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Old 10-19-2002, 12:01 PM   #1
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Bambi 19',2000-2003 pro and cons

I'm interested in feedback from Bambi 19' owners, 2000-2003 model years. My wife and I are both retired and looking to move up from 32 years of tent camping.

1. your pros and cons - good and bad
2. your thoughts on single axle vs. dual axles

If you have already responded to me on other threads, no need to duplicate!

Thank you all in advance.
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Old 10-20-2002, 06:22 AM   #2
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My opinion of the 2002 19' Bambi

My husband and I recently purchased a 2002 19í Bambi and are very happy with it. We are 20 years away from retiring so wanted a smaller trailer for shorter trips and we didnít want to upgrade our tow vehicle (1999 Chevy Blazer). I sometimes take the trailer to the campground a day early and have no problems hitching it up or towing it myself. It tows so smoothly behind our Blazer that I sometimes forget Iím towing it.

Our trailer was custom made by Airstream and has a sleep sofa in the front instead of the standard dinette. We prefer the sofa, as we like to have a place to relax with a book or to watch television. Eating in isnít a problem as we have collapsible tray tables we use.

The kitchen is large enough for our needs and I have cooked many a gourmet meal in it. The refrigerator is a bit on the small side. On longer trips, we usually pack our drinks in a separate cooler to make more room for food in the refrigerator. We have a microwave convection oven instead of the standard gas oven. It works out well unless we are dry camping. There is plenty of storage in the kitchen area which works out well for us, as I like to carry all the modern kitchen conveniences (i.e., toaster, blender, food processor, coffee maker, waffle maker).

I have no complaints about the bathroom except it is a little bit tight for us when we use the facilities with the door closed. I would imagine it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for a tall person. The shower is very roomy and even has a seat in it. We have never had any problems with running out of hot water.

The bed is smaller than a double bed so is very ďcozyĒ for us. My husband is 6í and his feet hang off the end; Iím 5í9 and my feet touch the wall at the base of the bed. I would imagine it would be less than cozy for taller people.

The gray, black and fresh water tanks in the 19í Bambi are the smallest in the Airstream trailer line so, if we arenít camping with full hook-ups, we must be vigilant about frequently checking the status of the tanks. The black tank is only 8 gallons, which wonít last a weekend of dry camping though Iíve heard the newer Bambiís now come with an 18 gallon black tank.

I hope this helps! Let me know if you have other questions!
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Old 10-20-2002, 11:43 PM   #3
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Bambi 19'

yukionna

Thanks for your reply. A few quick questions:

1. your Chevy Blazer - V6 or V8?
2. do you have a special hitch/sway bar set-yp?
3. the sleep sofa intrigues me - did you call the factory to order?
4. I've often wondered - if the hot water heater on most rvs is 6
gallons, and you take a 10 gallon shower, are those last 4
gallons hot water, luke warm, or cold?
5. you are correct - the current model has a 18 gallon black tank,
at least by catalog.

Thanks again for your reply!

Hubba
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Old 10-21-2002, 07:35 AM   #4
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Answers to your questions

Here are the answers to your questions:

1. your Chevy Blazer - V6 or V8?
V6
2. do you have a special hitch/sway bar set-yp?
Yes, we have a Reese hitch with torsion bars and sway bar.
3. the sleep sofa intrigues me - did you call the factory to order?
No, I didnít as I purchased the trailer used from eBay. The previous owner ordered all the custom features from the Airstream dealer in South Carolina.
4. I've often wondered - if the hot water heater on most rvs is 6
gallons, and you take a 10 gallon shower, are those last 4
gallons hot water, luke warm, or cold?
I canít answer that question, as I have never run out of hot water though I can say it would be very difficult to take a 10-gallon shower in the trailer. The showerhead has a button on it to turn the spray off and on to help conserve water. When we use the shower we donít usually leave it running but turn it off to soap up and then turn it on to rinse.
5. you are correct - the current model has a 18 gallon black tank,
at least by catalog.
Excellent news! Itís about time they put a larger black tank in the 19í model.
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Old 10-21-2002, 10:55 AM   #5
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Yukionna

Thanks for the information, especially your V6. I have a V6 Toyota 4Runner, towing capacity 5,000 lbs, which we use to pull a ski boat and trailer, 2700 lbs. I cannot pull the boat without knowing it is back there and it really slows down on hills. With the mountains of the west I have been planning to upgrade to a V8. Perhaps your terrain (East Coast ??) allows you to use the V6. Also, the Airstream dealer said, for the Bambi, to have a vehicle with a 7000 lb. towing capacity. So, I'm curious in regards to anyone who pulls the Bambi with less than V8/7000 lb. tow. Perhaps these are just specs for us West Coasties and our geography.

Cheers!
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Old 10-21-2002, 12:46 PM   #6
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We recently bought a 2000 Bambi, and I have to agree with everything yukionna said. We have made 3 trips so far and have had no trouble pulling it with a 2002 Dakota V6 (5 speed manual). If you went strictly by the Dodge tow ratings, The Bambi is just a little too heavy. We don't have the same kind of "hills" as you do in the west, but I still think I would like a bit more power. Gas milage went from 19-21 mpg without trailer to 10-12 mpg with. My Bambi is rated for 4500 # gross weight; it shouldn't be a problem with a 7000# rated tow Vehicle.

Cal
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Old 10-21-2002, 02:42 PM   #7
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Bambi 19

Based upon what I am reading here, it would seem that I could pull the 2003 Bambi 19 with a Yukon but I would do better pulling with a Yukon XL (larger version) and maybe some power upgrades.

We have not bought a Bambi as we were trying to decide between a CDC 22' and the Bambi. It seemed that the extra 3' amde a lot of inside space difference. I'm also interested to read that the Bambi can be configured differently.

Has anyone got any other suggestions or experience with the Bambi line compared to the CDC twenty twos.
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Old 10-21-2002, 03:38 PM   #8
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According to Paul Sherry's website:

The 19' Bambi base price is $29,467

The 22' International AS base price is $34,149

And the 22' International CCD base price is $37,958

The CCD is more expensive than the 25' Safari models, which range from $36,996 to $37,491 and have even more room (and require a larger tow vehicle).

Click on the links above to view the features and flooplans of the various models.

I'd favor the International AS over the International CCD, not only for the lower price, but for the larger refrigerator, additional storage, 4" wider bed that's easier for the inside partner to crawl over the outside partner to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, and the white and wood interior vs the CCD's futuristic metal look inside.

If I could spend the money for a CCD, I'd opt for a 25' Safari and not have the toilet and sink in the shower.

If you go the Yukon route, I'd recommend the longer XL and wouldn't try to get by with less than 4.10 gears with the new inline six. A loaded 22' would be too close to the max weight for the six and 3.83:1 gears. The V-8 with 3.83 gears would be a bit stronger and run at lower rpms on the highway.
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Old 10-21-2002, 04:06 PM   #9
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Question Base prices

I have to wonder about Paul Sherry's base prices for the CCD and the AS. They are pretty much the reverse of what I have seen at the local dealer.

The AS models I have seen are usually a couple of grand higher than the CCD. Given the greater weight and complexity of the AS (carpet vs vinyl, bigger refrigerator, outside storage door, fabrics vs vinyl, headliner, large, complex galley, etc., I wonder how the CCD could possibly cost less.
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Old 10-21-2002, 04:42 PM   #10
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Re: Base prices

Quote:
Originally posted by Pahaska
I have to wonder about Paul Sherry's base prices for the CCD and the AS. They are pretty much the reverse of what I have seen at the local dealer.
Could well be that their "webmaster" got 'em backwards.

Quote:
The AS models I have seen are usually a couple of grand higher than the CCD. Given the greater weight and complexity of the AS (carpet vs vinyl, bigger refrigerator, outside storage door, fabrics vs vinyl, headliner, large, complex galley, etc., I wonder how the CCD could possibly cost less.
That sure makes sense to me.
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Old 10-21-2002, 10:14 PM   #11
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Bambi & Yukon

I pull my 1969 27' Overlander with a 2002 Yukon xl 4WD. This is the 1500 model with 5.3 L V8 and 3.73 rear end rated at 7200# towing capacity. My trailer weighs 5300# ready to go with the exception of clothes, food and water. Probably MAX 6000# loaded to the gills for a 2 week trip. There is plenty of power and pulls great with the longer wheelbase, you can almost forget it is back there.

Our 1999 Yukon 2wd rated at 6500# pulled the trailer well. The XL tows much nicer.

The Yukon is not available with a 6 cylinder engine.

The Yukon XL / Suburban is an excellent truck and I recommend it to anyone. However, if you prefer, I think you can go with a smaller tow vehicle for a 19 foot Bambi, as long as the trailer's GVWR does not exceed the tow vehicle's tow rating (or more precisely, the combined weight of trailer, vehicle and contents does not exceed the vehicles GCVWR).

Good luck.

Jim
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Old 02-28-2003, 05:14 PM   #12
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2003 Bambi

Hubba,

I just bought a 2003 at a special RV show price. I have very small quality contol issues, but I got the unit significantly lower than the $29k listed price new with just people walking inside to see it at the show.

Overall, the mini rig is fantasic. For the two of us, it's more than enough.

I don't take many showers when we are camping since we go into the wildnerness where there are no hookups. I ususally just go to the lake and wash up. :-) It can be cold sometimes, I've used a similar hot water heater when I went camping with my family when we were kids. Never had many problems, but the showers were very short given we were in the middle of nowhere and had limiited fresh water (25 gallons).

I looked at the CCD and I personally did not like the "wet" bathroom feature. The Safari is a bit more spacious, but like I said, it's just the two of us going camping now.

I pull my Bambi with a 1996 5.7L Chevy Caprice. I have and must say, get the friction sway contol and weight distribution hitch as well as the brake unit for the car. The unit pulls behind like a dream. As long as you are not out for any speed records, a V6 could pull the Bambi, but I personally would start to balk at some of the larger units in the 6300lb range with a V6. I know people do and have had no problems, but I am kind of old school (even at 30 years old). My car is also rated at 5000lbs, however, similar vehicles can pull more and other in the car club I belong to have pulled upwards of 7000lbs with thier 5.7L B-Body cars.

I think the max I would put my car to would be 6300lbs with my V8 setup. The class 3/4 Reese hitch I have would also support a larger rig up to 10,000lbs if I dare do it. Each car is different though.

Come on in, the water is great! :-)

Regards,

Eric
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:33 PM   #13
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My husband and I are considering a bambi 19'. We use to have a 24' land yacht but it was such a hassle to haul and especially store. What I liked about the 24footer was that we could sleep in separate quarters. If the Bambi has a dinette, can it be converted to a bed?
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adiben View Post
My husband and I are considering a bambi 19'. We use to have a 24' land yacht but it was such a hassle to haul and especially store. What I liked about the 24footer was that we could sleep in separate quarters. If the Bambi has a dinette, can it be converted to a bed?
Yes
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