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Old 09-01-2012, 02:49 AM   #1
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1979 24' Airstream Excella 24
Monterey , California
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1979 24' Excella - Bought it!

My name is Chris from the Monterey, Ca. area and I just plunged into the Airstream world with the blind purchase this week of a 1979 24' Airstream Excella from Washington State.
I pray I did not act recklessly, as I am plagued with that tendency that make some men act impulsively - only to find they must then cope with the consequenses later!
I have been following these great forum theads for a while now and I believe they helped me to make the right decision.
Hoping to get up to Seattle this weekend to pick it up and see for sure what I have, and what work it will need. I will take pics and post to this Forum.
It needs a generator tune up, and the basic fluids, belts, ect. checked. Would like to get it roadworthy enough to burn up tons of gas cruising through the glorious Fall color change - from Glacier National Park to Lake Superior, then down to the LickSkillet Bar and Restaurant in Cross Village, Michigan and finally Detroit.
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:15 AM   #2
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Good luck, and good travels, with your new purchase. You're sure to find some surprises, both good and bad, about your new MH. Treasure the good, and laugh at the bad.
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:54 AM   #3
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1997 30' Excella
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Hi Chris,
Congratulation on your reckless and impulsive purchase that will cause you to cope with the consequences later...
Been there, done that several times and the first drive is the most exciting, but also the most dangerous one. There are 3 things I insist on checking out thoroughly before joining the pack of wolves on the open Highway: brakes, tires and a visual inspection of the rubber fuel lines...
Be safe and post pictures soon.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:10 PM   #4
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Saint Petersburg , Florida
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Chris,
Sounds like you dived right on it concerning an Airstream Motorhome. Can't wait to see the pix, as well as your descriptions of your aluminum dream.
Thanks, Derek
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:20 PM   #5
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1962 19' Globetrotter
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I would add bearings to PeterH's comment and happy trails!
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:53 PM   #6
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
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Originally Posted by PeterH-87MH View Post
Congratulation on your reckless and impulsive purchase that will cause you to cope with the consequences later...
Really?
LOL....
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:54 PM   #7
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1979 24' Airstream Excella 24
Monterey , California
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Thanks to you all. I have uploaded 3 pictures to the gallery
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:02 AM   #8
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Can't wait to see it. Give me a call after you drive it.

Dave...
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:59 AM   #9
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1997 30' Excella
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Originally Posted by huberto View Post
Thanks to you all. I have uploaded 3 pictures to the gallery
Nice looking Moho, seems that someone really took care of her.
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:16 AM   #10
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1982 31' Airstream 310
Columbia , Tennessee
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Welcome to the Forum! Your maiden voyage will be one to remember. Great looking coach and LOVE them wheels!
Like the others said, look it over good before you hit the road, but looks like the PO has done a great job on her.
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Old 09-02-2012, 03:01 PM   #11
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Silverton , Colorado
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We flew from Austin to Nashville, rented a car to Cookesville(tn), took one walk-thru, and have been adding to the economy ever since...haven't regretted it...I strongly urge you to enroll in Good Sam's emergency roadside service, as it will more than pay for itself if a breakdown should occur. They will arrange towing, and find a reputable repair garage...be sure to stress that it is an Airstream, and MUST be towed on a flatbed. Tires are a biggie, and if you can afford the upfront costs of new belts, hoses, and fluid flushes, it will save you a lot of grief further down the road. Yep, brakes are important, and insist on and pay the bucks to have ALL the tires removed for an actual assessment...a flashlight during the day to 'peer' at the drums and discs is not an adequate assessment...finding a good dealer can be an expensive slot game, but when you do, hold on to them. Congratulations on your purchase, and we hope to meet you somewhere out there...mike
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:30 PM   #12
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1979 24' Airstream Excella 24
Monterey , California
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Mike,
Thanks, I plan to do all those things you mention. I have a Plus AAA membership and will call them next week to make sure they offer flatbeds if needed. I would think a lowjack would be available almost anywhere for this little 24 footer. Dakota said you can also disconnect the drivetrain if you have to have it towed on the back wheels.
Chris
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:20 PM   #13
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Silverton , Colorado
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Chris,
The problem with conventional towing is that the cables/chains will crack or shatter your front bonnet(fiberglass between the bumper and chassis)...we had a low-tow just to get us off the highway after dark(2 lane, mountains, temps in the low 20's...), and Good Sam sent an appropriate flatbed the next day...it had to travel 120 miles to load us, then took the unit another 50 miles down(and up) the road to get us to a dealer that had us back on the road the following afternoon...I signed a slip of paper, and that was all that was needed...no extra fees, no problems...we belonged to AAA for over 25 years, and NEVER got the same kind of service...I'm only one consumer, and I have only one opinion, but GS has provided us with 3 service calls in our current AS ownership, and one was for our toad, which threw a wheel bearing somewhere in El Paso...same treatment, same "sign here, have a better day"...fixed and on the road with only an overnight stop. AAA Plus has some conditions and limits to what they will provide. The first questions GS asked were:"are you safe in your current location? and "are you blocking the road?"...
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:41 PM   #14
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
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First Chris congrats on your new moho. It looks to be in pretty nice shape. You will find a great deal of help and info on this site.

Now I have to disagree with Mike about towing. Granted the 34.5 would be better off on a trailer because of the tag axle. It would be heavily loaded with the front end off the ground and even more so if the suspension bleeds some air out of the air bags. However on a two axle coach like yours and my 280 there is no reason a reasonably equipped tow truck can't tow it without doing any damage. A wheel lift lifts the coach buy the front wheels and is nowhere near the front plastic or sheet metal. They also can use two "U" shaped posts that lift the frame at the front where the frame splits into a "Y" again with no damage to any part of the coach. I have had my coach towed by both of these methods. As soon as you say it's a P-30 chassis it becomes very routine, this also includes removing the rear drive-shaft to protect the trans. It's just part of the job like hooking up lights at the rear.

Also I have AAA and have never had a problem except in a state that AAA did not sell RV towing, New York to be specific. I called the Washington 800 number and they helped me secure a truck that came from Connecticut over 100 miles away and towed me 130 miles to my cousins place. I did have to pay but was told to submit the bill for reimbursement. In about ten days I received a check for $1097.00 and a letter of apology for my inconvenience.

There is a lot of discussion between AAA and GS but the real issue is the tow truck that pics you up is under contract and like anything else there are good and bad. Also in rural areas away from the big cities, many times the AAA and GS contract with the same guy who happens to be the only guy in town anyway. If he is good great, if he is not so good then it just isn't your day. The last time I was towed it was about 95 miles to my house and that included a ferry ride that came to $96.00. Like Mike said sign the paper and wave good by. They also thanked me for being a longtime AAA member when I called for the tow.

Cheers, Dan
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