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Old 04-05-2006, 12:46 PM   #15
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1979 31' Excella 500
Detroit Area , Michigan
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Well I am kind of panicked as you might be able to tell. I paid a decent price for this thing and now I feel burned and disappointed with a little dispair thrown in.
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Old 04-05-2006, 12:59 PM   #16
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1988 25' Excella
Sunnyvale , California
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Disappointed yes, despair.. No!

Wac-

It might even be possible that prior owners (PO's) were really unaware of the leaks, having just parked it and loked inside once in a while. The floor rot is the primary reason for the excellent suggestions here to take an ice pick on an inspection tour, to get under carpet and test wood flooring..

There are other possible sources, though windows, running lights and seams are good places to start. It does help to have someone else with enthusiasm and a gargen hose, but other possible sources of leakage could include the bath vent, the roof vents (riveted and sealed around flange and visible only from ladder on roof), the TV antenna, air conditioner cover and gasket seal or the door(s). Prior threads are correct to suggest water won't flow uphill, but might flow a long way down a gentle slope... (also good physics ) .

Consider posting a sign somewhere reminding yourself that new 31' airstreams cost well over $50,000, and some labor and materials to enhance your new purchase are money well spent.

John McG
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Old 04-05-2006, 01:14 PM   #17
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1979 31' Excella 500
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Yeah thanks for the encouragement. We did spend about two hours inspecting this thing when I bought it, but we didn't pull the gaucho arm off and check the floor back there.
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Old 04-05-2006, 01:24 PM   #18
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1988 25' Excella
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It's a lifelong project...

Just to clarify, since acquiring our beloved '88 Excella 25 in early 2003, we have had to deal with leaks from:

1. Bath Vent (plastic dome split open during 2005 Rose Parade Rally Downpours and needed replacement).
2. Air Conditioner Gasket (Water dropped onto floor under A/C after prolonged use in high humidity, or thunderstorms, and did both at Oshkosh Air Show in 2004..)
3. Leak along upper edge of front curved window, resulting in dribble down inside of glass and resealing including around front running lights
4. Leak around flange of replacement Fantastic Fans for original metal lid vents, as roof not as flat as flange wanted to be....
5. Leak along seam of small porch light over entrance door, running down side of inner door frame...

Fortunately, not chronic, and when we redid front couch and carpeting and upholstered panels behind it we were able to verify no damage to sub-flooring anywhere. Remember American Express AND Vulkem... Don't leave home without 'em...

John McG
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Old 04-05-2006, 08:15 PM   #19
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1979 31' Excella 500
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This is sick. I don't have the time or money to make all these repairs. I'm going to take a bath on this thing.
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Old 04-05-2006, 09:41 PM   #20
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wac

you won't take a bath on it.

you just need to view it just like a house, something always need fixing.

i believe airstreams are in a state of perpetual destruction from the moment they leave the factory.

get it to the point you can enjoy it and just go camping!

john
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Old 04-06-2006, 11:35 AM   #21
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1979 31' Excella 500
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I don't know. I thank you all for the kind words of encouragment but after looking at the condition of the floor under the gaucho, knowing that the rot goes into the frame and seeing the pictures of what it takes to do a full monte, etc, the thought of this trailer is making my physically ill.
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Old 04-06-2006, 12:06 PM   #22
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If you only have to replace the first sheet of plywood, it's really not as hard as it looks. Now replacing the entire floor without removing the shell, that's a different matter! Keep reading and asking questions, you can do it. Try and give us a few pictures to look at, folks here are really glad to help.

Did I read that you are in New Jersey? There's a great dealer up there, but I'll have to look up the name if you want it.

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Old 04-06-2006, 12:08 PM   #23
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1975 31' Sovereign
Oxford , Mississippi
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feeling overwhelmed?

We have all been there, and we also reacted like you have. You don't have to do the full monty sure it's the best way to go. We replaced the first 4 ft where you are talking about and it was not that big of a deal, yes we had to hire a carpenter to finish the job $40 but it turned out nicely and we are ready to camp or rally. We went with the vintage knowing we were getting into doing repairs and we enjoy it I will admit it will nickle and dime you everyday but we have enjoyed it and we got into it knowing this. I would have loved going and getting a brand new Airstream but that kind of cash was not available for us. Airstreams leak all other brands leak worse, find the source and fix it, if it has done damage fix it and enjoy.


Becky
ps Look under my member photo's and look at the leak we had.
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Old 04-10-2006, 12:57 PM   #24
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NOT a lot of $$...

Wac-

Sorry if I fed anxiety with list of water issues. Post indicating that some form of vigilance and attention is going to be required was correct.. Just to sum up, the leaks noted above sot us the following to fix:

1. Bath Vent - $0 (Won $13 replacement vent cover via door prize certificate from C&G while at Rose Parade Rally). Climbed on ladder and replaced cracked vent.
2. A/C Gasket: $125 for labor and $14 part to unbolt and rebolt A/C (Ladder not that good...)
3. 4. and 5. Also $0.. Added tube of Vulkem to C&G certificate and used it on ladder to seal up pinholes and openings, stopping all leaks...

Finding local carpenter who can section in piece of marine plywood is OK way to replace rotted section. If you do decide to go with new carpeting, shop around also for really durable grades that won't interfere with sliders (Gaucho and storage drawers) and shop for installers, as some won't want the work (too many cuts and fits per square yard..) and their pricing will reflect that lack of interest... We discovered that a lot of inexpensive remnants contained enough material to cover a long central hallway and living area less than 8' wide in front...

There are advantages to flooring other than carpeting which might make water leaks easier to spot and address early...

John McG
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