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Old 10-12-2011, 08:28 PM   #1
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Questions about 1987 Excella 32 foot

I just bought a 1987 32-foot Excella and there are some real puzzles as to what and where things are. I had just sold my 1994 Land Yacht diesel 34-foot motorhome (you've got to have really deep pockets to maintain one of these babies) so while I'm not new to Airstream, I'm very new to the Excella. I just picked this up yesterday and I'm bringing it home from Wisconsin to Ontario. The trailer has been in storage for the past 2 years and the seller who is 90 years old has been going through a number of medical issues.

This particular trailer is equipped with a Trace Engineering UX1412SB 1400VA inverter-charger, 4 gel-cell batteries and 3 75-watt solar panels. As I pore over the documentation, I cannot figure out just where the 110-volt AC from the inverter is connected to the trailer's 110-volt system (no 110-volt wall socket is "live" if the shore power is unconnected). Behind the sofa in the front there are 2 switches - one is the recessed rotary 12-volt on/off switch and the other is a common household wall switch that is labeled on/off. It is set at on and there is no live 110-volt socket except when the shore power is plugged in. Any ideas as to what that switch is for? Any ideas about getting the inverter to work?

In a small shallow cupboard above the stove and the power vent there is a common household 110-volt wall switch - I can't figure out what this is supposed to do. Any ideas?

Howard
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:25 PM   #2
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The Trace I had (years ago) had an auto switch over and powered whatever leg was routed 'thru' it.

The switch behind the sofa...turns off the univolt.

The one in the cabnet switched power between the AC and the Microwave...

Atleast thats how mine works!

On Edit....the danged 'ole Trace would get confused and need resetting sometimes...it also had to be 'ON' in the right mode to automatically switch when power was lost.

The biggest issue I had with it was the off-line draw would kill a battery, and once dead, the charger function would NOT come on unless the battery was given a small charge so the Trace could 'see' it
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:08 AM   #3
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The on/off wall switch most likely turns the Trace inverter on/off. I have a '97 34' and there is a wall switch just aft of the front window on the curbside for turning my converter on/off. Other than an internal problem, I can't begin to guess why you are not getting AC out of the inverter.
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:50 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I'm currently in Jackson Center. My plans were to drop in there on the way back to Canada and have them put on the stainless steel corner segment guards and install a cellular antenna on the roof. After the first day I saw that there was some staining of the curtains on that corner as well as some dry mildew on the upholstered part that covers the space between the sofa and the side wall. It turned out that the window seals were leaking, so they removed the stone guards and redid the window seals. At the same time the tech removed the bezel from the Fantastic fan so as to see how he could route the cable from the cellular antenna. At this juncture it was time to water test the window seals - they held up fine, but he noticed that water was seeping in around some of the rivets on the seam just in front of the vent/Fantastic fan. So this became the more urgent issue and he has removed most of the interior liner so that they could remove and redo the Olympic rivets. In a way if was good that he found this, as it is not likely that we would have been able to diagnose this. I did mention the inverter to him and he said he would have someone look into it.

Went on the factory tour - very informative but re-enforces the decision to stick with the older trailers, particularly with respect to the quality of the interior cabinetry. As well, the new trailers come with steel propane tanks, except the Classic models.
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:47 PM   #5
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Got the inverter working fine, but I see that the solar controller is defective. I picked up a new controller and will install it this weekend.

I do have another question:

There is a vent above the stove. It has a lever which I assume should slide, but doesn't. I noticed that on the exterior there is some kind of vent opening, but I'm not sure how it is supposed to work. What is the preferable way to free this up?

TIA
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:56 AM   #6
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Progress . . . got the vent working, changed all the interior incandescent lighting to LED's. Drove from Ontario down to Arizona for the winter and the ease of towing and comfort level is fantastic. I will be putting in a new catalytic heater - the old one isn't working all that well, and the cost of a new one is not that much more than sending the old one back to Camco for rebuilding.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:52 AM   #7
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I, too, just became an Airstream owner, a 1987 Excella 32 foot. I am totally new to Airstream, however not to RVing. If anyone has an owners manual which they could scan and email to me, I sure would appreciate it. What should I be on the lookout for? Are there known trouble spots? Any other information would be helpful.
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Old 09-22-2013, 09:02 AM   #8
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We have a 1986 manual if it would help you. Where do you live?
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:04 AM   #9
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Skatiero, I'm outside of Knoxville, TN. Sorry, it's taken me so long to respond. I think the 1986 manual would be about the same. Thanks.
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:15 PM   #10
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We are north of Atlanta. Do you know what parts you need?
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