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Old 09-29-2003, 06:44 PM   #1
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Question New to forum need advice

Hello and thanks in advance for any advice,

My fiance and I are rock climbers and soon will embark on a 3 month honeymoon. We intend on traveling to various northern US and canadian sites. We have considered RV's, volkswagon campers, trailers, and just about anything else, but the airstream bambi just seems to steal our hearts. I have a few questions.
We have visited some RV dealers but we end up with more questions than answers.

1) Some of the locations we will go to will be very remote national park type locations. We do not want to run a generator. Does the bambi need to be continually plugged in or does it have some kind of battery life. We realize we won't be able to run the heat/AC while we are very remote, but what about water pressure? I am assuming we can still cook.

2) What kind of vehicles do you folks haul your bambi's with? We are looking to buy a ford f150 or something similar. Any feedback?

3)Is there a huge difference in your opinion between 16foot vs

4) Do you folks have any other things you might advise us about? Our plan was originally to buy, then sell back, but I'm afraid we may fall in love with the thing and never want to give it up.

Thanks a bunch
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Old 09-29-2003, 06:50 PM   #2
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Zman...

I currently have a 19' Bambi. I have a Caprice/Impala SS with a V-8. I can say from exp, with a meaty V-6 you could tow this unit. The 16, even moreso. Both provided that you have weight bars (not as necc with the 16 depending on the tow vehicle), brakes, and sway.

All that said, I took mine to one of the worst roads this 4th of July. No potholes or 4 wheeln', just a POS gravel road. I went very slow.....VERY SLOW! Took me about 45 minutes to 20 miles.

If you have an SUV get mud flaps....and yes, it's hard not to fall in love with the little thing! I can't even begin to tell you how many folks have said..."that is so cute, can I see the inside?"

As long as it's you and one other person who packs rather light, you should be fine in a 19' Bambi. The 16 is a really cute unit, but for Brandi and the pooch Penny (65lb Shep mix)the 19' is a bit crowded.

I recently signed papers for a new 04' Safari six sleeper. Am I nuts, sure, but hey you only get one trip on this rock, so what they hey...be careful and live it out as long as you can....

Eric
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Old 09-29-2003, 06:59 PM   #3
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"We realize we won't be able to run the heat/AC "

ac no, heat yes.

you can run the furnace off the battery. you can recharge the battery many ways, solar, generator(small one will work), even plugging into your tow vehicle and idling the engine will work.

also you can just plain plug it in.

many people who plan to "boondock" with their units either install extra batteries or bring a spare that is fully charged.

the water pump runs off the same battery, cooking and dishes are no problem!

john
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Old 09-29-2003, 07:37 PM   #4
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It amazes me that dealers can't seem to give straight answers to new RV buyers ...

Simple answers:

1) The Airstreams are fully self-contained. This means you can go anywhere without hookups and everything will work except the A/C. Heat, hot water, water pressure, lights, stove, oven, etc. No problem for at least a few days (until you run down the battery or run out of water).

2) A F-150 is a perfectly good tow vehicle for a Bambi. Make sure it's properly equipped to tow at least 4,500 lbs (a tranny cooler is a nice idea, etc.) There's a ton of info on this site about towing, so search and learn! If you ask people on this site what tow vehicle to use, you will usually find the recommended vehicles range from trucks to monster trucks. There is no single "right" answer to the towing question.

3) There is a pretty big difference in spaciousness between a 16 and 19 ft model. But they are both equipped with the same amenities. Go to the dealer and sit in both, then decide for yourself. There's something to love in both. But to get a 16-footer you'll probably have to get one of the new CCDs and they are quite expensive for their size. See the price lists at www.airstream.com .

4) If you buy new and plan to sell later, you'll get hit with some hefty depreciation. Check NADA guides online for used trailer values to get an idea of what I'm talking about. Buying used may be a better plan if you don't plan to keep it more than a year or two.

But realistically, you WILL get hooked and want to keep the Airstream. So maybe buying a nice new one is what you want to do!


Good luck, and enjoy the honeymoon!

-- RL
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Old 09-29-2003, 08:06 PM   #5
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Heat is no problem - just make sure you have plenty of propane. Electicity is necessary to run the furnace fan motor, the water pump, keep the ciruit boards happy in the refridgerator and hot water heater (both lp gas), and lights.

One coach battery in good condition should supply your needs for two, perhaps three days. Two will last, oh, about twice as long. I do not know if two batteries are even an option on a Bambi.

Do not discount the value of a gas powered generator until you have heard one of the new Hondas run. A 2 kw unit will need to run only 15-30 minutes to fully charge up your coach battery, and they are unbelievably quiet.

Buy late model used, and resell, if you wish. Depreciation will be minimal.

Good luck,

Mark
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Old 09-30-2003, 10:46 AM   #6
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consider a catalytic heater as an option, as well, if you're going to be doing alot of boondocking in cool weather. the furnace will run off the battery, but it chews up electricity pretty fast (uses lots of propane, too) . A catalytic heater uses only propane. I have found it to be just fine in cool weather above freezing. If its going to dip below freezing, you need to use the furnace, as it circulates warm air around the plumbing and tanks.

a guy I know actually removed his furnace altogether, because it took up too much room. (he wanted the cabinet space). He's more than happy with just the catalytic heater. they don't do any "deep freeze" camping.
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Old 09-30-2003, 01:01 PM   #7
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one more thing...

I'm going to add one more consideration. Consider that you just might fall in love with your trailer (haven't found many who haven't) and consider that in the not too far off future some additional little people might be added to your family. You will have many wonderful memories and might be VERY attached to happy home away from home, so you might want to consider the larger of the two so that there is room for all for a good amount of time. Just something else to ponder... Leigh
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Old 09-30-2003, 02:54 PM   #8
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We tow our '01 19' Bambi with a Land Rover Discovery. We have stayed in the local mountains in sub-freezing temperatures (about 17 F) and stayed nice and warm overnight using the heater. This was while totally self contained. I would say that our one battery (I believe some newer Bambi's have two batteries) will last about one full day (24 hours) if using the heater in cold weather. As was stated earlier, the heater fan eats up electricity, and the cycling of the fan is dependent on the thermostat setting, which is dependent on the user. On our winter camping trips, we are away from the Bambi most of the day, hiking, 4 wheeling, etc. so the heater is used starting at about 4:30-5PM.

For boondocking, consider solar or a Honda EU2000i, which is very quiet, and need only be run a short time to charge the battery. We generally run it from 4:30 until around 7, while preparing and eating dinner. Then the battery is ready for another night of warmth.

All other functions of the Bambi are also self contained, as noted earlier. I would opt for the 19' as it will allow you to go to most any remote location, and still give you a bit of room.

As for buying, depending on your timing, I would try to find a late model used Bambi. We bought ours one year old, used twice for about $12,000.00 under new.
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