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Old 10-17-2007, 05:12 PM   #1
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Brand New to all this. Bambi vs. Winnebago View, or nothing?

Hi Everyone,
I am at a crossroads in my life where all my options are open and I don't want to do something I'll regret. All my kids have left the nest and my Husband and I are splitting up. I am a "Plien Air" artist (french for in open air) simply meaning I travel and paint what I see out doors. I have spent thousands on hotel bills and have longed for the freedom of some sort of vehicle that I can just have as a traveling hotel/studio. Now that I have only myself to answer too I have been considering different options.
One option is do nothing, and just keep doing what I have been for ever. The next option is buying a Bambi which seems perfect for me and my small dogs. The next option is one ot the new winnebego views, or a sprinter van that is small, diesel, great milages, and fits in place most campers won't. I go back and forth between all three. Am I getting in over my head with either a Bambi or a small camper? Any insight would be GREATLY appreciated. For the record. I have NEVER done anything like this before. I don't know what I don'w know which leaves me feeling very vunerable. Thanks for any help.
Jane
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Old 10-17-2007, 05:19 PM   #2
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Good for you Jane!
I'm a single girl with a couple dogs and a daughter out of college and I've done fine -- so far. I have a small Airstream and pull with a Highlander Hybrid with no problem. I've always liked the Minnie Winnie's (not as much as Airstream tho) but like the fact that I can leave the trailer at a campsite and take my car around town. I might miss some great places if I were limited by the size of a MOHO.
Whatever you choose - and I bet you'll choose Airstream - have a lot of fun!
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Old 10-17-2007, 05:21 PM   #3
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If you can make it, come to the Nor Call Rally at Lake San Antonio (near Cambria) the weekend of 10/26 and see a few A/S! It might make the decision easier!
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Old 10-17-2007, 05:28 PM   #4
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Thanks for the encouragement. It helps to hear from someone in a similar situation. Wish I could do the rally but I'm booked that weekend. That would have been an insightful experience!
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Old 10-17-2007, 05:29 PM   #5
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Hi Jane and welcome to the Airforums. Of course, I am biased and love our Bambi, but what I'd suggest is to really do your reasearch and take your time with your decision...spend some time sitting in each of your options and imagine yourself (and your dogs) doing what you love to do...also consider how often you'll go and how you'll be using the RV...

We used to own a small motor home and really liked it but since it was small we did not tow a vehicle, and we felt stuck wherever we set up camp because we had no wheels unless we picked up the entire camp and went... That is one of the main reasons we switched to a travel trailer...we can unhitch and go on side trips with all the freedon in the world. (And of course, the only travel trailer for us is an Airstream.)

Bambis will go most places a small RV or Van will go... Also how do you feel about towing a trailer and what will you have as a tow vehicle... important things to think about. There are many women on their own who Airstream solo, so don't think you'll be alone!

Whatever you decide, you are going to have a great time of it!

Good luck and keep us posted...

TB
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Old 10-17-2007, 05:38 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advise. You bring up some good points. I have a bmw x5 and I am told that will work fine for towing a bambi. I don't know what I can believe because I everything I have heard, has come from Airstream dealers that want to make a sale....
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Old 10-17-2007, 05:54 PM   #7
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You are right not to necessarily take your salesman's word as gospel truth...they want to sell you an Airstream. Period. There are some towing and tow vehicle threads on the forum...it is a widely discussed topic, so don't get frustrated with all the various opinons...do your research on your vehicle and run the numbers to see how it pans out...

Good luck!
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Old 10-17-2007, 05:55 PM   #8
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Welcome to the Forums!

As you probably figured...you are going to get overwhelming support towards Airstreams here! I would second the opinion that you would want a separate truck/trailer set-up so you could get around to more remote locations to paint, sight-see or explore without having to break camp each time. Especialy if you are planning on going "full-time".

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Old 10-17-2007, 06:24 PM   #9
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Welcome,

I am on board with the seperate trailer and tow vehicle. Not only for the mobility to more areas that a larger MOHO won't make it, but also the fact that you don't want to have to unhook everything at a campsite to make a trip to walmart or the grocery store.

We have 2 adults, a 3 year old, and a boston terrier in our 19' bambi and we do okay for ourselves.

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Old 10-17-2007, 07:49 PM   #10
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Welcome

I've fulltimed for 2.5 years now. I'll warn you that you'll likely outgrow a Bambi over time. Hints I can offer:
  • First time - buy GENTLY used. If you err, it's less costly to upgrade than buying new. Check the Classifieds here for starters. I don't think it's practical to get an unrestored vintage unit if you're fulltiming.
  • remember that you'll need space to store your art supplies as well as your personal possessions and that your pet will need a place to exercise and have a potty break. Many people keep a litter pan, etc. in the shower but unless you stay in campgrounds which have shower houses you'll find moving the pan to become a pain. Quite a few members have been able to use a "garage" door (exterior door for under bed/gaucho storage) as an access point for a pet's outdoor cage or a handly place to keep and clean litter pans.
  • your small vehicle would probably work for a Bambi, but not for a longer heavier trailer.
  • Living small is a learned skill. Bought new underwear and shoes this week. Had to throw out old stuff to make room for new... constant editing of possessions is a MUST.
  • Consider the benefits of having a Suburban or other full size SUV to haul your art supplies.
  • Long term you'll probably want at least a 25' to fulltime in. Having to convert a dinette/gaucho every night will become a major chore, you'll want a separate bedroom very soon.
  • Consider TWIN beds - as a single person, you can toss the second mattress, or double it up on your bed for super comfort - then use the space for the second bed as a desk, easel, storage area, etc.
Most important of all, consider the bathroom and the bedroom. If you aren't able to sleep comfortably or fit in the bathroom (and they are SMALL) you'll ultimately really dislike whatever you choose. TRY OUT lots of Airstreams. Sit in them, lie down on the mattress. Imagine making the bed (the full/queen ones against a wall are a real challenge). Go to rallies, check out dealers, look at websites. Also, talk to a member here "Artstream" who tows his Airstream with a box truck that he uses to carry canvases, etc.

Good luck and see you down the road.

Paula Ford
"Rivette" - woman Airstreamer - We can Tow It!
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Old 10-18-2007, 11:27 AM   #11
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Hi and welcome to Airstreaming!

It isn't clear from your message if you are talking about getting an RV that allows you to take trips of a week or three or if you are talking about living in it full-time.

If you do want something that you can easily take on trips but aren't trying to use to hold the possessions of a lifetime I can strongly recommend getting a 16' Bambi. To begin with your X5 can tow it with power to spare. So you can unhitch and then drive your tow vehicle ANYWHERE - from Joshua Tree NP service roads to Venice Beach. It is also nice to be able to go into 'normal' gas stations and convenice stores while hitched - and you can just 'pull in' to double parking spaces like they have at supermarkets and shopping centers.

The 19' Bambi is also nice - the Bambi forums have a number of threads that talk about the advantages/disadvantages of each (I would be happy to discuss via PM if you'ld like).

All of this is moot if you are looking to fulltime in your RV - as Foiled Again said, you'll want a bigger Airstream if it is your only home. And I also second Foiled Again's suggestion of getting an 'almost new' Bambi if you can get one at a good price.
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Old 10-18-2007, 11:45 AM   #12
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Hi and welcome.

You are certainly on the threshold of adventure. The only choice I'd advise against is to do nothing.

Why don't you come up to The California Streamers Fall rally in Kernville. ( thats what to look under in the upcoming rallies segment on the main page.)

It's the first weekend in Nov. You can see the trailers and talk with Bam who travels all over in her Bambi. She's a seasoned traveler and will be able to answer any questions you may have.
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Old 10-18-2007, 11:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleinjane
Thanks for the advise. You bring up some good points. I have a bmw x5 and I am told that will work fine for towing a bambi. I don't know what I can believe because I everything I have heard, has come from Airstream dealers that want to make a sale....
Hi, Plein! My DH and I are embarking on our first Airstream purchasing adventure as well. Here's what we've figured out: If we buy a used unit, then someone else has taken the 'hit' of depreciation up front. So, if we don't like it for some reason, it won't be hard to sell and we won't have lost a fortune.

The new units are SO gorgeous... But if you take the plunge and decide it's not for you, you'll lose a bundle selling it.

I'm thinking that you'll like this - a lot! Oh, and another thing - buy a pair of huge, older men's work boots to leave outside the camper at night. Also, but an enormous dog bowl with the name 'Spike' on it, for outside the camper. LOL
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Old 10-18-2007, 12:07 PM   #14
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Also an Artist!!!

Jane, I'm also an artist traveling with a 19' Bambi. I've been gone for periods of 14 days at a time and find there's plenty of room without feeling claustrophobic. Everything is at hand 'nearby'...with careful editing, but you definitely know about 'editing' just by painting plein air!

I think you should come to our November 1st Rally at Kernville, BamCamper(Laurel) and I can show you the ins and outs of both the 16' and the 19' Bambis. There's also a notreallyarallyrally at San Clemente Feb 1st if you're waiting a little longer....we'll both be there as well.
One thing you'll find especially in California that we are a very inclusive group of Airstreamers and love love LOVE to get together...even when we're not together on the forum!
Debra
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