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Old 03-13-2011, 11:25 PM   #1
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1973 31' Excella 500
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In the beginning 1973 31' Excella

Well I just purchased a 1973 excella center bath , it is my first trailer and will be rebuilding her from the floor up. You can follow along and contribute as I will need lots of advise and POSITIVE input. I will post as I move along so someone else will be able to referrence this thread to see how to do it. Thank you.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:27 PM   #2
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Well I just purchased a 1973 excella, it is my first trailer and will be rebuilding her from the floor up. You can follow along and contribute as I will need lots of advise and POSITIVE input. I will post as I move along so someone else will be able to referrence this thread to see how to do it. Thank you.
Strive to make it water proof, at the earliest possible.

Be sure to also check the sewer vent pipe cover gaskets, as they only last 2 to 3 years.

Andy
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:34 PM   #3
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Awesome ^5's

Now wheres the pictures!!!!
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:08 AM   #4
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Interior

Well i worked on her all this weekend inside for the first time. Removed the rear two beds and mounts this was just unscrewing the screws and removing the bed racks and drawers. I removed the front couch this was the same but I had to remove the rivets holding the back of the frame to a piece of sheetmeal which was screwed to the floof in the back and a small brace on the right side. I removed all window screens and hardware to open them. I removed the vent covers also easy. I removed the toilet this is only held down by two bolts one in the rear of the unit and one behind the flush pedal. I removed the rear bathroom panel which wastricky there were hidden screws by the door opening to the floor and the most inportant part is that the corner angle is held to the panes in the channel with clips, try carefully to pull the panel free of the corner trim it should pop out I bent mine a little removing it so be carefull.

I am stuck separating the bath sink from the shower. And I shure could use some help getting these cabinets apart especially above the kitchen sink. It seems disasembly of the upper cabinet requires removing the countertop so as to remove the shade enclodure, it is tucked behind the counter and covers the upper cabinet mounting plate to the wall which must have screws behind it this in turn is riveted in two places to the underside of the cabinet. I did find the screws in the upper channel that went into the top of the ribs. Look at this awning it looks new!
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:13 AM   #5
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pics

HEre are some after shots of the floor.
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Awesome ^5's

Now wheres the pictures!!!!
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:18 AM   #6
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Its a project for sure isnt it!

Looks like a good start though.
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:32 AM   #7
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Vista windows

Thanks andy I work inside it when it rains and that is what has been happening for half a year now. he he. I will be resealing her as weather permits. i am looking for the vv window with the split ring and plexi I need two of them. Thanks MrBeast I am waiting for the service manual I just ordered to continue on the cabinets since no one here seems to quite know the order of breakdown on the kitchen side or they havent read my thread so I am tired of searching' once I got the manual its pretty much done as far as I'm concerened. Ok so to the topic. VISTA VIEW WINDOWS If you have the vv with what appears to be sikaflex inside of them about the inner window then you will need to remove them to rebuild there are great posts on how to do that. I fortunately only have one of these in my rig and the rest are what I will call split ring meaning they have a plexi interior window and are recognized by the oval ring inside the window channel which is removed by using a plastic scraper and sliding it against the plexi at one of the sides just next to the split in the ring, this will allow you to use a pair of needle nose pliers and grab said ring at the split and gently pull it inward toward the window this will take some force and the ring will begin to move' if not use silicone spray anlong the window to lubricate the ring. Once removed you will need to use a tiny crowbar or hooked screwdriver to gently pry the plexi window away from the sikaflex that is holding against the glass window be carefull. Once removed clean your plexi with a plastic scraper and windex then use goof off to remove residue then wash in hot water. I will check to see if it is cost effective to just replace the quarter plexi with new as opposed to clenaing it as it does take about an hour. The window film on the glass window can be scraped with a razor then use windex. I followed up with a good cleaning of the channel with a wire brush on a drill (fine). I plan on resealing the inside of the glass window usnig sikaflex (be sure not to get sikaflex inside the snap ring channel)then using foam rubber seal on the plexi when i reinstall.
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:01 PM   #8
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Thanks andy I work inside it when it rains and that is what has been happening for half a year now. he he. I will be resealing her as weather permits. i am looking for the vv window with the split ring and plexi I need two of them. Thanks MrBeast I am waiting for the service manual I just ordered to continue on the cabinets since no one here seems to quite know the order of breakdown on the kitchen side or they havent read my thread so I am tired of searching' once I got the manual its pretty much done as far as I'm concerened. Ok so to the topic. VISTA VIEW WINDOWS If you have the vv with what appears to be sikaflex inside of them about the inner window then you will need to remove them to rebuild there are great posts on how to do that. I fortunately only have one of these in my rig and the rest are what I will call split ring meaning they have a plexi interior window and are recognized by the oval ring inside the window channel which is removed by using a plastic scraper and sliding it against the plexi at one of the sides just next to the split in the ring, this will allow you to use a pair of needle nose pliers and grab said ring at the split and gently pull it inward toward the window this will take some force and the ring will begin to move' if not use silicone spray anlong the window to lubricate the ring. Once removed you will need to use a tiny crowbar or hooked screwdriver to gently pry the plexi window away from the sikaflex that is holding against the glass window be carefull. Once removed clean your plexi with a plastic scraper and windex then use goof off to remove residue then wash in hot water. I will check to see if it is cost effective to just replace the quarter plexi with new as opposed to clenaing it as it does take about an hour. The window film on the glass window can be scraped with a razor then use windex. I followed up with a good cleaning of the channel with a wire brush on a drill (fine). I plan on resealing the inside of the glass window usnig sikaflex (be sure not to get sikaflex inside the snap ring channel)then using foam rubber seal on the plexi when i reinstall.
Most owners simply replace the Visat view windows, with the single pane type.

Andy
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:25 PM   #9
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filterman, thanks for the description of how to remove the snap ring. Now, I won't have to do it by trial and error.

We have a '73 Excella 500 as well, but hopefully, I'm not faced with the amount of restoration you are looking at. I'm wondering if the hose and cord reels are original. I didn't notice anything that big under my twin bed.

I helped bennyg gut his trailer and we were able to remove the upper cabinets without removing the kitchen window trim. We did drill out a lot of pop rivets to get the cabinets out, though. We very carefully removed all of the tambour before removing any cabinets. Even if you don't plan to reuse it, there are lots of folks on this forum who could use it. You only have to remove a few screws to get the tambour frames out.

Keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:43 AM   #10
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Vista windows update

If you are having trouble removing the snap ring it has a lip on it which engages into the front side of the widnow frame s you go to remove the ring it will bind on one of the sides and make you madder than hell so be patient and take a flat head and carefully have someone push the ring towars the inner window dont slip or you will brake the herculite this will free up the lip on the ring and free it, if you bend your ring like I have just take a vise and straignten it out but not too much as these have a bit of a curve on them so they stay in place locked into the groove. Ohh to clean your glass I used a wire brush on a drill with fine wire but it did scratch the glass a little anyway to clean it use denature alcohol and then hit it up with some rutland wood stove glass cleaner then alcohol again. Make shure you sikaflex the back side of VV but avoid getting it into the split ring mounting channel if so wait for it to dry and use razor to remove. Rutland 565 "White Off" Glass Cleaner Stove 8Oz
Your welcome driftless I am not shure on the hose reel it is cast iron! I should have it mounted to my house. I am debating on whether to keep it I was thinking of maybe using aluminum power cable with the appropriate copper to al connectors to loose some weight in the back. I think I may be able to add a gene on the back side if I stiffen the frame and do some calculations as to how much fulcrum effect I would be adding to the frame. Still undecided untill I get the body off. I like the tambor but the mounting screws to the bath wall there are two are longer than the tambour mount screws I am having trouble with the cabinet not releasing from the wall. I will figure it out. Thanks Andy but wait til you see what I do with these double paned windows it will be done this weekend it will be very cool. ohh Andy does Airstream make a smaller VV window? I would like to add one but it needs to be about 12 inches long.
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Old 03-16-2011, 03:06 PM   #11
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Thanks Andy but wait til you see what I do with these double paned windows it will be done this weekend it will be very cool. ohh Andy does Airstream make a smaller VV window? I would like to add one but it needs to be about 12 inches long.
There are only 3 sizes of vista view and stack windows available.

The approximate widths are 40", 30" and 18 inches.

Andy
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:14 PM   #12
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vista window

Andy what is your take on putting a vv stack in the bedroom ceiling? Thanks
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:19 PM   #13
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Andy what is your take on putting a vv stack in the bedroom ceiling? Thanks
A stack window is flat, and will not work well on a curved surface.

Vista view winds are curved and will work fine in the area of the shell as originally intended.

If you wanted to put a stack window dead center of the roof, face fore and aft, that would be ok, but if you wanted it to be side to side of the trailer, a small stack would work, as long as you were not close to a main bow.

Andy
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:01 AM   #14
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1973 31' Excella 500
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VV windows

Thanks Andy and yes I was thinking fore to aft with an 18"vv but I really want to try to find one that has the split ring if you have any leads on one or know the years that these windows with the split ring were installed I shure would appreciate it.
Ok so here we go with the vv windows contunuing...
after you have removed the plexiglass throw it away and to to Tap Plastics and bring one with you for a template, make shure all your vv's are the same size then have them cut you some one eighth inch PLEXI not lexan as lexan will not hold up as well but it is not so easy to scratch (lexan harder, plexi better for this application) Now you can do what I did and pick out some colors instead of clear i chose light blue for the bedroom and smoke for the rest, green was kinda cool and then there was yellow, can you say lets go target practice. So now you got your new plexi for the inside pane. Also pick up from home depot a roll of insulating heat blocker window film by gila and some md thermal blend all climate one eighth to three eighth inch rubber (wave profile) weatherstripping and flat razorblades and a spueege and squirt bottle and a hair dryer, some neverdull, 400 and 600 grit sandpaper sponge blocks.and rags.
Now take your template (old plexi window) and use it to cut the exact same pattern out of the gila film,lay plexi on top and use blade to follow outter edge of old plexi to cut. Take your cut widow film and follow isntructions and install it on a pefectly clean vv herculite glass inside window, use hairdryer to get the film to be more pliable, dont over stretch the film by using the squeege too much, use lots of water to lubricate film, now install weatherstripping to new plexi by starting in the middle top and make shure you have the edge face inward on the weatherstripping leaving a small airspace where they meet in the middle on top, do not stretch the material and keep it even against the edge of the plexi. Now Take your aluminum split ring which by now is a bit beat up, sand it with the 400 grit then 600 then hit it up with neverdull until you got bling. Take said plexi and split ring to trailer for some real funnn. Ok install plexi with seal first going into the window frame towards the top then push it in be carefull not to mess up your seal or your window film and make shure your hands are clean and you have completely cleaned the channel for the snap ring, now take your snap ring and with someone else lay it against the plexi and satrting from left to right push it into the channel with split connecting at the bottom.this will be the fun part , dont throw your hamnmer at the window. ok so the seal will compress enought to allow you to do this but it is a pain. I got one side started then used a hammer and a long piece of wood and a flat blade screwdriver for force the ring into pleace. only use the screwdriver on the SPLIT RING OUTTER LIP and the wood on the inside face of the split ring but be carefull your other end of the ring will slap the plexi and scratch it and the wood can do the same and so can the ring itself so be careful. Ok so after you are done screaming and get it in go take some CD scratch remover polish and clean out your scratches. have fun and be patient. Yes one window is blue and the other is smoke in the pic. You cant see it from the outside becasue of the reflective thermal film on the herculite. Oh i did notice on the old plexi there was a film of about five thousandths inch on it -strange. Dont cover plexi with any type of film by the way. So now I got my thermal barrier and my shaded windows -very cool gotta do the rest of them now. Oh these windows are now serviceable in the future without pulling them out of the as,I actually preferr these to other styles.
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