Originally Posted by CMSmith
We are thinking of a Bambi (older model mostly for budget reasons) but do not know if it will work well for us. We have two young children and would love to do at least one annual trip. What is recommended for a family of four to tour the country in? What does everyone suggest pulling with? We would really prefer to not get into a full size SUV for a daily driver if we can, so we are thinking of upping to an Envoy XL or something like that.
Welcome to the forums, and welcome to the Airstreaming community!
My wife and I are retired and travel with 3 small dogs, no kids. Our first trailer was a 1960
Pacer, 16 foot, the model before the first Bambi, which came out in 1961
. We bought it from an older cousin who hadn't traveled in it for several years. We loved the Pacer, and it was OK for trips up to a couple of weeks, but it was cramped. When our cousin bought it, in 1962
, he and his wife traveled all over the country in it with their 3 kids
, towing it with a Mercedes 190D sedan!
So, such a thing can be done. Whether you want
to, is another question!
My recommendation would be at least a 22 foot trailer for you and your kids, and maybe a 25. Older trailers are lighter than current ones of the same length, so if you want to tow with a smaller vehicle you are better off with a vintage unit. The 25 foot Tradewind is one popular model with plenty of sleeping space.
See the Vintage Airstream Photo Archives for a wealth of information on vintage units Vintage Airstream Photo Archives
As far as tow vehicles, here's my advice: Bite the bullet and buy an adequate tow vehicle. Towing with an undersized tow vehicle is not really safe, and you will find it doesn't feel safe
--the rig has a mind of its own and wants to wander around with every gust of wind and passing truck. This does not make for enjoyable traveling, which is what you really want. We tow both our 16 foot Pacer and now our 22 foot Caravelle with a half-ton pickup truck with a camper cap. With that combination you will hardly notice the trailer is back there. Another advantage is the storage space available in the back of the pickup.
If you do decide to tow with a minimal tow vehicle, make sure you understand the physics of sway
--the critical safety issue--which can cause you to lose directional control and go tumbling into the ditch. You will probably want to use a sway-eliminating hitch like the Hensley or Pull-rite, which I believe is no longer made, but might come with a vintage trailer.
To summarize, you could probably tow a Bubble, Pacer, or early Bambi with your Vue, but it would be mighty cramped for the four of you, and I don't know if you would be happy with it.