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Old 06-10-2011, 02:29 PM   #1
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1976 Excella 500

I have a chance to buy a 1976 Excella 500 at a good price. I am told the dry weight is 5736 lbs. My truck is rated to tow 4500 lbs to 5000 lbs. What can I eliminate to drop the weight? I know that I will need to replace flooring in the mid bathroom and between the enterance door and wall & Replace the tires. The owner tells me that everything is working.
I really would appreciate you advice!!

Thanks,
Rodney
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Old 06-10-2011, 03:14 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by urb2165 View Post
I have a chance to buy a 1976 Excella 500 at a good price. I am told the dry weight is 5736 lbs. My truck is rated to tow 4500 lbs to 5000 lbs. What can I eliminate to drop the weight? I know that I will need to replace flooring in the mid bathroom and between the enterance door and wall & Replace the tires. The owner tells me that everything is working.
I really would appreciate you advice!!

Thanks,
Rodney
The weight is closer to 5000 pounds.

You should be more than OK, even with full water.

Also, since the trailer is 35 years old, you should check out the axles, as well as the exterior gaskets and especially the sewer vent pipe cover gaskets, that only last 2 to 3 years.

The Dura-Torque Axle

Andy
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Old 06-10-2011, 03:38 PM   #3
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Rodney that dry weight is without A/C or propane tanks & propane. Then there is the weight of water, either fresh or waste. I don't think you can cut out enough weight to use your truck as a tow vehicle. The loaded capacity of that trailer is 7100 lbs.
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:20 PM   #4
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Rodney I'm not even sure that weight includes the microwave if so equipped. I think the trailer is excellent (but I'm Biased) but I think that you'll will wish you had a more suitable tow vehicle. You could loose the shore power cable reel, fresh water cable reel, and the generator if so equipped. Doing so will increase your tongue weight and as Wasagachris mentioned...

Love those center bath floor plans
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:47 PM   #5
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Hello Dillon! U right down the road..
First, I'm curious who is right, Chris or Andy.

Second, I'm curious what the actual empty weight is, including the AC..
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Old 06-11-2011, 12:01 AM   #6
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Your Excella 500 may weigh more than 6000-7000 when fully loaded. Even totally empty you are exceeding the tow rating of your vehicle if the numbers you provided are correct. What kind of tow vehicle do you have?
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Old 06-11-2011, 09:08 AM   #7
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Tow vehicle

My tow vehicle is a 2001 Dodge Dakota Sport 4 door 2wd.
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Old 06-11-2011, 09:20 AM   #8
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According to Edmunds, the towing capacity of that model is only 3200 lbs.
2001 Dodge Dakota Sport Crew Cab Pickup 3.9L V6 5-speed Manual 5.2 ft. Bed Features and Specs
Maybe it's time for a new truck?
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Old 06-11-2011, 09:32 AM   #9
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Tow vehicle

I forgot to mention that my 2001 Dodge Dakota Sport 4 door 2wd has the big V8. Will it safely tow the excella 500? I get 19 MPG with it. Of course if I tow the Excella 500 I will not get that MPG.
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Old 06-11-2011, 10:28 AM   #10
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Engine size is not the issue. Transmission, rear axle and springs are going to take the strain of pulling a heavy load. Steering capabilites will be comprimised if too heavy a load is put on the rear end. Sure you can pull it but how safely and for how long before either you have a wreck or damage the truck resulting in very expensive repairs. You will need to install a transmission oil cooler, possibly also an engine oil cooler, an electric brake controller and a good weight distribution hitch with sway control. Even then you will be towing at the upper limit of your capabilities and have no safety margin.
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Old 06-11-2011, 10:34 AM   #11
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Thanks for you advice

So what weight trailer do you think I can safely tow?
Funny two weeks ago I was considering buying a vehicle for better MPG and today if I buy this Excella 500 I will have to buy a bigger truck poor MPG. I have even been looking at Canned Hams vintage Travel Trailers.
I look forward to your advice.
Thanks
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Old 06-11-2011, 10:51 AM   #12
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Rodney that is the big debate going on in this thread. You say your truck is rated to tow 4500 to 5000 lbs and has a V8. The link Richard provides only shows a 4 cyl or a V6 as engine choices and a towing capacity of 3200 lbs. Which set of statistics is correct? can you tell us how you know the towing capacity and if the V8 is original?
Most will tell you to stay 10% to 15% under the capacity limits of your tow vehicle for a safety margin.
I agree with Not Done the Excella is a great trailer and if you can get it for a good price why not upgrade the tow vehicle to match the trailer? The Excella's in their day were the absolute top of the line model that Airstream made with a lot of extras not available on any other model.
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Old 06-11-2011, 01:00 PM   #13
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Urb, based on your Dakota's tow rating, you are limited to 21-23' trailer in my opinion. Wheelbase of the tow vehicle is also a consideration. There are lots of used vehicles out there that can adequately tow the Excella. Maybe you can get one for $5000 or so. You will need either a newer model half ton model with tow package at minimum or preferably any 3/4 ton with a tow package. l was in a similar situation when I inherited my Excella 500. I had a half ton Tahoe practically brand new with a 8300lb tow rating but it was not safe towing as the suspension was too soft and the wheelbase was too short. I ended up trading it in on a 2010 Super Duty and I can go anywhere. You don't need new however. I just sold my dad's 95 Ford F350 with 98,000 miles for $4000. That truck was a superb tow vehicle for my Excella. If the trailer you are looking at is in good shape, it is worth it to upgrade the tow vehicle.
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