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Old 07-08-2009, 11:06 PM   #1
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Bambi 2 towing

Hi all, We are new to this forum and vintage airstreams; however, very excited. We will be picking up a Bambi 2 in a few weeks and need to decide what vehicle to use for towing.

The obvious choice is our '96 Ford Explorer, AWD, V8 5.0L. The manual states an allowed trailer weight of 0-6,700 lbs. Already have a class3 hitch, transmission cooler, and would upgrade the electrical to add brake control.

The more comfortable ride, and desireable given 2 young kids, is the '04 Honda Odyssey minivan, 6-cylinder. Currently no tow pkg. The manual states an allowed trailer weight of 3,500 lbs. With 3 150 lb occupants, it drops to 3,350 lbs.

I have seen posts stating the Bambi2 dry weight with hitch is ~2250 lbs, though the current owners of the Bambi believe it is lighter (no furnance, no AC, restored).

Is using the Odyssey as a tow vehicle in this situation reasonable or crazy?
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:16 PM   #2
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The Bambi II weighed 1950 (dry). The Air Conditioner was an option so it would not be included in that weight. You need to add all the stuff (water, propane, awning, food etc) you put in the trailer to that number to find out the exact weight. You could always take it to a CAT scale to verify the numbers.

Hopefully someone who has towed with the Honda will post their experience.
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:22 PM   #3
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Bambi 2 towing

Greetings bambi2co!

Welcome to the Forums and the World of Vintage Airstream Ownership!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bambi2co View Post
Hi all, We are new to this forum and vintage airstreams; however, very excited. We will be picking up a Bambi 2 in a few weeks and need to decide what vehicle to use for towing.

The obvious choice is our '96 Ford Explorer, AWD, V8 5.0L. The manual states an allowed trailer weight of 0-6,700 lbs. Already have a class3 hitch, transmission cooler, and would upgrade the electrical to add brake control.

The more comfortable ride, and desireable given 2 young kids, is the '04 Honda Odyssey minivan, 6-cylinder. Currently no tow pkg. The manual states an allowed trailer weight of 3,500 lbs. With 3 150 lb occupants, it drops to 3,350 lbs.

I have seen posts stating the Bambi2 dry weight with hitch is ~2250 lbs, though the current owners of the Bambi believe it is lighter (no furnance, no AC, restored).

Is using the Odyssey as a tow vehicle in this situation reasonable or crazy?
The Bambi II had the following information as base dry weight without options:

Dry Coach Weight: 1,950 pounds
Dry Hitch Weight: 250 pounds
Hitch Height: 18.5 inches

I would expect that a probable loaded weight for the coach would approach 3,000 pounds quite easily and could approach 3,500 pounds depending upon loading practices.

The Air Conditioner would not be reflected in the Dry weights, but the standard fatory furnace/heater would be in the base dry weight.

Good luck with your Bambi II!

Kevin

P.S.: Of the two tow vehicle options mentioned, my suggestion would be the Ford Explorer with either a Reese Straight Line Hitch with Dual Cam Sway Control or Equal-I-zer with built-in sway control. The Honda would just be too close to its capacity for comfort IMHO -- I generally follow the guideline of never exceed 80% of my tow vehicle's capacity.
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:18 AM   #4
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We live on the other side of the mountains, and you could maybe get away with the Honda but once you got into the mountains you would wish you had the ford.. It just won't have the power to pull you up the mountains with all your stuff.

Good luck
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:56 PM   #5
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I have towed with both vehicles pretty extensively. The Honda will perform in the mountains pretty equal to the explorer. Though the engine is smaller it has 4 valves per cylinder and an extra gear in the transmission. As well the front wheel drive train is much more effiecient so not as much of the engine power is used pushing the tow vehicle.

From a handling and safety perspective the Honda is much better with 10" more wheelbase a 5" wider stance, lower centre of gravity, independent rear suspension and rack and pinion steering. It will easily handle the Bambi. As well the suspension is much easier on the Bambi. You do need a equalizing hitch, I would suggest a 550lb. Eaz-Lift. If you do not have the factory transmission cooler it would be a good idea to add one. We use the largest Hayden on the Odyssey and we have 300 in use with no problems.

I hope this helps.

Andy
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:04 PM   #6
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Problem is we have 10,000 foot passes here in colorado If both have the save HP and torque then it might be a toss up, other than the honda not being able to tow as much...
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