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Old 04-07-2010, 07:05 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by zigzagguzzi View Post
If it is not leaking and safe to tow use it the way it is. Great conversation piece while camping and look at all the money you will save. Seriously, take you're time on a course of action. Can it be camped in the way it is? zz
I think zz's idea is tops...(oh c'mon, I know I'm not the only punster in this bunch)... but you'll have to research your campgrounds in advance and not let them stick you in the ghetto zones just because you have an "unusual" looking trailer... bribe them with baked potatoes if necessary, good luck!

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Old 04-07-2010, 08:35 AM   #16
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Thanks everyone for the comments and ideas are stewing about the name, but "the burrito" seems pretty apropos... or "the potato," seems fitting since it is an Idaho trailer!

For the curious:
-Paid 3,500$ for it --- I know, I know, I should have checked with all of you first- it WAS impulsive... I saw this on ebay and figured I could do the same eventually if things didn't work out:
(bid already up to 8,300$). I have heard of people making a clamshell type extension onto a trailer with half of a bambi, which would only require one good end!

-Clear title
-Frame is intact (no damage)
-Really, the damage appears to just be cosmetic (i.e., no leaks, etc.) and the owner before towed and camped in it happily.
-Airstream quoted $1,500 a panel (installed price)-- as a side note, they said they see lots of damaged models that have a trashed exterior with the chassis remaining intact
-You guessed it-- the last owner's 80 year old father bought it crushed and "hammered out" the damage, sealing the small exposed areas with caulk; he passed away shortly thereafter and his son (who I bought it from) used it as a hunting trailer.
-Any other RV wreckage yard recommendations?
-Will the skin of all 2000 models fit?
-On the back end there appears to be that brown oxidation--- is that what it is and how do I get it out?
-Perhaps this will get me a lot of people buying my "sympathy beers" at the camp ground, right?

Please keep the ideas coming!

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Old 04-07-2010, 08:36 AM   #17
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Look like the frame racked as well. I would check the entire trailer for popped rivets. Inside and out.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:47 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by zigzagguzzi View Post
If it is not leaking and safe to tow use it the way it is. Great conversation piece while camping and look at all the money you will save. Seriously, take you're time on a course of action. Can it be camped in the way it is? zz
For what you paid and what it'll cost to repair. I suggest you just make up outrageous stories on how it got damaged and enjoy camping in it as is.
I'd rather be boon docking in the desert.

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Old 04-07-2010, 08:55 AM   #19
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Judging from the rippled floor covering (not to mention the rippled interior coverings), I'd say there is probably structural damage to the frame. If anything, I'd replace those end caps purely for aesthetic reasons and just use it as is. $6,500 for a usable Bambi isn't too bad, but you'd owe it to anyone who buys it in the future to show them the before and afters.
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:06 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by InsideOut View Post
I was thinking it would make a great rolling burrito wagon!

The original Chipotle Mexican Grill is about three blocks from our old house in Denver - it opened the same year we moved there.

Had me crying I was laughing so hard. I needed that!
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:13 AM   #21
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I looked at the photos again and didn't realize at first look that this Bambi didn't have vinyl headliners and mouse fur walls. I'd never seen a Bambi with painted walls/ceiling before (except vintage trailers from the '50's, etc.). I still think I'd use as is, at least for a while. You might also consider purchasing the stainless steel rock guards for the lower front corners if you decide to improve the aesthetics of the trailer.
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:44 AM   #22
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Hard for me to give advice because I wouldn't have bought it in the first place. I suppose the best thing is just to camp in it for a while and eventually decide what to do. Putting off a decision makes sense to me so long as it's roadworthy and doesn't leak. Maybe change a few panels, but the rumpled interior and the scratches in other places make it look to me a gently used Bambi would be cheaper than fixing this one.

Or, just go over the whole thing with a hammer and make all the panels match.

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Old 04-07-2010, 10:16 AM   #23
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It is very hard for me to believe that those front end caps do not leak. Water may not appear on the interior, but I would bet some water is making it's way down the inner walls. So #1 I would want to make sure there is no water entering the unit. I would consider replacing the front end caps, for leakage and aesthetic reasons. I also would be checking for loose rivets, as the event can cause a ripple effect down line from the actual damage point. Any work assumes the frame is really not damaged, and this should be double checked. Any belly pan damage or ripples may also give this away. As for the rear damage, or the interior issues, I agree that I would live with it for now (maybe for ever). We'll be anxious to see (pictures) and hear (postings) what you do!
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:26 AM   #24
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Well... you could always add the neat wraparound style front windows if you were changing out the end... could be an opportunity to design it to be what you'd like. I always try to see the diamond within the ugly stone. It takes people with a vision (and perhaps a slight case of insanity) to build dreams. If you have the cash, have the time, and are in love with this bambino, I say go for it. You've got a real clear title, you have skills... why the heck not. Just check out the structure while you're at it.. which you'll be able to see when you get into it. A project, sure... but hey, it'll be pretty neat to see the "after" :-)


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Old 04-07-2010, 10:29 AM   #25
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All I gotta say is I'm drooling over your deal, the fixtures - shower, galley, water heater, tanks and pump; the various built ins; the axle, wheels and tires; the electrical and propane appliances; wholly smokes those are 30-lb aluminum tanks! You can purchase most any AS shell and xfr over a bulk of those items, it'd be like having a camping world outlet ten steps away!

I believe the rippled floor came from rain damage and hauling the flooring out and cleaning & sealing is in order.

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Old 04-07-2010, 01:59 PM   #26
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Ideas . . .

Originally Posted by ksrich343 View Post
Thanks everyone for the comments and ideas are stewing about the name, but "the burrito" seems pretty apropos... or "the potato," seems fitting since it is an Idaho trailer! . . . Please keep the ideas coming!
Here are some ideas . . .
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:11 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by ksrich343 View Post
Well, I just purchased my first Airstream, which is completely crushed (the data plate says it is a 2001 16')! Here is the question... how inexpensive can I get the repairs for? I am okay at bucking rivets (nicknamed Rosie!), but my English Wheel skills leave much to desired...

So, do I order panels from Airstream (seem like the fit will be a pain) or try an aircraft restoration shop?

Anyone know anyone good somewhere around the Boise Idaho area?

What price do you think I should expect to pay?
All of your help is greatly appreciated!

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First, welcome! If you have kids they've got to be "tater tots" with that Airstream. I'd be tempted to get vinyl letters that say "The Rolling Burrito" or "Baked Tater" and keep it as is! My sister says she's getting a Casita and going to WBCCI events after wrapping it in aluminum foil. I'd aid and abet that sacrilege! The expressions on the faces of the hidebound elders of the club? Priceless. Go ahead, camp and have fun. As it is now, it's pre-dented for carefree camping. I've seen people go into mourning, rending their garments and wearing sackcloth and ashes when they get the first stone ding or scratch. You? No problemo!

I've poured over your pictures pretty carefully. (Disclaimer: The following advice is worth what you paid for it.)

First, the rust looking crap on the back segments might be some kind of sap, paint, brown algae or tar. Try taking a credit card and using the edge of it to see if it will scrape off. Aluminum can get filoform - a whitish bubbly kind of corrosion, but it won't rust and look like iron - which is what your brown stuff looks like in the pictures.

I think most of the scrapes around the back end are from being rubbed by brush or branches. Some of those might be minimized by washing the trailer or by a VERY gentle rubbing compound. Be careful, you'll eat through the clearcoat easily.

I noticed that this Bambi has the midline trim - not usual for anything but the Classic models - except when there are filoform problems around the beltline (ask me how I know about this!). That was probably added a couple of years after the unit was bought, and before it was wrecked.

If your unit was damaged by a tree falling on it, the frame would not necessarily be damaged, but for that much damage to have happened to the front segments in a wreck, you've got to bet there IS frame damage. Take the belly pan off and LOOK before you invest any more money in this unit. If the frame and floor need major work - then start parting out the appliances to finance another gently used Airstream. OH, and those 30lb tanks? They're ALUMINUM, not standard steel. A considerable upgrade (cha ching) I'm sure they were put on when the unit was a hunting cabin. Small Airstreams carry 20 lb tanks. Those are 30's or maybe even 40's And the good news? They are aluminum, not steel. They'll polish up until they glow. If you sell them, you'll get a lot more than you'd get for white painted steel tanks.

I don't want to speak ill or newer Airstream products, but I think this model and the 2002-2004 22ft had problems with frames breaking under normal towing conditions. That weak frame would have been further compromised because the factory used OSB (oriented strand board) rather than plywood in the floors of the shorties. Now they're all plywood except the 16's and perhaps 19's.

WIDTH - and matching another damaged Airstream up to this one - Airstream currently makes three widths of camper
  1. sport/european - 7' 6" wide (not around in 2001)
  2. standard which are less than 25' long - 8' 0"
  3. widebody - 25feet and up - 8' 6" wide
The CENTER panels are different widths to accommodate the differences. Go to and look at their inventory pictures. The differences will pop out clearly. Yours is 8' 0"

The "evolution of the curve" has changed over the years, so if you were to scavenge end segments you'd have to stick to fairly new models - 90's on? Unfortunately for other owners there should be plenty out there. As noted below, the rivet holes will not match up if you use salvage segments. They are hand drilled and spaced and vary from unit to unit. If I were undertaking this project (and I wouldn't) I'd replace the rib where you join the curved segments to the main body. If you bought new segments, you'd have to drill the holes to match the existing ones.

In order to have pounded out the exterior segments, the former owner would have had to remove the interior panels, pounded the exterior ones, then the interior ones then reinstalled the inner ones. That might have damaged the ribs even more. Regardless of whether you choose to get new or used segments, I'd also get new ribs to make the joint between the curved ends and side panels stronger.

I too love the interior of your unit - but find it to be a little confusing. I'm not all that familiar with the 2001 models, but the doors on the overhead cabinets look a bit more upgraded than the basic Safari model - more like the Classics. I think you could part out the interior, or install it in a unit with a decent shell and a trashed interior. Lots of folks START a remodel of the interior then divorce, job change, health problems, etc. interfere. The perfect mate for your interior may be closer and less expensive than you imagine.

A first class rebuild on your unit will probably end up with some frame and floor work, six or more segments replaced - you'll end up wanting the INTERIOR segments to be replaced too, and the back upper roadside segment has a dished area that might not pull out with a vacuum. And the vinyl floor looks iffy, and and and and... $12K if you can do it yourself, $30K if you have to pay to do it.

And that's presuming that the electrical is all there (didn't see a converter) and that the propane is all good - lines tend to leak after a collision. Tried the furnace? Tried the Stove and oven? How about the refrigerator on propane? Test the propane carefully - or hire a professional.

Good luck, good camping, good friends! Keep in touch and let us know what you decide. (I love watching the renaissance of a mistreated Airstream - from a safe distance!).

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Old 04-07-2010, 09:25 PM   #28
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I thought I'd send you this link for one that I believe is identical to yours, just so that you have an idea of how high you'd want to pay for repairs. 2001 Airstream Bambi 16' - Saskatoon RV For Sale - Kijiji Saskatoon
This one seems to be in fair shape (a few dents here and there). The cabinets, belly band, and painted aluminum walls seem to be the same. I can't see the propane tanks, though. I doubt they are aluminum. Anyway this trailer is just under $18,000 Cdn. Something to think about. Idaho isn't too far from Saskatchewan. (I'm sure the dealer would be willing to negotiate since it has been on the lot for a few months.)

I like the idea of just using it as-is if it has no major issues. The baked potato and burrito ideas rock! It'd be unique.

Best wishes,


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bambi, damage, exterior, idaho, skin

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