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Old 08-03-2004, 01:05 PM   #1
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looking to get a 16' CCD

Hello all,

I am new to airstreams and have a couple questions. Just as a little history, I’ve been camping all my life in VW Camper Vans. My wife and I currently own an’88 Westy that is in need of a new engine. So, I assumed either a new engine or a new VW, but I saw the Airstream, specifically the CCD. After thinking about the ease of a trailer (no 3rd vehicle, leave the TT @ the campground, more room, air conditioning, hot water, self contained, etc, etc) I am committed to getting an AS, as other TT do not interest me. In fact I’ve decided on a 16’ CCD. Now, I tell you the above, because after reading many forums I know lots of folks will tell me I need a bigger TT, but you see the 16’ Bambi will be huge compared to my VW and will work for our weekend and vacation style traveling. We want something very easy to pull (never pulled a TT before), park, and will sit in our 3rd driveway w/o dwarfing our house. We have decided the Bambi is perfect. Now I have a few questions for you experts out there:

1. Towing: the most asked question on these forums! I have yet to buy my tow vehicle and w/ the 16’ CCD in mind I have become pretty interested in a 2001 4Runner (the V6 model w/ towing package). The 5000’ towing ability seems to leave enough “cushion” for the 3500’ GVWR Bambi. Does that seem correct to you? Other vehicles I’ve checked out (Isuzu Rodeo for one) all have at least 1000lbs more capacity than the weight of the Bambi. With a good weight distrb. hitch do my plans seem on track? FYI: this will be my wife’s car and she does not want a truck or a giant SUV (Expedition, Suburban, etc)

2. Price: I live several hours from an Airstream dealer. And a long way from any dealer w/ a 16’ CCD in stock. I like the idea of an ’04 model, especially now at the end of season, in regards to $$$. The retail looks to be ~$35,000 on most units. Many have said shoot for 15-20% below that. Did most of you just make calls to the dealer and tell them the price you were looking for or what is the best approach?

3. Long Distance purchase: Any suggestions here? Will dealers “ship” the TT to me or should I expect to go get it? I like Paul Sherry’s inventory and they seem to have some great prices, but man, NJ is a ways from me. I guess I’m very interested in getting a good deal. Plus, I have discussed financing w/ my own contact and likely I could offer the RV dealer a direct payment w/ no trade.

4. Options: the options seem to confuse me a little. It looks like AC is an option but I have yet to see a 16’ w/o A/C. I do want A/C. I also want the front guard, the awning. Are there options that would seem like obvious standards to me that I need to watch for (like a water heater, A/C, etc)

5. Last, but most important…. What words of advice do you have, any answers to questions I didn’t ask?

Thanks so much for all your help. I have been following the forums quite closely, but not a lot of stuff for potential 16’ CCD owners. SORRY this is so long!


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Old 08-03-2004, 01:27 PM   #2
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2004 19' International CCD
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Home work for you....



I am one of the other few VW Eurovan owners in this forum. The folowing are pretty lenghthy, but good reading.

Please read this:

and this:

Sometimes I wish I were living in the stone age. Then I would know I'm the smartest person in the world.
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Old 08-03-2004, 01:47 PM   #3
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Now some comments.


Being a VW guy, have you looked into the Toureg? Like you said there are good offers out there, even with VW.

Here is a forum member that just set himself up with a Toureg pulling a 22' CCD:

Personally, I don't think I could be happy going from owning a Passat, then a Eurovan, to buying American steel. All you have to do is sit in the T-reg, and the way it is put together....I want one of them.

Please consider the 19' CCD. That is what we have and until we can one the lottery, we tow it around the midwest with the Euro. It sounds like your Westy is either a four or five cylinder, and being as cole to hilly areas as you are, it probably would not work out.

The 16 is sure cute, but make sure you see both the 16' and 19' before deciding. The 19' is a thousand pounds heavier than the 16'.

Also keep in mind that the 16' has a COMBINED 21 gal. gray and black tank, whereas the 19' offers a seperate 18 gallon black and 21 gallon gray. For battery power, there is one deep cycle battery, compared to the 19's two.

As far as AC, it is standard on all models of the AS line, except some people have upgraded to larger BTU units. I have found that our stock AC cools just fine.

Also, coming from camping in a Westy, maybe you don't bring an entire house worth of stuff, so you travel light. We bring only the basics, and enough to be really comfortable.

Paul Sherry is in Piqua, Ohio, north of Dayton. This is where we purchase our unit, and were very happy with the customer service. Maybe you are thinking of Colonial AS in NJ. Apparently some people have not had real good luck with them, though they do have a good web site for viewing coaches. I suppoes you can have good or bad luck wherever you go.

Any other thoughts?

Sometimes I wish I were living in the stone age. Then I would know I'm the smartest person in the world.
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Old 08-03-2004, 03:21 PM   #4
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Hi Jim,

I'm the guy with the Touareg and the '04 22' CCD. I used to have a '67 Caravel (fully restored). Size matters, Lev knows. The 16' CCD is wonderful, just ask MaShep. So is the 19' as Lev reports. I loved them both and wanted either one. Ma wanted a small one. Towhead wanted a 28'. We opted for the 22' because we have three dogs traveling with us... I spent more than I wanted but I am thrilled to have the one we have - no regrets at all. I ordered ours with every option (awnings, guards, entertainment package, etc.) except the microwave. We don't use one and don't need it. The gas oven is better for us.

15% to 20% off list is easy if you buy before the dealer takes delivery. Once it hits the lot, there is financing to pay. We actually altered an order that our California dealer had already placed saving us about a month or so on delivery while getting the options we wanted. As I mentioned, we ordered from California and had ours delivered to NM. It cost $650 for delivery but I saved that much or more by working through this particular dealer. I called every western dealer "en masse" and asked them to give me their best quote on a "special order" coach. Frankly, the top three were very close in price (within a couple hundred bucks). The others were way off the mark. Most were quoting their inventory stock so their costs were higher...

It's a very personal decision but I can almost guarantee that you will love whichever one you get! You'll get all the towing facts sorted out if you do your homework. Besides, it's fun!

Welcome aboard!!!

Come our way, we'd love to see you!
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Old 08-03-2004, 03:37 PM   #5
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Jonathan makes a nice case for the 19' BUT... I have a 16'. We've had it a year now and have taken 6 trips for a total of 50 days and over 10,000 miles. We have a 4 liter Ford Ranger XLT 4X4 with a GCWR of 9500 lbs. and a Max Trailer Weight of 5600 lbs. (I've been told to calculate 75% of that for best overall trailer weight so that would be 4200 lbs. for our truck) The AS 16' weighs 3100 lbs dry but by the time you fill the propane tanks and water tanks you have about 125 lbs of cargo that can go in the trailer. But that is a lot really. Our truck and trailer are a good fit and we've been up and down lots of steep grades. The CCDs are pretty much a package as is. Awning is about the only major option. They claim the spare tire is an option so be aware of that. The single battery does cause a little concern but that's what generators are for. But with a generator the VW Toureg wouldn't work as a tow vehicle since you don't want the generator in the cockpit with you for safety reasons. Jonathan points out the difference with the black and gray water tanks but the fresh water tank on the 16' hold a gallon more that the 19' so if you're boondocking what do you need the extra holding capacity for? Maybe I'm just sticking up for my trailer. Which I am.

I don't know about pricing. I've been told the 16' is a hot item so there isn't much room for negotiations. But again, I don't know.

You're better off getting your trailer rather than having it delivered. That way you can look it over and have any problems dealt with right then.

Last, but most important advice, is BUY THE 16' CCD!!! They are sweet.

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Old 08-03-2004, 03:54 PM   #6
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Thumbs up

We liked the floorplan of the 16' much more than the 19'.
Cheers, Linda
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Old 08-03-2004, 04:27 PM   #7
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Thumbs up Better to go too big rather than to small......

Originally Posted by Turtle
........You're better off getting your trailer rather than having it delivered. That way you can look it over and have any problems dealt with right then........
Totally agree
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Old 08-03-2004, 08:19 PM   #8
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Well, it's a few hours closer than Ohio... try Airstream of Indiana. Dave Barger has been extremely helpful as has his crew: Isaac, Louis, Curtis. They delivered to us (no charge for our distance: to Chicago) and we drove down there after 36 hours, on the first day of our first trip, for some corrections. They were wonderful, worked late on a Friday night, took great care. I have another problem now to address with them and will report more later!

Tom and Frank
Evanston, Illinois
2004 Safari 28 ft Slideout "Lucy" 4 HI CAMP
2004 Ford Excursion 6.0 PSD PWRSTRK,
and Brittany, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
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Old 08-06-2004, 10:49 AM   #9
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Jim ---here's another 2 cents worth from a current 04 ,16ccd owner. Tow vehicle --We tow ours with an 03 chev s10 v6 auto 2wd. It has a 5600lb tow rating and does very well. Fuel mileage runs 14-16 depending , alt. wind, speed, etc. We travel at or slightly above posted speeds with no problem. Like you we owned a vw euro camper van so small spaces are not a problem for us as well as small holding tanks a single battery etc. Hooked up we can turn in nearly the same place the pickup will turn by it's self. While it's not designed for long tern stays we find no problem with weeks at at a time or longer. For us "less is more". As to towing with a 4runner I would advise against it. While it will work it will be marginal. We also have a 97 v6 4runner and don't tow with it for 2 reasons. Power for one. while the HP rating sounds ok the V6 doesn't develope much until it's at high RPM's thus poor mileage and more engine stress. 2nd the for runner is very unstable towing. Short wheel base , tall balloon tire's are the main reason as best I can tell. Price wise if you get 15-20 percent off retail as you say that would be a GREAT deal on a 16. Finally it's my understanding there is to be a large increase in alum. prices this year witch translates into higher Airstream prices for 05. If this is so it's unlikely dealers will deal much on last years models as before.
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Old 08-06-2004, 11:08 AM   #10
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Hey PieMan: Welcome the the 16'ers group. You make number 5 on the forum I think? Looking forward to hearing more about your new unit. How's the AC upgrade?
Cheers, Linda
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Old 08-07-2004, 09:50 AM   #11
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Linda--- It's hard to say about the AC upgrade as I haven't had anything to compare it to. The 13500 in this little coach is almost over kill unless you're in the desert, then nothing is to big. Would go that way again if I had it to do all over again. Have finally got the bugs worked out of this thing after nearly a year. While nothing serious the assembly was disappointing. Have never purchased anything that was just thrown together like this one was. Nothing was level or plumb from the dinett to the tank moniter.Wiring harness's left loose and dangling, screws let out and not tightened,a furnace that would't cycle, a tank monitor that quit working, refridg. door hindges loose, the list goes on and on. If I wasn't handy with repairs this would have driven me crazy. This past week I pulled the entire roadside dinnette out and reinstalled it. They had it mounted on top of a wiring conduit making the rear of the base an inch higher than the front.My wife had bath towels stuffed under the fromt of the seat cushion to keep from sliding down. I also removed the table and remounted it as it was 1/2 inch low on the road side and cut the leg off as it was an inch to long making it that much off level end to end. Have no complaints with selling dealer or the factory in that they both offer to take care of any problems. The dealer is 400 miles away and the factory 1600. I guess I'm mostly disappointed in what apears to be a lack of concern for their customers. We really like it and would buy another but it seems that loyality only goes one way. Read an article in"Kipplings" magazine concerning the purchase of Airstream by Thor. Seems acording to the article the now pay everyone according to production numbers. Have a feeling this is the root problem with quality as we experanced it. ----So there--I bet you won't say
"Looking forward to hearing more about you're new unit" any more. Pieman
PS tell me about the fish emblems in your post
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Old 08-07-2004, 09:46 PM   #12
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We love our 16, and it would be a great evolution above the "scourge of the highways", VW van. The QA/QC issue is a big one, our TT came w/o any connection in the TV/cable/antennae wiring. All the company came up with in response was to fish around for the loose connections. (they did offer to pay to have it fixed here, but we did not want our panels ripped out). We have NO AS dealer in Alaska, so are taking a big chance. But; so far AS has been very reasonable in extending warranty work to the RV dealers here. If you go with the 16, I would not get any extra market hitch (sway control or wt. distribution) as the 16 is not big enough to need these, and its $700-1000 you don't need to spend. This assumes the wheelbase of your tow vehicle is fine. We have towed w/o any wt. dist. or sway control without any problems. Re: options, we have no A/C (its Alaska!), and would recommend no power hitch crank (get your exercise), go with the awning (pay $450 max), wrap and window protectors, and the spare. The panoramic rear windows are a toss up. We like it dark back there. Ideally, the TT would be built backwards, with the dinette and pan. windows in the rear; but AS has other ideas (?). Unless you plan on being in areas with TV recepetion, I would also ask that the TV batwing antennae not be installed - one more leak issue. As for room, me, my wife and 10 yr old sleep comfortably. Finally, re: pricing; I would look at paying around $28 base for the 16, then add ons for options ($650 for rear wrap windows, $500 awning, $400 ea. protectors, $200 tire, $800 AC).
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Old 08-07-2004, 11:25 PM   #13
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<I bet you won't say "Looking forward to hearing more about you're new unit" any more.> no way!
I'm glad to ask and hear any and all you wish to contribute. We share a lot of useful information and have found many common threads with other owners. We are new to all of this fun stuff and have found this forum a life saver. It's quite a big learning curve when you get an Airstream.
I'd like to learn the "birth date" for your 16'? Ours was out of the factory July 30. We also had a very long list of work left incomplete and/or missing. If you have browsed the forum, you have probably read many of our posts. We also communicate often via private emails. Lots of nice people here.
The fishies are just ascii texts... (hubby likes to fly fish). You're welcome to use them if you wish?
Cheers, Linda
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Old 08-08-2004, 04:03 AM   #14
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Congratulations on your decision to purchase the AS!

The 16' is great and was my husbands first choice, but I did like the set up in the 19' better and we are anxiously awaiting it's arrival in a few more weeks. For me that 3 extra feet will be nice as we have a small dog and there is a bit more floor space (he loves to play with toys!)

We also started out with a VW Westalia camper van many years ago so both will feel huge in comparison, but bieng an expensive purchase I would look if you can make a trip to a dealer as pictures don't give an accurate sense of space. They are both really great as well as the 22'.

We have the V8 Tundra and will pull with that but are looking at the Touareg for me (am now begging for it, the silver/blue) as I would prefer that as my everyday vehicle over the truck and it will easily pull all the above trailers.

Our extras are the spare tire and electric jack, the awning upgrade, an extra fan above the bed,and the audio upgrade with external speakers.

The 16' according to Vickie in sales at AS does give you an external door to use your indoor shower outside which is very handy, they do not offer an external shower kit for 19' unless done as custom install which takes a few months in advance planning plus extra $.

Good luck, let us know what you end up with!

P.S. Where do all of you put your generators...I hadn't though of this but we have a shell on the Tundra...are these dangerous to travel with?


(sleepless in san diego, husband out of town!)

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