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Old 07-14-2014, 12:42 PM   #1
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2014 16' Sport
Denver , Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 27
Picking up a lightly used Sport 16

Hello Air Forum members,

I posted this in the lifestyle forum as well, but hoping to get more technical/use information on the Bambi in here....


I've been reading the forum for a few hours and found a lot of great info, but would like to describe my situation and see if anyone has any advice or pointers that can help me along the way.

My wife and I are experienced backpackers and tent campers. We have 2 kids - a 3 year old and a 10 month old.

I recently found out that I am going to have a couple of months off in between jobs and don't want to waste it staying too close to home. We decided that driving up the Pacific Coast is something that we will probably not have time to do again for a very long time.

We went to look at camper trailers the other week and I was generally unimpressed with the layouts and feels of everything we saw. Most were much larger than we want. This is quite a change from tent camping. I was getting ready to move to Plan B for transportation options when I walked by an AS Sport 16 that had just been sold that morning. I asked the sales guy to open it up just so I could see what they look like inside. As soon as my wife and I stepped inside, we knew that this would work perfectly.

We have secured another 2014 Sport 16 and are in the planning phases for our adventure. We are going to be on the road for a month or so.

Main questions:

- Has anyone on here road tripped with kids these ages? He did it go? I'm much more worried about the 10 month old. We know we are in for a lot of short days. We aren't expecting to cover ground at near the rate we are used to being able to.

- Can you suggest any threads that I should look at as someone who is new to AS and camper camping in general? I am buying from a private party so I need to get as much info as I can on things to look out for and general "how-to's" on the 2014 Sport 16

- any other general advice is welcome.


Thanks!
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Old 07-19-2014, 07:18 PM   #2
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We have a 2010 16 sport that we have owned for a year now. No kids so I can't help with that , but make sure you get a walk though of the airstream and how everything works. They are pretty easy to use and tow like a dream . We tow with a v6 tacoma and a few other 16ers tow with the same truck out west. Kids should be fine on the dinette that folds down to a bed. It's nice to travel with heat and ac if needed. Have fun.
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Old 07-19-2014, 11:07 PM   #3
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Hi Skydog!

I'm in Long Beach, in southern LA county and have a 2010 16' Sport, which is very much the same as your 2014. I have had it for 13 months now and I love it more than ever.

I am super jealous of your upcoming adventure. You will have a blast. Here are a couple thoughts that might help.

In general the forums are great sources of specific information about your AS. Google Airstream blogs and you will find a few good ones, that will also help.

Here are some thoughts specifically about California.

Fall and Winter down here in So Cal are the nicest times of year IMO.

The CA State Beach campgrounds scattered along Pacific Coast Hwy (locals call it PCH) are very nice. South Carlsbad in San Diego County, San Onofre, San Clemente, Doheny and Moro Campground at Crystal Cove State Beach are all super pretty. Bolsa Chica State Beach is just a parking lot with hookups but it's right on the beach. They all get reserved early but hit Reserve America and you can find good sites especially on the weekdays.

All along these beaches you will see cool wildlife. The patrols of Pelicans are awesome. Dolphins are common close in and what a fun experience for your toddler. Shoot, it's a fun experience as an adult to see a pod of Dolphins playing in the surf.

Crystal Cove is about as beautiful as any beach in the world. There are tide pools and long quiet stretches of beach below the bluff that you can enjoy as long as you don't mind a bit of a walk. I hauled my daughter down those trails 100 times when she was tiny.

PCH will get narrow in some places, like a couple miles of downtown Laguna Beach and all along Big Sur. My approach is to travel early in the day, take your time, and relax.

If you want to visit Disneyland, there are a couple fine and very close RV parks with shuttle buses. Yelp will direct you to them.

In some way you are going to have to deal with Los Angeles. Remember lots of people love LA and lots of them are not really insane. It's a beautiful place, and everyone is very nice as long as you are thoughtful and compassionate for the folks trying to get somewhere on a schedule.

If you decide to tackle it, the coast gets industrial in Long Beach, taking you past the port and big refineries for a few miles. The you get to some rolling hills and the communities of the South Bay.

You have a choice of PCH (which morphs into a series of other names north of Long Beach) and the 405 freeway. They are both fine. Check your maps closely and you will be have no trouble if you want to go that route.

There is a campground at Dockweiler State Beach right by the airport. It's right on the sand, and has a pretty view of Santa Monica Bay. It's a bit marred by the airport, and the water treatment plant behind the campground but the Bay is worth seeing and the beach towns of the South Bay are fun. Uncle Bill's Pancakes in Manhattan Beach just south of the campground is a treat. You can sit outside on a sunny fall morning, eat great pancakes, drink coffee and look at the Pacific Ocean.

If you travel through LA on a weekday, mid-morning should be fine.

If you want avoid LA you can to go around to the East. It's more miles but will probably not add too much time. I think the easiest way is to get grab the 605 freeway North (it starts just at the south end of LA County a couple miles from Bolsa Chica State Beach). You can take the 605 to the 210 heading West to the 134 to the 101 toward Ventura and avoid most of LA. It will be clear on the map. It's practical but not scenic.

As you get to the beach town of Oxnard, PCH/Hwy 1 joins Hwy 101 for a nice stretch right along the water. Lots of good camping here at places like Carpenteria, El Capitan and Refugio State Beaches. There are a couple very nice private campgrounds too, Ocean Mesa and Flying Flags. It can get a bit windy around Gaviota in the afternoon so I like to travel through there early.

The little Danish village of Solvang is crowded and super touristy, but the Danish pastries are worth it. The Santa Ynez valley just to the east is gorgeous and the little Mission Santa Ynez is a peaceful place to get a quiet moment.

PCH and 101 split just north of Gaviota and both are very pretty. All along the Coast from San Diego to the Wine Country north of San Francisco you will be on the Mission Trail. The old missions are pretty and you can spend just a couple minutes or an hour two, and get a flavor of California's Spanish and Mexican heritage. It always blows me away to think that when the American Revolution was being fought, most of California was the Spanish frontier. Speaking of that heritage, get Mexican food every place you can. There are thousands of taco stands, family restaurants, and some real high end Mexican places that have food to die for. It might be enough to convert you to a Californian.

Speaking of San Francisco, you might want to go out around east of the bay. Hwy 101 goes through the middle of downtown, and it's a real city street, narrow and busy. To me, LA is navigable with the AS, but SF is a non-starter.

One last thing - plan a little extra time to go from A to B, because the 16' draws lots of conversations. You will meet a lot of nice people who love your little trailer.
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Old 07-20-2014, 05:56 AM   #4
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Take notice of your black and or gray tank capacities. Also fresh water tank size. As backpackers this will be a luxury. Have a great time, one day at a time. Jim
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:22 AM   #5
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Thank you for the great replies. This has been so helpful!
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:45 AM   #6
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Last day of 2 week Wyoming trip in our 2014 16'. Bed in rear is a no go for me. Fortunately the dinette works great and lets me stretch out. So the warning, if you "spoon" the back bed is fine. If you are like me and the wife not so much. She uses a blanket and does a lot of fetal position stuff while I am generally stretched out with my elbows out and just a sheet. Between the ball of bedding and her back shoving me out the hallway, not to mention the dead air spot next to the wardrobe, I never got a good nights sleep. As soon as I used the dinette I was fine. Throw a couple of kids in there and it would not work for us.

The black grey combo tank fills up quick. We washed dishes in the sink and used the toilet only for fluids at night and it might push 3 days. Fortunately it is easy to find dump stations EVERYWHERE. Even in the remotest parts of Wyoming there were dump stations all over the place. If you do grey water like when you are tenting you will have no problems.

Other than the bed, we LOVE the unit. I will take a picture of the front today or tomorrow just so you can get an idea of how great they look in aluminum and bug guts!

P.S. Keep a pad or something(s) (potato chips, pillow, etc) stuffed in the micro while you are traveling. Our chips worked until the second week after eating a half bag and the bumps let the glass plate bounce enough it broke off a tooth on the turn gear for the plate. Still works but wondering if epoxy will work in the micro???
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Old 07-20-2014, 06:22 PM   #7
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Oh , pick up a copy of the Newbies guide to Airstreaming. The chip and bread trick works well in the microwave. I do take the glass out when traveling and toss on the bed.
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:02 PM   #8
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2014 16' Sport
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Thanks. Great input all around here.

I think the bedding situation is going to be fine. The 10 month old will sleep in a pack and play in the hallway section so it is just 3 of us on the beds. (2 adults and a 3 year old).
I may feel differently after a month

Best place to find the newbies guide to airstreams?
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:26 PM   #9
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Title is Newbies Guide to Airstreaming, by Rich Luhr, Editor/Publisher of "Airstream Life Magazine.. You can find it at Amazon or at AirstreamLife.com website..

Sounds like a great travel plan.. On recent trip up CA/OR/WA Coast, we met couple in Oregon on way home from Alaska back to Virginia Beach in their Bambi 16'.. She was school teacher and they took 2 1/2 trip in it every summer, and loved it.. Added micro-washing machine, and bike rack on bed cover in Toyota Tacoma pickup... I'd agree that if you can make smallish bed work for you and your wife, rest should be easy, though I'd add extra package of diapers in storage... When we traveled with very small children, they often slept in moving car, unless hungry or needing change.. Three year old more likely to need boredom breaks and games and chances to move around in rest stops.. Exploring campgrounds works in late afternoon or evenings...
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:19 AM   #10
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In our 16, my wife sleep with my 17 month baby on the bed. I sleep on the dinning table bed.


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Old 07-21-2014, 08:40 PM   #11
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Just picked her up! So excited.
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:49 PM   #12
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Awesome. Have a great time.

We are in the just looking stage. Check out the thread I started under the trailers/bambi/bambi feature differences between the 4 layouts , for just so much wonderful advice. In particular, the wooden bath mat that can fit in the wet bath , and the "peat moss" trick. These 2 items will I feel make your experience much more enjoyable and give you a bit of stretch on your tanks.

We tent trailer camped with a 1 year old. It can get chilly at night. A hoodie, and hat and gloves are good for the kiddos to sleep in.

And Congratulations on your purchase!!!
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:56 PM   #13
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Excellent. Thanks!
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:45 AM   #14
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If you don't get the section guards think about Rock Tamer like mud flaps which fit on the hitch post to keep the front of your trailer intact. I have both.
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