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Old 05-01-2015, 05:43 AM   #1
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2016 19' Flying Cloud
South Gardiner , Maine
Join Date: Apr 2015
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Looking to buy!

Hello all,
I am new to the forum. I am looking to purchase my first airstream. 19 to 23 feet. my big question: Is a 19 bambi big enough for a family of 4? There are several around in my budget and I like the layout. Much of the use will be boondocking on trips that are mostly 3 to 6 days long... Any and all thoughts are appreciated.
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Old 05-01-2015, 07:45 AM   #2
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2014 27' FB Eddie Bauer
Chelsea , Michigan
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19 feet is tight for a family of more than two. You'll be doing a lot of setting up and tearing down of the dinette. However, if you only go for short trips (weekends up to a week) and if the kids can stay in a small tent on your site (or a bassinet if they are young enough,) this could work out, especially if your tow vehicle is large enough to accommodate your need for storage. Eventually you will want a bigger unit. Most people who trade in a trailer do so for a larger model but some people really enjoy the challenge of living in a small space. In my opinion, a 23 or 25 foot unit would be more practical.

Having said this, I'm sure that somewhere on this forum there is a family of twelve with five large dogs, three cats and a parakeet living in a 16 foot Bambi towing with a Smart Car and having a wonderful time. Different strokes...
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Old 05-01-2015, 10:47 AM   #3
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2008 25' Classic
Wichita Falls , Texas
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The three of us, myself, the wife and our 20yr old daughter camped in a 17' Casita before we got our AS. Wife and kid in the 54" wide rear bed and I made up my bed in the side dinette, 24" x 72" since I get up first. Wife would then get up and dress while I was outside then the kid would get up and dress while we were both outside drinking our morning beverages. This was on two trips to Glacier and several weekend trips. Once you get a work flow going its possible. The Casita has a 25gal water tank, 32 gallon grey tank and 15 gal black tank so we were able to stay at dry campgrounds in Glacier for 4 days before having to dump. I would have to fill the water tank during this period with more water.

I mention the capacities below since you like dry camping.
The 19' only has 23 gal water tank, 21 gal grey tank and a 18 gal. 48" wide rear bed and 40" wide dinette bed.
The 23 fb has a 30 gal grey tank, 39 gal water tank, and 18 gal black tank.
The 23D has a 39 gal water, 21 gal grey and 18 gal black.
The black tank capacity is not as limiting as the grey and water tanks.

The corner bath in the 19 and 23d are cramped but the 23fb rear bath is spacious. You could use it as a dressing room. The wardrobes are larger in the 23fb vs 23D and 19 and the queen bed is more spacious. However the dinette bed is only 38" wide vs 40" for the 19's 40" wide dinette bed. If your children are young then either dinette could sleep two

The fridge in the 23 models is 5 cu/ft while in the 19 only 4. We had a 4cu/ft in the Casita and we could put 3 or 4 days of meals in the fridge and freezer. We also had a cooler for drinks.

There is more kitchen counter space in the 23 vs 19.

Its best to look at each mode in person to compare.

Kelvin
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Old 05-01-2015, 01:18 PM   #4
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1999 34' Excella
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Wife sez, "no matter the size, an RV only sleeps two!!!!"

Yes, Dear!

Our 34' is just right. 3-4 grandkritters on dinette and gaucho, us in the Master works ok.

Now, to sleep us and our 3 US Marines... Doable... But not comfy.

"Can" it be done??? Yep.. But you may have more success selling a bigger AS than when you outgrow the Bambi.
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Old 05-02-2015, 05:45 AM   #5
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2016 19' Flying Cloud
South Gardiner , Maine
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Thanks all. This was very helpful. water and black/grey water capacity info was very helpful. My girls (10/13) also just stated, "wait, we are sharing a bed". I think my search just expanded up to include 25 footers. Again, thank you.
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Old 05-02-2015, 07:17 AM   #6
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2004 25' Safari
Crestview , Florida
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AS size

I have had a 25ft AS for 11 yrs now. And its just the wife and I and we are now debating about getting a 30ft. 25 would be the smallest I would buy. Go to a dealer put everyone in and sit around 30/45 mins and then try to act out putting a meal together things get tight quick think about those rainy days your stuck in there two days at a time. As stated earlier the tank size is a big factor also. Don't let your present TV make your decision that is a mistake many make and regret it later You will have your camper much longer than a truck. Sure you could get by in any size but if your family is not comfortable you will end up using it very little or not keeping it or trading up that will be costly. Just my 2 cents. Best of luck Rand
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Old 05-02-2015, 08:33 AM   #7
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2008 25' Classic
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The sleeping arrangements in the 25fb or 25rb are a queen bed or twins and making up the dinette bed and side couch. One girl would sleep on the dinette while the other on the side couch. They would sleep 90 deg to each other but not together. The side couch is not as long on the 25rb as the 25fb but should be OK with your girls.

If you found a 25 Flying Cloud twin bed model then the girls could have the twins and the parents sleep in the 25fb back or 25rb front dinette/side couch. If you guys get up before the girls then you could screen off the bedroom area and have the living/kitchen area to make the morning coffee without disturbing the girls, too much.

Kelvin
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Old 05-03-2015, 11:41 AM   #8
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2016 19' Flying Cloud
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This is all great info. Thank you.
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Old 05-05-2015, 01:33 AM   #9
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Suggest you rent an SOB... try camping in it... what works... what needs improvement?
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