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Old 06-09-2008, 11:25 AM   #1
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Medicine Hat , Alberta
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Smile Be gentle with me!

Hello

I'm a new member in need of some advice, please be gentle with me!

My husband and I currently live in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, but will be returning to Europe to live next summer (most likely Germany or the UK) We are considering buying an Airstream, but have never owned an RV and have little knowledge of Airstreams. (although I grew up around motor boats, so I have some vague idea of what it might be like!) We are being egged on my parents who own a 1940s Willy's Jeep, who think the two might go quite nicely together! Ha, ha!

We'd really appreciate your advice on what we should be looking at. We intend to use it for a year here and then import it to Europe (possibly though my husband's work) Our budget could stretch to $40,000, but we'd rather pay nearer $20,000.

As there are only two of us (at the moment!) we are considering something 24 foot or less, like the Safari.

Are any models of Airstream hard to get or more expensive in Europe (new or old) that would therefore be a good investment for us to buy here and then import?

Only other thing to mention is that our car is a Jeep Patriot, just in case that is useful information.

Thanks in advance for the advice!

Clare
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:01 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums. My first suggestion is to find an Airstream dealer near you, and see if you can get a euro-specced Airstream here, and take it back with you. You will not then have to convert anything to make it work in Europe. Your dealer should be able to find out what needs to be done here to make the trailer street-legal here before export.
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Old 06-09-2008, 02:40 PM   #3
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I'll add another welcome. In addition to Terry's recommendation, spend some time at the Airstream dealer and look at the various models, sizes, and equipment. Try to invision using it for long weekends, parked at the lake all summer or whatever your vision is on how it would be used. Then, look at the owners manual of your Jeep and also at the website for info on it's trailering capability in pounds. The GVW rating of the trailer should not exceed this Jeep capability number. Rent a trailer, any trailer, for a weekend and see how your like it. Have fun with your camping adventures.
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Old 06-09-2008, 03:18 PM   #4
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Clare...welcome to the Airforums! Not to worry...we'll be gentle...we were all newbies at one point or another, after all! So please don't hesitate to ask questions you may have.

I'd check on the towing capabilities of the jeep vs the size of trailer you are considering... I'm not sure what modifications you might have to make to a US or Canadian unit to adapt to European electrical standards and towing requirements, but you should find out what would be necessary...and vice versa if you get a European version AS for US use. I don't know for certain, but the relative weights of US or Canadian vs European versions may be different.

Also you might want to determine how much it would cost to ship an AS to Europe vs buying one there...that should come into the equation when figuring out what is best to do...

Keep us posted and let us know what you end up doing!
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:44 AM   #5
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Thank you all for such a warm and friendly welcome! :-)

I've found out that our Jeep Patriot can only tow up to 3000 lbs and our Ford Escape only 3500 lbs. Oh dear, we don't really want to get involved in chamging our car 12 months before we leave too!

I'm trying to find out which are the smaller/lighter models of Airstreams. Does anyone know of a website that lists model sizes or weights? I imagine it's quite complex with various models being introduced and phased out over the years and then different manufacturing processes effecting the weights of them at different stages of production.

We could two a basecamp and possibly a new Safari Sport, but how much does a Bambi weigh?
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:48 AM   #6
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You might be able to tow a Safari Sport 17 with the Patriot, but it'll be close. Another option is a very small vintage unit, they weigh significantly less than modern units, but the trade-off is less amenities and more repair/maintenance/rehab.
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:56 AM   #7
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We don't mind that. By the sounds of things my dad is itching for us to take it back to Europe as a project for him! Ha, ha!

Bearing in mind we're quite ignorant Terry, could you tell me a couple of names of the small vintage models?
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:06 PM   #8
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Whilst I'm asking, does anyone know the height inside a Bambi? My diifficult husband is 6ft 4". I have often complained to his father that he fed him too well as a child! :-)
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJClare

Bearing in mind we're quite ignorant Terry, could you tell me a couple of names of the small vintage models?
The names and lengths are as follows, starting with 1969 models, the trailers grew a foot longer, and 6 inches wider, with a corresponding weight gain:
16 foot Bambi
17 foot Caravel
18 footer/Pacer
20 foot Globetrotter
22 foot Safari
Anything larger than that would be too heavy for your little Jeep, and some of the ones I listed will be anyway.
Here is a link to the specifications for th Euro models:
Dimensions & Weights < Product Family | Airstream Europe
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJClare
Whilst I'm asking, does anyone know the height inside a Bambi?
I know the vintage ones are less than 6'4" interior height. A friend of ours is 6'2, and his head barely clears most obstacles in our larger, later-model trailer.
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:39 PM   #11
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Thanks for teh info on lengths. Hubby will just have to stoop! :-)
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Old 06-10-2008, 02:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJClare View Post
Thanks for teh info on lengths. Hubby will just have to stoop! :-)
If he's 6'4" he's used to that, trust me. I'm only 5'17" though...
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