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Old 04-17-2008, 02:47 AM   #1
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Considering a Base Camp

First of all let me say hello and boy am I glad I found this site. I have been searching for the better part of a year for a good camping solution for my family of 5, Me and the better half and kids ages 8, 5 and almost 3. I have went to several RV shows and bounced between TT, Toy Haulers and Truck campers. My issue was that We as a family have not had alot of camping experience. My wife would prefer not to tent camp however the initial investment of a TV and TT was also problematic if we decided that camping wasn't for us. It could still be used for me and the boys not to exclude the wife but she may like the break, My kids love tent camping but my wife wants a little more shelter. I am looking at the base camp because it does several thing for my situation, First I can tow it with what I already own, It offers just enough amenities that we can go for a weekend and not feel to far removed for creature comforts. Secondly due to the size of the unit I know my kids wont want to stay inside and play game boys all day. Also I believe this unit is a good stepping stone for a couple years down the road when We do get a nice TV/Truck Camper Combo we can also bring the base camp along for the kids to sleep in. And lastly I dont have alot of space at home to park a camper and with the way I travel for work I need something my wife can move around by herself. I have read all the posts here about the issues and cons associated with this model. I also understand that the price point of this model could be spent on alot of other options that may be more suited for my needs. But I have walked several dealer lots and looked over everything from the relatively inexpensive to the top of the line models. I believe that if I can find a good deal on a base camp obviously not MSRP but keep a good eye out that overall I will be satisfied for the interim. So now for my Questions.

1. How much room is actually in the tent? (what size Air Mattress fits)
2. Can someone post pics of the tent being stowed and folded out?
3. What kind of tie-down points and how many are inside for Motorcycles?
4. With all the issues with the Tent option i.e. gaps and leaks would it be better to forgo the tent and bring a separate one for the kids?

I am sure I will come up with more questions as I research more and forgive me for such a long initial post but I had almost given up on finding a solution and was about to put it on the back burner for a few more years. Look forward to becoming an active member of the forums.

Jerry
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Old 04-17-2008, 05:38 AM   #2
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Hi Jerry,

The Basecamp is a good introductory trailer by Airstream. Reports are that they are very pricy new and depreciate rapidly. You may be able to find a used one at a good price but there are other lower cost options. A teardrop trailer like the one shown with an attached tent is just like a Basecamp but about half the price. It has the queen bed for you and your wife and a kitchen in the back. Lots of tent space for 3 kids.
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Old 04-17-2008, 06:16 AM   #3
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You might try Gene at Airstream of Arkansas if you are interested in a Base Camp. I know he had a pre-owned one a few weeks ago.

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Old 04-17-2008, 06:21 AM   #4
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Initial reports from owners indicated water leaks as well as a poor interface between the tent and rear doors.

Be sure you use the search feature on this site to check out some of the previous posts on the BaseCamp.

Best of luck,

Michael
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Old 04-17-2008, 07:07 AM   #5
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Hi Jerry-welcome!
Sounds like you have done some research and the BC would be a good fit for you-now and in the future.
There was a member here that had one for sale a few weeks ago, serach around, Look at the classifieds also, it was there previously.

The BC is very unique and flexible. As you noted also light enough to be towed by a variety of vehicles.
I say you are a prime candidate.

Ask away, I'm sure some of the current BC'ers will show up soon,

Bill
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Old 04-17-2008, 08:27 AM   #6
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Not sure what your TV is. But a Basecamp has a GVWR of around 3500lbs.

There are a lot of solid vintage airstreams out there in that weight range. Something like a late 60s Caravel would weight about the same as a Basecamp, but would also offer a bathroom and a bit more comfort, especially in bad weather. Add a nice Northface cabin tent to your gear list and you've got a portable dorm room for the kids and a nice little camper for the wife.

While I don't have a lot of inside knowledge on what Basecamps are selling for these days, I have noticed that the retail listing prices on them (used) have been in the $15k to $24k range. That's also the price range that will get you a very solid, well maintained, ready to camp smaller older airstream.
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:33 AM   #7
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The market being what it is, you can find a very nice restored vintage trailer for $15K or under. I just sold a 21' Globetrotter in that range. Dry weight was 3380#.
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrzowt
The market being what it is, you can find a very nice restored vintage trailer for $15K or under. I just sold a 21' Globetrotter in that range. Dry weight was 3380#.
what he said... you could spend 10-15K on a lightweight vintage GT, and either install, or pay someone to install, a bunk over the gaucho, sleep 5 and be getting A LOT more for your money.. especially if you plan on getting a real trailer eventually... I also did not have a tow vehicle when shopping but I was fortunate to find a '69 Safari whose owner also wanted to sell the '01 Tundra that pulled it, including hitch/bars/brake controller...those kinds of deals ARE out there.... good luck

basecamp would be great....if retail was around $5K...
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:13 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the great input, As for my TV it is a Jeep Commander with a towing rating of 6500lbs. I have looked at the used market and the wife would like to stay within a couple years of new. I am searching for pre-owned BC's to take away some of that initial depreciation. Again this is just something to get us out in the woods for now until I can get the Big Set-up I am wanting. Also I am aware of the leaks and tent issues I contacted a dealer today to see if that has been addressed in the 08 models.

Thanks,
Jerry
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:21 PM   #10
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How about a pop up?
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Old 04-17-2008, 03:38 PM   #11
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hi jerry and welcome to the forums...

there are a few threads here on the many virtues LACKING in the b/c...

it might be ok as a vendor/arts/crafts utility hauler....

for CAMPING, consider one if...

-you don't want a toilet...

-don't want holding tanks....

-only want 2-3 gallons of fresh water, pumped by hand...

-want leaks.

-want an inadequate air/conditioner...

-want 2 swing doors, known to break as the only way in/out...

-want an interior finish, one step BELOW a horse trailer...

-want a model that's been DISCONTINUED, and for good reasons...

and wanna waste money on a silver (white) elephant!

a pop up trailer, or tab, or burro or casita or hi/lo or ANY other brand would offer more value, space and utility.

regular used twinkie shaped 'streams in the 23 ft range are a MUCH BETTER choice...

unless you really just want a fiberglass with aluminum mishmash unit, that LOOKS interesting from the outside...

cheers
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Old 04-17-2008, 06:14 PM   #12
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Jerry,
Prior to our Airstreams, we had a couple of pop-ups, the last one being a "delux" model with A/C (& furnace) & toilet/shower, icebox, stove, sink, etc.. Even had a powered lift! A Coleman, I think. We pretty much could take it anywhere and it was very comfortable & even somewhat "civilized" for the non-camper in the family. Think it weighed in at under 3K lbs. Easy to tow.

Really nice out in the boonies in the evenings when you could unzip the vinyl "windows" and let the breeze through.

They're not expensive and would be a much better buy than the basecamp if y'all aren't ready for an Airstream trailer yet. Good way to introduce the kids to "roughing it"...
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Old 04-17-2008, 06:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryleejr
First of all let me say hello and boy am I glad I found this site. I have been searching for the better part of a year for a good camping solution for my family of 5, Me and the better half and kids ages 8, 5 and almost 3. I have went to several RV shows and bounced between TT, Toy Haulers and Truck campers. My issue was that We as a family have not had alot of camping experience. My wife would prefer not to tent camp however the initial investment of a TV and TT was also problematic if we decided that camping wasn't for us. It could still be used for me and the boys not to exclude the wife but she may like the break, My kids love tent camping but my wife wants a little more shelter. I am looking at the base camp because it does several thing for my situation, First I can tow it with what I already own, It offers just enough amenities that we can go for a weekend and not feel to far removed for creature comforts. Secondly due to the size of the unit I know my kids wont want to stay inside and play game boys all day. Also I believe this unit is a good stepping stone for a couple years down the road when We do get a nice TV/Truck Camper Combo we can also bring the base camp along for the kids to sleep in. And lastly I dont have alot of space at home to park a camper and with the way I travel for work I need something my wife can move around by herself. I have read all the posts here about the issues and cons associated with this model. I also understand that the price point of this model could be spent on alot of other options that may be more suited for my needs. But I have walked several dealer lots and looked over everything from the relatively inexpensive to the top of the line models. I believe that if I can find a good deal on a base camp obviously not MSRP but keep a good eye out that overall I will be satisfied for the interim. So now for my Questions.

1. How much room is actually in the tent? (what size Air Mattress fits)
2. Can someone post pics of the tent being stowed and folded out?
3. What kind of tie-down points and how many are inside for Motorcycles?
4. With all the issues with the Tent option i.e. gaps and leaks would it be better to forgo the tent and bring a separate one for the kids?

I am sure I will come up with more questions as I research more and forgive me for such a long initial post but I had almost given up on finding a solution and was about to put it on the back burner for a few more years. Look forward to becoming an active member of the forums.

Jerry
Hi Jerry,

Welcome. My wife and I owned a B/C. Unfortunantly, it was destroyed in a fire after our 4th or so use. To answer your questions:

1.) The tent more than doubles the space. We used ours once and slept 3 people inside on full size air mattresses and I'd guess there would have been room for a fourth.

2.) The tent comes with its own storage bag. With everything inside, it is probably about 3 to 3-1/2 feet long and maybe 1 foot in diameter. About the same as a normal family tent. We made a ground cloth for it from poly film from Home Depot. We also cut a patio carpet (also from Home Depot) to protect the nylon floor from damage. Keep in mind, when the tent is on, you must walk through it to get into the trailer.

3.) There are six sturdy "D-Ring" tie down points. It did a fine job of holding my 1100 cc Honda Cruiser on a 3,000 mile trip. Due to the limited space, tieing and untieing the bike required some effort but keep in mind, we are in our 60s. We found this effort to be a large enough of a pain that we chose to stay in motels rather than in the B/C for overnight sleeping while in transit.

4.) It depends. If you want togetherness, the B/C tent might be fun. If you and your partner want privace, a separate tent might be better. In either case, a separate tent will most likely be less costly. You might look at a screen house that has walls that close. This could double as a sleep space for the kids and shelter, during the day, from bugs.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have more questions, please feel free to contact me.

Regards,

Jerry

BTW, after the fire, we chose to replace the B/C with a 19' Bambi and forego hauling the motorcycle.
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Old 04-17-2008, 07:03 PM   #14
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hi jerry,

you've received lots of good advice anyway, but i'll chime in anyway.

based on what you're describing, i think the basecamp is not the right fit for your family. could you make it work? maybe, but for the hefty price tag, i don't think it's the best bang for your buck.

the basecamp was not really designed for family camping. it was designed more for the younger adventure set who could haul a kayak or motorcycle in the trailer BUT it has found popularity with older couples as well, i.e. two people.

i think the basecamp is really cool and if i was single and in my twenties, i might have considered one (although i'd probably still go vintage), however, with a growing family, i need more amenities (or i should say my wife does).

please keep us posted on your decision. it's always interesting to see how these turn out. good luck!
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