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Old 01-25-2011, 07:32 PM   #1
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Esmerelda the 1992 Excella 29'

2AirIsHuman made what I thought was a good suggestion - to put all my stuff about our Excella here in the Excella early 90s forum. I wish I had put it all in here under one thread and then I could track it better myself.

Today I saw a 1990 Excella 31' in the state paper here in Arkansas for sale! That's unusual. I wonder if it belongs to a forum member? If anyone is interested, I wouldn't mind going and looking at 'er. Bet I look closely knowing what I know now - sellers should be prepared to have carpet at walls pulled up a little if they want ME to consider.

Anyway, since I've been finding tons of leaks and several spots of rotted floor and wet pink junk, I've been sort of whiney. Well, that and the fact that it's too cold to do any real work on it or go anywhere in it - so it's just sitting there. Maddening. She's had two snow pile ups on 'er so far - which melt very slowly because of the cold (for Arkansas) - and probably only after pushing my leaks a bit more as it refreezes overnight. There's gobs of Vulkem to get off of the trouble area before we can try to seal it again. Suspect rear curbside awning attachment and the whole seam under the awning arm, not to mention the storage compartment. We're going by where the vulkem is applied as a first suspect for leaking, but it may be something, or several somethings, else. Anyone have hints for getting old vulkem out? It's sort of metal gray - could be Par Bond or anything, I guess.

She's at Moix RV today, and of course, what RV dealer doesn't have to keep one's trailer at least overnight. Turns out that one of the four NEW brakes installed by The Trailer Store last week is sticking. Ray got a slight burn by checking for heat after he towed 'er 18 miles, since we're used to our wheels and hubs being cool as cucumbers. He felt some grabbing while going 20 miles with 'er. First time we've ever had heat.

Sometimes I think we should have just put new tires on and left her alone. She towed home from the dealer beautifully, although noisily. Only one wheel, one side. So, now they have to fix that. She's in there to get her LP system checked out and see if anything works - furnace, hotwater, stove, fridge, etc. But we also have to find a cap for the hot water heater, as ours blew away when I failed to lock the hot water compartment well. Danged pulley pushy turnie thingie, anyway. And you know, from my background, that dang is not the real word I said..

We've lubricated all that can be lubricated on the trailer - wow - there's a lot of hinges in that thing.

Anyway, I'm feeling better since the 1990, two years older than ours,( but it's 31' instead of 29') is for sale for an asking price about $6,000 more than we paid. Makes the last couple of thousand we've spent seem a little easier to take. Of course, there's that floor....and Lord knows what surprises are under it. Oh, well. We're taking it somewhere soon, probably to Sarasota to WBCCI Ralley since we can go as newbies and decide whether to join. Must decide and be registered by Feb. 5, I think. I may have mentioned, Sarasota is our other "home town" and we still have a daughter living there.
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Old 01-27-2011, 11:04 PM   #2
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Unhappy Frustration!

When Mr. called today to see when Esmerelda would be ready to come home, the guy said, "aw, maybe in a couple of days." Mr repeated, with a little volume and surprise, "a couple of days?" It's already been two days, and there wasn't much to be done. So, after I had a little fit, we went 18 miles, picked her with the new skylight we'd ordered and told them to forget it. Felt kind of like telling them more....but Mr wouldn't approve.

Streetside rear wheel got hot when Mr. took her there (18 miles) on Tuesday. And it got hot on the way back today. Stopped after about 10 miles to check. Yep, it was hot. Let it cool off a little. Drove slowly on in. Mr had to drop me off at daughter's house to watch grandkids, and when he left, I heard, from inside the house and as he drove away, "EEEEE EEEEE EEEEE" Really? That's new. Didn't hear it sound off until we got back.

Lovely. It sounded like that BEFORE we got new brakes, bearings packed, etc., but then nothing was getting hot. The noise wasn't there when we first got it out of the shop. Did they leave a bearing unpacked?

The first trailer shop says they will make it right. Yeah, right, if they even can. They say it can only be two things - auxilliary brake set too high, or bad brake adjustment. It isn't the auxilliary brake. Mr. B. backed it almost completely off and it didn't help. Still screaming, still getting hot. So, I don't know what they've done. I wanted to say, when he said it could only be one of two things...."wanna' bet?" She has many secrets, as we are learning so well -

Good news is Esmerelda is now at a nearby trailer park, which unbelievably gave us electricity and a good place to park for a mere $50 per month. We can work on it there, although it is not inside storage. And it has a nice mat of grass underneath which is dead but soft and dry! My laying down place!

We have two days of warm sunny weather forecast before it gets cold and snowy again. Not willing to waste good weather, so we're not going to take her back until next week. Meanwhile, we can be sealing and getting the back carpet out so we can see the extent of rot.

Back to the first shop when it's rainy/snowy and cold and get the brake/wheel problem addressed. It never got hot enough to smoke, but hot enough to burn a finger, and a little smelly, though not too bad.

I don't like having someone work on our Stream and we would be better served to buy more tools, come to the forum for help, and even to hire a helper, than to pay highway robbery for work that isn't right. The prices are ridiculous and then we have the hassle of going back to the shop to get it corrected. Grrrrrrr....
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:32 AM   #3
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Sounds like you are sliding nicely into Airstream life, Carol. You're being realistic already. Never to good to get all excited over something not going the way you'd like it to, otherwise a lot more AS experiences will be negative, and you bought it for the positive ones, of course.

The only thing I thought of when you were talking about the drum getting hot and the wheel being noisy, is the brake springs. I -think- that the way it works is that the magnets turn "on" the braking effect (pull the shoes into contact with the drums), then when you take your foot off the brakes, the springs then pull the shoes off the drum.

So, IF I'm right and IF that's what happened, and IF you have a bad spring... Well you can see where I'm going, I guess.

As for getting Vulkem off, I find that those plastic ice scrapers for car windows work well. They're stiff enough to get the Vulkem off, but not so hard as to damage / scratch the aluminum. Trouble is, I dunno if they sell them in your area; y'all don't get much winter, I hear tell Worst case, ask a northern friend to mail you a few, they are cheap and light, regular mail wouldn't be a lot of money.
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:39 AM   #4
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Hi Carol,
Like your taste in trailers and trucks. We have an 89' Excella - 29' and similar pickup.
Anyway - you can fix this wheel problem easily yourself.
If it were me - I would first start by getting the wheel up off the ground and spin it a few time and listen for metallic scraping sounds. If the wheel is hard to turn then start with backing off the brake spring adjuster. This is done by the little window on the rear of the brake drum backing plate. There is a tool for this job but in a pinch you could use a long skinny screwdriver.
If your adventurous I would just pull the drum off, inspect the brake components, repack the bearings, assemble, readjust the brakes and take it for a drive. It would be good for you to learn this basic knowledge of your running gear to make you more confident in your future travels.
Look at Dexter axle's website. They have some good primers on how to work on a trailer axle.
PM if you have any questions.
Dexter Axle - Trailer Axles and Running Gear Components - RESOURCE LIBRARY
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:19 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by LawChick View Post
...when he left, I heard, from inside the house and as he drove away, "EEEEE EEEEE EEEEE" Really? That's new. Didn't hear it sound off until we got back.

Lovely. It sounded like that BEFORE we got new brakes, bearings packed, etc., but then nothing was getting hot. ...

They say it can only be two things - auxilliary brake set too high, or bad brake adjustment....
Hearing the brakes rub a little bit is OK as long as the wheel will continue turning for a revolution or so after your start it spinning. This is normal and will not heat up the drum.

The other thing that makes trailer wheels hot is a badly adjusted retaining nut. You can't adjust trailer wheels and bearings like a car--they have to be much looser. On a car you tighten the nut until the wheel just barely moves (not rotate, but jiggle on the axle, in and out), then back off one castellation notch. On a trailer you might back off 6-8-10 notches. When you grab the top of the wheel and try to wiggle it, it should move noticeably.

I admit this makes no sense to me. I tried everything to get my Caravel wheels to stop overheating until some forum member said loosen 'em up! Maybe some expert will chime in here and tell us how much.

Zep
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:58 PM   #6
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check out this thread.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437...ent-23576.html

here is a document.
Hubs_Drums___Bearings_9-10.pdf
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Old 02-05-2011, 07:05 AM   #7
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One that I like (in addition to above):

Trailer Brake Inspection
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:14 AM   #8
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You are gonna LOVE the way that Dodge tows! We drug our 29' all over the USA then did it again to our 34'

The interior looks really nice...sling some photos into the thread for us 'tech-no' challenged folks...

On edit...get one of those $30 infrared laser therm-o-meters to check the hub temp. I keep it in the drivers door and shoot the hubs and tires at each stop. It may save a toasted hand.
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Old 02-06-2011, 10:06 AM   #9
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You are gonna LOVE the way that Dodge tows! We drug our 29' all over the USA then did it again to our 34'

The interior looks really nice...sling some photos into the thread for us 'tech-no' challenged folks...

On edit...get one of those $30 infrared laser therm-o-meters to check the hub temp. I keep it in the drivers door and shoot the hubs and tires at each stop. It may save a toasted hand.
X2 on all the above
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:21 PM   #10
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As I may have mentioned in a previous post somewhere, Esmerelda has a boo-boo just beyond the rear streetside wheel. Apparently there was a blowout or a wheel pop off or something drastic, which took out the doors on the storage compartment closest and tore up a piece of banana skin. We need to replace those two parts and plan to order them, if we can. They are beyond repair, I think.



But as we got down and started taking photos, I got concerned about how much damage may have been done to the sewer valve, and there is a suspicious looking mess going into the sewer tank. It appears there has been sheet metal added to try to fix it. Since Essie is winterized, we don't know if there is a problem here, but it looks to me as if the pipe may have been knocked loose from the frame.


I'm posting photos here of the messed up areas and would like input. I'm not even sure that sewer valve is going to work. Looks like it all took a hard hit. What do you think?
(On the positive side, just found out that the appliances all work, and after adding a new regulator, the LP system is ready to use! Including heater.)
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:24 PM   #11
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Those are new tires

Btw, folks, the photos I just posted are excellent reasons to make sure your tires are good. Esmerelda's PO obviously had to learn that lesson the hard way - but now WE have to fix the damage!
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:16 PM   #12
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...I'm posting photos here of the messed up areas and would like input...
This thread might give you some idea of how to fix the area immediately adjacent to the wheel well.

This one covers how to fix the banana skin in the locations where it's a compound curve. The damage you have is a single curve, so you can pound it out as best you can, then use a piece of flat sheet to double the skin down at the edge that attaches to the belly pan.

Zep
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:35 PM   #13
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This thread might give you some idea of how to fix the area immediately adjacent to the wheel well.

This one covers how to fix the banana skin in the locations where it's a compound curve. The damage you have is a single curve, so you can pound it out as best you can, then use a piece of flat sheet to double the skin down at the edge that attaches to the belly pan.

Zep
This forum -- the above post a perfect example -- showcases it's already happened, and a fix (or three) has already been issued.

That type damage is scary without knowing ahead of time what it looks like underneath, what materials/tools I might need, and an approximation of time to do it (should I drag it home from storage, or just best to have a shop do it if it takes too many hours, etc), plus a handful of opinions on how best to do it.

Had a nice PM from another Vintage Kin owner recently, we agree that there is nothing quite like AIR!!

.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:50 PM   #14
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Smile Hooked 'em up, headed out

Ok guys, Ray and I along with our dog, Teddy, and our cat, Baxter, are hooked up and headed out. Esmerelda is towing beautifully, tv been serviced and ready to go. We've done all the repairs we're going to do without using her. It's about to turn chilly here again in Arkansas, so we're heading to Florida. Sarasota. Hometown. Esmerelda needs a little more rust!

Pray for a safe uneventful (in the way of repairs) trip for us. This is a trip we know really well. We got loaded, that wheel we've talked about was still heating up. They repacked the bearing, adjusted brakes, and now that particular problem seems gone. Thus the late start. However, since we have our motel room behind us, we'll stop whenever we get tired and don't care how long it takes us to get there.

We're nervous, of course, and so is the dog and cat!!
We'll be down off the computer for a while until we get somewhere else with wireless, but I can also get on the forum on my cell phone.

We'll be going down through Arkansas to I-20, then to Jackson, then 98 to Hattiesburg, and on to Mobile, AL. From there, it's just I-10 but we'll probably get off on 19 or 98 or one of the backroads once we get well into Florida and enjoy the scenery.

If you see us, honk and holler and give us a wave. We don't have our Air Forums sticker yet, although we did send the money. I expect it will be a while. But we're apt to be the only red Ram 2500 pulling a 92 29er Excella in the area. However, we did run into another person with a similar rig while getting the tv serviced.

See ya' on the road. I'll try to check in here every day by using my phone!

Carol & Ray (REburt), Teddy the Bichon and Baxter the tom cat!
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