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Old 12-21-2006, 09:55 AM   #1
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16 vs 19 foot

Hi, I am currently trying to decide on a 16 foot versus a 19 foot bambi or safari. I own a 1967 25 foot (tradewind) and it is too much for me to tow. I want something that i can live in in extreme northern climates, but that is also easy to tow, as I am not much of a tower. Unfortunately, I don't live near anywhere where I can try these out before I buy one. I would appreciate any insight anyone might have.

Thanks
Ren
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Old 12-21-2006, 09:59 AM   #2
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For one person or couple without a pet, I'd say a 16'. The 19' I had I used with my wife, our dog and I and it was somewhat stressful because space is somewhat limited. The 19' has a larger fridge, stove, tanks, etc and that is why I'd suggest a 19' over the 16'. If you don't use a lot of water, don't stock a lot of provisions, clothes and it's really just you and a significant other, the 16' might squeek you by. I noticed that you have a 2006 Tundra. It should be able to tow either without any issues.
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Old 12-21-2006, 10:02 AM   #3
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When my wife and I were shopping for our Airstream some of the best advice we got from here was from those posters who told us, "nobody ever regretted having too much space".

I'm glad we listened!
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Old 12-21-2006, 10:09 AM   #4
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thanks for that. someone with a 16 footer for sale said that the bed layout was better than in the 19. do you agree?
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Old 12-21-2006, 10:15 AM   #5
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I started with the 16 foot CCD. Was fun, but limited on space, for sure. There are two of us and two chihuahuas. We got along fine, but it didn't take us long to realize that we needed more space to move around and store our stuff. Shower is small and there is no oven in the 16. We had to add a microwave on the table which further reduced the space to live in. Bathroom is nearly impossible to use in the 16 too. I agree with the others, you can never have too much space! Good luck!
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Old 12-21-2006, 10:15 AM   #6
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3 feet less is alot of space to give up for where a bed is placed. I'd have to review the floorplan to say which i liked better, more importantly which is more to your liking? But I will say the one extra foot we compared from a 30' to our 31' was the difference in a bigger bathroom and storage.
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Old 12-21-2006, 10:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ren walker
thanks for that. someone with a 16 footer for sale said that the bed layout was better than in the 19. do you agree?
I would agree with that, but the overall living space on the 19' is more functional.

I can't say enough about having a contained shower vs. a wet-bath. That was the deal-sealer for us between the two models. Additionally, we put an overhead bunk in the back with gave us more storage space for stuff.

Myself, my wife, and my dog spent 28 days through the summer in our 19' CCD and found the space tight but very comfortable. We did however utilize the dinette bed a couple times (pregnancy, and the night before Ironman), but both of us sleep relatively comfortably in the double bed. I would love something bigger to be honest, but it's all a trade off.

cheers,
brad.
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Old 12-21-2006, 10:42 AM   #8
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hi ren and welcome to the forums...

you might want to share a few of the issues

that make towing the tradewind 'too much' for ya...

yes a 16s and 19s are shorter...

but your 25 is narrower, which means it is easier to see around,

your 25 is no heavier than the new 19s...

the 25 may actually have a lower tongue weight too..

and your 25 has 2 axles which most folks feel improves the towing experience...

as for 'extreme climates' again all a/s have issues...

but for extreme/remote locations the 67 has more lpgas appliances...

it would be better than a unit with 'electricity dependent' issues...

also you mention 'live in' does this mean full time or just lots of travel?

cheers
2air'
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Old 12-21-2006, 11:01 AM   #9
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Also be aware that the 16" does not have separate gray and black water tanks.
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Old 12-21-2006, 11:11 AM   #10
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well ren...

just read your other posts.

IF what you need is a 'winter house'...

while your new stick house is built...

buying any NEW tiny a/s isn't the best option...

if you really want an a/s for the winter hut...

find an 80s unit 25-30 foot...

have someone tow it into your spot...

you will have better heat, tanks, space, windows, more appliances, and so on...

for 1/4th the price of a new bambi 'park model'...

and no one will confuse the very large lpgas tank you will need...

with the trailer!

cheers
2air'
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Old 12-21-2006, 11:19 AM   #11
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One other thing to consdier is the livable space. The 19' Bambi, and I measured ours is actually 16' of livable space. The remaining 3' is the front "A" frame and tail.

Seemed to be consistant along the line too. My 25' actually has about 22' of livable interior space. I don't know if that is the case with the 16' or others for sure, but I can say without question that's what I recall when I measured our Bambi and Safari.
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Old 12-21-2006, 11:26 AM   #12
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Dennis I may be mistaken but the 30" and 31' Airstream are actually the same length. The interior layout is just different with the dinett being closer to the coach in the 31'.
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Old 12-21-2006, 11:50 AM   #13
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well, 2air seems like good advice. we just went out and checked our 25 footer again. i agree, the double axle is nice. but the problem is it needs some serious interior work, and i will have to hire someone to do it, and that means all winter for the project. if i was handy, i'd do it myself. but i think i'm going to have to sell it as is, and buy something else. i do want a winter hut, but the thing is, i don't know where it will end up, thus the need to tow. i am still exploring the northwest extensively, and i hate hotels, and i have a lot of gear. so.
you mentioned the new ones have electicity issues. don't most of the appliances run in electric and gas?
i'm feeling that i'll have to drive to spokane washington (the closest dealer - 18 hours away) and try towing both the 16 and 19 to get a feel. but i can't afford to buy brand new, so i'll have to be searching around for something affordable in the meantime.
whew! long post....
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Old 12-21-2006, 12:34 PM   #14
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hi ren...

if you have lots of gear...

the 16s have very little carry capacity...

19s better but not much...

you had the right idea with the tradewind...

just 2 decades 2 old, or needing 2 much work...

an argosy in 23-26 size from the 70s

or a/s from early/mid 80s would need very little work..

to use right away...

there is a chap on the forum here, and not far from you...

who does some fine, yet reasonably priced units from days past...

send him a pm, he might just have a trailer for you...

http://www.airforums.com/forum...2Bingalls.html

darol is good guy and a fine judge of older airstreams...

and keep us updated in your search...


cheers
2air'
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Old 12-21-2006, 12:51 PM   #15
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Towing

You say that you are not a good "tower".

Going forward, it matters very little what length the trailer may be. When backing, the shorter the trailer, the easier it is. My 28 backs easier than my 25 which backed easier than my 22. The hardest two trailers to back were my tiny popup and my Scamp.

Both the 16 and the 19 are 8' wide and the 19 will be a bit easier to back than the 16. In return, you get a usable bathroom, a lot more "moving around" space, and better features for spending a lot of time in the trailer. I would hate to spend more than a couple of days in the 16.

Personally, the smallest Airstream that I would spend a lot of time in is the new 23. Much more liveable and dual axles.
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Old 12-21-2006, 01:44 PM   #16
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Hi there,

As a contented (is that a word?) owner of a 16' CCD I feel compelled to relay our happiness with our little "pod". We use it mostly for weekend get-aways but have taken some extended trips (AZ, Mexico). Its just me and my s.o. (no pets) and we love it. Its easy to tow and park (we have a V8 Explorer) and in fact - for us - cheaper to store - we have it at a secured lot - but in their least expensive - car-sized parking space. We've also been able to park fairly easily in driveways for short vists and holidays (extra bedroom).

And speaking of size/parking/etc, on more than one occasion we've been able to get into a RV park with little notice since sometimes they have a few short spaces that the bigger rigs can't fit into. Also there are a number of public campgrounds that cannot accommodate larger rigs (although a 16 and 19 are prob the same in that respect).

All the comments about the 16 vs. 19 are true - and you do make some sacrifices with the 16 - but then again going up a size always has more to offer - or at least that is what the sales people will tell you! :-)

The trick with the 16 (and I expect the 19 as well) is for one person to do a task at a time. After a while you get your rhythm and it works great.

I must say that the 16ft probably gets more "aww, that's so cuuuute" comments than the 19ft! :-)

A similar thread comparing 16's and 19's is here:
http://www.airforums.com/forum...ccd-13083.html

What I would like to have that we don't in a 16ft:
- extra battery (I think some 16ft'rs have added one)
- larger gray/black tank

I don't miss the oven (we cook outside) or a separate shower as we don't boondock that often.

But in the end, having a 16ft is not so much about what you get or don't get - but how dang cool they are!

Scott
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Old 12-21-2006, 02:14 PM   #17
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wow, that sounds great. maybe i could even sell him my 67. i will give him a try. thanks so much. this forum sure is great!

ren
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Old 12-21-2006, 04:30 PM   #18
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Another happy 16' owner. We don't spend alot of time in the trailer, thus less space not a problem. We also don't like to cook and the two burner and no oven is perfect, i.e., less area devoted to something we don't use. Fridge and added microwave works well. If you plan to stay IN alot then opt for the larger rig. If you plan to be "out" mostly and just use it for relaxing, watching tv/dvd etc. a 16' ain't that bad.
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Old 12-21-2006, 04:43 PM   #19
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You had mentioned that you are looking for an older Bambi so all of the following may not apply. That said...

1. Most people's experiece is that the 16' Bambi 'sleeps' better and the 19' Bambi 'lives' better. I encourage you to review some of the recent threads in the Bambi forums.

2. If you are going to boondock a lot, the 19' Bambi's extra battery and separate black and grey tanks will be helpful. If not, not.

3. Some people like the wet bath and others hate it. And some don't care because they intend to use campground toilets and/or showers anyway. But if you hate wet baths you need the 19' Bambi.

4. If you are serious about needing to carry lots of stuff look for a Canadian model. The US Bambis have very little Net Cargo Capacity - after options, water, and LP they can have less than 100lbs left. The Canadian spec axels carry an extra 800 lbs.
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Old 12-21-2006, 05:30 PM   #20
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Winter / Towing

Hello, I fulltime in my Airstream - in coastal Virginia. Last night it was 33 degrees and I had two space heaters going along with the heat pump side of my air conditioner to keep nice and toasty warm.

If you use the propane furnace you can run through two 20 lb tanks in a week or two IN VIRGINIA. I know that many SOB's (square old boxes) aren't even as well insulated or airtight as my Airstream, but if you're thinking that it will be a terrifically inexpensive way to live during winter.... rethink that. Your temperatures are bound to be a lot colder than ours... here really cold weather lasts 6 weeks Spring arrives in March.

In really deep prolonged cold, you've got to run the furnace to keep your pipes from freezing, and you'll end up having one or two 100 lb tanks delivered by your local LPG company to have a 3 or 4 week supply.

You CAN live in an Airstream over winter, but living in any trailer means managing your own ecological systems. You've got to know how to keep your incoming water line from freezing, how to keep your plumbing systems working, how to dispose of your waste water ... and how to keep warm and simultaneously control condensation, while preventing carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide from building up inside. If you use space heaters, be careful! They are fire hazards if you're not very conscious of everything that can go wrong. If you are hooked up and the power goes off, will your furnace come on automatically? If you don't have an electronic ignition you could come home hours later to frozen pipes.

LENGTH - I never towed anything two years ago. Now I'm an expert (A former drip, now under pressure! )

Your vehicle will allow you to tow a 22ft CCD or pushing it, maybe even a 25. Get something you can live in, and practice, practice, practice. I quickly mastered towing... backing up nearly killed me... then I made a BAD mistake and pulled into a WAY tight parking lot with only one way out. Took me 17 little 4 foot maneuvers to get the rig turned around... backing til the rear wheels were on the very edge of an embankment.. inching forward turning hard then straightening the rig.. then repeating to get out. After that I gained confidence and started to improve in leaps and bounds. If you don't think you can become a master tower, then don't buy any trailer. And if a 58 year old woman can learn, almost anyone can.

I TOTALLY get what you mean about hating hotels. I also dislike flying (not paralyzing fear, but mostly the stale air and always ending up seated next to a drunk or someone who's breath smells like he's just eaten a garlic and slug sandwich ) It is so nice not having to pack and unpack, and have to make a last minute run to the drug store because you've forgotten your toothbrush.

Take your time and make the right choice. (notice I have an Airstream and a Spare-stream...? ) The spare is turning into a guest house, and has even seen duty as a porta-pot/shower house for a friend who was having her bathroom remodeled. I'm probably keeping it permanently.

Paula
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