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Old 11-21-2011, 02:12 PM   #15
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My wife and I plan on purchasing a small (used) Airstream in the next year or so -- my wife is in love with the Bambi, but she's not locked in on one. What she is fixed on is the idea that we will be able to tow it with a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited once the Jeep is properly equiped for towing.
Depends on how "used" you might be talking about. Our 1960 Pacer weighed 1760 lbs. I believe the 1961-63 Bambi's (and later Bambi II's) may have weighed less than that. Contemporary ads showed Wally towing one with a Volkswagen beetle. (And the previous owner towed our 1960 Pacer all over the US with a Mercedes 190D.)
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Old 11-21-2011, 02:28 PM   #16
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Just for the info of those that don't know, and I had to look it up, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is the four door version, so it's not that short of wheelbase. However, it still has the relatively week engine, small brakes, high center of gravity, poor gas mileage....think I better stop.
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Old 11-21-2011, 02:32 PM   #17
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An EXpert is a former drip, now under pressure.

The ODDS ARE...

The real truth is that you can do brain-dead, marginally loony, downright dangerous or even semi-suicidal things every day and get away with it... often without even knowing that you're doing them. (Like the lunatic driving a Mini Cooper talking on the cell phone - who pulled right out of a side street in front of me this morning. I put on my brakes without locking them up... and he never noticed. I thought about honking and watching him lose it as he looked up, and up, and up at the massive grille on my Chevy 2500 Silverado!) You can also be a super-freak about safety, never venturing out of the house without a crash helmet, an emergency beeper, a first aid kit and a cell phone... and still get killed in a freak accident.

The odds are in your favor most of the time if you simply pay attention, THINK and PLAN.

Experts are often self proclaimed. And like doctors, they bury their mistakes.

The advice you've received above seems very reasonable. Here's one more piece of reasonable advice. Get the Airstream of your dreams. Try towing under very careful and non-challenging conditions. In a zero traffic situation on a level grade try a panic stop. If you feel you're underpowered or that the Airstream is pushing you around, trade up to a SUV or light truck. You'll own the Airstream for 20+ years, so you'll go through more than one tow vehicle anyway - don't worry - just learn and adjust when necessary.

Be happy, a bad day camping is better than a good day working.

Paula
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Old 11-21-2011, 02:45 PM   #18
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First, welcome to the Forums! You're in the right place for all things Airstream.

Secondly... let the posts begin! As phbarnhart points out you have hit on a subject that will undoubteldly produce every opinion possible. And that's OK, because you need to hear all sides and all rationales to decide for yourself.

Personally, I don't think it's enough of a vehicle to tow with, but that's me. On the other side of that coin, we tow an '06 19' Bambi with an '07 V6 Tacoma with a factory tow package (important factor)... If you realy are sticking with a Bambi size or there-abouts, the year and exact model will be important as weights vary quite a bit from vintage to newer. Our 06 19' weighs 4500 loaded, 3500 empty...more than vintage rigs of the same size or close. the Tacoma is rated at 6500 lbs. So we are good. You don't need a HUGE vehicle to tow a Bambi with, but you do need one up to the task. The important thing is to be safe.

Good luck with your decision process ... and keep us posted as to what you end up doing.
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:04 PM   #19
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Here's one more piece of reasonable advice. Get the Airstream of your dreams.
Paula
I second that....!!! And I'm that guy that didn't spend a night in Spiffy (a 22 foot '66 Safari) before launching into a complete rebuild ... only to lose my shirt on selling it after the rebuild was complete, because it wasn't what we wanted.

If usability and comfort carry any weight in your decision, you might want to find a Bambi you can use/rent a few nights to determine if it’s really as usable to you as it is cute BEFORE you buy one...
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:08 PM   #20
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And yet another option...if you really love the Jeep, and want to keep it, but you want a cute small camper also, take a look at the 17' Casita. You could pull it OK with the Jeep.

As he ducks from the bricks being thrown at him from the Airstream owners............
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:26 PM   #21
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The ODDS ARE...

The real truth is that you can do brain-dead, marginally loony, downright dangerous or even semi-suicidal things every day and get away with it... often without even knowing that you're doing them. (Like the lunatic driving a Mini Cooper talking on the cell phone - who pulled right out of a side street in front of me this morning. I put on my brakes without locking them up... and he never noticed. I thought about honking and watching him lose it as he looked up, and up, and up at the massive grille on my Chevy 2500 Silverado!)

~~
You really should have honked. It's all about the way a mostly-market-driven economy works. If more people honked at him (esp. in 3/4 ton trucks) he'd have to buy new underwear and car air fresheners more often, and he might eventually learn.
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:42 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Mr Wemmick View Post
my wife is in love with the Bambi, but she's not locked in on one. What she is fixed on is the idea that we will be able to tow it with a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited once the Jeep is properly equiped for towing.

I'm extremely doubtful, but nothing I've shown her to date has changed her mind. Maybe she's right.

Please help -- this forum is much cheaper than marriage counseling.
It sounds like you have a problem with your wife. What do you want? Does she want a 16' or a 19' Bambi? Have either of you checked out these models for how you fit in them? Do you want to make up the bed every day and then unmake it every day to use the dinette? Do you plan on doing boondocking? Bambi water tanks don't have much capacity for that.

Select the right Airstream first—it is an expensive item and if you do it right, you will have it a much longer time than you have any specific tow vehicle. A fair number of people buy Bambi's and find out they are too small. Some buy them because they are "cute", but cute only goes so far. Once you decide on the right trailer, and once you find it, then you can choose the right tow vehicle.

Gene
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:52 PM   #23
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Bambis are small ... no doubt about that ... but you can spend extended periods of time living/camping in them if you are ready for the challenges of living in a small space. Only you can decide if you are up to the challenge.

Also, just for the record, with newer 16' and 19' Bambis you have a full-time bed and don't have to make it and tear it down every day. In general, I agree that one is better served to get the trailer that works the best for them ... then get the tow vehicle they need to tow it .. rather than buying a trailer to fit a tow vehicle. Just be sure that you are up for the expense of buying a trailer and a tow vehicle.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:05 PM   #24
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I had the smaller Jeep Wrangler for several years and loved it, but aside from the power, wheelbase and tow capacity, I never was a big fan of driving it anywhere that it was going to take more than 2 hours because it is just not meant to be a long distance travel vehicle from a comfort standpoint in my humble opinion.

We still covet Wranglers when we see them but very happy with our Tundra/AS combination.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:18 PM   #25
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...<snip>....Also, just for the record, with newer 16' and 19' Bambis you have a full-time bed and don't have to make it and tear it down every day. ...<snip>....
PS: The exception to this is the 75th Anniversary Special Edition 19' Bambi which does not have a full-time bed...the lounge converts to a bed...as does the dinette.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:20 PM   #26
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Thanks TB for enlightening me. When did they change to full time beds in most of them?

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Old 11-21-2011, 04:26 PM   #27
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Andy at Canam in London Ontario will tell
you of it is possible. He has a couple used Bambi's on the lot if I recall correctly as well!
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:27 PM   #28
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Thanks TB for enlightening me. When did they change to full time beds in most of them?

Gene
Gene...I'm not sure when they changed the floor plan, but our 19' is a 2006 and I know it's the same as 2005...not sure about earlier than that...the 19' has the very same corner bed and bath arrangement as the newer 23' and 25' rear beds... the 16' has the bed across the back with the dinette in the front.
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