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Old 05-05-2016, 01:17 PM   #1
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1971 31' Excella 500
Langley , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 5
Vintage value for a '71 31ft Excella 500?

Hello from a Newbie!

I am thrilled with the purchase of my 1971 31ft Excella 500! Although I was looking for something to renovate totally, and not knowing what I was looking at, I found that my new gem might be a jewel in the rough... The trailer is in exceedingly good shape for a 45yo. I doubt that I could rebuild her better than she already sits.

I would appreciate any input regarding the trade off between renewing this trailer as original, or being free to upgrade modestly with new FanTastic ceiling vents/fans/lights, etc. without affecting any vintage value. I love the original vents but the new ones are pretty darn nice upgrades...

I am replacing the electronics with a GoPower Elite Kit - solar panels, 2000W pure sine wave inverter, controller/charger, etc... for some boondocking and a try at the tiny house experience...

What about painting the original vinyl cladding on interior - or cleaning as best possible to leave original?

Many thanks in advance for your help.

FYI - By coincidence... my canine companion is named Bambi...

Cheers,
Lloyd and Bambi
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:59 PM   #2
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1972 31' Sovereign
Currently Looking...
felton , California
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 371
Images: 1
I've got a similar situation .. Keep original or staring modernizing. Keep the gaucho or change to dinette ? Fans, bathroom plastics etc ..
I've added a new fan up front to suck out hot air. Had to add small led light too.
New on demand water heater , awesome choice
New gaucho foam and fabrics
New mattress
Left original carpet , looks very cool. Just added new padding under.
Spray painting the nasty old bathroom plastics , not easy !
Also just swapping out axles ..

That's it for now. Just need to. Decide on windows .. Curtains or blinds ??!
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Old 05-10-2016, 06:49 PM   #3
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1972 31' Excella 500
Mount Vernon , Is For Lovers
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 105
If you decide to remodel make sure to offer the left over parts and pieces to this forum,they will be greatly desired ! I like your floor plan,that is what I originally looked for. I got the center twin model '72 that is a good candidate for a total redo. Want to trade ?
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Old 05-10-2016, 07:11 PM   #4
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1973 27' Overlander
Portsmouth , Virginia
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 776
Welcome aboard. Before you go hog wild with upgrading electricals and interior bits, you need to make sure that there is nothing wrong with the frame and subfloor. Did you have somebody help to inspect the trailer or download the inspection list and go through the rig?

You live in a wet climate and this rig is 45 years old, so there is a chance that there may be some rot/rust to fix. But you wont know that till pull down the belly pan, remove the insulation and see whats there. You can also look inside closets and in cabinetry and look at staining on the plywood subfloor. I went through all that with mine and it isnt lots of fun, but it is necessary. Click on the blog link below if you want to see lots of pictures.
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Old 05-13-2016, 10:38 AM   #5
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1971 31' Excella 500
Langley , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 5
Thanks Nick!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickclifford View Post
I've got a similar situation .. Keep original or staring modernizing. Keep the gaucho or change to dinette ? Fans, bathroom plastics etc ..
I've added a new fan up front to suck out hot air. Had to add small led light too.
New on demand water heater , awesome choice
New gaucho foam and fabrics
New mattress
Left original carpet , looks very cool. Just added new padding under.
Spray painting the nasty old bathroom plastics , not easy !
Also just swapping out axles ..

That's it for now. Just need to. Decide on windows .. Curtains or blinds ??!
Hi Nick - thanks very much for your input!

I'm going to keep the original vents/fans/lights for now. I love the look of the light fixture and it throws a nice, warm glow.

My fabrics, etc were professionally redone about 10 years ago so I'm going to let this slide for now. I'm going to live in it for a year and see how it all feels...

Blinds - I love the OceanAir RAILshades but a little pricey for the time being...

Re On Demand Water Heater - which one did you go with?!

Re Axels - where did you get your axels? Not so easy to come by in Vancouver, BC. This is my next job, so I have peace of mind when towing this year...

Many thanks!
Lloyd
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Old 05-13-2016, 10:47 AM   #6
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1971 31' Excella 500
Langley , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 5
Howdy neighbour!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylver Slypr View Post
If you decide to remodel make sure to offer the left over parts and pieces to this forum,they will be greatly desired ! I like your floor plan,that is what I originally looked for. I got the center twin model '72 that is a good candidate for a total redo. Want to trade ?

Thanks for your reply Sylver Slypr! I made the purchase without much planning or experience looking at old AS. This was really the first one I looked at... and as mentioned, I went in thinking that I would be gutting it anyway, but once I saw how solid it was, my plans quickly changed. I plan to leave it all pretty much as is for now and see what develops over the next few months.

Thanks for your offer to trade! I am 6'3", 250lb and plan to travel solo most of the time, so the idea of having that double bed instead of twins makes more sense to me. It also has an amazing amount of storage in that bedroom.

Thanks again! Enjoy!
Lloyd
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Old 05-13-2016, 10:56 AM   #7
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1971 31' Excella 500
Langley , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 5
Great photo blog! Awesome resource!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aquinob View Post
Welcome aboard. Before you go hog wild with upgrading electricals and interior bits, you need to make sure that there is nothing wrong with the frame and subfloor. Did you have somebody help to inspect the trailer or download the inspection list and go through the rig?

You live in a wet climate and this rig is 45 years old, so there is a chance that there may be some rot/rust to fix. But you wont know that till pull down the belly pan, remove the insulation and see whats there. You can also look inside closets and in cabinetry and look at staining on the plywood subfloor. I went through all that with mine and it isnt lots of fun, but it is necessary. Click on the blog link below if you want to see lots of pictures.

Hi Bob,

Thank you for your input. Very helpful and valid!

I have checked over most of the floor area and there has been some previous fixes with an epoxy fill... running in to a hole in the floor on the street side, right at the beginning on the curve of the front cap. I will patch it all nicely. The reset of the floor shows some age, but is otherwise very solid. I haven't pulled the belly pan, but will do so later this month. It will be interesting to see what is down there.

I do plan to replace the axles and brakes, etc. You suggested in your blog that InlandRV wasn't the best option. Can you suggest a good alternative to purchase these axles? A local company makes the torsion style axles (and others) to order but I have no idea if this is a good idea or not. They said they can have them made in two days!

Again - your photo blog is an awesome resource for people out there. Well done! Thank you for sharing.

Cheers,
Lloyd
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Old 05-13-2016, 12:55 PM   #8
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,058
On the question of whether to modernize or keep original, the answer is, it is your trailer , do what you want with it. If you are going to use it, then you probably want it up to modern standards and conveniences. If you are going to put it in a museum, then keep it original, but good luck finding a museum that is interested in it!

If you are worried about resale value, then just make reasonable choices and do a quality job, and you will do no harm. Of the population that is in the market for a used vintage trailer, only a very small portion of those people want something that is "original." The others want something that is nice, and functional. Many of them dream of making the trailer "their own," so no matter what you do, the next guy will likely tear it all out and turn it into a rolling donut shop.

Good luck!
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:53 PM   #9
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1972 31' Sovereign
Currently Looking...
felton , California
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 371
Images: 1
Out of interest, what was the main difference between Excella and regular trailers of that era?
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:57 PM   #10
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1972 31' Sovereign
Currently Looking...
felton , California
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 371
Images: 1
I'm keeping all the interior original for now, just updating beds, foam, fabrics , curtains, heater, water heater, fridge etc .. Love the original charm , why change unless going for a 100% remodel ..
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Old 05-16-2016, 07:52 PM   #11
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1972 31' Excella 500
Mount Vernon , Is For Lovers
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by lloydbambi View Post
I do plan to replace the axles and brakes, etc. You suggested in your blog that InlandRV wasn't the best option. Can you suggest a good alternative to purchase these axles?
Lloyd
I got mine from Colin Hyde and was very pleased to do business with him. I made my initial purchase from Inland and was shipped damaged axles that were wrong, legal problems with refund and false accusations from the representative there. (He will remain unnamed at this time) I would suggest that you speak to Colin before you make a purchase. He will educate you before you search other manufacturers. He is fully aware of the paperwork involved in my correspondence with Inland and what was finally resolved after months and months. et.al Buyer Beware ! https://sites.google.com/a/colinhyde...ions.com/home/
Colin Hyde Trailer Restorations
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Old 05-17-2016, 09:00 AM   #12
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickclifford View Post
Out of interest, what was the main difference between Excella and regular trailers of that era?
You might be able to find answers to such questions at the following:

https://www.airstream.com/service/document-archive/
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Old 07-27-2016, 05:41 PM   #13
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1976 Argosy 28
1975 31' Sovereign
1973 Argosy 24
Edmonton , Alberta
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 17
Images: 15
Blog Entries: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylver Slypr View Post
If you decide to remodel make sure to offer the left over parts and pieces to this forum,they will be greatly desired ! I like your floor plan,that is what I originally looked for. I got the center twin model '72 that is a good candidate for a total redo. Want to trade ?
I may be interested in your trailer if you still would consider selling or possibly trading?
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:35 AM   #14
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1971 31' Excella 500
Langley , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 5
Doing a complete reno

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stork View Post
I may be interested in your trailer if you still would consider selling or possibly trading?
Good morning - apologies for the delay in reply.

Thank you for your interest in buying or trading for my AS. I have recently gutted the interior and starting to remove the original plywood subfloor. As suspected, the bathroom section is totally rotten and I need to get down to the frame to check condition. The rest of the floor looks to be pretty good - except for the around the door and at the front, under the windows. It's time for new insulation under the floor anyways.

I will also remove the interior panels and insulation. Once leaks are checked and fixed, I plan to go with a foam insulation before installing the interior panels.

I plan to stick build all the new cabinetry, with the thought to make it a modular and convertible design, for commercial and pleasure use. I'll post designs and photos once I get there....

Thanks again for your interest in my unit. Cheers!
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