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Old 04-07-2014, 06:40 PM   #1
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Shaving weight: Can I strip a 2010 Bambi to 2,000 lbs?

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?
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:48 PM   #2
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You could redo all the cabnets. Make them like the old trailers, out of 1/4 luan plywood.
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:55 PM   #3
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Tow vehicles can be a quite a controversial subject. You might want to reach out to Andy at Can Am RV in Ontario Canada. Depending upon your desired TV you might receive some advice/thoughts on TV setup in lieu of striping the Airstream.
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:56 PM   #4
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My old Coleman popup weighed more than 2k.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Airstream Forums mobile app
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:01 PM   #5
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An interesting proposition. You may want to study the differences between modern and vintage Airstreams to see what has caused the weight increases. A 1963 16' Bambi weighed under 2000#-your target. So, it can, and has, been done! I'd imagine the body, frame, and windows don't weigh much more today than they did before. So, that leaves interior fixtures as the culprit. I'd be interested in seeing what you could achieve.
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:04 PM   #6
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I think you are on the right path. If you have ever backpacked (which I would guess you have), everything is about weight! This will be interesting to follow!
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:04 PM   #7
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I think the Bolus Road Chief is close to that weight so I'd take a peek at their site and scope out the differences. IIRC it has an aluminum chassis and lighter cabinetry for a start. Other than that maybe an aluminum smaller propane tank over steel.
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:04 PM   #8
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What is your proposed tow vehicle?
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:05 PM   #9
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You would probably have to put an aluminum frame on it just to get the shell and the body down to that. You might call Airstream and ask them what an empty shell on frame would weigh. For what you would loose in the value of the trailer you could buy a new tow vehicle. You must really be in love with your tow vehicle. There maybe someone on here rebuilding an older trailer who could weigh their shell on frame for you to give you some idea of what the base weight is. To make the trailer other than an aluminum tent you would have to do things like an aluminum frame and maybe even composite honeycomb aluminum floors.

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Old 04-07-2014, 07:09 PM   #10
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I think you should sell your new bambi and buy an old light weight one.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:06 PM   #11
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Maybe a Basecamp? 1965 lbs dry weight on one chart.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:15 PM   #12
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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?


Regards,

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Old 04-07-2014, 08:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Ruler View Post
What is your proposed tow vehicle?
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.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:30 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by nilesrob View Post
I think you are on the right path. If you have ever backpacked (which I would guess you have), everything is about weight! This will be interesting to follow!
Funny, as I was writing my original post, I was thinking of exactly that - the backpacking/hiking scenario, in which every ounce matters. I'm a hiker wannabe, have never really done it seriously, but admire those who do it and understand that their obsession about weight savings is real.
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