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Old 12-16-2015, 08:37 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
2000 34' Excella
Raleigh , North Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 10
Got a Slew of Questions for 2000 Excella

I just wanted to say how amazing this forum has been since purchasing our AS last year. I've came to it time and again on the dozen or so nights that I've been able to stay in it since our purchase. Now that our son is 2.5yrs old and our daughter is 16 weeks, I'm hoping to get a lot more use out of it next spring. HUGE moment as we were just able to move it to our place in the mts in VA last weekend. I'll be staying in it several days coming up while we build a workshop.

I'm hoping that I can significantly shorten the learning curve on the AS by finding someone willing to meet up with me to do a walk through on the unit. I live in Raleigh but the AS is about 30 minutes from Virginia Highland Haven between Floyd and Stuart VA. If anyone is available in that area, it would be much appreciated to meet up... I'm willing to compensate you for time & gas as well as grill you the best steak of your life in exchange for your expertise. 8-) The previous owner that we purchased from was a bit cynical so I only asked as many questions as I could before he got a passive aggressive 8-)

So here are the areas of knowledge that I'm lacking:

1) Understanding of the winterization process including blowing out the lines, R/V antifreeze etc

2) How to utilize the pump system and the cleaning of the fresh water tanks. I read about the bicarb, vinegar, and bleach solutions but have no idea yet how to begin to execute that on our model. I'm not quite sure of the hot water heater drain plugs etc.

3) I'm setting up the electrical panels and hookups on our property now so want to make sure that I take into account the feedback of seasoned RVers in picking the things that are most needed. The neighbor's had a 20amp RV outlet and we tripped breakers a few times when A/C would kick on while Microwave was running. I'm assuming b/c the AS is 30 amp, correct?

4) I'm currently trouble shooting the gas furnace.. last trip it started blowing cold air after a while... I'm going to recheck breakers and fuses on next trip before exploring replacing high limit switches, boards etc.

5) Most importantly - every time that I stay in the AS, I'm amazed at the level of engineering found in every little nook and cranny; I would love a seasoned AS'er to walk me through it.. I'm confident that there's a ton that I would discover about it

6) Does it hurt resell value if we replace out some of the brass lights etc? I'm assuming that we would keep all of them so that a future owner would have them if they wanted OEM parts.

7) We'll likely utilize the AS mostly stationary for the next couple of years as we enjoy our land and get a ton of permaculture principles in place. We'll likely begin construction of our cabin in 2-3 years. Is there any advice for the sewer hoses for a more permanent solution? How about for the fresh water hose to keep it from freezing. I have hose insulation and some heated strips for it but was thinking since the run is so short that I might be able to do it a different way from the faucet. Anyway to keep the power cable compartment more secure? I found a field mouse had made a home in that compartment since we parked it last year.

8) I've got a little rust in a couple of compartments like the water connection compartment. Ya'll see any problem with taping off the section and neatly spraying the compartment with some of the rubber compound to stop it from rusting further and to clean up the area?

9) I would like to clean up the exterior since it was parked under trees previously without any protection. Is Walbenizer still the preferred cleaning solution for our model? I was thinking of going over it lightly with my pressure washer then hand washing, then buffing with Wal? good plan or you have a more efficient method?

10) I would like to learn more about the 12V system. Since we removed from shore power, I turned off the connection for the batteries to keep it from draining. I have not explored yet if I need to add water to the batteries or whatever else maintenance is even needed on them. When boon docking, do you all run inverters from 12V outlets to charge your phones and other 120V devices? Could you run tv from inverter off battery? I've got a generator that I will run periodically to recharge the batteries. How does being on battery effect the heating options in the AS (I've only been on shore power so far) We used the gas furnace mostly with radiant floor heater as the primary heat source.

11) How do you all run things like coaxial cable etc into the AS? I want to hook up a large external tv antenna to see if I can pick up local channels. The little flat antenna got nada in the mts 8-) We'll be getting internet as well so sure there will be a cable for that as well.

Thank you all so much for the feedback. It's greatly appreciated.

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Old 12-16-2015, 08:41 PM   #2
1 Rivet Member
2000 34' Excella
Raleigh , North Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 10
I also forgot one of the most important things. How would you all suggest handling insurance on it? we don't have current tags b/c we knew it was going to be awhile before we could do any type of road trips. If ins company knew that it was in a semi-permanent place without tags, I'm assuming that would give a reg auto type insurance company grounds to weasel out of a claim if it was broken into etc. Tires are still on it and it could be pulled at any time, just realistically we know we won't be taking any trips in it until the kids are a little older.


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Old 12-17-2015, 04:17 PM   #3
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1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,337
Blog Entries: 1
We keep an Airstream at a permanent lot in a campground in Fl. It is required by the campground to keep the trailer registration current. We have a separate policy on the trailer though our insurance company, mostly for liability. I am not real happy with what we have but have not found better. The did pay something when a limb fell on it.

You should be winterized by now in Virginia, I think. I blow out the lines and use the RV antifreeze. It tastes terrible and takes a long time to flush out in the spring, but it seems to work well at preventing damage.

Open the cover from the outside and you will see the water heater drain. Usually behind some stuff so it is a little difficult to access. Most likely you will remove it and drain the tank as part of the winterization process. Do you have a WH bypass valve installed? If not I would suggest adding one.

30 amp for that age Airstream I think and generally you cannot run the AC and the microwave at the same time. Ours is wired with a switch to change from one to the other. You need good enough wiring to have full voltage when the AC is running. Be nice to have a 15 or 20 gfi outlet in addition to the 30 amp for the trailer.
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Old 12-17-2015, 06:10 PM   #4
Rivet Master
1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,337
Blog Entries: 1
I use a waterless cleaner called Envy for the Airstream. Ordered it on line but a person used to sell it at the big Airstream rallies.

I bought a sewer fitting that connects to a 3" PVC pipe. I used and elbow and one of those rubber connectors to connect a solid pvc drain line to the sewer. Got a little tilt to it and stuff does not collect and sit in the pipe. We leave the valves closed and dump the black, then the gray tank as needed.

One thing to do with the water hose is to just disconnect and drain it when the weather is cold.

Some people use coarse steel wool as a stuffing for mouse holes.

You definitely need to check and add water to the batteries. The converter in these older Airstreams will boil the batter dry pretty quickly if left hook up and on. I use a timer on ours when we are away to just turn the power on for an hour a day. A new, modern converter would be a better solution but so far I have not taken the time to do it.

The PO put a coaxial connector on a little metal plate in the side of ours and ran a coax to the area we keep the TV. We use that to connect to cable TV or to an external TV antenna.

The furnace drains batteries at a great rate. You need to be on shore power or charge with a generator every day if you run the furnace in cold weather. When boodkocking we turn the furnace way down or off at night and back up in the am. You are not supposed to use the stiove for heat but we sure boil a lot of water in the AM in cold weather.

Sure, you can charge stuff when on batteries. You can use an inverter or you can just use a USB that plugs into one of the DC outlets in the trailer. I think a TV on an inverter would be a big drain on the batteries.
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Old 12-18-2015, 10:45 AM   #5
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1969 23' Safari
Palmer Lake , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 561
You should call your town administration office and check on the code for storing trailers. Our little town requires a trailer / RV to be currently licensed and it needs to be moved every 6 months. The insurance I carry on mine is about $10 a month and it's well worth the cost. With furnace problems that you spotlight you should immediately and properly install a Co2 and smoke detector. These were not required in the 70's.
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:15 PM   #6
1 Rivet Member
2000 34' Excella
Raleigh , North Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 10
Thanks everyone..Keep the info coming... It's a 2000 Excella so it has the CO2 and gas detectors in it...i found that out after they got blocked by a box on the floor and started chirping for 2-3 hrs one night... The RV is parked out in the middle of a mts county so don't think we'll have any hassle with regulations. I've been looking @ some different policies after making the mistake of going with Progressive initially. I found a carrier through Sam Good that gives road protection, liability, and personal effects coverage for a pretty good price... It'd be about $40/mth... I'm hoping to get back up there on Sun or Mon to look @ the furnace as well as hook up generator to the well to pull a sample for testing. I'll take a look at the batteries while I'm there.
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:25 PM   #7
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Gainesville , Florida
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Id use a co2 detector if I could find one, more likely a co detector.
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Old 12-18-2015, 01:49 PM   #8
3 Rivet Member
2006 25' Safari FB SE
St Paul , MN
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 141
I just ordered these books from Newbies Guide to Airstreaming -for $ 15.95 and
Airstream Life's (Nearly) Complete Guide to Airstream Maintenance for $ 27.95
Several owners recommended them so we will see - just mentioning them in case you might find them helpful. Enjoy your new Airstream!
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:36 PM   #9
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2000 34' Excella
Augusta , Georgia
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1
Airstream life has 2 publications that will answer all our questions. 1 for newbies and 2 Complete guide to Airstream Maintenance
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Old 12-19-2015, 09:30 AM   #10
1 Rivet Member
2000 25' Excella
fallbrook , California
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 11
Wink 2000 Excella

I have a 2000 Excella in California. Purchased new in 2000. First change Batt to those that need no service. It is really not possible to run 110 AC devices off the inverter for any length of time. We rarely boondoc, lots of nice places with hookups. When you do don't count on any AC devices. Our only real problem over the years has been water leaks for various reasons. That is the area I would check or have checked and understand first. Go somewhere with hookups and spend a few days, hooked up and in boondock mode, you won't get stuck and you can explorer the various systems with out gettin stranded. My other caution is to check tires especially for age. Get new ones, mileage isn't generally the problem. Also go to a large open parking lot and back and turn etc. to get the feel of the trailer. Bruce

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