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Old 01-31-2012, 07:34 PM   #1
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1994 25' Excella
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Newbie/lurker first post with questions

Hi all,

We acquired our first Airstream, a mid-bath 1994 Excella Classic, from a private party in mid-November and have big plans for trips over the next several years. This trailer has seen very little use and has all original everything. The twin beds in the back are still wrapped in plastic! We had it checked out by a nearby airstream dealer and headed out for our inaugural trip to Pinnacles Nat'l Monument to figure out the priorities for our restoration/modification projects, then brought it home and went right to work.

I have read the manual cover to cover and have spent a fair amount of time on these forums, but still have some basic "how it works" questions I need help with. Thanks in advance for your advice!

Our restoration plans:
1) reupholster the front gaucho
2) replace the front carpet and galley flooring with floating cork flooring
3) install a TV
4) rest for a while and think about/plan the redo of the rear bedroom (currently twins, want a very different layout and cork flooring)

In doing all this, we plan to replace original valances, curtains, wardrobes, beds, etc. I know there are a lot of restorers out there who want factory stuff, so as we pull things out, we will post them.

Soooo, we stripped the furniture out of the front and pulled the carpet only to discover evidence that mice had been enjoying the insulation as their home - the street side front corner appears to have been the designated pee area - yuck! Now the project is replacing the front subfloor so we don't lay a nice new floor over urine soaked OSB (damage limited to one corner, but still...). Time on the forums convinced me that we don't want to actually do the subfloor replacement ourselves, so we worked a deal with an RV repair place to have them replace the floor since they have experience with that, but we are doing the prep work ourselves. We drilled all the rivets, removed the lower interior panels and insulation and acquired the materials. After they install the new subfloor, we will put in new insulation (bubble wrap), put the interior skins back on, lay the flooring, and reinstall the furniture. Whew!

We are replacing the OSB subfloor with 3/4 ACX plywood from the edge of the galley forward. Next weekend: install the insulation & restore the interior skins.

Now the questions:
1) There is a coax and 12volt fixture/plugin in the front and in the rear bedroom for a TV, but a TV is not part of the trailer as we see it. How can I tell if the AV option was included in this particular trailer originally? What did the AV option include? (no info in manual)

2) The radio works great and the speakers (2 front, 2 rear) all work and have ok sound. We want to install a TV and have sound routed through the existing speakers. What do we need to do to accomplish that? If we have to run wiring, I want to do it while we have the interior panels off.

3) Internet. Part of the long-term plan is to be able to work on the road. I have seen a number of posts about options, but thought I would ask the question again. What is our best bet? Will it require new wiring? Should we do this while we have the front interior panels off?

Thanks for your thoughts!

Cathy
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:35 PM   #2
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No lurking allowed! You must be present and participate to win.

Now I'll go back and read your post....welcome!
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:42 PM   #3
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I could answer your questions #1 and 2 only if a '94 were wired as my '07 is...and I'm not sure it is.

#3, IMO, is best done with a tethering to a cell phone. Others have other solutions, but that works for me. (Or mobile hotspot phone with the newer ones)
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:51 AM   #4
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Cathy,

Congrat's on your NEW Airstream.

Where are the photo's?...a requirement for further posting.

#1...I think you have already found the "AV option" in total.

#2...Panels off, I would take the opportunity to wire your own AV option.

#3...No idea, we leave the cyber-web at home when streaming.

Bob
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:01 AM   #5
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums, Cathy. We're glad to have you with us.

As to your questions,

1. The coax in your Airstream is to accommodate television reception. Keep in mind that if this coaxial cable is original to the trailer, it is most likely RG-59 cable. This type cable does not work as well with the newer digital cable systems. If you replace any of this coax cable, be sure to use RG-6 cable.

2. Since you plan to remove interior panels any, I would suggest that you replace to speakers and all speaker wiring. Speaker technology has significantly improved over the last twenty years.

3. High speed internet access is a piece of cake. We run an internet business on the road. We use a hot spot on our Verizon smart phone. No wires are necessary. In areas of marginal cell phone signal, we use a Wilson range extender.

Good luck in your endeavor. We would love to see some pictures.

Brian
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:26 AM   #6
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documenting the project

ok, here are some pics as we found our new toy. I will post pics of the mods separately
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airfun View Post
ok, here are some pics as we found our new toy. I will post pics of the mods separately

You are now authorized to proceed full fun speed ahead>>

Bob
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:36 AM   #8
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beginning the modifications

First, with the gaucho out, we see mouse droppings. Time to take out the carpet. The carpet pad was disgusting.

The original plan was to leave the cupboard in place and lay the cork flooring around it, but now we have to replace the subfloor, so the cupboard had to come out, too.

Other than the one corner and the area right at the door, the subfloor was in good shape. But that corner smelled!
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:43 AM   #9
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key pic from maiden voyage

We went on this trip armed with a 100-400 lens with a goal of getting a decent photo of a California Condor. This is the best shot I got
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:19 PM   #10
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As far as internet goes, we have been using virgin mobile 3g broadband to go www.virginmobileusa.com . You don't have a contract, but pay as you go. For $50 you can have unlimited usage for a month. It is part of the nationwide Sprint 3G network. If you don't need unlimited usage you can pay $10 or $20 for a number of megabytes monitored by a usage meter that lets you know how many megabytes are remaining before you need to anty up again. Reception equates to Sprint cell phone reception. DW is often online in the truck next to me while I an driving down the road and normally when set up in the camp site we can receive 2-3 bars from "the tin can". Of course, in an area of no cell coverage we are out of luck. Am considering purchasing a wilson booster to see if we can realize an improvement when in this situation. Pat
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:24 PM   #11
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Hello Neighbor (nearly)!

I can't add much to help with current technical problems. But...

If you think the trailer might be in campable condition by the middle of April, I'd heartily recommend making a reservation for the Airforums rally at Casini Ranch on the Russian River. It's not too far a drive for a weekend, and there will be dozens of experienced Airstream owners to talk to and trailers to look at.
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:49 PM   #12
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I work a lot of weekends, and that weekend I will be supervising 125 volunteers at Henry Coe State Park, so no luck on being able to pick the brains of other airstreamers...

Thanks for the reminder of the rally, though.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
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We went on this trip armed with a 100-400 lens with a goal of getting a decent photo of a California Condor. This is the best shot I got
Bravo! You got out there! Too many of us get the airstream to go out and explore, but the tires never get to turn round.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:33 PM   #14
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My wife and I use a Verizon mobile Hotspot for our internet when we are in the trailer. We have 4g so its best to keep it plugged into to the DC outlet as it drains the battery pretty fast.

As for your subfloor, I would be surprised if mice were the original damage to your subfloor. While it's apart, you might be well served to see if you have a leak from above that softened it and then brought in the mice. Most of us have had leaks from bumpers, roof vents, etc, that damaged our floors near the wall. I would investigate further.
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