Well, we have been fairly busy since the last post. After getting the Excella ready, we went on our vacation to Colorado. The vacation was a blast and the Excella was incredible. We had to push really hard to get everything done before we left, but we got everything done and I have to say it was worth all of the hard work.
Here are some before and after pictures of the hitch. I also installed a Reese Dual-Cam weight distribution (800lbs trunnion bars) and anti-sway setup, which you can see in the shot of the trailer further down in this post. The hitch was in good condition and just had the normal peeling paint and some minor surface rust. I also rebuilt the coupler, so that is all new. I applied two coats of gray POR-15 and then a top coat of the POR-15 sterling silver top coat. I also installed a new emergency breakaway brake controller.
We also finished up all of the upholstery, which turned out extremely well. All of the panels on the bulkheads and the entire couch were reupholstered in a more modern fabric. We also spent much time sanitizing the foam and mattresses, but those are all now smell free and good as new! My wife did all of the sewing and I did most of the putting the fabric onto the parts. The seat portion of the couch took the most time and I have to say it all turned out very professional. You can’t really see the original fabric condition very well in these pictures, but it was stained all over with dark spots and in just horrible condition. The curtains took an incredible amount of fabric and time to create, but turned out incredible. We used all new G and T sliders for the curtains.
(Sidenote from wife regarding the fabric: I ordered around 12 yards of fabric from fabricguru.com. Great place to shop for upholstery fabric and you can’t beat the shipping charge. It was just enough fabric to reupholster the sofa, including the buttons, cording and panels for the walls of the AS. I used the old upholstery for my pattern pieces, seam ripping each piece apart. As for the curtains, after figuring I would need approximately 27 yards of fabric + 27 yards of lining, I decided to work with store-bought curtains that came with lining. I got by with 9 curtain panels, 54″ x 84″. A couple panels may have been a bit longer than this. I used the old curtains for my pattern pieces. Sewing on the sliders was relatively easy, but a bit of a pain as there are over a couple hundred of these things to attach. Attaching the snaps, with the help of my husband and the snap pliers, went well. Sliding those curtains in the tracks when it’s over 100 degrees in the trailer….well, not as much fun, but the result was refreshing. The ’80s pink was fine in its time, but it was time for an update. )
There is a small cabinet by the front door that had dated glass panels in the doors. I replaced the glass with aluminum to bring some of the cool AS into the trailer and it also ties in with the more modern upholstery and carpet. You also can’t see it in the pictures, but I replaced all of the carpet under the beds and in the closet with the new carpet.
When I restored the hitch I had noticed that the main LP line had been crushed by the PO at some point under the a-frame. I replaced the entire section of main LP line up to the T and installed a brand new regulator. I leak tested everything and had no leaks!
I had been having some issue with the fridge operating off of LP, but the electric operation worked perfectly. I talked to some guys and it was recommended that the thermocouple was bad. This fridge has an odd thermocouple with the electrical connections, but after ordering one online I found that the problem of the pilot light staying lit was still there. I decided to replace the control board with a new Dinosaur Electrics P-711 board and that fixed the issue! The fridge now operated perfectly on both AC and LP.
It took us until about midnight the day before we were planning on leaving to get everything finished, but we got it done. We then left on a 9 day trip to Colorado! The trailer pulled like a dream the 2150 miles we pulled her to and from Colorado. We stayed at a Jellystone RV park in Larkspur, CO that we would highly recommend if you have children. Next we visited my best friend in Denver and then made our way to Estes Park, which was our main destination. We stayed at Spruce Lake RV Park and I can’t recommend this place highly enough. This RV park is amazing and we could have stayed another week and still not have been ready to leave. We were feet away from the Big Thompson River and a few hundred feet away from Spruce Lake. There were mountains 360 degrees and simply beautiful. Finally we made our way to Mountaindale Cabins & RV Resort outside of Colorado Springs as our base camp to go explore Royal Gorge. Anyway, here are some pictures from our time in the Estes Park area.
We have an Excursion as our TV with the dinky side mirrors. I read a lot of good things about the Camco Tow-N-See mirrors and decided to give them a try. Short of getting the new type of OEM mirrors that have the electric extender, these are perfect. They stayed on our entire trip and it was so nice to be able to adjust them with my normal electric controls. They didn’t vibrate either, as hard as it is to believe! I used a flat for the driver’s side and a convex for the passenger side.
The trip was a huge success and the Excella was even better than we had anticipated. We drove in the plains, high winds, mountains, rain, daytime, and nighttime and had no issues at all. The Reese setup worked great!
I also should mention we used the Sewer Solution and highly recommend it. I had no leaks, no smells, and could do all of the handling with my bare hands. It was really all that it advertises. You can get a pretty good deal on these on ebay if you look.