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Old 12-01-2013, 05:04 PM   #1
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1983 31' Excella
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Papaw's Airstream

Howdy Airstreamers!
Been lurking around the forums for some time and I guess its time to dive in.

I am a longtime admirer of these silver beauties and can now say the wife and I are official airstream owners.

My wifes grandfather passed away a few years ago and left behind a 31' Excella (1983). As I did with my father and his '67 Ford Mustang, I let my father-in-law know that there are some things that should never leave the family! If they ever wanted to sell, they better call us first. Well, they did, and we jumped at the chance.

We want to restore the trailer to its former glory in part because I love restoring old things, but mainly as a remembrance of Papaw.

Looking forward to getting to know you folks here on the forums. I have read and read and reread many of the forum topics. The knowledge gleaned here is invaluable. Thanks to all that take the time to share successes and more importantly failures during the restoration process.

Happy Streaming......I'm off to make my first airstream parts purchase!
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Old 12-01-2013, 05:35 PM   #2
cwf
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Good for you... As a Paw paw in my own right, I think the angels are smiling on ya!

Peace
Channing
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:19 PM   #3
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1983 31' Excella
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Thanks for the welcome!
Looking forward to getting my hands dirty!
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:53 PM   #4
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Welcome

That's a great thing to keep in the family. And your new family (us here) would love to see some pics! and we will help answer questions as you go. MPJ
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Old 12-01-2013, 07:15 PM   #5
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What a wonderful way to honor your wife's grandfather! No doubt he is smiling down! We will look forward to the pics! Welcome to the community! Laura
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:33 PM   #6
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The challenges can be met one at a time, so enjoy the journey of restoring a family treasure so you can hand it down as well.

Welcome aboard.
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:53 PM   #7
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Congrats and welcome to the Airstreamers club, Papaw would be happy, indeed.... One thing we Airstreamers want is for our Airstreams to be appreciated!
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:42 AM   #8
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Moparjohn, Remax gal, switz, and reinergirl.

Thanks you all for the warm welcome!

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Old 12-02-2013, 10:53 PM   #9
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Road issues first, IMO. Tires, axles, brakes (and wiring), bearings, clearance/stop/signal (LED), safety chains, emergency pull off, etc. Easy to put these off till last, but they ought to be done first . . otherwise ones TT is a stranded aluminum cabin. And, age alone dictates new.

Good luck, and look forward to pics in any threads you may start.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:41 AM   #10
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Great minds....

Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
Road issues first, IMO. Tires, axles, brakes (and wiring), bearings, clearance/stop/signal (LED), safety chains, emergency pull off, etc. Easy to put these off till last, but they ought to be done first . . otherwise ones TT is a stranded aluminum cabin. And, age alone dictates new.

Good luck, and look forward to pics in any threads you may start.
Slowmover, that was my thinking as well.

7 pin was corroded, wires as well. So I've rewired umbilical and installed new seven pin, made sure it was to standard.
Independently checked clearance,signal, backup lights. All working properly now!

Axles look good, still have decent amount of travel in them. Wheels are in good shape. I have new brake assemblies, drums and bearings in hand. New tires on order. Now where to find the time??

My thought after running gear is:

1) Water tightness of trailer, windows, ac shroud, fantastic fans etc.
2) to check all systems on trailer. Electrical, heating, ac, plumbing, low voltage, tanks, etc.
3) Interior upgrades
4) Exterior cleanup/polish

Wife wants to jump right to #3

Is this a smart plan? Any suggestions?
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:42 PM   #11
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Roof. Remove and re-seal all penetrations with a plan to paint "unseen" top surface iwth CERAMIFLEX or equivalent (meaning "paint prep" has to do with re-sealing joins and R&R of any bad rivets).

Sides. Unless plumbing and/or electrical is going to be changed in a major way I'd look to new connexions, doors, etc. Re-gasket & re-reseal unless a major polish job guideline sez to do it at another point. Windows are a pain, so research thoroughly.

Bottom. Dropping the belly to replace tanks (maybe size increase) and to check over and paint "frame" plus insulation, etc, neeeds to be part of the interior overhaul. A shop, garage or other to store parts until job done (whole trailer).

I would wish this first go through to have the trailer as weather and vermin-proofed as is relatively possible. And to have zero "trailering" issues in going down the road . . to a specialty shop, big truck alignment shop, etc. Many states require a vehicle inspection sticker, so obtain a copy of the tech guidelines as a reference. Licensing, tags and the other things needed to tow it (set up the tow vehcile).

Budgets disappear fast and these things tend to take years (keep the thoughts of systems and decorations separate. The latter can be very expensive (and is questionable quality otherwise), so leave it till last (except for research and pleasant daydreaming).

Road-worthy and weather-tight is quite enough for the beginning.

.
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