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Old 11-03-2006, 11:15 AM   #1
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1977 31' Excella 500
Eugene , Oregon
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What an amazing service

Greetings,

I am pleasantly surprised by this community. When I started searching for info for our new airstream (new to us) I never even imagined that this much would be available at all, let alone in one place.

My wife and I moved to Eugene about a year ago and are going to pick up our 1977 Excella this afternoon. Our goal is to move into it by the end of the month. We expect that it will serve as our home for a minimum of 2 years. We were tired of paying rent and my wife fell in love with the airstreams the first time she saw them. It will be a while before we can afford a new one, but then again the one we found has great charector. I will post some pictures as soon as I take some.

The trailer has been in storage for about 20 years. About 10 between the first and second owners and 10 between the second and thirds owners. The current owners have used it off and on for the last 2 years. Everything is in working order and completly original. I am telling myself that I am ready for what ever we need to do to keep it in good shape, but knowing about this website makes me feel better.

If you have any thoughts about my current situation feel free to send them my way. Again, thanks for this site and I'll be seeing you all soon.
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Old 11-03-2006, 11:18 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums.It is a great service isn't it.
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Old 11-03-2006, 11:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthews
Greetings,

I am pleasantly surprised by this community. When I started searching for info for our new airstream (new to us) I never even imagined that this much would be available at all, let alone in one place.

My wife and I moved to Eugene about a year ago and are going to pick up our 1977 Excella this afternoon. Our goal is to move into it by the end of the month. We expect that it will serve as our home for a minimum of 2 years. We were tired of paying rent and my wife fell in love with the airstreams the first time she saw them. It will be a while before we can afford a new one, but then again the one we found has great charector. I will post some pictures as soon as I take some.

The trailer has been in storage for about 20 years. About 10 between the first and second owners and 10 between the second and thirds owners. The current owners have used it off and on for the last 2 years. Everything is in working order and completly original. I am telling myself that I am ready for what ever we need to do to keep it in good shape, but knowing about this website makes me feel better.

If you have any thoughts about my current situation feel free to send them my way. Again, thanks for this site and I'll be seeing you all soon.

Trailers that have torsion axles, must "not" stay in storage for years at a time, unless most of the trailer weight is removed from the axles.

If the trailer simply stays parked without moving, the rubber rods in the axles will take a set. When that happens the trailer will bottom out when hitting even small bumps. That in turn, can cause many damages to the frame as well as the shell along with other things.

The only fix is to replace the axles.

The following article will allow you to check the axles yourself.

http://www.inlandrv.com/articles/dur...axle-92001.htm

Andy
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Old 11-03-2006, 11:40 AM   #4
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Welcome

I share your feeling exactly!
With the support of the forum members you can repair just about anything on your NEW AIRSTREAM HOME.

Best,
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Old 11-03-2006, 11:45 AM   #5
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1956 22' Safari
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Congratulations!

Quote:
Originally Posted by matthews
Our goal is to move into it by the end of the month. We expect that it will serve as our home for a minimum of 2 years.

<snip>

If you have any thoughts about my current situation feel free to send them my way.
Sounds like you & your wife are pretty excited about this new venture...are you planning on parking in one location or hitting the road? Regardless, welcome to the family!

Shari
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Old 11-03-2006, 12:09 PM   #6
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1978 31' Excella 500
Venice , California
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Hello and welcome!

Glad to have another vintage Excella on the forums. You have a great model (in my humble opinion). We've had ours for about 7 years now, and although, as one forum member says "the price of freedom is eternal maintenance" you're in for some good times. There are many great features that were stock on your rig including disc brakes, double windows with high quality mechanisms, an lots of good things. Track down the documentation for your Excella: the owner's manual and service manual, if you don't already have them. The only disappointment I had with ours was the lack of a gas light fixture and I took care of that right away. Good luck!
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Old 11-03-2006, 12:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
If you have any thoughts about my current situation feel free to send them my way. Again, thanks for this site and I'll be seeing you all soon.
There is a limited supply of 1977 owners manuals and 1977 service manuals available from Airstream.

Does your Airstream have electric or disc brakes.

If it has disc brakes, a special hookup is required. Also the sync valve in them usually goes bad when not used for an extended period of time. They can however, be overhauled.

Andy
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Old 11-10-2006, 11:37 AM   #8
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1977 31' Excella 500
Eugene , Oregon
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The PO gave us the owners manual as well as the log from the first owners who traveled in it for years. I finished reading through the whole thing last night.

Our plan right now is to park it. My wifes parents have a double lot and are allowing us to use half of it for the foreseeable future. I am currently studying energy management at LCC here in Eugene. One benefit of the trailer is that we are free to move if a job becomes available outside Eugene.

I do not know what kind of brakes the trailer has I will take a close look this afternoon and see what I can find. I have read through the sheet on the dura torque axle twice now but still do not have a good understanding of it. I will give it another go. Is there anyone here in Eugene that might be up for an onsite explanation?

We are starting this remodel out on a sour note but I am still hopeful. There is currently a significant leak from the front vent. The PO assure us that they were unaware and I believe them. Still cannot quite get over the fact that they did not mention it when we asked directly about leaks but we will survive. It is looking as though a floor replacement is in our future. I’ll see if I can get some pictures up this weekend. With all those sharp eyes on this forum I know we will get some solid leadership.

One more thought: My wife and I want to get a queen size bed out of this model somehow and also want to respect the era the trailer came from and preserve the ‘vintage’ aspect. Were there other layouts of this year that we could model, or maybe some creative approach that would still be respected as a restoration as opposed to a renovation?
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Old 11-10-2006, 11:53 AM   #9
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A word of advice: check out the condition of your tires. I didn't and caused a whole lot of damage to my Airstream. Ask the prior owner how old they are. If they are more than a few years old, I would definitely replace them.

I know from experience. Here is my "Tale of Woe":

http://www.airforums.com/forum...=dmreilly10000
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Old 11-10-2006, 01:12 PM   #10
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We bought our 78 in June and have so far enjoyed the heck out of it...looking forward to a possible longer trip in June 07.
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Old 11-10-2006, 11:57 PM   #11
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1963 16' Bambi
Yreka , California
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Welcome to the forums! Congrats on your Airstream! I am sure you will be able to enjoy your 'stream as soon as you move in! They all take work, but hey, so does a house, car, or anything else for that matter! This is a great forum and if you run into troubles all you have to do is post a question on what to do and you will get lots of opinions! I think you made the right choice (Airstream) a few years back while working my last year before retirement I lived in a (SOB) 5th wheel... it worked, but I would have really liked an Airstream instead... sometimes folks get cabin fever in the winter, but all I did was work, so it wasn't a problem!

Let us know how it goes and post some pics, we love pics!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (Traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 11-11-2006, 12:43 AM   #12
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Welcome

I recently arrived myself and have had tremendous results so far from the community....it is just draining my wallet faster than I anticipated .

Make sure to keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 11-11-2006, 05:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Trailers that have torsion axles, must "not" stay in storage for years at a time, unless most of the trailer weight is removed from the axles.

If the trailer simply stays parked without moving, the rubber rods in the axles will take a set. When that happens the trailer will bottom out when hitting even small bumps. That in turn, can cause many damages to the frame as well as the shell along with other things.

The only fix is to replace the axles.

The following article will allow you to check the axles yourself.

Andy, I store my trailer for months at a time with the

http://www.inlandrv.com/articles/dur...axle-92001.htm

Andy

Andy, I store my trailer months at a time with the stabilizer jacks down to support the frame should I also place a jack between the wheels on the axel plate to take the stress off of the axels? Not jacked up off of the ground but just enough lift to remove the pressure.

Thanks Jim
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Old 11-11-2006, 12:54 PM   #14
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The oracle has previously spoken:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/71332-post12.html
Nick.
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