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Old 10-13-2013, 03:27 PM   #1
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AS Motorhome Model Clarification

I've been on this and a few other AS sites for over a week trying to learn all the variations of the 24 & 28 foot 1979 - 1982 motorhomes.
On Airstream's site they only list the Excella motorhome for 1979. I see many people advertising 80, 81 and 82 Excellas but none of the pictures show an Excella badge, just a 280 emblem.

Are there non 1979 Excellas? Do they have Excella badging/emblems?

Is there a difference between 1979 Excellas and 280s?

I want to mirror polish the exterior and read a post where the op said the 1979's were the only models to have an "alclad aluminum" skin that can be polished brighter than other years. Is there any proof of this?

Is replacing the 1979 24' Excella's 454 with a diesel a reasonable undertaking?

Are 28' RVs too long to tow a 15' boat and still stay in mountainous state & national parks?

Thank you guys for any information!
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Old 10-13-2013, 06:26 PM   #2
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When getting a site you don't usually include the length of pulled item, being boat or car.
Most parks can accommodate under 30 ft. Just came back from a couple of weeks out and all sites had similar measurements but tree placement and angle to turn is the problem. If you disconnect your boat before trying to park it, you can get in almost all. Some parks even have pull thru sites where you could leave it connected.
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Old 10-13-2013, 07:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessio View Post
I've been on this and a few other AS sites for over a week trying to learn all the variations of the 24 & 28 foot 1979 - 1982 motorhomes.
On Airstream's site they only list the Excella motorhome for 1979. I see many people advertising 80, 81 and 82 Excellas but none of the pictures show an Excella badge, just a 280 emblem.

Are there non 1979 Excellas? Do they have Excella badging/emblems?

Is there a difference between 1979 Excellas and 280s?

I want to mirror polish the exterior and read a post where the op said the 1979's were the only models to have an "alclad aluminum" skin that can be polished brighter than other years. Is there any proof of this?

Is replacing the 1979 24' Excella's 454 with a diesel a reasonable undertaking?

Are 28' RVs too long to tow a 15' boat and still stay in mountainous state & national parks?

Thank you guys for any information!
From my memory, and that is not to be trusted really well, I think the 79 to 82 Airstream motorhomes were mostly 28' ones. The '79 was virtually identical in all ways to the '78 Argosy 28', other than being aluminum which was not painted.

The diesel option engine was available at least in the '81 28' as a friend had one. While you could convert one from a gas engine, I would say it is a very significant undertaking and very expensive. Best to buy one of the AS conversions as they came from the factory.

I am not positive about this but I don't think that there were any 24' Airstream motorhomes in that 79 to 82 era.

The Excella name was just a name, I think if it was used it did not designate anything special in those years.

In 1983, there were doghouse and dash changes, and the dash AC was much improved. I had an '83 310, that is 31' long. Mine was a 454 gas engine, but the diesel continued in '83, but not sure how long. Until '85 or so, but others probably know much more about that.

That is a little more for you to digest, and it may not be too accurate.
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Old 10-14-2013, 01:20 PM   #4
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I think I'd rather spend $5k - $8k once on a diesel conversion rather than get 8mpg for the next ten years. Even if it never off set the cost of an engine swap.
28feet just seems huge to me does any one have a 28 foot in sonoma or napa county california I could look at?
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Old 10-14-2013, 01:38 PM   #5
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We have a 24' 1982 Airstream

I think the 24' is rare....I have seen two other 1982s on ebay. The sales brochure in the mh says "when you drive your 28 or 31 foot motorhome. I suspect the 24' of that year were custom units. The floor plan is the same as the 77. Rear bath and totally open in the main body with no walls. That is the service manual I bought to find out where things are.

Ours is a 454 7.4 L Chevy on a P 30 chassis. The engine runs fine. There is plenty of power. And, yes, the fuel usage is about 8 mpg. I test drove a 28' with an Isuzu diesel engine and it was a big slug. Maybe it was just that one but it wasn't much fun to drive.

If you find a 24' grab it. I am sorry I didn't bid on the one on ebay. The guy didn't know what he had and he just wanted it gone.....think he was in Arizona. Ours has two couches, that one had one couch and one dinette. Paula
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Old 10-14-2013, 05:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteSpot View Post

Ours is a 454 7.4 L Chevy on a P 30 chassis. The engine runs fine. There is plenty of power. And, yes, the fuel usage is about 8 mpg. I test drove a 28' with an Isuzu diesel engine and it was a big slug. Maybe it was just that one but it wasn't much fun to drive.
. Paula
Yes the turbo diesel is kinda slow but I can still pass cars at 55+mph with my 310 and with a top speed of 76mph (GPS certified), it's fast enough. The great thing is the mileage (18+Imperial MPG). I figured out at $4.75US a gallon for diesel it cost me $20.00 Canadian on average to run an hour at highway speeds, 50% flat, 50% hills. It costs me almost $250 for the 50 gallon tank and I will go over 1000 kms to a tank.The great thing about the Isuzu is the reliability (if properly maintained) and the longevity compared to the gas.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 10-14-2013, 05:57 PM   #7
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Smile You can't be beat on that.

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Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
Yes the turbo diesel is kinda slow but I can still pass cars at 55+mph with my 310 and with a top speed of 76mph (GPS certified), it's fast enough. The great thing is the mileage (18+Imperial MPG). I figured out at $4.75US a gallon for diesel it cost me $20.00 Canadian on average to run an hour at highway speeds, 50% flat, 50% hills. It costs me almost $250 for the 50 gallon tank and I will go over 1000 kms to a tank.The great thing about the Isuzu is the reliability (if properly maintained) and the longevity compared to the gas.

Cheers
Tony
Your mileage numbers are wonderful.....hope to see you down the road.....we will park our rig and go with you to dinner.....p
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Old 10-14-2013, 06:07 PM   #8
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Smile You can't be beat on that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
Yes the turbo diesel is kinda slow but I can still pass cars at 55+mph with my 310 and with a top speed of 76mph (GPS certified), it's fast enough. The great thing is the mileage (18+Imperial MPG). I figured out at $4.75US a gallon for diesel it cost me $20.00 Canadian on average to run an hour at highway speeds, 50% flat, 50% hills. It costs me almost $250 for the 50 gallon tank and I will go over 1000 kms to a tank.The great thing about the Isuzu is the reliability (if properly maintained) and the longevity compared to the gas.

Cheers
Tony
Your mileage numbers are wonderful.....hope to see you down the road.....we will park our rig and go with you to dinner.....p
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:16 AM   #9
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I made the mistake of showing my bride the 24' & the 28', no longer need to ponder a 24' diesel.
Is there any truth to the 1979 aluminum exterior being a higher quality or capable of a brighter shine than the later years?
What happened in 83 that has people declaring superior dash A/C?
Does anyone with a 28' have issues fitting into more primitive sites?
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Old 10-15-2013, 01:14 AM   #10
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The AC change was one from an add on dash unit (sort of like the old under dash units of the old days) to a fully integrated GM Harrison designed AC system with much more modern technology and air distribution. Much better cooling power in the newer systems.

A 28' motorhome will fit into most any site.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:27 AM   #11
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Thank you Idroba.
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:27 PM   #12
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1979/1980 Airstream Motorhome painted exterior

We just brought home a 1979 Airstream 28' Rear Bath that is painted silver, with all markings saying "Airstream". Nothing says Excella.

The Serial # is M28T9V2021.
I believe that indicates a 28' motorhome Rear Bath Twin built in the Versailles, OH plant, sequential serial # 2021.

The owner's manuals were included, however, the floor plans do not exactly match what we have.
The front and rear cap and I believe the center top of the motorhome are painted steel. The rest of the exterior is painted white (like the Argosy), then painted silver over that, with Airstream signage. Although the serial number indicates twin beds, this one has the pull out lounge on the curb side, that I think converts to a double bed. on the street side, across the aisle from that bed was a 4-door wardrobe. I found an Owner's Manual for a 76 Argosy in one of these strings that shows the bed/wardrobe setup, but reverse of what we have.
We also have 2 swivel seats to the right of the entrance door, across from the front pull out lounge, with a fold out table, like the one in our 05 Classic, but no table between the front lounge and the driver's seat, as shown in the Airstream motorhome manual.

Just found copy of previous sale ad, says this MH had "interior remodeled at Airstream factory to 1980 interiour with only sleeping for 3." So that's probably part of the differences.

The last difference that I noticed is the Argosy floor plan shows the stove and sink, both at an angle to the outside wall. Ours has the stove straight in line with the outside wall and only the sink at an angle.
So, we seem to have some sort of mongrel Airstream/Argosy motorhome.

None of this matters until we decide whether to try to repair the rear street side corner that got severely crunched by a tree, or just part it out. The street side storage cabinet got whacked and the street side bedroom (?) window got blown out, tore a hole right through the street side wall, just above that window.

Anyone have any information on replacing that steel rear end cap?
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Old 12-02-2013, 12:30 PM   #13
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Wow, what a story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendym1 View Post
We just brought home a 1979 Airstream 28' Rear Bath that is painted silver, with all markings saying "Airstream". Nothing says Excella.

The Serial # is M28T9V2021.
I believe that indicates a 28' motorhome Rear Bath Twin built in the Versailles, OH plant, sequential serial # 2021.

The owner's manuals were included, however, the floor plans do not exactly match what we have.
The front and rear cap and I believe the center top of the motorhome are painted steel. The rest of the exterior is painted white (like the Argosy), then painted silver over that, with Airstream signage. Although the serial number indicates twin beds, this one has the pull out lounge on the curb side, that I think converts to a double bed. on the street side, across the aisle from that bed was a 4-door wardrobe. I found an Owner's Manual for a 76 Argosy in one of these strings that shows the bed/wardrobe setup, but reverse of what we have.
We also have 2 swivel seats to the right of the entrance door, across from the front pull out lounge, with a fold out table, like the one in our 05 Classic, but no table between the front lounge and the driver's seat, as shown in the Airstream motorhome manual.

Just found copy of previous sale ad, says this MH had "interior remodeled at Airstream factory to 1980 interiour with only sleeping for 3." So that's probably part of the differences.

The last difference that I noticed is the Argosy floor plan shows the stove and sink, both at an angle to the outside wall. Ours has the stove straight in line with the outside wall and only the sink at an angle.
So, we seem to have some sort of mongrel Airstream/Argosy motorhome.

None of this matters until we decide whether to try to repair the rear street side corner that got severely crunched by a tree, or just part it out. The street side storage cabinet got whacked and the street side bedroom (?) window got blown out, tore a hole right through the street side wall, just above that window.

Anyone have any information on replacing that steel rear end cap?
Have you contacted Colin Hyde? He is in your area and can give you an idea about replacing the rear end cap......sounds like you have quite an interesting motorhome....it would be a shame to have to part it out.....keep up posted. paula
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