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Old 03-24-2017, 11:48 AM   #1
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Axles

Looking at a 93 Excella 29
How does a non-mechanic tell if Acela are OK?

Jeff
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Old 03-24-2017, 12:10 PM   #2
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There are lots of threads here about axles. The basic way is to raise the trailer and see if the wheels lower when the weight is removed . Dead axles will lift with the trailer.
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Old 03-24-2017, 01:09 PM   #3
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Looking at a 93 Excella 29
How does a non-mechanic tell if Acela are OK?

Jeff


Axles!
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Old 03-24-2017, 01:25 PM   #4
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I sent a response.
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Old 03-24-2017, 01:41 PM   #5
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Thanks. How high should I raise the trailer?
Seems (from my ignorant perspective) that if I raise trailer, at some point the wheels would have to raise also. But, what do I know?
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Old 03-24-2017, 01:59 PM   #6
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Don't raise it by the axles if you have a bottle jack jack it up between the wheels on the frame the wheels will start to drop down as you raise the trailer .
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Old 03-24-2017, 02:08 PM   #7
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http://www.airforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=163300
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Old 03-24-2017, 02:13 PM   #8
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Excellent info. Thank you kindly!
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Old 03-24-2017, 07:40 PM   #9
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I just brought home a 91 Excella 25, I knew the axles were bad just from the sellers lack of maintanance and its age. The tow home provided the proof, pinned ice box door fell off in the first 100 miles followed br the pantry coming out despite being locked, a few other drawers out and 3 or 4 rivets on the floor. For fun when I got it home I did some rolling up on one wheel to let the other sag I found I had 1" of up movement and 1" of droop for a total of 2" of travel.
New axles to be installed before it leaves home again.
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Old 03-25-2017, 03:17 PM   #10
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Jeff

I'd say the best answer is to make the sale conditional on a review by your mechanic. You're looking at spending thousands, what's a couple hundred to have the trailer checked out? Take it to someone that really knows Airstreams and vintage trailers. Pay to have it taken to them and ask the mechanic to review all systems and give you a report of what's good, what's broken, and what will need service soon along with a WAG (wild @$$ guess) estimate on the cost of each fix they forecast. Then you'll know what you're getting into.

You can do some filtering on your own though.

ONE: look for missing rivets or rivets with gray circles around them (loose and needing replacement) a hand full is no big deal. a dozen or more or several in a line is a big deal. Also look for wrinkles in the skin. One or a creas here or there are no big deal; several wrinkles side by side is a sign of an accident or rough usage and could mean structural problems.

TWO: is anything obviously broken or is the seller disclosing something that does not work. What's it going to cost to get that fixed?

THREE: Tires, are they more than 6 years old? (there is a date code on all tires) then they will likely need to be replaced soon. Expired tires is a sign the owner has not maintained the camper.

FOUR: Propane tanks have date codes stamped into them. are they expired? if so they will need to be replaced and suggest the owner has not maintained the camper. You can't fill expired tanks.

FIVE: go through all the systems and see if they work; Lights, Water, Electric, Heat, AC, Grey & Black water, Towing,.... open and close all the cupboards and access hatches, do they all work smoothly without binding? Do they close securely? do you see cracks, patches, water stains, or repair work? these may be signs of other issues out of site.

SIX: Are the storage areas clean, how about under cabinets and behind the couch? if not that suggests poor maintenance.

SEVEN: Does something look like it was repaired or just not right. for example I saw one where they had put up new paneling over old wood paneling to hide water damage. The only give away was that the trim did not fit right and the new paneling did not quite match the rest of the camper color. In that case the wall and floor under the shower were severely water damaged which would have required the shower to be removed and sub floor under it replaced. $$$ saved because I saw funky trim work.
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Old 03-25-2017, 04:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerunamuck View Post
Jeff

I'd say the best answer is to make the sale conditional on a review by your mechanic. You're looking at spending thousands, what's a couple hundred to have the trailer checked out? Take it to someone that really knows Airstreams and vintage trailers. Pay to have it taken to them and ask the mechanic to review all systems and give you a report of what's good, what's broken, and what will need service soon along with a WAG (wild @$$ guess) estimate on the cost of each fix they forecast. Then you'll know what you're getting into.

You can do some filtering on your own though.

ONE: look for missing rivets or rivets with gray circles around them (loose and needing replacement) a hand full is no big deal. a dozen or more or several in a line is a big deal. Also look for wrinkles in the skin. One or a creas here or there are no big deal; several wrinkles side by side is a sign of an accident or rough usage and could mean structural problems.

TWO: is anything obviously broken or is the seller disclosing something that does not work. What's it going to cost to get that fixed?

THREE: Tires, are they more than 6 years old? (there is a date code on all tires) then they will likely need to be replaced soon. Expired tires is a sign the owner has not maintained the camper.

FOUR: Propane tanks have date codes stamped into them. are they expired? if so they will need to be replaced and suggest the owner has not maintained the camper. You can't fill expired tanks.

FIVE: go through all the systems and see if they work; Lights, Water, Electric, Heat, AC, Grey & Black water, Towing,.... open and close all the cupboards and access hatches, do they all work smoothly without binding? Do they close securely? do you see cracks, patches, water stains, or repair work? these may be signs of other issues out of site.

SIX: Are the storage areas clean, how about under cabinets and behind the couch? if not that suggests poor maintenance.

SEVEN: Does something look like it was repaired or just not right. for example I saw one where they had put up new paneling over old wood paneling to hide water damage. The only give away was that the trim did not fit right and the new paneling did not quite match the rest of the camper color. In that case the wall and floor under the shower were severely water damaged which would have required the shower to be removed and sub floor under it replaced. $$$ saved because I saw funky trim work.
Just because dates on tires expired does not mean owner did not maintain camper. As far as propane tank date expired, no big deal. My propane filler recert. free only charge when changed from old style valves to new kind. Rest of post I agree with.
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