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Old 05-13-2008, 08:20 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1981 31' Excella II
Hendersonville , Tennessee
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 26
Images: 7
what am I getting into

Ok, here we go. First a little about myself. I'm 33 and work in the medical industry. I'm currently remodeling a 70's ranch style house. I am married with a 4 1/2 mo. old. I'm a big DIY kind of guy. Here is my latest DIY project. I've decided to "redo" an 1981 excella II 31 footer. It has been sitting outside unused since the early 90's. The only thing wrong at the time of death was a busted a/c. The inside is what you might expect, the walls are peeling off and everything that was glued down is now up. I'm sure with some elbow grease and alot of time the inside could be made liveable. Here's the thing, I want to update the entire look, add in some modern comforts. I'm going to need alot of help form everyone out there. First question: Where do I start?

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Old 05-13-2008, 08:29 PM   #2
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1959 24' Tradewind
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: I currently do not own a 2nd Airstream
Posts: 4,313
Images: 40
First off, welcome to the forums and congratulations on your first Airstream. As for where to start? Make sure there are no leaks. Once that's done, start in an area you're really comfortable with whether it be cabinetry, paint, wall coverings, etc. Take your pick. Remember, small steps. It is only a series of small projects that all add up to one great finished showpiece you can take on the road.


4CU 2699 / AIR 10 / TAC AZ-1

I'm haunted by aluminum.
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Old 05-13-2008, 09:04 PM   #3
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1961 22' Safari
Union , Oregon
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 446
Images: 11
Yes. What Brad said------fix any/all leaks.
Then......Do what I did..........Do you drink coffee????????????
If yes, then put a comfortable chair in the AS, enjoy a cup of coffee and just look around. Are you cold? Maybe the furnace needs repair/replacement. Is there a draft? Maybe the windows need new gaskets (or even glass). Do you need more coffee? How are you going to get it without leaving the trailer? Did one of the legs of the chair poke through the floor?
Drink more coffee and take notes. Get a chair for your wife. Is that how you both want to sit? Take more notes while listening carefully to "she who must be obeyed". Drink more coffee............does the toilet work?
Are you tired yet? Is that bed gonna work? Will your child have to sleep in the bathtub?
After a fair number of pots of coffee you will have a good idea of your plan of attack. Save the beer for later as soon as you think you know what you are doing.
In other words, time spent thinking is time saved doing.
Most of all , have fun with the process. This part of trailering is supposed to be fun, also.
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Old 05-13-2008, 09:35 PM   #4
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5,678
Yep, what they said.

The planning and thinking part especially!

Let me add this. Check the floor for rot, check the frame for integrity. You don't want to remodel the interior and THEN have to take it all out to do a frame off floor replacement.

Use the SEARCH feature here - go to advanced search and look for Full Monte threads. There are some really excellent restorers here (not me, I could do it but I don't want to!) who have done excellent work.

Be prepared for some very big ticket items (axles, flooring, frame repair) and do realize that you'll almost certainly be safer replacing all of the propane appliances.

Once you have a solid frame, good axles, tires and brakes and no leaks, you have a rolling tent. You don't have to wait until all systems are complete to use it.

And most of all, welcome to the forums. You've come to the right place to find the help and encouragement you'll need.

Paula F.
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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