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Old 06-11-2013, 03:39 AM   #1
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2006 19' Safari SE
Santee , California
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2006 Bambi questions

I recently bought my first trailer (2006 Bambi SE). my wife and I are excited to use it. I do have some questions about what generator to get (thinking about a Yamaha 2400) and how much it will operate. I'm wondering whether I have enough vehicle (2005 Tundra 4.7L v8) for mountains etc. What kind of mirror extensions and if they're needed? How long the propane will last when dry camping? I know it depends on heater use etc. but realistically. And who makes a good cover? Any other advice is welcome.... It's nice to be part of this community!
Thanks all,
Mark and Laurie

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Old 06-14-2013, 06:06 PM   #2
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2001 30' Excella
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You are correct, heating is the big propane consumer. Absent heat though the remaining appliances are small users and it will last awhile. When in doubt it's pretty easy to undo the tanks and pick them up to get some idea of how much is left. Find a propane dealer that will fill by volume and get them topped off when you need to. Many places fill by weight and you will be paying for the balance left in the tank, by volume you will not. By cover if you are referring to a big cover for the whole trailer you may want to search the forums about that and re-think covering it. Lots of discussion on that subject.

Roger in NJ

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Old 06-15-2013, 07:57 AM   #3
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2003 25' Safari
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Might want to check out mirrors here.

I have no personal experience with extensions,both my tv's have factory tow mirrors.Running out of propane will not be a problem.One tank will last a good long time if you are not using the heater much.You will run out of water and waste storage first.
2003 25' Safari
2005 Ram 2500 4x4
1994 Ram 2500 4x4
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:38 AM   #4
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Hello Markj
Welcome to the forum. Here is my take on some of your questions.
We have a 2000 Honda eu generator. Yamaha makes a similar size model. We like the smaller generator because it is easier to lug around and it will charge the trailer and run the microwave at the same time. A 2400 will do the same things but I doubt it has enough to run the a.c. and it will be heavier and a bit more expensive.
Do you have one propane bottle or two? We have two and when one runs out, there is an automatic switch over to the other bottle. We can fill the empty bottle at our convenience. If you have only one bottle I would carry a spare so you can switch over. (Running out takes place at inconvenient times like the middle of the night when it is cold) There are various after market gages that show the level in the bottle but you can get the same information by shaking your bottle or looking at the frost line that appears when there is heavy use and the bottle is almost empty. We have 8 gallon bottles and each lasts about a week when we camp in the fall and run the furnace a lot.
Your half ton small V8 should be adequate to tow your small trailer. You may be in a lower gear at the top of a high pass and you should engine brake and drive with care on the way down.
You are doing the correct thing by getting mirror extensions. In most states you are risking a ticket if you tow without them. I have had two types: the complete extra mirror ones that strap onto the side of the vehicle and the ones that go on the mirror. The complete ones give you a better view and stay in adjustment better but are larger and take space to store. It is your choice.
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:51 AM   #5
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2012 25' FB International
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Welcome Mark and Laurie. I hope you enjoy your Bambi. With our Bambi, we use door mounted mirrors. CIPA Deluxe Door Mount Mirror CIPA Mirrors 11650. We have two Honda 2000 generators so we can run the AC if needed. We have found that the propane lasts pretty well. We have no auto switch over making some inconvenience in the middle of the night if propane runs out. When boondocking, we usually only stay a few nights, so I have no experience with longer stays.

The major drawback when boondocking in a Bambi is the size of the clean water and the gray tanks. I try to think like a backpacker or tent camper when boondocking, using other facilities as often as possible. We sometimes put dishwater in the black tank because that doesn't fill as fast as the gray.

All the best,

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Old 06-15-2013, 09:49 AM   #6
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My Ridgeline pulls our 22' through the mountain passes just fine so I don't understand why you think the Tundra wouldn't. Our Honda 2000i works great for boondocking. We spent a week in the Gunnison Nat'l forest boondocking and never used a full LP tank.
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:29 PM   #7
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Mark & Laurie...

Your Tundra should be fine. We tow our 19' 2006 Bambi Safari SE with a 2007 Tacoma V6 double cab (with a tow package) and just pulled our little beauty up Highway 550 in Colorado from Durango through Silverton and Ouray (11,000+ feet) and back down through Telluride, CO along the Dolores River...the Tacoma never complained and performed perfectly. We have also been all over AZ with good results. You should have no troubles. Use the gears going up and down and you'll be fine...

As to generators...we have a 13,500 btu AC unit...we chose to use two Honda 2000s...we take both to run in parallel when we might need AC and when we know we won't need AC we take just one. Two 2000s give us enough umph to do everything we need to and then some. The wright is an issue for us as lifting the larger gennies, though doable, is harder. We can lift the 2000s at about 45 lbs much easier...

If you manage your propane tanks by monitoring the levels and making good use of the automatic switch-over from one tank to the other, you will never run out of propane...just remove and fill the one that's empty when it's time ... while the other tank takes over... How long they last depends most on how you use your furnace and your water heater (to a lesser degree) ... If you use your furnace sparingly, they last an amazing length of time. Stovetop, oven and frig use is not that much.

Mirrors...we use McKesh Mirrors that temporarily mount on the doors, and we swear by them. Once adjusted, they go on and come off quickly and easily ... and the best part... you can actually see behind your Bambi! What a concept! We used clip-ons earlier and found them inadequate. You need to see what's behind you as best you can.

I'd personally avoid a cover for your Bambi...the general consensus and experience is that it will damage the clear coat on your trailer through it's constant movement. If you can store your rig under shelter that is good ... enclosed is even better. We store ours at our home under its "Bambi Port" it's protected form the sun and elements, particularly our SW extreme sun and potential hail (eeek!).

Let us know if you have other Bambi questions... and most of all, ENJOY your trailer!
TB & Greg and Abbey Schnauzer
AirForums #21900 . Prez & Membership Chair, 4CU/WBCCI
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Old 06-15-2013, 10:49 PM   #8
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Try the EU2000 and see if it meets your needs; if not, then add the EU2000 companion model to have all the power you will likely ever need ... unless running two AC units. Worked well for us but YMMV.
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:44 PM   #9
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My 2600 yamaha runs ac and everything we need and weights about 75 pounds very cool generator.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:56 PM   #10
Len and Jeanne
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Congratulations on your new Bambino!

A lot depends upon what kind of camping you do.

If the weather is cold and you have an electrical hookup, you can just take along a small electrical space heater, and not bother with your furnace. A small trailer heats up pretty quickly.

If you are boondocking and the temperature will be freezing, you can use your furnace at a low setting (like 55 F), and just pile on some extra bedding to stay warm. If you keep your roof vent slightly open and store any damp items in your vehicle when it's cold outside, you won't have big indoor condensation problems, which tends to happen during cold weather.

For winter storage, we've either tied down a big tarp, or else stored our Bambi at an RV dealership in town where they have some big sheds. It is a modest expense, but we think it's worth it.

We have a Honda 2000 generator. Now that we have two batteries instead of just the one, we can go three nights on them with conservative use. However, this depends on frequently checking the batteries to keep them close to fully charged when the Bambi isn't camping.

We also switched our halogen lights over to LED lights, and got an on-off switch installed on the fridge fan. It seems to be one of our biggest electricity users.

We tow our Bambi (3500 lbs) with a 2011 Toyota Tacoma, crew cab, with a cap/canopy on the back, which is 6 feet long. The extra storage space comes in very handy for camping gear. We live in the mountains, and the Tacoma is fine over big passes. However, the different years have different towing capacities. Also, you will be heavier with full water and waste water tanks, so we try to keep them empty for long drives.

We try to keep our speed around 55 to 60 mph for best gas milage. At that speed, we're OK with any mountain pass we've attempted.

Your mirrors should be wide enough to give you a view of both sides of your trailer.

Happy trails!
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:07 AM   #11
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2006 19' Safari SE
Santee , California
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 237
Thanks to all for taking the time to help me out! There's a lot to love about being a member of this community. I really appreciate the great advice which will go along way toward helping Laurie and I as we get started on our Airstream journies. Your comments are so welcome and always appreciated.
Thanks again, Mark and Laurie
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:07 PM   #12
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2006 19' Safari SE
Hayes , Virginia
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We pull our 2006 Bambi SE, 19', with a 2012 Tundra 4.7 with no problems (thus far). We just got back from a trip and got 14mpg, holding 55/60mph. Our Tundra has the towing package which I use while pulling. FYI, it doesn't take long to really appreciate what you have, especially when you pull into a park with motor homes, and more people look at yours rather than the big boys. Great camping......
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:12 AM   #13
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2006 19' Safari SE
Santee , California
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What batteries are best?

I was out looking at 12 volts the other day and the salesman told me most guys with rv's use 2-6 volts (golf cart type). What's best?
Thanks, Mark
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:18 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Markj55 View Post
I was out looking at 12 volts the other day and the salesman told me most guys with rv's use 2-6 volts (golf cart type). What's best?
Thanks, Mark
That's something of a religious issue.

One camp likes the greater total capacity you get from the golf-cart batteries in series, and those batteries tend to be well-built to deal with the vibration and such. The other camp points out that if you have a problem with one battery, you're dead in the water where with a pair of 12v batteries in parallel you can wire around the bad one if you have a problem with just one battery and get by until you can replace your batteries.

In either case you really should replace both at once so there's no benefit to that aspect of it. In actual practice either problem is the exception rather than the rule, so you just have to choose one option and go camping.


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