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crazylev 02-20-2004 04:04 PM

Our long, long trailer (AKA 19' CCD)

Yesterday afternoon, I placed an order for a 19’ Bambi CCD at Paul Sherry RV in Ohio. We got most of the options: Stoneguards, wrap protectors, electric jack, and spare tire (which oughta be standard!). My wife and I are very excited, and have made this a combo birthdays/aniversary present to ourselves, all three happen in the month of March.

Some background:

Our camping experience for the last three years has been in our 2001 VW Eurovan Weekender (pop-top). We have had many, many great outings both long and short. The longest was a one month trip to visit Yellowstone, Tetons, Bryce, Zion, Arches, and lots of other cool places between. It was by far the best “vacation” we both have ever had! My wife was between jobs, and since I freelance as a photographer, I am always in between jobs. This was opportunity knocking. We lived in our van for 30 days, and are still married to tell about it.

Over a year ago, someone, and I can’t remember who the culprit was, told me to check out some photos of Airstream. I thought, “Oh that company that used to build trailers during WW 2”. The pictures were impressive, and soon found out that AS is alive and very well today. I was moved that the basic design had not changed all that much ever, like the old VW Beetle. And those rivet lines! The Aistream with all it’s curves and no pointy corners seemed such an oddity in our 90 degree, right angle world.

During this time I did internet searches on all things AS, and found many useful sites, all offering up heaps of information on everything from restoration, repair, parts, you name it.

Those of you who visit ASForums can see on the home page a list of people who are currently online. There is a very good chance that any given time you will see “crazylev” in that list.

I can say with much certainty, that with out all this information at hand, from here and other sources, there would simply be no way we would even be at this point. Talk about technical support!

ASForums is my favorite site, and for the last several months, a place on the internet where my wife knew I wouldn’t get into much trouble.

That was until yesterday, of course.

We never actuallly noticed any AS’s in person when we camped, until last spring when we were at a state park and there was a mint condition 1967 or 8 Caravel. This unit was kept in a heated garage it’s whole life, by the original owner. You could just tell that this was his baby. We were sert to buy the unit for $6800.00, but due to an illness in the sellers family, and a change of other plans, that deal fell through.

Our search for other coaches didn’t prove to be as sucessful. We saw a few vintage Safaris, Globe Trotters, even a 25’ Overlander. The units were nice, but needed to be total rehabed.

My wife and I a very familier with rehab tango. We single handedly renovated a 90 year old two flat in Chicago. It was in the making for 6 years, and to this day, I still have cabinets, and punch lists of things to do, along with arty looking scars and a sore back.

Don’t get the wrong idea. I love working and tinkering on things like this, but I wasn’t prepared for another 2-4 year project. The other problem, and it was a real issue, is where I could put this thing while working on it. More and more it did not make sense for us to get in over our heads.

We wanted to camp, and enjoy, right away. I am pushing 50 and the time is now. (I know, looking at my picture in the avatar I only are all so kind.)

To those of you waging the good battle of fixing up your vintage units, you are certainly the Rabbi’s of Rivets, the Alchemist’s of Aluminum, and the Dominators of the Dometic. You are my heros.

After waffling back and forth, we decided to go new. We are going to pay dearly for the privilage, but hey, right now it is only the banks money. We did a home bankrupcy, er, equity loan.

Anyway it has been quite an experience. I’d like to thank all of you who have responded to my posts, dumb and dumberer, and sent a variety of responses from all over the world. Ain’t this internet thing great. I am, like, so glad Al Gore invented it!

Thanks to the dealers I spoke with for lenghthts of time, especially Mac at Bill Thomas RV in St. Louis. Very nice fellow, and to be honest it was a tough decission deciding where to go.

When we finally get our new trailer, my wife thinks it will be just her and me on our trips. I know better than that, as I know that all of you will be tagging along in spirit with us. Which is why I will have to keep the sliding bedroom door shut at night. Can you all squeeze in that front dinette/bed.

If anyone has any ??? for me, ask away. I may have just enough knowledge that I to can share.

Good night.



Silvertwinky 02-20-2004 04:34 PM

Hey Jonathan,

Congratulations on your new investment!

I would consider it an investment where I feel you will have many years of enjoyment. I’ve never bought new myself but have noticed where others on this forum have. I haven’t heard any complaints from any of those members either. :)

MaShep 02-20-2004 04:39 PM

Congratulations! We bought new for many of the same reasons. I'm looking forward to hearing how things go, and please!-- pictures-pictures-pictures! :cool:

Silvertwinkie 02-20-2004 04:50 PM


Congrats again on the new coach.......a few things.....

The CCDs might already come with these, but if they don't I would highly suggest 2 things:

1) Get the 13,500 A/C unit. If you can get it with the comfort contol system, even better! The 10k unit was a bit taxed in direct or 3/4 sun. I could easily see the 13,500 doing the job better in the 19' units. The upcharge would be small compared to doing it later.

2) At least one fantastic fan. We had zero in our Bambi and the Bambis don't exactly have great cross breeze from the small windows. Personally, I love having two fantastic fans. If they don't come with it, they cost about $285 each at the time of construction vs. $400+ after the fact.

Can't wait to see you both and the coach at the rally in June!


crazylev 02-20-2004 05:01 PM


OK. I'm looking at the spec sheet: 11,000 A/C w/heat strip- Standard, Fantastic fan w/ rain sensor and thermostat, whatever the hell that could be- standard.

The upgrade in AC sounds interesting. Is it possible to run the 11,000btu off one Honda 2000 if you are carefull to not run much else?

With the 13,500 unit, it seems that for sure 2-Honda 2000 gens are needed.


MaShep 02-20-2004 05:06 PM

11,000 BTU can't be run with the Honda 2000. Either way, you would need 2 or a bigger generator.

ccd2004 02-20-2004 09:39 PM

Wow...we just bought our bambi ccd 19 in california at the rv show...estimated delivery april??? when will yours arrive? We were told there were no options...were we misled?

Can't wait to get out on the road and want to hear from all you bambi and other airstream enthusiastics about what we need to know. do we really need that second fan??? Now you have me worried!

Please any suggestions for us first time airstream owners will be most appreciated.


BOBHASTINGS 02-21-2004 09:23 AM

From 'Newbie' to 'Newster' - Congrats
Great posting! I thoroughly enjoyed reading the whole story of how you arrived at the choice of the new Bambi. I most assuredly second the comments on the quality and quantity of the info available on this site. The folks here gave me the confidence to take the plunge into ASRH (AirStream ReHab). Maybe I shouldn't have plunged QUITE so far but, heh, in for a penny, take ALL my pounds!!! My '78 has become a veritible 'Treasure Chest' of surprises and an unending list of FTUs (Fix Them Ups)!! :p I hereby grant you the exaulted status of Airstream 'Newster'. Wait a minute, who am I to grant ANYBODY status - I can barely SPELL Airstrem!!! ;)

I too did most of my camping (225,000 miles) in a VW camper. Mine was a 1991 4X4 Syncro Westfalia. Sold it on eBay last year and went nuts with no campermobile!

As another semi-professional rehabber ( 3rd old house - currently 125 yr old 3 story brick townhouse in inner 'suburb' of Cinn), I definitely ID with your final decision to go SNA (Shiney New Airstream). I wish I could have pulled it off (really - no pun intended here!). I am SOOOOO jealous. .:D

I had Paul Sherry go over my '78 to ID all the FTUs and, quite frankly, I was a little disappointed in their thoroughness. A couple of the things they said were busted (univolt, catalytic heater) were not. When I drove up there to drop off my AS, their show lot was FULL of SOBs with only one AS tucked away in the back. They are the closest dealer to the factory, though, so I figured they would be quick on getting parts. I have since moved down to the new dealer in Elsmere, KY. We'll see how he does. See my comments on him at

BTW, great turn of a phrase - "Rabbi’s of Rivets, the Alchemist’s of Aluminum, and the Dominators of the Dometic". Looks like the start of a new thread --- ANYBODY up to the challenge of a new contest AKA the 'A Haiku a day keeps the ...' thread.

Good luck in your new rolling palace!!

Silvertwinkie 02-21-2004 01:54 PM


Originally posted by crazylev

With the 13,500 unit, it seems that for sure 2-Honda 2000 gens are needed.


Like MaShep said, you'll need 2 interconnected 2000's to make any A/C work. You'll love the fantasitc fan. It will be a HUGE life saver! :)

As for the A/C unit, I'd look into the 13.5k unit. I am sure the cost difference will be small. :)


crazylev 02-21-2004 03:39 PM


The only major options offered were: SS Stone guards, electric jack, front window rock guards, spare tire and mount, and a cd changer.

We went with all options except the cd changer. I have an Ipod I'll be using anyway. There are some other options I think like a stereo/dvd upgrade, solar package(?). I would look at the spec sheet for your unit. Or call the dealer before yours goes on line.


Pam and I are not real big AC people. Our VW van would sometimes get to 85 degrees at bed time and we were still able to sleep, especially after argueing who gets to use the portable battery fan first, so I think we will stick with the stock AC. Unlike the VW, there are lots of windows that can be opened, as well as the main door, keeping the screen one closed for bugs.

The fantastic fan I.m thinking about.

Love and kisses.


luckydc 02-21-2004 05:38 PM

Please write more about why the 13,500 BTU A/C is better in a Bambi 19'. AS uses the 11,000 BTU in the Safari's up to 25'. 11,000 BTU sounds like a lot in a 19' and 8' space?

I ordered my Bambi 1/15. It will go into production 3/23 and I sure don't want an A/C that is too small.

Speaking of options, I got the Safari package (electric hitch jack, black water tank rinser, upgraded faucet, fantastic fan, spare tire and something(s) else I can't remember), upgraded stereo (10 disc changer with sub-woofer) and a leather sofa instead of the fixed dinette, which seemed like wasted space in such a small TT.

Thanks for the advice!

hohne 02-21-2004 05:43 PM


AWESOME! I hope she is here in time for the midwest rally -- I hope my mirthful comments about tents did not put you over the edge...



Silvertwinkie 02-21-2004 06:46 PM


Having owned a 19' Bambi, I had noticed that although the 11k unit did manage to do a fair job, I had figured that the 13,500 unit would be better.

It is true that the Safaris larger than 22' come standard with a 11k unit and the next upgrade is to 13.5k. However, the 25' Classic has the 15k option and given the conversations that took place on this forum, I decided to upgrade beyond the 13.5k unit that was part of the LS upgrade. The 15k option would be overkill in a Bambi, however, it is not listed as an option on the Safari, but is one of those off the menu type of things the factory was willing to do at a small additional upcharge.

Don't get me wrong, in partial sunlight, the 11k unit was great, in 3/4 to full sun however, I felt it worked fairly hard and as such suggest to anyone larger than a 16' to consider the 13.5k unit.


luckydc 02-21-2004 07:48 PM

Thanks for the advice, Eric. As I plan on visiting the east coast beaches in my Bambi, the 13.5K unit may be the best bet. I'll discuss with my dealer the first of the week.

pod people 02-21-2004 10:58 PM


We bought a 16CCD off the lot about three weeks ago - and are really happy with our
decision. We also considered rehab - but having survived two house re-do
extravaganzas - and also having sore backs and 'arty scars' (I never knew what to call
them before I read your post) - new and poor was also our answer.


pod people 02-21-2004 11:02 PM

Oh - two questions:

Can the Honda 2000 handle reasonable elec needs if your not running the A/C?

Is there another portable generator that we should consider other than the Honda?


RoadKingMoe 02-21-2004 11:33 PM

If you remember to put the refrigerator switch on gas, rather than auto, so it won't switch to 120VAC operation, the only other thing you'll have drawing power from the generator is the converter. With only one battery, and without the boost circuit of a converter like the Inteli-Power with Charge Wizard, it isn't likely that your converter will be drawing much from the generator when charging the battery.

One EU2000 will run our 1000W cooking power microwave oven (1500W) or a 1600W hair dryer, if the batteries are reasonably charged. I've even run the MW with the frig on AC, and while it didn't overload the generator, its rpms were really high.

The Honda EU series are the only generators that can be paralleled. Even if you buy only one now, you'll always have the option of getting another if you find you want air-conditioning.

Babyblueyes 03-02-2004 12:25 AM

I also just ordered a 19' Bambi CCD reason why, it has the wrap around front window...a big thing for me because I love 'windows'!
While speaking with the salesman, he assured me that if I were not running the A/C that I wouldn't need a generator at all, that there would be enough power to go boondocking for at least two days! Now I think I shouldn't have listened to him...
and whoooooaahh.....! I have a hairdryer, 15" TV the surround sound system for the music I can't live without!....
so, where do I go to buy this little generator??? also I have the impression that the Honda is a bit quieter??? Is there a way to keep the generator in one of the compartments permanently so you don't have to wrestle it around? I'm new I had to tell you.

Silvertwinkie 03-02-2004 06:31 AM

You can start to look here for Honda generators:

As for a perm mount. some folks have attached it to the "A" frame. One thing on the Bambi is that there is a battery box in the area behind the LP tanks. Depending on which one you'd get the 2000 is not that bulky or heavy you might find that attaching it might not be needed. Once you take a look at them, I think you'll see what I mean.

DreamStream 03-02-2004 07:00 AM

Congratulations Crazylev! It will probably seem like an eternity now waiting on your new Bambi CCD to arrive. Thanks for sharing all the thought processes you went through on the way to your decision. Good luck with your new coach and the dream below is now yours!

"To place the great wide world at your doorstep, for you who yearn to travel with all the comforts of home."

- Wally Byam

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