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Old 09-22-2019, 07:03 PM   #1
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Charlie the Airstream

We have owned our 1984 Airstream Excella 270 motorhome for about 16 months now. The goal was to fix up for some full time RVing for a couple years.

In the course of these months, I have relied on the body of knowledge on this forum and want to thank all the members who have shared your ownership adventure!

Thought it was time to start my own thread, try to do my part and give back to this community

So here is the deal, we bought the MH last year off craigslist. I was not really sure what to look for in a used unit, and we got a running “driving” MH about 1.5 hours away.

I did get it home, but not after a series of alternator/belt failures. That’s a thread in and of itself

I got it road worthy, used the MH for a few months, and started the To-Do list. One thing led to another, and we are neck deep in a full gutting of the interior. Had to address subfloor rot due to hundreds of failing Olympic rivets used in previous rear-shell damage/repair. My wife Veronica and I are doing the work, using local shops for some more specific and technical issues. Quick shout out to RV Clinic in Franklin, OH!

So we just reinstalled our walls after fixing all the leaks, floor, new vents, electrical re-wire almost everything, and insulate with Havelock Wool.

Up front I have wired in rear/side view camera system, stereo, speedometer/tach, wiper switch, found and repaired bunch of previous owner “fixes” which included several burnt grounding wires!!!

Next projects to install a Rostra cruise control system, reinstall fiberglass-repaired headliner, and rear bathroom shell repair/replace

We are really enjoying the community, please feel free to ask any questions about what we have done so far!

Updates on the way
Kyle

Most of our progress thus far is on Instagram: @airstreamcharlie
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:22 AM   #2
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Welcome! Nice to have a willing victim...err partner for the renovation!
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Old 09-29-2019, 05:54 PM   #3
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Charlie the Airstream

This weekend has been a good one! Back in December, the front headliner was removed along with all the other inner walls to address leaks. Up front was a leak behind one of the running lights. Replaced all running lights with LED and new gasket, but still had the headliner to repair. It was discolored with age and cracked about 8 inches in 2 places at the top and 4 small areas around the perimeter. All those areas have been fiberglassed and Bondo-ed. Primer/paint this weekend and should have it up next week!

Also finished the Rostra cruise control install while wifey primer/paints the interior and molded trim parts.

I wanted to do a test drive, but the seats are out and using the lawn chair was voted down.
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Old 09-29-2019, 05:58 PM   #4
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Charlie the Airstream

Wanted to share some previous owner “Fixes.” I do NOT bring this up to jab the previous owner, we adore Charlie and happy to have her with her storied past. These just added a little flare to the project

Main grounding wire for 12 v system...3 butt connectors and 8 gauge wire...blackened by heat

Fridge vent with added fans, wired with very thin speaker wire and no connectors...just twisted wire

Anti freeze bottle, spray painted, and hanging by a zip tie as the coolant overflow reservoir

Washer bottle...see above

Newish antenna on side of RV, new cable ran, but cut wire under the dash (radio was never connected to the antenna)

The OEM cruise control system was disconnected (all wires cut), but almost all the components were left in place

Today found an alligator clip as connector the for power source to my carburetor.
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Old 09-29-2019, 07:53 PM   #5
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Kinda makes you wonder......doesn’t it ? Regards, Bob
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:21 PM   #6
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So this weekend we got the headliner installed after repaired and painted, tank sensors and tank heaters installed, and a pair of speakers installed in the side panels. Seats reinstalled for a test drive to check side/rear view camera system, speedometer/tach, and cruise control. Also had oil change and coolant system flushed

All systems checked out but couldn’t get the cruise control working.

For those who did the universal Rostra CC, did the switch on the steering column need to be switched out as well?
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Old 10-10-2019, 03:02 PM   #7
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Kyle,

Do you have any other photo’s of the Fiberglas and Bondo repair of the front end cap?

We have similar cracks on ours...
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Old 10-10-2019, 03:13 PM   #8
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My factory cruise control works, but it's very finnicky, gotta push the button *just* right, interested in seeing what you come up with as a replacement

+1 on the cap repair, looks great!
What paint did you use and do you think it will hold up well?
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Old 10-11-2019, 05:25 AM   #9
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So this is the end cap after I used a Bondo brand fiberglass repair kit and Bondo body filler. One patch of fiberglass on either side of the plastic headliner. Then a few smaller patch repairs around the perimeter and behind the visor mount. Bondo body filler used very thin over this side to smooth the surface. I can barely tell, but chipped a little off during re-installation. It was pretty rough process trying to get the rear edge behind the ceiling skins. 3 attempts to reinstall but no cracks in any of the repaired areas

For the paint, we are using an Adhesion Primer which is supposed to be very durable on all kinds of surfaces (after a thorough cleaning), then household paint. I’m using these products based on what we have learned from an airstream renovation company we follow in Tx
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Old 10-14-2019, 03:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kvsterling View Post
So this is the end cap after I used a Bondo brand fiberglass repair kit and Bondo body filler. One patch of fiberglass on either side of the plastic headliner. Then a few smaller patch repairs around the perimeter and behind the visor mount. Bondo body filler used very thin over this side to smooth the surface. I can barely tell, but chipped a little off during re-installation. It was pretty rough process trying to get the rear edge behind the ceiling skins. 3 attempts to reinstall but no cracks in any of the repaired areas

For the paint, we are using an Adhesion Primer which is supposed to be very durable on all kinds of surfaces (after a thorough cleaning), then household paint. I’m using these products based on what we have learned from an airstream renovation company we follow in Tx




Sorry, the pic didn’t attach. This is after the Bondo, then primed
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:45 AM   #11
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Looks good!

What's the specific adhesion primer if you don't mind me asking?
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Old 10-16-2019, 05:33 AM   #12
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Thanks!

This primer is supposed to be better at sticking to variety of surfaces that traditional paint/primer won’t. We have vinyl covered aluminum skins and plastic, so this was chosen for both areas. Heard about this from an airstream renovation guy. It’s a little difficult to find, but Kilz and Zinsser both make adhesion primer
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