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Old 05-26-2014, 06:40 AM   #15
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2017 25' Flying Cloud
2015 22' FB Sport
Kansas City , Missouri
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Thanks, that is good info. That would be easier and better use of electrician time than putting in a 30 amp. (although we may have a circuit already available from previous owner's electric oven and dryer. We added gas.)

So we just reviewed more closely the HOA lingo. We would be permitted to have the trailer on the street in front of the house for up to 24 hours when loading and unloading. Of course not sure how the neighbors would take to this. The driveway still may be the better answer. There is not much frontage space on the street in front of our house. More on the other side, but then we couldn't plug in since the cord would be crossing the street.

How much time is recommended to plug in and get the refrigerator cool? Or if that is the only thing needed to be cool, can we just use propane for that? How long does it take to charge up the batteries? Could you add solar to charge the batteries and not worry about plugging in before departing? This is all a lot of detail to process. I think that we are still very much confused about would we rather have a 19 or 20, or a 23 or 25. 16 is out. 22 is out due to Sport level of trim. Hubs is rather on the fence. So speak out if you have opinions regarding this please!!

Renderit, you have nailed it exactly. Don't want the bathroom only for emergency backup plan. So the 16 is out due to 21 gallon waste capacity just not being enough.


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Old 05-26-2014, 07:03 AM   #16
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2004 16' International CCD
Chicagoland , Illinois
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Be very careful NOT to plug your trailer into a dryer outlet. The plugs will unfortunately make this seem like a good idea, but it is not. The voltage at the dryer outlet is 240 VAC whereas your trailer needs 120 VAC. I've read that very bad things can happen to your trailer if you inadvertently plug your cord into the dryer outlet.

I've read that some people cool their frig. overnight before their trip. It seemed like it took closer to a day for me. Some load it up with pre-chilled food and/or ice to assist with the cooling and to shorten the cool-down time. You could do this with propane if you want to use up some of your tanks' fuel capacity before your trip. If you want to keep the frig. running when you're traveling you'll need to be running it on propane. That is a topic of fierce debate. It may not be legal in the States that you would be traveling thru. You will find all kinds of info. on the propane debates here on the forums.

I don't have a solar system, but from what I've read many solar users are able to keep their batteries fully-charged. It sounds like a well-designed solar system (which may not be the factory one) really can extend the boondocking experience.

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Old 05-26-2014, 07:15 AM   #17
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Inexpensive microwaves sometimes do not stand up to the bouncing of an rv. Of course you can buy more than one cheapo for what an rv micro sells for. I think it is a wash, I use the cheapo ones. Jim
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:21 AM   #18
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Gotcha Airrogant. Good reminder that the dryer would be 220. Mostly I meant that my breaker box would have the open slot for adding a 30 amp circuit by a qualified electrician.

ZigZagguzzi, good point on the bouncing. We moved our daughter home from her college rental cross town on Saturday. Rented a U haul enclosed trailer since it was raining a bit. There is definitely going to be some motion to consider, even if things are "secured" as well as can be.

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Old 05-26-2014, 08:32 AM   #19
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We started out looking at the 16', then 17', 20', and ended up with the 22'. Purchased the then new '08 model Sept '07. Have over 20k on it now with no regrets. Trim level was not a concern for us as it has every thing one could ask for. The large bathroom was the clincher. They come with a GR24 battery which would last 3 or 4 days boondocking. We now use a GR29 and charge with a Honda 2000i genny and lasts as long as the gas holds out. If we're doing hook-ups we don't take the genny along. Our unit came with a larger fresh water tank and the Canadian running gear with larger tires.
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Old 05-26-2014, 08:58 AM   #20
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
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You are doing the right thing by asking all of the questions and you are getting some very good responses from those who know/own 19,20 and 22 footers.

We have a 25 FB and purchased it for many reasons but one of the big ones was we did not like the corner beds where someone has to crawl over the other. We are now retired in our early 60s and we knew this would be an issue. The larger bathroom is also a big plus even though is it still small.

We have camped for a week or more on many occasions so I do have a few hints. Get the solar if you can. I don't have it and have to rely on my generator to charge things up. Do not get a trailer with a combined gray and black tank. It will fill fast and then you are stuck. Someone mentioned that you can follow many of the same procedures you used when tent camping to manage the water issue. Well, I agree but I am in the minority when I say what I will say next. When you were camping you washed the dishes and then most likely dumped the dish water at the base of the nearest shrub. When it is appropriate, I have been known to drain the gray tank in a similar manner. A hose from the outlet to some bushes well away from the parking pad is a great way to solve the problem while helping the bushes in our dry climate at the same time.

We park our trailer at a yard about 15 miles from our house. I bring it home the day before we leave, wash it and pack it. I turn on the fridge and mine cools down easily within 6 hours. Use the PROPANE, it is more efficient than the electricity. The amount of gas you use is very small as the burner is more like a pilot light than a big flame. You could run your fridge on propane for weeks and weeks and still have plenty left. Not so with the water heater and furnace.

Lastly, we prefer the oven to the microwave. With an oven you can always use it. With the microwave, you have to have a running generator. If you are in a NF campground you probably will not have hookups. We do coffee cake in the morning and baked potatoes for dinner and lots of stuff in between.

If your HOA allows the 24 hour setup time you can manage this with a little practice. Tell your neighbors ahead of time and just do it. We will leave ours in front of our house for a few days at a time but I don't like putting the neighbors out nor do I want to take the chance of something happening to the Airstream while parked in the "hood".

Best wishes in your hunt. The search is part of the fun.
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:29 AM   #21
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We have a 19 bambi and just spent 40 nights camping in SW. My wife andI still talking..We had a great trip and all trailer accessories
Worked as designed. Seven nights off grid is about max for grey water plus fresh but still had decent battery power. We have put about 20,000 miles on the bambi in last four years and have never had a camp site to small for us. I pull with 4 runner so your tundra is more than enough.
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:06 AM   #22
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We bought our lightly used 20' and love it. We have traveled over 40,000 miles with it, and up to two months at a time. We boondock almost exclusively. The bigger kitchen area is what sold us on this model. We don't have a problem with the sizes of the tanks. We dump and fill whenever we have the chance, even if it has only been a couple of days. Lots of free dump stations out there. We also carry 1-3 seven gallon water containers in our tow vehicle dependeng on how long we plan to be in one spot. We love having the oven, no need for a microwave. We have upgraded to led lights to help extend battery life, and plan on installing solar this summer. We have also upgraded to 16" wheels and truck tires, and now have over 30K trouble free miles on them with many more miles left on them. I am also very religious about packing my wheel bearings on a regular basis and cheching the wheel lug nuts frequently because of the single axle concerns. We have been able to take our smaller AS into many beautiful places where a larger trailer might have been a problem. As my wife says frequently, we can make "U turns" to pull into some interesting spot we just drove past. Good luck finding the AS that is right for you.
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:16 AM   #23
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2005 16' International CCD
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Creston Valley , British Columbia
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Piggy Bank,

We've had our sixteener for 7 years and think it's great. It gets us into National Parks and other public campgsites too small for the big fellas. We get 15 mpg towing it with a Toyota Tacoma if we watch our speed. We don't have space to park a bigger unit at home.

We have two beefy batteries that Len frequently monitors and we bring along a battery recharger, to be used when we have a hook-up and plan a long boondock the next day. With sparing use, our batteries have lasted 4 nights with no problem. We also carry a generator & gas can. We recharge the laptop, cell phone, & kindle via the truck cigarette lighter & carry a small portable innverter.

Our two propane tanks have never run dry. Many places like gas stations & RV parks will refill them.

We've not used the outdoor shower but I use the wet bath one periodically-- usually on a hot day (when most needed!) to minimize condensation inside. If you're boondocking for multiple nights, you might just want to capture much of the shower water in some plastic wash tubs & toss it outside, rather than letting it flow down the drain, to minimize filling the waste water tank.

Awning is fine. It creates a small outdoor living space. Don't leave it up when you're away, due to wind issues.

The sixteener doesn't come with an oven and our older model doesn't have a microwave. I cook around it. The major issue is minimal counter space for food prep, but I use the table a lot.

Fan and windows are fine. There is also a small roof vent in the loo.

The "trunk" in the back of the Bambi is used for towing equipment when not in use plus a few dirtier items like the hinged grill. The dog usually sleeps under the bed but when we travel without her, we keep gym bags with our clothes in this space. (The furnace vents here, so sometimes we move things around.)

Len gets claustrophobia and I need the potty periodically during the night, so our solution to the "east-west" bed is simply to make the table into a second bed each night.

Privacy isn't a problem. Our bed area can be partitioned off with a folding screen-type door that pulls across.

We have one sink in the galley area, and its fine. We keep baby-wipes in the loo for sanitary hand-cleaning. There is no mirror in the kitchen area, but a large one in the bathroom.

Water tank can get used up. We carry a jerry-can and funnel for refilling if we don't have a water hookup. We monitor the waste-water tank frequently, and use the public restrooms, where available, to spare it.

It would be nice to have a dry bath and more kitchen counter space, but hey-- we're camping. If one person is moving about the interior getting dressed, cooking, or whatnot, the other person usually sits still or goes outside. Having two people moving about simultanously requires a do-si do manoever.

The size really hasn't been an issue. In 2013 we spent 6 weeks in mostly National Park campgrounds in the Southwest, and just spent the month of April camping in southern Idaho/eastern Utah. Much of the time we were boondocking.

Small is beautiful.
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Old 05-26-2014, 12:50 PM   #24
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2006 19' Safari SE
Santee , California
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Aftermath is right on with his assessments. The refrigerator cools in about three hours on propane for us and runs very efficiently on it. I start it on propane and leave on propane for the duration of our usual 2 week trips... Flawless. Why anyone would bother switching over to electric is beyond me. Secondly the oven option is much more useful in my opinion than a reheater. I know others will disagree but, we use our oven all the time. It warms our 19' nicely when we're cooking on a cold morning or evening.

Even though many use the 16' for long trips, it was designed with the weekender in mind. The 22' Sport is a nice unit that can be upgraded an has a 54" wide bed vs the 47" in the16', 19', 20' and 23'.

I highly recommend you spend some time (hours) at a dealer feeling out the different models - they all have their strong points and I think you'll fall in love with the one that's right for you... Then never look back - just forward to your next adventure!

Good Luck
Mj: "I'm on the road again"
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Old 05-26-2014, 12:55 PM   #25
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2015 22' FB Sport
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Thank you so much for all of the replies!

Ahab, nice to hear that you like the 22. We have not seen one in person yet, and hope to find one sometime this year to see.

Thanks for the info on the pre-cooling using the propane. We might consider the 23 or 25 if we feel we can park it in the street on our block. Not sure about how that would go over with the neighbors. Don't have enough driveway space for that, even if we go diagonal across it (I just measured).

RFR36--we still haven't seen a 19 in person, and may get to see one in a few weeks. Can you do a "U turn" with the 19 hooked up to your vehicle?

48BOB--good info on the wheels and tires. I think that is something we would definitely consider as well. So you can do a U many lanes does that require and what is your tow vehicle?

Jeanne--thanks for the "do si do" explanation. It does rain a bit whenever you camp in the mountains so good to know that one person just sitting still gives you the room you need.

Maybe it's time to ask for more negative points....I love my trailer, but if I could change one thing about it, it would be_____

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Old 05-26-2014, 03:50 PM   #26
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You mentioned that your 16 has 2 waste tanks. Do you or does anyone know what years the 16 would have 2 tanks instead of a combined gray and black. Or is a modification available that can get 2 waste tanks into a 16? Just curious.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 05-26-2014, 04:24 PM   #27
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Atlanta , Georgia
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Others will cover all the other stuff. As a new Sport 22 owner, let me just point out one thing.

This weekend we took our new baby out for it's second time. My wife looked around and said, "Gee. This feels kind'a small, don't you think?"

Buy the bigger one.
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Old 05-26-2014, 06:12 PM   #28
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2001 16' Bambi
2013 23' International
Piedmont Region , North Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2006
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2 tanks on 16'

Originally Posted by Piggy Bank View Post
You mentioned that your 16 has 2 waste tanks. Do you or does anyone know what years the 16 would have 2 tanks instead of a combined gray and black. Or is a modification available that can get 2 waste tanks into a 16? Just curious.

Thanks in advance.
Piggy, My 16' Bambi was built with the 2 tanks and to the best of my knowledge when they changed them to "'Sport", that is when the combined tank began. 2006/7/8 ish ????? I've never seen or heard of one that has been modified to 2 tanks since they became "Sport". Imagine that would involve way too many $$$$$$$ to be worth it. Also from all I have seen or read there were no 16 footers made in 2003, after it came back in 2001.
Good luck with your search.

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