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Old 08-18-2003, 02:09 PM   #1
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buying used AS

OK...regarding 82 airstreamt excella 29ft....thanks for the tips on looking at a used AS....this may sound...dumb but as far as sag in ones with a rear mentioned if you could get a pencil between the body and the frame that was too much....exactly where do I find it under the home where the bottom plate meets with the shell?....I can get this Stream from an older man...It hasnt been used in apx 2 yrs...the last he knows the air works the h20 heater works stove worked...but the frig did had pine straw on top and moss growing on it...but would clean up leaks seen. window over stove shattered....good tires...$35oo. I want to redo inside myself...First deal is.....Im female but think I can do the work or at least most of it...Second deal...does it take 2 to set it up or could one handle it on trips.???Any..Help appreciated...
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Old 08-18-2003, 05:18 PM   #2
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1976 26' Argosy 26
New Florence , Missouri
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I can't help with the sagging problem, some one else will chime in on that issue.

As far as redoing the interior, if you are comfortable with hand tools, there is no reason you can not do it yourself. Just break down each job into it's component steps and tackle them one by one.

Setting up is not hard at all, The hardest thing will be backing into a spot. Practice in a large parking lot until you are comfortable. I carry a small cone and then set it out where I want the left rear (streetside) corner to end up. Often I will go out ahead of my wife and I have to set up by myself. Once I get the trailer about where I want I place a 4 foot level inside the door(we have pergo floors) and determine level side to side. Lift the end of the level that the bubble is in until it is centered and the distance from the floor to the level id the ammount the side need to be lifted. Place boards or lift bock behind the tires on that side and back up on the blocks. Front to back takse place after disconnecting using the front jack. After that run down the stablizers, hook up the electric, water and sewer and enjoy your trailer.

It is truly not hard at all.
Mike Keith
75 Argosy 26'
96 Ford F-250 PowerStroke
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Old 08-19-2003, 05:47 AM   #3
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
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Buying used AS

Greetings M!

this may sound...dumb but as far as sag in ones with a rear mentioned if you could get a pencil between the body and the frame that was too much....exactly where do I find it under the home where the bottom plate meets with the shell?
There are two separate issues that may be present in Airstream and Argosy trailers. One is separation and the other is sag.

Separation is one that is most often present when the coach has uncorrected water leaks resulting in rotted flooring, and/or when significant loads have been carried aft of the rear axle (such as a rear bumper mounted spare tire). This condition can be identifed by monitoring the amount of movement between the body of the coach and the top of the rear fram rail where the body should be resting on the frame rail - - when pressure is placed on the bumper, the bumper should not move independent of the body (in other words a gap should not open up between the body and the top of the frame rail). My '64 Overlander had this problem, and the repair was to install "gallusses" or suspenders that reattached the body to the frame at the rear (the repair can be identified by the existence of one or two rows of extra rivets on the body of the coach running from the top of the rear frame rails up the rear body panel - - there also may be small patches covering the access points where this repair is made.)

Sag is a problem that is evidenced by body damage on the sides of the coach just behind the rear axle. The cause(s) have been listed as running with unbalanced running gear, or running a coach with full or nearly full holding tanks on a regular basis. The repair for this condition is typically the installation of frame reinforcements in the vicinity of the axles. Such repairs can usually be identified by "elephant ear" patches in the vicinity of the area reinfoced. The problem can be present in virtually any of the longer Airstreams, but was more prevalent in the earlier 1970s coaches.

Either of the above problems can cost in excess of $1,500 to have professionally repaired.

Second deal...does it take 2 to set it up or could one handle it on trips.???
You would be among friends as a Free Wheeler with an Airstream. There is an Intra-Club within the Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI) that is composed of Airstreamers who travel alone (Free Wheelers). There really isn't any aspect of RVing that is particularly difficult for the Free Wheeler, it just takes a little more planning and preparation as only one person will be responsible for all aspects of the travel experience. In my experience (after Free Wheeling for more than 20 years), a good "Hitch Helper" hookup mirror is the most valuable accessory in the Free Wheeler's tool box.

Good luck with your inspection and decision!

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 08-19-2003, 04:25 PM   #4
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Thanks to you both for the information. I think I'm going to make the purchase....I havent been able to check the lights or anything....Ive got to get someone to pull it to the my look fine...just hope they turn....after having not been moved for 2 years.....Thanks for the help....smiles to ya...
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Old 08-20-2003, 09:05 AM   #5
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1998 30' Excella 1000
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Tires. . .?

Hi Melebe. . .as far as the tires go, don'y just rely on how much tread is left. If the tires are five years old or more and the trailer has been stored outside, it's a good bet the tires need replacing. Tires break down from exposure to sunlight uv rays and ozone in the air. If it were me, I'd get new ones before taking your first trip. I was about one month short in replacing my 5 year old tires when I had two blowouts 60 miles apart during a trip to the Texas Gulf coast. I had planned on getting new tires when I got back from the trip. . .and I did!
Two Hams in a Can, and Madison the Cocker Spaniel in our 1998 30 ft. Excella, Hensley Arrow Hitch, 2001 Red Silverado 2500HD Extended Cab, 8.1L Vortec, Allison Transmission
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