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Old 05-24-2013, 12:20 PM   #1
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Am I crazy?!

Hi there - I need a reality check.... I have been shopping for a 16' Bambi for close to a year now. My family consists of three people ( all average height and weight) and a Saint Bernard dog. I know I should at least bump up to the 19' Bambi, but I just love the compact size and yes, the cuteness factor, of the 16.
Currently we have a 16' Scamp, and while a bit more room would be nice, we manage just fine. We live in a very rural part of Montana, so we don't have a dealer anywhere close where we could walk through a 16 and get a feel for the layout. Generally our camping trips are only a few days in duration, so it's not as if we are trying to live in it full time! I just thought I should ask for anyone to share their thoughts and opinions about the realities of trying to fit three people and a 180 lb dog into a 16 Bambi before I purchase one sight unseen from a classified ad. Thank you for your input!
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:23 PM   #2
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I opted for the 28 foot, we had a 200 lb mastiff. Overkill? Maybe. But it was nice on a rainy day to have a dog free place for my feet.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:26 PM   #3
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I'd say the main part of your reality check is the idea of purchasing *ANY* RV sight-unseen from a classified ad. There's more risk in that than in not being able to come up with a way to use a 16' Airstream with a giant dog.

That said, we like smallish houses and medium-sized Airstreams, personally. Then again, we're not in Montana... in TX we need enough room to be comfy indoors if we go camping June-September, AC is a big reason we love the trailer.
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:07 PM   #4
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Alicia
My wife and I are within two weeks of leaving on a trip to the northwest from Arizona in our 17 ft Safari Sport. We are going to Canada and possibly through the Rockies and south through Glacier, Tetons and Yallowstone back to Arizona. We really like our Safari but we have a dog sitter (our daughter).l We are considering buying a slightly bigger Airstream because we like two beds and a dining area. My email is mhammond@cableone.net Marc
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:24 PM   #5
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You already get by in a 16' trailer, so moving to a different 16' trailer isn't much of a change as far as available space is concerned. I faill to see a problem. However…

I would be leery of buying anything sight-unseen. If you've done a walk-through of a Bambi before, then at least you know what you're buying, if not the condition of what you're buying. But if you haven't ever set foot in a Bambi before, then yes, you're crazy (well, you did ask…).

Would you think it's okay to buy a Chevy pickup sight-unseen because you've driven a Toyota pickup before? Same sort of thing.

Not saying you shouldn't buy a Bambi if you have your heart set on one. Just recommending a bit more prudence in doing your research first.
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:36 PM   #6
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Thank you all for the feedback! Marc, I'm afraid that your Safari probably has the fullbath/couch floor plan that I don't think will work for us. Too bad... I would love for my search to come to an end!! Thank you, anyway! I like the traditional Bambi layout with the wet bath and the full bed. I am hoping to find a 2000-2008 model year. Anyway, I appreciate that you all did not immediately declare that I am crazy to even consider the 16. I would think more seriously about the 19, but I have read that there really is not much difference in the floor space and my family is fine with a wet bath versus the shower area in the 19. I do wish that the 16 had both the black and grey water tanks, but I guess you have to compromise on a few things.
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aliciaL View Post
Thank you all for the feedback! Marc, I'm afraid that your Safari probably has the fullbath/couch floor plan that I don't think will work for us. Too bad... I would love for my search to come to an end!! Thank you, anyway! I like the traditional Bambi layout with the wet bath and the full bed. I am hoping to find a 2000-2008 model year. Anyway, I appreciate that you all did not immediately declare that I am crazy to even consider the 16. I would think more seriously about the 19, but I have read that there really is not much difference in the floor space and my family is fine with a wet bath versus the shower area in the 19. I do wish that the 16 had both the black and grey water tanks, but I guess you have to compromise on a few things.
If you are considering a 19' look at a 20' front bed. You get about 20" more in overall length and another 20" or so in floor space due to bed turned across the width of the bed. The dinnette converts into a second bed.
Good luck with your search
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:26 PM   #8
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We spent hours in both the 16- and 19-foot Bambi's before we decided. There are huge differences in that extra 3 feet. Personally, if you intend to keep this Airstream into the future, I'd go to a dealer that has both models in stock, even if it's some distance away; so that you can "pretend camp" in them on the dealer lot for several hours, switching back and forth between them, to make sure you get what you want.

There seems to be numerous Airstreamers that have moved both up and down in size, for various reasons. However, before we bought, we spent several half-day sessions at the dealer, spending hours in each model. And now, 8 years after purchasing our 19-foot Bambi new in 2005, we are still certain that we made the right decision; and we have no buyer's remorse, wishing we had bought a different model.

Unless we win the lottery and have money to burn, this is the Airstream we'll keep until we're forced into a nursing home by our kids.
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Old 05-24-2013, 06:28 PM   #9
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Note that the early Bambi 16' trailers had a different floorplan than the newer (2004-on) models. They're also rare - less than 20 built, or something like that.

I managed to find one locally, only to discover the floorplan didn't work. That, and the floor was rotting away from leaks.

You really should try and plan a trip to see the various trailers at a dealer somehow. This is a lot of $$, especially considering that the 16' trailers are sought after.

I can't help but wonder if a 17' Casita would fit the bill.

Good luck!
Tom
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:09 PM   #10
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Yes you are crazy..... Well you asked. 3 people and a Saint Bernard in a 16 foot is way crowded for my way of thinking. I would bet all of you would enjoy camping with a little more room to move around in, like a 20 or 24 footer.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:11 PM   #11
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That extra space makes a huge difference. We have camped with spaniel and and Irish Wolfhound. After the Wolfhound died, we dropped to a smaller trailer. True to form, I could not live with out a Wolfhound. (We have had as many as 3 at a time since 1983).
We know have a 30ft AS. Makes it much easier on those days when being outside isn't possible and for sleeping all the time.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:12 PM   #12
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I should add that we still have a spaniel and, if the weather is warm, we bring the parrot.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:03 PM   #13
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aliciaL,
I looked at all different sizes for my four medium sized dogs and myself. I really, really wanted to fit us all into a 19' Bambi. Super cute and nice size. I took a friend to look at one with me for my reality check. She's very nice and didn't laugh too much at me! I ended up with a 23' with the front lounge. It fits us nicely. I'm sure you can make anything work. I saw a 22' that was on CraigsList. The pictures didn't really show it well. I was glad I went out of my way to look at it....I passed on it. Also came close to buying another sight unseen, and fortunately, the salesman went honest on me over the phone. Thankful I waited to see the one I bought in person. If you can't see it yourself, perhaps one of the AS Inspector types on this forum could check it out for you. I had several volunteer to do inspections for me. These folks are great!
Good luck in whatever you do.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:16 PM   #14
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Thank you all SO much for the advice and honesty! You definitely have got me thinking about whether or not we will be happier sacrificing a bit of cuteness to get the extra space... I will also heed your advice about committing to purchase a trailer sight unseen. The necessity of having to travel long distances to get what you want is a reality of living in rural montana! There is a 19' 2006 Bambi for sale just a short distance from us, but it is WAY too expensive at $28,000.... Thank you again for your feedback!
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