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Old 03-17-2014, 06:40 AM   #1
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Thinking hard about Airstream Sport

My wife and I are looking at new airstreams. Our tow vehicle is a 99 Jeep Cherokee with Towing package ( 5000# capacity ). I like the 16' but an a little concerned with the shower toilet not being separate like the 22'. It's just my wife, dog, and myself. Also what is the difference in a sport 16 and a sport 16 JNB? Please pass advice and experiences. I Plan on buying this late spring or summer.
Thanks
Ron
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:50 AM   #2
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Welcome to Airforums.
For me personally I hate a "wet" bath (shower/toilet combo). I guess you could sit on the toilet while you shower...
I don't know about being in bed while my wife does #2 that close to my head...
That alone would force me to pick a longer trailer.
For years I tried to find a trailer my '99 Pathfinder would tow, but was big enough.
Eventually I got a full size pickup- limitation lifted- got the bigger trailer-
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:00 AM   #3
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Hi Ron, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

In addition to the wet bath in the 16 footer, this unit does not have separate gray and black tanks. This is something to consider depending on your camping style.

Brian
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:32 AM   #4
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Off topic, but-
Moosetags-
I see your WBCCI number.
What is the other number (14872)?
Were you at Canopener? Seems you should have been- living in the same town and all-
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:07 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
What is the other number (14872)?
AirForums number. Everyone with a profile has one. You can find yours by rolling your cursor over your username on the left side of any post (without clicking), then looking at the bottom left of the screen where your browser normally shows the URL of a hyperlink. You are 70955. I am 61752. Patrick McGoohan is undoubtedly rolling over in his grave, given the way he railed against being Number 6.

And now back on topic, my Airstream Interstate has a wet bath, so I have some experience. While it's not the ideal setup for everyone, it's an acceptable way to save space; especially when you have to save water, you spend less time in the bathroom than in any other area of the Airstream, so it makes sense to minimize the space devoted to the bathroom. A larger bath would mean a smaller something else.

A couple of things I don't like about my wet bath:
1 - While I can shower easily enough, standing or sitting, I can't dry off without opening the bathroom door. It takes a lot more elbow room to work a towel than a washcloth or scrub brush. Since I travel solo, I don't have to worry about flashing anybody inside the Airstream to dry off, so that's a minor inconvenience for me. If you travel with others who aren't comfortable seeing you in all your glory, or with you seeing them that way, that may be a concern for you.
2 - There isn't a medicine cabinet, and no room to add one. Instead I use the smallest galley drawer for holding the stuff that would normally go in a medicine cabinet. Again for a solo traveler, that's a minor inconvenience, but for a family, lack of in-bath storage for toiletries could be an issue.

My trips so far have been short enough in duration that I don't need to trim my beard in mid-trip, but I expect I'd have major difficulty doing that in the wet bath. Once I retire and can take longer trips, I'll probably have to avail myself of campground restrooms for trimming my whiskers.
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
Off topic, but-
Moosetags-
I see your WBCCI number.
What is the other number (14872)?
Were you at Canopener? Seems you should have been- living in the same town and all-
Protagonist is correct, 14872 is our Air Forums membership number. I had this number displayed on Old Lucy (2005 25FB). New Lucy doesn't have hers yet.

As to the Can Opener, we attended the first several, but have had schedule conflicts the last five or so years. We have had a business conference in Orlando to attend. As you noted, we live in the same town where the Can Opener is held. As a matter of fact, we live about two miles east of the Topsail State Park Campground on the same road. When we have attended the Can Opener, it has taken us much longer to hook up the Airstream than to drive to the campground.

Brian
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:46 AM   #7
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I had a wet bath in one of my travel trailers and it's better then none ,most of the time we would use the campground washrooms but as some have said its tight in that small room ,and I'm not a big guy 160lbs and average height 5-10" the trailer I had was a 16 foot scamp and it was a narrow and low trailer when I went for a #1 I had to tilt my head do to lack of head room,or had to sit down ,and also had to sit to take a shower,but I currently own a 2012 19 foot and I find it a tight to dry yourself if you stand out of the shower I just have to dry myself in the shower area then step out to finish drying my feet. But my current trailer is up for sale and I'm thinking of trying a 16 foot for a year ,I plan on buying a new trailer every year and selling the old one ,up in Canada the airstream prices are much higher so I go down to USA and buy one and save big $ and I can some make money and have a new airstream each year. And like others have said the 16 footer has no black tank it has a combination black & grey tank witch would fill faster so maybe good for a couple of days (depends on water conservation ,showers).
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyflicker View Post
My wife and I are looking at new airstreams. Our tow vehicle is a 99 Jeep Cherokee with Towing package ( 5000# capacity ).
When we got our first Airstream (a 1964 GlobeTrotter), we had a Jeep Cherokee. Being that our trailer was only 19' long and under 3000 lbs dry weight we were within the "towing limits" set by Jeep (5000 lbs).

However, in reality...they were sorely mis-matched, especially at altitude. We would overheat (boil over!) at the slightest incline, hills that we never even noticed before driving around town became very noticable. We towed in 3rd, instead of overdrive and still had problems if we tried to go over 50 mph on the flats or 30 mph on mountain roads. Needless to say, there were no freeways in our travels and we were soon shopping for a new tow vehicle. I'm not certain what a "Sport" weighs, but I'm pretty certain it's more than our vintage GlobeTrotter was.

We also had some problems with the brakes overheating coming down out of the mountains.

You may want to perform a search using "SUV" or "Jeep" as keywords here on the Forums....you'll see many posts in the same light. Also, the second concern would be regarding the short wheelbase on anything longer than 16-19'...others can speak more to that. I just know from 1st hand experience a Jeep is not a suitable tow vehicle.

Sorry to have such a negative reply to your first post...I really would like to welcome you to AirForums! It's the place to find out these sorts of things before you jump in with both feet. I haope you are able to make an Airstream work in your plans.

Shari
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
Protagonist is correct, 14872 is our Air Forums membership number. I had this number displayed on Old Lucy (2005 25FB). New Lucy doesn't have hers yet.

As to the Can Opener, we attended the first several, but have had schedule conflicts the last five or so years. We have had a business conference in Orlando to attend. As you noted, we live in the same town where the Can Opener is held. As a matter of fact, we live about two miles east of the Topsail State Park Campground on the same road. When we have attended the Can Opener, it has taken us much longer to hook up the Airstream than to drive to the campground.

Brian
I have the little oval Airforums sticker on my propane cover and my entry door. Is there any particular reason to display my Airforums number? Maybe to represent? I am considering displaying my WBCCI numbers in the traditional way due to nostalgia and what have ya. I have seen silver trailers with red numbers all my life- it's just part of the program- kinda sorta seems like TAC and WBCCI are parallel universes- different rallies and all-
Lots of WBCCI members out there who are not Aiforums members and lots of Airforums members who are not WBCCI members-
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:56 PM   #10
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Have you looked at a 19' FC?

Getting back to the original question.... Have you looked at the 19' FC? We just pick up a 2014. Just me, wife and dog and this will tow nicely behind our MDX or Nissan Frontier. It is 4500 lbs loaded. It has a separate shower from the toilet that works out great. We have stayed/used it in our yard and planning our first trip next month. Whereas the 16' Bambi is nice, we liked the little more room and towing weight of the 19'.
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Old 03-18-2014, 05:16 PM   #11
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Flyflicker,

We have a 2013 Bambi Sport 16' that we absolutely love. We purchased new so the Sport is the cheapest AS sold (oxymoron).

We tow with a 2010 Jeep Sport with the old 3.7 and 4 speed auto with a 5000 lb limit and it does fine. You should have no problem with you're GC. We plan on upgrading next year to a GP with the more powerful Pentastar V6 and multi speed auto.

We had a 17' Casita before the AS so the Bambi feels bigger to us. Yes it only has a wet bath but when we stay at places with showers we will use them but we don't mind the small space and yes it does have a medicine cabinet mounted above the toilet. We do like the new location for the bathroom door. Now you can close it off with the folding door and have privacy going in and out of the bathroom.

Even though it has the black / grey combo tank we have never noticed a smell and even on a long 5 day camping trip to Sequoia we didn't have to dump but then again we are careful with our water usage.

Another thing it has is the largest outside storage of any AS sold. It's so big that we ended up using half of the plastic storage tubs in came with.

Recently when we we're kicked out of Yosemite during the park closures we ended up having to scramble to find another place to stay near the park. We ended up at an RV park that was full but because of the small size of our Bambi the owners allowed us to park in one of the tent sites and it fit perfectly.

We love the larger units especially the Internationals but with our limited budget and since we spend most of our time outside hiking, riding our bikes etc. we don't feel we need anything larger. I will say that on one long week end out to Joshua Tree we shared our AS with my brother and his wife and it was a little tight. We did most of our cooking outside under the awning and took turns taking showers as needed.

If price is an issue from keeping you from going bigger think about a lightly used 19' or 20' Safari. There are so many used units out there that are like new.

Also, if you do go for a new 16' have the dealer install an extra battery up front. We did and with our LED lights the juice lasts us at least 4 to 5 days.

Check the trailer forums and read some of the remarks the Bambi owners have to say about their little trailers.

Good Luck on you're search,
Jack Dog in
So Cal
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyflicker View Post
My wife and I are looking at new airstreams. Our tow vehicle is a 99 Jeep Cherokee with Towing package ( 5000# capacity ). I like the 16' but an a little concerned with the shower toilet not being separate like the 22'. It's just my wife, dog, and myself. Also what is the difference in a sport 16 and a sport 16 JNB? Please pass advice and experiences. I Plan on buying this late spring or summer.
Thanks
Ron

My 1989 Jeep Cherokee Pioneer was a piece of junk. I had to give it to the kidney foundation since nobody would buy it. It had only 495,000 k on it. Used a litre of oil every 20,000 k. In order to tow a 3000 lb boat I had to add an extra leaf to the rear and put hd shocks on the thing. Rocker panels started to rust out and my kids wouldn't drive it any more. My next 5 Jeeps were about the same, except for the 97 TJ which was really sweet. The 93 only lasted 495,000 k as well. Junk yard bought it at auction in November. I suppose the 2003 will bite the dust soon because it has 500,000 k on it. It tows a 20 Globetrotter. Your 99, might work for a while but don't expect it to last for ever. Jim
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Old 03-19-2014, 05:01 AM   #13
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My 1989 Jeep Cherokee Pioneer was a piece of junk. I had to give it to the kidney foundation since nobody would buy it. It had only 495,000 k on it. Used a litre of oil every 20,000 k. In order to tow a 3000 lb boat I had to add an extra leaf to the rear and put hd shocks on the thing. Rocker panels started to rust out and my kids wouldn't drive it any more. My next 5 Jeeps were about the same, except for the 97 TJ which was really sweet. The 93 only lasted 495,000 k as well. Junk yard bought it at auction in November. I suppose the 2003 will bite the dust soon because it has 500,000 k on it. It tows a 20 Globetrotter. Your 99, might work for a while but don't expect it to last for ever. Jim
He said, tongue planted firmly in cheek! Only 485,000 kilometers, indeed! Most people would consider that an excellent return on their automotive investment.
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Old 03-22-2014, 03:38 PM   #14
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We have the Airstream 17 Sport. This model has a full size bath in the back. Airstream only offered this model for two years before it was dropped from the Sport line up. While they can be a little hard to find, they are out there. Many of these trailers spent a long time on Airstream dealer lots before they were sold. The main draw back is that they only sleep two people in the same bed. They are great for a couple or a single person but families wanted more sleeping space.
They don't weigh any more than a Sport 16 and can be towed easily. See if you can find the specs and floor plan for this model. It might be what you're looking for.
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