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Old 09-26-2020, 11:43 PM   #1
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1981 28' Airstream 280
St. Paul , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 2
Hi from Minnesota (and beyond!)

I was encouraged to re-post my member intro to this forum, so...

Hi all,

New to the forum, new to the life. I just purchased a 1981 Excella 280 Turbodiesel. It's road ready, but needs a little love. I think I'll be probably spending a good amount of time on the platform. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed, but very excited to get to work.

Thanks for creating a space for knowledge sharing. I'll take any tips or tricks you have for noobs right out of the gate...

Couple immediate issues:

- The Vacuumatic step stopped retracting 5 minutes after I wrote the check. The solenoid is getting power, but there’s no movement when you close the door or put it in gear. Vacuum pump? Anyone been trough that one before?

- The oil cap blew off the propane generator the first time I fired it up and ran it for any amount of time. The previous owner said the same thing happened to him once. Could this be related to load, or just a faulty cap that won’t stay tight?

Thanks in advance,

Joseph A.
Saint Paul, MN

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Old 09-27-2020, 03:14 AM   #2
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1975 20' Argosy 20
Chestfield , Kent
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,937
Quote:
Originally Posted by 81Excella280 View Post
I was encouraged to re-post my member intro to this forum, so...

Hi all,

New to the forum, new to the life. I just purchased a 1981 Excella 280 Turbodiesel. It's road ready, but needs a little love. I think I'll be probably spending a good amount of time on the platform. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed, but very excited to get to work.

Thanks for creating a space for knowledge sharing. I'll take any tips or tricks you have for noobs right out of the gate...

Couple immediate issues:

- The Vacuumatic step stopped retracting 5 minutes after I wrote the check. The solenoid is getting power, but there’s no movement when you close the door or put it in gear. Vacuum pump? Anyone been trough that one before?

- The oil cap blew off the propane generator the first time I fired it up and ran it for any amount of time. The previous owner said the same thing happened to him once. Could this be related to load, or just a faulty cap that won’t stay tight?

Thanks in advance,

Joseph A.
Saint Paul, MN

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Welcome to the forum; wish you many years of enjoyable ownership.

So.....my advice would be to understand this is a forum, a (very considerable) resource of information, information gathered over many years, and many owners. As such, the owner that experienced your problem may not be active any more. Many new members jump straight to a question - heck I did in my first post, if you do you are only asking the few owners currently active. I highly recommend doing the leg-work and searching within the data repository that is the forum - the answer is nearly always already there (in the stickies or in individual posts). Although the forum has a search function, my tip to you is to use Google and start your search string with the term site:airforums.com, this means Google only searches this site. If you do so I think you will easily find the answer to your questions.
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Old 09-27-2020, 06:15 AM   #3
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Churubusco , Indiana
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 1,303
Nice looking rig!

It looks like 2 of your windows don't have panes that slide, but one big piece of glass? Is that factory?

Welcome to the forum!
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Old 09-27-2020, 01:03 PM   #4
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,862
Again welcome aboard. I have put many happy miles on my 280 and hope you enjoy yours as much.

If the step was working I would check the door switch. A little looseness in the hinges can prevent the door from activating the switch. Start the engine, open the door and operate the switch with your finger. My door has a small aluminum striker pad where the button hits the door.

The vacuum for the step is provided buy a pump on the back of the alternator. It must be a pretty stout pump as I have never heard of one failing here on the forums. There is a hose behind the step that you can pull to verify presence of vacuum and solenoid operation. Remember the engine must be running. If the actuator has failed it is available as a headlight actuator from a 68 to 82 Corvette.

What generator do you have?
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