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Old 08-15-2017, 06:37 PM   #1
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Folsom , California
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Basecamp vs. Sport 16 Comparison

Hey there fellow 'streamers,

Continuing my research, hoping to get the dealer this weekend, and wanted to offer this initial data based comparison. Hopefully this is of value to others, and as always, please provide your feedback - love this forum!

A little background first. I began my outdoor experiences as a backpacker, then tent camping, then a bigger tent for the family, then added some cots for comfort, then moved to a canvas pop-up several years ago. Looking for a camper with bath, electric, propane, not a glamper. I dry camp mostly by myself, occasionally with my wife. Dry camping is a necessity today and I will continue to dry camp/boondock after this purchase. I have a new Ridgeline, and based on my needs and my TV capabilities, I have been looking at the BC, Sport 16, Sport 22, and the FC 19C.

I have eliminated the 22 and the 19 - both require more generator capacity than I want to deal with (based on AC size). Also, they move more towards the glamping end of the spectrum - especially the 19. For my needs, they aren't the right fit.

So that leaves me with either the Basecamp or the Sport 16. I am proceeding with the expectation the the refrigerator issues get resolved by Airstream, or it will be an easy decision.

The positives, as I see it, for the Basecamp:
1) Larger combo tank 29 gal v 21 gal
2) More on board solar capacity 160 w v. 80 w
3) More standard internally stored battery capacity 2 v 1 external (I understand the dealer can add a second battery to the Sport 16, again, outside)
4) Costs less, about $10K or so
5) More narrow and less tall, so should be easier to tow
6) More counter space in kitchen
7) More floor space
8) Larger tires (wider and taller)
9) More ground clearance
10) Two doors
11) Tents can be added to expand living space
12) Better storage in the wet bath
13) No airflow issues under mattress
14) Tie downs for carrying bikes, astronomy gear, etc.

The positives, as I see it, for the Sport 16:
1) Better ventilation
2) Windows operable in rain
3) Windows have full screens
4) More sleeping space, either for two adults in separate beds, or 4 people in total
5) More storage
6) Tank flush
7) Awning
8) Sink with fixed faucet
9) Rear view camera option
10) 4 Stabilizer jacks
11) "Airstream" shape
12) Better resale as a percentage of original price, I expect

The following items are the same or a toss up, as I see it:
1) Both can operate on one 2000 watt generator (AC only)
2) Both are shorter than my TV
3) Both have GVWR of 3500 lbs
4) Both have combo tanks
5) Both fresh water tanks about the same 22 gal v 21 gal
6) Both have the same external shower set up (a feature I will use)

The following items are not of value or interest to me:
1) Television in Sport 16
2) MW in either

My timeframe is late this year, early next, so lots of time to research. Thanks in advance for your feedback, especially those of you that have either the Basecamp or the Sport 16.


In between campers
2017 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition
Folsom, CA
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:56 PM   #2
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2011 19' Flying Cloud
Santa Ynez , California
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We were at our local AS dealer two weeks ago and a younger couple was bouncing back and forth between the two and I later saw the 16 go out of online inventory, guessing they chose the 16 but don't know if it was them or not.
For me the 16 is just too small for a conventional style trailer and would go to the 19 before that.
But I like the Basecamp as a small trailer just fine, if they get the systems worked out we may be in the market for one ourselves.

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Old 08-15-2017, 08:04 PM   #3
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2016 16' Sport
Miami , Florida
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Just to be clear the a/c in the sport 16 as delivered can not run from a single Honda 2000 generator. It's an 11000 BTU unit as opposed to the base camps 9200 unit.
That might be viewed as a plus for the base camp but I'd have to wonder how good of a job it does cooling when the 16s a/c seems barely adequate.
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:37 PM   #4
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Colfax , California
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 179
We downsized from a 27 ft Class C Motorhome. Ironically, the first time my wife and I stepped into a Basecamp (about 3 months before we decided to buy), we actually felt like there was more room to move, stand and do things in the BC than in our Class C.

Much of the reason for this was the fact that the Class C had a large bedroom that was useful for sleeping, period. The rest of the coach was a narrow walkway with "stuff" on either side of the walkway and then you were in the cab of the van. We were constantly having to lean out of the way to get by each other. The open area of the BC offered considerably more room to move and do things.

But, before making the decision, we spent about 45 minutes in the 16. The thing I couldn't get past was the fact that it was back to the narrow walkway and even less of it than we had in the Class C.

The 16 felt like a shrunk travel trailer that sought to provide many of the features of a larger trailer, but with considerably little of the space. The kicker for my was the realization that when we were talking to the sales advisor in the BC, we all stood around or sat down for 1/2 hour or so with no sense of being cramped. We didn't get past 15 minutes with the 3 of us in the 16 before we felt that where we were standing was where we had to stay; very little space to move around.

The decision to go with the BC was easy after hanging out in the 16. The panoramic view out the galley was also a significant factor in our decision.
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:41 PM   #5
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2015 22' FB Sport
Kansas City , Missouri
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I think you are on the right track. I have owned a 22 sport but not a 16, so I can add some conjecture to the discussion.

16 sport gives a permanent bed. That is a big deal for livability in that you can have the bed always made up with sheets, comforter, pillows, etc. and not have both the chore of making and clearing the bed each day, and the additional problem of finding a good place to store the bedding detracting from storage that you might prefer to use for other things.

Now you might say no big deal it's just me and I am using a sleeping bag. I might have thought that myself having grown up camping in a pop up with those tiny thin mattresses meaning that sleeping bags were really the only option.

I was wrong about that.

I can say from my last 3 years of Airstream experience that it really nice to have your very own soft smooth clean sheets on your very own bed when traveling.

I also strongly prefer the ventilation that the sport windows offer. Those windows are really easy to open and close, and let in a surprising amount of fresh air.

The other thing about the sport layout that one finds with actual use is that the floor space under the dinette is really handy for stashing things while in camp. Having things underfoot can be inconvenient, and I perceive that the floor plan has more storage space out of the walkway path in the Sport.

Addressing the windows/doors differences. I like that with the Sport you can have the door closed and locked and still have a good amount of ventilation with the windows and fantastic fan. That front window brings in a lot of air. It seems to me that you might need to have the back door open on the BC to have enough air flow. I don't think I would like to sleep with the door open. If you have pets along that might also pose issues. You can leave your pet in a locked sport for a short time and they have plenty of fresh air. I have not been in a BC to know how the ventilation would be with only the windows open.

Pluses for the BC would be much more comfortable sleeping for taller people as the beds are just plain longer. Also if you make into a master bed, just plain bigger. The bed in the 16 sport is like an extra wide twin. I think for a single parent and child that the BC would be the better choice for comfort as well. Additionally the BC bed going along the long axis of the trailer will be easier to have it "feel" level than the sport's crosswise bed.

We used Yeti coolers when we had our 22 sport, as we stored away from home and the refrigerator would not be cold until Saturday morning if we left on a Friday after work. If this will be your situation, you might assess how and where you want to keep a cooler or 2 with either choice. While we typically store in the truck or outside, when in bear areas you may need to store inside the trailer if you are using the truck for day trips.

If you use small boats that would be a plus for the BC with its ability to transport.
If you want to off road /boondock a lot, the BC has higher clearances.

Awnings are nice for both shade for you and for keeping the trailer cooler.

I'm with you on the microwave. We use for storage.

We found the TV is surprisingly nice to have to watch a DVD or catch the Sunday morning news.

For a weekend for 1 or 2 people the tank will be OK in either with managed water usage and using the CG bathrooms when convenient. Since it is a mixed waste tank you will likely not want to use a portable waste tank. There are various work arounds you could utilize if you needed to, but that's really a tangent. Our 22 had a similar gray tank size, and we never exceeded it on a weekend trip. We have a "liquid only" policy for the black tank so there's not much usually in it anyway. If that would be your "style" then you are probably OK with either option. But it's true that 8 more gallons on the BC is a substantial difference in capacity.

You have 2 really good options. I think that to me the beds and the windows are the biggest differences that will matter.

Piggy Bank
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:53 PM   #6
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Sheridan , California
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 88
We went through the same desicion making process last May and ended up buying a new 16' Sport. We traded in a small teardrop trailer so both the BC and Sport seemed huge in side. The major reason for going with the Sport was not having to make up the bed every night. Bed's always ready when needed. No moving around tables or cushions.
The other reason was the Sport has been produced for many years while BC is fairly new in production. May still have some bugs to work out.
We've been on 5 trips now with no major problems so very satisfied with our decision.
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Old 08-16-2017, 06:12 AM   #7
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2016 16' Sport
Miami , Florida
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The BC may have more space but be sure to consider the space when the bed is set up. I owned a studio apartment for years. In the beginning I tried to save living space with a convertible couch. I eventually forfeited the space for a dedicated bed so I would not have to choose between sleep mode and daytime mode.
The ability to slide in a kayak does add a few points to the BC column.
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:05 AM   #8
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2017 16' Sport
Cambridge , Massachusetts
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Posts: 16
We made the same decision earlier this year and opted for the Sport. We were totally on the BC bandwagon until we got in it with the bed made, suddenly what seemed spacious had no room to move.

The thing I really like about the Sport is that the bed area (we refer to it as the sleeping cubby) really does feel like a separate space from the rest of the trailer, which is supeising in only 16'. So far for the two of us it has been perfect.
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:42 AM   #9
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2017 Basecamp
Decatur , Georgia
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 72
We picked the BC for the reasons you mentioned in your "pro" column - -mainly the extra space for 2 people to move about. I don't regret our choice at all as it has worked out for us. Here are some additional observations that are both pro and con:
  • The ventilation really could be better. It is fine with the doors open (and both doors are screened), but when raining it gets a bit stuffy. With the visor up, one window is fine in "normal" rain, but that doesn't allow much air in. I will be looking into a Fantastic Vent cover.
  • The microwave is an option we also did not want. If you order the BC without the microwave, they add the cabinet door to that space and you have a lot of extra storage.
  • The optional tents add some extra protection and help with ventilation issues. We have the rear tent and enjoy sleeping with the door open. However on the latest trip we discovered that rear tent will leak like nobody's business in heavy rain, I think along the top seam where it attaches to the trailer.
  • Our solution for not having to completely take the bed up every morning is to only take up half the bed. There is enough room to move to the rear of the trailer and sit on the bench, as well as a half bed for lounging or napping. You can use the floor space under the half bed for storage. We also use sleeping bags to save time "making the bed".
  • That rear door is a back saver when loading and unloading the BC. Trying to carry heavier items through the side door is a PITA, but with the BC you can just slide them in.
  • We keep the water hoses, electrical items ( extra cords, converters), and other accessories in 2 5-gallon buckets which can be stored in the TV or under the BC once we get set up (plus you never know when a bucket will come in handy). There's really not much storage space for these things with the BC, as the outside compartment is really small.
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Old 08-16-2017, 08:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by camperguy58 View Post
I have eliminated the 22 and the 19 - both require more generator capacity than I want to deal with (based on AC size).
This should solve the AC issue.
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Old 08-16-2017, 02:14 PM   #11
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2017 19' International
Tallahassee , Florida
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Sport 16 here, but I really like the Basecamp design.

If I were going off road, or even on funky Forest Service roads, the Basecamp would be my choice.

The Sport makes good use of 16 feet ... we (just the two of us) find it comfortable. We have a history of tents and a VW Camper, so we don't expect or want Caesar's Palace on wheels.

Microwave? We use it all the time!
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Old 08-16-2017, 03:20 PM   #12
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2017 16' Sport
Suwanee , GA
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Get the 16. More space... No bed hassle. Better track record in satisfaction comparably. As easy to park and pull.
My dilemma also a year ago...
Not knocking BC owners at all. Just my humble opinion...
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Old 08-16-2017, 06:35 PM   #13
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Sheridan , California
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On the Sport I was pleasant surprised at the amount of storage accessed from the rear exterior door and under the bed inside. Came with tuperware boxes to organize things perfectly. Only big items like chairs, solar panel, and cooler has to go in the TV.
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:39 PM   #14
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2017 Basecamp
Conway , Arkansas
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Basecamp vs. Sport 16 and others

I shopped/looked at camper options for 5-6 years before settling on the BC. I looked at Casita, the other small Airstreams, a few other brands at local RV places, teardrops, Jayco, etc. I really liked the Lil Snoozy camper, all electric, but manufactured in South Carolina and I didn't want to have to go back there if I had problems. I want to camp with my two dogs; Bernese Mountain Dogs; each 100 pounds. The Casita I was able to finally see at a nearby State park just did not have room for the dogs, tiny aisle. I never saw a Lil Snoozy in person, but it didn't have the heated underbelly and I prefer cold weather to hot. I'm 5'1" tall, so I made my BC bed at the back, back door area, leaving the 'wide' aisle for one dog and the other dog has the kitchen/side door area. It was 'dog driven' for me to choose the BC, which I felt was perfect. Hoping the problems get ironed out soon so we can camp before these guys die of old age :-) They are 9 and 11 now!

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