Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-17-2017, 10:29 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
Eastern , South Carolina
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 10
Images: 2
Questions About 1983 Excella

I am giving serious consideration to buying a 34' 1983 Excella. I have not located the VIN anywhere, but from all the pictures I've found, it appears to be a 1983. This trailer has sat in one spot for at least 5 years, maybe even 7 years, without being moved. It needs restoration and I believe I can handle the interior and do a really good job. I would keep everything as original as possible but replace whatever needs to be replaced to make it safe and comfortable. At this point I know nothing about RVs, and particularly the Airstream. Without actually seeing this unit, what things would you expect will need to absolutely be changed/repaired? I'm thinking things that cannot be seen like axles, electrical wiring, brakes, etc. What kind of braking system does this trailer have? Electric, vacuum ??
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	20170916_154024 (Large) (Small).jpg
Views:	53
Size:	130.0 KB
ID:	295121   Click image for larger version

Name:	20170916_154007 (Large) (Small).jpg
Views:	57
Size:	119.9 KB
ID:	295122  

Click image for larger version

Name:	20170916_153922 (Large) (Small).jpg
Views:	55
Size:	147.8 KB
ID:	295123   Click image for larger version

Name:	20170428_145933 (Large) (Small).jpg
Views:	61
Size:	102.4 KB
ID:	295124  

Click image for larger version

Name:	20170916_151215 (Large) (Small).jpg
Views:	60
Size:	89.4 KB
ID:	295125   Click image for larger version

Name:	20170916_151334 (Large) (Small).jpg
Views:	53
Size:	69.7 KB
ID:	295126  

Click image for larger version

Name:	20170916_151500 (Large) (Small).jpg
Views:	64
Size:	112.4 KB
ID:	295127   Click image for larger version

Name:	20170916_151508 (Large) (Small).jpg
Views:	56
Size:	97.2 KB
ID:	295128  

Click image for larger version

Name:	20170428_145851 (Small).jpg
Views:	60
Size:	119.7 KB
ID:	295129  
__________________

Beach324 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2017, 08:50 PM   #2
1 Rivet Member
 
Eastern , South Carolina
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 10
Images: 2
I visited the Airstream Excella again today and found paperwork in one of the drawers that contained a VIN # and date of purchase. The original owner purchased this 1984, yep 1984, Excella Nimbus III on November 30, 1983. On his first outing he had his GMC tow vehicle and trailer weighed at a weigh station in Virginia. His GMC front axle weighed
2460 pounds, rear axle weighed 3940 pounds, and the Excella weighed 7660 pounds. I now have 194 pictures of this trailer, inside, outside and underneath. At this point I need to find a qualified person to examine the unit and advise as to its condition and work that will be needed to make it road-worthy. All of the rust on the frame underneath concerns me.
__________________

Beach324 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2017, 04:10 PM   #3
3 Rivet Member
 
Okiegent's Avatar
 
1983 31' Excella
Choctaw , Oklahoma
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 164
Images: 14
Inspection

Get yourself a ice pick and go down the floor particularly the edges and poke around for rot. If you don't find any or very little then its a good bet someone took care of it. My 83 set for years beside a barn. I did nothing to it but hook on and pull it 187 miles home then went camping. Everything worked. Its not unusual for folks to close their rig up and not use it for several years. I would check the wheel bearings before I took it on a trip. Grease and repack them. Replace any that are damaged if so. Check for loose or carded wires around your electric brakes while you got the wheels off. Do one wheel at a time this way you don't have to keep it jacked up in the air. Thats the nice thing about 4 wheels.

Hook a water hose up and pressure up your lines. Check for leaks and operate your 12 volt water pump make sure it works. Should be by the hotter tank. Check your hot water tank out after you have water in the system. Look for signs of dirt robbers. If you see any nest kick them out of there and give me a message and I will tell you where to go from there. If not fire it up and see if it heats water and has any noticeable issues.

Look the icebox over and if it looks good turn your selector switch to electric and set it on 4,see if it gets cold turn it on in the morning come back next morning to check it out. The furnace will come on by a register switch turn it to heat and set it on 85 it should crank the fan up followed by a click which is the sail switch and then fire up about 15-20 seconds later after three attempts and it don't light it will lock its self out. Message me or look through the forum and we will help you out. Go over all your LP fittings and check for leaks.

Fire your A/C UP and see if that puppy gets cold. If not check freon and for leaks.

Rarely does that trailer you have present many issues. It is solid.
Pull your battery out and unhook it check the voltage if its bad replace it.
look your convertor over and fuse box for bad wires and blown fuses. Do the same with your breaker box. Be sure all power is off battery un hooked and unplugged from shore line if your not electric savvy.

Look your tires over real good a weather rotted tire will wreck havoc on your trailer it will tear it up if it comes loose.

I wouldn't replace a light bulb in your trailer until you have done this. You might not have to do nothing but enjoy it.

Lets talk again. I have all the manuals books and ligature for my 83. Im glad to help out if I can.

Tom
__________________
Tom C.
Okiegent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2017, 06:22 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,917
Looks like it needs a good bit of work. Might be easier to upgrade as opposed to restore. I would not pay more than $5k for one in that condition. Look at the floor in the back and pull up the carpet under the beds. It looks ok in the middle between the beds but the corners tend to rot out as well. It looks like many of the systems need repair. Furnace, water heater, fridge, AC all of these things are pricey. I would not bother will axles till you get the rest of it going. You do need to service the electric brakes. They are standard 12" trailer brakes.

Good luck.

Perry
perryg114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2017, 07:36 PM   #5
3 Rivet Member
 
Trnpk Crsr's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Baltimore , Maryland
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 110
I would test the plumbing with air pressure first, rather than water. If the system holds air, it will hold water. If water lines leak,there won't be a big mess to clean up.

Cheers,

John
Trnpk Crsr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2017, 08:11 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
jdalrymple's Avatar
 
2009 27' FB Flying Cloud
1991 35' Airstream 350
Jay , Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,689
The main concern is water leaks and floor rot. Take your time and open every cabinet and look behind the beds, gaucho, and appliances. Ice pick the floor along the outside walls everywhere you can reach, particularly along the rear wall. Floor rot is the tough thing to fix.

There are inspection forms available for download here on the forums. Use them for a guide while inspecting the trailer.

If the floor isn’t rotten, chances are the rust you see is surface rust and not critical. Airstreams mostly rot from the leaks on the floor down towards the frame.

Look at the costs of a fridge, AC, water heater, etc. You probably won’t need these all at once, but the trailer is 34 years old.

Lots of life and fun left, but they all require love and feeding.



Regards,

JD
__________________
Jeff & Cindy
'09 27FB Flying Cloud
'91 350 LE MH
jdalrymple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2017, 08:14 PM   #7
cwf
Rivet Master
 
cwf's Avatar
 
1999 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Hillsboro , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 6,206
Images: 2
So much to type... get yourself a comfy keyboard..

Functionally, electric brakes. Need a battery on board for break away. and functional brakes!!!

Don't know what $ you might get.. I am thinking you are looking at a substantial investment to get this back to running and camping.. even if you do the work yourself.

However, as a 1999 34' Excella owner, I can tell you...it is great...
__________________
Peace and Blessings..
Channing
WBCCI# 30676
cwf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2017, 01:42 PM   #8
3 Rivet Member
 
Okiegent's Avatar
 
1983 31' Excella
Choctaw , Oklahoma
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 164
Images: 14
If the skin is good and you are handy with tools or at least ready to try. That trailer looks pretty decent. Of course I haven't inspected it . The forum offers folks up that would come inspect it for you that are close by and knowledgeable. I was the past president of the Oklahoma Unit and if you were in my area, I would be glad to look at it for you.


.
__________________
Tom C.
Okiegent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 05:25 AM   #9
1 Rivet Member
 
Eastern , South Carolina
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 10
Images: 2
It's a 1984 Airstream Nimbus III

Thanks guys. This is all good & helpful information. The owner's ex-wife gave me the name of the attorney that is handling the estate, but I haven't called him yet. This camper is an Airstream Excella Nimbus III. I originally thought it was a 1983, until I found the bill of sale in the trailer.

The camper sits in the yard of the deceased man's home. No one lives there and the utilities, electricity and water, are turned off. Even though I live across the street, I wouldn't be able to lay down a garden hose or electrical extension. It's at least 300 feet from my home to the camper. Basically, I would be buying this without being able to test anything.

What vehicle would be needed to tow this Airstream? Weighs almost 8,000# according to paperwork I found in the trailer.

Larry
Beach324 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 05:34 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,917
If it is across the street you can pull with anything. Any half ton will get it across the road. If you know someone with a tractor, that will work as well.

You need a 2-5/16 ball.

Perry
perryg114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 06:02 AM   #11
Rivet Master
 
Currently Looking...
Gainesville , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 7,025
Blog Entries: 2
Rent a generator. Send us the vin numberso it can be deciphered as far as year and model info. Use tge gen to check electric. If there us water in the holding tank, you can try the water pump.
xrvr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 04:38 PM   #12
3 Rivet Member
 
Okiegent's Avatar
 
1983 31' Excella
Choctaw , Oklahoma
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 164
Images: 14
Take you a fresh battery over there. You could fire the furnace after checking it out. the water pump. Test plumbing lines . You should be Abel to fire the icebox up on propane no electric needed. check lights. shoot get you a trailer plug wired to your car and you could drive across hook up to trailer and check a bunch of stuff. Rent you a pickup or borrow one preferably . It should have a equalizer and sway bars laying around over there. It will probably have a tow bar and ball as well. Hard to imagine the old boy getting rid of them. You can use these to hook it up and bring it home. Even with a half ton truck that is a lot of lounge weight on a bumper. So you will need something with a receiver hitch.
__________________
Tom C.
Okiegent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 04:40 PM   #13
3 Rivet Member
 
Okiegent's Avatar
 
1983 31' Excella
Choctaw , Oklahoma
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 164
Images: 14
This might help you out.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars...tow-a-trailer/
__________________
Tom C.
Okiegent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 05:34 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,917
I would worry about connecting a gas system up without it being checked out. All you need is a gas leak and try to light something. I would assume most systems need work. Fridge might be ok, They last a long time. AC unit is probably close to toast. The fan motor can get full of dirt daubers nests and burn up even if you can get power to it. Water heater might be ok if the tank is not leaking. The flame is outside for the most part. Furnace is probably rusted and full of nests. I bought mine in a similar state. I replaced, AC and furnace, did lots of plumbing and general repair. The electrical system needed some work. There were water leaks every where from rain. The last 4 feet of floor in the back had to be replace and there were some frame repairs. I replaced all the marker lights. I put complete new brakes and drums on mine. That is just the short list.

Perry
__________________

perryg114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Excella :: 1983 Airstream Excella LY007 Airstream Registry Discussions 0 04-30-2016 06:13 PM
Excella vs Excella II vs Excella 500 vs Excella 1000 ElCamino Man Trailer Values 5 03-21-2013 02:32 PM
1983 Excella Questions Larry71 1981 - 1983 Excella 4 12-24-2009 09:17 AM
Questions, Questions, Questions LowellN Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame 5 10-28-2004 07:23 PM
My 1983 Excella mwilleford 1981 - 1983 Excella 1 07-28-2002 12:04 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:35 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.