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Old 07-22-2006, 08:45 PM   #15
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1986 25' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klevan
In the condition you describe, you have found a great Airstream at a very fair price. My wife and I prefer the rear bath models. Disregard the Beatrice Food myths, they are largely just that. Besides, I think Beatrice sold Airstream to Thor in 1979, but I need to check my dates.
Better snag it before I can get there!
Myths are they? I've seen my share of mid to late '70's with rear end sag/droop and twisted frames. Starting in '73 the greywater tank was added without reinforcing the frame. Yes, if running gear stayed balanced and you didn't travel with 6 gallons of water in the hot water tank and didn't travel with fluids in the grey and blackwater tanks then you may never have the frame problem. Best I remember, Beatrice did indeed sell Airstream to Thor some time in 1979 but I wonder exactly when they began making the frames stouter? Rear baths were more susceptible to the sag and I image it was because those 2 tanks hung out so far back behind the rearmost axle especially in the 31' model.
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Old 07-22-2006, 09:26 PM   #16
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Hmmm. I Wonder Why There are Still So Many?...

Wait, Craig, cease fire, cease fire.
I know, I know; they are still abundant because Airstream built more Sovereigns in the mid 70s than any Airstream before or since.

I would submit that most of the drooping tails and twisted frames are no longer on the road, but any old Airstream requires careful inspection for the problems you describe.

I personally like the Beatrice Food years, but for no rational reason, other than it was Beatrice who gave us more adequate holding tanks and kept Airstream alive after bad management almost put it out of business.

As for tail droop, I think the frame reinforcement kit solved that, and I wouldn't buy a long one without it (the kit, not the tail droop).

As for frame separation, I think that's an Airstream design flaw that be found in trailers of any length with and without rear baths.

All ready on the left. All ready on the right. All ready on the firing line. You may resume fire.
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Old 07-23-2006, 09:22 AM   #17
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Red face

OK, I got a little excited there! What the Beatrice years had going for them was the lighter trailers using less real wood and more veneer covered something or other. It was pretty evident in my '77. I'm sure it was a cost cutting measure but might have been to make the trailers even lighter for easy towing. Wouldn't you like to be the fly on the wall to sit in on some of those meetings to discover what was the real reason? I'm sure there are plenty of '70's trailers still out there as evidenced by the '79 25' Sovereign in fantastic shape that I tried to buy. It was a rear bath, mid twin and it had been well cared for. The "elephant ear" reinforcement helped for many a trailer but for some it was too late. Obviously that is what you need to look out for. OK, I'm all better now.
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Old 07-24-2006, 09:05 PM   #18
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1981 25' Excella II
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I thought I'd give everyone an update. We got the airsteam home last night. When we arrived the owner had the rv tech set up to meet us which was very helpful The first thing I noticed is that it wasn't a 25', but 23' model. He was measuring the hitch with, and we verified this from the title, and sticker.
Everything checked out in the unit. The appliances look almost new, and from the interior I think it's had very little use. The axels and brakes were serviced last year, and he said he had not taken it out since. The frame is the larger 5" beam, and the unit shows no rear sag at all. He had told me that the clear finish wasn't pealing, which is true, but it is oxidized in several areas, along with the blue stripe. I'll just strip, and refinish the outside. It towed the 500 miles home just fine. I only noticed any signifcant pull going over a couple of mountain passes near my house where I live in Summit County Colorado. We were planning a trip to Yellowstone next week, so we made reservations today for our first outing. We spend most of our vacation time going to various national parks with our 2 boys, so I think this will be ideal for us. I'm going to have a million questions, so I'm glad I found this forum.
Thanks a lot for the info from everyone.
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Old 07-25-2006, 12:16 AM   #19
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Post some pictures when you get the chance. I've only seen pictures of this year and length one time when a unit was up for sale. I'm curious as to the layout. Glad you're happy with your purchase.
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Old 07-25-2006, 12:29 AM   #20
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The rear sag problem begain around 1965, several years before Beatrice Food bought the company. This is documented in Service Bulliten 146 which was an attempt to correct the problem. http://www.airforums.com/forum...9&d=1133051513
The last page of the bulliten is the proceedure for mid 60 trailers.
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Old 07-30-2006, 03:07 PM   #21
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1981 27' Excella II
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I'm confused. I have a 1981 execella II also. I just measured its length; over-all length end of bumper to end of ball hitch, which is 27 feet. This is just what the origional service maunal says is should be, I have the origional manual. The actual cabin length; is 24 feet. It is also a rear bath model. So what gives? There are no 24' or 25' listings for a excella II for this year in the origional book. Anybody out there can help clean this length deal up for me?
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Old 07-30-2006, 04:13 PM   #22
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crusher966,
I was at www.airstream.com in the faq section under weights. For '81 they had Excella II's in 20', 22', 24', 25', 27' & 31' lengths. Strange they would have so many. I've seen pictures of the 24' with a rear/side bath best I can remember.
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Mag-Hytec rear diff cover
Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
Amsoil synthetics all around
265 watt AM Solar, Inc. system
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Old 07-30-2006, 04:44 PM   #23
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1981 27' Excella II
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Thanks Craig! I knew there must be a answer. I've been spending lost of time at this sight...where was I? Thanks again.
Terry
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Old 08-13-2006, 02:31 PM   #24
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1981 25' Excella II
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crusher966
I'm confused. I have a 1981 execella II also. I just measured its length; over-all length end of bumper to end of ball hitch, which is 27 feet. This is just what the origional service maunal says is should be, I have the origional manual. The actual cabin length; is 24 feet. It is also a rear bath model. So what gives? There are no 24' or 25' listings for a excella II for this year in the origional book. Anybody out there can help clean this length deal up for me?
Craig: Thanks for posting the link. Your post made me curious, so I checked mine again. I checked the # on the vin tag of the trailer located on the front behind the hitch, and it has a 22 along with the code for the model description. I now think that I have a 22' unit. It measures 25' including the hitch.

Crusher966. You may want to see if you could find the vin tag as well.

Thanks: Charlie
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Old 08-13-2006, 05:18 PM   #25
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Another 1981 Excella!

Man I wish I had a crack at getting the one you just got. We have been looking for a shorter trailer to go with our 31' Excella International.

Some of the places we have wanted to go have a length restriction and we are just over the limit. Also I figure if I had a second AS I could play with one and not worry about a time crunch (keeping it torn apart when we wanted to travel).

Congratulations on your new purchase.

-Alden
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Old 08-13-2006, 09:52 PM   #26
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Under the history of Airstream is says Beatrice purchased the company in 1970 and sold it to Thor in 1980. At some point in the 70's no sure date stated they changed some of the frames to 3" from 4 or 5" - including the over 30' models with rear baths. Our 71 Overlander has a 4" frame everywhere I've looked at it. The owners manual says "Airstream a Division of Beatrice.
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