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Old 11-14-2009, 08:02 PM   #1
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1985 34' Excella
Loveland , Colorado
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Cool New guy with questions

Hi all,
This is my first post to the list and I would like to say thanks in advance to any info that you have to offer to me.
I bought an 85 34' Excella 3 years ago from a brother in law that is no longer with us. It has been sitting in a RV park in the middle of Texas for the duration of our buying it closed, locked and not taken care of at all. I live in Colorado and today was the first day I was able to visit mid Texas and go and look at it...ouch it needs much TLC but that is OK, I am looking forward to rebuilding it.
I plan to purchase new tires, (tri axle) new shocks, have the brakes checked and have the bearings re-packed.
Now for the questions!
Am I missing anything I should have done before the tow?
Do you think it is OK to have a local mechanic shop do these things or should I try to find someone that works on RV's?
All of the compartments on the outside are locked with the digits 05 on them and I do not have a key, I am hoping these are easy to find...any suggestions and input you all would have would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again
Dave Meyer
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:51 PM   #2
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

You're on the right track for a cross country tow. Tire, brakes, and wheel bearing are what need to be attended to first.

A 34 is a big guy with a bunch of tongue weight. Are you an experiences trailer tower? If not, there is a lot more information that you are going to need.

What kind of tow vehicle do you plan to tow it with? What type of hitch system do you plan to use?

We can help you get set up properly.

Brian
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Old 11-14-2009, 10:50 PM   #3
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more info

Where in "mid Texas?" More info and we can put this together for you. The locks are no problem. My local locksmith had all mine opened up in a few minutes. Sounds like a great project.
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Old 11-15-2009, 07:21 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forums!

One thing you need to consider when returning your trailer to Colorado is freeze protection for the water systems. Since the trailer has sat for years, the condition of the pipes and tanks is unknown. Water in the lines can freeze destroying the lines. Water and waste tanks can also be damaged if the contents freeze.

I was at a rally last month at the KOA in Fort Collins/Loveland and it is a beautiful area, but the weather can be a challenge.
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Old 11-15-2009, 07:37 AM   #5
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Another welcome to the forum - do you have any pictures?
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:30 AM   #6
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Hitches, turn signals, brakes! Oh my!
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:40 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forum and to Air Streaming. There is alot of very willing and knowledgable people here in the forum. Good Luck on getting it to Colorado. I hope you have a serious TV for a 34 footer. Definately need a brake controller for that one.
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:03 AM   #8
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As others have said:
a. Welcome to the Forums ~ Only the best resource for Airstream info there is!
b. With a 34' trailer, you're gonna need lots of tow vehicle (tv), not just to pull it over hill & dale, but also to help control trailer sway AND STOP OR SLOW DOWN that honking big trailer on those Colorado grades!! New, or at least really good existing brakes combined with a good brake controller is a must for your safety, and mine (others on the road). Read as many posts here as you have time for, as noted - especially winterizing - before taking her home. Repairing or replacing damaged water pipes can be a huge time consuming exercise keeping you & family from CAMPING!!
Good luck and keep posting your experiences, with photos!!
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:44 AM   #9
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David,
The dry weight on an 85 Excella 34' is 6800# and the tongue weight is 680# (about the same weight as a 2003 28' Classic). Your profile shows your tow vehicle as a 2009 F150 which has a tow capacity of better than 11,000#. We tow our 34 with a F150 and it does well. It cannot be overstated as to how important it is to have a proper hitch set up (and there are tons of threads on this), tires in excellent condition inflated correctly, and proper brakes--you are on the right track there.
The 34s pull and handle great--they are a pleasure to tow.
Enjoy your new trailer.
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:08 PM   #10
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Welcome!

Which engine do you have? Hitch setup will be very important as Bill says. You only get the 11,000 rating with a equalizer hitch...

Al
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:36 PM   #11
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David,
Welcome.
The 85 airstream will probably have a 9 pin electrical plug on it. My 08 tow vehicle it has a 7 pin flat plug. You will probably need to put a newer plug on the airstream to match up with your 09 tow vehicle. Check out these diagrams I got from AZ Flycaster.
I just sold an 85 34 footer. It pulled a lot straighter than my 95 airstream. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Meyer View Post
...I bought an 85 34' Excella 3 years ago...

3---It has been sitting...locked and not taken care of at all....

I plan to purchase new tires, (tri axle) new shocks, have the brakes checked and have the bearings re-packed.

2---Am I missing anything I should have done before the tow?

1---Do you think it is OK to have a local mechanic shop do these things or should I try to find someone that works on RV's?...
hi david, welcome

working backwards...

1. given shop/labor rates don't vary much, go to an RV shop.

texas has SEVERAL a/s service centers, i would use on of them for everything but mounting tires...

and SOME of the a/s shops CARRY TIRES and do this service as well.

this link will get U most of the a/s shops in the lone star state...

texas dealer-service center list...

another advantage to using an established rv, a/s shop is PARTS.

2. your list of things to address is a good start.

it MAY not need shocks, they don't do much. the RUBBER torsen axles are more importing in the short term.

IF it has been sitting DORMANT for 3 years add new/fresh DEEP CYCLE batteries to the list.

reliable batteries are needed for 12v BRAKE power, should your 4/7/9 pin connecter fail on the trip home,

and to power the tongue JACK.

the RV shop can also inspect the HITCH APPARATUS and properly set up your TV for the trip.

a LOT of bad things can happen in just a few 100 miles of "get it home" towing.

3. it COULD be useful to have the RV shop inspect ALL systems for function and safety.

this will not only make getting home safer, but potentially help U build a list of DIY repairs and a maintenance plan...

cheers
2air'
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:13 AM   #13
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1985 34' Excella
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All I can say is WOW! Thanks so much for all of the advise! This is a great site, glad I found you. I will post some pics as soon as I figure out how!
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:45 AM   #14
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Hi David,

Pics are pretty easy. Instead of a "post quick reply", use the "go advanced" option. Then up on the tool bars near the smiley face you will find a small paperclip icon that will open up a box and allow you to insert pictures. Hope that helps! I am sure there are plenty of people in Texas who would be more than happy to help get you on the road. They are VERY friendly people!
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