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Old 01-06-2015, 07:45 PM   #1
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Bambi 16' or 19' need your feedback?

Hello. I am fairly new to the forum but, having been reading quite a bit in the last two months. Starting to look for a 16' Bambi, due to the fact that the majority of the time I will be camping by myself or with my 12 year old daughter.

I like the idea of the 16' so I can just hook up and go. Will also work well with my 2012 FJ Cruiser as the TV. The majority of the time I will be out for 2-3 days at state parks or boondocking, unless on vacation. I just feel like I would use the 16' more due to the ease of size.

Looking to hear from current 16' / 19' Bambi owners on how they like theirs. Plan on keeping it for awhile so I want to buy the right one the first time. One concern is the wet bath.

Thanks in advance for your help. Pete
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Old 01-06-2015, 08:29 PM   #2
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I have had both 19 and 16 and for two people we find the 16 better for us , easier to pull with most mini vans ,small trucks ,larger cars , midsize SUVs , we get better fuel economy versus the 19 foot airstream , most of the time we don't use the shower in the trailer we use the camping locations showers ,we like the shorter trailer for ,more available campground sites , easier to wash and wax , less on insurance cost, less to go wrong , less money invested in it,but remember the 16 is a base airstream there is a big jump to the 19 foot ,a lot more luxury . It depends on you , either way if you buy one and sell it two years later you will not loose much , if you got a good price on it when you bought it new .

Don
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Old 01-06-2015, 08:51 PM   #3
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Huntsville , Alabama
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The wife and I chose the 16' Sport. Felt like it was the right size for us. I wanted something easy to tow and maneuver. We always camp at campgrounds with a bath house and shower there. However can shower in camper when or if need be. We have enjoyed it and have no regrets with the 16' Sport. Usually our trips are 1 week or less (3 day weekend) with an occasional two week trip.

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Old 01-06-2015, 10:09 PM   #4
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Denville , New Jersey
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I have 19', love it, because I boondock a lot, the tanks and shower use was better for me. The kitchens are about the same, as is dining atea and bed, so bathroom and tanks and I guess some storage are only differences. I moved up from a teardrop then a tab trailerso I feel like I am living large in 19'. Purchased used, no regrets. I think you would be very happy in either. I travel mostly alone 160 nights a year, it is where I stay when I work away. For vaca My husband comes and I take the four grandkids, no problem!
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:09 PM   #5
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We have enjoyed our 19' Bambi for many years, but it sounds like the 16' might match your needs better.

Tim
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Old 01-06-2015, 11:31 PM   #6
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Creston Valley , British Columbia
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We had a 16-foot Bambi for 7 years, and thought it was great. Once we camped in it for 6 weeks straight, and took it on other multi-week trips. We never felt cramped, but one person up and doing something generally required the other person to be seated, in bed, or outside, to minimize the "do-si-do" effect of two people manoeuvering in a small space.

When we replaced it after an accident, however, we decided to go with the 19-footer. Our maiden voyage with it will be in March. Rather than thinking about the length per se, maybe think about what you want a camper to have, what types of places you like to camp in, whether your tow-vehicle is at issue (3500 lbs vs. 4500 lbs) and most importantly, how your daughter might feel when she's a real teenager in a few years' time.

16-foot: It really has most of what you need. We routinely put down the dinette table to make a second bed, which you can also use as a sofa, if you have enough pillows. You can screen off the bed for privacy. (We had a folding door panel-- I think the Sport has more of a curtain.)

The new Sport models do not come with stone guards and rear bumpers, which we would have added, had we gone this route. With only one sink, hygiene demands extra attention. You have to cook everything with a two-burner stove (new Bambis come with microwaves, I believe, but need a hook-up to operate.) We like to camp in some of the more out-of-the-way western public lands, where long campsites and pull-throughs are limited to just a few or none. Nice window in the back. We could tow it with a Tacoma, and got good mileage if we kept to 60 mph or below.

The "wet bath" was a bit of a hassle but it is a functioning shower. However, we restricted its use to hot, dry weather so we could dry out the loo easily and not steam up the whole interior. Also, we tried to capture a lot of the shower water in plastic wash-tubs (unless we had a sewer hook-up, as the smaller the trailer, the smaller the waste-water tank.)

19-foot: A full bath. (A teenage girl might appreciate this.) More kitchen (oven, bigger fridge.) Still within the 20-foot limit of many public lands campsites. However, we decided we needed a V-8, so our big expense was trading in the Tacoma for a Tundra. However, the mileage isn't as bad as we feared, apparently because the engine doesn't have to work so hard. More interior storage space. I think what we really liked was the Flying Cloud interior, which is very light and bright, and then it comes with the stone guards, heavier-duty screen door, rear bumper, &c.

We camped in the new 19-footer just overnight at Airstream of Spokane, when we bought it, and then had it on the road for a few hours to drive it back home. It didn't seem noticeably more difficult than Bambi the First. But time will tell!

Good luck with your new purchase.
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Old 01-07-2015, 04:44 AM   #7
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We (she) chose the 16 primarily because she liked to be able to look out the back window while laying down. She also wanted new and didn’t want to take a loan or completely drain the savings. The big compromise is the smallish combo black/grey water tank. We are in the mid-Atlantic region, where there isn’t much in the way of boon docking to be had, so we’ll use the campground’s facilities except for during the middle of the night.
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:20 AM   #8
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I can only speak to the 19' - here's what we've liked (and not liked) since we bought it in 2003:

We like:
- it's "get up and go" qualities
- the privacy curtain between the living area and the bedroom/bathroom.
- the full sized shower
- the fact that it has all the right parts - just small
- although small - it is still large enough to be comfortable on extended vacations - or multiple "rain" days.
- it's big enough to include the dog.

What we don't like:
This is a pretty short list ..... just one thing on it ...... we are no longer too fussy about the size of the tow vehicle we have to keep and maintain to tow it. We tow with a Nissan Pathfinder - not a large vehicle for sure - tows it just fine - but it is an SUV and it's gas mileage is terrible - particularly in winter. Here in Northwestern Ontario the winters are long and the price of gas is a heck of a lot higher than you will find in the U.S. - or even elsewhere in Canada - so - we've been thinking about getting a vehicle that is a bit smaller and more gasoline friendly - meaning that we will have to get a smaller trailer as well.

Having said that ...... we've had this discussion on-and-off between ourselves for several years - but every time we get ready for a trip we look at each other and say "nope" - the Bambi is gonna stay .....

Good luck on your choice.


Jay
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Old 01-07-2015, 10:28 AM   #9
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Since the majority of the time you would camp by yourself I think the 16 would be a great fit. We love our 16 and we always have 2 adults and 2 dogs in it and it still is big enough. Even when we had our larger trailer, we would use the campground showers. Mainly because after hiking all day I just want to stand under the hot water forever and no TT would have a grey tank big enough for me, haha.
The 16 would be awesome for a single. And when your daughter is with you the dinette makes a nice size bed. We alternate using it as a dinette and a big sofa.
All of that being said... I have never camped with a teenager so good luck with that
Also, I didn't like how the 19's toilet is at an angle and so close to the door, but apparently it works for some.
Sure I would like to have bigger tanks, segment protectors, Aluminum LP cover and a bumper, but we did not like the 19 layout as much and at $20K more...
The 16 is perfect for us, easy to tow and maneuver, tons of storage.
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Old 01-07-2015, 10:45 AM   #10
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Albertville , Minnesota
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We have the 16 ' QuickSilver. I stay in it for three months. No problem with the bathroom. Love it. My husband wants to get 25', but I love my Quicksilver.
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Old 01-07-2015, 11:26 AM   #11
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16 vs 19 ft

I purchased a 2010 16ft International last May and have loved it. With a second battery and solar panel, it's been great for boondocking. The wet bath has not been a problem and it tows very well behind a Volvo XC 90 with V-8. I wanted to have this vintage because of the wraparound rear window and rear bumper for mounting a bike rack. I've thought about going larger but the 16 works well for me, my girlfriend and a 65 pound golden retriever.
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:13 AM   #12
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Creston Valley , British Columbia
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Beautiful photo, BudE! What camping should be like.

I don't think AS made too many of those wrap-around rear windows, which look great, but even so, the standard larger window on the back of the sixteener is a real asset. So often with back-in sites, the best view is out the back window. Our nineteener has a small window in the back. We looked at the 20-foot Sports, but didn't like having no rear window view at all: the entire rear of the trailer is taken up by the bathroom.

Our medium-sized dog slept nicely in the small Bambi: on her blanket under the bed, unless we had to turn on the furnace.

Buying new, for sure there are cost-savings with the smallest model. However, even lightly used larger AS trailers can mean considerable savings. If you can fine one!
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Old 01-08-2015, 05:17 PM   #13
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I just wanted to thank you all for taking the time to post. It is greatly appreciated. I'll keep you posted on what I purchase. At this point, I think a 16' International may be it due to the cost and wrap around rear window. Happy New Year! Pete
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Old 01-09-2015, 10:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syr1pss View Post
I just wanted to thank you all for taking the time to post. It is greatly appreciated. I'll keep you posted on what I purchase. At this point, I think a 16' International may be it due to the cost and wrap around rear window. Happy New Year! Pete


It may take a while to find a 16 ft. International. They stopped making them in 2012 and I have not seen many for sale. The wrap around rear window is really nice!
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