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Old 11-06-2003, 08:08 PM   #1
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Question Tow Vehicle

Dear Members:

We are planning to trade in our "short bus" for a 19 foot Bambi. We will have to make do with a 1999 1/2 ton Chevy Silverado 4WD, 5.3 Liter V-8, with a towing package. The vehicle is mechanically sound, about 50,000 highway miles, no off-road abuse.

From reading the forum, I think the vehicle will be adequate, but would appreciate any (and all) opinions regarding the suitability of this vehicle, and/or any suggested modifications.

I think it is rated to tow 7300 lbs, and we plan to travel with empty tanks. Also, will keep an eye on the GVW. Should come in well under the max rating.




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Old 11-06-2003, 08:48 PM   #2
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madison , Wisconsin
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make do???


your silverado will be a fine tow vehicle for your bambi!

you may find many folks wishing they had a tow vehicle that nice!

do you know what gear ratio your truck has? 3.73 gears for a trailer of your size would give good service towing/not towing.


you call them ferrets, i call them weasels.
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Old 11-06-2003, 08:53 PM   #3
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James, agree with John, that should tow fine with your truck. I would fill the fresh water tank though. That keeps the center of gravity down in the Bambi, and will improve handling and safety. I always keep mine full.
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Old 11-06-2003, 10:54 PM   #4
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Silverado/Bambi Combo

I used to tow a 99 Bambi with a 2000 2WD Silverado with the 5.3 V8 & 3.73 gears.

The truck barely knew the trailer was behind it. I took a 2600 mile trip through CA, NV, AZ, UT, & CO and AVERAGED 13.9 MPG. The truck & trailer could out accelerate most economy cars.

I currently own a 2003 4WD Tahoe with a 5.3 & 3.73 gears. I plan to use it to tow a 25' Safari.
Steve Heywood
Waddell, AZ
1999 19' Bambi (SOLD)
1997 30' Excella (SOLD)
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Old 11-07-2003, 06:45 AM   #5
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You should have few problems if any with this combo!

Nice job!

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Old 11-08-2003, 09:53 AM   #6
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Thanks for the information! I'm not worried about wearing out my primary transportation now. Will go to view a Bambi on Tuesday and proceed from there.

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Old 11-08-2003, 10:35 AM   #7
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Originally posted by Pick
James, agree with John, that should tow fine with your truck. I would fill the fresh water tank though. That keeps the center of gravity down in the Bambi, and will improve handling and safety. I always keep mine full.
I agree. Tow with a full fresh tank, grey tank empty, an inch or so of fresh water added to the black tank after the last dumping (keeps a "mountain" from forming under the toilet). Some even throw in a bag of ice down the toilet to act as "scrubbers" on the way home after that last dump. I haven't found that necessary, but can't argue with the logic.

Keep in mind that towing with the fresh tank empty and all that water in the black and grey tank can shift the trailer weight back, reducing the tongue weight, and possibly lead to sway. At least it does on larger models. I'd ASSuME the fresh tank is also forward of the grey tank on Bambis, where the black tank is in the back.

If you're looking at used Bambis, according what Airstream used to have on their website, in '02, the 19' Bambi came with an 8 gal black water tank before unit number 514492, and an 18 gal black water tank after this unit. The '03 Bambis got a dual battery box in the tongue, which helps a lot when boondocking.

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