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Old 11-18-2009, 01:56 PM   #1
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1984 34' Excella
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Decisions......

Hi! I am just about to do a deal and get a beautiful 34 ft 1984 Exella! Am i crazy? I am getting such mixed advice..... do i just jump in and follow my dream, then deal with the consequences along the way. I know it's a monster, but aren't monsters fun as well as scary? I was going to do the across America East to West in the summer. A trip i have always wanted to do, as long as i can remember....... so to hire a pick up to carry this beast? Or maybe it would be cheaper to buy a second hand truck (properly checked out) Or am i about to embark on madness????? Help!
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:02 PM   #2
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Get an inspector to look at it if possible! The forum has that service available. Welcome, by the way!
You have "aluminitis" Enjoy the ride!

Rich the Viking
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:12 PM   #3
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Decisions......

Greetings lana64!

What you propose is quite possible. You aren't likely to find a truck to rent that would be capable of pulling a Tri-Axle Airstream. Finding a good used 3/4-Ton with the correct trailer towing options can be done with some patience. I might caution you about the following, if you haven't already considered:
  • You will be limited in campground selection as there are some older RV Parks/Campgrounds that don't have "big-rig" sites. Also some state and national parks also have difficulty accommodating a trailer as long as the 34' Tri-Axle.
  • If you are planning on traveling alone, it can be a little more challenging to back something as long as a 34' (it still may be more controllable than a single axle -- as long as there is ample turning room).
  • While many report that the 34' Tri-Axles are no more stressful to tow, my 26' Overlander is about all the longer trailer that I would want to pull on some of the secondary roads that I frequently travel. This is an area that each will have his/her opinion on because the reaction to dealing with increased turing radius bothers some more than others.
The 34' coaches do offer lots of living space that can be very nice for long excursions or for full-timing. There are trade-offs with any selection . . . . you may find tha the 34' is ideally suited to the kind of traveling that you envision.

Good luck with your research!

Kevin
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:16 PM   #4
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Not crazy!

An '84 is a relatively new unit to some.
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by lana64 View Post
Hi! I am just about to do a deal and get a beautiful 34 ft 1984 Exella! Am i crazy? I am getting such mixed advice..... do i just jump in and follow my dream, then deal with the consequences along the way. I know it's a monster, but aren't monsters fun as well as scary? I was going to do the across America East to West in the summer. A trip i have always wanted to do, as long as i can remember....... so to hire a pick up to carry this beast? Or maybe it would be cheaper to buy a second hand truck (properly checked out) Or am i about to embark on madness????? Help!
Before you complete the deal, check the trailer out for things that need to be replaced or repaired.

A 25 year old Airstream, could, if not properly taken care of, need a number of things.

Some easy things to check out is body damage, all the exterior gaskets, especially the sewer vent pipe cover gaskets, tires, axles, etc.

The asking selling price should be negotiated based on what repairs you may have to undertake, before being able to really use the Airstream, with peace of mind.

Andy
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:28 PM   #6
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.. Am i crazy? I am getting such mixed advice..... Or am i about to embark on madness????? Help!
hi lana

welcome to the looney farm.

NO mixed advice here, U R definitely crazy.

and YES buy an older truck and haul 'her your own self.

then u can go where ever the medication is cheapest on this epic trip.

it does help 2 NOT buy a totally mucked up trailer that needs years of therapy...

b4 IT is ready for travel.
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as ken kesey might have said...

u cannot EMBARK on madness if u are already there!

have fun and tell us ALL about the journey.

cheers
2air'
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Old 11-18-2009, 03:07 PM   #7
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I recommend following your dream - but - be cautious - If you have never towed before a 34 footer might be too much for you. Also, you might not need one that long in the first place. You might be able to find a shorter TT with a TV as a package deal and at the price of the 34 footer. Good luck and welcome to the forum. Larger is not always better.
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:31 PM   #8
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Welcome to the madness!! I recently jumped in with a 31' 1975 Excella 500, and, while it does have a steep learning curve, i am enjoying every moment with this trailer! The best advice i can give is to spend as much time as you can stand in this forum, perusing every nook and cranny to get a really good overall knowledge base on the basics. Then you just have to jump in and not let it intimidate you! A good used 3/4 ton truck with tow package will work fine for towing, and, if the truck is strong enuf, the towing is easy! You do have to call for reservations so you can insure that there will be sites large enuf....

If this is something you are endeavoring on your own, you will need a mentor....there is a lot to learn just about hookups, hitching, etc...and this is besides any repairs that the trailer may need. If you can bring it home and just live with it for a while and take your time you may enjoy it more. Maybe you can hire or trade some service with a local camper, as the first few times it is nice to have someone there to run thru the "system" with you. Initially the rallies may be a good way for you to go as there will be people there who know your trailer. Find out who is the closest service shop for Airstreams, and get recommendations here online.

I just bought mine in July and am just now getting out and about in it..not just because i wanted to clean it out and replace the furnace, but just because I was always a tent/popup camper, and the towing, tanks, etc are all new to me. I love the engineering, concept, design, and look of the Airstreams so much (and always have) that I doubt I'll ever NOT want an Airstream in my life again. While the research is very frustrating for me as I am on dialup (and this Forum is HUGE), the information is here for the reading...it just takes a lot of time and reading.

Have fun!
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:45 PM   #9
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I seem to share your thinking! Go for it! If it's something you want, the obstacles are par for course...........Doubt you'll find a rental truck.. Perhaps a friend can help out. Definitely check your 34' beauty out good, especially before you pull her back home.

I'd love a 34 but I'd have to buy property just to park it!

Good Luck,

Al
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