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Old 05-17-2020, 11:00 PM   #1
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1981 31' Excella II
Weaverville , NC
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 1
Allie in N.C. with a “project” 1981 Excella

Hello everyone,
My name is Allie and I have just purchased a 1981 Excella II 31’. It was in rough shape but I only needed to tow it from Savannah GA to my home in Western North Carolina to then park in a nook in my garden for the ultimate office and art studio.. I knew I had bitten off more than I could chew when I told the seller it looked like one wheel was rotting and he said “ah, ya got three more, you’re fine!”

Now it’s home and I have convinced the wasps living in the ceiling ac unit to find different accommodations, I see the sub floor is completely rotten and not in the c channel at all, and whomever ripped out the inside also cut every length of wire in it. So it’s a complete gut job. Even though I don’t intend to travel with it, I’m absolutely in love with it, have always wanted an airstream and want to turn it into a functional, dry, safe space. Her name is “Poppy”.

Any hints on where to start - watch, read, visit - would be so greatly appreciated!! I just need to figure out where to begin!!
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:21 PM   #2
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Welcome from high dry Colorado: Moisture is the enemy of Airstreams, and the lush, green southeast has plenty of it. You have a major project on your hands. It will bring all kinds of "fun".

As they say, knowledge is power. You will learn lots about your Excella II here on Airstream Forums. I would suggest you find the "knowledgebase - Airstream trailer forums" near the bottom of the Forums page. Then click on ExcellaII and the 81 model year. Finally, read all you can.

I might add that the Excella 31' is very similar to late 70s trailers. So go down a few years and read more about 80, or 79, or 78.

You will need to assess and repair all the rusted, rotted out areas of your Airstream. Start a list. Don't think about interior layouts or decorating until you get the structure sound. You said you want a functional, dry, safe space. That is going to take some hard work. But it can be done.

I've spent all winter working on a 76 Sovereign 31', kinda a precursor to the Excella which I think came out in 77. Marketing names don't mean much, the Airstream trailers of that vintage are made much alike. Anyway, you might like to look over my project thread describing how we renovated my friend's Sovereign. It will be finished for the summer shortly. I've got about 1200 hours of work in the thing. I'm retired and need something to do. The link to our project thread is below.

Here is a photo of the Sovereign up on jack stands as it has been all winter.

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WBCCI #8607 VAC Region 11
KnowledgeBase trailer renovation threads: 69 Globetrotter, 76 Sovereign, 75 Overlander, 66 Trade Wind Such fun !
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:55 PM   #3
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1973 25' Tradewind
1962 22' Safari
Augusta , Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 169
Probably not bitten off to much. If your plan is a non-mobile office/studio - get the camper on a steady, level, firm foundation supported near the front of the shell and about half-way between rear axle and bumper. Get the tires off the ground. I use cement blocks and wood blocks. Be careful more people get killed putting heavy things on cement blocks and don't know where there strength is. Prefer 4x6 wood blocks about 2-ft long to make great cribbing - think chenga blocks. Have two 4X6 or bigger that span across the trailer that are supported by chenga blocks.

Once you have a stable platform look for rear-end separation and correct. Then the interior is open to your imagination. General home repair/remodeling skills or all you need.

Have fun - Dennis
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