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Old 03-15-2016, 03:23 PM   #1
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1993 34' Excella
Montgomery , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 2
Need advice on an airstream picked up at auction

Hello this is my first time on this forum i need to know if i should part out this 92 airstream excella 34' that i picked up for $3,500, or if someone on this forum would be willing to direct me to someone that could repair it at a decent price ( I know it would definitely not be cheap.) I would greatly appreciate it. I am located in Dunkirk, NY (outside buffalo) but would be willing to tow it or have it shipped somewhere to have it worked on if need be.
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Old 03-15-2016, 03:29 PM   #2
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1986 31' Sovereign
Miami , Florida
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I'd send the photos to both the factory in Jackson Center, Ohio and to Colin Hyde in New York and see what they think.

Both have excellent reputations for this kind of heavy repair.

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Old 03-15-2016, 04:09 PM   #3
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
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I think repairs will be much more than current retail leaving parting as the option if you can protect it from the weather as you do.

Please advise if you go the parts route as I need some.
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 03-15-2016, 05:22 PM   #4
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
I think repairs will be much more than current retail leaving parting as the option if you can protect it from the weather as you do.

Please advise if you go the parts route as I need some.
The auctioneers who sell off these wrecks have gone far far beyond "optimistic" in their advertising about the "simple to repair" Airstreams. It's outright lies that suck in nice people who can't get past the sticker shock of a new or nearly new Airstream. A professional salvage yard would probably offer less than $1000 for something this badly mangled.

Gotta agree with Howie - and maybe even go a little further. Really parting out an Airstream down to the nub is backbreaking dirty work. I'd either sell it to a salvage yard for a couple of hundred bucks, or get it under a tarp and let the scavengers come to you and take what they need.

Repair? You'd probably spend $12K in PANELS alone - and takes into consideration that the side panels aft of the curved segments are severely bent. It wouldn't be practical AT ALL to replace them the whole way back, - but they'd need to be patched/covered and olympic riveted for about 3 feet - to the second rib. If the frame is bent or broken - it gets even worse, but at a minimum the flooring is gone for the first six feet or so, along with the belly pan, battery boxes, spare tire holder and propane lines.

Labor at $100 per hour? Well I had ONE curved segment replaced on my EB with bucked rivets. It was done almost 2 years ago, at the factory and cost over $4000 - and the segment was only about a quarter of that cost.

I suppose a good aircraft mechanic might find ANOTHER Airstream - damaged in the rear end and make "Franken-stream". But... it would still be Frankenstream with a salvage title.

Parting one out is no picnic either. You'll never recoup your costs - but the door and curved window(s) are the most valuable things that are fairly easy to grab... And the side windows on yours are salable too. Beyond that, the age of the appliances is critical - if say the refrigerator was replaced in the last year or two, it MIGHT be worth something but anything that's "original equipment is 24 years old - almost a give away. The exterior compartment doors wouldn't be bad either. Scrapping the aluminum? Well a scrapper wants it all cut up and the old wiring and insulation cleared out. You might look at the tires - their date and brand - if less than 2 years old they are usable (Goodyear Marathons - worthless, Michelins are a different animal).

I'm so sorry. I'll send you good karma that you find a nice well cared for unit that you can truly enjoy with little or no repairs needed to get it roadworthy.

Best of luck in the future, Paula
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 03-15-2016, 05:24 PM   #5
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Quick note - grab the awnings. They're expensive for a 34'
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Old 03-15-2016, 05:33 PM   #6
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2012 27' Flying Cloud
W , New England
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Hi and welcome.

Wow - that's one tough looking trailer. Anything can be done for a price - when you say potentially repair it for a "decent" price - what does that mean to you? If someone could do it for say $50K - is that decent in your definition?
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Old 03-15-2016, 05:57 PM   #7
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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I see 5 segments @ $2k each, a panorama window at $2k, rock guards @ $1300, segment protectors @$1200, and a center front panel @ $1k. Battery boxes are a couple hundred each, a center window is about $600, and a couple of outriggers for $120 or so.
An LP tank cover is about $500 or so.
That's for the parts. I've included a little labor for the segments in their prices.
And that's just for the outside.
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:03 PM   #8
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Bartlett , Illinois
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Find another one that's been wrecked in the rear. Use that good front for the parts you need.
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:53 PM   #9
in the rising sun toaster
1956 26' Cruiser/Overlander
Wimberley , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 52
An older AS w/ damages beyond economical repair. You have another option, than parting it out. If you're a DIY'er, great! And, if you're willing to have a unique camper, here's the suggestion: don't repair it. Rather, make this trailer have a new open front balcony/deck/patio by cutting off the damaged panels. Fix the floor where/if needed. Build a new vertical flat front wall at the cut line, tied into the undamaged shell/rib/floor, and of course waterproofing all these mods. The new front wall can be standard framing w/ plywood exterior sheathing w/ flat aluminum exterior "dressing", or weather-durable FRP or similar. An exterior door & a couple windows for that new wall can be secured from Madison Ctr/eBay. Interior paneling/painted to suit you. Electrical outlets outside and inside of new wall. Can you see this trailer modified and resuscitated this way? If you can, then make it happen, then go camping; every stop you make, be prepared to tell everyone the story of the mods as you serve the drinks on your one-of-a-kind front deck Excella!
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Old 03-15-2016, 10:09 PM   #10
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1993 34' Excella
Montgomery , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 2
Thanks for the replies

rsjmcg thank you for the optimistic reply. I am definitely a DIYer , i've restored a 100 year old home on lake erie where i currently manage vacation rentals. This could be a cool project trailer , i'm an airstream newbie so i appreciate the quick feedback in this forum with all of your other replies. I had a bad feeling about the repair costs and was hoping there would be some remote possibility of a modification option to avoid the unfortunate major expenses. I couldnt believe that the truck driver was able to tow this thing as is! I like to try and be optimistic but i am glad people give honest answers and logical explanations for options here.
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Old 03-15-2016, 10:32 PM   #11
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1999 34' Excella
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Hillsboro , Texas
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Wow..'that is truly heartbreaking... If you are very very handy.. Are able and willing and.can buy the helpful tools for doing the work, you may have a usable AS... To pay someone else will probably kill the deal....

Yes, it can be repaired, not fixed.. It will never be the same...

I would consider a frame off restoration. Also, the way the damage occurred would be helpful to know.. Was it high speed deceleration or was due to a jacknife, etc.. From one
Pic it looks like the WD bar is bent. ...that takes a pretty big force... And may have "kinked" the frame... Minimum is to remove all belly skin and check frame for twisting... If it is twisted you could build a new one... All this costs $$$ and time.

Another option... Cut off the front, mount a flat face and sell as a business trailer of some kind...
Peace and Blessings..
WBCCI# 30676
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Old 03-16-2016, 04:16 AM   #12
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2013 31' Classic
billings , Montana
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If you have to pay someone to fix that baby you best leave it right where it is and buy one that doesn't need fixed,
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:59 AM   #13
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1966 26' Overlander
Woodstock , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
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My friend and fellow Airstreamer got into a wreck with deer jumping onto the road and then between his trailer and truck while rolling down the highway.
The front was pretty badly damaged.He stripped off the damaged sections, replaced them and rebuilt the inside area to match.
It came out looking like new . It takes time, talent and some cash but it can be done if you want to put in the effort.
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:22 AM   #14
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It doesn't have a salvage title does it? Or any title?
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:06 PM   #15
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1974 Argosy 24
Hollywood , California
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Get creative? Grab a Sawzall and remove the first 6-8 feet and replace ti with whatever comes to mind, even wood! Why bother trying to restore it to original? It would just be another Airstream at best.
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:51 PM   #16
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2005 31' Classic
Venice , Florida
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Look up Colin Hyde airstream restorations and contact Colin for a estimate...he is somewhat close to you.
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:10 PM   #17
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1973 31' Sovereign
Middletown , California
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For what the replacement panels would cost you could buy a good running surplus Army 6X6 truck! Extend the truck frame and graft the trailer onto the truck and have a super cool motorhome! Your welcome.
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:14 PM   #18
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Why did you buy it? Was this something you thought you would hire someone to fix? Was it something that you wanted to fix? It can be fixed. AirStream built it and possibly with folks that were no more skilled than you are. But do you have the time and inclination? Maybe it would make an adventure wing on one of your vacation rentals.

Good luck with what ever choice is right for you. Pat
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Old 03-16-2016, 10:48 PM   #19
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1967 22' Safari
MILAN , Illinois
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Travel Lodge Excella

Call Colin Hyde and see what the cost might run to convert the front end to a porch. All aluminum exterior sealed well with access door to interior and A/S blue porch railing. Perhaps a window or two and a retractable awning for shade. This could be a really cool adapted trailer from a wreck and would surely be a conversation piece any where you parked it. The cost to do this would be well less than a repair. I think you could get an aluminum all weather bench and cooler to mount on the deck and create an outdoor living space that would add to the value for your use. That way the repair cost would be less than trying to "restore it"! As long as you make it useful to you who cares that it isn't original. No one says you need a Propane tank cover or segment covers. Getting the same style windows as are used on the side of the trailer for each side of the door would be fairly easy. Check Rv salvage yards for two smaller windows. It can be done. You already have money expended on it, so just spend as little to make it useable as possible and then go camping! Ed
1967 Safari Twin "Landshark" w/International trim package
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Old 03-16-2016, 11:09 PM   #20
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2006 34' Classic S/O
Fort Worth , Texas
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Bluestar99, Post 8, is right. I once put two halves of an aluminum airplane, each damaged by a tornado together. So far as I know it is still flying. The only catch is finding a close model match so every thing will line up.
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