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Old 01-06-2015, 08:45 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, 09:29 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 .


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Old 01-06-2015, 09:51 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, 11:09 PM   #4
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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, 11:09 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.

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Old 01-07-2015, 12:31 AM   #6
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2005 16' International CCD
2015 19' Flying Cloud
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, 05:44 AM   #7
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Lakeridge , Virginia
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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, 09:20 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.

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Pathfinder - 2009 (The Buggy)

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Old 01-07-2015, 11:28 AM   #9
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2014 16' Sport
Cardiff , California
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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, 11:45 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, 12:26 PM   #11
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Edwards , Colorado
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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, 01:13 AM   #12
Len and Jeanne
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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, 06:17 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, 11:52 AM   #14
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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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Old 01-18-2015, 10:27 PM   #15
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2005 19' Safari
Duluth , Minnesota
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16 or 19… Personal preference for sure, easy for us.

Not sure you're still following this thread. Have the 19'. Something to remember regardlesss of which you choose… One of the REALLY cool things about the Airstream is that the frame and exterior are built first. EVERYTHING that goes into the trailer comes in through the door. Here's the thing… We loved our 19 but the fixed bed was such a pain in the neck. Crampped the floor space and getting into and out of the bath was very tight. After putting up with the fixed bed for years, I finally ripped it out and turned our bed into a pull-out bed from a "L" shaped sofa. Gave us a ton of extra floor space and the bed is easily converted by having storage space under the clothing in the closet. The sofa is jsut great for spending rainy days sitting inside reading and having coffee together. Much better use of space (at least for us).

We really value the extra space and wouldn't want a 16', but that's all a matter of personal preference. Regardless of which is "right" for you, the options to modify are absolutely endless! You can change so much with a little effort adn imagination! You will NEVER regret your airstream investment! It was a huge leap for us, as it costs twice the competition, but worth every penny! Make your pic and ENJOY! Chose whatever rig you'll use the most. Once you are an owner, you can always trade up or down to suit changing desires, or modify like we did to tailor it to our particular desires. It's the initial investment that kind of hurts.

Best of luck!
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Old 01-19-2015, 05:32 PM   #16
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Columbus , Indiana
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We have a 16' and it's enough room for the four of us. We've spent a rainy & cool (50's Farenheit) week in October, and it was fine. Everybody needs to be cool, but it's actually pretty good. If the kids bring friends, we bring the bigger tent. Sometimes we bring it anyway :-)

The 31' we had before could get a little cramped and we sometimes had trouble reserving a good spot, or sometimes any spot at all. When we decided to look again, we capped the length at 23' to avoid that. It turns out the 16 felt more open than the 19', to us anyway.

In between the two we did tents and cabins for a couple years, which may have skewed our perspective.

But really, any camper is a compromise - how much you are willing to adapt to nature vs. how much do you expect your equipment to insulate you from it.
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Old 01-19-2015, 06:23 PM   #17
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Olathe , Kansas
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We have had our 19' International for 5 years now and LOVE it! We looked at the 16' but really didn't like the wet bath and I wanted an oven. We started out towing it with an Acura MDX but moved up to a VW Tourareg, the Acura was fine but with the V8 we don't even know it's back there! We have really enjoyed the space in the 19' and having both a black and grey tank has been perfect while boon docking. Spend some time in both sizes and you will get a good idea if you need less or more space.

Good luck and happy hunting!
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Old 01-19-2015, 07:12 PM   #18
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We came down to the 16 and love it , we had years ago a boler trailer 13 footer and 2 feet narrower and had our two kids with us , now that's alot smaller than the 16 foot airstream , so the 16 should work for you and your daughter. And when she gets older it doesn't mather how big your trailer is she ain't going camping. At least most teenagers don't they have other interest.

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Old 01-22-2015, 01:22 AM   #19
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Salt Lake City , Utah
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We just purchased a 19' International and the few times we have had to use it were some of the best times we've ever had. For 2 people it was so perfect. The Clarion surround sound was better than my home stereo system, the adjustable lighting was very sexy. I am looking for a small lot within an hour of where we live to "get away" now. We love the 19' and would highly recommend it.
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Old 01-25-2015, 11:53 PM   #20
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
Scottsdale , Arizona
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We will be celebrating 2 years with our 16' and we love it!. We don't mind the shower deal - we aren't huge people. No oven - no problem..WE"RE CAMPING! We have a microwave which we use rarely - but it's awesome storage for chips, food etc.

As for the wrap window in the bedroom: We're glad we dont' have it in our sport. When we sleep we like it dark. I guess you could add room darkening curtains but then that's a lot of curtains to replace. We keep the reflecting bubble stuff in the windows when not in use - AZ sun. But we keep the one on the bedroom window on and slide it in and out at night. We can sleep past dawn. The window is large enough to see whatever you want to see. If it's that good of a view - I want to be outside in it!

We have lots of pillows which make the dinette into a lounge area when down - which is most of the time when we can eat outside.

We recently spent a Tuesday through a Sunday boondocking and didn't need to dump and added a little more water -Showered at camp facilities. All was good - although I think we just about "topped off" the black tank!

No intension of moving up to a larger one - unless we find a shell to rehab!

BTW - we have taken my mom with us on a weekend and it was great!
Another advantage: you can clean the floor with ONE Lysol wipe!

Have fun!!!

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