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Old 04-26-2011, 07:37 AM   #1
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1975 31' Excella 500
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Reconfiguration of a 1975 31' Excella

My wife and I have been RV shopping for several years and never found a floorplan that we felt best suited our needs. I was always keeping an AS in the back of my mind in order to build the RV the way we wanted to use it.

Low and behold my wife went to a local auction and came back the owner of a 1975 Excella 500. (Thank goodness my brother was with her to talk her into it as she was upalled by the condition and look of the interior).

I am preparing for the full monte, even toying with the idea of having one of my friends who owns a fabrication shop tackle a new aluminum chasis.

We downloaded the service manuals and want to do a variation of the center bath version. (It currently is the rear bath.)

Now to the point.

1.Has anyone switchced the rear bath to the center?
2. Can you point me in the direction of a good online retailer of general RV equipment? (We do not plan on doing an OEM reno)

Great site and thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:21 AM   #2
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Welcome to the group and congratulations on the new Airstream.

The idea of an aluminum frame and bath relocation has come up before and you should be able to find some threads on the subjects.

Here are a few to get you started.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...hlight=welding

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f46/...highlight=bath
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f163...highlight=bath
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f46/...highlight=bath


As for online retailers, several are members here and a Google search should yield others.


Kevin
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:31 AM   #3
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Excellawyer Welcome to the forums and congrats on your purchase. I am an Excella owner also and am doing a full monte on mine so I can help with pointers.

Changing from a rear bath to a center bath is problematic. The issues lie with the placement of windows and exterior compartments on the shell. The other problem is the placement of the stink pipe vents that go up through the roof. Unless you are prepared to move the windows from the center bedroom to the rear and eliminate the two exterior storage compartments which would require you to reskin the shell where the windows were, the center windows would be in the way of the center bath layout.
You would also have to relocate the black and grey waste water tanks and their vent pipes which would require patching the old holes in the roof. There is also the location of the water heater and the battery both of which are currently hidden inside cabinetry in the rear bath layout, they would interfer with the placemant of the rear bed plan.
Anything is doable just how much time and effort are you willing to undertake. That is a lot of work and money to get the desired results.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:36 AM   #4
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Hi and welcome! Regarding the aluminum frame...check out Vinstream online for some ideas for your do-it-yourself project. They have been providing aluminum replacement frames for Airstreams for some time now.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:20 AM   #5
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1975 31' Excella 500
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Thanks for your quick response. I will look into the issues and resources some of you have pointed out.

As far as cost goes, we picked it up for less than we could get for it if we took it to our local scrap yard. I'd rather put the money into this rebuild than into a fast depreciating SOB.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phrunes View Post
Hi and welcome! Regarding the aluminum frame...check out Vinstream online for some ideas for your do-it-yourself project. They have been providing aluminum replacement frames for Airstreams for some time now.
Vinstream is not providing aluminium frames. They do not have DOT approval and are not selling frames to the public.
VINSTREAM VINTAGE AIRSTREAM TRAILER CUSTOM DESIGN RESTORATION SALE
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:11 AM   #7
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1975 31' Excella 500
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Vinstream is not providing aluminium frames. They do not have DOT approval and are not selling frames to the public.
VINSTREAM VINTAGE AIRSTREAM TRAILER CUSTOM DESIGN RESTORATION SALE
But I can get some ideas from the pictures.
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Vinstream is not providing aluminium frames. They do not have DOT approval and are not selling frames to the public.
VINSTREAM VINTAGE AIRSTREAM TRAILER CUSTOM DESIGN RESTORATION SALE
Excellawyer,
In legal terms: strike, restate:
Wasagachris is correct, Vinstream does not sell their chassis system as a stand alone product because of pending DOT approval. I was suggesting exacly what you stated; some good ole fashioned pictures for ideas.

To my point however, customers using their designs services can certainly have their aluminum monocoque chassis system integrated into their completed project for road use. - Much like the beadlock rims on my TV, they don't carry DOT approval, but the safety of thousands of professional racers who have been using them since the forty's speaks volumes to me about their inherent benefits.

I personally would be more concerned with the grounding issues of an all aluminum chassis and skin.
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:39 AM   #9
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Cost is also an issue. An aluminium frame needs to be much larger and heavier to carry the same load as steel. It has been discussed before and IIRC the cost was three to four times that of steel.
Read the resto thread by boatdoc, he built an aluminium frame for his argosy.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:42 AM   #10
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1975 31' Excella 500
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All excellent points. As I got thinking about it, how much weight am I realy going to save? I guess I am going to reserve decision on the frame until I get the wraps and pan off for a throrough decision.

Any idea if Vinstream sells their floor/deck system? That looks intriguing.
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:44 AM   #11
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I built a whole new frame in steel and beefed it up some. Material, labor and the POR-15 rust paint cost about $2,500.00. The POR-15 paint will never let it rust again. You can't chip off that paint wiht a hammer and a chisel.
POR15, Inc. - Stop Rust Permanently - Repair Gas & Fuel Tanks
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