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Old 08-14-2012, 11:00 AM   #1
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1997 30' Excella
Blowing Rock , North Carolina
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Is This A Mistake? Lots of Skin Damage!

I have an opportunity to buy a 1997 widebody Excella 30' that is salvage title and I may be able to get it for $4500 or $5000. It has 7 or 8 panels that are crumpled from falling on it's side, but it is road worthy. The trailer will be gutted on the inside, so no worries there. My intention would be to complete the interior renovation over the next year or two and then worry about the exterior panels. From these threads I assume all these panels will need replaced and cannot be reasonably repaired. Any advice on total cost? Has anyone seen damage this extensive? Is this a reasonable deal for a DIYer? I will be mirror polishing the beast. I'm a newbie to the forum. Any help is really appreciated.
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:20 AM   #2
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If I wanted to polish something, I would look for one with straight panels.

Replacement panels cost lots more than finding a trailer with good ones.

For an idea of the cost of replacement panels, see: http://odmrv.com/catalog/index.php?m...d3512e08b94032 Note that these are just the costs of the panels, not including shipping or (especially) installation.
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:30 AM   #3
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There is a lot of visible damage and most likely a bunch more that you can not see. Frame, outriggers and internal ribs could all be damaged, but you would have to dismantle the trailer to find out. In the picture of the front of the trailer, it appears that the shell is separating from the floor/frame. I would pass.
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:38 AM   #4
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You should be able get a similar trailer with a perfect body for less than $10k... I would imagine that the panels alone without any labor would cost about that much. Plus as above there is bound to be damage you cannot see. I would pass.

If you do go ahead anyway, you want to fix it in the opposite order - first fix the shell and frame and ensure everything is sound and water tight and only then begin the interior restoration.

It's sad, but this trailer is really only economically viable to part out.
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:42 AM   #5
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The fact the insurance company totalled it should be good enough reason to question the whole deal. I'd pass, as well. Even if they gave it to you, I'd pass, as well.
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Leary View Post
The fact the insurance company totalled it should be good enough reason to question the whole deal. I'd pass, as well. Even if they gave it to you, I'd pass, as well.
I disagree. I'd pass even if they were paying me to take it. Sal.
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:59 AM   #7
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Dude,

Welcome to the best source of Airstream info anywhere. I am down in the Lake Norman area. I agree with everyone that's posted. Don't buy it. Airstreams with flooring and frame issues can be challenging enough, but to buy one that's rolled.....you're just asking for trouble.
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:24 PM   #8
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All who have responded - thanks so much for your knowledge and feedback. I will pass on this one! What a forum. I really appreciate everyone's willingness to respond so quickly.

Thanks,

Chris
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Old 08-14-2012, 01:23 PM   #9
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Don't do it.
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Old 08-14-2012, 01:46 PM   #10
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What's also freaky,is what happened to the clearcoat? Was a '97 in that era when AS was buying panels that were "pre clearcoated"?
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Old 08-14-2012, 01:51 PM   #11
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On closer inspection, the propane tank cover looks pretty nice. Nicer than mine, anyway.

It wasn't easy, but I found something good to say about it.

Keep looking, the right one will come along.
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:16 PM   #12
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I trashed 80% of my '73's interior for some obscene odor that would not quit. $1500 bought this 1972 29' - just for spare parts and a complete good interior. Since this a 'weekend' hobby of mine it still sits untouched and costs me $40 a year to keep license plates on it.

For your 30' it looks like someone is trying to recoup on their labor from all the repairs already done. If you could find two salvage trailers and merge them into one sweet RV you would still be umpteen thousand dollars behind the curve. I will testify to that in any Court in the land.
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:56 PM   #13
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Burned airstream

I see you've already decided to pass on this Airstream. Good Decision.

To me, this doesn't look like a rollover, it looks like fire damage. Throw and empty soda can in a fire and watch what the aluminum looks like before it completely burns. You'll see the same shrinking crumple that's visible on the rear segment. That aluminum is at least partly oxidized and you could probably poke your bare finger through the most damaged parts. The frame, floor, ribs, etc. are all toast.

The windows might be salvageable, but you might not even be able to take the aluminum to a recycler. A fair price - move the decimal place one position to the left.

Paula
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:13 PM   #14
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Bad idea..... best to pass.
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