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Old 01-26-2015, 10:57 PM   #1
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2009 30' Classic
Naples , Florida
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1983 34' Excella: gutting/restoration/tow advice!

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We are thrilled to have recently inherited a 34' Excella. Right now, it smells of cat urine on the very worn interior & surely has some field mice, but she looks pretty good on the outside. We have outgrown our 2009 30' Classic & are happy to be moving on to greater lengths. Our plan is to have her completely gutted & renovate to accommodate our family of 10. I cannot sleep for madly sketching layouts with with all that room! (From my searches and contacts made here on Airforums, I think we are the biggest Airstream family yet!)

A few questions:

Our new 34' is near Pittsburgh & will be towed any day to Airstream of Western PA (I read good things about them) to get her road-worthy. We would like to completely gut & re-build ASAP but do not know of where this should be done. Is it best to drive the 4+ hours to the Airstream factory shop to do this type of thing or is it much more $? I keep looking for renovators on the east coast but have been limited in my search...ideas?

Additionally, our tow vehicle is in Florida & filled daily with children. With the $/time/gas we spend getting up to PA, it would likely be cheaper to hire someone to tow it to wherever it is being renovated or to rent a tow vehicle & drive ourselves... Any thoughts?

My last question is about the door: it is windowless! I searched & found that a new door is upwards of 2K... What about a used door? Are there used parts somewhere? I'd really like a window there.

We are excited newbies to restoration. Our 2009 Classic was brand new when we drove it off the lot with that lovely new AS smell. This one is rather malodorous, sadly as a bed for transient cats for 7 years, but we are hopeful that she will look & smell good one day soon...


Thank you for any advice!
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Old 01-27-2015, 12:49 AM   #2
cwf
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1999 34' Excella
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Hillsboro , Texas
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Howdy, fellow future 34' 'owner'... some hard realities....you may have a FULL, shell off restoration on your hands. The 'good news'.. you didn't have to pay a lot for it. Bad news... this is going to be costly because...Bad news is that it was 'sitting' and had a cat herd in residence.

I would see if a trucking company with a 'low boy' trailer couldn't load up the AS and bring it to your 'Restoration location' because you will need new tires, working brakes, new axles/bearings, possibly new wheels, too. You will need the 'emergency' braking to work.. and the signals and 'clearance' lights...

A big list ... and far away.

No doubt, someone nearby with knowledge of these items could oversee their repair and that the trailer will have a CHANCE to survive the trip if towed.. but, it will need to be 'seen' in person.

If you have the skills, fly up yourself and hire a Mobile RV guy or gal to help you inspect/repair/ make ready for the tow. Then hire an 'insured' trucker who will take the risk/load to you.

The 'window' in the door is at the bottom of the list of your 'worries' for the foreseeable future...

I do wish you well... keep us updated...and, ask your questions...
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Old 01-29-2015, 02:44 PM   #3
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Thank you! I appreciate the help!
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Old 01-29-2015, 02:54 PM   #4
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There's P&S trailer repair in Helena Ohio 419-638-6261. They specialize in airstreams. I would guess about 3 hours from Pittsburgh.

Mike
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Old 01-29-2015, 03:00 PM   #5
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Thank you so much! I just saw their website & it looks great.
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Old 01-30-2015, 03:55 PM   #6
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Congratulations on your inheritance--you will LOVE that 34'er when you get on the road with it. And it seems really sensible for such a large family.

It will not be cheap to fix, however--wishing you the very best with your re-construction!

Vivian
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Old 01-31-2015, 12:11 AM   #7
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I regularly service at JC and they often have restoration and custom work going on. They know what they're doing, have all the parts needed (or will make them) and once they start the job they will work right through until it is completed. Call Chris at JC (telno 937-596-611 ext 7413) to get an idea of what is involved and what the costs can amount to.
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Old 01-31-2015, 08:34 AM   #8
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I've had P&S trailer work on my airstream and they did a great job, for a reasonable price.
Mike
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Old 02-01-2015, 04:37 PM   #9
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1983 34' Excella: gutting/restoration/tow advice!

What is JC?- wanted to read more before calling.


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Old 02-01-2015, 08:28 PM   #10
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There is not a complete phone # for JC either...


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Old 02-01-2015, 08:58 PM   #11
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JC = Jackson Center (the mothership, i.e., Airstream Factory). I accidentally dropped the last digit in the phone number, it should be 937-596-6111 & Chris Burch's extension is 7413.
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