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Old 09-12-2009, 01:57 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
obxgal's Avatar
1975 31' Excella 500
Amherst , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 60
Images: 6
Hello from Central VA...and more info than you want to know...

Hi all!
I got here in a rather convoluted way...am getting more concerned/intimidated by the day, yet find these things soooo beautifully made and fascinating....

I camped a lot as a child...in a tent.Big, straight-walled canvas tent with two rooms. We went to Douthat State Park (VA) and Lake Arrowhead, Myrtle Beach (where the Hilton is now) every summer for 2-3 weeks. Dad got the first Coleman pop-up but it was just too samll for four. (NOTE: I had an uncle who owned an Airstream and he took me on my first trip to Hatteras (NC) in '64...at the time I thought I was on a yacht...and my love of aluminum began!!) Then I camped all over Europe in the 70's while teaching for four years in Germany. Enter thirty years, married to a non-outdoorsy type ( I know...I lost my brain..). Now I am divorced, kidns grown and gone, and met a nice guy who, of course, said "I don't camp." So I thought.. OK...I'll do it alone. But, within one year we now have three RV's (he bought a fancy high-walled pop-up w/shower, heated mattresses (but you know???it's still a TENT), I bought a tiny liteweight 13 ft RV for me alone, and then this July he told me to bid on an Airstream we saw on Ebay....it was sooooo purty....all those blue awnings, a custom-painted lighthouse on the door of a '75 Excella 500...and it was so shiny. But then...horrors...I won the auction. The couple had to part with it becasue of their health..second owners who knew the 1st owners thus knew the history. Lovely people. But....things always look newer and shinier in the pictures....

We towed it home and have been picking and playing with it, but the boyfriend (such a silly word at the age of 57!) is now working out of town...he's an ironworker and Lynchburg has no work at all, so they're up in Martinsburg, WV at a huge cement factory job. He took his pop-up as a lot of the guys are camping nearby and find it more homey (trout stream next door, etc). So much for "I don't camp", huh?

But now we find the job is running into the winter, and, fancy and new tho his hunky big Forest River pop-up may be, a pop-up is still just a TENT ON WHEELS...and he's going to freeze his butt off. Thus, we need to get the '75 Excella 500 up there, cleaned up, and ready for winter lodging....BUT

Previous owners had never camped in cold weather, and thusly never used the furnace (you can sense where I'm heading...) Sunday we fired up the furnace...nothing...nothing....then "BAM!" Scared the bejeebers out of everyone there! We called a reticent relative over who works on furnaces and he poked and prodded...and did the same thing (he jumped a lot worse than I did!!...looked like he was gonna run for the hills!!) He turned it al off and disconnected it, giving me a huge list of virtully every switch and part to replace, including the motor. In other workds, he wasn't gonna try to find the problem, just replace.

So I'm now posting in the "furnace" restoration section for help as I have got to get my man out of that tent and into a solid RV before long, as he is 4 hours north of here and it's already getting a bit chilly. I can handle the scrubbing, drapery-making, new-mattress ordering, sealing and awning repair, but gas lines scare this gal. So cross your fingers for me and talk to those above with influence to get this accomplished soon!

Oh, and if you know an Airstream repair facility in the Winchester, Va/northern VA area please let me know...maybe he could use an auxilliary heater until he can get some help with this??

Susan (and Rick)
Central VA
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