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Old 11-14-2006, 09:14 AM   #29
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2005 22' Safari
1960 24' Tradewind
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Welcome Randjg1,

Which Airstream to purchase is always a very personal thing but as you note there are all sorts of great people here to help you along. Here are my two cents for what they are worth; The 75th Anniv. Bambi is a wonderful trailer and a beauty to behold. But are you looking for a family sized trailer or something that looks great? Currently my brother is facing the exact problem you are. He has two daughters and is in love with the International 19' Bambi. Our local dealer has two wonderful 19' used Bambis on their lot right now. Basically brand new. One is the International with the bunk bed option and the other is the Safari. Both were purchased from the deal this past spring and both were traded in within the last 45 days for larger trailers. That tells you a lot! The 2006 International Bambi I know sold for $42,200.00. They are offering it to my brother for $29,900 with the balance (18 month) of the warranty. If you plan an doing a lot of camping over the many years ahead with you boys, a 19' Bambi is not the trailer for you.

Well enough of that. Once again welcome to the forum and keep us posted on what you decide!

J. Rick Cipot
Sandi Gould
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Old 11-14-2006, 10:04 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Randjg1
Mike, your post sounds quite like my mindset for sure. Were you in an airstream back in the day with your kids growing up? Many posts concerning the choice of a 19ft being too small has me second guessing myself. I suppose i could go a bit larger and maybe just maybe go with a safari with stainless interior. But then how big do i really need to go then? I know we could fit in the 75th anniversary 19 right now but, for how long? Then possible send the boys to a tent outside except for bad weather. I am curious how you did what i intend to do. Thanks to you all for continuing this thread. All the point of views help. --RandJG1
Randjg1--I just read the rest of the comments following mine. There is lots of good ideas here that you'll have to digest. I'll add a few more and hope not to add to the confusion.
{1}--if you error , error on the big side. While some folks down size most trade up.
{2}--your needs will change !! Even if what your purchase today fits your needs exactly, it won't forever, especially 15 years.
{3}--limited addition and anniversary models while neat and attractive cost more and as a general rule the additional cost can't be recovered when trading later. you can buy more trailer in a standard production model for the same or maybe less $$.
{4}--used vs new--{my opinon} i recomend you first be new for a couple reasons. used will most likely have some maintenance requirements and unless your somewhat rv savie this can be stressful. ---- in most cases you can finance a new unit longer than used and often a used will have a higher payment than new for this reason.---new will have full factory warranty thus giving you a couple years of trouble free repairs should they be needed.
Over the years we traded multiple times--bought things that were neat but didn't fit our needs etc. lost a ton of money by trading so much, etc. Knowing what I know now things would be different, but we all have to start somewhere. That said I wouldn't trade all that for the good times the family had and the wife and I continue to have at retirement. As a PS I'll mention the 06/30' Classic we have now is the 3rd AS we've bought in as many years--AND YOU ASK ME FOR ADVICE?????------pieman

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Old 11-14-2006, 10:50 AM   #31
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We're a family of four (2 girls, 9 and 5) who started with a used ('76), and larger (23') Airstream. A year later we sold the older Airstream and bought a new Bambi. What we learned from trying out a used one first was:

- we really enjoyed family camping in an Airstream and seeing the places our Airstream allowed us to get out and see;
- we preferred staying small and light, with both the tow vehicle and the trailer. We are one of those families that has mostly only weekend time for camping and we need to keep it simple now. We don't have time to maintain a second home.
- we didn't enjoy the maintenance and upkeep of an older trailer
- we did enjoy all the newer stuff in the new Airstream -- the easy to clean metal interior, the lighting, fantastic fan, newer automatic appliances -- all these things made camping easier so that we could do what we wanted to do and get out and enjoy the outdoors;
- layout is more important than size. Our larger Airstream was harder to live in with the kids than our newer Bambi is, and this is due mostly to the layout.
- yes, making up the bed each day is not fun. But the overall experience is a heck of a lot easier and more fun than tent camping.

Hindsight is 20/20 and we all hike our own hike (trying to cram as many cliches as I can in here all at once ) but if we were to do it again, we'd have followed our heart to a new Bambi from the start. We dearly love her now and wouldn't part with her.

All the advice in this thread is good, very good, but it all pertains mostly to the person who is offering the advice. No one knows what you want and what your family wants as well as you do, and so I'm sure when you all sit down to decide together, whatever you decide will be the best way to go. And, of course, all of us will always be around to support you in whatever decision you make, as long as it's Airstream!

Good luck!

Doug & Jamie, AIR #650
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Old 11-14-2006, 05:59 PM   #32
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All the advice in this thread is good, very good, but it all pertains mostly to the person who is offering the advice. No one knows what you want and what your family wants as well as you do, and so I'm sure when you all sit down to decide together, whatever you decide will be the best way to go. And, of course, all of us will always be around to support you in whatever decision you make, as long as it's Airstream!
This is what it all boils down to isn't it.

Well said "J"
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Old 11-14-2006, 07:03 PM   #33
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One more option - rent. Although it is nigh on impossible to actually rent an A/S, we found an acceptable alternative. We wanted to try trailer travel before buying, and found we could rent a typical box-type unit. However, we know that if we're going to buy something, we're going to invest for the long haul, and will want an A/S. So, or course, we wanted the A/S experience. Our closest Airstream dealer offers a "vacation club", where you purchase eight weeks of Bambi use (and any unused balance can be applied against a purchase). We did this, recently used our first week, had a great time, and now look at the coming year with great anticipation as we plan future trips. BTW-we were able to buy less than eight weeks. This is obviously a slow time of year for trailer sales at the north end of the country, so negotiation is always possible.
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Old 04-05-2007, 05:38 AM   #34
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London , ontario
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Originally Posted by Mike Lewis
randjg1---Reading your post brings back many memories. "Been there done that" several times over the years. Wife and I now retired with our family grown, even the grand children. I can tell you first hand that the stress of payments ,deciding what type of trailer you need, filling water tanks and keeping batterys charged, coming home late sunday only to have to get ready for work the next day, backing in a campsite late friday after dark with two hungry kids ,etc is all insignificant compared to the memorys we have of our times with our boys as they grew up. ---pieman
here here, that's the exact reason I'm biting the payment bullit. Been great so far.
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Old 04-05-2007, 06:51 AM   #35
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Calgary , Alberta
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Yup, same position last year.

My wife and I had never owned a trailer and were becoming increasingly disinterested with weekends in a tent. We bought the bambi 19' because it suited our needs. Also, being a first time tower, I was not comfortable going with anything much bigger. We spent the better part of a couple of hours, on a couple seperate occassions, at the dealership "hanging out" and trying to get feel for the bambi (both 16' and 19'). We quickly found that it was more than enough room for us and our dog Spokes.

We now find ourselves in early April making trips to the storage area to visit the trailer, hoping the temps warm soon, so we can go and spend some time in the bambi.

In terms of payment, they're expensive, more than they should be in my opinion. However, they appear to be the only trailer that has any residual value or interest if you were to sell again.

Other stuff like setup/takedown, it doesn't take any more time than rolling up the tent and sleeping bags and after a few practices, you'll get a routine that works for you. Batteries, sewage, etc are all things that are easily looked after and really shouldn't be a concern.

enjoy! it sounds like you're well on your way to a decision.

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Raced! Ironman Canada in support of the Canadian Cancer Society

We raised over 1.3 Million dollars for Cancer Reseach this year. Great job team!!
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Old 04-05-2007, 07:56 AM   #36
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I'm a big fan of buying "newly used" vehicles. We bought our 2002 22' CCD in 2004 when it was two years old..... saved about $20,000 over the cost of a new one... That can buy a lot of gas! Turned out to be a great decision. Late model used Airstreams (at a good price) can be hard to find in some areas, but well worth the quest. Good luck!
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Old 10-10-2007, 10:45 AM   #37
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Ashland , Oregon
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We're probably going to buy a 2005 used 19' Bambi. It will just be two of us and a teacup poodle, for the most part. I anticipate upgrading to a 25' someday but DH is concerned about the larger tv required and just wants to start out small. Okay, fine. Either way, I can't wait to get started!
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Old 10-12-2007, 10:07 AM   #38
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I'm a new Airstreamer. I'm a new camper. I bought a brand new 16' Bambi in March of this year. I LOVE IT but... with more than two people and my big's small! I'm thinking that I will upgrade in a few years. I bought the small one because I was nervous about towing & maneuvering
the trailer. Turns out - it's a snap!
I do agree with Janet that if you are using the 16' - it's best to have a large tow vehicle to carry all that extra stuff!

Go for it! Life is too short!
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Old 10-12-2007, 04:49 PM   #39
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2001 19' Bambi
Ashland , Oregon
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We're going to go for it as soon as we find it. It's not as easy as it looks. F'rinstance, we're looking at an '06, 19', wrap-around windows. Seller wants 32k, saying he paid 36k. B-b-b-u-t, I think that's a bit much, given that in a couple of months it'll be two years old. That said, I hope he gets his price. Meantime, we'll keep looking. We're chasing a dream of finding a 19' Bambi 2005 upward, for under 30k. I know, I know, we might as well whistle Dixie.
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Old 10-12-2007, 05:40 PM   #40
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i'd buy a 25' international CCD.

look at the storage space, they sleep six, and your friends want to party inside 24/7.

and compared to a bambi, there cheap...

just sayin...

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Old 10-12-2007, 06:27 PM   #41
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2004 25' Safari
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I went from a 19' to a 25' and there is just no comparison. Just the right size for most....though it will sleep 6, it's clearly not geared for 6 adults. You might get 5 adults if you push it. Really I think what they got at is 2 adults and 3 or maybe 4 smaller kids....besides, with 6 folks, that 18 gallon black tank might be issues with 3 adults for about a week, but I could easily see it pushed with 6 folks, particularly if you boondock.
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Old 05-15-2008, 08:25 AM   #42
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Safari Sport vs Safari 19

Last year we bought a Safari Sport 17 sight unseen, internet purchase a month before the model was released for general sale. We have used it for almost a year and have been very happy with it. Just completed a 10-day trip that I will soon write about over on the "On The Road" section. Anyway, on our way home we stopped at Airstream of Arkansas and had another look at a couple of 19-foot models. They seemed HUGE to both of us. Two years ago we thought the 19's were too small! Then took a chance on the 17 Safari and agree that we bought the right rig for us.

We would probably pass out if we stepped into a 25.

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