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Old 11-13-2006, 02:12 AM   #1
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1978 31' Excella 500
Saltspring Island , British Columbia
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1
Excella 500

Back in 1992 I sold the farm (literally) and bought a 1978 Excella 500. My first surprise was when I went to pick it up. I found that it had a vaccuum over hydraulic disk break system. I was really impressed by the fact that my Chevy PU had all the sophisication of a Connestoga wagon whereas the Airstream had 4-wheel torsion bar independent suspension with one shock absorber per wheel, aluminum cast wheels and disk breaks. Also the Aluminum 30 lb propane tanks are real cool.

The supension system is an incredible bonus as in the first year I spent a lot of time on some really out-of-the-way back roads which were not even paved. I travelled around British Columbia trying my best to avoid highways and main roads. All this time I am living NFA (No Fixed Address). While spending the next summer working on the upgrading of the Alaska HiWay I met many members of the Wally Byam club in their annual treck to Alaska.

It was here that I learned of the club for people who live full-time in RV's. They are the Escapees. (SKP's) Great people, great organization. From the Alaska HiWay I went to southern Vancouver Island (mild winter) and then to Saltspring Island (1996). I am still on Saltspring Island as this is a place where people are less judgmental (you live in an Airstream? No big deal) and at the same time are very opinionated. ( makes for spirited community forums )

I am glad to have found this forum and I have a few issues I would like to discuss.

More Later:

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Old 11-13-2006, 03:50 AM   #2
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1992 29' Excella
madison , Wisconsin
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,644
Images: 40
welcome aboard bob!

if you have any photos of your alaska adventure i'm sure everyone would love to see them!

being on the road as long as you have i'd bet you have a wealth of knowledge few of us ever will.

please share!


you call them ferrets, i call them weasels.
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Old 11-13-2006, 05:49 AM   #3
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1956 22' Safari
2000 39' Land Yacht XL Diesel w/slide
Crossville , Tennessee
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 416
Images: 11
Welcome aboard, Bob. Now, lets get at those issues!
By the way, the Escapes also sponser a subgroup called Airstream Angels. They are active in disaster areas (hurricanes, fires, tornadoes, etc.) They do good workin these areas.
I have made a few trips to the gulf coast following Katrina, and see a few Airstreams down there that are people still helping out.
2000 390 Landyacht XL
1989 29' Excella
WBCCI #6673 jerry Hodge
Have no intention of arriving at the grave safely, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand,throttle in the other, totally worn out and screaming
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Old 11-13-2006, 06:31 AM   #4
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1978 31' Excella 500
1961 26' Overlander
Harmony , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 312
Images: 36
Welcome! You and I have the same Airstream.
But I just bought mine and have yet to go anywhere.

I don't know that I would be able to tell you anything about issues, but we are working on ours and learning fast. However the people here on the forum are incredible and very knowledgable. You're sure to get whatever help you need here.
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Old 11-15-2006, 08:23 PM   #5
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1986 25' Sovereign
Southern Middle , Tennessee
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 3,182
Images: 23
Welcome Bob. I owned a '77 Excella 500 31' for 4 years before purchasing an '86 Sovereign 25'. The Hydravac brakes on the '77 were awesome, wish I had them on my '86.

AIR #0078
'01 2500hd ext. cab, 8.1 litre gas, 5 sp. Allison auto
3.73 rear end
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 08-18-2011, 12:09 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 10
Hi all, been a few years that my 77 Excella 31'er has been sitting in my driveway. I bought it 6 years ago as a tear apart for a mobile showroom, since have been slowly rebuilding it with one trip from Portland, OR to Gerlach, NV for Burning Man and will depart in 10 days for that same trip and event again. I gutted her, have all the plastic parts in varying degrees of condition. She is an amazing piece of American work. I have taken the back 1/3rd as a bedroom. have a closet in the middle over the wheels and the rest is open with a kitchen counter over the other side wheels, all white inside. Am now building a light-weight aluminum framed deck for the roof with a 10' diameter stage... will post pictures in September when I'm back from the Burn.

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