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Old 11-08-2007, 11:56 PM   #1
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1977 31' Sovereign
1992 34' Excella
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buying 34ft trailer

So I finally have a lead on my dream trailer and I am wondering about the benefits/liabilities of this trailer. I think the price is right. It is a one owner 1992 excella 1000.
I have had a quick visual inspection and it is currently being checked out by a friend. I didn't think I would have these second thoughts but I am not sure now whether I should sell our 31ft AS and buy this one, what with fuel prices continuing to rise. Any idea on comparison costs between owning and travelling with these two trailers. Does it cost substantially more to tow the 34fter? My 77 31ft is in good shape but its also 30 yrs old. I know I will always have things to repair and replace. Like, I just did the axles on it this year. So how long would it be before I will have to do this to a 1992?
I like the idea of owning a trailer half this age but I am also attached to the old one. I don't think my wife is going to let me keep both of them, which is what I really want to do. Anyone have experience owning both? Any thoughts?

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Old 11-09-2007, 12:56 AM   #2
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Sometimes you just gotta go for the dream. Having a mere 25 footer, I can't comment on the trials and tribulations of towing a 34. I would think that it would require the stoutest of tow vehicles, but you're already pulling a 31.

Yes, gas prices are out of sight, but what is a person to do? The choices are:
1. Go out and have fun to the greatest extent that you can afford, doing the things that you want to do.
2. Sit home on the porch until you die, and leave all that money you saved to someone else to have fun with.


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Old 11-09-2007, 01:12 AM   #3
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The difference between a 31 and a 34 probably wouldn't be much in terms of fuel consumption....but the new ones are heavier as a rule. That may make some difference.
You never know, you may get lucky and wind up with two! Many here on the forums have two Airstreams, some have many more than that.
Good luck with your decision,
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Old 11-09-2007, 01:23 AM   #4
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1977 31' Sovereign
1992 34' Excella
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Salem , Oregon
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pulling the 34fter

I do hope my 2001 burb 2500 8.1L will pull the bigger trailer. I have read posts though that suggest otherwise. At this point I am not quite sure if its enough. Sure hope so. Thanks for the reminder to "live it to the fullest"
That's sort of why I got the AS in the 1st place.
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:11 AM   #5
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I had a 2001 suburban with the 8.1L and I don't think you'll have any problems towing the 34L. That's a great engine and it's to bad it's not offered anymore
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:17 AM   #6
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if you decide to buy the 34', i'd keep the 31' until you've tried the 34 for a while. me, i'd keep both!
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:21 AM   #7
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Minimal fuel differences. Most of people's gas milegage is controlled by the right foot. Clearly, there are limits to this, but 31 vs 34 would be minor.

They are a bear to cool in direct sun in the summer. We do love the space.
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:30 AM   #8
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I love my '92 34' Excella 1000. I spend a lot of time at the dinette that you probably don't have in the 31' - eating, computer browsing, playing cards, etc. and I think it's a very useful feature. In fact that's where I'm sitting right now, entering this post.

My tin tub is an easy pull with an F250 diesel p/u.
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:34 AM   #9
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I had a 31' AS before I bought the 34' AS. I towed both with a diesel, and I haven't really noticed any significant change in my fuel consumption. I've always gotten between 11mph and 15 mph depending on which variables are in affect. Right now I'm getting between 11mph and 13 mph, but that's because my Excursion is still breaking in.

The cost of fuel really doesn't add all that much to the cost of a trip of a week or more. I look at it this way. If I get 10 mph and drive 1,000 miles, I will use 100 gallons of fuel. The fuel factor wasn't a problem for me at 2.50 p/gal. So, if I go on a trip when I can expect fuel to be around 3.00 p/gal then I just look at the incremental change in cost - .50. I multiply the change by the 100 gal. and I arrive at the approx additional cost of $50 p/1,000 miles. If my trip is going to be about 3,000 then I extend that additional cost to get an idea of how much more the fuel is going to cost. Now, my actual mileage is better that 10 mph so I know that the extra cost is going to be a bit less than that. For me, the extra fuel cost doesn't enter into a trip unless it is just a weekend outing. There's less time to spread the cost over when you're just out for a weekend.

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Old 11-09-2007, 07:55 AM   #10
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Grand Island , Nebraska
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I had a 1969 31í International for sixteen years and I now have a 1992 Limited 34í. I never had the old trailer on a scale but my Limited weighed 8500# when I had it weighed (while on a trip) several years ago. There isnít much difference at all in towing. The Limited tows like a dream. I just got back from a trip to Nebraska and fuel mileage ranged from a high of 18.2 mpg from Cokeville, Wyoming to Laramie to a low of 12.6 mpg from Laramie to Cokeville. I canít account for the big difference between those figures, only that I drove about 6 mph faster on the return trip. I will say that having that third axle was somewhat psychologically intimidating for a few pulls. Like Crusty, I think youíll like the dinette.
'92 Limited 34ft (now sold); '96 Dodge Cummins 4X2, 5speed
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Old 11-09-2007, 06:45 PM   #11
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Wayne: The difference in fuel economy should be minimal. I want a 34' someday as well. 3/4 ton will pull just fine. I hear the 34's with that extra axle pull exceptionally well. I know gas prices are rough but what are you going to do--sit at home? Best of luck.
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:10 AM   #12
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1977 31' Sovereign
1992 34' Excella
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Salem , Oregon
Join Date: Oct 2003
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More on the 34

Thanks fellas for the help.
The trailer looks like its in good but not great shape. The clear coat is peeling on the roof but there is no skin damage anywhere except a few small dents.
I met the fellow who traded the trailer in on a 5th wheel and he gave me the rundown on it. He is the only owner and has all the manuels and records of all service and repair. He was very meticulous with his records. I hope this is a good sign to how he cared for the trailer.
I am very close to pulling the trigger but after further inspection, we found some wet flooring in the rear storage compartment under the bed. When I called this to the attention of the dealer selling the trailer, he said he would look into it. He said he felt it would be no big thing to fix. I am concerned about two things. Where the leak is and how much floor damage there is. I could not give it a thorough look see as the carpet was glued down. It looked pretty wet and soft at the place I could see, but the carpet was not wet elsewhere.
So how much should I expect them to repair? I mean should I suggest they pull the queen bed out and replace the whole floor section in the rear? Or should I suggest getting a discount on the sale price and just fix it myself. I have had much experience with my 31ft, w/ the rear floor rot and separation.
I believe I could do the job if the price was right. Am I over-looking anything on this?
Any thought?
Thank in advance
Thanks in advance
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:35 AM   #13
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hi wayne

was water leaking FROM the trailer some where?

by this i mean dripping on the ground?

water under the bed could be condensation, a rain leak, water from a recent washing or a plumbing leak...

since you are familiar with floor rot, take an ice pick with you next time...

and poke around ALL of the flooring, right through the carpet.

pulling the bed, platform and carpet isn't a big deal...

what is found might not be either...

or it could be just the tip of a water issue.

floor rot is unusual on 90s units, unless they have long term water issues.

most dealers aren't going to do this sort of labor intensive stuff on a 15+ year old 'as is' unit...

and as you know flooring replacement material isn't expensive, but labor and time are...

ANY condition or issues found by a potential buyer (you) are opportunites for price negotiation...

and most sellers will negotiate, up to a point.

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:45 AM   #14
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and most sellers will negotiate, up to a point.
2air is right - but they may also opt to sell it to the next unsuspecting customer rather then drop the price too much.

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