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Old 05-27-2012, 08:01 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
shmaliski's Avatar
1978 31' Excella 500
Colorado Springs , Colorado
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 10
Hello .. Wisconsin Bound

I just registered today but I've been reading the forums for a year now to try to ascertain what I may be getting myself into. Thanks everyone for all the insights. I'm pretty handy around the house, but nervous as to how that will translate to the AS.
My husband and I just bought a 1978 Excella 500, sight unseen (although a friend went to look at it for us). We are teachers in Colorado but spend our summers on the lake in Wisconsin. The new AS is in Minnesota and we are so excited to pick it up next week.
After seven summers in a pop-up camper and now with two large dogs and a 4-year old, I am looking forward to the upgrade!
It's great to officially be here!
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:18 AM   #2
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1999 23' Safari
Perrysburg , Ann Arbor
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 915
Welcome to the Forums and to Aluminum Life!

Please do yourself a safety favor, and check the age of the tires and the condition and functioning of the brakes and condition of the wheel bearings before towing very far and/or at higher speeds. Those can be real show stoppers (or is that tow stoppers?) - and everyone wants your first experience to be a good one!
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:50 AM   #3
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,280
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
Hello shmaliski - welcome to the Forums!

You may have some idea whether this has been used for active traveling (tires replaced periodically & maintained) or has been sitting for a while. AirsDream is speaking the truth. How long do the tires hold air when they are pumped up to riding pressure? And, as critically -- You will want to determine when the bearings were last packed. Usually one would expect the running lights to work but that will have to be checked out. Better to know as much as possible before going to pick it up.

Axles are a riding quality issue and can be looked at after you get it home. Don't expect them to cushion the trailer ride much, so keep speeds moderate. But replacement probably will have to be considered if this hasn't been done before.

Imagine the issues you'd face with a 1978 car. Now just be glad you aren't dealing with an engine too.

What area of Minnesota are you headed to?

5 meter Langford Nahanni

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Old 05-27-2012, 10:42 AM   #4
1 Rivet Member
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1978 31' Excella 500
Colorado Springs , Colorado
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 10
Thanks for the advice. The brakes and axles have been replaced and tires are good. The same family has owned it since 1986 and used it regularly. It was well maintained and I think it is in excellent condition for its age. New pex plumbing and electrical updated too. Everything works for now . We will pick it up in Stillwater, MN and tow it 85 miles to lake property we have in Wisconsin. It won't be towed after that. Any tips on keeping it in good condition when it isn't out on the road regularly?
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