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Old 08-10-2004, 04:00 PM   #1
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Question 1985 Excella/Sovereign PANIC!

Recently I accquired a 85' Excella [upgrading from my 65' Safari]. The owner died on the front sofa a couple of years back and I was able to get it at a price I could afford. That [reading between the lines] tells you a lot.


I desparately need to communicate with other Excella owners. I have significant electrical, LP, questions and minor equipment questions?

HELP !!! [Please!!!]
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Old 08-10-2004, 04:18 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by wpm@adelphia
I desparately need to communicate with other Excella owners. I have significant electrical, LP, questions and minor equipment questions?

HELP !!! [Please!!!]
Almost none of the electrical, lp, and equipment is specific to the Excella of that year - it will be the same for the Sovereign as well. The differences were trim and finish items, along with some optional items that were included in the Excella package.

Good luck,

Mark
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Old 08-10-2004, 07:30 PM   #3
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Post away and maybe members will be able to help a little bit at a time.
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Old 08-10-2004, 07:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Recently I accquired a 85' Excella [upgrading from my 65' Safari]. The owner died on the front sofa a couple of years back and I was able to get it at a price I could afford. That [reading between the lines] tells you a lot.
The first thing you should do is remove the previous owner from the front sofa because after a couple of years, that could create a very unpleasant odour in your Excella.

See, you are in good hands here. No need to panic. If there's anything else you would like to know, then just ask away!

Welcome to the forum! ....and BTW, there ARE some normal folks here too.
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Old 08-10-2004, 08:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpm@adelphia
Recently I accquired a 85' Excella [upgrading from my 65' Safari]. The owner died on the front sofa a couple of years back and I was able to get it at a price I could afford. That [reading between the lines] tells you a lot.
I agree with Brad, if the previous owner spent any significant time on the couch, umm, after assuming room temperature, you should lose the couch, and get another. His presence will be noticeable on damp days, or after the coach has been closed up for a time.
Most systems on the Excella are the same as other coaches of the same year, so most of us can talk you through any problems you may have.
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Old 08-10-2004, 09:00 PM   #6
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Hope he's a friendly ghost, and approves of any repairs / upgrades you may do to his baby.

I've got a 34' Limited, 1985 model, so ask away....where are you located?

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Old 08-10-2004, 09:08 PM   #7
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First and foremost, let me make it perfectly clear not only has the previous owner been removed, but the sofa has been replaced from the floor up! That is no longer a concern of any significance!



However, what is, for starters, follows:

The original Dometic [3-way refrigerator] has been replaced with an AC/LP version. The connector cord from the Excella to the tow vehicle is 7 14 ga. And 2 12 ga. Wires for a nine pin plug. How do I make the switch to a standard 7-pin connector?

On the drivers side of the trailer, under the back cushion of the infamous sofa is a standard [household] light switch and plate that I can not relate to any function. Any ideas?

One very nice feature of the Excella was the electronic valve opening and closing effectively swapping between LP tanks when one was empty. I have already purchased and filled new OPD tanks. Is there anything on the after-market to permit to utilize this electronic swap?



I stop with that for the time being.



Thanks to all from Bill in the hinterlands of Maine.
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Old 08-10-2004, 10:02 PM   #8
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I'll take a shot at the light switch with reostat. Pictures of my '77 Excella 500 show a chandalier hanging over the streetside fold out table. Chain is hanging from several hooks and I imagine that the electrical cable then went to this plug with the reostat for some mood lighting. I'm not 100% sure on this because my light was long gone by the time I bought the trailer.
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Old 08-10-2004, 10:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William P. MartinThe original Dometic [3-way refrigerator
has been replaced with an AC/LP version. The connector cord from the Excella to the tow vehicle is 7 14 ga. And 2 12 ga. Wires for a nine pin plug. How do I make the switch to a standard 7-pin connector?
Take a look here. for the wiring diagrams. You will need some parts to convert, or one end, the truck one to get to a 7 wire connection.

Quote:
On the drivers side of the trailer, under the back cushion of the infamous sofa is a standard [household] light switch and plate that I can not relate to any function. Any ideas?
That switch is likely for the univolt. Many owners liked to be able to turn the univolt off at night or if someone was sleeping on the front couch.

Quote:
One very nice feature of the Excella was the electronic valve opening and closing effectively swapping between LP tanks when one was empty. I have already purchased and filled new OPD tanks. Is there anything on the after-market to permit to utilize this electronic swap?
If the switch is built into the regulator thane all you need are the new hoses to connect to the regulator. The switchover function will work the same as it was designed.
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Old 08-10-2004, 10:26 PM   #10
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If the switch is built into the regulator [then] all you need are the new hoses to connect to the regulator. The switchover function will work the same as it was designed.
The chances of the auto switch regulator still working after 20 years are not great. This has nothing particularly to do with the autoswitching function; even if it still works the regulator itself has to be considered suspect. The point is I would not spend any money and very little time trying to fix the old regulator.

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Old 08-11-2004, 07:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William P. Martin
First and foremost, let me make it perfectly clear not only has the previous owner been removed, but the sofa has been replaced from the floor up! That is no longer a concern of any significance.
Bill:

I will take you at your word that there is no concern of any significance.....but let me say this....

If the carpet is dirty - cushions stay musty - or any detectable odor at all when the trailer is closed up for a few days......

Throw out the carpet, trash the cushions and mattress, paint the OSB with Kilz, then do another "sniff test". If odors have permeated the insulation, you will be forced to remove the interior skin and replace the insulation.

Even if you have no residual odor whatsoever, if the carpet has never been replaced, it certainly has exceeded its life expectancy.

Having gone through a "gut and replace" on the '87, just replacing the "normal wear" stuff (blinds, cushion covers, flooring, seat covers, etc.) made a world of difference. Also, tearing out the carpet and other items provides for an excellent inspection opportunity for areas that are normally hidden.
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Old 08-11-2004, 11:18 AM   #12
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Bill, thanks for the PM. Success in caring for your Excella is a bit like learning to race a sailboat. The secret is getting the priorities sorted. In sailboat racing, a fancy new set of sails is irrelevant if you haven't learnt to recognise small windshifts. With your Excella, none of the items you listed entails major expenditure of time and money, or is critical to the long term health of the trailer. Priority questions are well documented in other threads, but a good start would be:-
1. Are the brakes (including breakaway system) properly maintained?
2. Are the wheel bearings properly maintained?
3. Are the external lights working legally?
4. Are the tires safe, legal, and correctly inflated?
5. Are the shock absorbers due for replacement?
6. Is the frame seriously corroded? (Look in the holes inside the back fender to gain a view). Check the hitch for cracks.
7. Is the floor rotted from water leaks?
8. Are the axles due for replacement?
9. Is the LP gas system gas-tight and with in-date hoses?
10. Are the 110v receptacles correctly wired? (use a $5 tester from Wal-Mart).
11. Has the test button on the 110v distribution been pressed to ensure the safety trip is working?
12. Are their efficient working alarms for smoke, LP gas and carbon monoxide?
13. Are the vent pipe gaskets perished?
14. Do any seams and joints require fresh Vulkem, Parbond, or Akryl-R?

These are all items which, IMHO, should be checked before the trailer is used. They are the first that come to mind, and more could be added. They all relate to safety, or the long term health of the trailer. Unfortunately, they take a lot of time and care, and, when all the jobs are done, there is no difference to the casual observer. However, you will know that you have done the right thing. My apologies if you have already done all this. Nick.
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Old 08-11-2004, 11:36 AM   #13
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Electronic Propane switch not needed..

Just another observation about propane regulators. Current generation of regulators with slide or turn valves that fit behind tanks are designed so that they will switch to second tank when primary tank (the one the valve points to) runs empty.. Most have little indicator (glass dome with red/green ring that pops up) to show whether primary tank is supplying gas (green) or empty (red, and propane coming from second tank). I'd agree with others to drop electronic version, and efforts to repair, and just buy new smart switching valve...

As for light switch, we have one of those in upper cabinet over stove on curb side of our '88 Excella 25, which has no discernable purpose or effect. I thought it was there to add character and an air of mystery to the unit...

Since 7-connector plugs are the standard, I'd work towards getting both ends of umbilical cabling and connectors into that configuration, which many RV shops can do pretty quick if your wiring is of uncertain origin...

John McG
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Old 08-11-2004, 11:44 AM   #14
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John McG, the switch you describe is an either/or switch to select use of either the Air Conditioner or the Microwave oven. As originally constructed, use of both devices at the same time would overload the electrical system. Nick.
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