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Old 09-11-2008, 10:31 AM   #1
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Colorado Springs , Colorado
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New member with questions

I originally posted this on the 2005 Bambi site, but got no response. Thought I'd try here. I have certainly benefitted from the 16' vs 19' discussion.

I am new to the forum and could use a little help thinking about options. We are currently traveling in a VW Eurovan Camper. The EVC is a great vehicle and nice to drive, but it is getting a little small for the two of us and our German Shepherd. We would give up some things making a change -- the EVC fits in our garage, is easy to maneuver and gets good gas mileage. Plus it goes into virtually any camp site.

We are thinking of a few possibilities. A Bambi, a Casita trailer or a Sprinter-based unit like an Interstate.

Reading parts of this forum it seems like towing anything can be a pain in the patoot. Even a Bambi would significantly complicate our travels, it seems. I'm sure many of you have been through this thought process and may be able to offer some insight about things to consider.

A few questions, please. Can I tow a Bambi with a BMW X5 or a Toyota 4Runner? Is a 16' size adequate for two plus dog? Does the single axel of the Bambi still give the great handling shown in the video with the Cayenne? HAs anyone made a similar switch in vehicles?

Thanks for your help.

Ed Brady

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Old 09-11-2008, 11:44 AM   #2
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Welcome Ed! Always great to have new members. After a Eurovan a 16 ft Bambi will seem like a mansion. Check the tow capacity, but I think a 4-Runner would do just fine.

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Old 09-11-2008, 11:53 AM   #3
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Welcome, Ed... You should be able to find a lot of info here regarding your concerns. We tow a 19' 06 Bambi with and 07 Tacoma and it does just fine... You probably need to check the numbers of the 4Runner''s towing capacity vs the weight of a 16' to be sure it's doable. We are 2 adults and 2 medium dogs in the 19'. We think a 16' would be a bit cramped for us...but so much depends on how you camp/travel. We know a couple who have a 16' with a dog and a cat and they do just fine...however, they "spread out" at a campground and don't spend a lot of time inside, and so most of their cooking and meals outside. As mentioned above if you are used to the van, a 16' will seem spacious... The Bambis can go just about anywhere and are easy to maneuver into small spaces...and of course the nice thing is that you can go on side trips in the TV and not have to teke the whole sheebang along with'll like that.

Good luck and let us know what you decide!
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Old 09-11-2008, 11:59 AM   #4
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I agree with TB...I too thinks the 16' would be a cramp with two dogs.

Is your 4runner a V6 or V8...the V6 4.0 L should have a towing capacity around 5,000 lbs and the V8 4.7L around 7,000 lbs.

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Old 09-11-2008, 12:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Edbrady View Post
...We are thinking of a few possibilities. A Bambi, a Casita trailer or a Sprinter-based unit like an Interstate.

Reading parts of this forum it seems like towing anything can be a pain in the patoot. Even a Bambi would significantly complicate our travels, it seems...
hi ed and welcome to the forums...

i made the switch from moho to trailer just a few years ago.

it's different, but simpler in some ways, all rving styles come with a learning curve.

making the transition from a euro or b van to a trailer or larger rv has issues too.

yes an x5 can tow a bambi and really up to 23 ft (for new trailers) would work fine with the bmw...

same with the 4runner, but this also depends on which edition/years of the 'yota.

a 16 is REALLY tight inside in terms of floor/walking space. it would be tight for 2 people and a BIG dog.

otoh IF most of the time is spent outdoors and the tv is used for the pooch house, it's doable.

19 is obviously longer, but many think the floor plan is an issue.

have you been inside any 'streams yet? tried out the space, looked over the features?

imo the new 20 is a pretty slick unit and can go anywhere a 16 or 19 can.

also the safari sport units (now just called safari) have more functional space and are in the same weight/size range.

i also like the 23 ft or ANY of the new short-2 axle 'streams. they are a tad heavier, but the space/features are greater too.

you might share a bit more about the perceived complications related to using a trailer vs a van for camping.

PLEASE ignore the 'handling video' it is eye candy only and misleading, to the point of being SILLY.

high speed lane change and carving a line through the s-curves is SO NOT important for rv-ing.

the casita has the advantage of being easily towed with many smaller vehicles.

these tiny trailers are wonderful for some folks and some applications, there are several brands in this class.

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 09-11-2008, 12:41 PM   #6
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New member with question

Greetings Ed!

Welcome to the Forums!

My earliest camping experiences were with first, a VW Campmobile (1970), and next a Chevrolet C20 pickup with a SunWay truck camper. I have found the travel trailer to suit my mode of travel much better than the two first tries as I like having the tow vehicle as a separate vehicle that can be used for sight-seeing.

I travel with two small Chihuahuas, and I wouldn't want to go much smaller than my 6.0 Metre Minuet (19' 6"). The Minuet has been my travel choice for the past three summers with the longest trip being to Salem, OR and the most recent trip being to Bozeman, MT. The Minuet has enough floor space for the Chihuahuas to have satisfactory play area while providing adequate space for relaxation. After nearly 4,000 miles this past summer (Bozeman, MT), I am convinced that I wouldn't want to go smaller but the 6.0 Metre has been an excellent traveling companion.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin D. Allen
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:04 PM   #7
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Thanks, all, for the great responses. I have looked at the 16, 19 and 20 at the local dealer and you are right -- after the Eurovan the 16 seems huge. I like the wrap around windows in both ends of the 16, too. From what I have been reading, I believe the 19 may be the way to go for us.

I don't have a TV, yet. We have a BMW X3 and a 2001 Cherokee (Old style), so I'll need to get something different.

The added complication will come with anything other than staying with the Eurovan Camper. The EVC fits in the garage whereas I'll have to store a trailer. Plus driving and parking seem to be a challenge even with a small rig. The EVC is smaller than an F150. The EVC gets 20mpg - sometimes more. This would be a significant change for us.

I do like the idea of the separate TV for exploring. The enthusiasm of this group is great to see, too. Makes me think I'm headed the right direction.

Thanks again

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Old 09-11-2008, 02:06 PM   #8
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Hey Ed,

We do have a customer in New Mexico that is towing a 19' with an a matter of fact, he owns a BMW dealership in ALBUQUERQUE. Sandia BMW.

Just a might want to call him and ask how his is pulling.

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Old 09-11-2008, 02:55 PM   #9
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Hello and welcome.

I would think you would be OK up to 21 feet with either vehicle if they are properly equiped.

Just make sure with your local tow/hitch shop or dealer, to play it safe.

Happy traveling
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Old 09-11-2008, 03:03 PM   #10
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Welcome Ed!
We started out looking at 16's, then 17's, then 20's, and ended up with a 22' SS. We have two large standard poodles and after several thousand miles of towing, here in the SW, we are still in awe with it's comfort and towability. You will see us mostly in the passing lane going up mountain grades. The Honda Ridgeline is truly a good match for the smaller coaches and you have more room than some of the other vehicles in it's class.
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Old 09-11-2008, 05:41 PM   #11
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Ed - Again welcome to the forum. We looked very seriously at the Bambi 19, but the 22 just "felt" better, even though it is just slightly longer. Just two of us, no pets. But if we had dogs, I'd lean toward the 20 or 22, either of which would be fine with the BMW SUV or smaller truck as a tow vehicle. As the wise council of folks here have related, you really can't go wrong with any of the smaller Airstreams - I've found the single axle to be very manuverable and comfortable to tow.

John W
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:14 PM   #12
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Hey Ed and welcome! By now you may have already settled on your 19' Bambi, sounds like that would be a better choice for you two and the pups. But i just wanted to put in a good word for the 16' Bambi. I have an '07 CCD 16' and love it. It's perfect for my girlfriend and I, but alas, we have no dogs. Hope you got the rig of your dreams!
Send us some photos when you get all set up. And welcome too to airstreaming in Colorado, I'm up in Boulder, but there are some amazing places nearby to go for long trips or weekends. be well and happy motoring!

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