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Old 04-17-2003, 01:17 PM   #15
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Ducted heat to tanks?

Aha! Rick, you touched on one of my many questions about the new Bambis. The Owners Manual (available on the new Airstream website) doesn't mention ducted heat to the tanks, and I think I was told by a salesman that in fact the Bambi doesn't have that feature.

If anyone can really check, I'd be curious to know. Otherwise, I would assume that heat leakage through the floor provides at least some warmth for the tanks (and hopefully, there is insulation surrounding the other sides of the tanks). Who wants to crawl around under their Bambi to check?

As to the generator issue, I was considering the eu1000 instead, only because I am going for lightest possible overall weight and have no interest in running satellite TV, air conditioning, etc. It would be just for re-charging the battery. I know that charging time is related to the electrical load in the unit at the time (e.g., the battery only gets the surplus power). If I got the eu1000 rather than eu2000, I am hoping the battery re-charge time would be the same if I wasn't loading the DC power with other appliances at the same time. But maybe this is wishful thinking ...

Rick and Rod, you both do the same kinds of trips my wife and I do! Rick, we've been to Anza-Borrego (3 times), Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Yosemite, and Big Basin -- and we live in Vermont! Perhaps we should face reality and just move to California? Or perhaps buy a Bambi in California and fly out to visit it once in a while!

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Old 04-17-2003, 01:43 PM   #16
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According to my guy at C&G Trailer (an authorized Airstream warranty repair mechanic) the underbelly tanks of the Bambi do receive some warm air when the heater is running. I did not ask how this occured. I was at his shop when he and I and the owner of a new International CCD were talking.; The International owner was kinda mad to find out his unit did not have a belly pan, and no warm air to tanks as he had planned to use it in the western mountains in the winter and was now at C&G to look into altering the trailer. Rod (C&G guy) said no, there was no warm air to tanks and showed us the underbelly which was pretty much open, then pointed to my Bambi and stated that it did have this feature, specifically to allow for winter use. I have looked under the Bambi, and the underside generally appears to be enclosed, so you cannot see any plumbing, tanks, etc. I assume just a small amount of warm air flows from the bottom of the furnace into this area.

As for the generator, the EU1000 would bo fine, though I'm not sure how much weight and size you save(actually just looked on Honda's site the 1000 weighs 29 Lbs. and the 2000 weighs 46.3 Lbs). The EU2000i came with a 12Volt cord to connect directly with the battery if all you wanted to do was charge it. I would think the EU1000 would also come with this. The only thing to consider is whether you will ever need, or want to use an appliance such as coffee maker, hair dryer (my wife appreciates ability to use one, even in the forest) etc., in which case, I'd strongly recommend the EU2000i.

Rich, that's a long way, man. Someday, I'd like to Bambi in your area. We are heading up the coast to Big Sur for most of a week next month, and then the local mountains on several weekends over the summer. Back to Joshua Tree in the winter.
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Old 04-17-2003, 02:47 PM   #17
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'02 Bambi LS

Well, we have been away for a week or so (the Region 9 Rally), so I am just now picking up on email. We bought our Bambi 19C, new back in Oct. Ours is a bit unusual in that it has the front couch along with the LS Safari Upgrade package. The couch added an additional $675 in the form of a customization fee. We found it on a dealers lot, he had been sitting on it for months and the new '03s were arriving...so we did get a fairly nice discount (spent more than what we saved though on all the upgrades we added after the fact)

The LS Safari upgrade was not cheap ($2700), but it added Corian countertops, the AquaJet water pump, a 13,500BTU A/C/Heat Pump, a blackwater flush system, a spare tire and rack under the trailer (hard to believe that a spare on a single axis should be an option), Fantasic Fan, Electric Hitch Jack, Cast Aluminum Taillights (identical to the taillights on the Classics), the Screen Door Guard (really stabilizes the screen door and helps prolong its integrity) and finally, upgrades to the all the faucets including the integrated Moen PureTouch faucet in the kitchen (filters taste, cysts, etc).

We really hated the bland interior so did a massive makeover (see our pics). In addition we added two, 50 watt solar panels with an MPP controller, a Tri-Metric battery telemetry system (so as to really know what was happening with the battery when boondocking, a second full sized Zip Dee awning (on the road side) and a rear window Zip Dee Awning. At present we are still running the factory battery, but once it reaches the end of its usefullness, I am going to have a custom battery box build to hold two 6V Rolls batteries (over 350 aH total). The '03 Bambi has gone to two batteries in a battery case that drops partially below the frame, just behind the propane cover, so the need for two batteries was recognized even by Airstream. We plan to add a Honda EU2000, but have not done so yet.

Our Bambi came installed with the Sony 10 disc CD changer, and we added a 12V DVD player and a 17" LCD TV. As counter space in the Bambi is at a premium, I mounted the LCD TV on a fully articulating arm in the back corner above the refrigerator.so that it can be swung to face the bed or the couch as well as adjusted in all planes for best viewing.

On the issue of what works with ZERO battery....basically nothing expect the stove and oven. The refrigerator, the water heater, the furnace, the water pump and all the lights require 12volts. As long as you keep the battery charged though, everything except the A/C/Heat Pump works. If you are serious about boon docking, then I HIGHLY suggest you look into installing a Tri-Metric as it monitors all aspects of the battery...not just voltage. With the Tri-Metric, you know exactly how may amps you are currently pulling, the percentage of charge left, the total amp/hrs drawn since last full recharge, the total amp/hours drawn since the battery was installed (or the Tri-Metric was installed), the number of days since last equalization and the number of days since last recharge. There are some other parameters it monitors, but those are the main ones. As I have the solar panels, I really don't have to worry about pulling the battery out and putting it on an external charger. Even in the covered storage, there is enough bounced sunlight in the winter to keep the battery charged.. The solar controller I chose also has an equalization program, so when I am getting the rig ready for a road trip, I simply activate the equalization and let the solar panels to the work. I did add a switch with pilot light so that I can kill the power to the LP gas detector as it can run the battery down all by itself over time (it is the only item that the 12V kill switch does NOT disconnect). Although A/S recommends leaving it connected, I have talked to both A/S and the LP gas detector manufacturer and they indicated that as long as the unit has a few minutes to warm up and it does not indicate a fault after such warmup, there is NO reason to leave it powered.

As for the heated holding tanks, I have been told by Airstream that they are indeed heated by the gas furnace, but there seems to be a lot of confusion on the matter and I have not taken the time to investigate. I do know that the furnace that is used in Bambi can vent hot air to both a single duct as well as to the front(it is documented in the manual for the heater). All the water lines are actually above floor grade so that are in fact inside the trailer, so as long as you keep the trailer warm, the water lines are safe. My Bambi was the 1st to have the 18 gallon black water tank, but a good portion actually resides above floor level under the toilet so it has the advantage of heat from inside the trailer. The grey water tank actually hangs down underneath the trailer (in an enclosure). I have thought about dropping the enclosure and adding one of the 12/110 volt tank heater pads, just to be safe. At the Region rally, the A/S rep indicated that A/S was going to be offering these heating pads as an option starting on the '04 models.

I chose to purchase a Hensley Arrow hitch as it seemed a solid bit of insurance against not only sway, but controlling the rig should a tire blow on the trailer. Hensleys certainly are not cheap, but they work like magic. Absolutely NO hint of anything when a semi passes, even on narrow two lane highways.

We really do like our Bambi. While functional as purchased, it lacked warmth and character, which we provided. Understand that you can buy a 22-25' A/S for almost the same money as a loaded Bambi, but your tow vehicle requirements go way up and you will find that it is more difficult to find parking on the larger units. Contrary to intuition, backing the Bambi is more difficult that backing a longer rig. With only two tires, it is a pretty twitchy rig when backing up, where as the multiaxles have more rubber and therefore more resistance to change in direction. I have found that if the trailer starts to turn in a manner contrary to my wishes while backing, it is quicker to stop, pull forward slightly and then start backing again. It tows like a dream behind our Explorer Sport Trac and the combo is a really nice looking rig (the Explorer is Black, and the lettering and pin striping on the Bambi is black as well). We get about 15 MPG if we stay at 55MPH, at 70MPH the mileage drops to about 10MPG and while on a trip into KS we had the legal opportunity to pull it at 75 MPH which resulted in about 8.5 MPG.

Sorry about this being so long, but lots to say. If you wish you can sent me a PM and we can discuss anything about our rig in more detail.

david

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Old 04-17-2003, 07:29 PM   #18
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Misssed you

dtbw

I came by your rig 3 times at the rally and unfortunately I missed you every time. Looks great on the outside, though.

I was on the same row, pretty near the other end. AFAK, I was the only 22' International at the rally.
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Old 04-17-2003, 10:54 PM   #19
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Sorry we missed you

Sorry we did not get to meet at Regional. We did make a few excursion outside of the RV park and the various activities there was not a whole lot of time at the RV. Several times we had open house as once someone saw that we were showing off our Bambi, others would appear asking to see it as well. As you were on our row, we had to pass you traveler a few times ourselves. Maybe we will cross at another rally someday.

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Old 04-21-2003, 10:47 PM   #20
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We have a 2002 model & tonight I did a little exploring ( inside the A/S --took the drawers below the oven out & removed the crossbar. Against the back wall was a gray colored insulated tube, looks to be 1 1/2" to 2" in size. The tubing ran from the top right ( looking at the heater ) side of the heater & ran along the wall to the rear tanks. I could see that the tubing curved down right at the side of the black water tank & I believe it goes directly to the grey water tank area. While I could not see a tee, it might also possiliby tee, one going to the grey water area & the other going to the black water tank area. The black water tank sits partially above the floor, so I think it would get it's heat from the heated area above the floor, with the ducted heat going into the belly pan of the grey water area. At least I feel better to have seen that the holding tank area IS HEATED.
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Old 04-22-2003, 09:21 AM   #21
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Thanks for the investigation

A.E.,
Thanks for taking the time to investigate the heated holding tank issue on the Bambi. At least for the 2002 model, what you found confirms what A/S told me. I do know from looking at the furnace installation manual, that the location you indicate showing a 1.5-2" tube exiting is exactly where such a duct would exit on the particular furnace used in the Bambi. Also the size of the duct and the fact it is insulated all agree with it being a heater duct. I had planned to do the same exercise the next time I brought my Bambi home from covered storage as I really wanted to know. I still may drop the enclosure on the gray water tank and add a holding tank heating pad. The advantage would be that such a heating pad could run off of 110VAC and offer additional protection for the gray tank given its more exterior location. As you mentioned the black water tank is mostly above floor level so is better protected than the grey tank as long as the interior is heated. One fear that I have had is the fact that we run the heat pump rather than the furnace( when connected to AC). This keeps the inside toasty and should the outside temp drop below freezing, the thermostat auto switches from heat pump to the gas furnace, but by that time the grey holding tank would already be near freezing temp when the gas furnace kicked in. Adding the heating pad would solve this issue and if I am running the heat pump I obviously would have 110VAC, so running the heating pad would be possible. With no 110VAC, I would be on the gas furnace anyway, so the problem would not exist.

Thanks again. If I do decide on adding the heating pad, I will post the process.

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Old 04-22-2003, 08:53 PM   #22
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I revisited your photo's tonight, as I wanted to see where & how you attached your TV bracket. Couldn't really see as the flowers where in the way. We are putting in a 13" combo & I'm wondering if that wall is solid enough to hold the TV bracket, when the roads gets rough. Where you able to attach to something solid inside the wall? Also, since I'm supposed to be a blacksmith, I'm thinking of making a folding arm, with a bracket that would slide over the top of the bath door & would fold out against the door jam towards the sink area. We would put a curtain over the arm & when we need more room for drying off, etc, we could just swing the arm out & the area would become square. When not in use it would lay flat against the back of the bath door. Someone had posted about installing another door, which would do the same thing, but then I would have to buy another door & put holes in it, to attach a bracket. I'll have to make one to see how it works. Really like the looks of your outfit.
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Old 04-22-2003, 09:29 PM   #23
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Got my Bambi in Feb. Camped in the drive during some real cold snowy nights.
It is kind of chilly, but not cold. Keep in mind the windows are not thermopanes.

I just got back from a trip down south. The camper had myself, my girlfriend and her niece and nephew (9 and 5 years old) in the camper at the same time. We got the bed and they took the dinette fold down bed. Very comfortable and plenty of room. Had we had to take a bunch of clothes and stuff for the kids, it might have been a bit tight, but it could have been done and for the one night they spent with us, there were no space issues whatsoever.

As for my comments on the Bambi, I bought it because I really didn't need anything larger right now (or in the not too distant future either). Also, I did not feel that I should go over my tow vehicles max tow rating of 5,000lbs.

There are some fit and finish issues but nothing that I would really be upset about, except the main door latches really funky and I have noticed that there is some flex in the floor by the bathroom.

Speaking of bathroom, I'm 5'7 and it is still a bit tight at times, but I'm out roughing it. The fact that I even have it is a fair plus, it is workable and is still better than tenting. Since the black tank capacity has been increased, to me it's an even bigger plus.

Storage is a bit tight, but not unmanageable. All tanks are very properly sized and the Bambi is very comfortable. I liked the LED lights, but didn't get them. The only two extras I wish I had were the Fantastic fan (which I'm gonna add to it) and the black tank flush.

Also, I did not get the CD player because I have an iPod (MP3 player). I can take up to 5,000 songs and use a tape player device to play my iPod songs right through my stereo. Can you imagine the space that the CDs or tapes would take to play 5,000 songs??? I also have a cig lighter charging cable so I could charge it right off the Bambi 12v system. In the end, if you have a computer, you should have an MP3 player and begin to abandon your CD, tape and record collections from traveling with you. The iPod takes a smaller footprint than a CD case and it's only about an inch thick.

The trailer does hold it's value better than any other box on the road so if I need bigger later, I should be able to get a fair price or trade for it later.

On the subject of heating the holding tanks, I have noticed a pipe going from the heater somewhere, but I can only assume it has something to do with the tank heat. I will say that since heat rises, the odds of the tanks getting heat from the cabin are fairly slim. Not totally impossible, but I do not believe enough to stop the liquids in them freezing in a very cold snap.

In 2003, it appears that the Bambi had an upgrade availible for a dual 12 volt battery system. Check out the photos on my album and you can see the factory installed system.

Eric
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Old 04-22-2003, 11:11 PM   #24
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Check my recent post regarding heating the grey water tank. Take the front off of your heater and with a flashlight look to your upper right side. You should see a grey insulated tubing going to the back. I followed it as best I could along the back side wall & it appears to go to the belly bottom, where the grey water tank is located. The black water tank I think is heated by the interior heat. A/S has told me several times ( I didn't believe them ) that the tanks were heated. Really the only item I wish we had was a black water flush,then it would be great. Might think about having one installed during A/S winter specials. Our home town is only 50 miles North of Jackson Center, so I could probably hang around till it was completed. We ( the wife, myself & Mr. Turbo ) haven't been able to get in a long trip, so we were wondering how it would fare size wise for storage, etc. Seems you folks had little or no problems. Glad to hear.
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Old 04-23-2003, 10:50 AM   #25
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Northeast host

Well, I can't help but notice that just about everyone posting to this list is from a place well west of me. I'm not surprised -- you hardly ever see Airstreams, Argosy's, Casitas, Scamps etc., in this region except during rallies. There are no Airstream dealers in Vermont. Both of these factors make buying a used unit a real challenge.

But -- should one of you venture to my region (northern Vermont) someday with your Bambi, feel free to drop by! There's a free water/electric hookup waiting here for you and all the scenery you can handle. We live on the south side of small mountain (or a big hill, depending on your viewpoint). Otherwise, hope to catch up with some of you at the international rally in Burlington VT in July...

Eric, love the iPod idea. I use my laptop for the same purpose -- with Windows Media Player handling the jukebox functions. If anyone has a laptop that they bring along, they already probably have what they need to play music through a boombox or any portable stereo unit with an input jack. Also, a laptop with a DVD player built in makes a great TV replacement: runs on batteries, highly portable and lightweight, LCD screen built-in!

-- Rich
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Old 04-23-2003, 01:11 PM   #26
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Rich,

My next trick is to get work to get me a 17" Powerbook w/ the superdrive..of course for work purposes, but maybe I could find some additional uses as well.....

So for those rainy days, I can stay in and watch DVDs and keep the laptop charged with the 12v adapter while out in the national forests!

I know it kind of cheats the purpose of roughing it, but hey, what are you gonna do? When you get lemons, make some lemonade and when you get your hands on some toys, use 'em!

Eric
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Old 04-23-2003, 02:50 PM   #27
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TV Mount on Bambi

A.E.,
The mount you see in the pic is a commercial LCD/Plasma articulating mount (uses gas struts). The unit would not be up to the task of a heavy CRT unit, but works fantastic with the LCD TV we used. Both my TV and the Mount were from Australian companies (with US representatives). The mount was not cheap costing almost $300, but it has a quick release (with locking key) that allows me to easily remove the LCD TV (the tv was setup to accept standard VESA mounting hardware) before traveling (I simply don't want to take the chance of an accident). The mount required me to partially slid the refrig out a ways to that I could drill a 1/2' hole thru in the corner as the mount has a bolt that goes all the way thru with a flat washer and nut underneath. There was plenty of room for the installation and the most difficult part was the partial slid out of the refrig. If you want I will take some close up pics next time I pull the rig home (in a couple of weeks). Also if you are interested in the details of what I purchased let me know. I just ordered the exact same setup for some A/S friends that had a fit over ours. BTW, we also added a 12V DVD player to the rig. Really makes roughing it a challenge.
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Old 04-23-2003, 03:15 PM   #28
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Bambi Black tank flush

A.E,
Go for it. It was part of our Safari upgrade package and makes cleanout a cake walk. Also, if you have not heard about the Sewer Solution product, check it out at www.sewersolution.com. This product is great. It really DOES work. No more ugly, stinkly 3" hose, just a hose a bit larger than a 3/4" water hose. It not only breaks up black tank contents, it can pump them a distance of 60 on level ground. It has NO moving parts and works on a small, high pressure jet of water. Now emptying the black tank is a simple matter connected a water line to the Sewer Solution, turn it on, turn the jet assemble to pump and open the black water valve. When it is all done, just turn the jet assembly to clean and it will rinse out the lines from the black tank. As I have the Black tank flush, I then close the black tank valve and connect the water line to the Black flush connection (btw, I have a separate PURPLE hose, with an approved vacuum breaker that I use for the connections to the sewer solution and the black tank flush. I added a quick connect to the black tank flush connection as the Sewer Solution already used such and it made switching the connection much easier). I use the tank level monitor inside the A/S to make sure that I fill the black tank completely and then I reconnect the water hose to the sewer solution and repeat the pump process. I have found that I sometimes have to repeat the flush process a second time to totally clean the tank.

I also have been using a chlorine dioxide product in my holding tank that works better than products that attempt to mask odors with strong perfumes. The product is called ODOR-CON and was originally sold for use in marine installations. It works by not only breaking up the solids, but the chlorine in is only released by the acids that cause odors and only enough to breakdown those odors. The only by-products of the process are salts. It is safe for all the seals and we have NO odor or strong perfume odors. Another plus is that it clings to the side walls of the holding tank to continue the process of destroying odor causing agents after flushing) I purchased mine along with a sister product for sanitizing the water system directly from the manufacturer www.billydump.com/3r/3rhome.htm). I was amazed at how much better it worked than AquaKem. Check it out. Costs about $20 per quart, but all you add is 1 oz per after you dump and flush the tank, so it really is not expensive compared to AquaKem.

david
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