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Old 03-23-2013, 08:00 PM   #1
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I have some questions about Bambi?

Hi, I'm new to the forum but have been very interested in motorhome dwelling for a long time. I love Airstream Sport 16 but have a few of questions about it.

1. How much does it cost to run annually? What is included in this cost (how much water do you need, etc.). I know that this is mostly relative to the owner, but what is your experience with this?
2. What is the most cost-effective towing vehicle?
3. For those of you who drive an Airstream Sport 16, do you have any experience with cops stereotyping you as 'no good'? It's my understanding that a lot of police don't have much respect for those who choose this lifestyle.
4. Where do you park your Airstream Sport 16 when you're on the road? Do trailer parks/ campgrounds let you in for a fee? Have you tried using couchsurfing.com to find a place to park your camper for the night? Have you had any trouble with this?
5. Do any of you have any animals? I've been thinking of getting a smaller dog (like a chihuahua) but I'm not sure if this would be ethical as it's such a small space.

Thank you for your time and I hope you can help me answer some of these questions
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:48 PM   #2
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1. How much does it cost to run annually? What is included in this cost (how much water do you need, etc.). -- Fuel for tow vehicle, license plates, property tax (if not included in license fees), trailer insurance (probably as a rider on your tow vehicle policy), storage (if not located on your property), RV resort and camping fees, new tires every 4-7 years, etc. Note: Electric, water and sewage hookups are included (frequently at extra cost) in most campground fees, if these services are available and you choose to use them. Otherwise, these may be additional costs, depending on where you camp.

2. For a towing vehicle, do you think a Hyundai Elantra would be a good choice? -- Hyundai Elantra is rated to tow 3,086 pounds. The Airstream Sport 16 GVWR is 3,500 pounds. Therefore, the Elantra does not appear to be a good choice as a tow vehicle for this trailer.

3. For those of you who drive an Airstream Sport 16, do you have any experience with cops stereotyping you as 'no good'? It's my understanding that a lot of police don't have much respect for those who choose this lifestyle. -- I am not a full-timer, but I have never personally had any problems with police. Not sure where you may have heard about this stereotype, but RVers are not generally considered "trailer trash". In fact, the only comments we have ever had on our Airstream are positive, usually along the lines of "Is this Airstream for sale?" and "I've always wanted one of these." I suggest you attend a local Airstream rally or RV event and discuss your concerns with other Airstreamers and RVers.

4. Where do you park your Airstream Sport 16 when you're on the road? Do trailer parks/ campgrounds let you in for a fee? -- Campgrounds in US National Parks, National Forests, Bureau of Land Management land, regional/state/county parks, etc. If you frequently visit "National" areas, you may wish to consider purchasing an $80 annual pass. See details at: U.S. National Park ServiceAmerica the Beautiful

Have you tried using couchsurfing.com to find a place to park your camper for the night? Have you had any trouble with this? -- This site seems to have much different objectives than RV camping. Suggest you check out these Web sites, instead:

* RV Park Reviews :: Home

* Reviews of Hotels, Flights and Vacation Rentals - TripAdvisor

* U.S. National Park Service - Experience Your America

* http://www.freecampgrounds.com/index.aspx


5. Do any of you have any animals? I've been thinking of getting a smaller dog (like a chihuahua) but I'm not sure if this would be ethical as it's such a small space. -- Many travel with pets, because they are part of their family. However, you should be aware that some campgrounds have restrictions and fees similar to those imposed by hotels/motels. Also, copies of vaccinations and similar documentation may be required when entering some states, Canada, etc.

==========

All good questions from a young person, inexperienced with RVs and travel. This lifestyle is not complicated, and you'll find most campers very open and helpful. Suggest you visit some events and campgrounds to get first-hand advice from experienced travelers. Also, don't be discouraged, but RVs can be quite expensive to maintain, especially for young persons just entering the workforce. However, don't be discouraged. Many of us were not born into money and started small; and our RVs grew along with our income.

Welcome to AirForums!
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:49 PM   #3
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I have some questions about Bambi?

Greetings Goldenticket!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Airstreaming!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldenticket View Post
I love Airstream Sport 16 but have a few of questions about it.

1. How much does it cost to run annually? What is included in this cost (how much water do you need, etc.). I know that this is mostly relative to the owner, but what is your experience with this?
Estimating annual cost has many variables such as how many miles that you travel, where your trailer and tow vehicle are registered, the types of campgrounds/RV parks where you choose to stay, and how much maintenance you are prepared to do yourself both on the Airstream and tow vehicle. I estimate my fixed scheduled maintenance on my Airstream at $500 per year (that does not include replacing worn out appliances, etc.) for such things as seam sealing, bearing repacks, regular checkups for all LP gas appliances, etc. When traveling, I anticipate $35 per night for commmercial campgrounds and $25 per night for state/national park campgrounds. Since I rarely travel more than six weeks at a time, most of my stays are no more than five or six nights in one location. For either of my tow vehicles, I estimate 10 MPG overall for a trip with the Airstream. Since both my Airstream and Argosy are Vintage, I plan on about $500 per year to be banked for replacement of failed appliances, etc. The specialized insurance policies that i carry for both of my Vintage Airstream products run about $250 each per year.

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2. What is the most cost-effective towing vehicle?
There are many variables to consider when selecting a tow vehicle, but you should have a wide selection when considering a late model Bambi 16. To provide yourself with some reserve for towing in adverse conditions, a tow vehicle with a trailer tow rating of 5,000 pounds should serve well for a Bambi 16 . . . such a tow vehicle should provide about 20% greater towing capacity than required for a Bambi 16. Based on personal experience, I generally suggest looking for at least 20% greater towing capacity than needed for the GVWR of the trailer being considered so that you won't be marginally powered for toruing in hilly/mountainout terrain. Two tow vehicles that I have had were right at their maximum towing limit with my Overlander, and they simply were not up to the task of managing their rated weight on steep mountain grades and had some serious problems on less severe grades in the Smoky Mountains and Black Hills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldenticket View Post
3. For those of you who drive an Airstream Sport 16, do you have any experience with cops stereotyping you as 'no good'? It's my understanding that a lot of police don't have much respect for those who choose this lifestyle.
I have traveled every state West of the Mississippi River, and have never had any problesm with local law enforcement. In fact, the two times when I have had tow vehicle problems, the local State Police were extremely helpful. When towing, I try to follow some sensible guidelines . . . i keep to 55 MPH as my towing speed limit so keep to the right on the rare ocassions when traveling Interstates, when cars back up behind me, I find a safe place to pull off and allow traffic to pass, and I make sure that the signal and marker lights on the Airstream are in top operating condition at the beginning of each towing day.

Particularly with a a late model Airstream, you may find that some of your fellow travelers may assume that you are snobbish because of the perception that Airstream is the Cadillac of RVs. In all of my travels, I have never had any problems with the people that I meet. An Airstream is a quick conversation starte since it is so readily recodnized by the public . . . you will quickly acquire a number of responses for often asked questions. It is almost impossible to stop at a gas station or shopping center and not have someone ask about your Airstream . . . or the "neat silver trailer" as some may ask. The questions can double or tripple if you happen to choose an unusual tow vehicle . . . I don't know whether the Airstream/Argosy generate more questions when I tow with the '75 Cadillac or if the Eldorado convertible generates more questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldenticket View Post
4. Where do you park your Airstream Sport 16 when you're on the road? Do trailer parks/ campgrounds let you in for a fee? Have you tried using couchsurfing.com to find a place to park your camper for the night? Have you had any trouble with this?
I carry two campground guides that help me to find campgrounds. I have always had good experiences with KOA campgounds so I carry one of their guides and belong to their travelers club for the discounts that it provied. I also carry the Trailer Life Campground Directory (I usually purchase the CD ROM version), and have had very good luck with it as well. There are also plug-ins for many GPS units that have campground guides/directories keyed to where you are traveling. I also belong to the Wally Byam Caravan Club International, and as a member, you have access to Courtesy Parking as well as campground discounts as a member. Courtesy Parking is when a member offers access to parking on their property for short-term use of other members as they are traveling through their location . . . something that some members of Airforums also offer.

Campgrounds have nightly fees that vary as much as hotels/motels. Typically, the least costly commercial campgrounds are around $35 per night while local/state/national parks can be $15 to $25 per night. Luxury resort RV parks can exceed $100 per night dependingy upon the accommodations offered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldenticket View Post
5. Do any of you have any animals? I've been thinking of getting a smaller dog (like a chihuahua) but I'm not sure if this would be ethical as it's such a small space.
I have traveled with either one or two Chihuahuas the entire time that I have been an Airstreamer. Chihuahuas are small, and don't require large amounts of exercise so even two in a Bambi 16 shouldn't prove a problem. My Chihuahuas were tiny toy size (2 pounds or less), and enjoyed traveling . . . they liked to share the center console of my Suburban when we were traveling . . . or their special bed in the floor of the convertible so that they were out of the breeze. They were litter box trained so were rarely outside of the Airstream unless they were on my lap. I always had current health records in the glove compartment of my tow vehicle, and each dog always had its coller with engraved tag with my contact information . . . I will probably have my new dogs micro-chipped in addition to the id tags. Despite their small size, they are good at guarding their domain. They have warned me when animals were prowing outside of the trailer, and have warned me when humans get too close to their trailer . . . they also begin an early warning routine when they sense that a storm is approaching. My last pair enjoyed sleeping as close to me as possible . . . the little female insisted upon sleeping on my arm and would burrow under my pillow if the temperature fell too much during the night and the little male would sleep in his bed in the aisle next to my bed. I can't imagine traveling without a Chihuahua or other small lap dog.

Good luck with your investigation and research!

Kevin
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