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Old 01-28-2016, 10:25 AM   #1
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Need Advice on '85 Excella

We looked at this Airstream. Everything looks good. They took out the couch, carpet and beds.. Carpet is not glued down and they purchased bamboo which we could get if we were to buy the Airstream. A/C is original.. kitchen, hallway and bath looks fine. Awnings looks brand new, all the windows seem to open fine. I am just worried that we are getting into something that will get to expensive.. Anyway tell me what you think, everything looks fine except for mentioned missing furniture.
C

https://gainesville.craigslist.org/rvs/5386348912.html
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Old 01-28-2016, 11:26 AM   #2
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Have someone jump up and down on the back bumper while you look closely at where the the shell and bumper meet. If you see the bumper move relative to the shell, you may have rear end separation.

Inspect the floor carefully underneath the rear beds, and next to all windows and the entrance.
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Old 01-28-2016, 11:30 AM   #3
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Hi from AZ. . . it's a 30 year old Airstream. . . .it's GOING to get expensive ! period. Good luck, Craig
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Old 01-28-2016, 03:20 PM   #4
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Mine is an '86 and it is structurally sound. If original, the appliances may be nearing the end of their useful lives but that is largely dependent on use. The axles are due for replacement - not hideously expensive but be aware.

Take an awl or an ice pick and check the edges of the floor in as many places as you can. I had to do some sub-floor replacement on mine.

For a couple of hundred bucks, J.D. Sanders RV up in Alachua will leak check it with a SealTech machine and identify any leaks ( there will be some most likely).

The link you posted wouldn't work for me so I can only go by your minimal description.

Good luck,

Mike
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Old 01-29-2016, 10:19 AM   #5
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I don't know what happened to the other link.. but here is a description of what they did.

Great trailer for the money! Have invested $5,000 in renovations over the last year. We did all the hard part. Work outlined below completed by professional local companies. Cosmetic help needed, but it is liveable, tows great, and ready for move in. Appliances and plumbing work (except for oven, stove top works)

INTERIOR:
Furniture: Furniture removed to do renovations and did not put back in. Can include original big, heavy couch (no original frame) and 2 like new original twin mattresses
Seals: Included in recent renovations, no leaking and dry in heavy rain
Flooring: New carpet, new custom fabrication, new living room and bedroom subfloors professionally installed, (hall and bathroom are original subfloor)
Walls: Original
Cabinets: Original, nice wood
Display panel: Original and accurately shows tank capacity, time, LP gas and battery condition
Plumbing: All new cvpc

EXTERIOR:
Skin: Needs full polishing, we did a test patch to see how easy it cleaned up and it worked beautifully. You can see the diamond in the rough in the before and after photos
Seals: Could use more work redoing some of the old seal work
Awnings: Good condition, no rips. Hardly ever used
Tongue, hitch, bumper: Custom fabrication (rust repair) & paint
Electric jack: Replaced with new manual model
Propane tanks: New valve, fuels stove only, recent recertification of one tank, two tanks included
Body: Small dent on top left
Brakes & Tires: New from previous owner and have not traveled with trailer since purchase in early 2014

APPLIANCES:
Batteries: One included, works perfectly, new battery switch
Converter: Works perfectly
Stove/Oven: Stove works, oven door is broken
Air Conditioner: Works, new fan selector switch
Refrigerator: Good running, electric
Hot water heater: New electric conversion
Holding tanks: Have some slight dripping
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Old 01-29-2016, 12:28 PM   #6
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My personal opinion is that they went cheap. An electric refrigerator and water heater mean you need to be plugged into the grid, have a remarkably large solar/battery setup or a fairly herky generator that you can run a lot. A manual hitch jack is dead simple but a royal pain, especially if you move a lot and use your tow vehicle to explore. All were the cheapest option and these choices will limit the utility of the trailer if you plan to actually travel in it. There is a reason that almost all RV's have gas/electric appliances...

The holding tanks are leaking? That is a major (and potentially unpleasant) job. Replacement tank(s) likely will need to be custom made. You will not be welcome anywhere if you are leaking black water and if it is the fresh water tank, there goes any chance of boondocking.

The brakes and tires were done two owners ago -- were the brakes inspected? Replaced? Adjusted? We're the bearings packed? Have the tires been sitting in one place for two years?

If you plan to park it in a full hook-up site while you complete your Master's, it will work fine. If you plan to use it to travel, it really isn't properly equipped.

Mike

The skin used on the mid-80's trailers can be polished but it is a difficult, dirty job. You also have a dented panel which will be pricey to replace if you decide to.
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Old 01-29-2016, 12:52 PM   #7
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>> We did all the hard part.

That one always cracks me up.
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Old 01-29-2016, 02:48 PM   #8
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Re frame movement in the rear/ separation; The 85's had the deeper channel frame members. I think pre 84's might have the 3 inch frame and needed beefing up!
JCW
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Old 01-30-2016, 01:06 PM   #9
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Thanks everybody. We decided to stay away from this one and just keep looking.
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