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Old 10-22-2014, 05:30 AM   #1
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2005 25' Classic
1986 32' Excella
1965 22' Safari
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Newark , Delaware
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Looking for feedback on mid '80s Excella

What were the good and bad points of the mid 80's Excellas? Particularly 1986. I am doing a lot of looking and a little warning as to what to look for may help.

Thanks
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Old 10-22-2014, 06:31 AM   #2
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They strengthened the frame a little in 1985.
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Old 10-22-2014, 06:59 AM   #3
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
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We have an 86 Limited, which is an Excella with fancy hickory wood cabinets. The basic trailer structure is the same. IMO the 80s trailers are a little better built than the 70s.

The 86 has OSB sub flooring. Be sure to check for floor rot on any used Airstream. They all leak, an if the previous owners didn't fix leaks, it could turn the subfloor into mush. If it smells musty going into the trailer, then be suspicious. Likely the old carpet floor coverings are long gone. Carpet isn't the greatest in an RV, holds moisture.

Mice are a problem. Look for evidence of mice infestation. They can eat the wiring. I wouldn't want one where the mice were neglected, like long term storage next to a grain barn.

The dual pane oval stack windows under the regular windows will likely have failed seals. They may have moisture, or even standing water between the panes. I just live with it for now as new windows are about $250 plus a bunch of time to install. Some folks will simply break the inner pain and re-calk the outer pane.

The appliances are standard RV affair, so if not yet replaced, they will likely need it soon. Furnace, water heater, air conditioner, water pump, fridge, etc wear out like any RV. Replacing them is not too bad.

The exterior skins on 80s trailers got softer. The skins are more subject to dents from hail, rocks, branches, etc. Some "beauty marks" would not surprise. My 66 built with Alclad seems less prone to dents than my 86.

The Dura Torque axles are great. But their useful life is about 30 years. The rubber in them gets hard. Plan on new axles in the near future at about $1000 a piece plus installation. New axles gets you new brakes and bearings, another standard trailer wear out parts.

We enjoy our 86 very much. It has well over 200,000 miles on it and has probably been in every state in the union plus Canada and Mexico. It seems well built and holding up well.

David
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Old 10-22-2014, 07:18 AM   #4
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watch out for rear end separation if it has a rear bath. Also these are heavy trailers, you will find the 60s and 70s models to be lighter.
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Old 10-22-2014, 08:42 AM   #5
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I have the 2 listed in my signature. OSB floors. I have patched the floor in spots in each of them. The frames inside are pretty rusty. Vista windows leak and are hard to seal. I have to replace the A frame on one so check it for rust where it goes into the trailer body. The furnace is obsolete, no parts available, and probably an expensive replacement. The walls get sticky from the adhesive for the vinyl and require a good hard scrubbing with Krud Cutter. The trailers pull well. They may be heavier than the 70's but they are lighter than the newer trailers. I like the narrow body for pulling. The blue vinyl stripes start to fail. I have stripped the stripes from both of my trailers. Have had some awning repairs to do. Have not done the axles yet but am thinking about it for the one we pull a lot. Both trailers have replacement water heaters and fridges. One has new AC, the other is still running the original. New Fantastic Fans in both. Dump valves replaced in both and it is a big job. Have put in quite a bit of PEX plumbing to replace the gray tubing on one. The PO let it freeze. The dark oak interior colors get old after a while. All and all I would buy a 86 if it checked out okay and I liked the interior.
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Old 10-22-2014, 08:52 AM   #6
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As mentioned above, they strengthened the frame in mid '85, and that is a huge benefit! It greatly reduces the chances of sag and separation.

Cheers,
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Old 10-22-2014, 03:08 PM   #7
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2005 25' Classic
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Thanks for your help, everybody. Pulled the trigger. Found a well cared for 86 at a fair price.

Winterize now and start fresh in the spring!
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Old 10-22-2014, 03:35 PM   #8
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Way to go! Why not take a few photos and display your new rig?

Before long you'll be heading out to explore someplace new and different.

Happy travels...

David
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Old 10-22-2014, 04:59 PM   #9
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Congratulations! We love our 86.
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Old 01-10-2015, 12:13 PM   #10
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Congrats on buying the rig! We love our '85. There is the OSB floor, which I sanded down smooth and primed it before laying down new flooring. New axles were installed before we got it, so we did not have to deal with that. I am curious, now that you have it, have you found any unwanted surprises?
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Old 01-11-2015, 07:28 PM   #11
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2005 25' Classic
1986 32' Excella
1965 22' Safari
2006 22' Interstate
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So far it is a beauty! The previous owners treated it very well. One thing that amazed me. My wife was knitting in it in the yard the other day. Outside temp was 9 degrees. With just the propane furnace it was 72 inside. Looks like we may just have a winter trip prior to the arrival of warmer weather.
Dave
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Old 04-22-2016, 02:58 PM   #12
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1986 32' Limited
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If you don't mind me asking what was the price in trying to find out because I've got a chance to buy a 86 excella and can't get a realistic figure for what it's actually worth to save my life.
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Old 04-23-2016, 02:04 PM   #13
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At the time we bought our '85 32' Excella, it valued around $16,000- and we paid 12,800.
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Old 04-23-2016, 07:36 PM   #14
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Ok that's very helpful.... And was it all original I didn't check all the appliances but I know the fridge was on and was told everything else works..... Said the last time the water heater was used t didn't want to light but I assume that's just a dirty pilot light.
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