you, I would check for floor problems and any rear end sag (frame failure) and axle fatigue. If that checks out OK, then I would go for it! Welcome to the forum, you will find tons of information here.
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffTerry
1982 AIRSTREAM 31 Ft Excella,1982 31 ft Excella w/ rear bath and twin beds. Stonegaurds and Zip Dee awnings. Large refrigerator, microwave and new furnace.
asking 6500.00 a 5500 offer will do

my question is its super clean...is it worth it?


Jeff
I second the earlier posts on doing a few important close checks first, but assuming it's structurally ok, then it's a steal. You'd be hard pressed to find a 70's model in good condition for under 6k. I just sold a 71 tradewind for just under 10k. It was mechanically and functionally excellent, with new axles and many many upgrades and repairs already done to it.
Even if it needs new axles, it's still a good deal, in my opinion.
31ft trailers are a little lower priced than the smaller, often more desirable units, but if 31ft is where it's at for you, then go for it.
Figure to spend a few thousand on it to get it truly excella-ent.....
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Old 07-19-2005, 08:03 PM   #5
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Hi, Jeff,

I paid a little over 8K for my '79 Excella in good original condition with an intact floor, good axles, and everything working, even though the body has a few dings up front and the coach has a lot of Airstream pattern baldness on the roof.

I thought the price was good enough to justify driving 1,000 miles to get.

I would check very carefully for any signs of rear end separation with a rear bath model. You can find plenty of good threads about the signs here on the forum. I would also step along the edges of all the walls looking for soft spots. I'd also poke around the edges of the wheel wells if you can reach them in the closets - and I *mean* poke around, like with an awl.

Also, if you could post a side-view picture of it, somebody here could tell you whether the axles are pre-toast or not.

Lamar
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Old 07-19-2005, 08:05 PM   #6
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Yea thats what I am figuring...I am not sure I am sold on a 31...I think a 26 would be very nice...havent found what I am looking for tho in price...I have an argosy I am restoring now...1979. When it is complete I am going to sell it and buy airstream.
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Old 07-19-2005, 10:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffTerry
Yea thats what I am figuring...I am not sure I am sold on a 31...I think a 26 would be very nice...havent found what I am looking for tho in price...I have an argosy I am restoring now...1979. When it is complete I am going to sell it and buy airstream.
I think that a 27 argosy is a very fine trailer, just as appealing as a Land yacht model Airstream, in my opinion. Actually, the fact tha it is painted and the cool front windows are a big plus in my estimation.
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Old 02-18-2006, 03:43 PM   #8
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so tell me why a 30-31 Excella might be a better choice than a say 25 or 28 model. Just curious.
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Old 02-18-2006, 05:04 PM   #9
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Alan, I'll take a poke at this one. Having an Argosy 28 and a 31' foot Excella, I can tell you that the extra space is very noticeable in the living room, and having three hall closets still strikes me as a wonder.

Both my Argosy and my Excella have similar front layouts. The gaucho is up front, then the fold-out table. The Argosy has room for a small wine cabinet just aft of the table, and then it's the fridge. A closet sharing space with the wheelwell cover and a small galley compartment is next. Then the bedroom with the center twins starts there. In back, the bathroom also has a storage closet with a clothes rod. This is shared with the plumbing and electrical supply.

The 31's layout is simply better. It has an extra two or three feet in the living room, and this provide for the entertainment center and the TV stand (credenza) before the galley begins. Then the fridge, galley cabinets, and microwave cabinet are next. Then the hallway has the bathroom on the left and the triple closet on the right. All the plumbing stuff is hidden under the floor of the front closet. The bathroom of the Excella isn't really as nice as the Argosy. Even the water heater pokes into the space where the toilet is, and the shower is a sit-down (over the wheel wheel of course) affair rather than a bath tub. Finally, the back of the trailer has two beds as large as the beds in the Argosy.

My opinion is that Airstream had been making 31' foot trailers for a long time by the time mine came along. They made the most of the additional three feet by using it where it mattered.

And with all that said, the Argosy can be towed safely with a half-ton truck. Do so at your own peril with a 31. I towed this trailer from Grand Rapids, MI to southeast GA last year with a Dodge Dakota with the towing package and a 4.01 rear axle ratio. Going up the hills in Appalachia at 3500 rpm and 50 mph was no fun at all. Alan, I have to say that the major difference between the 25/28 and the 31 is what you can tow them with.

Lamar
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Old 02-18-2006, 05:29 PM   #10
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Alan, I'll throw my opinion at this one too... it's not so much the length as the layout. I haven't found much difference in towing a 26' to a 34'. There are weight issues, of course, but the actual towing issues aren't much different. I think that the 30-34' trailers simply have better floorplans and more useable space. BTW, on that '82... they're a very rare bird. Airstream production was very slight by the early eighties, and the trailers were excellent with many of the same features found in today's trailers. If it's in good shape, $5500 is a good buy.

Roger
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Old 02-18-2006, 06:20 PM   #11
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Since you aren't sure, tell me where it is, and I'll buy it.

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Old 02-19-2006, 08:30 AM   #12
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that answers my question, The layout of the 31 is very appealing. The tow vehickle will be the next challenge if I do buy one. I like a smaller truck, but it seems that none would suit towing something that big, and a 1/2 ton or better full size would be the only way to go.
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Old 02-20-2006, 12:10 AM   #13
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In April 2003, I paid $8500 for an 84 31' Excella mid bath rear twins, no smoke, no kids, no visible inside wear....Airstream pattern baldness on the top.
I have since replaced the water heater, refurbished the furnace, and replaced the tires and batteries.
And, I have tracked rain leaks until I am an expert.
It had a little lite hail on the rear end cap when I bought it....just little peckles. For a 19 yr old trailer in West Texas, I thought, not bad. Last August, it got some tennis ball hail on it....add 3 large doinks on the roof, no broken skylites or AC shroud.....so no problem.
I thought I got a good deal....structurally sound, a dry climate no rot trailer even if I have fixed a dozen leaks....primarily awning rails, front window guard rail, rub rails, running lights, roof vents, Airstream badging, flood light gasket, door frame, and window frames ...new vulkem and parrbond all around.

Bottom line...trailers are like relatives....if you don't have any, they can't cause you any trouble.

One other thing, I tried towing with a half ton....completely anemic and frustrating experience....45 mph at 2700 rpms up the grades..
Now, I have 2500HD Crew Cab, 4x4 Duramax/Allison....the truck doesn't know the trailer is behind it....Can you say I-40 West from Santa Rosa to Clines Corners at 70-75 and not breathe hard???
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