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Old 11-13-2017, 07:56 PM   #1
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Value for 80s Excella

Hey Everyone,

I'm in the market for an Airstream to fully renovate and live in full time... I found an 80s model Excella and was wondering if yall could help me assess the price. attached are some pictures; the owner is asking $5200. I did not see any rust on the exterior.
This will be my first Airstream reno.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:13 PM   #2
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Yeayy for plywood floor! And the torsion axle might have some life left. But it looks like someone started to do the yankeverythingoutthennotgetitbackin game; someone else chime on about that.
You have great access to the floor to check the plywood for rot and softness. The Aluminum shell holds onto the plywood which holds onto the steel frame underneath, good to have good plywood.
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Old 11-13-2017, 09:15 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Kristenc11 View Post
Hey Everyone,

I did not see any rust on the exterior.

This will be my first Airstream reno.

Thanks in advance!
You do realize that aluminum doesn't rust, right?

There are a whole number of threads on renovation but you need to ask yourself some serious questions first.

1) Are you planning on moving this trailer after your renovation? If not, then you don't have to worry about weight or weight distribution. If so, worry lots.

2) Budget, If you plan on towing your creation, it will cost you a lot more as less weight costs more; i.e. Coosa board versus OSB board or concrete board. Not moving the trailer and you can put the cheapest heaviest stuff you can buy into her.

3) DYI skills self evaluation. How handy are you? Plumbing, electrical, cabinetmaking, propane, flooring, fabric.......the more you do the less it costs; unless you mess up, and then it could cost you large.

The price seems right for a trailer with no frame issues. Was it parked over grass all the time? Grass transfers moisture which rusts metal; which could mean your frame is rusted out.

Goodluck with the reno

Cheers
Tony
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Old 11-13-2017, 09:24 PM   #4
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This isn't the one sitting off hwy-50 near Bithlo, right?

Cheers,
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Old 12-02-2017, 04:45 PM   #5
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This isn't the one sitting off hwy-50 near Bithlo, right?

Cheers,
no this one is north carolina
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Old 12-02-2017, 04:50 PM   #6
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You do realize that aluminum doesn't rust, right?

There are a whole number of threads on renovation but you need to ask yourself some serious questions first.

1) Are you planning on moving this trailer after your renovation? If not, then you don't have to worry about weight or weight distribution. If so, worry lots.

2) Budget, If you plan on towing your creation, it will cost you a lot more as less weight costs more; i.e. Coosa board versus OSB board or concrete board. Not moving the trailer and you can put the cheapest heaviest stuff you can buy into her.

3) DYI skills self evaluation. How handy are you? Plumbing, electrical, cabinetmaking, propane, flooring, fabric.......the more you do the less it costs; unless you mess up, and then it could cost you large.

The price seems right for a trailer with no frame issues. Was it parked over grass all the time? Grass transfers moisture which rusts metal; which could mean your frame is rusted out.

Goodluck with the reno

Cheers
Tony
1) Im planning on moving it twice a year, if that.

3) Im not handy at all, but my father is a contractor... I know buildings are not the same as airstreams, but Im hoping it will be similar

I will find out about where it has been parked. If the frame is rusted, what would the cost be to replace that?

thanks for the input!
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Old 12-02-2017, 05:01 PM   #7
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If it were me, and I'm fairly handy with 2.5 vintage trailers under my belt, it would take a price so very enticing ($2000) to enter into a relationship with this trailer.

A caveat or two, frame redone? Axle condition? Maybe...

The vent stacks missing (whats capping that up top?), the vents missing (again, what sort of patch is up top?) would be a pair of red flags for me.

I do like the toilet placement though, good place to view while you poo!

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Old 12-01-2018, 05:26 PM   #8
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Isuzusweet..I am about to buy a 31 ft. 1981 Excella. What weight issues are you talking about while towing? Thanks
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Old 12-02-2018, 11:15 AM   #9
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Isuzusweet..I am about to buy a 31 ft. 1981 Excella. What weight issues are you talking about while towing? Thanks
When Airstream designs a trailer there is a lot of thought put into where weight goes and how much. You want to end up with most of the weight over the axles, (which is why that's usually where the fridge goes), and a certain percentage of weight over the tonque of the trailer. Airstream also considers storage areas and what people will usually pack into a trailer so that once loaded the trailer will stay in that weight percentile to have it tow correctly.

Too much weight at the front of the trailer increases stress on the rear axle of the TV and front A frame of the trailer, and reduces weight on the front axle of the TV, (compromising braking and steering). Too much weight behind the axles of the trailer will induce possible dramatic trailer sway, possibly leading to a crash involving the TV and trailer, (tail wagging the dog).

All this has been worked out carefully by the engineers at Airstream. I just tend to inpart the importance of weight to those that are considering a gutting and renovation to their trailers.

It is a lot more science than design, if you know what I mean.

If the trailer that you are purchasing has not been renovated or modified in any way, it won't concern you; but if it has been modified and is full of very heavy cabinets and tile shower and bathroom for example; you'll want to be very wary, as the owners may have found it to be, once renovated, to be untowable.

Cheers
Sidekick Tony
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