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Old 05-03-2013, 12:10 PM   #1
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2013 16' Sport
Adairsville , Georgia
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 12
Another newbie

I am ready to pull the trigger on a new 16' Bambi Sport, with Equalizer (brand name) 6000#hitch. My TV is an '08 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland w/ MBenz V6 turbo diesel and tranny. I see no towing problems with this set-up. I figure I could even tow a 19' (which I have considered) or 22' just as easily.
I am holding off buying because I keep reading about corrosion problems, rivet popping, and lower quality in the newer Airstreams in general. I don't care anything about putting over $40K into constant problems.
Any advice and input into this post would be appreciated
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:25 PM   #2
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1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
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Welcome to the forum

If you have been reading the forums for a while you realize that the perception of quality is all over the map.

You might consider buying a used Airstream, so you can get some experience camping in one and to help you figure out what size and layout that you like. You can always sell it later when you are ready to buy a new one that you know will be the right Airstream for you.

Thanks, Dan
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:35 PM   #3
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1991 29' Excella
Akron , Ohio
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Greetings, Zenspector!
Who is your dealer? With a good warranty and not to far a distance to cover when a problem arises, you will have back up for that first year. You might want to make a list of your concerns and find out what is covered.

Unlike so many of us here ...we haven't been with you for every agonizing part of the decision to go with the new 16' Bambi. Did you thoroughly consider the layouts of the other sizes you mention? Just asking...

And, BTW, welcome!
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:16 PM   #4
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
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If I were buying a new small trailer it would be a 19' because it is built like and has the layout of larger Airstreams, but in a compact size. But I would be darn sure that's big enough, this is primarily a weekend and vacation size, not for extended travel.

Quality of the new trailers is excellent compared to only a few years back. If sawdust and metal drilled shavings shaking out of crevices bothers you, you're not going to be happy. Some things break or come loose early in their use. That's what the 2 year warranty is for, pick a dealer where you can use it.

Corrosion and leaks may happen, but are manageable. These are metal trailers with thousands of holes drilled in them for assembly.

Heavy hitch systems may shake things up more than they should, and Equal-I-Zer is one of them. Use a hitch with tapered weight distribution bars for flexibility, and no larger than your tongue weight/trailer require.

Set up a quarterly inspection and maintenance schedule to look for leaks, corrosion, or anything not working properly. Use a moisture detection meter to probe the edges of the vinyl floor to see if their is moisture leaking into the plywood subfloor. Promptly fix any leaks found.

Treat the cut metal edges, drilled rivet holes, and exterior fittings as soon as you get it home with a preventive such as CorrosionX, then at least annually after that. Spray the steel underbody components with a product such as Boeshield T9 which will leave a protective paraffin wax coating. The more you use it near salt water or winter road salt, the more you need to wash it and treat it for corrosion. You still may get some, but it can be kept under control. Carefully clean any corrosion off and touch up the area with clear coat.

Best to store it in a shed, but if you can't, use a UV protective spray on the external rubber and plastics. Keep it clean, food removed when not in use to discourage mice and insects. Keep the storage tanks clean when stored.

There are ongoing expenses, tires, batteries, repairs, improvements, insurance, storage.

Choose the model carefully for your own use, take good care of it, and it will last a lifetime.

doug k
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:43 PM   #5
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2013 16' Sport
Adairsville , Georgia
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 12
Another newbie

Thanks for your advice and thoughts. Actually, the more I read, see and experience, I am starting to lean toward a 2012 new 23' FB Flying Cloud, which is at my closest dealer (still a 130 miles away). We do plan on using the rig for more extended trips. We have always been tent campers, and I like the idea of not pulling a big trailer. My dad did that, and I saw it as too restrictive for my lifestyle. However, the 23 has twin axles, which I like towing-wise.
I wonder if my TV (mentioned originally) will be able to handle the 23. It still falls well within the rated capacity for the Jeep, with about 20% deduction I use for reality's sake.
Thoughts?
Thanks and Cheers
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:08 PM   #6
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
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They also make a 23' with a sofa in front, bed and bath in back. A really nice model with windows wrapping all around the front where you lounge. The reason I suggest you consider it is because the 23' front bed has a nice big bed and bath, but very little space to stretch out evenings, rainy days. We had a 20' with only a side dinette to relax on. Fine for short stays, but for extended travel it was very difficult to be comfortable, and somewhat confined in feel.

If this bed is too small and difficult to use and you plan going to travel a lot, there are two 25' floor plans. That's where we ended up after a few months-long trips, everything is comfortable. So narrow it down to all these different 23'/25' models, take your time, and try them all on for size. They are still not big trailers and tow much better than square-box trailers of the same size (independent torsion suspension, low center of gravity, and classic Airstream streamline shape).

doug k
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:39 PM   #7
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2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zenspector View Post
I am ready to pull the trigger on a new 16' Bambi Sport, with Equalizer (brand name) 6000#hitch. My TV is an '08 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland w/ MBenz V6 turbo diesel and tranny. I see no towing problems with this set-up. I figure I could even tow a 19' (which I have considered) or 22' just as easily.
I am holding off buying because I keep reading about corrosion problems, rivet popping, and lower quality in the newer Airstreams in general. I don't care anything about putting over $40K into constant problems.
Any advice and input into this post would be appreciated
Consider a gently used late model....already depreciated, pesky problem's probably taken care of.

The smaller AS's can sometimes be a step-up model and end up on the market.

If it's filiform your worried about it's not going to keep you from camping, and once dealt with it can be controlled with a consistent maintenance plan.

PITA...yes but..... "Time will bring to light whatever is hidden; it will cover up and conceal what is now shining in splendor."
Horace

Good luck in your search

Bob
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