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Old 12-02-2016, 06:24 PM   #1
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Considering a 2017 Base Camp

Hello All,
My husband and I are considering a purchase of a 2017 Base Camp trailer. This will be our first foray into towing a travel trailer. We've done considerable research and the Base Camp has all the features we want at a price we can afford. We were thinking about a Class B motorhome, but we would have to look at pre-owned models and would like to buy new. I know the Base Camp is much more than other small trailers, but it has the features and the look we like. We've been told that Airstreams last much longer than other brands and are reliable with good service teams. So, I hope it all comes together. We'll be seeing the Fairfield CA dealer next week. Wish us luck!

I also posted in the Base Camp thread re: towing this trailer with a Nissan Pathfinder 6 cylinder SE. Any thoughts?
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Old 12-02-2016, 08:08 PM   #2
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Hopefully, someone with a bit of experience will help you with your considerations. The 2017 Pathfinder is supposed to have 6000 lbs of towing capacity. Could not find the tongue weight rating and that is important.

The Basecamp lists the gross capacity at about 3500 lbs. The base tongue weight is 410 lbs. The axle placement is toward the rear of the coach, but the bed area which traditionally has a lot of storage capacity is in the back. So it is not clear how the BC will balance out under travel loading.

Note - the published tongue weight is dry weight. It will increase with the gear and supplies that you add to the load out for your trips if that gear is loaded forward. Loading it in the center (over the axle) is the best approach.

The 2017 Pathfinder should have no problem with the gross weight. No clue on how the tongue weight will work out for you. And if you don't have a brand new one - check the spec on your specific truck.

Next problem - Travel trailers usually have more side surface area than other trailers and are prone to being influenced by wind and the bow wave of passing vehicles. The Basecamp is a different configuration than the more traditionally shaped Airstream models. The Basecamp, therefore may not be similar to tow. Folks with smaller trailers sometimes do not use a weight distribution hitch or sway control. Others do. You need to investigate this question and decide how you will tow your new coach.

Are the new Basecamp's tow characteristics similar to the prior version? The answer to that question would be helpful.

You should be OK, just understand what your boundary conditions are and how close you are approaching them as you setup your rig.

Good luck! Pat
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Old 12-02-2016, 10:06 PM   #3
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Watched a video on the new base camp. Very impressive for it's size. Here's my thoughts after watching the video. For two people it will be tight. Your bed and lounge area are all the same and that bed looks uncomfortable. No closet to hang close or jackets. This trailer looks fun but not real practical.

For a about the same money you could get a late model used real Airstream with much more comfort and room. I would look at the 23' models. They have twin axles and are much more stable towing. Not sure your Pathfinder would tow it but I don't know if it would safely tow a base camp either.

The base camp just looks like something a guy would take on a weekend fly fishing trip. Not something I would want to vacation in.

If you wait a year or so I bet you will find a bunch of these on the used market for a steal for just the reasons I have mentioned.

If you get one you will lose money when you decide to upgrade to the real deal. Don't say I didn't warn you.
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:13 AM   #4
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I've come to the right place. Thank you for your honest feedback.

Gosh, I feel like I have found like-minded adventurers with the experience we don't have. Thank You!
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:51 AM   #5
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Welcome! We have purchased 2 Airstreams from Bay Area. If we need to purchase a third, it would probably be from them as well. I agree with the above that it may e cramped for 2 people.

Take your time at the dealer and perform all the tasks you would do while camping, making the bed with both of you in there, standing in the kitchen, planning where you would store things, etc.

Our first Airstream was a 16' sport. People on the forum often advise others to get a larger trailer first. That is great advise, but we felt like we needed to dip our toes in the water before diving in. We lost a little money when selling our sport, but not too much. And we aren't in this to save money anyways.

Good luck with your decision, and don't be afraid to look at the 16, 19 our 22 footers, I think your Nissan could handle those as well.
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Old 12-04-2016, 11:15 AM   #6
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I'll keep you posted.

We plan to hit the dealer on Wednesday. They have a Basecamp on display with all the features. This may sound silly, but we actually measured off the dimensions at home and it seems big enough. I'll let you know what we decide.
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Old 12-04-2016, 11:38 AM   #7
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Hi from AZ. . . the 'demo' model BC our dealer has comes in at about $40k, & has all the extras, including tent thingee. I too think it's cool but the 23 footer, litely used, would be better for two people, IMO. . . . Check AS classifieds here & maybe RVTrader.com. . . good luck, Craig
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Old 12-04-2016, 12:00 PM   #8
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Hi and welcome to Air Forums. Best wishes that you find an RV that suits your purposes, price range, etc.

I have a few comments regarding choosing a trailer compared to a Class B motorhome...

In some ways there is no comparison between the two. Having owned both I can appreciate that people like trailers and appreciate that people like Class B units. Right now we have a trailer and don't plan to sell it anytime soon. We had a 1998 Class B Airstream B190 and sold it for various reasons.

Depending on the kind of travel you plan to do a trailer is suitable for going a place and staying for a few days or longer. A trailer works well for weekend camping. A trailer can be used for traveling from place to place to place but at some point you'll likely want to disconnect/unhitch and leave the trailer at the campground. A relatively small unit like the Basecamp along with a relatively small SUV like yours is easy enough to park and can probably be parked in two back-to-back spaces in most parking lots. With a trailer you have two vehicles to deal with - the trailer and the tow vehicle.

With the Class B you can get by (actually do very well) with the motorhome exclusively. There is no need to bring/tow a vehicle. The Class B can be parked in almost any parking lot, you have your clothes, toilet, food, bed, etc with you at all times. There's no "I left that in the trailer" or "Oh, it's in the car" discussion - everything is in the Class B.

A Class B motorhome can be a second vehicle depending on your needs. I wouldn't suggest it as a daily driver but a few times a week wouldn't be objectionable. That's not true for a trailer - it only serves one purpose.

We will likely keep our trailer for a long, long time. We are however giving serious consideration to buying a good, used Airstream Interstate. Class B can provide a significantly different mode of travel - it's the best of both worlds in many ways.

I'm not trying to talk you out of a Basecamp... just wanted to emphasize the differences in the two types of RVs and the good and bad of the two choices. Give plenty of consideration to how you plan to use the RV both in the near term and well into the future.
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Old 12-04-2016, 12:06 PM   #9
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I just passed on the basecamp which had come in on deposit for a sport 16. Just needed a little more space and did not want to convert bed each night.
Same price, easier to find, similar weight
Tacoma 6 cyl.
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Old 12-04-2016, 12:09 PM   #10
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I got my first live look at two Basecamps yesterday. Just my opinion but I was not impressed. Seems very unfinished and actually sort of flimsy in construction and materials. For $37k I expected and hoped for more. For about the same money one can get a 16 Bambi, A much more ergonomic and developed trailer. I can see where the Basecamp might appeal to a certain buyer demographic. Also can picture Interstate owners that want a basic extra bedroom with minimum amenities towing one down the road.

For what it is worth the salesman said people are coming in to look at the Basecamps and are placing orders for 16 Bambi Sports or pulling one off the lot.
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Old 12-04-2016, 12:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaineWeb View Post
We plan to hit the dealer on Wednesday. They have a Basecamp on display with all the features. This may sound silly, but we actually measured off the dimensions at home and it seems big enough. I'll let you know what we decide.
Hi Elaine, The best advice you have been given here -- and it was the best advice we were given -- is to sit in all of the models at the dealer and carefully picture how you would use them.

The most common advice on these forums is to get a bigger trailer. The "rule" is that over time people up-size their trailers. Generally true enough, but your question is: what is right for you?

For example: we started out with a 23' trailer, and then added an original Basecamp for what we thought would be the shorter camping trips. We enjoyed using the Basecamp so much more than the 23' that we sold the larger one!

In the past two years we have gone 10,000 miles, spent 100 nights in it on trips as long as three weeks each, have been from sea level to 12,000 feet, and experienced a temperature range from 22 to 112. And, we are not youngsters.

Some folks consider trailers as shelters for improved camping experiences, some consider them to be homes on wheels. Your fun challenge is to figure what is right for you.
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Old 12-04-2016, 01:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by field & stream View Post
Hi Elaine, The best advice you have been given here -- and it was the best advice we were given -- is to sit in all of the models at the dealer and carefully picture how you would use them.

The most common advice on these forums is to get a bigger trailer. The "rule" is that over time people up-size their trailers. Generally true enough, but your question is: what is right for you?

For example: we started out with a 23' trailer, and then added an original Basecamp for what we thought would be the shorter camping trips. We enjoyed using the Basecamp so much more than the 23' that we sold the larger one!

In the past two years we have gone 10,000 miles, spent 100 nights in it on trips as long as three weeks each, have been from sea level to 12,000 feet, and experienced a temperature range from 22 to 112. And, we are not youngsters.

Some folks consider trailers as shelters for improved camping experiences, some consider them to be homes on wheels. Your fun challenge is to figure what is right for you.
Great advice and great story about your experiences with liking the original BaseCamp! Fun to hear when so many speak of sizing up!
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Old 12-05-2016, 11:27 AM   #13
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I have looked at the Basecamp and I like it. We like to camp outside, but like a trailer for having the bath and cooking facilities inside and for relaxing and sleeping on the bed. While we love our Tradewind, we tow it with a Toyota Tundra which is a huge vehicle. We don't like driving the Tundra when we are not towing the Airstream. The advantage to the Basecamp and the Bambi is that you can tow it with your daily driver. Look at both of them carefully and decide which will work best for you.

Welcome to the Airstream life.

Dan
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Old 12-05-2016, 12:22 PM   #14
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Coming from someone who just went down the path of trying to find what model was perfect for me. (note: ended up with the 16' Bambi)

I loved the Basecamp for the wheels and the clearance. When I went to sit inside of it, I was surprised how "small" it was. It is the same size as the 16' Bambi and the Kitchen was gorgeous. It was also very dark where the living space is. Recommendation, take down and put up the bed and take down the bed. Also, seriously think about storage. Open up cabinets and look inside and understand how big they are.

16' Bambi: Single person wanting to go on adventures. Perfect size for me. Small on storage, small on internal living space if you are sharing with someone else.

I won't cover the rest of the sizes as there are experts that will chime in. I will just make a call out that I seriously considered the 22' Bambi Sport as well as the 19'. The 19' tongue weight was too heavy and I didn't want to carry around the 22' for towing purposes for a single person. I would have gone with the 22 in a heartbeat if I was traveling with another person and also wanted a light weight tow.

MsTara
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