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Old 09-18-2012, 12:42 AM   #1
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Looking to buy this 1979 24' Excella Motorhome

New here! Found this locally, and Google led me to these forums saying it's one of the more rare Airstream RVs. They don't want too much for it and don't seem to know much about it (other than it was a trade-in from a couple looking to upgrade). Took a bunch of pictures last week and thought I'd bounce them off you guys to see if it's a deal or a dud. I haven't had a chance to drive it yet, hopefully sometime this week. Thoughts?

Link to more detailed pictures- http://www.photobucket.com/excella24
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:30 AM   #2
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1981 31' Excella II
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It looks pretty nice. You are just down the road from me. I am in Huntsville. What sort of engine does it have in it?

Perry
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:58 AM   #3
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A 454, unless it's been replaced. Pretty sure it's all original though. Can't remove the doghouse cover to see like I can in my Revcon.
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:18 PM   #4
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1981 31' Excella II
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It look like it has been remodeled. I don't know if the motorhomes have the same problem with rear end separation as a result of leaks at the back where the plate from the rear storage box funnels water under the floor or not? It looks like the bumper is attached down below the floor level so that may not be an issue. I am assuming it runs?

Perry
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:48 PM   #5
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Guy I talked to said it did. Battery was dead when he cranked it though, and I didn't have time to wait for a jump at that time. Yeah I guess they replaced the rear couch with that countertop deal. I don't know that the small bench in the front is original, either.

Seems to be missing all the window latches inside, too. I dunno if those are easy to replace? They want $7,000, so I'm not sure if it's worth it or not. Especially with the high miles.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:15 PM   #6
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Is this the one Bankston has in Huntsville?
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:22 PM   #7
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That's the one.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:22 PM   #8
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1981 31' Excella II
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I read 18K on the speedometer. Has it been lapped? $7000 does not seem bad. Folks pay that for a trailer that has no motor or generator.

There is one on Craigs list in Bham and they want $15k and it is in a lot worse shape than this one. It is a 28 ft unit though.

http://tuscaloosa.craigslist.org/rvs/3207453214.html

Perry
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:27 PM   #9
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The dealership's website is noting 118K miles - so yes it has lapped.

FWIW - The dealership has a very good reputation.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:31 PM   #10
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Cool. The salesman I spoke with seemed like a good guy.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:27 PM   #11
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Well, it sold. So I guess that's that. Neat find, though.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:46 PM   #12
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The deal may not be dead...

Just wanted to pass along that another opinion that even with non-standard interior cabinets and remodel, that price of $7K was pretty good deal if running gear (engine/transmission/suspension/brakes) were roadworthy and body shell solid with no holes or obvious leaks.. Working A/C and appliances (furnace, fridge, water heater) would be a bonus...

I'd follow up with dealer again, just in case buyer financing or some other issue popped up and unit comes back.. It happens from time to time on used units like that, sometimes over something as minor as tire blowout or dead battery due to age and neglect after chargeup at time of sale...

Finally, too much Publicity here on Forums can trigger other readers who might be searching to jump in and grab it.. It is correct that model is relatively rare, and it is a national market now, not just regional for classic Airstream motorhomes.. That means time to study and make decisions is going to be under pressure, especially if another buyer has been through a couple cycles and lost, but is now primed and ready to move quickly when they see a good deal pop up...
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:54 PM   #13
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Heh, I did hesitate to share here. Thanks for the thoughts though! I will follow up.
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:06 PM   #14
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AIrstream Life Articles on Long-distance buying

As a technique to avoid over-publicizing a local find, you might couch your posts here in the future by saying "A friend in the northeast has found a ____ in this condition and wonders what she should be concerned about..." That might at least send others looking in a different geography, and not contacting your local dealers or your local Craigslist to try and grab it quickly...

FWIW, I wanted to point out that current (Fall 2012) issue of Airstream Life also has a pair of articles by Forrest McClure and me with tips on finding good used units around the US, avoiding disasters, and completing long-distance transactions successfully..
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