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Old 04-21-2015, 06:50 PM   #1
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Sierra Vista , Arizona
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New 2015 16' Sport, towed by Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

New 2015 16' Sport, towed by Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

We picked up our new, 2015 16' Sport Saturday from the dealership (Lazydays) in Tucson. The folks at Lazydays very good to deal with. Our Airstream was one that they were ordering for their inventory, that we put a deposit on about a month before it arrived, so it is in standard configuration with no additional options.

After bringing it home, and putting most of our camping gear in it, we immediately took it on an overnight trip to Parker Canyon Lake. We wanted to get familiar with it as quickly as possible and to figure out what is and isn't needed.

I want to elaborate on a few of the things about our Airstream that I have seen people asking questions about on this forum:
-It does not have a DC to AC power inverter, so there is no way to power the television or run things off of any of the AC outlets without being hooked up to shore power.
-All of the interior lights are incadescent. I searched for "1156 LED Bulbs" on Amazon and purchased 20 for about $35.
-The overall build quality looks great. We have tested every feature and have found no issues.

We had the dealer install an Andersen WD hitch and a MaxAir vent cover at the time of purchase. I am a hobby machinist, with a few years experience running a lathe and mill. I am very impressed with the quality of the Andersen hitch components, and with its performance so far. We dealt with some 18mph wind gusts on the interstate while bringing it home, without any ill affect on our drive.

To the tow Vehicle:

I'M NOT INTERESTED IN YOUR OPINIONS ABOUT MY TOW VEHICLE. I AM ONLY REPORTING MY EXPERIENCES WITH IT FOR OTHER JEEP OWNERS' BENEFIT.

My 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (4 door) has the 3.6l Pentestar engine. It has the max tow package, and comes from the factory standard with a transmission cooler. I installed a proportional brake controller and 7 pin harness on the Jeep.

I traveled at 65mph on the interstate and highway coming home, resulting in 13mpg. The Airstream's water tank was 90% full. I suspect bringing it down to 55-60 will improve efficiency. Traveling from my home to the lake was all on secondary roads, with average speeds of 40-45mph, and my average efficiency rose to 14mpg.

Prior to this, the only things I have towed with my Jeep are a popup camper and a flatbed trailer with a small John Deer tractor on it. Those were not an issue. Obviously, the Airstream creates more drag and the jeep had to work at higher RPMs than I am used to on hills. However, everything seemed within reasonable limits.

Before taking it to the lot where we are storing it, I switched the height of the ball on the Andersen hitch to the correct setting for my wife's 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. It has the 3.2l Pentestar with Max Tow package. It has a 9 speed transmission and comes standard with a transmission cooler. The 10 miles to the storage lot were a bit smoother, in regards to the transmission shifting, than in my Wrangler. However, it seemed like the ride was a bit rougher than in my Wrangler, with minor bumps in the road being transferred to the vehicle more noticeably. I intend to hook the Cherokee up this weekend to take it out on the Highway; hopefully I'll be able to make a better conclusion about which is the better vehicle to tow with.
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Old 04-21-2015, 07:01 PM   #2
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Congratulations on your new unit, and welcome. I am sure that you will get years of enjoyment out of it. And, contrary to what some here say, I think you will be pleased with either of the TV's. Both are more than capable units. Chris
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Old 04-21-2015, 07:13 PM   #3
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Beautiful setup. You are gonna love it!
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Old 04-21-2015, 07:29 PM   #4
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You will love your Sport 16. We are camped at the Outer Banks in NC as I write this. So far we love our 16 Sport and find it perfect for the places we like to stay. Enjoy!
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:14 PM   #5
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This came from Anderson's website. NOTE: Currently the Atwood 88007, 88010, 88555 and 88600 couplers are not compatible with the Andersen WD Hitch (all other Atwood couplers are fine).
Check your coupler number on your Airstream. I purchased an Anderson WD and returned it because it was not compatible with my 2015 sport 16' coupler. My understanding is it can cause excessive wear on the coupler. I am certainly not the expert but you may want to check into it and form your own opinion. Perhaps others can give you more info. For me I decided it was not worth the risk of it coming loose from the TV. However I agree when looking at the Anderson WD it appears to be well built. I was certainly disappointed in the incompatibility.


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Old 04-22-2015, 01:15 PM   #6
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2000 36' Land Yacht XC Diesel
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It's funny I have a 36' DP which I absolutely love, yet every fine I'm at the dealership (which is often as they're en-route to my weekend getaway) and every time I come closer and closer to buying a Bambi (or any 16') just for fun. They're just so damn cute and seem perfect for a weekend (can't see staying much longer in one for lack of storage). How did the bathroom work out for you? That's been the only thing holding me back. I was also considering an Interstate at one point but I'd have to buy a new dinghy whereas my H2 can easily tow a 16' TT. They look so damn cute (props to your set up btw...I have fond memories of my old Wrangler) but I'm 6'2 and worry I'll be too cramped. Then again I'd just be buying it as a weekender alternative to the Pusher.
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Old 04-22-2015, 02:56 PM   #7
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-All of the interior lights are incadescent. I searched for "1156 LED Bulbs" on Amazon and purchased 20 for about $35.

Just a warning, I did that a few years ago -LED Lights cheap off the net-(which means things may have changed) and all the bulbs burned out in a few days. The cost of getting them from Airstream turned out well worth it, since they last forever (well the four or five years I have had them so far.)

We pull our 23 ft. with a Mercedes ML Diesel, and love the way it handles and pulls, you will work great with the little bambi. Just enjoy, travel, have fun. We spend three plus months at a time in ours with our two cats.
Congratulations on the silver bullet, you be glad you joined the owners on forum and I hope you join WBCCI, lots of new and fun people with lots of knowledge.
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Old 04-22-2015, 03:06 PM   #8
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2015 16' Sport
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LucasS View Post
How did the bathroom work out for you? That's been the only thing holding me back. I was also considering an Interstate at one point but I'd have to buy a new dinghy whereas my H2 can easily tow a 16' TT. They look so damn cute (props to your set up btw...I have fond memories of my old Wrangler) but I'm 6'2 and worry I'll be too cramped. Then again I'd just be buying it as a weekender alternative to the Pusher.
What's a 36' DP?

We had a vault bathroom 20' away at the campground, so we couldn't see stinking up the Airstream as worthwhile. The bathroom seems alright to use, though. I think it will be a girls-only facility for my wife and daughter.

We did alright for the night, space wise. Our kids (6 & 8) slept on the folded down dinette, and my wife and I slept on the bed. I am 6'1" and she is 5'11". We were both very comfortable, though we were touching all night and I'm not used to it compared to our king-sized bed at home. Length-wise, I had room to spare.

I could see how the lack of extra space wouldn't be for everyone, but I am familiar with those challenges from a lot of experience with pop-ups.
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Old 04-22-2015, 03:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron A View Post
This came from Anderson's website. NOTE: Currently the Atwood 88007, 88010, 88555 and 88600 couplers are not compatible with the Andersen WD Hitch (all other Atwood couplers are fine).
Thanks for the heads-up, this is something we were tracking. I have a short-range goal of replacing the coupler at the first sign of wear.
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Old 04-22-2015, 04:41 PM   #10
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Salt Lake City , Utah
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First off... Congratulations! It's great to see you are using it right away.

I have a 2006 16' in the full size, which is just a bit larger than the sport. I tow with a 2006 Jeep Liberty Diesel. It is a great pairing. The diesel torque is amazing. I average between 18-22 mpg, depending on wind and terrain (usually I'm closer to 18 cause of the mountains). Seems like 14 mpg is not bad for a gasser. How does it handle with the Wrangler?

I keep hoping they come out with a new Cherokee diesel. The Grand Cherokee diesel is a little too big for my everyday vehicle. I do love that 9 speed transmission!

Stan
Salt Lake City
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Old 04-22-2015, 11:18 PM   #11
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My 2006 H2 being a GM is basically at the end of its lifespan. I've never seen one last longer than 10 years before going kaput someway or another. I'm already on a new tranny (10k before insurance). I'm pretty sure I'm going to replace it with either a 2016 Escalade or 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel. I'd get a Range Rover today if they were capable of being towed 4 down but alas no such luck. My '03 RR was but I had to pull a fuse first amongst other things.

Has anybody else heard the rumor Jeep is going to bring back the Wagoneer? Supposedly to compete with the Escalade and Rover segment. I'd get a diesel in a heartbeat. I like the room that I get in my full-size SUV, which I would have in the Escalade, but I'd still be stuck with 8.2 L gas guzzling 10 miles a gallon on a good day engine. Towing capacity wise the Jeep is just barely capable of towing my boat but plenty for a 16' AS.

So there's different side 16's?? A full size versus?
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Old 04-22-2015, 11:25 PM   #12
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Cedar City , Utah
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Wrangler Airstream paring

Congratulations on your new Airstream you will love it, I towed a 2008
22' sport with both my 2012 and 2014 Jeep Rubicon 4 doors. Both Jeeps
had/have a 1 1/2 inch lift, 33" tires with the Mopar winch bumper and Warn winch. I changed to all synthetic oil, engine, transfer case and both front and rear ends. I never experienced the issues others complained about. The Jeeps towed the Sport at highway speeds without issue. Unfortunately my
new 14 23' Flying Cloud comes close to out weighing the Jeep, so its up to the F350 for tow duty.....good luck on your new combo......K
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Old 04-22-2015, 11:32 PM   #13
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Enjoy!
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Old 04-23-2015, 12:34 AM   #14
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Creston Valley , British Columbia
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Yay, Bambi!

We had many happy trips in our 16-footer, and recently returned from a 6-week trip in the Southwest, spending all but 3 nights in our 19-foot Flying Cloud. We loved it, and believe that space is a state of mind, not so much the length of the trailer, especially if you can spend a lot of time outside.

I am surprised about the lights. I thought all the new models had LED lights. We had the halogen lights on our 2005 Bambi switched to LEDs at an AS dealership at one point.

LucasS, the main thing with a small trailer is just making efficient use of the available space. With the wet bath cubicle on the 16-footer, we did take showers in it on occasion, but usually on hot windy days when the trailer could dry out quickly. With just the one "kitchen" sink, we dealt with hygiene by keeping a package of baby-wipes by the toilet for hand "washing," and tried to keep the sink cleaned up after tooth brushing, hand washing, &c; and often times washed dishes in a separate plastic dish tub.

There is one waste tank on the 16-foot AS for both gray and black water, and it can fill up quickly with showering, so we did a lot of waste water tank monitoring, and used CG facilities where convenient for longer boondocking sites. We also captured a lot of the shower water in plastic dish tubs, to be disposed of outside.

The beds are narrow, but seem plenty long enough. The main issue is that the inside person has to sort of climb over the outside person to get up in the middle of the night. A "twin beds" arrangement using the dinette bed, or having the outer person draw up his knees, when sleeping tandem, seemed to solve the problem.

But the advantages of a small trailer are the ability to get into a lot of cool sites that the big trailers can't.

A truck with a cap/canopy on the back is our ideal tow vehicle, because we often carry a lot of camping gear, and it's nice to have room for all of it. (Generator, gas can, jerry can of water, canoe paddles, life jackets, hiking boots, day packs, folding chairs, Dutch oven, and so on.)
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