Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-24-2015, 09:07 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
Currently Looking...
Yulee , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 10
What's gonna need replaced on a 20 yr old Airstream

Help, I'm looking at my first airstream it's a 1996 34 ft classic limited. Now if it's anything like home ownership everything starts to go around this age. Do I need to plan on a lot of repairs for this age or maybe get it inspected and roll the dice?

Wayne1344 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2015, 09:12 PM   #2
Rivet Master
1995 25' Excella
xxxxx , xxxxxx
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 662
The first anyone is gonna sat is axles. The second is probably the floor. If both of those checkout sound, it's a roll of the dice for the amount of life left in all the appliances and AC unit.

My trailer us about the same age. At the 20 year mark, all the threads in the awning were rotten. I had to have it restitched. Within a few uses, I found the dump valve adapters at both holding tanks had crumbled and we're leaking. I had to cut a hole in the belly pan to replace them.

CRH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2015, 09:14 PM   #3
Site Team
Aage's Avatar
1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 11,169
Images: 25
I would give a real hard look at the appliances:
  • the refer can corrode though and allow the ammonia to leak,
  • the stove has valves that can begin to leak and
  • the furnace rusts from the inside out. The baffles can develop holes.

Also, as a matter of course replace the gas detectors.
If it's to be, it's up to me.
Aage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2015, 02:17 PM   #4
Rivet Master
Belegedhel's Avatar
1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,898
Download the "buyer's Inspection checklist" from the Portal page, and this will walk you through everything that could go wrong. Ultimately, it boils down to how and where it was stored, how well it was maintained, and whether leaks were allowed to develop and get out of control. I've seen posts about rotting floors in trailers that are only ~5 years old, and posts from 40 year old vintage owners that swear their floors were solid at purchase.

Just as a maintenance item, though, you should expect to need to replace all of the door, hatch, and window seals, as well as any rubber seals associated with plumbing vents (if equipped).

good luck!
Belegedhel is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2015, 04:39 PM   #5
2 Rivet Member
1994 28' Excella
Burkburnett , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 24
I have a 94 and get to deal with the headliner now.
paulken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2015, 06:12 PM   #6
Rivet Master
1995 25' Excella
xxxxx , xxxxxx
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 662
My headliner was sagging. The previous owner used padded buttons to tack it up. It looks like it was intended to be that way.
CRH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2015, 09:01 AM   #7
3 Rivet Member
2000 30' Excella
2014 30' Classic
Princeton , Iowa
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 229
If it were mine, I would take it to Jackson Center and have them check it out. I do not think they would do things that were not necessary and will spot the things that are. They do a lot of work on old trailers bringing them up to date. I saw what they did to a 45 year old trailer.
larryglarson is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2015, 09:24 AM   #8
Rivet Master
1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,818
Blog Entries: 1
Maybe nothing much. I think you should just try to use it for a week or two and make a list as you go along. Things that I have had fixed or replaced on my 2 older ones make a long list. But some parts are still good too. Jackson Center with and older trailer can add up to a big bill pretty quick. Both of mine have been though JC and are better off for it but writing the check was hard.
Bill M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2015, 09:51 AM   #9
Rivet Master
1996 25' Excella
Tillsonburg , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 581
We bought a '96 Classic last year and the only thing I have to deal with is the headliner in one or two places...padded buttons are the accepted fix if you don't want to strip the headliner completely. My axles still have positive angles and after just returning from 5000 mile trip I see nothing that needs serious looking after except for adjusting the brakes and repacking wheel bearings as scheduled. The furnace is blowing cold air so I suspect the sail switch needs replacing and the water heater board needs to be re-grounded to fix the intermittent issues, but I had all those same issues on an '89 that was only 14 years old when we bought it!
This trailer is a Northern Ontario Unit so the rubber in the axles would not have taken a set from high storage temps. Not sure if that is actually an issue with mid-west type temperatures in the summer. I used the AC to keep the dog cool while day tripping in New Orleans for 6 hours. Worked just fine.
JCWDCW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2015, 10:45 AM   #10
Rivet Master
1998 30' Excella 1000
Livingston , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 546
Started to wonder if a sagging headliner is in my future. I have the factory white roof. Could it be that most of those with the sagging headliner have the aluminum roof, which gets hotter, which helps to breaks down the adhesive? I'm not sure what year they shifted to the painted roof.
Siegmann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2015, 07:55 AM   #11
Rivet Master
1996 25' Excella
Tillsonburg , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 581
All newer As from early 90's have white painted roof. Headliner sags over time especially where there is interior activity. My 96 rear liners are mostly intact. The front living areas are all sagging possibly due to moisture and interior heat from just living in it ( plus we have a catalytic heater in the font doorway.) As Andy R has pointed out, the problem is the original factory adhesive which is water based for "green" reasons imposed by regulators. While the headliner is a pain, it is not really a difficult fix. I lived with mine for three weeks recently, south in Fla La and Tx. Once tucked under the divider strip it stayed in place the whole time. If it were seasonally warm I expect it would have dropped every day, but it was mostly cool weather this trip.

JCWDCW is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Replaced 7 year old GYMs Antique Pedaler Tires 13 04-21-2015 12:52 PM
Old, old, old airconditioner removal bilby05 Furnaces, Heaters, Fireplaces & Air Conditioning 2 10-17-2012 04:19 PM
'68 GT windows-need advice-Gonna Rain Soon Randy Gates Windows & Screens 0 10-23-2010 05:03 PM
Anyone replaced Old Propane tanks with Clear Ones? Bob Thompson LP Gas, Piping, Tanks & Regulators 13 01-03-2010 07:40 AM
Is your Airstream gonna see your rebate.... FreshAir Off Topic Forum 12 04-29-2008 09:03 AM

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:30 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.