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Old 07-01-2013, 01:54 PM   #1
janeinthemtns
 
1985 31' Excella
near Chama , New Mexico
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 163
Images: 5
Blog Entries: 2
New to me '85 31' Excella.

Hello from New Mexico,

Thanks so much in advance for taking the time to read this and make any comments or suggestions. I don't know how I would figure out what I'm doing without the forums. I'm having some trouble operating this website, but I'm hopeful.

I'm in the process of purchasing a 1985 31' Excella. So excited! It is in close to pristine condition and was owned by an aircraft mechanic who has since passed away. I did receive a very interesting message (somehow) that was sent to my email address from a man who is familiar with the trailer and the previous owner. I learned the history of the trailer which I appreciated. The current owners will be delivering it to Holiday Trailers in ABQ on 7/9 for inspection. Then Holiday will be installing a composting toilet for me. Holiday came highly recommended by the forums and the current owner. The boys' family owns the Heron Lake Store which is about 4 miles from where I live. I feel good about the whole process.

I have a 2000 F350 Powerstroke that was used very little by some RVers from Canada. I bought it in 2008 right after the crash when nobody was selling or buying ranch worthy vehicles. It's an awesome pickup and does everything I need it to do here on the ranch. Holiday will be checking out my trailer brakes, jake brake, lights and hitch. I've hauled a lot of big goose neck trailers full of stock, but never a big bumper hitch trailer. I had a 16' 10k flatbed trailer I used to haul a lot of hay on. That's my only bumper hitch experience. I'm a little worried about getting out of ABQ and directly onto La Bajada, land of huge wind for a first run.

I'm going to live in the trailer which will be parked somewhere close to the old adobe house I have been freezing in for 7 years. I don't have running water here, but I do have electricity. I plan to pull the carpet out of it immediately and install maybe bamboo flooring over cork or other insulating material if I have enough clearance. Does anyone have a rough estimate of square footage if I do the whole bedroom (in back), the whole living area and hall? It actually rained here yesterday so the sooner the better on that.

I could pump water to the trailer from the springs down behind the house, but I'm worried about winter freeze up. -30F is not unusual here especially when there is no snow. I would have to drain the line every time I filled the tank, then worry about it freezing up. I lived in a fifth wheel trailer in Alaska during the pipeline years, but I was married to a pipefitter then so no worries if everything blew up! Maybe just keep taking baths out of a bucket during the winter. Having a shower drain and a somewhat heated room would be a big improvement. I could heat tape the drains. If anything froze up, that's the way it would stay. I'm not hauling any type of trailer on La Bajada in the winter.

I'd like to put the AS behind the house. Does anyone know how wide the 85 Excella is? I may not be able to get it in there even if I cut some big limbs off the cottonwood tree.

Thanks a lot in advance for any suggestions or comments. I really appreciate the time people take to explain things here on the forums. I'm in a very remote spot and I'll be doing all the work needed myself.

Jane Sheridan
Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:12 PM   #2
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1985 32' Excella
Valley Village , California
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 127
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Welcome! I too have an '85 31' Excella! I went out and measured it, and it is 8'-6" wide (including the awning supports). I put in a cork-like vinyl floor(Allure- from Home Depot), and it took 156 sq. ft. of flooring to finish it. I removed the couch, and entire bed frame to do under those, so I may have used more than you might.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:13 AM   #3
janeinthemtns
 
1985 31' Excella
near Chama , New Mexico
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 163
Images: 5
Blog Entries: 2
Thank you for that information! I'm going down to Albuquerque to do the paper work on the trailer today. Really excited!

I think I'm going to need a minimum of 11' to back the AS through the gate into the back yard which is where I want to set it up. I'm going to have to take down about 50' of fencing that runs into the meadow behind the house and get somebody over here with a tractor because the ground is too uneven. Of course, the only old sage bushes near the house are growing right there. They are big and maybe 70 years old.

Now I know I can afford the bamboo flooring I want and install it myself. I plan on taking out the couch and twin beds to install it, too. I want to put a double bed in there anyway.

Thanks a lot!
Jane
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:05 AM   #4
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1985 32' Excella
Valley Village , California
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 127
Images: 16
I am excited for you! Where you plan on setting it up sounds amazing! I am thrilled with mine, and it is just sitting in the back of my driveway near my pool within minutes of the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:57 AM   #5
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1984 34' International
Toronto , Ontario
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I've just bought flooring for a 34' International. The entire floor area, including the bathroom, came to just over 210sq/ft. I bought 250sq/ft to allow for waste and curves.

What model composting toilet are you installing? That's on my list of things to do for next year.

As far as winter is concerned, I don't know if you have lifestock that needs looking after all year round, but one of the benefits of owning an Airstream is mobility.
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:16 PM   #6
janeinthemtns
 
1985 31' Excella
near Chama , New Mexico
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 163
Images: 5
Blog Entries: 2
Still have my old cow horses here, so I don't go anywhere. It's OK.

I got a Nature's Head. Couldn't find a single review anywhere that said anyone went back to a regular toilet even in a real house. I asked the trailer repair place to install it for me because I am running ragged. Picking up the trailer tomorrow and heading up the hill from Albuquerque to near Chama.

I thought I was going to have to take it to a DMV in heavy traffic in Albuquerque for the first trip out. The PO said I would have to get it weighed and inspected. Nope. Got the plate in 10 minutes in Chama this morning. Then I noticed two rubber hoses almost hitting the ground under the front bumper of my F350. Drove 50 miles to the nearest diesel mechanic over in Dulce after I tied it all together with baling twine. Of course, my telephone line wasn't working and the Jicarilla Apaches don't have their number in any telephone directories I have. He was available right away and tied the whole thing up with a zip tie. No charge! It was the transmission coolant which had popped loose. No damage!

I just needed to take a trip around the parking lot down there to see how it tracks.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:28 PM   #7
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1975 31' Sovereign
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Vernon , Texas
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Congratulations on your purchase!
As for the tow vehicle. I recently traded in a 2001 F350 with the 7.2. Best truck I ever bought to a degree. Our new 2013 is leaps and bounds advanced, but it doesn't have the over 250 grand miles I put on the 01 so time will tell... Last year we took a trip to Canada, in our 01 pulling our 75 Sov. Wyoming north to south with prevailing westerly winds was an experience, at the start. Tightened the sway and was smooth driving after. We own a landscape business so I know what you mean about 5th wheel vs bumper. I do a lot of hauling. With this new truck we went to straight bumper for our work trailers and our Airstream. Cut costs and can use the bed... Little different on backing, but if you've backed a trailer before its like riding a bike.
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Old 07-13-2013, 09:41 AM   #8
janeinthemtns
 
1985 31' Excella
near Chama , New Mexico
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 163
Images: 5
Blog Entries: 2
You are right. I had no trouble at all in traffic or backing up. Just like riding a bike.
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Old 07-21-2013, 02:01 PM   #9
janeinthemtns
 
1985 31' Excella
near Chama , New Mexico
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 163
Images: 5
Blog Entries: 2
No trouble at all with anything! I backed up all 56' or so of pickup and trailer right around a big tree in the back yard and didn't even take out the fence post on the other side. The Airstream didn't haul anything like a giant square load of ten tons of hay. It was like it wasn't even there. I came through Espanola at beer oclock on the opening day of fiestas right through heavy traffic. No trouble! It's always good when what you fear most turns out to be no big deal.
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:53 AM   #10
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1985 32' Excella
Valley Village , California
Join Date: Dec 2012
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I hope to have that same 'fear-be-gone' experience soon. It's great that worked out for you!
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:19 AM   #11
janeinthemtns
 
1985 31' Excella
near Chama , New Mexico
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 163
Images: 5
Blog Entries: 2
Just watch how the trailer tracks around behind you. Mine is 31' and tracks very well even around tight curves like we have near the ranch. Keep working at it!
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