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Old 03-27-2007, 12:14 PM   #1
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1994 30' Excella
alexandria , Kentucky
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A new project

It's finally time that officially introduced myself. My name is Steve and I have been lurking this board for 2 or 3 years. I have read many, many posts on the joys and frustrations of trailer ownership and have learned a lot by these observations. I can honestly say I have spent quite a bit of time before jumping into this decision.
Anyway, the good news is that my wife Christy and I are now owners of a brand spanking used Airstream. It is a 1981 Excella II - 22' long. I never thought I would make a purchase this large off of fleabay (ebay) but the stars and price seemed to line up correctly last week.
It will need some work like all trailers do that haven't been used in 10 years.
As you can see from the picture the axles are shot! Tonight I'm going to remove the front axle. My friend is in the axle business and can get Dexter's at a reasonable price.
I also will have to repair/replace the refrigerator. I going to tinker with it a little bit but will probably end up purchasing the cooling unit - seems to be the most cost effective way to go.
Will probably need curtains - my sister is darn handy on the sewing machine.
Mud dauber nests in every oriface you see.
I had to haul it 250 miles to my home. I went though the wheel bearing and brakes while the tire shop mounted some new skins( GY Marathons).
It's going to be an adventure but it will be fun.
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Old 03-27-2007, 12:20 PM   #2
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1993 21' Sovereign
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Congratulations on your new money pit, er, obsession, umm... project.
I saw that one go through on Ebay and thought it looked pretty good from the pics. Good luck on it.
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Old 03-27-2007, 12:25 PM   #3
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
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Congratulations!

A very nice looking AS!
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Old 03-27-2007, 12:39 PM   #4
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1967 24' Tradewind
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nice

It's got personality! (But then all Airstreams do). Welcome, keep us posted on your doings.

pictures as you go are especially welcomed.
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Old 03-27-2007, 01:15 PM   #5
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
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That's a really nice lookin' Airstream. Nice find!
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:08 PM   #6
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welcome!

I too saw that unit on Ebay - I thought it was highly unusual... not often you see an Excella in that length. Is it possible that it was used for one of the China trips or other caravans? Nice windows too! Any history on it that you know of?

Great Jeep too - what kind of engine in it? It looks fantastic with your trailer. Keep us informed - I'd like to know more about the axles... how is the ordering process going for you, and are you going with shocks?
Welcome again!
marc
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Old 03-27-2007, 08:28 PM   #7
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Congrats on an unusual find

Welcome to an obsession!

On the fridge - you may want to consider a purchase of a "mini" 110 volt conventional compressor unit - you may be able to find one just the right size to fit in the space of the gas unit.

We find that we very seldom need to run ours on gas - we almost always park with electricity...when we are not on the grid a bag of ice will last a couple of days and keeps the adult beverages cold....

The 110 compressor unit may be just the ticket to explore how you will use the AS - and delay an expensive rebuild or new fridge purchase for a couple of years.
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Old 03-27-2007, 08:55 PM   #8
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we just got a cooling unit off Ebay for the RM1303 fridge at a great price with a 5 year warranty, we can get you the info if you want
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:01 PM   #9
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1978 28' Argosy 28
Springfield , Missouri
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Welcome. Nice hitch with the Jeep and what appears to be a great find. Glad you signed in. Keep us informed how it goes.
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:03 PM   #10
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Nice purchase. I was watching that one too because it was within 50 miles of me. Good luck. I hope you don't find too many bad surprises.

Greg
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Old 03-28-2007, 07:08 AM   #11
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1994 30' Excella
alexandria , Kentucky
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Thanks for compliments on this new trailer!
We are both very excited about getting to use it.
Last night I went ahead and dropped the front axle off so I can get started on the order.

I also noticed that many of the rivits need replacing on the belly pan.
Question: are the rivits on the the belly pan anything special? Or is this a standard hardward store rivit. They will need to have a larger head than the originals.

Refrigerator: - I can see that this will be an adventure. I have it sitting on my workbench. I plan on cleaning everything up at this point, giving it a few shakes and see if it will come back to life. I have found a couple of places on the net that sell the new parts. It is still half the price of a new one - the old physically still looks good.

Interior Door Handle: there is a "T" shaped handle for the door - I have the "T" handle but it seems like the shaft coming out of the door is not long enough. Has annyone experience this before? I will try to post a picture tonight when I get home from work.

Jeep Pickup: For those who asked - this has been a fun project of mine. As you can see I have an affinity for Jeeps. It is a 1986 J20 (3/4 ton 8400 GVW) 360 AMC V8 - I ditched the carburator and went with a GM throttle body system - passes emissions test with better numbers than a new car.
It has a 727 Chrysler Automatic, 3:73 rear end. I try to keep it mostly stock - have just improved a few of the week points. It's fun to drive because I turns a lot of heads. Fuel mileage - yeah right..... 13 no load on the highway and 10 hauling the trailer. You don't drive a truck for the fuel mileage - I drive the econo box to work.
I actually have a 1990 Grand Wagoneer that I am rehabing as a primary tow vehicle. This is one reason why I chose this size of trailer - less chance of tail wagging the dog - I have read a lot of posts on this forum about this problem.
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Old 03-28-2007, 07:54 AM   #12
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crispyboy
I also noticed that many of the rivits need replacing on the belly pan.
Question: are the rivits on the the belly pan anything special? Or is this a standard hardward store rivit. They will need to have a larger head than the originals.

Refrigerator: - I can see that this will be an adventure. I have it sitting on my workbench. I plan on cleaning everything up at this point, giving it a few shakes and see if it will come back to life. I have found a couple of places on the net that sell the new parts. It is still half the price of a new one - the old physically still looks good.
The belly pan rivets are not really special. they go through the belly pan aluminum and attach into the underfloor framework, which is mainly steel. Oversized-head rivets are available.
Since your fridge is now out of the trailer, you can try burping it. This consists of carefully standing the fridge on its head for a while, then righting it. It may start working, just look on the cooling coils for a yellow stain, if it has the stain the unit is toast.

The J20 is an uncommon configuration on an uncomon truck, I have noticed they do everything but get good gas mileage.
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Old 03-28-2007, 04:45 PM   #13
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1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
southwestern , Michigan
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boy that sure is a pretty unit! welcome friend, glad you decided to stop by and visit with the rest of us airstream obsessed groupies. i'm sure you will learn to appreciate her more all the time. good luck and if you get any pictures of your progress please post them.
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