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Old 11-08-2006, 10:08 AM   #1
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Question Any fast advice on 1999 Excella?

We are leaving in about an hour to go look at a tt. It is advertised on RVTrader.com, #790587. I will try to get online tonight where we stay.

It is located 525 miles from us, so we won't see it until tomorrow.

Any comments, good or bad, will be greatly appreciated.

Talk about a nervous stomach!

Pat
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Old 11-08-2006, 11:05 AM   #2
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Good luck!! I'm crossing my fingers that you will be getting a great rig at a great price!
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Old 11-08-2006, 01:48 PM   #3
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Pat, the most important thing is to get your priorities right:

First: frame corrosion and/or water damaged floor.
Second: frame corrosion and/or water damaged floor.
Third: frame corrosion and/or water damaged floor.

These can cause the trailer to be sent to the salvage yard the day after you bought it. Check the floor near the door, windows, bathrooms and tank vents with a spike. The frame can only properly be checked by removing some of the belly pan, or using a fiberscope through small holes drilled in the belly pan. Some indication can be gained by looking at the rear frame members where they pass into the body. If there is a rear hatch by the rear bumper, look inside this.

After that, check for dented exterior body and roof panels. These can cost thousands to fix.

If the clearcote on the body needs stripping and re-spraying, this could cost £3500 or more.

Check the refrigerator is working. A 3-way costs about $1400, IIRC.

Most other things can be fixed for perhaps $300 to $1000. Your axles should be OK on that age trailer.

You really needed to research this question earlier than an hour before you left, but you knew that, didn't you??

There is a huge amount on this forum on this subject, accessible via the search button at the top of the screen.

Ignore the fact that you've travelled a long way to see the trailer. You will have a long time to regret a wrong decision.

Good luck with your adventure.

Nick
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Old 11-10-2006, 05:37 PM   #4
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It's home!!

Thanks!

We did buy the tt. It looked to be in near perfect condition, and is spotless.

It has always been stored under a roof.

The hitch and anti sway came with it, as did the stabilizer. We stopped at a Chevy dealer, Prince Cheverlot in Valdosta, GA on the way up where the brake system was installed. We were very lucky! Prince Chevy is the most helpful and efficient dealer we have been too. Took us right in.

We did not sleep in it last nite because we picked it up late in the day. We drove home today and hope to go to see the space shuttle in Dec. for our first trip.

Now the fun can begin. No more looking at internet sites about AS for sale for hours on end.

Pat
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Old 11-10-2006, 05:44 PM   #5
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Congratulations! Glad to hear the trip home went well. When are you gonna post some pictures of your new baby?
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Old 11-10-2006, 06:39 PM   #6
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Congratulations...I am jealous. I looked at the RV Trader ad and it looked REAL nice. Tom R in Two Harbors

P.S. Why are they all in California or the Southeast...
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Old 11-11-2006, 12:54 AM   #7
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Pat, excellent news! Now is the time to check the vent pipe rubber gaskets, as they'll probably be perished after 7 years, and will be the source of future floor rot, especially if the trailer will now be stored outdoors. Also check the Vulkem eyebrows over the windows and door, and the Vulkem round the windows and roof vents and awning brackets and awning/roof top joint for cracks. Check the DOT numbers on the tires to find their age, strip the wheels off to overhaul the brakes and grease the bearings, and then have a great time camping! Best wishes, from Nick.
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Old 11-11-2006, 12:57 AM   #8
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Congratulations on your new Airstream! Sounds like you picked up a great find! Hope you get to enjoy it right away!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 11-11-2006, 05:32 PM   #9
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It is really exciting to have the AS in the drive! It looks like the stove top has never been used.

Will have the bearings and brakes taken care of, and will get new tires soon.

Is Velkem some kind of caulking? Would it be better to take the AS into a dealer to check everything out? We have some one doing work on our house, and I am sure that he would be able to check around the vents. Can it be done from a ladder, or do you have to get on the roof?

I tried to open a window today but it was stuck, and I did not want to bend the opener. Will look closer at that tomorrow.

The people of this forum are totally responsible for our having made the right decision, both with tt and tv. When I asked about hitches,
someone wrote not to buy one as most used tt come with them. He was right. Our tv is really great and now we have an AS!

Thanks for the replies-all are appreciated-a fast course in tvs and AS, all in one location!

Pat
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Old 11-12-2006, 01:15 AM   #10
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Pat, yes, Vulkem is the thick caulk round the tops of the windows and round the roof vents. It comes in tubes to fit in a frame gun, and it's available from the shop at www.airstream.com, as well as other dealers like www.inlandrv.com. Try "vulkem" in the search facility at the top of the screen, and you will receive far more information than you need! Checking this can be done just by looking, and the roof vents can be viewed by standing on the roof. Use the search button with "stand roof" or "ladder roof" or "ladder awning padding" or some such words. These will describe safe ways of getting on the roof.
While someone is on the roof, check the rubber gasket on the tank vent(s). The gasket is hidden inside an aluminum casting. There are excellent photos and a description of the gasket replacement on the forum. Search on "vent gasket".
A stuck window can be dealt with from the outside, after releasing the inner catches. Those with small fingers can get behind the frame at the bottom of each side of the frame, and pry the window away from the rubber, to which it will have stuck. Those with larger fingers may need to use two pieces of flat thin stick to lever gently against the frames. Put a piece of tape on the frames to protect from scratching. The large windows at front and back are particularly prone to this. The sticking is preventable by using a smear of silicone grease on the rubber each year. Search for "window silicone" for details.
Don't put the inverted commas round the words into the search box until you have learnt a few of its features.
It is better gradually to gain confidence by doing yourself those tasks which are within your competence. Reliance on a dealer for every small task is a sure recipe for frustration and penury!
Nick.
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Old 11-12-2006, 01:32 AM   #11
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Pat, yes, Vulkem is the thick caulk round the tops of the windows and the roof vents. You will see a search button on the blue strip near the top of the screen. You will find the information you need by typing the following phrases , or similar, into the search facility:
1. Vulkem
2. Roof ladder
3. stand roof
4. window silicon
You can obtain Vulkem from www.airstream.com or www.inlandrv.com, and other dealers. Anyone can check the state of the Vulkem, and one can stand on the roof, using the correct procedures obtained from the search facility.
To release a window, either thin fingers or two pieces of thin flat stick (kitchen spatulas?) can be inserted at the bottom of each side, after the internal catches have beeen released. Gentle levering should release the window. An annual smear of silicone grease on the rubber gaskets should alleviate this problem.
It is better to learn gradually to carry out maintenance tasks that are within your potential capability and your "comfort level". Total reliance on a dealer for every small task is a recipe for frustration, delay, and penury.
Also, some of us actually enjoy maintaining our trailers!
Nick.
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