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Old 04-30-2006, 08:16 PM   #1
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1989 25' Excella
By The Bay , Rhode Island
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,547
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1989 Excella 25' newbie questions

Hi All, newbie to AS, been RV'ing long time. Put a deposit on a 89 Excella 25 today.
Checked out the NADA value, but wanted some real world opinions of the market value for above. Good conditon (needs some minor cosmetics) but overall seems well cared for.

What about real world towing experience with a 1/ 2 ton Suburban?
I use an Equalizer hitch...

One other question; is my "number" unique to my trailer? Or is that assigned when you join the club?

Any other advice/opinions to AS or this model much appreciated!

Thanx, Bill
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Old 04-30-2006, 08:39 PM   #2
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1986 25' Sovereign
Southern Middle , Tennessee
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I tow an '86 Sovereign 25' with a Chevy 2500hd 4X4 with 8.1 litre engine, 5 sp. Allison auto trans and 3.73 rear end ratio. A 6 litre engine with 4 sp. auto and 4.10 also makes a good combination in the 2500hd also. I'm not sure I would tow the '89 25' Excella with a 1/2 ton because it is heavier than my Sovereign. The Suburban 2500 would be better suited.

The big red # was placed on the trailer when owned by the previous owners as members of WBCCI.
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'01 2500hd ext. cab, 8.1 litre gas, 5 sp. Allison auto
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Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:06 PM   #3
Frank S
 
1973 27' Overlander
peoria , Illinois
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 316
Hi BilTex--I'm successfully towing a 1973 27' Overlander with a weight on the trailer axles of 6200 to 6400 lbs, with a 2001 Chevy Suburban 1/2 ton 5.3L and a 4.10 rear, with an equalizer hitch. Tow OK at 65mph on interstates. Always tow in drive (3rd gear 1 to 1 ratio). Also towed with numerious Chevy 1/2 ton Suburbans, and 3/4 ton full size vans, with 5.3L & 5.7L, all with 3.73 rear. 4.10 rear works best, and gas mileage is about the same. With the 2001 get 9 to 11mpg towing, 14 city and 16+ highway, without the A/S. You will really enjoy your Excella.--Frank S
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Old 05-01-2006, 02:10 AM   #4
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Bill, the 25 foot length is much sought after. My guess would be a range of $5000 to $15000, depending on condition. The bottom figure would be for a trailer with original appliances which need replacing, some exterior panel damage which would require panel replacement, tired clearcote on the exterior skin, some floor rot, and a suspicion of corrosion in the frame. The top figure would be for a trailer with none of the above, recently re-clearcoted, fresh tires, uncorroded, all appliances and drapes and carpet replaced etc. These are only rough ideas. For instance, I wouldn't want the corroded trailer at any price, and I wouldn't sell mine for $25000! Ultimately, of course, it's a matter of finding the price with which you and the seller are both comfortable. I hope this helps just a little bit.
Nick
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Old 05-01-2006, 05:33 AM   #5
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1989 25' Excella
By The Bay , Rhode Island
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,547
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Thanx guys, a little more info; my suby has 3.73 rear end, currently tow a lite weight trailer (no problem). The Excella will still be well within my tow limits. Never tow faster than 62/63 mph. Glad to hear others do well with similiar setup.

This AS is in pretty good condition (I would consider "excellent" condition to be pristine, garaged, etc). Seems lightly used, by an older couple. Has original appliances, carpet, upholstery, etc. Some of the fittings, latches, hinges, etc are a little rusty but can be touched up.
Has brand new tires, needs 2 batteries, clear coat peeling top rear...
how do I fix that?
I have never had a camper old enought to replace appliances-when does that typicaly occur?

Floor and chassis seems solid, any specific areas I should look at?

Price is right in the middle of your suggested range-$7k.

Thanx fo all info!
Bill
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Old 05-01-2006, 06:50 AM   #6
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Bill, check the floor for water damage by using an ice pick or similar tool. Check by the entrance door, and under the front couch where front window leaks might be a problem. Check in the bathroom where WC leaks might exist. For an indication of frame corrosion in this model, lift up the rear bumper hatch and look in the 2" diameter holes in the inside of the short length of exposed frame in each corner. See if there is serious corrosion on this section, using a powerful flashlight. As far as appliances are concerned, at 17 years old I would suggest an original water heater will have rusted out, the WC will have corroded and worn mechanisms, the furnace and refrigerator may soon need new circuit boards, the drapes will be fragile with age, some of the plumbing joints will be brittle, the roof vent plastic will be brittle, the AC shroud will be brittle and a replacement may not be available, the LPG bottles may need the new OPD valves and new flexible lines, the breakaway switch may need renewing, the brake magnets, shoes and wheel bearings may need replacing, all the vulkem on the seams and the window "eyebrows" may need renewing, as may the "fuzzies" round the window handles, the stove may have rusted parts (e.g the folding cover), the faucets may be corroded, the plastic screen for the shower may be brittle and cracked, the inner plastic end caps may have cracks that need repairing, and the caps may need paint spraying if they are yellowed with age, the folding table machanisms may be loose and cracked, all the interior light covers will need replacing because of aging plastic, hundreds of rusty self-tapping screws can be replaced with stainless steel, etc etc.... The clearcote can be replaced in sections using spray cans from Airstream after using paint stripper, or various businesses will clearcote all or part of the trailer. Perhaps $3000 for the whole trailer, or $150 each small panel, $300 for a large panel. $19 a spray can from Airstream. Use the search facility for further details of this.
If the floor and frame are sound, and there is no damage to the exterior, this sounds a very good price, and I would buy it today before someone comes along and offers them $10 K. You should budget on $3k for renovations if you do the work yourself, or "a lot more" if you pay a dealer $90 to work on it. Just my humble thoughts after owning and maintaining a similar trailer for over 6 years.(BTW, you can see from my signature which tow vehicle (3/4 ton) I purchased, after buying the trailer, as the one I considered appropriate to tow it. By using the search facility, you will see much debate, some of it heated, on the subject of the suitability of 1/2 ton vehicles for towing 6500 pound trailers.)
Nick
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Old 05-01-2006, 07:19 AM   #7
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1989 25' Excella
By The Bay , Rhode Island
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,547
Images: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickcrowhurst
Bill, check the floor for water damage by using an ice pick or similar tool. Check by the entrance door, and under the front couch where front window leaks might be a problem. Check in the bathroom where WC leaks might exist. For an indication of frame corrosion in this model, lift up the rear bumper hatch and look in the 2" diameter holes in the inside of the short length of exposed frame in each corner. See if there is serious corrosion on this section, using a powerful flashlight.
Will check this.

As far as appliances are concerned, at 17 years old I would suggest an original water heater will have rusted out, the WC will have corroded and worn mechanisms,
All this looked ok and is functioning fine.

the furnace and refrigerator may soon need new circuit boards,
New board on fridge already-has no inside cover-is this normal?

on the drapes will be fragile with age,
All this seems fine, not brittle at all

some of the plumbing joints will be brittle, the roof vent plastic will be brittle, the AC shroud will be brittle and a replacement may not be available,
I guess these items could surprise you at anytime...

the LPG bottles may need the new OPD valves and new flexible lines,
done already

the breakaway switch may need renewing, the brake magnets, shoes and wheel bearings may need replacing,
will go through all this rigth away

all the vulkem on the seams and the window "eyebrows" may need renewing, as may the "fuzzies" round the window handles,
windows seemed tight, no indication of leaks

the stove may have rusted parts (e.g the folding cover), the faucets may be corroded, the plastic screen for the shower may be brittle and cracked, the inner plastic end caps may have cracks that need repairing, and the caps may need paint spraying if they are yellowed with age, the folding table machanisms may be loose and cracked, all the interior light covers will need replacing because of aging plastic,
All this seemed fine

hundreds of rusty self-tapping screws can be replaced with stainless steel, etc etc....
Do you mean wood screws on cabinets, etc...where?

The clearcote can be replaced in sections using spray cans from Airstream after using paint stripper, or various businesses will clearcote all or part of the trailer. Perhaps $3000 for the whole trailer, or $150 each small panel, $300 for a large panel. $19 a spray can from Airstream. Use the search facility for further details of this.
Thanks, I will look into this

If the floor and frame are sound, and there is no damage to the exterior,
no exterior damage at all.

this sounds a very good price, and I would buy it today before someone comes along and offers them $10 K. You should budget on $3k for renovations if you do the work yourself, or "a lot more" if you pay a dealer $90 to work on it.
How would you rate the AS dealer network-are they sincere?
Does the company maintain high standards for their dealers?

Just my humble thoughts after owning and maintaining a similar trailer for over 6 years.(BTW, you can see from my signature which tow vehicle (3/4 ton) I purchased, after buying the trailer, as the one I considered appropriate to tow it. By using the search facility, you will see much debate, some of it heated, on the subject of the suitability of 1/2 ton vehicles for towing 6500 pound trailers.)
I do have some reservations about my 1/2 ton...now you are making me nervous...
Nick
Thanx again, Bill
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Old 05-01-2006, 09:02 AM   #8
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Bill,
1.You can't tell the condition of the appliances from a visual inspection. The first sign of a rusted-out water heater is a water leak from the bottom where the tank has rusted right through from the inside. The WC will reveal its secrets only when removed and turned upside down for inspection , and the plastic items look OK until touched, when they frequently crack or collapse.

2.The replacement refrigerator board usually fits in a splash-proof plastic case.Dinosaur sells these.

3.Rusty self-tappers will be found securing the running and security light covers and the radio aerial, as well as dozens inside holding items to the interior skin. I have used hundreds of 1/2 inch #8 stainless steel screws. Yes, hundreds!

4. As far as dealers go, I can only comment that the dealer I have used is efficient, helpful and friendly. This is Sanders RV, at Alachua, North Florida, near Gainsville. This is a family firm. If you can gain confidence in doing most of the work yourself, you will gain enormous knowledge of your trailer, as well as saving large wads of heavily taxed cash. Maintaining an old Airstream solely by depending on a dealer is asking for frustration, especially if you have to wait weeks before the dealer has a time slot to accomodate you.

5. As regards the tow vehicle, the search facility will also reveal opinions on the use of Hensley Arrow or Pullrite hitches to give an extra margin of safety when using a tow vehicle which is nearing the limits of its capabilities. Actions speak louder than words, and you can see my decision, based on studying the issue on this and other fora, and the experience of 40 years of towing, some of it with unsuitable tow vehicles. I've never heard anyone complain that their tow vehicle was too heavy and too long in the wheelbase for their trailer, or that the brakes were just too powerful!
Nick.
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Old 05-01-2006, 09:36 AM   #9
Frank S
 
1973 27' Overlander
peoria , Illinois
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 316
Hi BillTex--Just adding the item nickcrowhurst left out of #5 above: "or that the engine was too powerful.--Frank S
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Old 05-01-2006, 09:43 AM   #10
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1989 25' Excella
1998 36' Land Yacht Widebody
Kimball , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 71
25' Excella value

I think that $7k for the trailer is generally good condition is a great bargain. I own a 1989 25' Excella and certainly would expect more for mine. Other posters have indicated potential maintenance expences, but remember these are potential expences. Good to know and to keep an eye on, but not something that will prevent you enjoying it a little. The refer and the hot water heater are items to keep your eye on, but mt previous trailer was a 1972 Tradewind with the orginal refer still in good working order.

Best wishes for your purchase and enjoyment!
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Old 05-01-2006, 09:58 AM   #11
Frank S
 
1973 27' Overlander
peoria , Illinois
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Hi BillTex--My 1973 27' Overlander still has the originial fridge, water pump, and furnace working OK. Two years ago replaced both the toilet, and water heater, as well as the bath floor covering, after the w/h sprung a small leak. My A/S has been a work in progress since we aquired it in 1988, however it has always been ready to go when we wanted to go. Kind of like a house. Always something you would like to improve, but you are still living in it and enjoying it. Get that Excella, and get going A/Sing.--Frank S
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Old 05-01-2006, 11:24 AM   #12
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1988 25' Excella
Sunnyvale , California
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Heckuva Deal...

BillTex;

Greetings and welcome as well.. Nick is one of the experts on late 80's Excella's, and we are in process of becoming one as well... Ours is rear queen model, purchased in 2003 for $13K and renovated in 2004 for approx $4K, including plumbing fixtures, blinds, fantastic fans, carpet, upholstery, curtains and refrigerator door and control board..

We've had to fix our share of leaks, replace A/C gasket seal, broken bath vents, failed water heater thermostats, etc.. Replaced both batteries with matched pair (originals were unequally dead..). I'd check floor under A/C as leak there would cause mild carpet stain, but could have caused floor problems, as would leaks around front windows under couch. Still love it and would do it again, though upholstery with pink and mauve flowers really were hideous... If you have option to budget $5K in fixups and cosmetics you should have a great deal!

Oh, and we pulled ours with 1994 Suburban K1500, 5.7L non-Vortec V8, rated by Chevrolet to pull 7200#.. Worked fine except for mountain climbing and pulled it about 8,000 miles before upgrading to late model Excursion at end of 2005... We use Draw Tite Weight Distributing hitch and friction sway bar, but majority of folks here prefer a little more sophisticated hitching. Hensley probably overkill given you budget and expense planning.

John McG
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Old 05-01-2006, 06:11 PM   #13
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1989 25' Excella
By The Bay , Rhode Island
Join Date: Apr 2006
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89 Excella update

Went back again today and took a more in-depth look around (with all your help I know what to look for!). I am pleased to say that the camper is in even better condition than I first thought. No sign of any leaks, no soft floor boards, chassis is rusty (of course) but not corroded through any where. Jumped up and down on the rear bumper, banged the sheet metal under neat, pressurized all systems, no sign of leaks any where. No popped rivets, dents, dings, etc.
Only real problem I could find is peeling clear coat up top.
I spent a lot of time in, under, and all over this camper with flashlight and ice-pick. I feel much better now.

I guess all that is left is an upgrade to a Duramax/Allison!

Thanks all, I think you will be hearing more from me on this board now!
Anyone want to buy a nice clean light weight?

Bill

p.s. A couple more ? ; are AS measured over all length for the body or including the tongue?
What is the width of this Excella?
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Old 05-01-2006, 09:45 PM   #14
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1986 25' Sovereign
Southern Middle , Tennessee
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Bill,
Overall length is measured from the ball to the end of the bumper. Width should be 8' from the awning rails on the side of the trailer to the widest part of the trailer on the other side. Mid 90's went to a 6" wider body with a resulting increase of the same in the interior.
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'01 2500hd ext. cab, 8.1 litre gas, 5 sp. Allison auto
3.73 rear end
Mag-Hytec rear diff cover
Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
Amsoil synthetics all around
265 watt AM Solar, Inc. system
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