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Old 04-02-2003, 02:55 PM   #1
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The new Bambi is in the Yard

I picked up my 2003 Bambi yesterday and pulled it home with my Yukon connected to the Bambi by a Equal-i-zer hitch and brakes controlled by prodigy. Everything works fine.

I bought the Bambi at Bates RV in Dover Florida and even though someforum members expressed problems with Bates, my Bambi was in perfect condition and ready to go. No added amounts to the price previously decided upon at closing and everyone was very nice. The unit was cleaned and ready when we arrived. After a thorough xamination of the RV, we had three or four small things that need to be fixed. Bates fixed them right away. This was followed by an hour and half orientation of all of the RV's workings. Finally, they helped us install the hitch which we didn't buy there, for free.

By early afternoon, we were on our way back to Palm Harbor through Tampa traffic with absolutely no problems. As a matter of fact, we never felt as though we were pulling anything let lone a Bambi. The equal-i-zer is very easy to install.

Now, we look forward to our first camping experience with the new Bambi.




ed
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Old 04-02-2003, 03:19 PM   #2
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Congrats. They are great units.

Got any pics?

Eric
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Old 04-02-2003, 04:09 PM   #3
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Good for you! You're gonna love it!
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Old 04-02-2003, 04:45 PM   #4
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Rick,

I saw the pictures you posted on your Bambi. I love the wood trim and the table with the access doors on the dinette seat bases. Mine does not have either.

Are you thinking about renting yours out?

Eric
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Old 04-02-2003, 04:59 PM   #5
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Eric,

Thanks! What's under your dinette seat? Behind that access door is a nice slide out storage bin, similar to under the bed, and behind that is the converter/charging unit.

Not sure about renting the Bambi, just talking with the guy here in Los Angeles, trying to help him out. He wants to buy, but would like to try first. Don't really think my wife would go for it, but I kinda sympathised with the guy's post and figured I'd at least talk with him.
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Old 04-02-2003, 05:55 PM   #6
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Rick, tell me about your converter/charger. Is this something that you added to the Bambi. We intend to do a lot of dry camping and have thought about adding a charger.

Thanks, Ed
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Old 04-02-2003, 06:01 PM   #7
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Rick,

That's awful nice of you.......

Hey, the '03 has no doors on the bottom to access the storage areas. I have to access them both from the top. On the driver's side dinette, I have the electrical stuff, the pump and the fresh water tank. The other side, is empty (the entire size of the seat), but it's a pain to have to move the cushions all the time to get in the access panel. I wish I had the access doors like you do w/ or w/o the drawers. It's the same way with the back storage under the bed. I have access from the back utility door or I have to lift the matress, and there is a panel under it that gives me access to most of the space under the bed, except for the water heater, but there is an "access hand hole" to get to the heater by pass.

My converter is located under the "coat closet" left of the stove area. Mine was built in 8/02 as an '03 model so it looks like the changes were made sometime around August of 02.

Incidently, do you have the water heater bypass? On mine there are 3 valves, top, middle and bottom. I think I may have it worked out on how to bypass the heater totally from the directions, but I figured if you had some exp with it you might be able to tell me what the proper valve config is so I can save some time with trial an error.

Thanks,

Eric
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Old 04-02-2003, 06:03 PM   #8
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Ed,

On the '03 (I have an '03 Bambi too) the converter is standard equipment as it is on all Airstreams (only difference might be size based on demand..for example a 27ft might need a higher capacity than the Bambi because it has more fixtures, etc). There were no larger options on the Bambi as I am aware, I think depending on size and demand, is what A/S installed. Our converter is located under the closet left of the stove.

Have you "camped" in it yet in the driveway?
We have about 2-3 times. Neighbors must think we're nuts!

Also, Ed, what options did you get. Just curious.

There were these options:

13k BTU A/C unit (upgrade from the 11k BTU unit)
Larger capacity water pump (Aquajet)
Screen door screen protector
Black Flush
Power front tongue lift
Special tail and running lights (LED)
CD player
Dual 12v batteries
Upgraded faucets (sinks and shower)
Three burner stove
Spare tire and mounting bracket

I think those were it, I might have missed one or two though.

I have all but CD player, power tongue lift, black flush, aquajet, screen door screen protector (plan on installing myself if I can), the higher- 13k BTU A/C and the special tail lights and running lights.

I wanted the tape deck so I could hook my iPod up to it and play my tunes from one unit rather than hauling a bunch of CDs or tapes. The iPod holds about 3-4,000 songs.

I have the Shur-Flow pump and I have noticed it's a bit loud. If you or Rick have the Aquajet, I'd be real interested on how noisey it gets. I may upgrade that too myself.

Eric
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Old 04-02-2003, 07:01 PM   #9
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Ed,

The converter/charger (I may not be using the correct nomenclature) is standard. When you are plugged into shore power (110-120V) it converts the AC to 12V DC to power the lights and other 12V electrical system in the trailer. It also charges the trailer battery(ies). I'm sure you have this in your unit. If you are hooked to shore power for any length of time, you will occasionally hear a whirring sound which is the fan on the converter. Of course, it only works when you have the trailer plugged into shore power.

Eric,

On the option package they also offered the Fantastic Fan with rain sensor. I did not get the option package, but did add power jack, Fantastic Fan and Sreen Door guards and it came with the spare tire. (in fact, I was shocked to learn that these trailers don't always come with a spare tire). I have the basic water pump which is a bit loud. Under the coat closet, I have the 12V service panel. As for the water heater bypass, the only thing I have is the valves accessed at the back of the rear storage locker, or through the hole under the mattress. Thankfully, here in southern California, I don't have to winterize, so I haven't had to worry about the bypass.

Question: When I am dumping my tanks, if there is water left in the fresh water tank, I have to use the pump to empty it into the grey and blackwater tanks, than dump. Do any of you Bambi owners know of a better (quicker) way to do this?
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Old 04-02-2003, 07:11 PM   #10
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Rick,

Yes! There is a valve on the right front of the tank that will discharge it to the ground under the tank area. On mine there are two valves on the front right of the tank, I believe it's the one furthest to the right. Put some water in and try. If it is not the furthest right valve, it's the one directly left of the furthest right valve.

On mine, I have the water heater bypass. If you go further back (from the rear utility door--I had to crawl in there) on the right where the water heater is you might find more valves. Even if you don't winterize, you might still want to bypass the water heater. On mine you can also lift the matress and you'll see a circular hole. If you stick your hand in there, and aim toward the front, you might feel or even see the valves I'm talking about unless it was not avail in 2002 as an option. Let me know if you see it.

I knew I was forgetting something. I plan on buying the fantastic vent w/rain sensor. Someone here told me the wiring is already sitting there waiting for it, I just need to remove, install and reseal and I should be in good shape. I think that is a good upgrade.

Eric
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Old 04-02-2003, 07:22 PM   #11
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Eric,

I have the same valves for the water heater that you are talking about, but I've not had reason to bypass the water heater, unless I'm missing something I should be doing for storage.

As for the valve you are talking about for the fresh water, do you mean the valve is next to the tank under the dinette seat? If so, for me that's kinda a bummer, as to access the fresh water tank, I have to unscrew the plywood under the cushion and remove it. I suppose though that if that is where the valve you are referring to is, I could cut a trap door, or small circular hole like under the mattress for access.

The Fantastic Fan is a really nice add to the Bambi, and the rain sensor works perfect. We have two Maltese dogs that travel with us, and if we are going on a long hike, we leave them in the Bambi with the Fan on. If it begins to rain, the Fan shuts the vent, then opens again when it stops raining.
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Old 04-02-2003, 07:49 PM   #12
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Rick,

For me, I don't really use the water heater very often. We heat water on the stove to clean dishes (if we don't use paper plates) and I just jump in the lake to clean up. Since I don't use it, and I am usually out in more rustic campgrounds w/o any utilites miles from anywhere, I would close the tank by using the bypass. If you use the heater, then you don't want to do it. Since it doesn't freeze where you are like you said winterizing isn't an issue.

Back to the fresh water tank, that's where it is on the '03 model. If they screwed it closed, maybe they weren't planning on having that as a regularly used feature if a feature at all. A good way to find out before going through all of it would be to look under the trailer (by the fresh water tank area) and check out the underside to see if you can see any hoses that are discharging out the bottom. If so, you might be in luck. If not, you might need think about getting the '03 tank and adding a valve. In '03, the area that you unscrew, they made accessible on both sides of the dinette by an access door that the cushions sit on top of that has hinges. Looks like they could have gotten it right in '03 if they had the same top entry and the more conv, side entry with or without sliding drawers.

I like what I am hearing even more about the vent. That might be mod #1.

Eric
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Old 04-03-2003, 10:17 AM   #13
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Renting...

I was interested in "trying one out", too, but after talking to a couple of dealers at the local RV show, I gave up on the idea. They won't rent anything bigger than a pop-up, because of the liability. People don't generally have the necessary weight-distributing hitches on their vehicles, or brake controllers, etc. The potential liability is just too great. They'll rent you a MH, or a pop-up, neither of which I thought were a reasonable facsimile.

So I bought a used A/S, figuring that since its already completely depreciated, I won't lose much if it turns out we don't like/use it. Now, I don't have the dough for a new A/S anyway, but even if I did, I wouldn't want to spend 30g (or a whole lot more) to find out that I don't like it. So my advice to the guy that wants to rent: good luck, and by all means, do it if you can find someone that'll trust you. But if you can't...buy a used one. If you like it, you can sell it and upgrade to a shiny-new unit. You can buy a 70's A/S in very good shape for less than a brand-new pop-up, and sell it the next day for what you paid.
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Old 04-03-2003, 01:44 PM   #14
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Eric,

You might want to remember that the water heater is an extra 6 gallons of fresh water storage, and you don't have to fire it up if you don't want hot water out of the faucets. But when you are filling the fresh water tank, if you run a faucet turned to hot until the "spitting" stops (then turn off the faucet and continue filling the fresh water tank), then you will have filled the water heater with an additional 6 gallons of water to use when bookdocking.

We also tend to go to National Forest, BLM, State Forest areas, so also are most often not "hooked up" so we try to have as much fresh water as possible. We also carry 2.5 gallon bottled water jugs for cooking, coffee, drinking etc.
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