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Old 03-25-2003, 04:55 PM   #43
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1956 22' Safari
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Nope...not kidding!

An ice pick is an easy way to check the floors beneath the carpet that can't be seen through the access doors. Some owners may have a problem if you want to pull up the carpet...

Have fun!


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Old 03-26-2003, 03:27 AM   #44
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Just a reminder

Nope...not kidding!

I'd recommand that, before using the 'icepick'..

"You inform the owner of your intentions before hand".

You never know what the owner may have running under the edge of that carpet.


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Old 03-27-2003, 12:21 AM   #45
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I got mine just a few weeks earlier and it has been an interesting learning experience. Learning what goes where, how you turn on this and that and that you need to park the unit on the level ground for the fridge to work. Things I could have never imagined. Definitely expanding my horizons.

Ever read Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance by Pirsig. It is a new-age like book. He journeys on a bike but his premise is that by working on the bike and taking care of it he is transforming himself. The bike is a "mental phenomenon". My journey is not so much about the Airstream but about myself. You expand you awareness, you do things you have never done and you live in harmony with you A/S. It becomes a part of you after a while and you learn what it likes and what it doesn't like. You are not just a casual owner but a guardian. It's not just a tool but more than that.

A/S, truck, motorcycle, the journey is the largely the same.

With me, it works out like this. I have to own something for about 5 years to truly get to feel it. If it is a car I have to put 80,000 on it to feel like I know it. I think A/S dynamics would be different. I have owned my unit for such an absurdly short time that I don't yet claim it as something I know, it is merely introducing itself to me. It takes a lot of time. The more I take care of something, the more I learn it. And, if I travel in something, that's also significant. How do you explain the intangible value of a car where you met your best friend or did something else significant. These old units, they have dents which is its character imprinted over the years. It is more than a collection of aluminum plates, rubber and glass and upholstery. Perhaps imaginary, solely in your perception, but so what.

Owning an RV to begin with is not a mainstream activity. Owning an Airstream is a non-mainstream concept even in the RV community. So you are already way outside of mainstream, that has some intangible value right there.

And realize, no matter what you get, someone, somewhere will always have something better, or "cooler" or an older classic or newer but what really matters is that you will have _your_ Airstream and consequently _your_ journey with it and others will be irrelevant. That's how I see it regarding my unit.

Someday I hope to own a new Airstream and own it long enough to turn it into an old Airstream, a beater perhaps.
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Old 03-27-2003, 07:33 AM   #46
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What exact year & model A/S do you have? Not trying to be nosey but it seems you are mysteriously not telling us. Looked in your profile and couldn't find it there either. Tell us, please!

Just curious,

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Old 03-27-2003, 07:56 PM   #47
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Thank you for taking the time to put your thoughts into word- much appreciated. I agree with much of what you've said...the A/S will no doubt prove to be a Zen experience for me. I am currently in the process of saying goodbye to almost everything I own- selling it off to buy the trailer. Last night my heart started racing...everything is changing- by morning it had settled. I have decided to brave the change...see what happens when you do it all at once. The further in I get, the more I witness resistance, and the more I want to do it. And I agree, the journey is as much about myself as it is the trailer. I hope to savor it. A
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Old 03-28-2003, 01:58 PM   #48
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Wow alt, you are on a serious Zen quest. Ever read the book Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance? I think you'd like it.

At any rate keep us posted as the change progresses.....


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Old 03-28-2003, 03:37 PM   #49
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The bathroom sag is an 80's problem. So there is the 70's perferance
Ok, I have a 1974 rear bath for sale then, let me see if I could do my best to lower that price first:

A lot of people seem to have missed that post. Sorry to report that we had to ground for life our 29' 1974 rear bath because of a very clear case of tail droop.

It was pointed out to us several years ago by an AS dealer. At the time we didn't have a clue what he was talking about, we were just passing through in a rush, and forgot his remark.
Then we started to realize that the weird angle the back of the trailer had was not original. A brief search on google taught us that "everybody" knew about it but us.

It turns out that the bulk of the problems appeared around 1972, mostly longer trailers, all rear bath, when they added the grey water tanks.

One of the numerous posts on this forum : by "JW84345"

"... the specific problem with 1973 to 1976 (or so) trailers had to do with a frame design weakness exposed by the weight of the addition of the grey tank on rear bath models, especially the longer trailers. 1969 was the first year of the "areo stress frame" and body style used throughout the 1970's and early 1980's. That specific problem showed up when the grey tank was added, however, people who put bike racks or other additional weight on the back of their trailers can cause the same problem with other years. Airstream corrected the problem in later years by strengthen the trailer frame."

This looks like a good summary of the problem.

We bought our 1974 around 1996 for $2500. The dealer wanted $4000.
The tires and brakes were good. The fridge lasted till 2000. Around that time, we replaced the blower motor on the furnace for $130. The converter last year: refurbished for $140.
Nice curtains were not our priority, we "temporarily" clipped heavy cloth we already owned for free (lived in fabric district....great trash picking !), holding them with binder clips. The awning is shot, if we had use for it we would go to a maker of store awning and get it much cheaper than RV catalogs.
If we could repair the tail droop and live in it at the same time, we would have kept it, as in the end it is in pretty good shape.
29' was starting to be a bit small for 2 oversized adults to fultime in since 1996. We had use for a good guest cottage, so we decided to upgrade.

Paying the asking price ????? Me ??? Never. Our 1990 was advertised on the web by the dealer for $19,000. We bought it for $13,200. EVERYBODY is expected to deal.
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Old 03-28-2003, 05:07 PM   #50
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Show us some tail droop

Well Femuse woe be it for me to offer you any forum advice but...

for the sake of communication continuity which you have expressed we need more of around here Would it be asking too much if you and all the rest of us listed a name to go with a quotation?

Where is the 74 right now? Is it sitting on fairly level ground free standing or is it blocked and leveled?
If it is free standing and if convenient I would love to see some photos of the sides showing the tail droop. There is a great thread on this forum regarding tail sag or tail droop or saggy bottom or something like that. If you post them that would be a better place and a good place for your tail droop testimony too.
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Old 03-28-2003, 05:40 PM   #51
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Hello, there...... is it enough of a name to go with a quotation or is it enough of a name to go with a quotation:
One of the numerous posts on this forum : by "JW84345"
Mind you, for all I know this "JW84345" does not exist

Our 74 is very nice and level on a concrete pad. The tail droop was pointed out to us by an AS dealer by the effect on the body, more by just looking at it. What you see are wrinkles in the "right" places near the wheel wells.

For us, the tip-off there was something wrong was we could not level it end to end: if you want the kitchen level, the bed is seriously leaning towards the back. We ended up having to use a lot of padding under the mattress at the head of the bed, and it was still too low. So we end up with a compromise: slight lean toward the front, for the front of the trailer, plenty of padding under mattress and pillows. You can feel you are not level when walking in the bathroom.
This was driving us nuts for years. We travel I suppose more than most for over 4 months a year. We usually have to level the trailer 3 or 4 times a week. We couldn't figure out why all the measurements taken with a level inside where so different.
I ended up doing a blind test: in the bedroom, close my eyes, spin 2 or 3 times and see if I was still standing !!!
I hope my spinning days are over now with our 1990.
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Old 03-28-2003, 08:46 PM   #52
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What exact year & model A/S do you have? Not trying to be nosey but it seems you are mysteriously not telling us. Looked in your profile and couldn't find it there either. Tell us, please! Just curious,

I haven't yet figured out all this profile stuff. I looked at units ranging from '73 to '88, including many from '81 and '83. In the end, as a newbie, I decided I wanted something with as little work necessary as possible. I realize it could have been more frugal to get an older A/S with just a bit more work required, for half of what I paid for mine. While I seriously considered a 1981 Excella (32') and also an '83 Excella, in the end what I actually ended up with is a 1986 Excella also of 32', which was very close to what I wanted. Length-wise, I narrowed down my choices to 29-31' and am pretty happy with this particular decision. My perspective on it is, it is not too long, not too short, just the right size. I decided 34' would have been too big and I did not want triple axles. But I did see a few good deals on 80's 34'.

The downside is I had to travel 15 hours to get it, which wasn't so bad - at least I know my truck works pretty good not to mention all the confidence I gained from towing such a long unit. The only problems it has - the clearcoat needs work on top of the unit. The sides are nice. I've seen better, and I have seen worse, I think what I got falls somewhere in between.
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Old 03-29-2003, 07:54 AM   #53
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Did you tow the Trailer with full tanks?
I was aware of the rear sag problem when I was looking for a trailer
I did not want a rear bath because of the sag issue
luckily i found a center bath with a rear double, but I am still concerned that it might begin to sag..............Thomas
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Old 03-29-2003, 07:59 AM   #54
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Sounds like you have found what you want in your 86 32' Excella. Coming from a 22' Argosy I didn't want to go much larger and really wanted to move up to a Tradewind which I think is 24'?. I actually thought my Overlander was a Tradewind before I went to look at it for the first time, the seller wasn't that keen on the different sizes of A/S's and kept calling it a 24 footer so I assumed it was a Tradewind. After finally seeing it I saw the Overlander badge by the door and needless to say I fell in love with it anyways, ended up loving the large rear bath and separate bedroom and bought it on the spot. On the way home I worried if it would fit in my side storage driveway but no problem there either.

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Old 03-29-2003, 08:17 AM   #55
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No sag here....

I have a '72 rear bath. No grey tank. One of the previous owners had the factory modification done as one of the measures to prevent it. Mine has the "elephant ears" on the back, and a balanced running gear.
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Old 03-29-2003, 09:40 AM   #56
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Did you tow the Trailer with full tanks?
As rarely as possible. When we did not have a choice, only black tank, until we reached a dump.
When we bought it around 1996, we had not heard of tail sag, and as far as we know it must have had it then. We could feel there was something "weird" we did not have with our 1971 (problem leveling end to end), but it took us years to understand it. We thought it was normal !!!!
No telling where it had been before we bought it. We only know it spent the last years at the Jersey shore. Before that ?.......

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