Last weekend my wife and I were able to go look at a brand new Bambi 19 CCD. The VIN is 1STCFAA154J515943. I did not see a build date, but maybe the VIN number has a clue. This is the model AS we have had our eyes on for some time and were not able to see one up close and personnel until now.
The dealer also had the 16 CCD so we had something to compare, as well as a Safari, and Classic. Not sure which models. After reading this long soap-box derby, see the photo link below for the points I have made here.
My first impressions were that the exterior of all the AS were quite nice, Evenly spaced rivets, and so on. My only little gripe would be that there were some sharp edges in the Aluminum sheets that could have been filed a little better. One of the two coach batteries was missing. The 19 had the spare tire option, but a manual jack, which seemed to raise and lower with out to much hassle. The 16 had the electric jack.
The door to the trailer opened and closed well, however, it required some pull to get the screen door to engage its latch properly. But that's nit picking.
On to the inside. The plastic wood like floor was fine, but it looks like you would still have to be kind of careful scratching the floor with sand or gravel.
The pull down white shades are not light blocking, so it is pretty bright in there when the sun is up! I would have to switch those out for some room darkening type pull down shades. The fabric on the front wrap around window is nicer in person than in the photos you see. The is a subtle texture to this fabric.
Now the first real bummer (and this was on both the 16 and 19): The cabinets. Construction for the most part seemed to be luann plywood, which does not bother me, unless you have to see its edges. Any woodworker out there will know what I am talking about. Not only do the edges show, AS didn;t even bother sanding off the splintery edges, or dab some white enamel paint along the edge. Or even a thin plastic molding cap would have been nice. Luan plywood needs to be cut with a very fine tooth say something like a (sharp) 80 tooth carbide tipped laminate blade in order to avoid the splintering that I saw. Again, you woodworkers out there know what Im talking about.
Some of the sliding tambour Plexiglas doors to the cabinets would not slide, due to incorrect placement of the track.
One cabinet was completely missing its side, which I had to make the embarrassed AS dealer take notice, so he could get one on order for the new owner.
I stuck my head in the overhead cabinet in the front of the 19 Bambi CCD, and found problems: The cabinets are supposed to be attached at the two ends, and in the middle. One end and the middle had what looked like the the proper three screws holding it in place. The left side had one screw missing, the second one was striped and just kind of dangling, and the third was in properly in place.
And now a puzzle: Above the front and rear mounted cabinets, you notice that there is a 1/2 -5/8 gap between the very top face of cabinet and the top interior of the trailer. This gap starts and stops where ever there seems to be a need to hide the top-mounting hardware for that cabinet. Both the AS dealer and I could not figure out why that was there. It is on both the 16 and 19 models. (See my photos for reference). Ventilation was ruled out, since the sides of the cabinets are permanently half open. Maybe it has something to do with the flexing of the trailer as it is being towed. Your guess is as good as mine.
Another puzzle: In the back of the 19 CCD there is the Emergency escape window. There is also a screen in place. The window itself has four little bolts that I assume would attach to the lever that opens and closes that window, IF THERE WAS A LEVER INSTALLED. The window is hinged, so it opens, and when viewed from the outside, you can even see where the lever arm cutout is located. The dealer (jokingly, I think) said I could prop it open with a twig or something...
All operational windows have two levers that open an shut the windows. On this back window, it looks like only the left side could accommodate a lever, since the right side is covered by the bathroom wall. This explains why the rear window is off center when viewed from the outside, and if they moved the window anymore toward curbside, the window would then be mounted impossibly on the curved portion of the trailer.
This is not a problem on the 16, because the bath is front-ward. The back window is fully functional.
Some of the cabinet doors were not hung straight, but thanks to AS using high quality Grass european hinges, that is an easy fix. And yes there was some evidence of the infamous sawdust and metal shavings.
My conclusion: I still love the CCD and AS in general. I thought, hell I could spend a couple of hours, sand and finish those rough spots, Maybe find a way to conceal that unsightly gap above the cabinets, and I have my dream machine.
But wait a minute. This is about $40,000.00 dollars we are talking about here. I have to take alot of pictures to come up with that kind of dough. And this price is for a lower end AS model!!!
If I have to put in sometime and energy to finish what AS started, maybe I should give a vintage unit a second look. $40,000.00 would buy me a whole slew of stuff from Inland RV!
In the long run, I still will probably get a 19 CCD sometime. But only after they have rolled a few dozen of these things out of the factory. We are thinking the first of the year, for a possible March-April eta. Overall it is really cool, and feels right just to be in it.
Anyway, count me as still being in....I hope these observations are of any use to anyone looking seriously at AS.
I just hope that quality control gets a helping hand ASAP.
Here is the link to see some of the things I mentioned in my above novel.