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Old 12-06-2010, 11:43 PM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
New Braunfels , Texas
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Finally did it - 1978 Excella

I pulled the trigger a couple of weeks ago on a vintage 1978 31' Limited Excella. Its a real project - my hope it to make improvements that can preserve the vintage-ness and upgrade where it makes sense.

Sure wish I had the budget to stretch all the way to something in the mid-90's era classics, but I took a vow of no-more-debt to get into RVing and Airstreaming, so I have to work my way up.

I'ls post some photos when I figure out the protocol for that process.

Thanks to all the posters on these Airstream forums - the knowledge you folks have and share with us newbies is truly amazing.
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:56 PM   #2
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Here are some photos. Those are my parents in the photos bidding me bon voyage. I have some more of the interior some place on my computer.

Would appreciate any thoughts y'all may have as to the sequence of events one should arrange in a renovation project. Since my near term need is more of a home-away from home, I'll be looking at the creature comforts like ensuring the refrig works, plumbing and electrics - already had some interesting electric stories due to the previous owner's screwed up version of re-wiring the trailer - tow vehicle cable.
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Old 12-07-2010, 12:23 AM   #3
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oh cool!
im a newbie too~66 28ft ambassador
is that the tow vehicle you use?
i dont have that new of a TV,i got an older jeep wagoneer
but with my airstream being tad smaller than yours,,,wondering if you felt any strain?
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:59 AM   #4
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Welcome and congrats on the rig. Keep us posted on your progress and good luck.


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Old 12-07-2010, 06:09 AM   #5
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Welcome from cold Michigan. First you will find out what works and what doesn't. After that you will want to decide how much you want to update/renovate or change. Anything and everything is possible. The most important thing is to do what you want to do. This forum will provide you with most all info you will need for almost any level of restoration. Best of luck.
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Old 12-07-2010, 06:30 AM   #6
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It looks like you have a great project. In addition to the items you mentioned (elect., etc) I would suggest you make sure any leaks are fixed in order to prevent damage to your fresh work.
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:02 AM   #7
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welcome. enjoy your journey. if you need any help just holler.
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:13 AM   #8
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Hope the wiring works out. One good thing about Airstreams is that once something is fixed, it's fixed for good, and everything you do as you 'sneak up' on each project is going to make this airstream all yours to enjoy. Just don't get over whelmed...you tell that Airstream whos' boss!
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:32 AM   #9
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Sweet acquisition and welcome!
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Old 12-07-2010, 12:38 PM   #10
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Yes the Tundra did fine on the maiden voyage to my current location. It has a lot of miles and I long for the next TV, not going to happen soon. I'm going to focus on the Airstream for now.

BTW - as I live aboard now, it seems that the floor is kind of springy in the common walk areas just inside the door. I'm going to pull up the carpet and eventually re-floor with a wood product or possibly that new stuff, Allure Resilient Plank. If the sub-flooring is not visibly rotted, is it still possible that the structural strength could be compromised? If so, is it possible to lay a new but maybe thinner subfloor over the existing floor so as to not have to rip out the existing sub-floor? In a complete frame up restoration where time and money are unlimited, that would of course be best, but I'm living here while doing the work. So I'm looking the for the next best solution.
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Old 12-07-2010, 06:44 PM   #11
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Judging from your picture, you have a rear bath International with electric brakes. The Excella 500s had a thick blue stripe and vista view windows. I'm partial to the 70's trailers so I think you made a good purchase. Hopefully there are not too many expensive surprises lurking within it.
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SailFaster View Post
Would appreciate any thoughts y'all may have as to the sequence of events one should arrange in a renovation project..

Welcome!

My approach has been to make the coach dry and road safe first. I've installed a new air conditioner, installed new roof vents, installed new sewer vents, put on new window and door gaskets, rebuilt the 7-way, replaced lights and lenses, added new tires, welded the frame, repaired the wood floor, installed a new gas/electric water heater, installed new furnace, bought a new kitchen range/oven, and a new electric/gas refrigerator.

I'm at the point of installing new laminate floor, new wall panels, new cabinets and countertops, and new furniture. Then I'll add/replace awnings, add a rock guard, strip the clear coat, and do a first stage polish.

By the time I get this done, I expect to be too old and broke to travel with it.

Gary
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