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Old 03-10-2005, 12:05 AM   #1
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Unhappy Any Problems with the 1999 Bambi?

I am in the process of locating a 19 foot trailer to live in while I build a new house then use for camping in Glacier National Park. I don't have the funds to buy a new 19 foot Bambi , but would like information on the older ones. Does the 19 foot Bambi have a shower or is it a "wet bath" like the new 22 foot Safari ? Also is there an option of a dinette instead of a sofa ? Any information both Good or Bad would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Don Witulski
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Old 03-10-2005, 07:16 AM   #2
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The 19' Bambi I believe always had a non wet bath. I do also believe that there are units in that year that also have either a couch or dinette, but not both. I know that the 2002s also had an upper bunk option in front...not sure if it was still there back in '99. Also as a reference point, I understand that the coaches built at the later half of 1999 (not sure when the cutover happened exactly), the new exterior finish was introduced. This basically means that in the old days I think Airstream would coat the alum shell with clear coat type stuff, and in late 1999, they switched to alum that came from Alcoa pre-coated. Though there have been some issues with the new finish, it's been my understanding that folks that have late 99 through 2004 have had far fewer issues than the old coating methods that were watered down due to EPA regulations....so the Reader's Digest version of all this is for you to look at a late '99 early '00 and you'll have the new finish.
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Old 03-10-2005, 02:18 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info, a dealer in Salt Lake just called and he said to look for 2003 and newer Bambi, because the 1999-2002 were " peelers", just like you said. If I did get a peeler can the clear coat be stripped and a new coat applied which would stick? Thanks for the help!!!! Don Witulski
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Old 03-10-2005, 02:57 PM   #4
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I had a 2003 and it had LOTS of QC issues. 2002 seemed to be a good year, so did 2001. I am guessing that 2000 was also good. My 2003, though not bad, had just too many little things. Seperate, you'd think ok, but the list I had kept getting bigger. A few folks that had '03s reported the same QC stuff. Our 2004 was built much better than the 2003. I don't want to tell you to stay clear of an '03, but I'd be very critical of each area of an '03, moreso than say an '04 or '02. If it were me, I'd look between 2000 and 2002.

As for re-coating, it can be done, but it isn't cheap. Peeling dropped dramatically after late 1999 when Aloca put the finish on at the factory before it got to Airstream from what I understand.
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Old 03-10-2005, 02:58 PM   #5
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Any Problems with the 1999 Bambi?

Greetings Don!

Quote:
Originally Posted by glacierrunne
Thanks for the info, a dealer in Salt Lake just called and he said to look for 2003 and newer Bambi, because the 1999-2002 were " peelers", just like you said. If I did get a peeler can the clear coat be stripped and a new coat applied which would stick? Thanks for the help!!!! Don Witulski
So long as the original aluminum isn't the factory coated Alcoa product utilized today, it is my understanding that the Plasticoat can be stripped and reapplyed just as with the Vintage Coaches. There are several firms that can handle this specialized job, but be forewarned it is a relatively expensive process (the cost for stripping/polishing/Plasticoating my Overlander was more than $5,000 - - representing about $190/lniear foot measured coupler to bumper - - (mine had some damage from a previous owners' polishing attempt so cost cited was about $750 higher to repair that damage). You can find the shop that handled the refinishing/Plasticoating of my coach at:

http://www.pandstrailerservice.com/

Good luck with your investigation/research!

Kevin
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Old 03-10-2005, 11:58 PM   #6
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Boy you guys must Really Love these little silver Jewels. Reading about all the potential cost of maintaining the skin has me wondering if I would be spending more time taking proper care of bambi and Less time Camping! I bought a new F-250 Ford in the 80's which was a peeler, but Ford paid for a new paint job when it was three years old. I am very surprised with the long history of Airstream that peeling is still a problem. I am greatful for your feedback so I know what to look for and questions to ask. I am not giving up- I think the 19 foot Bambi is a neat trailer and will continue my search and try to avoid a peeler! Thanks, Don
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Old 03-11-2005, 09:38 AM   #7
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Plasticoating

Greetings Don!

Quote:
Originally Posted by glacierrunne
Boy you guys must Really Love these little silver Jewels. Reading about all the potential cost of maintaining the skin has me wondering if I would be spending more time taking proper care of bambi and Less time Camping! I bought a new F-250 Ford in the 80's which was a peeler, but Ford paid for a new paint job when it was three years old. I am very surprised with the long history of Airstream that peeling is still a problem. I am greatful for your feedback so I know what to look for and questions to ask. I am not giving up- I think the 19 foot Bambi is a neat trailer and will continue my search and try to avoid a peeler! Thanks, Don
The polishing and Plasticoating isn't as terrible as it sounds - - the first polish and recoat on my coach was in 1984 (the Overlander was 20 years old), the second polishing and Plasticoating was in 2002 (the Overlander was 38 years old). Comparatively, it wasn't much more expensive than a quality repaint on a collector car.

Kevin
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Old 05-20-2006, 08:43 AM   #8
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new 1999 A/S

Hi all I just bought mine in April 2006.I love it.Problems with peeling in front and back cap ends.All systems work fine.tv antenna reception problems, drain valve leaks to fresh water reserve tank.all miner prob.I love it, the trailer pulls just fine.with my 1996 dodge dakota v318,John,
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Old 05-20-2006, 10:40 AM   #9
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W bought our 1999 Bambi used in the fall of 1999. It was a great little trailer. We traded it in on a 2002 25 ft Safari ss November of 2001. We had no issues with the finish or anything else.

The 1999 bambi has a separate shower next to the bed in the back, similar to the shower on the 25 ft ss. It is quite roomy, even for me at 6 ft-260#. Ours had a front dinette. It towed like a dream.
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Old 03-20-2007, 03:29 PM   #10
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99 Bambi

I have a 99 Bambi. The clearcoat is starting to look blistered, but it still looks good over all. The only issue I have had is the driver side Gravel Guard coming off. I put it back on once and it was secure, but then came off on a longer road trip again. I believe that the 18 wheelers passing me are adding some real stress to the standard attaching system which is causing it to come off. The other side is still good. I think I will have to double up on the hardware this time. If anyone has any suggestions, I listening.
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:46 AM   #11
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Hello,
I understand this tread is old but I am looking to replace tires and was wondering what everybody is using/was using/is going to use. Many post on tires but few are Bambi's and one axle specific. Any help is appreciated. Thanks. Luc
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:05 AM   #12
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Not sure what a 19' Bambi has for tires. We had a 2007 20' and my concern was that the small single axle trailers carry more weight per tire than larger tandem axle trailers. Because of frequent failures, many with tandems are switching from 15" tires/wheels to 16" tires/wheels to get stronger E rated tires. You might research this idea to see if it's for you and whether the larger tires/wheels will fit your trailer.

doug k
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Old 09-18-2016, 06:14 PM   #13
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CampingJoe

i bought a used 1999 Bambi in Stewart Fl in late 1999, the owners trades it for a 25' airstream. Was that you? We still have it. With the prices nearing $70,000+ for a new 19' we decided to update our Bambi. We very carefully removed all the furniture with the exception of refrigerator cabinet. Replaces the carpet with a one price 20 year Armstrong vinyl flooring, put diamond aluminum skin in the storage compartment, like the new ones. Took the mouse fur down (researched how to remove the glue for 2 years, never found a good product) I put a new .25 aluminum skin (I clear coated with "Everbright" clear coat, fantastic stuff) over the existing skin (60 lbs. minus the weight of the mouse fur) riveted same amount of rivets. Installed recessed LED lights (12 in all, same place as new models) Installed stainless oval sink (replacing "plastic sink and faucet in bath) replaced ceramic galley sink with stainless and new faucet. Replaced 15" trailer tires with 16" rims with Michelin 225/75 R16 tires. She looks and smells new, and looks bigger and cleaner without the mouse fur. Total cost? About $3000 doing it myself. Nothing homemady looking. Appreciateed the good quality materials Airstream used. A bit surprised at the hidden low quality craftsmanship. Some unseen aluminum looked like they used a chainsaw to cut it. Unused riviets everywhere and small pieces of cut aluminum too. I guess the QA manager was out sick when my unit was built. But Shes ready for another 15 years!
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