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Old 06-08-2013, 05:38 PM   #1
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1976 31' Excella 500
Corsicana , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 5
Basic 'how to's

I just bought a 76 excella 500 AS No owners manual, completely Ignorant and I mean completely ! About how to get started / reason of purchase: to be close to Dallas for 3 times weekly for kidney dialysis without hotel expenses as commute to my house after my treatments prohibitive / hired someone to transport trailer to nearby trailer , RV park yesterday / plugged into power , attached hose in side compartment to water faucet, went to Walmart and bought sewer hose , which I believe I can attach myself hopefully tomorrow. That's all I've done : I now have power, ie lights , outlets , and new refrigerator works ( it has a button for gas/ or electricity/ ceiling AC unit works very well and cooled the trailer fairly quickly /not sure if wall thermostats work or not / seem original to trailer So here goes the dumb questions: HOW DO I GET RUNNING WATER? HOW DO I GET GAS STOVE TO Work? ( do I do anything to front two propane tanks! See I told you ! Sounds dumb but so be it/ next questions will be how to get running water if I ever decide to take a trip without being at a campsite you can hook up to I heard you have a reserve tank for a few days use and power for maybe a day or so / PLEASE HELP! PS : original control box is in sliding cabinet above stove / oven unit
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:04 PM   #2
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1988 32' Excella
Robbinsville , New Jersey
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For the sewer hose you might need 1 of these adapters to connect it to the trailer.
Valterra T05-2285VP Thetford to Valterra Universal Adapter : Amazon.com : Automotive

Once the water hose is connect to the trailer you should just have to turn on the water to the hose.

For the stove you do have to turn on the tanks first, it sometimes takes 2 minutes to get propane through the lines to the stove.
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:09 PM   #3
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1976 31' Excella 500
Corsicana , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 5
Thanks / odd I did connect hose to trailer i mean park attendant did ill see tonite if actual faucet was turned on , if so is there any switches I need to be aware of?
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:30 PM   #4
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2004 28' Classic
Midland , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 182
Welcome, sounds like you are off and running. I have only owned my AS for a few months but will try to help you if i can. First the new sewer hose you bought may not hook up. The trailer may have a Thetford fitting, the hose is probably a Valterra fitting. You will need an adapter available at any RV supply. I bought mine on ebay. For the propane just be sure there is propane in the bottles, the line is connected, and open the valves on the bottles. If you connected your hose to the park water and to the correct fitting on the trailer you should have water when you open the faucet. If not you may have a valve closed inside the trailer, check by the water heater.
Your trailer has a fresh water tank for use when you are not hooked to park water. It will be about a 40-50 gallon tank. The filler for mine is about half way on the street side. It has a little door that you open with a key then remove a cap to fill the water tank with a hose. Inside the trailer you will find a switch to turn on the 12 volt water pump. It is an on demand pump that works independent from the shore water. That's a start, there will surely be some people with much more knowledge than me offering advice. You might look around the park you are in. Most RVers are quick to help if they can. Good luck!
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:39 PM   #5
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1976 31' Excella 500
Corsicana , Texas
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Thank you so much!
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:41 PM   #6
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1976 31' Excella 500
Corsicana , Texas
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Posts: 5
Just so I know , where is the water heater placement in case water is not working ?
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:53 PM   #7
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2004 28' Classic
Midland , Texas
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On my 28' the water heater is on the street side just behind the tires, it will have a small metal door to access it.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:03 PM   #8
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1976 31' Excella 500
Corsicana , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 5
Thanks / now another problem / just got home from dialysis / 10:35 pm , a/c unit is not blowing out any air / I had it on low setting all day/ do these things freeze up? Help someone it's really hot in here!
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:12 AM   #9
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Roblin , MB.
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Your controls on the air conditioner may have not been turned on properly to "air condition" and may have been set to just exchange air. You should hear the compressor cut in when you first start the unit up.
These units can freeze up. They can also be low on Freon. However you did mention that it had cooled well previously so it should be OK.

Leave the drain valves on the grey water and black water tank closed. When the black water tank is getting full drain it first and then the grey water tank. The grey water tank will "flush" the drain valves. You need to make sure your drain hose is sloped towards the park dump. Each time you dump the tanks you may want to add a chemical treatment to prevent odors. Do a search on the forum for holding tank chemicals -there will be lots of options. The tank monitors in your control panel may not be all that accurate. If you happen to get grey water come up in the shower pan - your grey water tank is full!! You can check the black water tank level by looking down into the tank thru the toilet when the flush valve is open.

You may want to get the propane tanks filled up so that you are not running out at some inopportune time. The filler will check numbers stamped in your tank and if the date is expired you will have to get the valves re-worked. The hose fitting threads are reversed from normal if you go to disconnect them.

The hot water tank should have lighting instructions stamped inside the door access when you open it.

Your stove should have a pilot light that you should light. Do a search on the forum to see how to do that.

Do you know if the power converter / battery charger has been replaced. The original ones tend to boil your battery over. The new "intelligent" converters do not do that. Again do a search on the forums and you can learn about that situation.

Place your fridge on electricity. Put a cheap thermometer inside to monitor the temp. There will be a control to set the temperature.

Do not go away from your site and leave your awning extended. Wind and rain can damage the awning. If it is extended drop one corner down a foot so if you get a sudden downpour the awning will not pool water. Search on the forum to see how to extend and retract the awning.

You may want to purchase an operators manual or the shop service manual for your coach. Sometimes they come up on the classified on the forums and also on e-bay. I think you can also get them from Airstream. I notice there are people putting them on CD's and selling them.

Do enjoy your A/S.

You can also ask questions on the forums

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Old 06-09-2013, 07:59 AM   #10
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
Yarmouth , Maine
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 15
Greetings and welcome! While you search for the operators manual, I would recommend purchasing "The Newbies Guide to Airstreaming" by Rich Luhr. This is a great resource that provides a quick read for new Airstreamers with great directions (how to light the pilot light in the stove, how to santitize the fresh water system, how to empty your gray and black water tanks, etc). When this book arrived, I read through it in about an hour and felt more informed (and confident). Best of luck to you!
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:08 AM   #11
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Schererville , Indiana
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About your air conditioner....they do freeze up. You should turn the "cool" dial a few notches warmer than the coolest setting. It might not be ice cold, but it will keep the trailer cool and not freeze up as easily. The temperature setting is what keeps it from freezing up, not the low/med/high setting.
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