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Old 07-15-2003, 11:52 AM   #1
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Is the 19ft Bambi suitable for 4 people?

Hello All,
This is my first post on this NEAT forum. I recently sold my Coleman pop-up and am very interested in the Airsteam Bambi at 19ft. I am married, and have an eight year old son and a five year old daughter.
I would really like to get some feedback from folks with the Bambi and my size family.......do you feel comfortable enough, is the space cramped, how do the kids handle sleeping conditions, and general impressions. Any help is greatly appreciated.......Jerry
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Old 07-15-2003, 12:09 PM   #2
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I would say no. I would think you would want 28' or longer. I have a 31', with twin beds and the gaucho folds out for a double. Mine sleeps 3-4, I would say. 4 people in a 19' Bambi = Sardines.
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Old 07-15-2003, 12:25 PM   #3
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Not entirely true Pick. We had Brandi, her niece (9), nephew (5) and myself out camping for an evening. As long as the kids are under 5'6 to 5'7, you should have no problems getting them to fit on the dinette bed at all and moving about the coach was not really an issue.

If your children are or will be beyond 5'6-5'7 in the next 3-5 years and you don't want to upgrade then, you should look into a larger unit that has the wider body so that they can sleep comfortably in almost any spot on the coach.

When her niece and nephew are not with us, we have our 70lb dog with us and it's not an issue either.

Remember, in most cases you are not going to spend more than 9-10 hours a day in the trailer and most of those hours are sleep hours at that. If you were full timing or going on long, long trips and/or the kids are grown, then no, Bambi might not be for you.

There is some really good storage on the Bambi given it's size, but if you plan a two week trip, I could see storage becoming an issue for all the clothes, food, etc.

I think anything more than 25' is just luxury and a personal preference. For me, I like Roger's 34' Classic and if I had the tow vehicle, the storage, etc covered (as well as the cash), hands down that is what I'd get because it has better storage than the 30+ footers. However, things being as they are, even with a 25' Safari I believe the gross weight is 6300lbs and they don't get any lighter or cheaper as they get bigger!

Bambi can very easily be towed with any vehicle that can tow 5000lbs. If tow vehicle, cash or space is a concern the next step might be a 22' International and then up the foodchain to match your taste and lifestyle.

Eric
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Old 07-15-2003, 12:42 PM   #4
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Eric,

Two words for the clothes and food storage

Laundromat and Kroger

We have clothes and linens that stay on the coach. They can be washed in two loads, one white load, one dark. No reds, or really bright colors, unless you want to carry the dirty stuff home to wash it.

The food, we keep canned goods on board, and swing thru a store on the way to our destination. I keep the refer loaded with cold beverages and on while I have it stored so we can leave with a minimum of notice. This also lets us have "different" stuff on trips that what we have at home.

Te biggest issue I would have with 2 kids in a 19FT Bambi is what to do if it rains for 2 days??? At that point I would be more than a bit edgy, or the kids would be really muddy.
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Old 07-15-2003, 12:50 PM   #5
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It's doable, but for me, it would be a little cramped. I have had one of my teen children with us on one occasion, and the Bambi got a little crowded, but it worked ok. I just think that the Bambi is ideally set up for two persons, an occasional addition ok, but not all the time. Then again, if you're used to a Pop-Up, the closeness of the Bambi might be fine. all depends on how you use the trailer. If for short, weekend trips occasionally, probably would work. If you plan to go on longer, say more than 4 day trips, the Bambi will be crowded with four, even if two are young children. Just my opinion.
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Old 07-15-2003, 01:32 PM   #6
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In a word ...

no if for more than a weekend and less than that if it rains. We spent 3 days with 2 cats in the 22' International. Too hot to be outdoors. Everywhere you went to move, there was a warm body in the way.
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Old 07-15-2003, 01:38 PM   #7
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I hear ya Brett. We have most of the clothing issues resolved for the two of us and the pooch needs as well. The coach has it's own set of most everything we use in the house. We also now keep a min of plastic dishware and forks and such. We went strictly paper adn paperlike plates, plastic forks, knives, cups etc. To stop the madness of having to wash them all the time with one sink. It took a bunch of dead space and made it useable.

The only real bulk items we now carry are cookware (pot, pan, sautee pan, etc).

I keep most other things like Weber, charcoal, tool, etc in the trunk of the car.

The rain issue is a valid one. I haven't come across it, but when we were kids in our 17' SOB we managed. We just went sightseeing from the car if it was raining too hard. Even in 28' for 2 days will give you cabin fever in the rustic places we normally go.

Brandi on the last trip wanted to load up on food and I suggested we start the buy the food when we are almost there mostly because of weight concerns. We can pack 50-75 lbs of food and drinks (cases of beer, soda, etc) for week long or extended weekend trips. So then it's not dead weight for the hudreds of miles down the road.

I also just recently kept the fridge on a setting of 2 or 3 to keep it cold when I know we are going on another trip fairly soon so we don't have to go through the whole process of waiting for it to cool since we bring a few small things for the trip when we stop at rest stops.

I suspect the issue is mostly a personal issue if it's too small or not. For us, we don't seem to have the problem that can be an issue with crowding.


Eric
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Old 07-16-2003, 08:48 AM   #8
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An option on the Bambi

Something that you might consider if you like the other attributes of the Bambi is to order the front sofa with the overhead bunk option. The sofa is the same one used on the big A/Ss and makes a decent bed (48'X75"). The overhead bunk is a unit that folds up during the day and looks like an overhead storage unit. The bunk is well made and includes an aluminum ladder and roll rail that detach and store in the bunk. The weight limit on the overhead bunk is 175# and like the sofa it is a 48"X75". This arrangement would let your kids have their own bed, and as long as your daughter did not rebel on the bunk, would give you years of service. Another plus is that should you not need the bunk in the future, you can simply remove the mattress, and ladder attachment hardware (the ladder is an integral part of the supporting hardware when in use) and the bunk become storage. A/S included fully functional doors on the front panel of the folding portion of the bunk to allow access to the space when used in this manner (this is how we use the space...no kids).

The downside to this arrangement is that there is NO table in this setup. You have to take TV trays or eat outside under the awning. I have designed and purchased the hardware to make a table that will attach on the wall on the galley side, but have not had the time to make it.

Take a look at our pics and you will see the front sofa arrangement. BTW, note that the pics posted are after we did an extensive makeover of our new Bambi...the factory interior pics are also posted (the blue fabrics/carpet).

david
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Old 07-16-2003, 08:55 AM   #9
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David,

As far as I know and I called Airstream on this one for the 2003, the upper front bunk has been discontinued. The last known model year was your 2002 for that feature.

Eric
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Old 07-16-2003, 09:35 AM   #10
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Eric,
Thanks for the correction. I had noticed that the front sofa is showing as an option of the '04 Bambi, so I just assumed that the overhead bunk was still available. I doubt that A/S sold many. Too bad it was discontinued as it really made the Bambi a workable unit for a small family, otherwise, it is a two-person rig in my book.
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Old 07-16-2003, 09:48 AM   #11
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You're right, they still do have the couch or "Goucho" (what a funny name!)

I was real bummed to hear they stopped it cause I totally agree about it being functional.

You should see it now. There is about 6-7 inches of "dead" space on the left and right side. The overhead front storage is similar to the rear compartment storage however, it no longer goes the full side to side length of the width of the trailer.

Eric
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Old 07-16-2003, 03:31 PM   #12
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Smile From personal experience...

we have an '03 Bambi that we absolutely LOVE! There are just 2 of us (4 when we take our 2 Jack Russell Terriers) most of the time, and it's perfect. We wanted a quality camper that we could pull easily and still have all the amenities of the larger ones. The Bambi fits that bill perfectly. As others have said, if you have 4 persons, they can sleep okay, but the issue is tripping over everyone's belongings. Personally I can't stand clutter, so the one occasion where we did have 2 other adults sleeping with us it was cumbersome getting meals, taking showers, etc. when all of us were indoors at once.

But we got our Bambi to do some serious travelling whenever Tom and I feel like it, so it's exactly what we needed.

Cherie

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Old 07-16-2003, 03:34 PM   #13
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I could not even imagine 4 adults in a Bambi.

Must have been very cozy!
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Old 07-16-2003, 03:40 PM   #14
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4 adults

That would be 2 too many for me.

I think the prize goes to the 2 couples that I met some years ago at a rest stop. They went to Alaska together in a 16' Scamp. When I met them they were on a 2 week vacation in the Scamp. The Scamp is the same length as a 16' CCD and about 18" narrower than the CCD.

Think about it!
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