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Old 07-19-2011, 08:03 AM   #1
and my trusty lab Helga
handyman1425's Avatar
1972 29' Ambassador
1985 32' Excella
Cowiche , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 32
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'85 31' Excella vs a '97 Norman Rockwell 34'

Hello Airstreamers i have a question for you all. I currently bought a 1985 31' Airstream Excella from a lady in Or and she didn't tell me the whole story "but i knew she was hideing something". To make a long story short i found were she had her son try and repair some floor rot in the rear of the coach and did a sloppy job. so i fixed it and went on i have had to replace most of the apliances and found out it had more rot in the front of the coach as well I just came from a 72 ambassador to a 86 Excella and i guess from 80 to 90 thor tryed to pull a fast one and use chip board. Now for my question i am a full time rver witch means were i park my trailer is home i am not married and have a 95lb lab named Helga and don't need alot of room but welcome any extra. I found a Norman Rockwell trailer that was well taken care of and was owend by a past wbcci president for 12'500.00 "i know i would be stealing it" but i don't know nothing about 34' trailers vs 31' witch is were i despritly neet your help i know i will have no sweat pulling it with my dually truck and i am not concearned about tire scrub what i am concearned about is do you 34' Airstreamers out there have truble getting into state parks? rv camp grounds? anywere? Also it is a wide body how does it look behind a dually truck can you see ok or do you need spiecal mirrors? Also when you look from the front of the truck is the trailer as wide as the dualls on the outside? Also i heard a rumer that 34' airstreams couldn't be pulled fast because they tend to bend in the middle is that true? What do you fellow Airstreamers think about a 31' to 34' swap for a single guy with a dog? I know i will have to sell my 85 witch is now almost completely gone threw with all new stuff in order to buy the NR 34r'er witch is like putting new tires on your car and tradeing it off. Any help would be awesome.

Thanks Wally and Helga

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Old 07-19-2011, 08:41 AM   #2
3 Rivet Member
1978 31' Excella 500
Goose Creek , South Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 136
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I would check the Woodall's to see size limitations. I know that in the Smokies and Apalachians its hard to get into some campgrounds if you are over 28'.
Also keep in mind that Airstreams measure from tung to bumper while most others measure the body only.

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Old 07-20-2011, 08:01 AM   #3
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1969 31' Sovereign
Wolfe City , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 43
Many of the State Parks here in Texas have size limits also. I have a 32' Excella and do have some problems in some parks. The big problem I have is getting in and out of service stations while I am on the road. Most do not have a long enough pull through to make the in and out of the station. You have to choose which stations you use carefully. With the 32' I also find that using a pull through parking space in parks it puts you against the curb with little or now "floor space" at the side of the trailer. I love my 32' and would not change it but am glad I did not go for a 34'. Also you might think about the resell value. The AS will hold value forever where the other will drop to nothing in a few years. You can make the AS what you want in a home - make it you. Best of luck in your choice.
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:24 AM   #4
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1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,943
If it did belong to an International President, it likely has a lot of miles on it. I would check for frame separation in the back. 34's are nice for living in with the dinette and lots of closet space. I have a 34 with a dually TV and it is good on the road and in commercial campgrounds. I have not taken into the mountains or State parks yet, so I can not comment.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:28 AM   #5
and my trusty lab Helga
handyman1425's Avatar
1972 29' Ambassador
1985 32' Excella
Cowiche , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 32
Images: 5
Thanks to you all for getting back to me so soon i like to know that on hard desisions such as this i have friends of like minds to help me. I guess i like the fact that there's more room but i also think i was upset that the floor was such a nightmere. And i got a case of i wants besides a norman rockwell coach should be kept as such no modification and i like to modifi things.

Thanks Wally
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:19 AM   #6
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,190
The Norman Rockwell trailer is very uncommon. I think there were maybe a dozen or so built.
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:04 PM   #7
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1962 22' Safari
2016 30' Classic
Southeast , Michigan
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Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
The Norman Rockwell trailer is very uncommon. I think there were maybe a dozen or so built.
According to published reports I have seen, they built 48 Norman Rockwell "Legends" edition 34-footers. One for each continental U.S. state. Not sure how many are left on the road (most probably), but I have heard that they no longer have replacement decals for the exterior in case one ever has to have their trailer stripped and re-clear coated.

I was in one once. Very nice. Lorrie and I do not want an Airstream that large, but if we ever were temped by a 34-footer, it would be a Normal Rockwell edition (or possibly a front kitchen 34').

Wally Byam Caravan Club International Historian
Vintage Airstream Club Historian

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