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Old 02-03-2009, 09:44 PM   #1
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16' Bambi or 17' Safari

Looking for opinions about these two trailers. The Bambi is a used 2006 model; the Safari is a new 2008. Price is roughly the same.

Is there a clear winner in terms of reliabilty, functionality or resale value?

Thanks!
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Old 02-04-2009, 07:52 AM   #2
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That's a hard one. Both are cute as a puppy. I think that I would go with the the 17 Sport because it has a real bathroom and not a wet bath like the Bambi 16, Also, the 17 has both a black and a gray tank, and the 16 has a combo black/gray tank. Also, the Bambi 16 is about of 800 lbs. heavier than the 17 sport.

Brian
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:16 AM   #3
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2004 25' Safari
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Here too lots of opinions, none of which would be the wrong answer. Here are my opinions:

16'
small, versatile, easy to tow with even the most modest vehicle Has a bumper. I believe these have front rock guards.

17'
same as above but no bumper (but I did start to notice that bumpers may have started to be added). I have not seen front rock guards on these models

Here is the rub so to speak. I had a 19' Bambi, a 2003. If your lifestyle includes a significant other and a pet, you will be fairly cramped with space and such, even with a 19'. This by no means suggests you run out and get a 34' slide out , but I am here to share with you many an Airstreamer who with the best of intentions started out small because it was cute, able to tow with a wider range of vehicles, etc, then after the first year or two, the glow faded and reality set in. Airstreams are measured from hitch connector to rear bumper. From what I've seen, you loose about 3' of what is listed as it's length, so a 16' unit has about 13' feet of internal living space.

If you don't take a lot of stuff with you and/or you don't have a signficant other that goes with and/or you don't have a pet that is 30lbs or larger, perhaps these might just be a good size for you.

I had a 65lb shepard and with my significant other, the 19 footer showed it's limitations early on. As one of those mentioned above, I bought the 19' because we liked the floorplan, it could be towed easily with what I had and of course it's a cute little Airstream. In reality, I needed a 23' to 25'. Since the 23' was not around in 2004, I went with the 25' unit. That decision required me to upgrade my tow vehicle, but it has been a decision that fit my actual needs for RVing.

Today, I no longer have my 65lb shepard, but I still have my significant other and now two 25lb terriers and we still have lots of room (even with everything *she* packs).

All that said, if the 17' had a bumper, I would go for that size because it is slightly larger and it does not appear to have a "wet" bath. I would however add front rock guards. Mine on both units took many hits for the team (flying rocks off the rear tires of the tow vehicle).

My advise is to be true in what you need when you camp and to take into account what might be needed 5 years from now because upgrading can get expensive (ask me how I know).
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:49 AM   #4
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I've considered these trailers too. From what I've seen, the dry weights are very close. Here's how I see it:

16' - If it's an SE or CCD, nicer interior finish, fully opening side windows, and panoramic windows (maybe front and rear.) Two sleeping areas. Wet bath.

17' Sport - Brand new. Dual tanks - easier for boondocking. Only one sleeping area, and it's pretty narrow. Dry bath.

The way I see it, the 17' is an odd floorplan. I don't want a huge bathroom and a small bed in a small trailer - those priorities seem reversed. I find the big back bathroom wall dominates the interior, making it feel less open. I'd rather have two sleeping areas, and deal with campground showers.

I think the 16' Bambi is going to have better resale. They seem to be holding their value pretty well, seldom dipping below $20k. (It appears to be easier to sell the higher trim CCD or SE models.) Right now, there seems to be quite a few heavily discounted brand new 17' Sports out there. I'm not convinced it's been that popular of a model.

If your tow vehicle can handle it, I'd put a 22' Sport (preferably a later 08 or 09 with the additional curbside window) into consideration. Leftovers are heavily discounted which might put them into your budget. Two sleeping areas, including a big front bed.

Frankly, I'm giddy with anticipation, hoping Airstream builds the all-composite Scout prototype they showed at the RVIA show. Lightweight, big bed, small bathroom, lots of windows - sweet. This would fit our RVing needs well - just a couple, using it for 2-3 day weekends, hitch up and go on a whim, works with a modest tow vehicle. (That's why I bought a T@B in the end - but I still covet silver....)

Tom
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:09 AM   #5
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Wow, I had no idea that something like the Scout existed....for those who also didn't know, you can see images of it here:

Airstream Scout prototype - a set on Flickr

Still, love my 25er....and won't be trading it for a Scout anytime soon.
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Old 02-04-2009, 01:55 PM   #6
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I love the panoramic windows of the 16'.
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Old 02-04-2009, 05:27 PM   #7
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We have a 2006 Quick Silver 16' and love it. 2 plus 3 small dogs and no problem. Not sure the big deal about grey and black tank as ours is equiped with a in tank sprayer that cleans out the tank after dumping. Also, ours is not a weekender only as we toured the NE (6wks, 9,000mi)in 07 and the NW(5wks, 7,500mi)in 08. Add to that a few 2 and three week trips in between and you can see our little QS is well used. Any more questions - please PM me.
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Old 02-04-2009, 07:55 PM   #8
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We, too, debated between the 16' Bambi and the 17' Safari sport. We ended up with our dearly loved Bambi, and it came down to one issue: we wanted the full-time bed. The hassle of making/taking down a bed every day seemed too cumbersome and tedious.

We have two people and two 60 lb dogs. Bit crowded at times, but we do ok.
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:34 PM   #9
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Thanks for the opinions! Seems it really boils down to a preference between a Full-Time Bed or Full-Time Bath.

Any ideas why there are so many 'leftover' 17 Sports from 2008? Simply due to the current economic environment or some design flaw that makes them less attractive to most buyers?
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Old 02-05-2009, 06:00 AM   #10
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I own a 2008 Safari Sport 17. For us it is a great "weekend" camper, with some limitations, mostly noted by other posters above. The bed/couch is a pain, but not something that would prevent me from buying again. The bathroom is great, one of its best features. When we bought the 17 the bathroom meant nothing to me, but I have come to appreciate the convenience.

We have really enjoyed our trips, the longest being 12 days on the road. We are also now considering an "upgrade" to a larger unit, probably the 23 Flying Cloud. We are waiting on Gene at Airstream of Arkansas to throw us a decent price before we make that decision.

The smaller units have always appealed to me, either the 16 or 17. The FC 23 seems HUGE, but if we buy one we would expect to someday start thinking about 25 or 28 or larger. It seems to come with the territory as you get involved with these great trailers.

You are correct in noting that the 17 sports are discounted now. No one knows exactly why they haven't taken off, but as an owner I can assure you that we have been very happy with ours, the fit and finish was tops, it is very comfortable, easy to tow and store and park, etc.

JD Thornton
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Old 02-05-2009, 09:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Egg View Post
We, too, debated between the 16' Bambi and the 17' Safari sport. We ended up with our dearly loved Bambi, and it came down to one issue: we wanted the full-time bed. The hassle of making/taking down a bed every day seemed too cumbersome and tedious.

We have two people and two 60 lb dogs. Bit crowded at times, but we do ok.
Us too! But after we checked them out, ended up with the 22" SS.
We leave the bed set up so that's a non-issue.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:17 PM   #12
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Scout

She is cute as a button but 2 older people and a dog and UGH watch out for loud voices. I do love those white walls and I could not find any for our old gail. The scout could work for DINK , double income on kids and like to cozy up the small bed. over 60 ???? 2nd marraige maybe.
What is the price?
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