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Old 03-18-2014, 06:17 AM   #61
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Im going to check into that tank
Thanks!
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:59 AM   #62
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I think the FJ would be an ideal tow vehicle for a Bambi. Certainly my one ton diesel would be overkill. Jim
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:32 PM   #63
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New to the forums and Airstream, so sorry if I'm late to this thread.

We bought our 2013 16' Bambi about four months ago, upgrading from a vintage-style teardrop and an actual vintage Shasta Compact.

When we were towing the Shasta, even though it was light, we noticed we were aero-limited, towing with our 2011 Honda Pilot. We were getting 9.5 - 11 MPG towing on flat ground. Behind a semi truck MPG jumped to 15-17. So, I investigated and bought a wind deflector from Icon Direct (Canadian company). Would pay for itself in 4,000 miles.

Now we have our Bambi. When returning from picking it up and driving from Melbourne, FL, we were getting around 10 MPG without the deflector. With both the Shasta and the Bambi we'd run 63-65 MPH at around 2800 RPM. With the deflector and NO headwind, we'd run 2100 RPM at the same speeds. Mileage with the deflector is anywhere from 13.5 - 16 MPG. Again, without the deflector it's miserably around 10 MPG.

On our last trip there was a significant headwind, so on our way out we got around 12 MPG, running at 2800 RPM. On our way back home, no headwind, 13.5-16 MPG (variability is usually due to how much time we can run behind semi trucks).

So even though Airstreams are thought to be aerodynamic, they still present significant aero drag on the tow vehicle, although probably less than if it was a box. (The Shasta was shorter and not as wide, and lighter at around 2000 lbs, yet we achieved worse MPG towing it compared to the AS, so the aero shape does count for something.)

We had some white-knuckle driving. Coming from teardrop, we pack REALLY light. Lesson learned: the darned thing sways like MAD. We have a bike rack way out back, and load up a heavy cruiser and a light mountain bike. Easy fix is to travel with the water tank full, propane tanks full, and extra canopy, cooler, and chairs loaded up on the front table/mattress. No more sway up to nearly 70 MPH. No sway devices on our hitch.

Caveat: we have towed only in Florida, so no steep grades, yet.

Please don't ask me to get up and go look at what brake controller we have. I'm so nicely ensconced in my easy chair typing this.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:50 PM   #64
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Did you have a WD and anti sway? When we towed with the Acura MDX we had lots of sway even with the WD bars but when we added the anti sway we had no problems. We towed a 19' Bambi. Now that we have the VW Tourareg we don't even feel it back there.
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:43 AM   #65
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I have an FastWay E2 6000k WD with anti-sway friction control built in. Towing my 16' Bambi in all kinds of conditions -high winds, thunderstorms, steep grades, big semi trucks speeding etc. never experienced any type of sway at all. Winds were so high in parts of Arizona that it blew my towing mirror in, the Bambi was always solid.
TV is a new Toyota FJ 4x4
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Old 03-20-2014, 01:04 PM   #66
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Frontal Area

dquarasr,

I agree with the frontal area of the AS. We too have a 2013 Sport and whene we had our Casita we averaged between 14.5 to 16 mpg towing it with our Jeep Liberty.

Now that we have the AS it mpg has dropped to around 11 to 13.5. I've got to believe its because of the larger frontal area of the AS. I'll check into the wind deflector you mentioned.

Is it something that can be attached and removed when you're not towing? the Jeep is my daily driver.

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Old 03-20-2014, 01:34 PM   #67
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After 3 yrs of towing a narrower flat-sided camper, I was pleasantly surprised towing the wider but more aerodynamic Bambi. A solid 2 MPG increase. It's as if the wind can't get a bite from any angle. There's seldom a direct head/tailwind while towing, ya know. It's mostly by varying angles. The flat-sided camper made that painfully obvious.

Those Casitas...man, they're sweet looking trailers and I'd still love to have one, one of these days.
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Old 03-20-2014, 03:33 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by JackDog View Post
I'll check into the wind deflector you mentioned.

Is it something that can be attached and removed when you're not towing? the Jeep is my daily driver.

Jack Dog in
So Cal
Yes, it is. The "standard" way to attach the deflector to the roof is via suction cups and straps that attach to the door frame. I didn't like that so I have been attaching it to my longitudinal roof racks. The deflector frame sits on the racks, and I use long worm-type hose clamps to tighten it down, two on each side. I see your Jeep has roof racks.

Overall I'm pleased with the deflector. Icon Direct offers many different sizes and styles of deflectors to fit pickups, cars, trucks, etc., intended for many different sizes of trailers.

This disclaimer is unusually appropriate in this context: Your Mileage May Vary.
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Old 03-21-2014, 04:43 PM   #69
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Poor Man's Airstream

Skooter,

We purchased our Casita new from the factory in Rice in 2007. We nicknamed it our "poor man's Airstream" due to its shape and high quality of contruction.

When we purchased our Sport we posted an ad on the Casita forums. Within 24 hours we recieved over a dozen replies including one guy from St. Louis MO who was willing to purchase it sight unseen!

Based on how quickly AS's sell I'm sure if and when we sell our little tin can we will have the same response.

I included a few more shots of the egg on our last trip with it to Glacier National Park in 2012.

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Old 03-25-2014, 12:58 AM   #70
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Can't wait to hear how it turns out. I'm new here and we have yet to purchase a Bambi, but are hoping to pull it with our BMW X5 xdrive30i. Need to research how to get it done, as I really don't want to buy another car either!

I pull a Bambi 22fb with my diesel x5. It pulls it like there is nothing there. I use an equalizer hitch for sway control. It works great.
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:02 PM   #71
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To be fair, JackDog going from the Liberty (which doesn't really handle that well and has a lump of an engine) to the Grand Cherokee (handles better, and the V6/8spd combo is very, very good at towing) seems to be a solid move forward.

I was very, very impressed at how well a 2014 GC V6 towed my 23' trailer. Not as fun as the Hemi/8spd or the EcoDiesel, both effortless towers, but very capable all the same.

Tom
Hi Mutcth,

You seem to know what you are talking about, and I confess I am a total newbie!

I have a 2014 Grand Cherokee with the 5.7L V8. and will be towing a Bambi 19.

Got myself a Prodigy P2 Brake controller.... trying to sift these forums and figure out if I need a weight distribution hitch and/or sway controll. Any comments on the hitch setup or will I be ok if I measure squat on the Jeep and load the trailer as such to minimize that... Any help will be much appreciated, there are such mixed comments with hitch setup but I would be interested to hear from a Grand Cherokee owner.
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:20 PM   #72
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We would like to share our experience here;

Some background: We have 2012 BMW X5 35i with petrol engine and 2011 Bambi sports 16. The X5 comes with OEM tow package rated 5000lbs with tow module which has anti sway feature, our X5 also has air suspension which also can level the vehicle automatically. We installed Prodigy p2 break controller. The Bambi comes with EZ WD and anti sway bar;

We also got confused regarding the WD and the advise comes with BMW about no WD, so we did some experiment.

For the first a few trip, we played safe with WD and anti sway bar on, then a few more trips, we didn't use anti-sway bar, then no WD ....

I would say the X5 drive strangely with WD on, it seems the whole car was fighting with airstream somehow when make turns or through small bumps. And anti sway bar makes the back up so much difficult;

So we took the advise from the car manual and didn't put WD; Since then, we have been through twisted mountain roads, long climbing Rocky mountains in Canada, rain storms, windy weather, winter ski trip on ice and snow etc.

BMW did very good job on towing, the whole setup is near perfect. Most of time, we forgot we were towing. WITHOUT WD and anti sway bar, we have never noticed any sway, there is a few times the sway icon on dash board flashed a few times in a very twisted road when we might drive too fast, but X5 corrected it automatically and we didn't notice it at all. The air suspension can also level the car properly, so WD is really not necessary.

One of our neighbor has old pickup towing a very light popup trailer, he got roll over one day by fish tailing due to the cross wind. His car has aftermarket tow installed and don't have sway control built in.

I think in now days, the car manufacture puts more sophisticated tech into towing, the modem electric system can play a critical role here. I would suggest to take advise from car manufacture and check what features of the towing package in your car.
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:55 PM   #73
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miamipanther writes

"The air suspension can also level the car properly, so WD is really not necessary."

We have to be careful with this advice, that it is not taken out of context of your large, stable, and capable tow vehicle pulling a tiny Airstream. A weight distribution hitch distributes trailer tongue weight and rear load of the tow vehicle among the truck and trailer axles. Air suspension levels the vehicle but does not distribute significant weight.

Almost any Airstream will benefit from using a w.d. hitch with sway control, and most would be dangerous without it.
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Old 04-17-2014, 05:33 PM   #74
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miamipanther writes

"The air suspension can also level the car properly, so WD is really not necessary."

We have to be careful with this advice, that it is not taken out of context of your large, stable, and capable tow vehicle pulling a tiny Airstream. A weight distribution hitch distributes trailer tongue weight and rear load of the tow vehicle among the truck and trailer axles. Air suspension levels the vehicle but does not distribute significant weight.

Almost any Airstream will benefit from using a w.d. hitch with sway control, and most would be dangerous without it.
I should be clearer in my original post. WD does two things: 1, Level the rear; 2: Shift some tongue weight to the front axle of the tow vehicle using the tension. Air suspension certainly serve the first purpose, but although it can help second purpose by leveling, but certainly is not the placement for WD. Another reason just like you said is that the Bambi is so light, the tongue weight is well under the spec of our TV, WD may not play crucial role as in other heavier trailer for us.

There is other concerns about WD may interference how the system(like breaking/anti sway/air suspension etc) works in the TV, but those are not confirmed.

For us, X5 drive better without WD.

BTW, we found that setting the break controller properly helps a lot in breaking, and it also can help sway control
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Old 04-18-2014, 07:40 PM   #75
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Towing with a BMW

Quote:
Originally Posted by miamipanther View Post
I should be clearer in my original post. WD does two things: 1, Level the rear; 2: Shift some tongue weight to the front axle of the tow vehicle using the tension. Air suspension certainly serve the first purpose, but although it can help second purpose by leveling, but certainly is not the placement for WD. Another reason just like you said is that the Bambi is so light, the tongue weight is well under the spec of our TV, WD may not play crucial role as in other heavier trailer for us.

There is other concerns about WD may interference how the system(like breaking/anti sway/air suspension etc) works in the TV, but those are not confirmed.

For us, X5 drive better without WD.

BTW, we found that setting the break controller properly helps a lot in breaking, and it also can help sway control
Great info about towing with your BMW. I have been shopping for a used X5 to tow my 17 foot Caravel. We own a 08 BMW 530xi with 3.0. I was thinking about using it for towing but I have not been unable to find a hitch rated for more than 2000 lbs. for the 530. I want a older 07-08 X5 because I really like the 3.0 eng. My BMW service rep. said it is the best eng BMW ever made. I have been towing my AS with a 09 Grand Caravan without WD. The only thing I have done to the van is upgraded tires. I too have had no issues towing without the WD. Thanks again for your post.

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