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-   -   New Bambi 19' owner (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f295/new-bambi-19-owner-45941.html)

Nightwind15 10-23-2008 04:01 PM

New Bambi 19' owner
 
I just purchased a 2006 Bambi that had been used three times. I made this buy without researching this site and after reading a while wonder if I made a mistake. I had a Casita 17 Freedom deluxe and liked it very much. I thought I would be upgrading to a camper that would last me the remainder of my life structurally. After reading many complaints about support and issues I am thinking I might not keep this unit.

One question I have is about towing. The Casita required nothing extra to tow, no equalizer or anti sway bar. I tow with a 2007 Honda Ridgeline. What would you suggest as far as prepping the Ridgeline for towing the Bambi? It is rated at 5000# towing capacity.

Thanks guys...

Stephen

NDM & 12paws 10-23-2008 04:14 PM

I don't think you'll regret buying an AS. As you've probably already read this site is full of proud AS owners.

As far as towing goes there is a ton of info here and I learned a lot from it. Go to the forums tab and down to the Towing heading. There's info on Tow vehicles as well as hitches. As you'll see the Ridgeline (on paper) may seem not to have enough towing capacity but there are a number of people here that have it as a TV.

Nightwind15 10-23-2008 05:12 PM

Being new
 
I have just found this site and really bought the Bambi based on the great look and layout. I am looking forward to studying and learning from the old salts here.
Thank you!

DEITZ645 10-23-2008 07:42 PM

Nightwind15,
Welcome to the Forum and Airstreaming. Get out there and enjoy your Airstream, I do not think you will regret it. I think the 19' Bambis are great. For a small trailer I think the floor plan is really functional. My only concern would be for the poor person that has to sleep against the wall. Getting up un the middle of the night when nature calls must be a "bear". I think the 16' trailers are a little tight, but then again that's just my opinion. There are plenty of folks here that love their 16'ers.

Can I ask why you moved from the Casita to Airstream?

85MH325 10-23-2008 07:47 PM

Stephen, I replied in your Ridgeline thread. The Casita Liberty Deluxe 17' is one of the heaviest 17' fiberglass trailers at nearly 4,000 lbs loaded, and nearly a 400 lb tongue weight. The Bambi 19' is similar. Both require weight distribution and sway control hitches, even though you were fortunate in that you towed your Casita without it. I would't recommend bare-ball towing for any trailer with that kind of weight. I've had a number of Airstreams and fiberglass trailers over the years, and used weight distribution and sway control on almost all of them. It is remarkable how much they improve the handling of the rig, even though you may not think you "need" them.

Roger

djfrantic 10-24-2008 11:05 AM

I also have a 19' AS and until I bought a Ford F350, I towed it with my MB ML55 with no problem....as long as I didn't try to go up really steep hills...which is why I got the F350....the ML55 has a tow rating of 5000lbs like the Ridgeline but the rear end ratio is all wrong for towing and I found that out the hard way when I nearly killed the poor thing driving up to Lone Pine campground above the 395 Hwy....what's ironic is that when I bought the 19' the sales guy predicted that I would end up buying a larger tow vehicle and he was right. I would say this.....as long as you aren't going high....you will be fine....but if you like to go high and breathe in the Alpine air....you may end up buying a larger truck like I did...and if you do...buy a diesel truck....now that I own one I cannot believe I was able to live without one for so long....

TBRich 10-24-2008 04:18 PM

A happy 2006 19' Bambi Safari SE lover here. They are great little trailers and I bet you won't regret the buy. We never have. Loaded they are about 4500 lbs so you are right at the limit with your current tow vehicle, particularly if you hold to the "80% rule." A good weight distribution/anti-sway hitch will help in the towing arena. We tow with an 07 Toyota Tacoma double cab V6 with a factory tow package rated 6500 lbs, and use an Equal-I-Zer hitch. Anything larger and I think we'd want more truck.

Have fun with your new toy and happy trails!

Harper 10-24-2008 04:56 PM

Hi Stephen... My wife and I bought a Bambi 19 ('08) this past May. I live in it for my work around 10 days a month. I have been busy making small modifications here and there to customize this machine. We tow with a 6 cyl. Toyota Tacoma... so far so good. First thing I did was to build a small counter extension to the right side of the sink. It is made of oak and walnut (to blend with the AS decor) and includes a removable cutting board. The unit slides in place on dovetail ways, then stores in the closet when not needed. Second modificaton was installing 25 gallons of water storage in the back of the truck for all those times we dry camp, or go to campgrounds with only a communal water supply. I put in place a water pump, so I can drive to a water supply, fill the truck tanks, drive back to the set-up trailer and off load the water into the AS tank. Very handy. Currently at work on putting together a battery system... six 6 volt deep cycle batteries (2 on the AS, 4 in the truck bed). Connected in series/parallel the two battery banks provide close to 700 amphours...enough to run the show for 5 days in cold weather. I've never had so much fun.
Cheers
Jim

Wayne&Sam 10-24-2008 06:39 PM

A 19' trailer?? No way- that's way too small for me. You'd never see me in anything that small. 19', man that's one small trailer.

InsideOut 10-24-2008 07:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wayne&Sam (Post 631010)
A 19' trailer?? No way- that's way too small for me. You'd never see me in anything that small. 19', man that's one small trailer.

Uhhh...yeah...it's a WHOLE lot smaller than a 20'! :lol:

Shari :flowers:

Gsnedike 08-24-2011 04:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Harper
Hi Stephen... My wife and I bought a Bambi 19 ('08) this past May. I live in it for my work around 10 days a month. I have been busy making small modifications here and there to customize this machine. We tow with a 6 cyl. Toyota Tacoma... so far so good. First thing I did was to build a small counter extension to the right side of the sink. It is made of oak and walnut (to blend with the AS decor) and includes a removable cutting board. The unit slides in place on dovetail ways, then stores in the closet when not needed. Second modificaton was installing 25 gallons of water storage in the back of the truck for all those times we dry camp, or go to campgrounds with only a communal water supply. I put in place a water pump, so I can drive to a water supply, fill the truck tanks, drive back to the set-up trailer and off load the water into the AS tank. Very handy. Currently at work on putting together a battery system... six 6 volt deep cycle batteries (2 on the AS, 4 in the truck bed). Connected in series/parallel the two battery banks provide close to 700 amphours...enough to run the show for 5 days in cold weather. I've never had so much fun.
Cheers
Jim

Harper, can you post a pic of your counter extension? I am thinking of doing the same thing using a pair of small door type hinges so I can slide the extension On and off as needed. I am not sure how you fabricated the dove tail you mentioned.
Thanks!

hamiltonmj 10-23-2012 06:56 PM

Weight distribution and Bambi
 
I have a 19' Bambi and would recommend weight distribution. Recently, I had a tire (GYM) blowout and the WD kept everything straight and manageable. I have a Reese hitch and tilt it forward according to the instructions.

Come to Alumapalooza in May/June and learn neat stuff and visit the factory.

Welcome.

robert claus 10-23-2012 07:20 PM

Hook it up, tow it around like you did the Casita, and see how it feels. If it doesn't feel any different, you're set. If it does not feel right, then make an adjustment - add a w/d hitch, more air in the TV tires. If you still don't like it - sell it. Plenty of people looking for used 19'ers.

c177tx 10-23-2012 08:10 PM

I have been living full time in my 19' Bambi for the past three years, I have put approx 40k miles on it pulling with a Jeep Commander 4.7l 7300 lb tow capacity. The only problems I have with it are a couple of popped rivets, (easy to replace) burned out light bulbs that are being replaced with led, and a blown tire this past summer traveling across New Mexico (GYM). Now the Commander just had a new rear end replaced under warranty at 94k miles (thank goodness for a lifetime power train warranty) I purchased this size trailer because it was the largest trailer I would be able to park on the family Lake Lot where I am living. The Commander pulls the Bambi without a problem (except noted above, this year model jeep has had a lot of pinion gears go out even on vehicles that have never towed a trailer) from Deep South Texas to Utah ( about 5 trips). We have been thru Durango Silverton, and Uray with the rig. It has been out to the Big Bend region more times than I can count. Try pulling a 25' up to the Chios campground. Even after all the trips the Bambi still feels and looks like new. I do not ever plan on selling her. Oh and by the way, when you go camping a lot of people will come over and ask about your Bambi, the most curious are the owners of Casita's.

Ahab 10-24-2012 09:47 AM

1 Attachment(s)
We've been towing this for six years without any problems. Image was taken above 10,000' We do not use a WDH or sway control. Note your owners manual tells you to avoid WDH. Your truck is one of the most stable towing platforms out there.:):):)

AWCHIEF 10-24-2012 10:04 AM

This thread is from 2008. Is the OP still around?

hamiltonmj 10-24-2012 11:19 AM

NO W/D in the Owner's Manual?
 
Where is this in the Airstream Owner's Manual. Never heard of it from any other 'Streamer nor have I heard of it from the factory which I have visited twice with my setup. I purchased the OB from Colonial Airstream and they would not release it to me unless I had W/D. Pg 8-5 of my Owner's Manual says only Sway Control is optional.

Think about it...your hitch is rated at what...450lbs? Without W/D you're putting more than that weight on the hitch IMHO. My specs say the 19' hitch weight is 510 lbs without:blush: options or variable weight like water in the tank.

Dick Collum 10-24-2012 11:53 AM

Dear Stephen:

I am sure that your 19" Bambi is a good unit. Should have a change of heart, I am looking for a used 19" Bambi. Good Luck!

Dick

JackDog 10-24-2012 02:06 PM

17 Casita Deluxe / 19 Bambi
 
Nightwind,

My previoius trailer was a 2007 17' Spirit Deluxe Casita. I just moved up to a 2013 16' Sport. The Bambi weighs about 370 pounds more dry than the egg.

I tow the AS with the same TV I had with the Casita (2010 Jeep Liberty 4X4).

Any Casita owner will tell you that you have to travel light due to the lack of outside storage. I can't tell you how much more room we feel we have with our 16 footer. We are using the exact amount of "stuff" in the AS but now we can store most of it in the rear outside storage compartment and not on the bed or floor as in the egg.

Of course yours being a 19' weighs more but has a bit more inside room than our 16 footer. Our Jeep is rated at a 5,000 pounds towing capacity; we just returned from Yosemite where we did a fair amount of mountain driving (one grade was 10%!) and felt the Jeep did almost as good as when we towed with the Casita. the MPG went down from the 15/16 we got with the Casita to 12/13 with the Bambi. I'm thinking this has more to do with the larger frontal footprint than with the additional trailer weight.

As far as towing with equalizer bars and/or a sway control. We towed with a Valley system on the egg and now use the Equalizer brand which I love since we don't have to deal with the chains and the separate bar to install. Add to that the great AS towing aspects and the Sport towed as good as with the egg.

Unless you tow a small tent trailer or other small light trailers I wouldn't tow without either one of these items.

Here is the weight specs for both trailers:

17' Casita Deluxe: dry wgt/2,480 lbs tongue wgt/365 axle max/3,500
19' AS Bambi: dry wgt/3,795 lbs tongue wgt/550 axle max/4,500

We plan on moving up to a Jeep GC with the Pentastar V6 next year; 80 more hp and more torque. With the Sport the V8 for us would be overkill.

One last comment, if you read every negative thread in both the Casita Club and AS websites you would come to the conclusion that both trailers are major pieces of crap.

Now that I have owned both I know I've experienced the two best travel trailers bar none! Sure I had a few "minor" issues with the Casita and I'm sure I'll have some with the AS but remember; these two trailers have the best resale value of any travel trailer offered in the market place, when you go to sell them you have multiple buyers, the owners of these jewels are typically the nicest people you will meet and last the unique and very cool appeal both these trailers offer.

No offense but during a trip out when was the last time an owner of a stick built box trailer got multiple requests to see the inside of their trailers or get honked at out on the road?

Good Luck in all you AS adventures.

Jack Dog
in So Cal :cool:

Ahab 10-25-2012 09:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hamiltonmj (Post 1219647)
Where is this in the Airstream Owner's Manual. Never heard of it from any other 'Streamer nor have I heard of it from the factory which I have visited twice with my setup. I purchased the OB from Colonial Airstream and they would not release it to me unless I had W/D. Pg 8-5 of my Owner's Manual says only Sway Control is optional.

Think about it...your hitch is rated at what...450lbs? Without W/D you're putting more than that weight on the hitch IMHO. My specs say the 19' hitch weight is 510 lbs without:blush: options or variable weight like water in the tank.

It's in the Honda Ridgeline Manual. The hitch is rated at 500#. When ready for travel I have 437# on it. :rolleyes:


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