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Old 07-30-2008, 09:46 PM   #1
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Potential buyer help

Hello there Airstream world!!! Here's the deal. My wife and I are contemplating on purchasing a 1994 Excella 1000 M35. The trailer is at a local dealership and I'm thinking that they may want to get rid of it fairly soon. We're trading in a 2002 Jayco Designer Legacy M3110 RLTS. I've been a Airstream fan for many years, but when the Jayco came up at work as a repo, it was too good to pass up. Now I've found the Airstream, and I think that I've fallen in love.
First thing is first. Based upon a rapid inspection on my lunch break today, it appears that the sliding window treatments are gone. Not too sure where to, but they aren't there. How difficult will it be to find replacement sliding blinds?
Secondly, and most importantly, what should I truly be concerned with and look for when inspecting this unit? Of course, I'm going to check to ensure that all major items(hot water heater, air conditioning, refrigerator, pump, and tanks) work correctly. Are there any little peccadillos that I would need to be aware of prior to finalizing the transaction? My Jayco is in darn near perfect condition, and everything works mechanically, but I want to ensure that everything on the Airstream works as good as what I've already got.
Thirdly, well, I can't really think of anything else, but I suspect that I'll get a bunch of good advice. Please help, I'm very interested, but I don't want to rush in and make a poor choice to go from super nice quality, so something that I'll continuously be working on...
Thanks in advance, and I hope to look forward to joining the family soon!
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:11 PM   #2
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First, welcome to the Airforums...there is an unbelievable depth of information and knowledge here, and I am sure you will be able to glean what you need to know to buy intelligently...

Can't help you with specifics about the model you are interested in but here is a link to a subforum that will be helpful in the buying process... http://www.airforums.com/forums/f353/ And here is another subforum that deals with Exccella 1000s... http://www.airforums.com/forums/f180/

Hope this helps as a place to start...others who are more knowledgeable to your specific model will chime in to help...

See you down the road...
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:54 PM   #3
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Thanks TB! Now I've got another question. When looking at some pictures of the prospective trailer that we're thinking of buying, how can you tell if there's any structural damage to it? When looking at the pics, it appears that the sheet metal(aluminum) has potentially either been dented or buckled behind the right side wheel-well, and on the left side, it appears that the same damage is present on the front side of the wheel well. I can refer you or anyone to a website with photos of the trailer for professional assessment. Let me know!
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Old 07-30-2008, 11:30 PM   #4
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Is this unit at an Airstream dealer? A reputable dealer ought to be qualified to give you an honest rundown on its "real" condition...

You are wise to want to investiage any damage you see and find out how extensive it is...and what's going to be involved in repairs needed. The unit you are looking at is not all that old, but still you need to find out if the axles are good, if the floor is in good shape, if there is an shell/floor separation, if the systems work, etc...and much of that you an only determine by taking a close look with someone who knows what to look for....or to learn what to look for yourself. Those buying guides should be helpful.

Some members are willing to go a given number of miles to help inspect a potential AS purchase if you ask them...surely there is someone on this forum near enough to you who would be knowledgeable enough to lend a hand. Maybe you can have someone familiar enough with used Airstreams to take a look at it with you...click on "member search" in the left column next to the Portal Page...this will take you to a window to set parameters for a member search...set your location and then scroll down to "inspector type" and click one of those categories and then search... if nothing comes up, broaden the search by location and/or inspection type.

Good luck! It's late now, so don't give up on getting input form the forums...check here over the next couple of days to see if anyone else has any help to offer...odds are they will...

Good luck!
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:05 AM   #5
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First off and very important are the axles. If the trailer sat rather than used regularly they may have relaxed. When looking under the trailer look across to the back of the wheels on the other side. There is an arm that goes reward from the axle to the wheel center. That arm should have a downward angle of about 10 degrees. If the arms are level or slightly upward the axles will need replacement. $800.00 each plus labor.

If the trailer has red numbers front and rear the original owner will be listed is the Airstream Membership Directory and you could contact them.

Look at the rear bumper and see if the seal between the bumper and the body has opened. If so check the floor just inside the trailer as any water leaking passed that joint will go in directly to the subfloor. Lift the bed or beds and poke with an ice poke the floor just inside the body. Should not be soft.

Check the vent over the shower for a crack. Mine was cracked and I found water in the wall forward of the ref. The drain hole below that vent was full of dirt and the water moved along the framing several feet before entering the wall.
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:59 AM   #6
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Thanks HowieE! Yeah, last night after I found this forum, I read about the Dura Torq axles and what to look for. I'm going to take my wife to see it today and that'll be one thing that I look at. I'll also look at the rear bumper to see the seal there. I took a quick look at the air vent in the shower stall and on initial inspection, it looked good, but I'll look a lot more closely.
The one thing about the trailer that I like is that the finish is in excellent shape. The clear-coat isn't peeling at all. My only concerns are a couple of spots where the sheet-aluminum appears to be slight buckled. I can't tell if they are just minor dents, or potentially issues with the structure.
After getting some help from TB, I went and found a member on here that is a local dealer of Airstream. I've PM'd her to see if she or someone else in the business may be able to help me look at the trailer.
One of the nice things is that the trailer is at a local dealer, so they've already done a few checks. I don't trust anyone but myself, so I'll have to double check everything, but at least I know it's been kind of looked at. I just hope they'll let me take it out for a test pull to see how things go.
I'll keep this updated as I go!
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Old 07-31-2008, 01:35 PM   #7
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If U aint left all ready Take some old clothes and Crawl under that baby and look at those arms and the condition of the belly pan and how much rust is on the frame.Look at tire wear while U are under there.If the arms are parallel with the frame it needs axles,(knock off $1500)the rubber solidifies.
Trust me I JUST changed out a pair from our OVERLANDER the first of this week I know the signs. I installed Dura-Torq from Henshen. If U have any mechinacal skills at all U can change em. The appearance of what appears to be buckles in the metal may indeed be camera angle . U will be able to tell. IF thats a reputable dealer and U are serious he will pull that baby up to the shop and hook her up to everything and then U can really check everything.
Best of luck to U///// I'M SORRY U HAVE CONTRACTED "ALUMINITIUS"
FOR WHICH THERE IS NO CURE /////SORRY The only way to slow the progress of ALUMINUNITIS is to BUY ONE (Airstream that is)
GOOD LUCK and WELCOME TO THE FORUMS
Roger
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Old 07-31-2008, 02:45 PM   #8
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Thanks Roger! Yeah, I went and took another more close look at it today. Drum roll please.......... the rear axle of the three has positive droop, indicating that it's bad. The front two are parallel, which based upon reading, indicates that they'll need to be replaced soon, if not right now. The buckling that I saw, not structural at all, just appears that someone backed into something on the right side, and on the left, it appears that something ran into the wheel well(very gently mind you) and pushed the front portion in. I might be able to even pull it out, but mostly like would leave it be.
All the awnings work well. No rips or tears at all. It's even got the wheel-well canvas!
Overall, the interior is in good shape. it's missing the front pleated fabric curtains, which can be replaced. The pleated door that goes in the bathroom that blocks off the toilet area is gone, but who cares, there are two doors that block off the room. It comes with a hitch and equalizer bars, so that doesn't need to be purchased.
Overall, it looks really good, except for the axles, which I'll probably ask the dealership that has it to have it taken to the local Airstream dealer and have replaced.
I've got to see what the wife thinks, but if she's liking it, we may go for it. I'll let you all know!
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Old 07-31-2008, 05:06 PM   #9
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Flytofish,
Welcome aboard and good luck with your inspection. When reading your posts and the buckling around the wheel wells you mentioned, I was thinking UH OH...rear end sag which is a BAD thing. If you sight along the sides of the trailer you should see no buckling or bulges around the wheel well. If you do she might have a droopy rear end, and you don't want that. If you find the trailer suitable, hopefully you can come to an equitable deal with the dealer. Keep us posted and good luck. We have an 87 Excella 1000 34' and love her.
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Old 07-31-2008, 07:26 PM   #10
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Ckeck the Skylights for leaks if it has them, I replaced both this past weekend on our 1994 Excella 1000. Ckeck the roof, caulking, clearcoat etc.. Ck underneath the Frig for that yellow sawdust type stuff that it leaves when it starts to go bad. Ck the interior ceiling for sagging which is common in the early 90's. Good Luck
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:57 PM   #11
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Got my second inspection done today. One funny thing with the refer is that the LPG line was disconnected. The salesman said they do this often when the trailers sit for a while. One thing that I like is that it has some servise receipts from the local AS dealer. One nice thing... It has a backup camera on it. I'd have to figure out how to get a monitor in the truck, but oh well.
Yeah, structurally, it's in good shape. Other than the axles, it's in good shape. One thing on the receipts, it showed the fresh tank was replaced. From looking underneath, it looks like one portion of a tank was damaged by something. It doesn't look like it leaks, but still some damage.
I think that I'll try to make a deal with the dealer. I'll ask that the axles be replaced as part of the deal. I've got enough smarts to do it myself, but I don't really want to do the work.
I think for a 14 year old trailer, it's okay. We're a family that needs the space. Compared to the 33foot fifth wheel we have now, this is fairly reasonable. I've still got to do some soul searching, and I don't want to rush into the first one I find, but it's almost an omen that it's at a reputable local dealer, which gives me the ability to trade the jayco off.
We'll see. The numbers still have to come out right.
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:02 PM   #12
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FlytoFish
U keep feedin us info an maybe some pic's we can suggest alot but only U can make the final decisions. There is such a wealth of knowledge here on the forums U will be amazed what U can learn about Airstream by just reading every thread.
GOOD LUCK
Roger
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:16 PM   #13
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One funny thing with the refer is that the LPG line was disconnected. The salesman said they do this often when the trailers sit for a while.
I have never heard that one before. I would verify that the fridge works on electric as well as gas.
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:18 PM   #14
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I have never heard that one before. I would verify that the fridge works on electric as well as gas.
Yeah, guaranteed that I will be doing that. I've never heard of it before myself... It leads me to believe that it won't work on the LP, which is a concern. I'm wondering if somehow the burner is messed up or something. I've got the owners manual, so I can trace problems. However, if it doesn't work with the LP, rest assured the dealership will be responsible for fixing it.

Otherwise, I'm thinking that this is the trailer for my family. Axles will have to be fixed, which I'll have the dealer agree to repair, and after a thorough test of all components, lights, converter, and hot water tank, I'll be making a decision from there. I'm thinking we're a go, but only if all of this stuff checks out. At least with the trade in of my Jayco, I should be able to walk away with darn near 5k - 6k cash, so I can afford to do some work myself. I want the dealer to fix the main stuff, but the piddly things I can do myself. I like doing some of the small things myself. On my Jayco, I got the luxury of doing the HW tank myself, which was a biatch, but I eventually got it done.
Thanks everyone for their input. I truly appreciate every single post. I'll post more when I know more.
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