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Old 09-20-2006, 11:05 AM   #1
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2005 Bambi 16'

I've been watching this site for about a year and haven't seen any 16' Bambi owners or postings !!!! Maybe we bought the only one !!! After almost 30 years of tent camping and then another 9 with a 16' Aerolite, we took the plunge and bought a new 2005 AS. Went for the 16' as "small" and "light" were our requirements. So far we've been pretty pleased with this trailer and seem to have some of the normal AS problems (metal shavings appearing all the time, refer door broken, cabinet latch broken).

I saw the discussion on the refer venting and fans and I can say that the 16' has no roof vent and if you turn off that anoying little fan, the refer will not cool. What it needs is a larger and quieter fan.

Our AS came with a solar charging system which seems to work OK but Airstream (dealer or factory tech) did not have a clue how it worked, etc. I finally contacted the manufacturer and got the ops/maintenance manual. The 16' also only has 1 battery and it is mounted in front of the propane tanks in a plastic box. I have put a cable bike lock around the box to keep the battery a little safer from those who may be looking for "free" battery.

Would like to chat with any Bambi owners about problems, upgrades, etc.

Eric
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Old 09-20-2006, 12:35 PM   #2
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Eric,

Airstream sold at least two more 16 footers

Seriously, there are more 16' owners on this forum. They probably have not gotten out of bed yet.

I'm a 19 footer, so I'd be useless, except to say that when we boondock in temps any warmer than 60 degrees, our fridge fan runs constantly.

I seem to recall that the newer units had a cut off switch for the fan. I also vaguely remember that the fan allows the fridge to cool another few degrees.

Sit tight. Someone will answer.

Best wishes.

Jonathan
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Old 09-20-2006, 05:21 PM   #3
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2005 16' Ccd

Hi Eric
I have a trailer like yours and would be happy to talk about it! I've made the following 'improvements'

1) Added two fans to the refrigerator, and improved the cooling, lessened the fan noise, and uses less power for dry camping

2) Added a battery monitor so I can keep track of things, since not only is there only pne battery, it's a small one

3) Added a second battery, but only for dry camping

4) Added a generator and a stand alone battery charger

(Are you getting the idea that our 16' didn't do a very good job of providing enough battery as they come from the factory...??)

5) Changed some of the interior light bulbs to a lower wattage, which both reduces power consumption and generates less heat

6) Added the ability to play my iPod to the factory radio set up

7) Added more of those storage nets, which is really handy

8) Added some protective film to the front to ease the problem of small dents and dings from flying gravel

So, let me know what you'd like to chat about - and welcome!
Bob
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Old 09-20-2006, 06:54 PM   #4
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pics?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RDM16CCD
...
7) Added more of those storage nets, which is really handy

8) Added some protective film to the front to ease the problem of small dents and dings from flying gravel
Any pictures of your nets and protective film? sounds interesting!
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Old 09-20-2006, 09:03 PM   #5
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I will take some photos and post them this weekend - my Airstream lives in a storage garage when not in use.
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Old 09-21-2006, 09:12 AM   #6
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We have a 2005 16' CCD and love it. When we were shopping originally, I wanted something in the 20'+ range and my wife wanted the 16 because it is "cute"; we compromised - and bought the 16! We get a lot of lookers (in the campgrounds and on the road), so I guess "cute" works. I did post a problem with a fire in the head of the hitch jack motor (the post has since disappeared), and I agree about the small series-24 battery. I thought of rewelding the battery mount to accomodate a larger series-27 or 31, but that would put the battery very close to the propane. Instead, we bought a Honda 2000 generator; it's very quiet, and with an extension cord, can be placed in the bushes which helps even further with the noise.

One disappointment with this rather expensive trailer has been the factory workmanship. As an example, I've replaced the screws on the exterior lights with stainless because of rust problems - I would have thought it would have come that way originally.
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Old 09-22-2006, 12:47 PM   #7
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I would be interested in the fan set-up and the mod for the i-Pod. I am looking into a generator although the solar system seems to work OK with the exception that it automatically discharges the battery (13.2 down to about 12.6 v) on some unknown schedule so it doesn't overcharge it when using the solar system. The solar charing system provides a power panel for volts and charging rate. We are off for 5 days to Santa Barbara and the beach in the trailer this weekend.
Thanks
Eruc
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Old 09-22-2006, 03:49 PM   #8
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I replaced all of the outsight light screws and washers also and when I said something to the dealer, he just sahrugged his shoulders.... however, when the licencse plate light begun to rust I made them buy me a new one !!!!
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Old 09-22-2006, 11:35 PM   #9
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Eric
I will get together some info to post on the fans and the ipod - they really are straightforward. I wll try for some pictures tomorrow, to make the posts a little more interesting.

In 2005, the solar was not an option on the 16'. Is your solar factory installed, or something you added? I would like more info on how this works if you can share any. When I look on top there isn't much room for a solar panel - where does it mount? And is there a control panel, and how is it wired? We do mostly dry camping, and a solar capability would be ideal for what we do.

So, I've got a project for tomorrow. It's cold and raining here this weekend (Utah), so this will be a good thing to work on.
Bob

PS I was in Santa Barbara yesterday on business - beautiful place, wonderful weather.
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Old 10-01-2006, 06:01 PM   #10
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Solar system and fan

Our unit is a 2005 16' Safari Bambi and was one of the earliest one's we saw on the lot down here in San Diego. Most 16's were the CCD. The solar system was installed on the trailer when we bought it and to date I have not been too impressed. It is a single panel (16"x22") mounted on the on top, left side, comes with a monitor panel that monitors battery state (voltage and % charged) and solar output (rate and total output over a period of time). The system was factory installed, had NO documentation, the dealer didn't have a clue how it worked, etc. In fact it did not work so I tracked down the manufacturer of the control/monitor unit and got the wiring diagram and troubleshhoing guide for the dealer. After replacing a part (dealer), the solar system seem to work OK. I am going to contact the "tech" guy again to discuss the apparent discharge the solar electronics appears to do whenever the battery approaches 13.2 volts. The battery may be part of the problem as it doesn't seem to hold a charge very well. The documentation indicates the charging rates slows down as the battery approaches a full charge but somehow that doesn't seem the case.

The refrigerator doesn't seem to work well without the fan running 24 hours a day. I don't ever remember it turning off by itself. It is off at the initial start up but goes on within the first hour and goes on and on and on. I added a switch so I could turn it off on cool nights. That is why I am interested in a better, lower amp fan set up. Don't know if I can adjust the "thermostat" on the cooling radiator fins inside and accomplish anything.

I would also be interested in lower wattage bulbs for the inside. I didn't see any good info on my installed bulbs. What bulbs do you get that where lower wattage ????
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Old 10-01-2006, 06:56 PM   #11
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Hi Eric
I have been remiss in getting some info to you - it's fall here in Utah so I've had to take advantage of the nice weather weekends we have remaining.

I will get some info to you though -

Airstream keeps going back and forth on the 16' for whether you can get them in either Safari or CCD trim. I like the look of the cabinet work in the Safari better than the CCD, but I REALLY prefer the windows in the CCD. In 2006 some of the Safari models had an option where you could get the CCD style windows with the Safari cabinets, which is the best of both for my preferences.

Can you tell if the solar equipment is original equipment, or was it added from an aftermarket source?
Bob
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Old 10-01-2006, 07:18 PM   #12
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Refrig Fan Improvements

Eric:
Here is a link to a thread on fans - it is the work of another member here called 'dtbw' (I don't want to take credit for his idea). I installed a version of this on my 05 16', and it works great. It was originally intended primarily as a noise reducing measure, but it also provides lower power options. I wired the switch inside the sink cabinet so I can control the fan (off, high speed (and higher amps) or low speed (and lower amps) from inside the trailer. I did not do all of the duct work around the cooling coils, and I did a much simpler fan attachment scheme (this will make sense after you read this thread). So take a look, see what you think - this is a GREAT mod, and should be standard from the factory on an upscale trailer like Airstrem (MHO).

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ht=silenx+fans

If this looks interesting let me know, I've installed this in a trailer just like yours.
Bob
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Old 10-01-2006, 07:27 PM   #13
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5 watt bulbs for 16' CCD

Eric:
Here is another thread that has info on lower wattage bulbs. I have ordered and installed the bulbs as described in this thread. This is another great mod - really reduces power consumption and also the heat load (these little bulbs get really hot) - both important factors when dry camping. 'Bulbs.com' was an outstanding source. You can play with the number of circuits that you switch from 10 to 5 watts, and also the number of bulbs within each circuit, to suit your own taste. It is easy to replace the bulbs after you figure out the first one, and how to re-install the cover.

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ccd-20965.html

Try this, let me know if I can answer any questions.

Bob
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Old 10-01-2006, 08:11 PM   #14
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Wow...working on ceiling lights while wearing bifocals is quite an experience (oh, my aching neck)! This is really great information Bob; thanks a lot.

Larry
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