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Old 01-02-2012, 04:17 PM   #1
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New member looking for 16 ft Sport info

Hi all. I am new here, live in Southern California, Inland Empire, and am seriously looking at a 16 ft Sport AS. Talked to a nearby dealer today and I would say I am closing in on a 2012 purchase.

Please don't bother trying to talk me up a size. My current tow vehicle limits me to 3500 GVWR, and only the 16' Sport fits that requirement in a newer AS. I love the vintages, but doubt I would spend the time needed to restore.

Also, don't bother talking me out of my tv, for now, at least. I know it may not be ideal (2008 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited, 3500 GVWR, with factory tow package). However, I am not rich, so buying an new TV AND a new AS are not doable right now, and have money left to enjoy them. Also, I am a jeeper, and wouldn't get rid of the jeep. Down the road I may add a small more capable TV, but not until I pay down my AS. I hate owing money.

That said, I actually like the floorplan of the 16' better than any of the others I have seen, especially the ones with corner beds. To me the Sport 16 looks better organized and actually less crowded. (But then I also drive a small roadster comfortably that most people feel squeezed into.)

I am right at 6', will be using it for weekend camping, beach trips and the like. Maybe nearby mountain camping now and then. Also, it will serve as an extra bed for my small house. BTW the 16' will also just fit into a remaining space in my backyard.

I have searched through some of the forums here and already gained a wealth of knowledge. It has been very helpful in talking with the dealer about details.

So, all that being said, I would love to hear from all of the 16 foot owners/prospective owners and about your experiences or questions.

Just like my jeep, which I bought new in '08, owing an Airstream has long been a dream that I am starting to think...why not?

Look forward to hearing from you guys.

-Rich
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Old 01-02-2012, 05:07 PM   #2
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The Rubi will work and you like the 16' Airstream. Now all you need to do is work out the details on the connection hardware choice, set up, and adjustments. Brake controller type?? Get it all right and you will really enjoy the ride.
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Old 01-02-2012, 05:42 PM   #3
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Rich, it is a nice floorplan. Seriously thought about buying a 16' at one time ourselves. Too bad the Internationals are so much more $$ - the dual panoramic windows in those are awesome. The smaller Bambis also enjoy pretty strong resale.

I assume you searched the forums - there are other Unlimited owners towing 16' Sports with no reported issues.

Good luck with the new rig!

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Old 01-02-2012, 06:13 PM   #4
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We bought our 16ft international this summer and have never regretted it! My husband is 6'3 and he fits in it just fine! We love the compact size...fits nicely in just about any camping site any time....fits nicely in our driveway, and we didn't have to purchase a full size truck to pull it.

The sales people thought we were crazy and the service manager actually laughed and said we'd be back in a month to trade it in...nope...We wanted it for weekend adventures and it suits our needs perfectly! We've put a lot of miles on it already, and we look forward to many more!

We also really wanted the panoramic windows...

Best of luck with your purchase...get what fits your needs best!

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Old 01-02-2012, 06:19 PM   #5
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We have had the luxury of being able to purchase a 17 Sport in 2007, then moved up to the 23FB in 2009, and then BACK DOWN to the 16 Sport in 2011, for a variety of reasons, the most important being parking space. We pull with a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The 16 (or any small unit) is adequate for two adults depending on how you camp. My wife and I are very "active" campers, and we spend very little time actually indoors, or cooking. We usually have coffee in the morning, and maybe a small salad for our evening meal. Lots of times we buy those salads at crackerbarrel or Sams Club and take them back to the trailer to eat, sometimes not.

We are not retired, but I have the good fortune to be able to take two or three extended trips a year, so when we travel we tend to drive lots and stay in one place for no more than two or three days max. The Bambi Sport 16 is ideal for that sort of travel/camping.

Even though the trailer is comfortable, the shower/toilet takes some getting used to, even if you are thin like we are. Ten pounds above average and you are going to have trouble using the shower. The AC is too loud, but will really chill down this small volume within the trailer. The furnace heats it nicely for the same reason. We don't use the television or microwave, so I removed them. I do intend to replace the microwave with a smaller "tabletop" model for quick heatups though.

I like it a lot, but I also like very large trailers and even those monster motorhomes. Like I said earlier, it is a question of camping style as much as anything else. But for us the 16 Sport works fine.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Ruler View Post
The Rubi will work and you like the 16' Airstream. Now all you need to do is work out the details on the connection hardware choice, set up, and adjustments. Brake controller type?? Get it all right and you will really enjoy the ride.
I have been looking at those issues. They use the Equalizer at that particular dealer. I have read pros and cons. Too stiff, friction type not good, etc. But is a Hensley Arrow overkill for me? What about the Hensley Cub?

That's why I finally joined here and posted. So much info.

Thanks for the response.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:58 PM   #7
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2012 16' Sport
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mutcth View Post
Rich, it is a nice floorplan. Seriously thought about buying a 16' at one time ourselves. Too bad the Internationals are so much more $$ - the dual panoramic windows in those are awesome. The smaller Bambis also enjoy pretty strong resale.
I assume you searched the forums - there are other Unlimited owners towing 16' Sports with no reported issues.
Good luck with the new rig!
Tom
Thanks Tom. Yes those panoramic bedroom windows ARE nice, but I will only be sleeping there. The dinette in front still has those windows for morning coffee and pondering the day ahead. I love the way those areas are laid out. But isn't the International over 4000 GVWR also?

I did find 2 threads re towing with an Unlimited, and one did get the 16 and reports no problems with the tow. That definitely encouraged me. There is plenty to be see in So Cal locally. If I want to travel further later, a new tow vehicle might in doable in a couple years.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by valmog View Post
We bought our 16ft international this summer and have never regretted it! My husband is 6'3 and he fits in it just fine! We love the compact size...fits nicely in just about any camping site any time....fits nicely in our driveway, and we didn't have to purchase a full size truck to pull it.

The sales people thought we were crazy and the service manager actually laughed and said we'd be back in a month to trade it in...nope...We wanted it for weekend adventures and it suits our needs perfectly! We've put a lot of miles on it already, and we look forward to many more!

We also really wanted the panoramic windows...

Best of luck with your purchase...get what fits your needs best!

-Kim
Oh I know you did! You guys are my heros. I love your pics of beautiful Oregon and Washington. Makes me homesick. I went to college in Portland. You seem to be on your way to visiting every campground out there (and that's a bunch). Your model is beautiful. I will have to be content with the plain base model Sport 16, not just for the money, but for the weight. But it is close enough that I am sure I will enjoy it.

BTW what hitch did you get?
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:10 PM   #9
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2012 16' Sport
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Originally Posted by jdthor View Post
We have had the luxury of being able to purchase a 17 Sport in 2007, then moved up to the 23FB in 2009, and then BACK DOWN to the 16 Sport in 2011, for a variety of reasons, the most important being parking space. We pull with a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The 16 (or any small unit) is adequate for two adults depending on how you camp. My wife and I are very "active" campers, and we spend very little time actually indoors, or cooking. We usually have coffee in the morning, and maybe a small salad for our evening meal. Lots of times we buy those salads at crackerbarrel or Sams Club and take them back to the trailer to eat, sometimes not.

We are not retired, but I have the good fortune to be able to take two or three extended trips a year, so when we travel we tend to drive lots and stay in one place for no more than two or three days max. The Bambi Sport 16 is ideal for that sort of travel/camping.

Even though the trailer is comfortable, the shower/toilet takes some getting used to, even if you are thin like we are. Ten pounds above average and you are going to have trouble using the shower. The AC is too loud, but will really chill down this small volume within the trailer. The furnace heats it nicely for the same reason. We don't use the television or microwave, so I removed them. I do intend to replace the microwave with a smaller "tabletop" model for quick heatups though.

I like it a lot, but I also like very large trailers and even those monster motorhomes. Like I said earlier, it is a question of camping style as much as anything else. But for us the 16 Sport works fine.
Those are my thoughts as well, about smaller camping. Thanks for confirming them. I like visiting other peoples monster rvs, but for me, compact and clean works wells. My first trip will probably be to Newport Dunes, or somewhere similar, which is near the beach coast of Southern California. A comfortable nights sleep and I will be out the door enjoying the sun, the beach and the water. Easy in and easy out sounds perfect.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:58 PM   #10
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We love ours too!

It's perfect for us. We've been on trips as long as 2 weeks, and it's been great for us. We made a few tweaks and mods... Get yourself some kind of shower mat. We had a custom one made out of teak, which was surprisingly not expensive (highly recommend www.teakworks4u; they're awesome!). It's amazing how much the shower experience improves when you're not standing on that fiberglass. We had shelves put into the closet. Who hangs things anyway?? We sure don't. Makes for a LOT more useful storage. What else can I tell you... We have an Equalizer hitch and it's been great. Get their Sway Bracket Jackets and you'll really quiet down the loud creaks, pops, and groans. Ours is virtually silent now. And take a look at this thread, http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...nce-73584.html particularly post #6 from Robersunrus. I did the same thing and it totally solved the "walking" bracket problem. So much great advice on the Forums! I'd say a Hensley is probably overkill for our little rigs, and they ain't cheap. Hold off on that until you get a bigger rig. Speaking of that, you may want to think about the 80% rule about towing, that is, you want to tow no more than 80% of your TV's capacity. You'll be maxed out just with the trailer, then you have to add all the other goodies that come along, like bikes, canoes, dogs, significant others... I don't mean to be the party pooper here, but it can become a safety issue. Just something to think about. Maybe win the lottery and eventually get yourself a little bit bigger of a truck. That's my plan, at least!

But the main thing is to get out and enjoy it! You're going to love it.

Happy New Year!

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Old 01-03-2012, 12:34 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by R2DTube View Post
It's perfect for us. We've been on trips as long as 2 weeks, and it's been great for us. We made a few tweaks and mods... Get yourself some kind of shower mat. We had a custom one made out of teak, which was surprisingly not expensive (highly recommend www.teakworks4u; they're awesome!). It's amazing how much the shower experience improves when you're not standing on that fiberglass. We had shelves put into the closet. Who hangs things anyway?? We sure don't. Makes for a LOT more useful storage. What else can I tell you... We have an Equalizer hitch and it's been great. Get their Sway Bracket Jackets and you'll really quiet down the loud creaks, pops, and groans. Ours is virtually silent now. And take a look at this thread, http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...nce-73584.html particularly post #6 from Robersunrus. I did the same thing and it totally solved the "walking" bracket problem. So much great advice on the Forums! I'd say a Hensley is probably overkill for our little rigs, and they ain't cheap. Hold off on that until you get a bigger rig. Speaking of that, you may want to think about the 80% rule about towing, that is, you want to tow no more than 80% of your TV's capacity. You'll be maxed out just with the trailer, then you have to add all the other goodies that come along, like bikes, canoes, dogs, significant others... I don't mean to be the party pooper here, but it can become a safety issue. Just something to think about. Maybe win the lottery and eventually get yourself a little bit bigger of a truck. That's my plan, at least!

But the main thing is to get out and enjoy it! You're going to love it.

Happy New Year!

Great tips! I was just thinking about some type of mat for the bathroom. Kept getting an error on your link for some reason, but I goggled and found it. Nice looking mats.

The dry weight for the Sport 16 is 3 pounds under 2900, giving me about 600 max to play with. I plan to go as light as possible until I get the feel of the tow. From everything I have read, and know about my Wrangler, and experiences of others I think it is very doable. I don't intend to do 80 and 90 mph like I see many others doing (illegally, of course). Towing speed in California is 55 mph. And I have a Superchips programmer with a tow tune available for more stable driving. With proper safety equipment and safe driving practices I feel confident it can be done with what I will have. Definitely intend to use weight distrib and sway control hitch. Probably will go with the Equalizer. Thanks for your vote. So far I have read pros and cons to every hitch I have researched. Lots of variables and points of view. Thanks for your input.
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:51 AM   #12
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Sorry about the bad link! I forgot the ".com". Should have been:
Teak Bath Mats and other Teak Products by TeakWorks4u
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:40 AM   #13
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I have been looking at those issues. They use the Equalizer at that particular dealer. I have read pros and cons. Too stiff, friction type not good, etc. But is a Hensley Arrow overkill for me? What about the Hensley Cub?

That's why I finally joined here and posted. So much info.

Thanks for the response.
The best connection resource is a towing specialist. Maybe your Airstream dealer there has a good rating. In Ontario Canada we have Can Am.

Suggest you do some research to see who you may have out your way.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:52 AM   #14
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The best connection resource is a towing specialist. Maybe your Airstream dealer there has a good rating. In Ontario Canada we have Can Am.

Suggest you do some research to see who you may have out your way.
Good advice, but how do you go about that? I have spent much time reading info (including CanAm stuff) and lots of people seem to claim to be "experts" even if they disagree with each other (like many things in life). The salesman did have a guy take a look at my hitch. I doubt they are experts since neither could decide if I have a class 2 or 3 hitch.

But I have read a lot of web info from several sources, including here. In the end I will just have to try something and learn from experience...with lots of caution. Then I will be able add another opinion to the mix.
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