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Old 09-16-2002, 11:29 AM   #1
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Bambi or International?

My husband and I are finally taking the plunge and will be buying either a 19'Bambi or an International. The Bambi is more affordable for us but we are concerned with the small water, grey and black tanks since we mainly want to "dry camp" with the trailer. After taking a long trip in our Jayco (24' ) this summer, we realized that what we really love to do is camp as opposed to RV parks. Any pros and cons for the two types? Didn't see any forum comments for newer Bambis and have read most of the info for the International. We're more interested in the AS instead of the CCD because we don't need a desk; they both have wonderful interiors. Anyway, I'd appreciate any feedback on these two models!

Thanks,
Marya
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Old 04-11-2005, 10:34 PM   #2
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I cannot speak to the capacities of the units you are considering. I can speak of my personal prejudices. We too like to "camp" and avoid RV parks in general. So capacities are important. This past winter we stayed in one place, Katherine Landing NRA. Through careful usage of fresh water we stretched our "not moving" time from the usual week to 10 or more days. Our trailer is the 25 ' Classic. It has the same capacities as the Safari. I would not recommend anything of less capacity than these two trailers have unless you are willing to hitch on and go to the dumping/filling places.

Cal Hansen
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Old 04-11-2005, 10:44 PM   #3
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My wife and I have a 19' 2004 Bambi CCD International. We can usually get at least 3 days dry camping with the 25 galloins of fresh water, 18 black and 21 grey holding tanks if we conserve. Our batteries are usually about ready to give out after 3 days also. I'm having a 50 watt solar panel installed this week. Hopefully it will keep the batteries up.

Love the size of the Bambi for the 2 of us, don't feel crowded at all but we like to be outside most of the time. Also like the interior of the CCD as compared to the Safari model Bambi.
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Old 04-11-2005, 10:55 PM   #4
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consider the newer used 25s

hi marya

your post suggests that selecting the 19 is a price issue.....which is completely understandable and an issue for all of us. however going from the 24 jayco to a 19bambi will be like trying to fit in the old wedding dress....tight.

i agree with cal, for dry camping and for 2 people on week long trips the 25 is a much better size. check the company website and the tank capacities are all listed....look at the floor plans and think about the living and carrying space and bed setup.
the 25 would be a better size and no more difficult than the jayco to tow....depending on tv. the 25s also benefit from the wider body...6 inches matters, and they have 2 batteries...better for boondocking too.

to deal with the price issue try to locate a 2001-2003 unit which should cost about the same as a new bambi. i think the safari is the best value and while not as trendy as a ccd, it is much better for living/travel and real world usage. a 25 classic would also be a great boondocking unit again from 2000-2003 the pricing will be very competitive. the safari 25 weighs less than the classic 25 if towing is an issue.

with fuel prices on the up for summer dealers will have more trouble selling this year which means better deals for buyers. the factory web site also has the specs and capacities for these older units.

while the factory warrant is over for these near new units, the nice thing is that the prior owner will have already worked out the bugs and fixed everything...

happy shopping
2air
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Old 04-11-2005, 10:57 PM   #5
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Having camped in a 24' Jayco Jay Gull (1982) and having owned a 2003 19' Bambi and a 2004 Safari 25' unit, I would say that the 24' Jayco and 25' Safari are the most comfortable. As for the 22' International, I'd always opt for a larger unit, however the 22' has a wet bath and front bed that we personally didn't care for....nor did we like that the wheel well takes some of the underside of the dinette. Not sure if they changed it, but at one time the 22' had only one battery, while the others models have two batteries.
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Old 04-12-2005, 06:46 AM   #6
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If it's capacities you're after, keep in mind that the 25' Safari SS (Six Sleeper) model has the same 18 gallon BW tank as the Bambi. We came from a 30' Holiday Rambler down to the 19' Bambi Safari (with the sofa instead of the dinette) and it feels very roomy to us. I think the sofa option really opens up the interior if you're used to dining with tv tables or trays and watching tv. There's just two of us and the dog. If our kids were still around, I wouldn't even consider the 19' Bambi. The Bambi is a great size for maneuvering either going forward or backing up. The smaller width helps also. When picking up our Bambi, I took a few loops around the Interstate Parkway industrial loop while adjusting the Jordan brake controller. When I was finished, I casually backed up into the first driveway I passed, pulled out and headed home. I definitely would not have done this with the 30' HR. Driving or the "getting there" part of the trip is half the fun for us. With the Bambi, I'm not afraid to head down any road that seems to be calling out our name as we pass by. You never know what lies over the next knoll.
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Old 04-12-2005, 07:59 AM   #7
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I know that the Bambi is a very popular model, and I love the way they look. Can anyone share what the major struggles with the smaller trailer are and how you work through those difficulties. I would imagine that it would feel cramped, but with so many people just sold on the trailer, there must be some way get over those feelings of being packed in like sardines.
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Old 04-12-2005, 08:18 AM   #8
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Though it is true, the black tank is the same 18 gallons as found in the 19' Bambi, that is pretty much where the similarities stop. Fresh tank is larger, gray tank larger, dual sink, larger dual fridge/freezer, LOTS more storage, sofa and dinette, dual axles, wide body design (making the rear bed about 4"-6" wider).

Now I qualify my comments by saying we did own a 19' Bambi. Don't get me wrong, it is a great little unit, but that's what we found at least, a great "little" unit. A number of folks here started with a Bambi and have upgraded. Some have started with the 22' and upgraded to a 25'. It's a personal choice. It's just the two of us and the pooch. We got by fine, but since going to the 25' Safari, it was a night and day difference. Having taken our 25' Safari SS out on long boondocking trips (about 6 days), we never came close to running out of fresh water or black tank capacity (never did in the Bambi either). The Safari with the dual axle also seems easy tow as well. Of course, I am in awe every time I see someone manuver a 34' tri-axle, and they too say it tows like a dream, so it could just be what you get use to.

In the end, the tow vehicle decided what coach we were going to buy, what coach we bought and where we are now. Since starting this RV thing ourselves a few years ago, we've since upgraded our tow vehicle and perhaps some day, may go to a 30' unit, particularly if we have kids some day. One last thing that I noticed about our two Airstream trailers (which could also be true with other brands) was that on average, you take 3 feet off the coach's overall length and that will be your interior "living space". So 19' would have about 16' of living space, 22' would have about 19' and 25' would have about 22' and so on, and so on. Having said that, I fully agree with the comments made here, having come from a 24' unit, a 19' might take come getting use to, but it's not impossible, we made due just fine with it.....
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Old 04-12-2005, 08:24 AM   #9
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Our trailer is a 29 footer, and it seems to have more than enough room for the four of us (wife and 2 kids, ages 5 and 7). We are just wondering if, and of course this is a few years down the road, we will want to go to something smaller when the kids are gone. What is interesting to me is that the smaller trailers seem to be in much more high demand. Is this purely a towing vehicle issue or are they a better trailer?
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Old 04-12-2005, 08:29 AM   #10
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Bimi, what we did was load some gear into the car trunk, take less with us and what we did take, we took only what we found we'd need for the stay. Additionally (and I still do this with the Safari) is that I bought a $4-$5, 5-gallon Coleman portable water carrier. It collapses flat when not in use and I fill it with the well water or tap water when we get to our destination, place it on the picnic table and we wash our hands outside when we are outside and get our hands dirty building a fire, setting up camp, taking down camp, etc. I would estimate that we save between 10-15 gallons per trip doing this, leaving our fresh water for mostly cooking, and drinking.

Additionally, and old habbits are hard to break, we take minature items with us. For example, we take a few small shampoos, soaps, toothpastes, toothbrushes, deod, etc, rather than a full size products. We've found this reudces a bit of weight and also space, though honestly it's really not as big of an issue with the 25' SS, but as I said old habbits are hard to break.

The smaller coaches at least in our book were purely a tow vehicle issue. It is true that the smaller coaches are the most popular. What you will find though is a fair turnover rate where folks eventually trade them. As I said in a different post, we are very comfy with the 25' for the two of us and the pooch. I couldn't see going back to a 19' unless it was just me and the pooch or just me, though it can be done if one has that personal choice, I find that as I get older I'm getting more into a few creature comforts, space being one of them.
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Old 04-12-2005, 08:34 AM   #11
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I like the size of the Bambi but it just does not cut it for dry camping.
Not only the capacity of the holding tanks is an issue. The double batteries will help as well. It is still a beautiful little trailer and I am partial to the smaller A/S's and Argosys.
If I were to predominantly dry camp I would opt for the 25 footer as well.
You can get the used 25's at a pretty good price. You might also be ale to pick up a new one of last year's model. There are dealerships that just may still have one.
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Old 04-12-2005, 08:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimi
something smaller when the kids are gone. What is interesting to me is that the smaller trailers seem to be in much more high demand. Is this purely a towing vehicle issue or are they a better trailer?
Not any better or worse, just different. The smaller unit does bring a lot more tow vehicles into the ring. Also, gas prices may be pushing the demand for smaller units. We went smaller because we like it better. There were lots of times with our old 30' TT that we wanted to "stop and look" but kept on going because we just didn't know where we would park our entire rig. Also, the older we get, the less we enjoy washing and waxing. The Bambi is a very easy size for maintenance, including two less tires to replace and two less tires to check for air pressure, etc.
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Old 04-12-2005, 10:10 AM   #13
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we have camped in a number of national parks that have a 20ft limit for trailers - the site were originaly designed for tents, i guess. larger trailers just wouldn't fit. That said, we have a 20 ft trailer and would like more space - next time, if there is a next time, we will get something bigger.
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Old 04-12-2005, 10:23 AM   #14
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Mary A,

You have undoubtably noticed the high enthusiasm for the 25' coach. Many members of these forums have owned a Bambi or International and "moved up" to a 25'. I would mostly agree with the comments on tank sizes, except I would not be too concerned about an 18 gal. black tank. I've never filled half our black tank before the grey is full and the fresh is empty.

Bambi's and Internationals (particularly the CCD) are the hottest things on the dealers' lots. As a consequence they get closer to list price than on other sizes. As a practical matter, a Safari 25' may cost very little more than an International AS.

Why are the smaller sizes so popular, both new and used? More tow vehicle choices, more campgrounds are accessible, the size is less intimidating to new buyers, and they are easier to maneuver. But I suspect the big issue is the increased availability of motorhomes and fifth wheels these last 10-15 years for those interested in larger units. A 30'- 34' Airsteam has to compete against a lot of choices, not just other trailers. In the 25' and smaller sizes Airstream still is pretty much in a class by themselves.

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