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Old 02-03-2004, 08:01 AM   #1
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2005 19' Safari
West Palm Beach , Florida
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Week Enders, 11 Years Till Retirement

If I was retired or even semi-retired, I'd probably order a new Classic 30 with slide-out. Problem is, I've got 8 more years to age 62 and 11 more years till 65. Looks like I've got a lot more RPG programs to write!

BTW my idea is to go with a 19' Bambi CCD International with the sofa option to use for week enders and the three weeks of vacation each year. Here are some of the reasons ...

1. Want something easy to hook and go on a minutes notice with almost no prior planning or preparation. Ball hitch only, just hitch and go.

2. Want something big enough (and with a sofa for watching TV) to be comfortable for two empty nesters and a 10' week old (just got him two days ago) cock-a-poo named Wellington.

3. For weekending, want something that we can explore and park easily on Sunday's so we can adventure and explore on our trip back home. With our 30 footer, about the only place we want to park is at a Cracker Barrel restaurant. With the Bambi, hoping we would feel like pulling into almost any parking lot to check out an attraction.

What do you think of my ideas? I see alot of you upgrading from the Bambi to much bigger units. Really trying to think this one through before biting the bullet and regretting it later.

Feel free to tell me I'm a little loco ... Miriam tells me that all the time.

Stephen & Miriam
2005 Bambi Safari 19 LS with Sofa
2006 Harley-Davidson Road King Custom
2005 Dodge Ram 3500 CTD QuadCab SRW Long Bed
Sir Wooferman Wellington, Cock-a-poo Watch Pup
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Old 02-03-2004, 08:13 AM   #2
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Silvertwinkie just went from a 2003 Bambi to a 2004 25' Safari. I'm sure he'll chime in with his reasoning's.

I'm with you, though. For now, if the majority of your use will be weekends, 3 day weekends (Holidays) and then the 1 or 2 week vacations during the summer, the Bambi may be just the thing to get wet with, if you've not owned a trailer before.

You may find that when retirement comes, you'll have learned exactly what you need and the thought of a 30' may become something else too.

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Old 02-03-2004, 08:33 AM   #3
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I'm still working but I sort of took the inverse look. I figured I'd get the 30' slide out while I'm still employed rather than take from retirement $$$. We've always been destination oriented doing our exploring from the campsite and then out beyond, sans the trailer.

Having one or two dogs also limits our exploration factor since I don't want to leave them in the van or attempt to take them into places where they aren't welcome. So stopping in the off highway Cracker Barrel isn't an option for us.

If you are considering trading up later on, my suggestion is to find something previously owned. That depreciation hit is pretty brutal. The dealers know that the new Bambi's are pretty hot right now and discounting is minimal.

Jack Canavera
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
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Old 02-03-2004, 08:53 AM   #4
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You plan in many ways mirrors what I had in mind when I went Airstream shopping.

1. It appears from the Airstream specifications (on the website) that the CCD weighs about 100 lbs. more empty than the Safari. This translates directly into 100 lbs. LESS carrying capacity.

2. With perhaps 500 lbs on the tongue if you want to just "hitch and go" you may need a 3/4 ton truck; with a 1/2 ton I'd want load leveling. Also, as a single axle trailer, I'd be concerned about sway. It might be worth looking at a Reese Dual Cam which gives both load leveling and sway control. The additional hookup-takedown time is trivial.

3. I'd want to physically get in one and actually set in the sofa for a time to see if it is really going to be comfortable. We have a sofa in our 25', and that is where we spend almost all our "relaxing time", but some people on these forums have found the sofas to be uncomfortable. By the way, is there a table of some sort with the sofa option?

4. I don't know about parking lots. You will have a shorter length, but you still are going to need lots of room to maneuver. You are correct that it takes a lot more for a 30', but I'm not at all sure a 22' or even a 25' is all that more difficult.

5. Spontenaity is possible only if you have pretty well everything but perishables stored in your coach. Does the 19' Bambi have sufficient storage to allow that?

6. If you were to ask me, I'd suggest a 25' Safari with the island bed. Only about $2,000 (list) higher than the 19' Bambi CCD. Very little more trouble to tow, far more carrying capacity and storage, far more comfort. It may well be you would never want to trade up.

7. If my experience is any guide, you will STILL have to just make the decision to get away. There will always be something that "ought" to be done this weekend. My wife always has good reasons we should stay home, and always is glad we decided to go anyway.

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Old 02-03-2004, 09:03 AM   #5
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looking for retirement


Like Jack, we purchased our 30 foot now because we can use the interest deduction on the loan now. In 11 years when we retire, it will be all paid for and our income will reduce and we won't need/use the deduction.

We use the 30' whenever we can and if the family wants to come along, they are welcome. Five big people and dog and cat is a lot for a small trailer. For that matter it a lot for a 30 foot.

Steve, like you I'm a baby boomer, I hate to break you bubble, but you have to wait till you are 66 for full retirement benefits from Social Security.

We're planning a four week vacation this summer, I couldn't think of doing it in less than 30 ft.

These are my thoughts.

-Life is a journey, not a destination.
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Old 02-03-2004, 09:24 AM   #6
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I have to chime in with the crowd here and say I purchased 30 foot slide while I am working and can have it paid off by retirement. Went with 25 Safari six sleeper , it had some strong points but really like the classic slide out. seems less crowded with 6 people than the safari did with 4. dealer made very very good trade so no discount off list but it ended up a wash. I see your truck should be up to the load , may need hitch upgaded to class 5 if You go with slide out , I have to weigh my combo and see if I need to upgrade to class 5. Bottom line If You can afford the classic go for it.
"Forbidden Wheels Clubhouse Recon Team"
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2004 30ft Slide Out with Hensley Arrow hitch. Pulled By 2010 Dodge 2500 Diesel 4x4 Megacab
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Old 02-03-2004, 09:38 AM   #7
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What was I thinking?

I can see the reasoning behind putting the big expense up front now, especially if you're planning on buying new. It would be nice to have it paid for when retirement comes around.
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Old 02-03-2004, 10:45 AM   #8
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A big advantage of the Bambi is that it can stay in driveway waiting for a last minute weekend getaway. But if you spend any amount of time inside, it can get small quick.

The '25 size is a great compromise between the Bambi and the "big ones." I had no real problems manuevering it in parking lots.

But I am trading up for the 30' Classic. It's the room and nice amenities. This will be my future retirement trailer and will be the last one I will ever buy (I sincerely hope)!
"It's the journey."

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Old 02-03-2004, 10:47 AM   #9
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2004 25' Safari
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The long and the short of it for me was that, it was just the two of us and our 60lb pooch. It got a bit tight there sometimes. Not terrible, but noticable.

We got the Bambi with the full intention of keeping it for at least 5-6 years and then as the clan got bigger, we'd upgrade. Well, we got a deal that basically took the Bambi off our hands for what we paid for it (almost to the penny). We also got a discount on the new coach. So to us, working and being able to take the deduction made sense to us since we won't offically be able to retire until:

1) We come into a large sum of money
2) We win the lottery
3) We wait about 30 years before we can retire (not kidding either).

I agree with Jack, if you plan on using it for a weekend here or there, go with a pre-owned unit (there is a real jem at Paul Sherry RV in Ohio) before going to a larger unit several years from now.
That way when you want to go to the larger unit, the biggest hit will have been taken by someone else (depreciation). I will say this, that the Safari C (six sleeper) is beyond what is needed for 2 folks and a pooch. Storage is fantastic and the interior is close to that of the Classic minus the wood cabinets and more functional windows. I upgraded the the heck out of the Safari C and IMHO it's right up there with the Classics in creature comforts.

For us we sort of struck while the iron was still hot. We got the Bambi at an RV show at a really good discount and when it came time to trade in 10 months later, we got it all back minus the interest (which we'll be writing off in April).

If I had to do it all over again with our situation, I'd have gone to the 25' from the start. Almost every couple I know that's had a Bambi or 22' has gone larger later....present company included.

As for the unit being able to go on a moments notice, that all depends on where you can keep the coach. We have a very long drive, so it sits in the driveway. Some that extra 5 or 6 feet is an issue which makes storing a reality. For us, we just load and go! We've done it with a Bambi, will do it with the 25' Safari and if some day we go to a 30' (I really like that 30' Safari) I figure it'll be the same, only I'll be a bit older and even less flexible than I am now with all my creeks and pops!
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Old 02-03-2004, 10:55 AM   #10
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I agree with Big Dee. We just traded our SOB 17' for a 2004 Safari-25. Two great years of traveling, but it did get small real fast (Just the 2 of us), especially if inclement weather hit. The 25 seems to be a good comprimize. Still pretty easy to tow & park but with enough room to stretch out in. We may look larger in the future but we want to try 'extended' trips with our 25 before making that decision. We are both recent early-retirees.
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Old 02-03-2004, 11:45 AM   #11
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Speaking of waiting till retirement. Why???

I'm 49, and my wife is around that. No kids, four cats. We too have decided why wait till we are to old to really enjoy the world we live in....we probably have 25 healthy years ahead of us, and as far as I'm concerned, that is not nearly enough!

For the past 25 years, I have been an advertising photographer, and I can tell you for sure that there is not a vast amount of money to be made in this field, especially since the economy has desimated the ad industry. I do have the luxury to take off in between assignments though, which is sort of how we got into camping.

My wife teaches at a local university and handles research projects.

B. Gates we are not...but we make ends meet.

We are faced with a decision to take out a loan of some-sort, probably a Home equity something-or-other, and pay that off in 5-10 years in order to get the TT we want.

We are both real conservative (scared) when it comes to borrowing money. We already have a mortgage, but have decided that our lives and happiness are more important then letting something as silly as money get in our way! I suppose that I am writing this more to myself to convince me "it's OK...go for it!"

And I think we will.

You only live once, and that once is right now.

Sometimes I wish I were living in the stone age. Then I would know I'm the smartest person in the world.
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Old 02-03-2004, 12:12 PM   #12
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Three huge differences between the Safari and Classic that can NOT be changed:

That Safari sofa is cheap and uncomfortable and there is NO comparison to the Classic sofa! I sat in both of them at the show. There was a huge difference. The A/S factory guy said there was a $2000 price difference!

The other huge difference is the windows. They are incredible on the Classic. I was blown away by them and I hear that A/S makes them themselves.

The folding step. Again, no comparison to the Safari!

Not saying anything against the Safari cause I LOVE MINE
but I can't wait for my new Classic!
"It's the journey."

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Old 02-03-2004, 12:23 PM   #13
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YES, GO FOR IT NOW! You won't regret it. In fifteen years, you will have it paid off and you will be sitting pretty for retirement.

Plus you get to enjoy it now. Who knows what will happen fifteen years from now? Go for it NOW!

(this from someone "went for it" and who will be starting fifteen year payments next month!)
"It's the journey."

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Old 02-03-2004, 12:29 PM   #14
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Late model used units make for good buys! Had a 29' SOB, and wanted something a little better, more comfortable, better arranged. Found a '99 34' Classic Limited, low miles, in great shape, for reasonable price. Hadn't planned to buy an Airstream yet (7-8 years to retirement), but it was too good to pass up!

After a year with it I still can't wait for 3 or 4 day weekends to go somewhere, anywhere, just to be in the AS and out of town.

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