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Old 01-22-2015, 07:59 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1973 Argosy 26
Granby , Massachusetts
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 31
Looking to Purchase


We are getting ready to purchase our first Airstream which will be a '76 Excella 500. I wanted to post pictures and get some feedback on the big things to look at. I understand floor rot, axles, and rear separation but I figured you guys may know a little more than me. It has a lot of original items (cabinets, twin beds, rear bath, couches) but are there any big ticket items to watch out for? There is a new fridge (3 way), new ac with heat strip, and a new 3 way water heater.

Here is the link.

Once I figure out how to post pictures I will post them .

In looking for the link to post on here this airstream was posted.

I appreciate any thoughts.


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Old 01-22-2015, 08:49 PM   #2
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,899
Download the buyer's inspection checklist from the "portal" tab, and use it to go through the trailer. In addition to the things you already know to look for, look for popped/sheared rivets, dents in the shell (they don't just "pop" out), and kludgey P.O. repairs.

good luck!

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Old 01-22-2015, 11:11 PM   #3
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1999 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Round Rock , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,472
Images: 2
wow.. that is REALLLLLLY vague CL post... be careful!!!
Peace and Blessings..
WBCCI# 30676
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:26 AM   #4
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,899
Now that I have a few more minutes to type...

It is encouraging that there are so many new major appliances, and also that it looks like the owner actually bought RV specific items (its always a bad sign when the the refrigerator has been replaced with a cheap AC only dorm fridge).

It is discouraging that the owner didn't try a little harder with the Craigslist ad. The fact that there are no pictures, and very little information always makes me suspicious that they are hiding something.

You mentioned that most of the interior is "original." This usually scares me as well, as the more original a 40 year old trailer is, the more work you have to do to fix it up. I could easily imagine that someone bought a field-find trailer, and got a good deal on it, got it home to discover that most of the major appliances are shot, took the initial steps to replace those items, and eventually reached the conclusion that this rig still requires a lot of work and money to make it viable, so they are now just trying to cut their losses.

So just manage your expectations--this rig is likely to have frame and floor rot common to 70's vintage trailers, and will likely still require thousands of dollars and months/years of work to get it up to snuff. It is always dangerous to drive several hours to look at a trailer, because you can easily convince yourslef that the things you find are "easy fixes," and you end up hauling home much more of a project than you originally set out looking for.

good luck!
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Old 01-23-2015, 11:43 AM   #5
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1973 27' Overlander
Portsmouth , Virginia
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 775
A rig in really good shape for 6500 bucks probably wouldn't stay on the list for 23 days, even in Buffalo in the middle of winter. It may be worth your while to find somebody local to the area and have them look at it just to have another set of eyes give it a once over. No pix, be suspicious.

Ongoing adventures at:
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