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From Excited To "O No What Have I Gotten Into"

Posted 01-03-2011 at 12:55 AM by Mr & Mrs S

How It All Started
I remember when the wife and I used to be driving down the road on the way to some family event or just driving, and we would see an Airstream go by. It would turn our heads and we would go on and on about how there so "Retro" and how we should get one and so on and so on. We used to camp all the time when we were dating because I lived in a 35' Fifth Wheel Sportsman. We would spend days camped on Lake Sam Rayburn and we had some of the best times. But when we got married due to finances I had to sell my camper .
Then in April of 2010 we agreed that we had enough money that we could by a camper. Well guess what I found on eBay Yup you guessed it an Airstream. It was only 3 hour drive from our home. I showed it to the wife and she fell in love. I watched it for several days and never bid on it. My wife was so nervous during the bidding process. . Well needless to say in the last 2 seconds of the auction we became Airstream owners. Wont never forget that little living room dance we did that day.
So I contact the seller and then we talk about the details and he admits right off the bat that the fridge was not working and he was sending it to the AS dealer to be fixed right away. Two sad faces but I was very grateful that he admitted that up front and was having a new fridge installed.
So we wait for the phone call to come pick up our new pride and joy.
We get the phone call that she's ready for us and on our way we go. It was love at first site. We looked it over done the paperwork and on our way home we go. Finally we were AS owners.
Once home, well day or two later, we put in our stuff and stock it up with goodies and off we go to Lake Sam Rayburn were we have camped so many times before while dating. Me, already having experience in setting up travel trailers, start to set it up on a little outstretch of land with the lake all around us and no neighbors. Now I bet your wondering why the title said "O No What Have I Gotten Into" . That part starts now.
"O No What Have I Gotten Into"
So I level the trailer, set down the front jack and begin to lower the stabilizers. Wow what a chore that turned into. Three when down with great amounts of effort and one was not functioning at all.
No problem I'll look into it later.
So I plug in the electrical and she sends me lights and A/C. And I smile so then I hook up the water line......... It all starts.
I walked into the trailer and water was coming down the hall from the toilet and from under the sink in the kitchen area. So I shut the water off and look into the source of the problems. The threads to the sink are gone completely so the water line blew off and a valve in the toilet is busted. Jeez what a way to start off. But no problem Iíve seen worse. So off to Lowes I go to buy parts. Yea I know your laughing right now because there is nothing at Lowes that will work on a AS. So I go to the local and only TT parts store and catch them just before closing. Heís got the parts I need and back to the park I go. Sink fixed in about an hour, toilet fixed several hours later after removal and fixing it outside the AS in the dark with a flashlight in my mouth. But Mrs. S had toilet by 2 a.m. installed and ready. To sleep I went and with a smile thinking my troubles were over.........
Then I woke up the next morning and walked outside to find a huge puddle of water under the AS. What NOW?!?! The water was leaking out the back of the trailer under the rear access door. I opened the door and everything was soaked..... Thatís when I found the city water connection was shot. Not only was it leaking at the connection inside the trailer but the gasket inside the connection itself was leaking and it completely soaked the inside rear bedroom under the bed.(cargo area) But wait it gets better. I turned the water off and lifted the carpet to see how bad the damage was. Yup you guessed it had been that way for some time and the floor was heart sank. words came from my mouth. The wife had a look and said a few words. She wanted to call the PO and ask what the heck. But it was my fault I should have investigated better and not been so trusting. As I often tend to be. I fixed the water connection temporarily. We survived the rest of our trip and then made it safely home more disappointments than expected but non the less we made it.
So after being home I ripped out the rear bedroom and the carpet and got a real look at the damage. Boy was it a mess. So due to my work schedule and everything else that was going on I knew I did not have time to fix the flooring. So I dropped it off at the loacl travel trailer repair shop and he dropped me a new floor back there for next to nothing because of a friend of a friend deal. You know how that goes. But he did break what spirits I did have left when I dropped it off. His words being" I'd put this thing back together and put a for sale sign on it if I was you, AS are to hard to find parts for and to high to maintain". So that was it for me I told the wife we'd fix it and sell it....... Then after I got it back it has sat under the outside shed I have ever since while I searched the internet for parts and fixer uper ideas without much luck. Then one day I remembered the PO telling me about a AS forum site that was like a cult for AS, were all the owners gather and talk about fixing there AS's. BINGO HOUSTON WERE SAVED I had been on this site before but discarded it quickly. But then I got back on it and began to search high and low for things I needed to know about AS. After seeing all what people have overcome I now have regained my spirit to be a ASer and tour the U.S. like I planned. Thatís when I found all the sites with parts and things for AS and whipped out my CC and now have about 600 dollars in parts on the way to get my AS back out on the road. So thanks to this site one more AS will be saved. I will post my progress because the progress of others is what saved our AS and give me the will power to fix it. So donít be surprised to see the progress of our 93 Excella in the near future and feel free to comment and give your thoughts along the way. I welcome all ideas and canít wait to meet with some fellow ASer's cause as of now we don't know any besides ourselves. So here's to 2011 and getting our AS back on the road. Hope you enjoyed this read knowing that your post gave us the encouragement to fix ours and not give up on it. Thanks Airforums.
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  1. Old Comment
    Lance M's Avatar

    Wish you the best of luck

    Glad that you didn't give up! We all are interested in seeing your progress. There really isn't anything that can go wrong that hasn't been covered here on the forums. Good luck to you!
    Posted 01-03-2011 at 04:54 AM by Lance M Lance M is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Becky B.'s Avatar
    Yeah! I'm glad you didn't give up! I had similar problems (lots of floor rot) after I got it home & started cleaning it up. I know the sick feeling! But, the good news is, everything I needed to know to repair it is here in the forums. And if it isn't, just ask & someone will help you. It's a VERY friendly forum! Welcome!
    Posted 01-03-2011 at 06:17 PM by Becky B. Becky B. is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Mr & Mrs S's Avatar

    Thanks for the support. Your right everything has been covered in this forum and I still amazed at things Im learning from them. I'll be sure to document the progress for everyone to follow. But there wont be anything done until after Jan. 20th which will be the day I return back to the U.S. (I work abroad) So be looking sometime after that. I got lots and lots of parts on the way and Mrs. S went and picked out bedroom flooring today (special order of course) and its now on the way too. So lots to do when I get home.


    Thanks for your support too. As you know the floor rot really get you down when you first discover it but we do have new sub flooring in the rear bedroom so thats a positive note. Glad to know theres somewhere to come and be able to ask questions and people are so willing to help and watch others make progress on there AS. I saw your avatar pic and WOW what a nice AS. So SHINY ...LOL thanks for the welcome.
    Posted 01-04-2011 at 04:53 AM by Mr & Mrs S Mr & Mrs S is offline
  4. Old Comment
    LawChick's Avatar
    Hang in there. I had mixed feelings reading your post. We are about to pick up our 92 Excella 29 that we have been trying to buy for three months (long sad story), but it's coming from a dealer and we will make them put the water and electric to it before we drag it away. It's a 92 though and I know there are bound to be troubles. Besides that, it has lots of rust and I'm not sure it hasn't been flooded at some point! But the floors seem sound and everything works, and it has a new AC.

    But, we are buying it at a pretty low price with full knowledge it will probably need repair. And we aren't even handy like it sounds like you are. Don't give up! Hope to meet up with you sometime out in AS land.
    It is a bit of a cult, isn't it? And a wonderful one! If you read some of the reactions to wrongs done to forum members, it seems a little like a gang, too, LOL.

    Btw, we were driving in Tennessee over the weekend and met three AS rigs in a row, apparently going somewhere together. We slobbered and drooled like the kid left out on the playground and resolved anew to get that AS and keep it and love it and give it a name. So, hope you do the same. We can cry on each other's shoulder.

    I'm the writer (and talker) in our family.
    We are Ray and Carol and we hail from Arkansas and also live as much as we can in Sarasota, FL, our other "home".
    Our user name refers to the fact I am a retired cop. But I'm also a writer-type. Hubby is a retired computer analyst/IT Guru. We'll see you sometime out in AS land.
    Posted 01-05-2011 at 08:55 AM by LawChick LawChick is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Mr & Mrs S's Avatar
    Hi Lawchick,
    Yea we defiantly had mixed feelings after our first camping trip. But I have to say that Mrs. S hung in there more so than I. She really wanted to keep the AS and if that’s what she wants then keep it we will. I never had a lot of dealings with repairing Travel Trailers so I was a little intimidated by the task of our growing to do list. But I’ve always been one to tinker with things and do my own repairs on our automobiles and around our small 20 acre farm, so with the support of my wife and the fact that I’m not one to give up, I’m going head first into this project so we can keep our dream alive of being young and traveling the U.S. Traveling with our “Quad” as we call it. (This consists of me, the wife, and our two dogs.) Thanks to all the info I have gathered here and the resources for needed parts I’m really excited to get this project going and post it on the forum so that it might help someone in need just like it did myself.
    Some things you might want the dealer to show you that I wish I would have thought of, the electric and water of course, but also fill all the tanks with water to show that they hold water and that the valves do not leak. Also check the back of the trailer, which in my case would be the rear bedroom, where the city water connection goes into the trailer, this seems to be a famous spot for water leaks which was the corporate for my floor rot. The connection seems to leak and rot the floor. We have replaced our flooring and the city water connection and all the fittings inside the trailer to prevent further leaks.
    As you can tell I’m the writer in our family to, Mr. S is the documenter and photographer and does a wonderful job in photo editing. She is very creative. Once we get out on the roads I’m sure she will have some amazing pictures.
    Glad to know I got a shoulder to cry on lol…don’t be shy to do the same to me. As I progress Ill be sure to post and keep everyone up to speed and if I can help in any way I’d be glad to do so.
    I really hope your deal goes through so that you can get the AS and keep your spirits high and take it one day at a time. There are lots of people here to help you through whatever you might come across.
    Hope we do meet one day. My wife loves the beach and I did promise her we would make a trip to Florida one day so we might see you there. Good luck to you and keep in touch.
    Posted 01-05-2011 at 04:47 PM by Mr & Mrs S Mr & Mrs S is offline

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