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Old 02-23-2005, 12:18 PM   #1
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16' Bambi for tall folks / new guy checking in

Hello to all - new guy checking in.

I've been looking at getting an AS for the past year (I finally got some projects finished so I've got time to play with a new toy), and am now at the point of getting serious about purchasing one in the next month or so.

Here's my situation - single guy, camping alone or maybe with my dog or a nephew, mostly just short overnight trips with probably a rare week-long trip at some point (I own a business and can't stay away for too long), mixture of boondocking and full-hookup places. One important item - I'm 6'5" and 200 pounds, so bed length is a major factor. There are only a few models that have a full-length 78" bed. I was surprised to see that the 16' Bambi is one of them. For that reason (and others), I have pretty much decided to get a 2005 16' Bambi International CCD.

I know that I won't be able to stand up straight without brushing the ceiling, but I've learned to deal with that, so it's not a problem.

My question is this - given my situation, do you think that the 16' Bambi is a good choice?

What do you think the chances are that I could sit on the toilet and close the door? How much "knee room" is there?

I've gotten a real education by spending many hours reading through this forum. Thanks to all - not just for any replies, but for what I've learned from all the other posts as well!

By the way, I'm in DeLand, FL
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Old 02-23-2005, 12:44 PM   #2
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You know, I could point out several things, but in the end, you're the one that has to live with it.

My suggestion to you would be to go out to a dealer and/or a few RV shows where Airstream will be....there I'd kick around a few units. The interior heights I believe are the same, but bathrooms can vary quite a bit.

Once you get in a few you'll have a good idea what would work for you.
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Old 02-23-2005, 01:16 PM   #3
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I've got a trip to a dealer planned for Saturday. It's on the other side of the state, so I guess I'm looking for things to consider and look at that might not be obvious to someone new to this. I've found several threads here on the general topic, and I've made notes. What I haven't seen is much related to fitting tall folks inside an AS.

Silvertwinkie, I enjoyed the photos on your web site. Thanks for the virtual tour of the plant!
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Old 02-23-2005, 04:18 PM   #4
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Hi Tinwoodsman,

You didn't mention a tow vehicle. While the 16' is the easiest to tow, make sure that if you decide on a longer/heavier model that you have the vehicle to pull it. Use 80% of GCVWR to account for mountain driving. That's if you plan on travelling out of Florida!

If you're planning on Boondocking, the single Group 24 battery is minimal. Plan on a small generator, say a Honda EU-1000 of 2000 to recharge the battery.

Bob
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Old 02-23-2005, 04:28 PM   #5
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Thanks Bob!

I'll be using my 1995 Grand Cherokee (V-6 with tow package).

In my list of upgrades that I've been working on based on what I've read here and other places, going to a Group 31 battery is on the list. I have already ordered a pair of Honda EU2000i generators with parallel cable (I have other uses for it, but they will fit well with the AS).

Other items that I've got on my list are:
Additional FantasticFan (I'm assuming you can put a second one on a Bambi)
Black water flush
Screen door guard

On the "thinking about it" list are:
LED lighting
Aquajet water pump
13,500 BTU A/C

Still looking into hitches.
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Old 02-23-2005, 04:37 PM   #6
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TinWoods---We just traded our 2004 16' CCD for a larger trailer. My wife retires in July and we hope to do more extended travels then we had time for with the 16. I think having had one that it would work well for you except the toilet will be a problem. I'm 5'9" and could barely close the door. Actually had to sit a little sideways. Don't think anyone of your height could possably close the door. On the other hand if you're by yourself who cares. The shower will be a problem also as the floor in the bath is a few inches higher than the coach floor, plus your in the curved portion of the ceiling. From what I've seen in RV's and trailers none of the baths are especially large unless you get into a big expensive motor home. Like someone said if you can find one to see how you fit you should. No mater what you buy there is always some thing that you'll find doesn't work as well for you as you'd like. Some things you just have to learn to live with.Good luck finding a "fit"------Pieman
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Old 02-23-2005, 07:29 PM   #7
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Mike,
Thanks for the voice of experience. I'll hopefully be finding out first-hand on Saturday when I make the trip to Bates RV near Tampa. They've got one on the lot (plus other models). The photos they sent me agree with what you're saying. In the end though, I've just got to get in one and try it out for a while (as opposed to just a quick walk-through). I've used a "wet bath" before in a 28' sailboat, so I kind of know what to expect; however, they are all designed differently so I won't really know until I get inside one.

One way I've been looking at this is in comparison to what the alternative is. If your alternative is a motel, then the big end of the spectrum is what you're going to be looking for. If your alternative is tent camping, then a nice dry place with a real bed, hot water, shower, dining table, toilet, and kitchen looks mighty good no matter what the size. I know there's a lot more to it than that, but my doctor said "no more backpacking", and I've gotten to where it doesn't have the same appeal it did when I was younger.

Thanks again!
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Old 02-23-2005, 08:14 PM   #8
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The 16 sounds right for your needs; the bathroom is tight, but if you can fit into a can on an airplane you should be ok. Re: options, spring for the awning and I'd set aside $ for a generator. 1000W if no AC, 2000 or more with. the burn time on a single battery is very short no matter how you conserve (and conserving is no fun). if you pull the trigger, have the dealer test EVERYTHING, including running all appliances, running off the battery and shore power, flushing the toilet, running the water, hooking up a TV to both the antenna lead and the outside cable, test the phone, the power hitch (or better yet, don't go with this option). Make very, very sure the overhead cabinets and closet have all the screws attached to hold them in place. Myself, wife and daughter spend weekends in the TT and still love it, no inclination to upgrade to a larger unit. But the 22 is very cool...
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Old 02-23-2005, 09:45 PM   #9
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Try it before you buy it...

Can't over-emphasize need to "test" the fit of bed, bath and more.. Dealer should be willing to let you stand in shower and lie on bed in stocking feet, and sit on toilet seat cover and try to shut door...

There are tricks like high-rise toilets and bed extenders or commitment to use diagonal (if it's just 1 person..) but you should have real good idea what is ahead before signing any papers or writing any checks... Shower standing room will be lower than regular head room, and bed-measuring tapes are sometimes missing a few critical inches in middle... With Jeep and V-6, anything longer than Bambi 16 is probably going to be an issue, but not much difference in head or bed room anyway..

John McG
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Old 02-24-2005, 08:16 AM   #10
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John,
The high-rise toilets and bed extenders are things that I didn't know exist. Are they Airstream items, or do they come from other places? Do you know of any sources? Things like that could really open up alternatives for me that I didn't know I had.

FrozenChosen,
My trip to the dealer on Saturday is strictly a scouting trip - just checking things out, not going to sign anything. Thus far, I've only been able to step inside one Airstream, and it is a "handy-man's special" 1976 (I think) 31' model (they're asking $3,900 if anyone's looking for one; here in DeLand, FL; been out there for a couple weeks). I'm pretty much assuming that I'll end up having to special-order whatever I end up getting rather than getting something off the lot (maybe not, but I'm not counting on it).

Your list of things to check has formed the beginning of my own checklist for when (or if) I actually take delivery on one. I've seen other suggestions in other threads and will be adding to the list from those threads as well.

Thanks to all!
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Old 02-24-2005, 11:23 AM   #11
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I have a 16' and will be meeting up with my 6'4" 300lb bro-in law in several weeks. If I get brave enough I'll have him sit, lay, and stand in my unit and report back by the end of March. Standing room can't be a problem except maybe under the airconditioner but someone of your hight should be used to duck or smack by now? BTW I'm 5'7" 150lb (my wife says I can only say she's smaller) and we can almost dance in our unit.
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Old 02-24-2005, 01:30 PM   #12
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Thanks, Turtle!
I'll be checking it out myself on Saturday (Lord willing), and see what it's like. I have to balance the enthusiasm I have for what I THINK it's like with a serious objective look at the pros and cons of it. I chose Airstream because I plan to keep it a long long time, so it's got to be right. After doing my own research, I wouldn't even consider any other brand (and I'm really not that crazy about the looks of them - it's just that they're so well designed and built). That's part of the reason that I will probably go with ordering one. Much as I'd love to get it NOW and take advantage of the remaining camping season (mid-summer here in Florida is not a good time to be camping, but then I've never been able to try it with air conditioning), I'll take the time to carefully check things out before writing the check.

Just a quick note - this forum is GREAT! I've learned so much from spending hours reading the different threads. Since I know absolutely no one who has ever owned an AS, and only know a few folks who have any kind of travel trailer, this forum has been a major blessing. Thanks again to all!
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Old 02-24-2005, 02:38 PM   #13
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TinWoodsman

You might want to consider an older trailer, modified, and brought up to current standards as well.

Gutting a trailer and raising the shell to accomodate a tall person, can easily be done.

In that way, your "tall" problem will not be a continuous hassle.

Custonizing a trailer for you perhaps is a better option, than forever bumping your head.

Andy
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Old 02-24-2005, 03:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinWoodsman

Silvertwinkie, I enjoyed the photos on your web site. Thanks for the virtual tour of the plant!
Glad you liked it....thanks for visiting.
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