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Old 03-20-2004, 02:41 PM   #1
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kids and a Bambi?

Reading the thread about RV parks and limitations was interesting, and leads me to a demographic related question. I'm 42 and we have a 7 year old. We're pondering a 19' CCD for weekend getaways (we live in SoCal) and the occasional week vacation. I grew up doing weekends in a cabover camper, but my wife never did the camper/RV thing. I have some fond memories of campsites in the mountains and desert with a bunch of other families (state and county campgrounds as I recall, pit toilets, and no hookups I think), and some not-so-fond ones of various KOAs.

So are we nuts to be thinking of doing the trailer thing? Are most streamers post-kids? Can we live sans hookups for a weekend (assuming no tv, no microwave oven, etc)? And do these shorts make my rear look big?


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Old 03-20-2004, 03:26 PM   #2
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they grow....

Hi - and welcome to the forums.

We have a 20 foot long Argosy and a 15 year old (way too cool) son. When he was 7 we would have been comfortable in our small trailer - but not now.

Consider that in a few short years your adorable kid will have a full sized body and will want privacy; so will you. It happens fast - really fast.

Now when we go camping with our son, we pack a small tent for him - he loves it - and we all get the space we need. We love being completely mobile for the weekend. The fridge holds enough food and the tanks enough water for all of us. And yes - your wife is right - it's nice to be able to flush.

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Let's have a polishing party: I'll supply the trailer and buffing supplies. BYOB (bring your own buffer)

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Old 03-20-2004, 04:36 PM   #3
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A 19' Bambi packs a lot into a little space, leaving less for people. The objective when camping is to be outdoors, but you have to consider rainy days. It protects you against large wildlife (including the two-legged kind) better than a tent. It gets you a bathroom and shower, so you don't have to use the public ones. You also don't have to sit on a wet toilet after a shower. And it gives you some food storage, and a LITTLE food preparation and cooking space, as well as a table, in case it's raining outdoors.

But the sleeping space for two adults is only 48" wide by 6'6" long. That's 6" narrower than a double bed. You'd have more room and privacy in a two-person pup tent, much less a 4-person, which will accomodate a queen-sized air bed. If you're both skinny, there is a privacy curtain (at least in the Safari version), but it doesn't help if the kid has to use the bathroom at the wrong time.

There's very little counterspace for food preparation, but the dinette (vs couch) can do double-duty for food prep and consumption. OTOH, it won't be as comfortable as a couch for three people watching TV on a rainy day/evening. Can you even get a couch on a CCD Bambi? I guess two could sit on the street side of the dinette and one stretch out on the curbside, while watching TV. Its bed length is only 74" but if that one 7-year old becomes a tall teen-ager, he/she should still have room sleeping diagonally on it.

The new Bambis have two batteries, which should easily stay above 50% charge (i.e. don't drop below 12V while in use) over a long weekend if only a light and water pump are used in the evenings. The problem will be if it's hot and the Fantastic Vent has to be used. Even on Low, it can use over 50% of the batteries' capability in 24 hours. A 100W solar panel could make up for about half that much fan use. Awnings, especially on both sides, can help reduce heat gain and need for the fan.

Within these limitations, the 19' Bambi might be adequate for your 3-person family.
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Old 03-20-2004, 07:58 PM   #4
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Carol and I have been using our Bambi for 3 years with 2 small dogs in all 4 seasons in the middle atlantic area. Our 18 year old daughter has also used the dinette bed and had a great time "she is 5'4".
Most trailors will seem a little small on rainy days but that is what movies,malls and exploring new areas are all about. Just remember your kids are only young once, so don't miss the fun times while you have them. When you need more Airsteam you will know it. Have fun and prepare for the next adventure!
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Old 03-20-2004, 07:59 PM   #5
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The bambi factor

I own a Bambi and its just my wife and I. On rainy days we turn the dinette into a Bed and line the wall with large pillows and it makes a good couch. I would recomend a 25ft safari If you have a couple of kids, The bambi will work but evenually you will be wishing for more room. When I got mine it was way better than the tent gig and I can get it into most all campsites, but I think its a couples size trailer thats good for being on the go. Any children older than 12 or so and the Bambi gets small.

Maybe a good thing to try is to rent a small 19ft trailer any brand just to get a feel for its size. Buying a airstream is a large capitol outlay for a new one and you want to be sure its the right size for your needs. Also think about how much in supplies you will need, and Bicycles kids like to bring the bikes.
"No good dent goes unpunished."
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Old 03-20-2004, 08:31 PM   #6
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In the early years pre-children, my wife and I did the tent gig with a huge walker hound dog. We've wisened up greatly and purchased our 31ft International Sovereign. Three children later, we have plenty of living space in the airstream for meals, television, etc., but feel the experience for our children (13,12, and 10) should be tenting it, geographical location pending. They each have their dome tents for single people and I bunji them all together and protect them with a large canvas (for rainy nights). They enjoy the camping scene and it gives them a great deal of responsibility of setting up their own camp, along with the respect that they will have as adults to purchase their own Airstream for real life camping.
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Old 03-20-2004, 09:02 PM   #7
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Interesting perspectives. We need to get a tow vehicle too (have been looking at a V8 4-runner to replace our old 4-runner), but that wouldn't handle a 25'. As for other models, the CCD is what both my wife and I said "ok, that is worth going into debt for". The style just feels "home". Bike are mandatory for all three of us (gawd bless roof racks) and the plan is that inside is just for sleep/cook/bathroom. The thought of bringing a separate tent for the boy is an interesting one, and definitely would be the answer if he brought a friend on the trip (although just thinking about that makes me reach for the xanax).
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Old 03-20-2004, 09:14 PM   #8
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If you have just 2 children then think about a full size van (Ford E-350). We have 4 captains chairs and can get 2 single and 1 tandem inside with canoe, kayak and storage pod on the roof rack. Alot better for security and also gives you that gypsy feeling.
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Old 03-20-2004, 10:20 PM   #9
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A little SUV is okay to pull a Bambi if

you don't mind carrying a generator and cans of gas in the trailer (too dangerous in the passenger compartment in an accident).*

you can fit a wet and muddy patio rug on the roof between two bikes

half the rear seat folds down so you can put the nasty blue Tote Tank with excess sewage in the passenger compartment with you*

you don't mind a greasy folded BBQ grill on top of it and can secure it so if you have to stop suddenly, or get in an accident, it won't hit the front seat passenger in the head.

you don't mind the muddy parking chocks, leveling blocks, water hose, and extension cord in the passenger compartment with you.

* when you decide to boondock more than a weekend

Seriously, a crew cab truck with a bed cap is a lot more practical, and much safer, when you're hauling more than groceries.
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Old 03-21-2004, 12:05 AM   #10
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Re: kids and a Bambi?

Originally posted by nostatic
...And do these shorts make my rear look big?

As most all of your other questions have been responded to, I'll chime in on the most important one the same as if Deb had asked; ...."No, not at all dear... I love those shorts on you, just the way I love you" !!

That's how we've stayed 'Ed & Debbie' for so long...& do I mean loooong !!!
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Old 03-21-2004, 11:58 AM   #11
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Wink "Small is the new big!"

I grew up camping in tents and small (15-16') RV (SOB). We were always: 2 adults and 3 kids, oldest being 12.

We never felt we needed more room or space and enjoyed every moment of it. We did spend most of the time outdoors. Even dinner.
Yes, we too sometimes slept outside in a tent, while the adults had the RV all for themselves. Those were great summers!

After all how many 'bad weather' days do you get in So.Cal????!!!

We did buy a 25' CCD and an Excursion because of the bikes and all that pretty outdoor kid gear but if we lived under the sun like you guys a 16'CCD would've been my choice.

The more room you have the more you want!

Enjoy your 19 'CCD you can always upgrade down the line if you really want to. A smaller trailer is much easier to just hook up and go. You'll use it more.
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Old 04-06-2004, 07:24 PM   #12
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Being a first time RV and A/S owner, I thought long and hard about the right size trailer for my growing family. We have 1 daughter (18 mos) and a nearly full grown golden retriever. And we're planning on having one more child. We already owned a Chevy 1/2 ton Suburban and we ended up maxing out the tow vehicle with a Safari 28W. We have not regretted it one bit. It's the lightest and smallest full-on trailer A/S makes, meaning a separate bedroom, bathroom (toilet area and shower area), dinette, and living room. Even with the 3 of us (without the golden), it's the right size for an overnighter at our local state park and also a 3 week road trip. We've never felt cramped in it for long periods of time, and we've never thought it felt too big. We have gone with another couple once and the 28W provided all the privacy that 2 couples needed as there are privacy curtains on both sides of the bathroom. If I remember correctly, it only weighs about 600 lbs more than the 25SS also.

Growing or multiple member family??? Strongly consider the Safari 28W.

Airstream: 2004 Safari 28W
2005 Chevy Suburban 2500 8.1L
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Old 04-07-2004, 10:10 AM   #13
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The worst thing about the 19' Bambi floorplan is the bed, it's only 48"X75" AND trapped in the corner of the trailer. If you're serious about a Bambi lay down in the bed with your SO and ask youselves if you can REALLY do this! Don't try to tell yourselves that "We'll get used to it" or "It will be OK" because unless you are OK with the tight dimensions and OK with sleeping nearly on top of each other it won't work.

I used to own a Bambi. When I bought it I was single and the bed didn't bother me. My wife and I survived one night together in the bed (she's 5'8" & I'm 5'10") and she spent the next night sleeping on the made-up dinette.
Steve Heywood
Waddell, AZ
1999 19' Bambi (SOLD)
1997 30' Excella (SOLD)
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Old 04-07-2004, 11:50 AM   #14
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Depends a lot on if your child is a boy or girl. If a boy- get him involved in cub scouts or similar program now, Same for your girl (campfire) if she is an outdoor type. By the time your boy is a boy scout, he will distain any sort of camping that isn't out of a backpack, and you adults will have lots of room. The other advantage is, if you go along with your son or daughter on a boy/girl scout trip, as a chaperone- you may be able to bring your AS, as the adults camp in a separate camp! (especially nice for your wife).
Be sure he or she will want to bring a friend as they get older, and sometimes it's much easier with 2. They entertain each other. Now's the time to introduce your child to nature. they grow so fast- from being afraid of the dark to backpacking 60 miles/10 days in the mountains. Just go have fun and bring books (and books on tape- we wore out "Treasure Island"), a pack of cards, and a soccer ball along. Just expect some whining, it goes with the program. Yosemite in the winter and spring is amazing (less crowds) and north of San Simeon are Sand Dollar Beach and Jade Cove (you can find REAL jade!- a treasure!)- big hits with ours. But the nicest thing with a small trailer you will be able to get to the more remote national forest and BLM campgrounds, pit toilet type, but usually have a water source. That's really nice camping and you will get to see the millions of stars, maybe even the Milky Way if you get high enough!!!! You may end up sleeping out on the ground just to watch the shooting stars for a while! And best of all, up there you won't have to worry about how your shorts look, the squirrels won't care. silver suz

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