Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-19-2007, 11:15 AM   #1
New Member
Currently Looking...
Pasadena , California
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2
Wife Wants A Bambi

My wife & I are new to this site but not to the internet (been on it since 1986) or camping which we have done for even more years (had a class C camper of 1970s vintage and are now passing on our 1985 VW camper to our older son). I saw an earlier thread and do not want to set off a similar discussion but I have a question about towing with the Jeep Liberty diesel. We are looking to pick up one and we also like the 19ft Bambi Safari SE. (We just looked at them at a local RV show & my wife ‘really’ likes that trailer, which she somehow now considers ‘hers’ even though we haven’t bought one yet.) While the specs are within the design range it would be at the top of the towing capacity. Also the Airstream site does not give any guidelines about what a loaded trailer weighs. I would expect we would not be carrying much, if any liquids like water to a site but we would have propane and want to store some things in the trailer for travel; food, for instance. We are kayakers (hence the name ‘yakers’ and we would want to take ours along although I expect we would put them on the Liberty rack. But there is a bunch of gear that goes with kayaking although it doesn’t weigh that much. We could shift a certain amount of cargo to the Liberty but we do not want to overload the towing vehicle either. So with a good hitch (which would that be?) and trying to minimize weight in the Bambi, is this a viable combination?

If not, we are going to need some marital advice since my wife really wants the Bambi and I really want the Liberty.

yakers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2007, 11:40 AM   #2
Rivet Master
InsideOut's Avatar

1956 22' Safari
Vintage Kin Owner
Conifer/Evergreen , Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 11,740
Images: 97
First off...Welcome to the FORUMS!

For example...our 19'GlobeTrotter weighs 2890 on paper - keep in mind this does not include any options and is "dry". In actuality, it weighs about 3500-3600 lbs when loaded for a trip - which amounts to 600+ lbs of "stuff" including:
  • (2) full 20 lb propane tanks
  • 20 gal fresh water
  • empty black tank
  • no gray tank
  • no A/C
  • no awning
  • no microwave
  • personal belongings
While your starting point would definately be different with a new trailer and your "options will vary, your "stuff" would probably weigh about the same - not less, we travel pretty light.

Check your weights carefully for both the trailer & the Jeep...add 10-20% then decide. Keep in mind you loose effeciency at altitude (if you plan any mountain travels) and also as the truck ages. We towed with a boderline on paper (which turned out to be undersized in reality) tow vehicle our first couple of was miserable. We had three options - 1) Buy a new TV, 2) Sell the trailer or 3) Jail time - one of us would have killed the other - no amount of martial counseling would have helped and our trailer is too small to bring a counselor along every trip!


Vintage Airstream Club - Past President 2007/2008
WBCCI #1824 - DenCO Unit Past President (2005)
AIR #30 - Join Date: 2-25-2002

RMVAC | WBCCI DenCO Unit | Sisters on the Fly | Tin Can Tourists
BIRDY - our 1956 Safari | 1964 Serro Scotty
InsideOut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2007, 12:16 PM   #3
1 Rivet Short
1989 25' Excella
By The Bay , Rhode Island
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,546
Images: 3
Originally Posted by yakers
My wife & I are new to this site but not to the internet (been on it since 1986)

You must know Al Gore!

We "yak" also and to be honest, the gear really adds up. I like having a pickup so I can just toss it all in (or on top). The Liberty is small (not good) and very short wheel base (even worse) for towing. Looks like the Wife will have to go out and find a truck guy...

*Life is Good-Camping all around the Continent*
*Good people drink good beer-Hunter S Thompson*
BillTex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2007, 12:20 PM   #4
4 Rivet Member
ljmiii's Avatar
2006 16' International CCD
New York , New York
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 268
First of all you have to realize that the UBW (unit base weight) number Airstream shows for their Bambi is just a pleasant fantasy - once the trailer actually gets on the dealer's lot loaded with options (like A/C) it will be close to the GVWR minus the weight of water and propane. Then you get to add hitch weight and other trailer essentials before you even get to clothes, food, etc. A 19' Bambi will weigh close to 4500lbs and a 16' Bambi will weigh close to 3500lbs.

Second, keep in mind that the tow capacity rating for a vehicle is for a single driver with no cargo. Adding people and cargo subtracts from the tow rating.

A Jeep Liberty Limited has a tow capacity of 5000lbs.

Could you tow a 19' Bambi? Yes, so long as you get a good W/D hitch, keep it slow, and avoid any mountains. Would you enjoy it? No.

My recommendation if you are attached to the Liberty would be to find a 16' Bambi - if you are lucky you might find a used 16' Safari (they were built through the 2006 model year).

Or if you need to get the 19' Bambi to keep the wife happy there are a bunch of medium size SUVs with tow ratings in the 6000-6500lb range all of which would be fine choices.
ljmiii is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2007, 12:26 PM   #5
Rivet Master
Fyrzowt's Avatar
2000 25' Safari
West of Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,697
Images: 8
All of this yak yak about T/V weights, trailer weights, yak weights is meaningless.
If you've been married very long, you know that "if momma isn't happy, nobody is happy".
So, what kind of truck are you going to buy?
Fyrzowt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2007, 02:27 PM   #6
Rivet Master
urbanfood's Avatar
1956 22' Flying Cloud
Venice , California
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 672
Originally Posted by Fyrzowt
All of this yak yak about T/V weights, trailer weights, yak weights is meaningless.
If you've been married very long, you know that "if momma isn't happy, nobody is happy".
So, what kind of truck are you going to buy?
ditto what dave said. also, being in pasadena, you're sure to be exploring the mountains of california and going over the grapevine so you definately want a bigger tow vehicle. it doesn't have to be the latest and greatest full ton, double hemi, tri dually, BUT it does deserve some consideration.

check out the towing threads, you'll have enough reading in there to keep you busy for awhile.

welcome to the forums and good luck with your search!

*by asking the above question,
i verify that i have already used
the search feature to the best of my ability...
urbanfood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2007, 03:20 PM   #7
Rivet Master
Wayne&Sam's Avatar
2014 25' Flying Cloud
Cuddebackville , New York
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 2,663
Images: 21
Make it "Wife wants a Safari" and I've been there, done that. It was our 30th anniversary present to ourselves. I couldn't be happier.
Wayne&Sam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2007, 03:32 PM   #8
1 Rivet Member
TaosAir's Avatar
1969 23' Safari
Arroyo Hondo , New Mexico
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 13
Images: 5
Originally Posted by Wayne&Sam
Make it "Wife wants a Safari" and I've been there, done that. It was our 30th anniversary present to ourselves. I couldn't be happier.
Why not since you are already buying a new truck!
TaosAir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2007, 07:21 PM   #9
Rivet Master
Babeebloos's Avatar
1963 19' Globetrotter
Laguna Beach , California
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 766
Images: 24
Hmmm... keep your Liberty and buy a used Suburban?
Officer says ..."Step AWAY from the toaster Ma'am"
Babeebloos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2007, 07:58 PM   #10
moosetags's Avatar

2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 10,382
Images: 5
Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us. We are yakers also. The yak rides on the roof of the Suburban.

The Liberty might come up a little short on room for all the Yak stuff plus camping stuff that's not in the Bambi. I'm afraid that the 19' Bambi would be a real heavy tow for a little guy like the Liberty.

This combo wouldn't be in my comfort zone, but to each his own.
SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2011 Silverado 3500 (Fred) with Outfitter Truck Camper (Ethel)
moosetags is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2007, 08:39 PM   #11
Silvertwinkie's Avatar
2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,326
I think ljmiii said it best....nuf said.
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
Silvertwinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2007, 09:01 PM   #12
Rivet Master
Wayward's Avatar
2006 25' Safari FB SE
Cary , North Carolina
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 793
The SE is a very nice package Yaker! Good choice . There are not many options on an SE so the UBW will be pretty close to what it will weigh. If you really want a Liberty it seems like a pretty good match if you keep an eye on loading. Check these numbers against what you came up with:

To get 5000lbs towing capacity it seems you need the automatic and 3.73 gears. Looks like 3.73 gears are available only on Limited model. If you wanted a Sport, you could get a shop to put in 3.73 or even 4.10 gears.

> Airstream specs put 19' Bambi SE empty weight at 3680lbs. (UBW). It's maximum total weight should not exceed 4500 lbs. (GVWR), This means you can put up to 820 lbs of propane, fluids, options and gear into the Bambi. Based on the way you said you travel – you can probably stay well under 820 lbs..

> If you fully load the Bambi with 820lbs, up to its recommended maximum of 4500lbs, The rig will be 500lbs under the Liberty’s 5000 lb towing capacity.

> The Liberty’s payload capacity is 1150 lbs. Subract the actual tongue weight the Bambi will put on the rear of the truck. By carefully setting up you WD hitch, this would be around 500lbs. Leaving you room to put appx 600 lbs in the truck.

> Combined weight limits: Add the weight of the truck to the total maximum loads you might want to put in both the truck and the Bambi. Then compare that total to the Liberty’s combined weight rating: 4100+4500+600=9200lbs. At maximum recommended loading you would be 900lbs under the Liberty’s recommended 10,100 lb GCWR.

So by paying attention to how you load things up it looks like you can stay under Jeep's recommended maximum loads. Towing with empty tanks should keep you well under.

210 HP and 235 ft-lbs torque seems adequate for the 5100lb max load but you’ll probably not be passing any diesel dudes uphill. If you are set on a Liberty, you'll be far happpier campers if you go ahead and find someone to put 4.10 gears into it. If you're not set on a Liberty, you could probably find a similar SUV that would give you a bit more breathing room with say, 6000lb towing cap and 30-40 more hp/torque.

The key to a stable rig will be to get the WD and anti-sway set up properly. Our Airstream dealer took care of that for us.

2006 Safari SE FB
2000 F150 4.2L
2011 F250 6.2L
Raleigh, NC
Wayward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2007, 09:13 PM   #13
4 Rivet Member
campadk's Avatar
2007 19' Bambi
Ottawa , Ontario
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 456
Welcome yakers!

You were on the net in 1986? Wow! And I thought I was an early adopted back in 1995 when there was a handful of websites.

Anyways, my wife and I had the same dilema... almost. We already owned a Liberty and wanted to buy a new Bambi.

After mucho reading, and learning... we traded the Liberty in for a GMC Yukon. Didn't even try to haul the Bambi with our Liberty... mainly due to the short wheelbase, but also being so close to capacity on tow weight and tongue weight. We opted for a used Yukon which eased the pain in buy Bambi and new TV at the same time.

Needless to say we have never looked back.. happy campers.

Sorry to see our Liberty go though! Mind you we find the Yukon more comfortable for long hauls.
campadk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2007, 10:22 AM   #14
New Member
Currently Looking...
Pasadena , California
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2
Bye, Bye, Bambi

Thank you, thank you for all your informed and safety conscious postings.
Well, between an immovable object and an irresistible force something had to give. In this case it was my wife’s Airstream dream, at least for now. We decided on another lighter trailer, because trailering is new to us and $45K+ is a lot to chance on a trailering life which we are not sure of yet. Don’t be too hard on us, a good bit of this deference to each other has come as the result of heightened sensitivities from my spending last Tuesday night in the cardiac emergency ward (looks like things will be OK) so the decision is to focus on what we can do now. In a year or two we will look at upgrading to an Airstream, by then we will know a lot more about what we need both in a trailer and in the towing vehicle.
So what did we go with? A T@da 17 foot in Red. And it looks like the Jeep will be able to handle that weight pretty well. Hope to cross the paths of some of you Airstream folks and show off, inspect and play with each others toys.

yakers is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My wife shot me! PhilMateo Furnaces, Heaters, Fireplaces & Air Conditioning 11 05-26-2006 07:54 PM
Swaying my wife Carl1949 Our Community 27 11-14-2005 06:50 PM
My wife wants to drive our TT Ron C Community Polls 19 03-11-2005 02:12 PM
convince the wife ??? Carl1949 Our Community 22 10-30-2004 11:13 PM
How I got my wife Tin Hut Off Topic Forum 5 04-18-2004 07:18 PM

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:16 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.