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Old 08-14-2014, 08:48 PM   #1
4 Rivet Member
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1979 31' Excella 500
Charlevoix , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 256
New Owner of 1979 Excella 500 - HI!

Hi Everyone,

My name is Jason and my wife Jetty and son Beck just purchased our 1st airstream camper for $3,300 off Craigslist. It's a 1979 Excella 500. Our plan is to restore it, inside and out, to make it our fulltime living space as we travel and live minimally and intentionally starting in 2015. Right now we live in a house that way to big for us and we're drowning in our "stuff". Well, no more of that. We're slowing selling our stuff and renovating this old airstream to get a taste of that freedom we long for.

Our airstream is mostly in working order from what I can tell. We'll find out more next week after our local renovation expert (Tim at Classic Trailer Specialists in East Jordan, MI) takes a look under some suspicious looking aluminum tacked up near the near with some screws (instead of rivets). Hoping there's not much rust under there!

Anyway, just wanted to introduce myself here as I'm sure I'll be asking for your help at some point in our journey.

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Old 08-16-2014, 09:27 PM   #2
Everyday is a GIFT !!
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2015 30' Classic
Collins , Mississippi
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,156
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Great for you. Congratulations, i hope to see y'all in your travels. Keep safe and enjoy your new freedom.


J. Nelson
TAC # MS-12
WBCCI # 5314
AirForums # 66116
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:48 PM   #3
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,506
Nice to meet you Jason, Jetty and Beck. Your Excella looks spiffy with the big blue beltline stripe. You will enjoy renovating your Airstream with "reliable stuff" and then exploring our wonderful country. Steinbeck's Travels with Charlie comes to mind. These Air Forums are a great resource for every project you tackle from bottom to top, tires to air conditioner so to speak. Building your trailer for full timing may give thought to changes in its design such as improved insulation, heat reflective paint on the roof, better batteries with solar charging, larger propane tanks, 50 amp electrical, etc, etc. You can live green in an Airstream, but you want your family reasonably comfortable.

Years ago Airstream made what it called "park models". They were trailers that required water, sewer and electrical connections to function as opposed to the "self contained" trailers that operate on 12v power. Today's mobile homes are the equivalent of the early park models. I'm sure full timing was on the minds of those early Airstream designers.

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Old 08-17-2014, 04:29 AM   #4
4 Rivet Member
1987 25' Sovereign
Oregon , Ohio
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 483
Welcome, and so the adventure begins. Happy trails and hope to meet you down the road
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:12 AM   #5
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1978 29' Ambassador
1974 25' Tradewind
1974 27' Overlander
Indiana , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 667
Blog Entries: 7
Welcome careful, this aluminum thing is addicting. Have fun. Airstream people are great. Once you are able, try to get to a rally or two. You'll be glad you did.

Indiana, PA

WBCCI 4871
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Old 08-17-2014, 08:08 AM   #6
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,506
I write this sitting in my 86 at a pretty RV park east of Kansas City. Yes, I have everything I need to live here. I see some extended stay campers here and there.

But I'm sure I could not go full time. Trailer parks are trailer parks. Lots of neighbors, hard to do laundry, fixing the Airstream all the time (my new fridge quit on me!), lots of trips to the grocery as storage space is not great, and leaving friends and family behind. I see bigger propane bottles tied to the trailer, folks trying to keep their water lines from freezing, make shift skirts around the trailer to keep them warmer, kids toys tucked underneath the trailer, etc, etc.

Many over the road truck drivers are thankful to get home after weeks driving. I think living as a gypsy would get old fast. I like playing the role for a few weeks, but I'm thankful for my home. And my garage!

Just talking...


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