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Old 02-20-2021, 10:26 PM   #1
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1982 27' Excella
Harrisburg , Oregon
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 27
Talking Now have possession of our new trailer

Finally, after almost a whole week of waiting, I have possession of our new (to us) 1982 Excella 27'. I wrote in my introductory post that the trailer has its plusses and minuses, but overall it's nearly ready to camp in. I took some photos of the exterior after parking it in the storage lot, but my wife and I got exploring the interior and I completely forgot to take pictures of the inside. I'll get some pix of of the inside tomorrow.

Previous owners, perhaps the one I bought it from, ran the tail into bushes or tree branches, and put a few creases in the skin. There are a few smaller dents in the front. I'll do what I can later, but none of the creases are leaking any water right now. The floors inside have very low moisture content, below 5%, even in the rear bath. The only moisture was around 49% around the battery boxes, so I'll have to stop leaks there.

I was waiting for a repair to be made to the furnace before picking up the trailer, and the seller very proudly wanted to show off the fresh repair this afternoon by having us move the thermostat to a heating position, but unfortunately, the furnace made lots of promising little sounds, but it didn't make any heat and all we smelled was raw propane (butyric acid), eeewww. We turned it off, aired out the trailer, and took down the name of the repair guy who did the repair. I'll call him Monday to see if he stands behind his work or not.

The trailer pulled nicely, but the brake controller on the F-350 I also bought recently doesn't work at all, except for turning on the truck's interior lights whenever I pressed the brake pedal. Clearly I have to sort that out too.

Anyway, I'll attach some interior pictures tomorrow. It's still quite original inside, and really close to being ready to camp in. It's a little moldy inside, so we've got some cleaning to do. Also, I need to find new roller blinds, and I need to buy some new plastic clips for the sliding curtains all around, because the plastic is super brittle from nearly 40 years of sunlight.

Now for some more research on how to install the new water DSI water heater that came with the trailer....

Scott
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Old 02-21-2021, 12:51 AM   #2
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1980 24' Caravelle
vallejo , California
Join Date: May 2016
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congrats on your new AS! look forward to seeing inside pics. our vintage AS's do need extra love, but all rv's (and homes,cars ) need up keep. have fun with your AS . kurt '
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Old 02-21-2021, 02:41 AM   #3
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
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Congrats . . . looking forward to interior photos . . . we had a 1985 Sovereign 25' with tambour cabinet doors incl. spice rack above range. A great interior with flip-up dining table at front couch/lounge . . . no dinette . . . great. Rear corner bed in the 25' suited fine back then . . . maybe not now?

Happy trails!
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Old 02-21-2021, 05:52 AM   #4
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1977 31' Sovereign
Rochester , WASHINGTON
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 373
Good looking vintage aluminium!
You are a great example of towing with the correct tow vehicle, for fellow Airstreamers, some brand new to combination vehicles.
The Airstream can't drive the tow vehicle.
Ideally, everyone should be towing their bumper pull Airstream with a 1 Ton truck,or larger ( no special hitch needed) ,that heavy truck eliminates Airstream sway.
You've also properly chocked the tires.Safety first!
As for the Left Coast , wet climate mold, open the windows on a nice kinda dry/ breezy day, and spray problem areas with Tilex Mold+ Mildew cleaner.It works great for boats / RVs in damp conditions.
Work quickly from back to front, ( after you have identified problem areas in advance) ,then exit and leave it work, for a day.
Even brand new Airstreams have their plus+ minuses, (by design).
Yours probably leaks less than some of these brand new ones!
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Old 02-21-2021, 07:00 AM   #5
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2021 25' Flying Cloud
Fredericktown , Ohio
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Posts: 76
Enjoy your new purchase. The adventure is sure to follow. Good luck.
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Old 02-21-2021, 07:07 AM   #6
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2018 30' Flying Cloud
Springfield , Ohio
Join Date: Jun 2020
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It looks clean for it's age. You should get a lot of use out of it. Congratulations!
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Old 02-21-2021, 07:52 AM   #7
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1969 18' Caravel
Greenville , whereEverIroam
Join Date: Dec 2017
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!

And now the adventure begins...
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Old 02-21-2021, 10:38 AM   #8
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 9,123
Hi

Looks very nice !!!!

I'd suggest that if you do plan to camp in the vehicle, take a careful look at the tires, brakes, and wheel bearings. A failure of any of those items is going to be a significant issue.

If the battery charger / converter is still the stock unit from 1982, toss it and get a new one. It's way past its use by date. Indeed, if it was replaced more than 20 years ago, the same suggestion applies.

Battery wise, check what you have. I'd bet they are in marginal shape. That may be fine if you plan to camp at locations with shore power. If you will be at "off grid" sites, you may want to address the issue.

Why bring this up? I have zero reason to believe that your trailer has any of the issues above. However it *might* have all of them. Without checking, there is no way to know. Either they get crossed off the list or they get put into the "things to do eventually" category.

Fun !!!

Bob
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Old 02-21-2021, 11:36 AM   #9
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2010 30' Classic
Bartlett , TN
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 11
Congratulations! Looks like you bought very well. A wealth of info posted above. We bought our 1st Airstream over 40 years ago. Our early years could have been much smoother had we had benefit of the internet AND this great forum!

Good luck with your "new" Airstream!
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Old 02-21-2021, 11:37 AM   #10
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2010 30' Classic
Bartlett , TN
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 11
Congratulations! Looks like you bought very well. A wealth of info posted above. We bought our 1st Airstream over 40 years ago. Our early years could have been much smoother had we had benefit of the internet AND this great forum!

Good luck and happy times with your "new" Airstream! Let the memories begin!
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Old 02-21-2021, 12:45 PM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
1982 27' Excella
Harrisburg , Oregon
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by B. Cole View Post
As for the Left Coast , wet climate mold, open the windows on a nice kinda dry/ breezy day, and spray problem areas with Tilex Mold+ Mildew cleaner. It works great for boats / RVs in damp conditions.
Work quickly from back to front, ( after you have identified problem areas in advance) ,then exit and leave it work, for a day.
Thanks for the advice. I'll keep my eye on the forecast, so I can put that plan into action.

Scott
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Old 02-21-2021, 12:56 PM   #12
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1982 27' Excella
Harrisburg , Oregon
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

Looks very nice !!!!

I'd suggest that if you do plan to camp in the vehicle, take a careful look at the tires, brakes, and wheel bearings. A failure of any of those items is going to be a significant issue.
Bob,

Good point. I'll do that. Normally, I do my own repairs on cars, but since I'm so new to trailers of any sort I figured I'd take it by a reputable repair shop to have the brakes gone through.


Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
If the battery charger / converter is still the stock unit from 1982, toss it and get a new one. It's way past its use by date. Indeed, if it was replaced more than 20 years ago, the same suggestion applies.

Battery wise, check what you have. I'd bet they are in marginal shape. That may be fine if you plan to camp at locations with shore power. If you will be at "off grid" sites, you may want to address the issue.

Why bring this up? I have zero reason to believe that your trailer has any of the issues above. However it *might* have all of them. Without checking, there is no way to know. Either they get crossed off the list or they get put into the "things to do eventually" category.

Fun !!!

Bob
The batteries have been working well, both when I was looking the trailer over before buying it, and yesterday as we were hooking up and after we parked it at the storage lot. I want to get a closer look at the charger too, but I just haven't done that yet. The cover was off over the charger box between the battery boxes before the sale, and I looked in enough to see that the equipment had no obvious rust, corrosion, or signs of neglect.

Good reminder about going off-grid. We want to do quite a lot of that, especially since so many campgrounds are already fully booked through spring, and partly booked in the summer.

Thanks again,
Scott
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Old 02-21-2021, 02:47 PM   #13
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1986 31' Sovereign
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,576
Blog Entries: 13
A moisture meter is your pal. Every couple of months check the interior perimeter and if anything is amiss — jump on it. On the same schedule, try to get your eyes on every plumbing fitting. Water inside is not your friend.

Every two years I try to find a dealer with a Sealtech machine and have my trailer leak tested. It usually costs about $150 but it works really well and brings peace of mind.
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Old 02-21-2021, 10:04 PM   #14
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1982 27' Excella
Harrisburg , Oregon
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 27
Gaucho and "living room" area up front

I've got some pictures of the front now, but since I can only do four attachments per post, I'll add them in a few posts. First, coming in the front door you see a remarkably original gaucho. Unfortunately, between buying the trailer and taking delivery the left seam on the seatback has ripped. The Herculon is pretty fragile after 40 years, so I may have to get that reupholstered. That's a shame, because I like the tans and browns in the original cloth.

The port-side flip up table is missing the flip-out leaf, but the hardware is still there. Any suggestions on buying or making a replacement?

The radio and tape deck that originally came in the trailer from the factory are still there, and they still work. The sound is hampered by tinny speakers, but was parr for the early Eighties in cars. I think we'll just bring in a Bluetooth speaker that recharges from USB. Oh, the seller accidentally left a 120V USB adapter plugged into an outlet.

Oh, there's a residential light switch in the gaucho's port-side storage pocket. This switch isn't shown in the factory manual that came with my trailer, but it doesn't look like it was added later. There are a couple of other light switches like this here and there in the trailer that also aren't listed in the wiring diagram in the manual, but they look original to the trailer too.
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Old 02-21-2021, 10:19 PM   #15
2 Rivet Member
 
1982 27' Excella
Harrisburg , Oregon
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 27
Battery charger

Beneath the gaucho lives a replacement battery charger, a PowerMax PM3-55. From what I see, it is still available, but it's not very sophisticated.

The floor under it is not dry like the rest of the trailer. I'll have to replace it this summer.

Oh, realize I forgot to attach a photo of the flip-up table missing its flip-out leaf. Here it is. Any ideas on how I can find a replacement to attach to the cool hinge?
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Old 02-21-2021, 10:27 PM   #16
2 Rivet Member
 
1982 27' Excella
Harrisburg , Oregon
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 27
Kitchen

The kitchen is mostly original, but it's grimy, really grimy. I love the spice rack with the tambour door. The seller replaced about half of the 1141 bulbs to LED, and I want to replace the other half.

The stove and oven are in pretty good shape, and between my inspecting the trailer and buying it, a Sharp microwave oven appeared in the compartment that originally held an American made microwave of some sort. There's even a nice, modern, water filter under the sink.

The vinyl counter edges are pealing out of their grooves. Any advice on fixing that back in place?
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Old 02-21-2021, 10:33 PM   #17
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1982 27' Excella
Harrisburg , Oregon
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 27
Twin beds and storage

The sleeping section amidships is in great condition, although we've got to buy some new mattresses. The lift-up platform on the port side has some rusty hinges that have pulled out of the wood frame, so I've got to fix that.

The pictures of the broken hinges didn't turn out, so this is a skimpy section. Oh, amazingly, all the plastic bins that slide into under-bed tambour doored compartments are still with the trailer. Same under the gaucho up front.
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Old 02-21-2021, 10:44 PM   #18
2 Rivet Member
 
1982 27' Excella
Harrisburg , Oregon
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 27
Bathroom

The bathroom held some surprises, some of which aren't even described in the owner's manual. I love the Milton Glaser tub surround. It's like 1974... OK, it might have been a little passé in 1982, but I enjoy it just the same.

There's a nice mirror on the back of one of the sliding doors. The fan works. The mirrors in above the sink fell out, but they're unbroken and are safely waiting in drawers for me to find some good 3M double-sided tape.

Oh, in the cabinet behind the toilet, below shelves that appear to be designed to hold rolls of toilet paper, at the bottom is a cloth bag secured with snaps that may have been a dirty laundry bag. The cloth bag is unsuitable for garbage or feminine sanitary products.

There's even a little toilet paper holder in the cabinet, under the sink. Very convenient, and out of sight when the door slides closed.

Well, that's enough for tonight.

Scott
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Old 02-22-2021, 03:58 AM   #19
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 15,270
Thanks for the updates and photos. The front is very similar to our 1985 Sovereign 25' . . . that gaucho and flip-up dining table make for a very comfortable living area. Can't help with that hidden electrical switch sorry. Same tambour door spice rack!

Next to the fridge do you have small cabinets for storing two OEM Zip Dee chairs? Ours were easy to access so that four folks could dine at the flip-up dining table. Is there a companion F/U table next to the entry door?

BTW isn't the street side "starboard" and the curb side "port?"

Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane . . . . . . best wishes for your upgrades and happy trails.
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Old 02-22-2021, 07:31 AM   #20
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 9,123
Quote:
Originally Posted by skucera View Post
Beneath the gaucho lives a replacement battery charger, a PowerMax PM3-55. From what I see, it is still available, but it's not very sophisticated.

The floor under it is not dry like the rest of the trailer. I'll have to replace it this summer.

Oh, realize I forgot to attach a photo of the flip-up table missing its flip-out leaf. Here it is. Any ideas on how I can find a replacement to attach to the cool hinge?
Hi

Indeed, that charger looks old enough that it should be on the "replace" list. It's not so old that you need to swap it before you get to the floor repair.

Since you have some time to poke around the forum and read *lots* of threads .... take a look at the various Lithium battery threads. They are worth reading before you start replacing any part of the battery system. That's not to say you positively should go Lithium, simply that you need to make the decision ahead of spending money.

Looks like you will have plenty to do, regardless of the battery decision

Bob
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