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Old 12-21-2006, 12:51 PM   #15
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2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Hays County , Texas
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You say that you are not a good "tower".

Going forward, it matters very little what length the trailer may be. When backing, the shorter the trailer, the easier it is. My 28 backs easier than my 25 which backed easier than my 22. The hardest two trailers to back were my tiny popup and my Scamp.

Both the 16 and the 19 are 8' wide and the 19 will be a bit easier to back than the 16. In return, you get a usable bathroom, a lot more "moving around" space, and better features for spending a lot of time in the trailer. I would hate to spend more than a couple of days in the 16.

Personally, the smallest Airstream that I would spend a lot of time in is the new 23. Much more liveable and dual axles.

John W. Irwin
2014.5 Touring Coach, "Sabre-Dog IV"
WBCCI #9632
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Old 12-21-2006, 01:44 PM   #16
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2010 25' FB Flying Cloud
Tualatin , Oregon
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Hi there,

As a contented (is that a word?) owner of a 16' CCD I feel compelled to relay our happiness with our little "pod". We use it mostly for weekend get-aways but have taken some extended trips (AZ, Mexico). Its just me and my s.o. (no pets) and we love it. Its easy to tow and park (we have a V8 Explorer) and in fact - for us - cheaper to store - we have it at a secured lot - but in their least expensive - car-sized parking space. We've also been able to park fairly easily in driveways for short vists and holidays (extra bedroom).

And speaking of size/parking/etc, on more than one occasion we've been able to get into a RV park with little notice since sometimes they have a few short spaces that the bigger rigs can't fit into. Also there are a number of public campgrounds that cannot accommodate larger rigs (although a 16 and 19 are prob the same in that respect).

All the comments about the 16 vs. 19 are true - and you do make some sacrifices with the 16 - but then again going up a size always has more to offer - or at least that is what the sales people will tell you! :-)

The trick with the 16 (and I expect the 19 as well) is for one person to do a task at a time. After a while you get your rhythm and it works great.

I must say that the 16ft probably gets more "aww, that's so cuuuute" comments than the 19ft! :-)

A similar thread comparing 16's and 19's is here:

What I would like to have that we don't in a 16ft:
- extra battery (I think some 16ft'rs have added one)
- larger gray/black tank

I don't miss the oven (we cook outside) or a separate shower as we don't boondock that often.

But in the end, having a 16ft is not so much about what you get or don't get - but how dang cool they are!


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Old 12-21-2006, 02:14 PM   #17
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1967 26' Overlander
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wow, that sounds great. maybe i could even sell him my 67. i will give him a try. thanks so much. this forum sure is great!

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Old 12-21-2006, 04:30 PM   #18
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2006 16' International CCD
Las Cruces , New Mexico
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Another happy 16' owner. We don't spend alot of time in the trailer, thus less space not a problem. We also don't like to cook and the two burner and no oven is perfect, i.e., less area devoted to something we don't use. Fridge and added microwave works well. If you plan to stay IN alot then opt for the larger rig. If you plan to be "out" mostly and just use it for relaxing, watching tv/dvd etc. a 16' ain't that bad.
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Old 12-21-2006, 04:43 PM   #19
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2006 16' International CCD
New York , New York
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You had mentioned that you are looking for an older Bambi so all of the following may not apply. That said...

1. Most people's experiece is that the 16' Bambi 'sleeps' better and the 19' Bambi 'lives' better. I encourage you to review some of the recent threads in the Bambi forums.

2. If you are going to boondock a lot, the 19' Bambi's extra battery and separate black and grey tanks will be helpful. If not, not.

3. Some people like the wet bath and others hate it. And some don't care because they intend to use campground toilets and/or showers anyway. But if you hate wet baths you need the 19' Bambi.

4. If you are serious about needing to carry lots of stuff look for a Canadian model. The US Bambis have very little Net Cargo Capacity - after options, water, and LP they can have less than 100lbs left. The Canadian spec axels carry an extra 800 lbs.
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Old 12-21-2006, 05:30 PM   #20
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Winter / Towing

Hello, I fulltime in my Airstream - in coastal Virginia. Last night it was 33 degrees and I had two space heaters going along with the heat pump side of my air conditioner to keep nice and toasty warm.

If you use the propane furnace you can run through two 20 lb tanks in a week or two IN VIRGINIA. I know that many SOB's (square old boxes) aren't even as well insulated or airtight as my Airstream, but if you're thinking that it will be a terrifically inexpensive way to live during winter.... rethink that. Your temperatures are bound to be a lot colder than ours... here really cold weather lasts 6 weeks Spring arrives in March.

In really deep prolonged cold, you've got to run the furnace to keep your pipes from freezing, and you'll end up having one or two 100 lb tanks delivered by your local LPG company to have a 3 or 4 week supply.

You CAN live in an Airstream over winter, but living in any trailer means managing your own ecological systems. You've got to know how to keep your incoming water line from freezing, how to keep your plumbing systems working, how to dispose of your waste water ... and how to keep warm and simultaneously control condensation, while preventing carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide from building up inside. If you use space heaters, be careful! They are fire hazards if you're not very conscious of everything that can go wrong. If you are hooked up and the power goes off, will your furnace come on automatically? If you don't have an electronic ignition you could come home hours later to frozen pipes.

LENGTH - I never towed anything two years ago. Now I'm an expert (A former drip, now under pressure! )

Your vehicle will allow you to tow a 22ft CCD or pushing it, maybe even a 25. Get something you can live in, and practice, practice, practice. I quickly mastered towing... backing up nearly killed me... then I made a BAD mistake and pulled into a WAY tight parking lot with only one way out. Took me 17 little 4 foot maneuvers to get the rig turned around... backing til the rear wheels were on the very edge of an embankment.. inching forward turning hard then straightening the rig.. then repeating to get out. After that I gained confidence and started to improve in leaps and bounds. If you don't think you can become a master tower, then don't buy any trailer. And if a 58 year old woman can learn, almost anyone can.

I TOTALLY get what you mean about hating hotels. I also dislike flying (not paralyzing fear, but mostly the stale air and always ending up seated next to a drunk or someone who's breath smells like he's just eaten a garlic and slug sandwich ) It is so nice not having to pack and unpack, and have to make a last minute run to the drug store because you've forgotten your toothbrush.

Take your time and make the right choice. (notice I have an Airstream and a Spare-stream...? ) The spare is turning into a guest house, and has even seen duty as a porta-pot/shower house for a friend who was having her bathroom remodeled. I'm probably keeping it permanently.

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Old 12-21-2006, 06:24 PM   #21
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2006 19' Safari
Suisun City , California
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We opted for the 19' Bambi Safari. We like to play cards camping and last time it was rainy/cold. We brought one of the folding chairs in, sat it at the head of the dinette. The rest of us squeezed in around the table and we ended up playing till really late (or was it really early?).

We liked the storage (just my wife and I but we seem to be able to fill all the cabinets, drawers, and under the bed just fine.

For us, it is a "grab and go" trailer and that encourages us to camp more often.

Jerry and Avis
2006 Safari Bambi 19'
2005 Toyota Tacoma PU

"Mi Casa Es Su Casa!"
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Old 12-21-2006, 06:33 PM   #22
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2004 16' International CCD
1997 25' Safari
hamilton , Montana
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Hi ,, as an owner of both a 16 foot Bambi CCD and a 25 foot Safari,, i can honestly say that the Bambi is great for minimalistic needs,, ie,, bed,, bath,, basics,, spent 3 weeks in it and traveled to the International in it,, but ,, for a living in trailer,, larger is better,,, you might look at the Argosy trailers,, 24,,1976 through 1978. large windows,, good tank capacities,, light in weight and does not have a peeling clear coat,,, think it is a wonderful trailer ,,would serve many purposes and is very unique,, and you could paint it any color! my 2 cents,, donna
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Old 12-21-2006, 06:47 PM   #23
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1968 24' Tradewind
Rural , Delaware
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Originally Posted by smccollister

The trick with the 16 (and I expect the 19 as well) is for one person to do a task at a time. After a while you get your rhythm and it works great.

Excellent observation, and very true. The 19 ft. is perfect for the wife and I on both short and extended trips, and is fully self contained. Of course, our 24 ft. is roomier, but has less features and takes more prep and maintenance because of its age.
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Old 12-21-2006, 07:20 PM   #24
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2006 30' Classic
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Originally Posted by classic67
3 feet less is alot of space to give up for where a bed is placed. I'd have to review the floorplan to say which i liked better, more importantly which is more to your liking? But I will say the one extra foot we compared from a 30' to our 31' was the difference in a bigger bathroom and storage.
Dennis ,are you aware that a 30' & 31' are exactly the same length ?--different floor plan yes--different length, no.----pieman
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Old 12-21-2006, 08:31 PM   #25
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Hughsonville , New York
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Originally Posted by Mike Lewis
Dennis ,are you aware that a 30' & 31' are exactly the same length ?--different floor plan yes--different length, no.----pieman

I stand corrected. The floorplan indeed is what made the difference in perception.
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Old 12-21-2006, 09:08 PM   #26
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
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Originally Posted by smccollister

I must say that the 16ft probably gets more "aww, that's so cuuuute"

I use to think the same thing when it came to the 19'. When I went to the 25', folks struck up conversations at stoplights, pulled over while I was on the side of the road to talk about it, etc. Most of the neighborhood came by once the 25' showed up.
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Old 12-24-2006, 12:28 PM   #27
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1967 26' Overlander
smithers , bc
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paula - you've given me some great advice and not a little bit of courage
you are right, and i do want to be a woman who can tow! i've just started to master chopping wood, and it is quite the good feeling.

also good info re: winter living. i definitely don't think i could live in it in november, december, jan, feb. which means i would still need to find a place to stop. but as far as pipes freezing, etc. a woman i spoke with said there are heaters around all the water tanks, including grey and black water and that all she had to do was to unhook the outside line to stop it from freezing. hmmm.

thanks to everyone for all the great ideas.

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Old 12-24-2006, 03:43 PM   #28
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Tipton , Iowa
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Originally Posted by ren walker
also good info re: winter living. i definitely don't think i could live in it in november, december, jan, feb. which means i would still need to find a place to stop. but as far as pipes freezing, etc. a woman i spoke with said there are heaters around all the water tanks, including grey and black water and that all she had to do was to unhook the outside line to stop it from freezing. hmmm.

Ren, hmmmm is exactly what you need to be saying. To my knowledge there are no heaters or heat strips around the tanks per se. On the 19' and larger, the furnace is ducted into the floor around the tanks to keep them warmer than ambient air temps, and it does an OK job in sub-freezing temps down to about 20* for short periods, like overnight. Below that or in sub-freezing temps of longer duration, you have to remember that you've only got a couple of inches of fiberglass batting as insulation, and the furnace is having all it can do to try to keep up a living temp above the floor. When it gets really cold, you're going to go through a TON of propane and still not be warm, and while most of your plumbing is in the heated cabin (and if you open all of your cupboard access doors so the air will circulate) most of it will be ok when it gets really cold and you have your furnace on, but your tanks may still freeze. And, of course, heaven help you if you run out of propane for even a couple of hours.

I full-timed in a 23' Safari in the foothills of southern California twenty years ago, and even though the nights seldom fell much below freezing, and the days were in the mid-50s, I'd still go through about 45 lbs of propane a week in the winter (about 10 gals). That's about one and a half standard 30 lb bottles. On those few occasions where it got really cold, 20* highs for a few days, I'd go through a 30 lb bottle of propane about every other day, and the furnace seldom shut off. I also used an electric heater as auxilliary heat just to help the furnace out.

If you were to try to winter over in one, you'd certainly want to skirt it with something, and keep some kind of external heat source going under the trailer to try to keep it warmer.

Although Airstream does a better job than many stickies at insulating their tanks and walls, they are really a three-season trailer. I don't believe that the 16' even has a belly pan or any insulation around it's combined gray/black tank. Although there are folks who have successfully wintered over in an Airstream in cold climes, I don't know of anyone who'd recommend it.


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Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"
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