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Old 10-04-2016, 09:51 PM   #15
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san jose , California
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Close to Buying 16' Sport

The older 16's have the view that really stirred the soul.

I waited a few years until I could find an older 16'. The panoramic view was the number 1 priority (every campsite I go to has a spectacular view from the rear and parking lots/cars from the front)...waking up/going to sleep to the view was ahead of bigger tanks/etc. But I'm just a long weekend camper.

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Old 10-05-2016, 12:18 AM   #16
Len and Jeanne
 
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2005 16' International CCD
2015 19' Flying Cloud
Creston Valley , British Columbia
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We looked at the 22' Sport and decided against it.

1. We prefer camping in funky old public campgrounds where RV length is a consideration. We decided 20' was about the limit for some of our favourite places. Most of these public campgrounds do have spaces for bigger units, but not many and they tend to fill up first.

2. We don't travel with makeup (yikes!), a hair dryer, more than 3 large towels or pots, &c. The stuff we do travel with (generator, gas can, canoe paddles, life jackets, day packs, trekking poles, picnic cooler, camping chairs & tables) easily fits in the back of our truck bed, under a Leer topper (canopy.)

We pack light. There are lots of tips on the Internet on how to cut down on your clothes packing. We don't store much of anything under the dinette.

3. The 22' Sport has the bathroom in the rear, although this is often the best view on your site. The front view may be your vehicle, and the side views could be your neighbour's monster slide-outs. The 20' Flying Cloud has its kitchen in the rear, with a small window and actual kitchen counter space. We do food prep on the dinette table, mostly.

In terms of battery capacity, you can get your mechanic to install the batteries you want. We had our hitch area modified at our dealership to support two beefy six volt batteries.

An RV's spaciousness or cramped feeling is generally a state of mind. We've spent up to six weeks in the sixteener and 7 weeks in our nineteen-footer. We never felt cramped. But then, we try to spend our time outside, mostly.
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:17 AM   #17
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Boulder , Colorado
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We have a 16’ Bambi Sport and love it. I don’t have much to add to what has already been said — there are storage limitations but we make use of our truck bed and mostly live outside. On the up side, we have many more campsite choices, especially at older campgrounds, easy towing, and we can park it at our house. I only wish the trailer was 6 inches longer and that 6 inches went toward the width of the bed.

We transitioned into the trailer from long-time tent camping. Not sure how we would feel about the setup if we had been long-time 30’ RV campers. The 16’ is a better fit for the experiences we seek — but you gotta love being outside.

Our modifications: lifted the trailer 3 inches for better clearance, added a second battery, replaced all the bulbs with LEDs, bought a portable solar panel, added a custom-cut memory foam topper to the bed.

Happy travels! CQ
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Old 10-05-2016, 11:34 AM   #18
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2017 16' Sport
Detroit , Michigan
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Thanks for all of the feedback!

We started as tent campers and upgraded straight to a 30' SOB. Honestly, the 30' is really more of a pain than we want to deal with. This is not a get-up-and-go camper (which we knew when buying), but didn't realize how big of a hassle it truly would be haha. My wife and I are get-up-and-go weekend campers, with a couple full weeks of camping a year.

There is so much storage in the Coachmen, which is what drew our attention to the model in the first place. The problem is that we filled it up with everything and anything, but hardly use most of it lol. As mentioned, we will definitely think about the "must haves" and make sure they fit in the 16 Sport.

I really appreciate everyone's replies! I believe we will utimately end up with the 16, but there are a few more visits to the dealer we will make first.

After reading and chatting with the wife, we are definitely ready! The "sacrifices" moving to 16 Sport are worth it compared to our issues with the Coachmen. It doesn't feel like our "home on wheels". Quality is definitely lacking and we are ready for something truly get-up-and-go. Oh, and the Sport will fit in our driveway.

We've been in the Sport 16 at the dealer and absolutely love the airy light interior, front dinette window, and the space in such a small package. It definitely feels like we will have enough room with our little 2 year old Collie pup. We are outdoors most of the time anyway!

I will keep you guys posted!
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Old 10-05-2016, 06:36 PM   #19
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Kansas City , Missouri
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A word on waste tanks.

I will say that for us with the 22, we rarely have issues with the black tank being at capacity. (we are a #1 only tank user, no paper, no #2). So even when camping at the national parks without hookups, we were draining the gray tank once a day because we were showering, but never needed to drain the black tank until we broke camp.

I guess what I am trying to say is that if you use the bathroom as we do, then I wouldn't be concerned about the lack of black tank per-se. If the size and layout of the wet bath meets your needs then you will probably be OK with the capacity of the 16.
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Old 10-06-2016, 02:53 PM   #20
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Upper Sandusky , Ohio
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Here are my thoughts: Over the years when our kids were young and at home we had two 30' range trailers which worked well for a family of 4, even though they were a pain to tow. We bought the 16' last year to use primarily as a rolling hotel room (we had a bedbug experience, need I say more?) We have been out for two week trips and it works well. Once we retire we are considering upsizing to a 25' twin because we may be spending a month or more in different locations and that will be a stretch for such a small trailer. The primary issue is that we both do not fit comforably in the small bed so that requires making up the dinette every day (or just leaving it down). Also, the small tanks get us about 3 showers each if we are careful but requires dumping if on a non-hookup site for more than a few days. The wet bath works ok once one develops a system. But it is a joy to tow with our Honda Pilot.

Oh, one additional thought. Airstreams are often discounted 15-20% off list so be sure they are not using that discount to get you out of your SOB.
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Old 10-06-2016, 03:59 PM   #21
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Vernon , Arizona
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Same Boat (or Airstream)

JWill,

I have been watching this thread with interest as I was where you are at now about 10 months ago. I currently own a 30' Class A and it is large, ungainly, and I end up carrying the kitchen sink with me. I am also limited on places to do a quick stop or a side excursion from.

I started with my dream of the 16' Bambi towed behind my Porsche Macan. But, I started to read threads and opinions... Somewhere down the path in the 10 months I have gone (in my dream) from a 16' to a 19' (why yes, it is perfectly acceptable to go over your car's ratings to OMG, what are you thinking you are a death trap waiting to happen) to a 22' (which is really a lot to tow across the country or out on weekly excursions for a single person with maybe a second along for fun). I then played the game of "new/used/vintage" many a time that even I am sick of playing the game let alone all the people I have bounced ideas off of. I have even visited my local Airstream dealer at LEAST a dozen times and sat in them, crawled on the floor around them and imagined taking a shower, sleeping and cooking. I have imagined worse case scenarios (oh no my car wasn't set up right and rolled over to I didn't monitor the tanks and black water came out of my shower drain).

After 10 months of pretty much analyzing everything (Program Manager and Data Geek), do you know what conclusion I came to? I really do love the 16' Bambi. It is the perfect size for an SUV, pulls like a dream, and can get into parks more easily than a larger rig. I am not "living" in my Airstream, I am using it as the ability to go on an adventure. Adventures are not always found inside :-).

So, why did I write this long rambling post? Be careful about listening to all the opinions, they bring up great things to think about. But, their needs can be wildly different from yours. Even in my most crazy day dreams I can't even begin to contemplate going larger than a 22 (which seems quite large on its own).

Tara
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Old 10-06-2016, 06:27 PM   #22
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Thanks for posting that Tara. Different strokes for different strokes, most definitely. I would never consider anything smaller than 30'. It doesn't make us right or wrong, it makes us different. Which is why Airstream makes different sizes of trailers, so people can choose the one they want.
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Old 10-06-2016, 06:54 PM   #23
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Vernon , Arizona
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Very True FCStreamer. Hope you and your family our safe out in Florida (or taking your 30' Airstream and camping somewhere safe and beautiful).

Tara
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Old 10-06-2016, 09:06 PM   #24
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Detroit , Michigan
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Tara,

Most definitely! Everyone's needs are different, hence the many sizes and lines of trailers. It's always nice to have the perspectives of others, which I can then compare to my needs!

Thanks so much for your reply! I'm an engineer, so definitely understand the data and analytical part lol. It's a bittersweet thing...you think of everything in detail to make an informed decision, but at the same time it drives you crazy because you think of every scenario and it doesn't stop lol!

We are weekend campers (with the couple weeks a year vacations). More time would be great, but we are at the beginning of our careers lol, so in time.

I think the 16 will fit us for now. As said, we plan on going to look at the 16 Sport a couple more times to make sure it'll serve our needs. Actually, while we are at our local dealer, we will look at the new 2017 Basecamp for fun!

Thanks everyone! This airstream forum is extremely valuable!
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Old 10-08-2016, 10:16 AM   #25
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Just a quick question regarding the Sport windows, particularly the non-Pano windows in the back and on the sides of the trailer:

In your experience, how different are these third party windows than the Airstream windows on the non-Sport models?
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Old 10-08-2016, 10:24 AM   #26
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Upper Sandusky , Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwill View Post
Just a quick question regarding the Sport windows, particularly the non-Pano windows in the back and on the sides of the trailer:

In your experience, how different are these third party windows than the Airstream windows on the non-Sport models?
Others who have had their Sports longer may have some opinion on longevity but in our experience, they operate just fine -- crank out easily and are less fussy than the awning Airstream window in the front. They are Hehr brand windows, similar to what one would fine in an SOB trailer.
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Old 10-08-2016, 11:51 AM   #27
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2015 16' Sport
Upper Sandusky , Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwill View Post
Just a quick question regarding the Sport windows, particularly the non-Pano windows in the back and on the sides of the trailer:

In your experience, how different are these third party windows than the Airstream windows on the non-Sport models?
Others who have had their Sports longer may have some opinion on longevity but in our experience, they operate just fine -- crank out easily and are less fussy than the awning Airstream window in the front. They are Hehr brand windows, similar to what one would fine in an SOB trailer.
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