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Old 04-07-2014, 08:33 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
You must really be in love with your tow vehicle. Perry
You got it Perry. The TV isn't just some generic TV; the Jeep is as big a part of my happiness as is the 16-foot Bambi International. Part of the goal here is simplicity - so a second vehicle is something I do not want. I expect that what I'm asking for may not be achievable, but planning/hoping is free, and fun.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:37 PM   #16
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Maybe a Basecamp? 1965 lbs dry weight on one chart.
Considered it. However, I love love love my 2010 Bambi. I'd rather strip out the things I don't ever use (TV, stereo, etc.) than wish I had things that I do currently use (wet bath, furnace, etc.). Basecamp looks great but Bambi is better suited for my purposes (local trips, max 1 overnight).
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:38 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by amm3824 View Post
Has anyone gone through the exercise of trying to minimize the weight of a modern Airstream, via creative mods? Currently towing my 2010 Bambi (approx 3,260 lbs) with a vehicle that has a 4k tow rating but would like to to with a vehicle with 2k rating.

Not interested in a thread about why would you ruin your Airstream. I realize that by undoing a lot of things, you're undoing a lot of what makes the Airstream what it is. I get that, and understand this could be one of those penny-wise-pound-foolish things, and that even if you get to 2k lbs you still need to add cargo. That said... I'd like to find out weights of the subsystems and components, and think about a radical customization in the interest of saving weight. So how do you bring a 16' Bambi to 2,000 lbs? Shaving 1,260 lbs is a pretty tall order.

Possibilities include

- carry only 1 propane bottle instead of 2
- travel dry and fill water at campsite (no savings if factory spec is w/o water)
- strip stereo, TV, air conditioner
- replace electric tongue jack with manual one
- replace rear bed with smaller one, lighter mattress
- replace fridge with cooler
- replace cabinets with simple wireframe shelving
- remove corner bench/storage at dinette (keep 1 bench over water tank)
- etc

Retain the wet bath, furnace, HW heater, range.

Another approach: What's the weight of the 2010 Bambi rolling frame, shell, floor, and other basics, before trimming it out?
I don't think you'll ever take enough out of this trailer & get it down to 2000 lbs & still be usable, as more than just an aluminum tent.
I'm in the process of rebuilding a 46 Mobilglide 15' aluminum trailer. It weighed 860 lbs with the interior gutted. I have done pretty much everything I can do in order to keep it light, & expect it to be around 1200 lbs when complete.
The main difference between this trailer & yours is that the Bambi has .040" thick skin, while the Mobilglide is .025" thick. I also installed the lighter duty torsion axle with 7" brakes, 195/75-14 tires & wheels. The frame is 2" X 2" X 1/8" square tube as well. Basically, everything going into this trailer was designed & built with "light" in mind. Virtually all of the cabinetry will be aluminum as well.

Although many still think this, current Airstream production is not designed to be truly light.
Every decade of Airstream production has become heavier for a given size. Why not start with something that was light to begin with, then add modern technology, to end up comfortable & light?
We are in the process of producing interior & exterior 13 panel end cap kits that theoretically enable people to create their dream ultra light Airstream-esk trailer.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:42 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by jdalrymple View Post
By the time one removes the items mentioned, it might as well be an empty shell and a blow up mattress.

My question is why keep the trailer, if no amenities is one's idea of fun?
JD
Great point, *almost* right. Based on my actual usage and habits, I don't use the TV, don't mind manually cranking the tongue jack, can live without broadcast antenna, don't need full-width mattress, etc... but definitely want Airstream quality, panoramic rear window (now discontinued in 16' International!), etc.

What it comes down to is that I LOVE what I have and I'm very lucky to have it, and it's here to stay. I just want to see if it's possible to mate it to a tow vehicle that I love just as passionately. If you understand the love for your Airstream, you understand my love for the tow vehicle. Now imagine the two together.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:45 PM   #19
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I think you should sell your new bambi and buy an old light weight one.
Nope, no way, no how. One thing I know, what I have stays. That's one part of this exercise that won't vary.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:50 PM   #20
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Get a 4x4 truck with a light weight pop up slide in. You can't get more portable than that. You could also pull something behind that like your jeep if you must take it with you or a boat or motorcycle. I think you need a different platform than a modern Airstream. There is a company that makes small all aluminum trailers. I am not sure what the total weight is though.

Perry
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:50 PM   #21
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You could redo all the cabnets. Make them like the old trailers, out of 1/4 luan plywood.
The cabinets seem to have strong potential for weight savings, especially if you consider open wireframe design. The downside is that open wireframe won't contain the contents very well as contents shift during travel time. But weight savings could be big.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:55 PM   #22
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I should clarify: getting rid of current 2010 16' International, in favor of something lighter etc., is not an option. Sold an Airstream before (and tow rig for that matter) and regret doing both. Very grateful for what I have now, so this 16 footer stays. Airstream buying days are over.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:00 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
Get a 4x4 truck with a light weight pop up slide in. You can't get more portable than that. You could also pull something behind that like your jeep if you must take it with you or a boat or motorcycle. I think you need a different platform than a modern Airstream. There is a company that makes small all aluminum trailers. I am not sure what the total weight is though.

Perry
Good thought, and I see the value in the slide-in, but no, the Airstream stays. I can't help it. It's what I love. I need to work within these parameters. If it means keeping current TV in the end, fine.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:02 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by amm3824 View Post
Target tow rig is a Jeep JK 2-door with 2,000 lbs rating and 3.6L Pentastar motor. Current TV is a 4-door JKU is 3,500 rating with 3.6L Pentastar. Big improvement over the previous 3.8L (I towed the same 16' Bambi with that). Currently using a weight-distributing hitch (Reese) which, especially on the Jeep, is a must-have and I will never again tow the Bambi without it.
Not trying to start another towing thread, but your Jeep could potentially do just fine without you having to drastically reduce the weight of your trailer.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:35 PM   #25
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Not trying to start another towing thread, but your Jeep could potentially do just fine without you having to drastically reduce the weight of your trailer.
The current (4-door) does well enough for the unmodified 16' International - I've taken it out a couple times and it's fine for my typical range, terrain and driving style. It's no Dodge Ram turbo diesel, but it does well. And compared to the previous 3.8L, the 3.6L Pentastar makes the difference. Been there, done both, etc.

Bottom line is that if I move to 2-door, for safety, legal and insurance reasons I'd like to try to keep it within the 2,000 lbs. rating, and I'm just wondering what it would take to get there. I'm confident that for my typical outings with my setup (2010 16', Reese weight distributing hitch) I could drive the 2-door Jeep configuration safely enough, but that won't mean squat if someone else causes a crash. I'd rather play it safe and be within the rating, if possible. It may not be.
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:11 PM   #26
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What it comes down to is that I LOVE what I have and I'm very lucky to have it, and it's here to stay. I just want to see if it's possible to mate it to a tow vehicle that I love just as passionately. If you understand the love for your Airstream, you understand my love for the tow vehicle. Now imagine the two together.

Very well stated and we look forward to following your efforts. It is creativity that leads to successful results. Keep us posted.

Kevin
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:40 PM   #27
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Lithium ion battery, lighter wheels.

Thinking about it would you even be required to keep brakes on a 2000 lb trailer?
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:42 AM   #28
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Over the years we have set up many 2 door Wrangler's TJ's etc. They have a short wheelbase but also a very short overhang so they tow much better than you might think. Tire size and type is somewhat critical, there are some good LT off road tires that can work.

If you change to a welded ball mount, which keeps the ball much closer to the back axle you can actually have a similar overhang to wheelbase ratio to your 4 door. This involves removing the rear mounted spare or relocating the LP tanks and jack post which is fairly simple to do.

One customer who did advanced soil testing for mining operations towed with a TJ and then a 2 door wrangler for years making dozens of trips back and forth across Canada in all kinds of weather on logging and mining roads etc.

From a power perspective there is really nothing to gain from lightening your Bambi, I cannot think of any vehicle that will pull one through the air that won't easily handle the weight. From a handling and safety perspective at 2000 pounds you will find it tends to get tossed around in the wind a great deal more than it does now. The suspension will be too stiff so your tires will be off the road etc.

The 2000 Pound number is not legally referenced anywhere. We have a lot of customers who work in the insurance industry, are police officers etc. who tow well beyond their tow ratings. Actually a customer who before he retired did the engineering approvals for specialty trucks in Ontario tows his 28' trailer with a Honda Odyssey.

I hope this helps.

Andrew T
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