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Old 04-14-2021, 03:29 PM   #1
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1987 31' Excella
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Cleburne , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2021
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New project '87 Excella in North Texas

Hello everyone!

Picked up a 1987 Excella 1000 with Rear Twins on Monday and so begins our adventure into the Airstream land.
Body is in quite good shape along with the interior, but there's clearly been a long time of water leaks from the fridge vent, front windows, and rear windows.
Near the fridge I can put my hand through the subfloor.
So it looks like this one will be going full-monty with the overhaul.

Looking foward to gleaning info, tips, tricks, and experience from y'all!

We're located a bit south of Fort Worth.
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Old 04-14-2021, 05:21 PM   #2
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1,934
Congratulations and welcome to the Airstream life. That is a really roomy trailer. We recently helped some friends of ours get a 89 Excella up to snuff and road worthy. His was just about in the same shape as yours. He had a lot of polybutylene pipe breaks. We switched all the broken ones out and replaced with PEX. PB piping tended to react to the oxidants in tap water making the pipe weak. Some of the vinyl was peeling, needed new axles, some floor repair, new converter and an on demand hot water heater that fit in the space of the old one. But, anything is possible in your restoration. It looks to be in great shape from the pictures. So, make it safe and functional one bite at a time. Take care.
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Old 04-14-2021, 06:26 PM   #3
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Greetings from Colorado. Welcome to these Airstream Forums and to the vintage Airstream hobby. We've owned a 86 Limited 34' since 2005. It was purchased new by my wife's parents back in 86. They owned a parking spot in the Texas Airstream Harbor at Zavalla on Sam Rayburn lake. Some say TAHI for short. Our trailer was there most winters during their retirement. Minnesota snow birds. They also took a caravan or two every year.

We have fixed some subfloor rot (OSB is not my favorite material), replaced the poly butyl plumbing with PEX (Bubba L is right on that stuff), replaced furnaces, water heater, and air conditioner, reupholstered the lounge and dinette, new floor covering and on and on. Our solid hickory cabinets are still in great shape. We hope to travel with it come May as we are both now vaccinated. We feel all safe but we know there is still some risk. I feel traveling with the Airstream is safer than an airport.

It kinda looks like your entry door is bent like ours was looking at your photo. If they are not securely locked in place with the dead bolt, they can vibrate open while you are zooming down the highway at 65 mph. Bam! The infamous suicide door flies open and bends with the bang against the side of the trailer. Ours was out about an inch at the bottom. Our local dealer fixed the door quite nicely for about $150. I've watched you tubes of people fixing their bent doors themselves. I may be all wrong you your door, maybe it just wasn't shut all the way.

It is my opinion the 80s trailers were better built than the seventies. I have a 75 Overlander 27' so I have some experience with them. You can make your Airstream into a very reliable and comfortable travel trailer. It just takes lots of work and some bucks too. Here is a photo of our 86 Limited I thought you might enjoy.

David
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Old 04-14-2021, 07:29 PM   #4
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Greetings from Colorado. Welcome to these Airstream Forums and to the vintage Airstream hobby. We've owned a 86 Limited 34' since 2005. It was purchased new by my wife's parents back in 86. They owned a parking spot in the Texas Airstream Harbor at Zavalla on Sam Rayburn lake. Some say TAHI for short. Our trailer was there most winters during their retirement. Minnesota snow birds. They also took a caravan or two every year.

We have fixed some subfloor rot (OSB is not my favorite material), replaced the poly butyl plumbing with PEX (Bubba L is right on that stuff), replaced furnaces, water heater, and air conditioner, reupholstered the lounge and dinette, new floor covering and on and on. Our solid hickory cabinets are still in great shape. We hope to travel with it come May as we are both now vaccinated. We feel all safe but we know there is still some risk. I feel traveling with the Airstream is safer than an airport.


It kinda looks like your entry door is bent like ours was looking at your photo. If they are not securely locked in place with the dead bolt, they can vibrate open while you are zooming down the highway at 65 mph. Bam! The infamous suicide door flies open and bends with the bang against the side of the trailer. Ours was out about an inch at the bottom. Our local dealer fixed the door quite nicely for about $150. I've watched you tubes of people fixing their bent doors themselves. I may be all wrong you your door, maybe it just wasn't shut all the way.

It is my opinion the 80s trailers were better built than the seventies. I have a 75 Overlander 27' so I have some experience with them. You can make your Airstream into a very reliable and comfortable travel trailer. It just takes lots of work and some bucks too. Here is a photo of our 86 Limited I thought you might enjoy.

David
Thatís ironic about TAHI. We drove by there today on our way back from a few days at Hankís Creek COE campground on Rayburn. Small world. Sorry to get off subject, back to getting the Excella fixed up.
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Old 04-14-2021, 08:25 PM   #5
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1987 31' Excella
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Cleburne , Texas
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Posts: 7
Thanks gentleman!

I've driven by the NTAC park in Hillsboro many times! Haven't been to Lake Rayburn yet.
Once we get this thing operational, we'll have to visit.

Yes, the door is torqued on this one. About 3/4in gap at the bottom and nearly 2in at the top.
I'll have to give the local dealer a call and see what they say about fixing it. I assumed I'd have to find a replacement.

Plumbing will be assessed as it comes apart. Most likely will be ripped out and replaced with PEX throughout.
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Old 04-15-2021, 06:44 PM   #6
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Bubba L, you should have driven in with your beautiful 55 Flying Cloud. We spent three nights there about 10 years ago on one of our Airstream trips.
There were several nicely restored Airstreams in the lot. See photo:

1tallTxn: I truly believe your door can be bent back to shape pretty easily. The sixties and earlier Airstreams had cast aluminum door frames that broke before they bent. But in the early seventies Airstream went with a cold form door frame that can be more easily repaired.

David
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See my 1969 Globetrotter 21' Renovation Project:
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See my 1966 Trade Wind 24' Reno Project:
In Knowledge Base

See my 1975 Overlander 27' Improvement Journal:
In Knowledge Base

See our 1976 Sovereign 31' Renovation Project:
In Knowledge Base
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Old 04-17-2021, 10:42 PM   #7
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1987 31' Excella
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Thanks gentleman!

I'll give the door a shot before tracking down a replacement.
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