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Old 04-29-2003, 02:21 AM   #1
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Question Shopping-96 Excella 28-Need Input

Hello All,

I'm new here and hope to be a proud (read Happy) owner the the subject line above. We've been in the trailer market for some time now, originally looking at SOB's (many) but never satisfied with quality.

Happened upon this AS, convinced my wife we needed to at least set up an appointment and take a look inside. So we did. Wow! I've always known of AS's quality, but never really had the opportunity to enter one.

This Excella is literally immaculate. No smells, no wear not even any traffic wear on carpet. Basically looks new. Now that we've been impressed, I'm asking how to keep my feet on firm footing. Price is just over 20k.

What should I be concerned with besides the normal issues for all appliances and motors etc.....?

Any particulars for Excellas in general?

I noted the gas lines are exposed on the underside, normal?

The shocked suspension surprised me. Are the shocks durable? Expensive?

The tanks (near axles) seem low to me. I think I'm being critical after looking at so many SOB's that ride very high on axles. Am concerned about clearance on rough roads....dragging along so to speak

Some discoloration on top exterior, not too extensive though (I thinK).

Ultimately, we are concerned with ease of resell should that become necessary. My opinion is AS's are a niche market with dedicated followers, but don't necessarily appeal to the (toss away crowd)

All in all, I think Airstream is the only way I'll go at this point. I really like quality and my motto is "buy right, buy once". I just need some education on what to watch out for.

Will tow with Ford diesel 6-speed, so not real concerned with weight.

Thanks for reading my long post of concerns..........and any feedback you may have.

best regards


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Old 04-29-2003, 09:00 AM   #2
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You can always check the value on the Nada Guide
you may want to know it has a 8200 GVWR, and a 630LBs tongue weigh.

gas lines are exposed on the underside, normal? YES

Some discoloration on top exterior: normal. Won't hurt anything

Sits low: normal from an Airstream.

ease of resell: if you keep everything in shape, it should last nearly for ever. Most people on this forum have trailer much older, and going strong.

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Old 04-29-2003, 09:19 AM   #3
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About your low tank concern. I almost cringe everytime I look under mine and see them. It is somewhat of a concern to me also. My father had the trailer before us and there is only one dent on a tank. However it still makes me wary of driving over anything. The saving grace is that they are right at the axles.

Hope you have fun!
Roger & Roxie (rore62) Smith (Air#178 - WBCCI#1646)
Visalia, CA (between Fresno & Bakersfield)
2012 31' Classic - Nuestra casa rodante
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Old 04-29-2003, 10:02 AM   #4
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Low Pan Clearance

If you are going to use your trailer for Elk Hunting, then maybe you should consider an SOB. Otherwise, the low holding tank clearances shouldn't be a problem. Have towed 60 or 70 thousand miles over the last four years and have had no problem with pan clearance. Of more concern is the rear overhang. You have to watch coming from a level surface onto a driveway or such with an immediate steep incline. It is fairly easy to drag the rear end when this happens. This problem is fairly common at fast food restaurants, malls etc.

You didn't ask, but since you are new to Airstreams, I wanted to mention that in my opinion, 20K for your '96 28 ft. is a little steep. Keep in mind that this is just my opinion, but you might want to make a low-ball offer and see what happens. A friend of mine just bought a '93 34 ft Excella in excellent condition for 13K. Your three year age difference should about even out the additional length of my friend's in regards to value. Good luck!

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Old 04-29-2003, 07:35 PM   #5
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It is fairly easy to drag the rear end when this happens. This problem is fairly common at fast food restaurants, malls etc.

I did just that once... a learning experience. You have to drive really slow in situations like that.

I agree about price. Get exactly what you want.

I think that the fact that it sits low, meaning its center of gravity is low, contributes to better towing. Don't know for sure, some of the experts here will explain why but I imagine that lower center of gravity is a good thing and provides more stability. (One reason why I like station wagons over SUVs)
Justice - When you get what you deserve. Mercy - When you don't get what you deserve
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Old 04-29-2003, 08:41 PM   #6
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About 20K for a 28':

We looked at trailers prices for several months this winter when buying our 1990 32'

We have learned one thing:

34' are plentiful and we could have bought a more recent 34' for what we paid for this one.

A lot of people are afraid of the rising cost of fuel, and smaller sizes are more popular for traveling.

34' used to be sought after by fulltimer. Not anymore: they are now opting for huge 5th wheel instead.

So, by the prices I have seen advertised, I would say that your price may not be bad. You can always check NADA.

But, now the season is hot for sellers, so don't except so many bargains than a few months ago.
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Old 04-30-2003, 01:04 AM   #7
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Wow! Thank you.

To all who've taken a little time for us and our interest in an Airstream.

On the Low tanks vs Axle height: I too thought at least they are centered near the axles. I don't expect to do any four wheeling with an AS. But getting out of Alaska can be an adventure unto itself

Those fuel lines looked exposed, but just as tough as anything else under there. At least they are tucked in tight.

Thanks for the weight numbers. I'm easily inside those with my truck. In fact just acquired it only 2 months ago for just this expand my shopping potential. Previous truck had me cornered to Ultra-lites only.

As for pricing (no options selected) NADA average is 19,530. I'm slightly confused with their site as they state : STABILIZER JACKS, AWNING, AM/FM CASSETTE STEREO, MICROWAVE, AND AIR CONDITIONER ARE INCLUDED IN PRICE FROM 1997 TO CURRENT MODEL YEAR. So, with that in mind I priced it with notable options (right off the invoice) bringing it up over 21,300.

As femuse stated the selling season has arrived.....and I have asked myself a few times just how many very decent AS's are in Alaska and available? Yep, just this one

And finally resell. I agree, anything well maintained is easier to sell for a reasonable price, and AS's most definitely lend themselves to that end, as they seem to go for just about ever The same just cannot be said for most other brands.

Final thought here. Feels good to expand on some of my thoughts and to hear the experience of others in the "know". I intend to move ahead with this Excella pending a good bill of health from a service shop.

I'll be sure to let all of you know when I close the deal! Getting excited now

Take Good Care

Lee & Linda

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