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Old 10-20-2016, 12:21 PM   #1
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Question 2017 Airstream Bambi 22FB SPORT

I am planning on purchasing a new Bambi 22FB Sport in the next year or so. I plan on buying a Toyota Highlander SUV 3.5-liter V6 as my tow vehicle.

My question is what are the advantages and disadvantages of FWD vs available Dynamic Torque-Control AWD as far as towing the 22FB Sport?

Any other advice on my plan is welcome. Any 22FB Owners out there?

Thanks,

Gary
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Old 10-23-2016, 12:03 PM   #2
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In my understanding, AWD/4WD is quite useful to pull from a gravel road onto a paved road. This will let you have full traction and get up to speed as expected, with less chance for tire spinout on the gravel surface.

If the vehicle you are considering comes in a V8 with larger engine you might prefer that over a V6.

We pull our 22 sport with a Toyota Tundra with a 5.8L V8. If that engine is an option for you I would recommend that.
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Old 10-23-2016, 01:10 PM   #3
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I pull mine with a Jeep Wrangler JKU with 3.6 Pentastar. Great TV and great engine/transmission.

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Old 10-24-2016, 12:14 PM   #4
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I tow my 22' Sport with a Ram 1500 and the small 4.7L V8 (no longer mfr'd) but it's because I already owned the TV. It does just fine here in Texas, but If I had it to do over again, planning the Rockies next year....I'd wish for more engine.
And going downhill,...a larger/heavier TV with a longer wheelbase than a Highlander might be to your advantage.
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Old 10-24-2016, 12:22 PM   #5
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Heavier Vehicle - Braking

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Originally Posted by Boxite View Post
... And going downhill,...a larger/heavier TV with a longer wheelbase than a Highlander might be to your advantage.
I'm not sure why some believe that heavier tow vehicles going downhill would be better. A heavier truck is just more mass that needs be controlled with brakes/engine/transmission. A lighter TV and trailer, with superior brakes, will be easier to stop - level or downhill.
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Old 10-24-2016, 12:26 PM   #6
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I'm not sure why some believe that heavier tow vehicles going downhill would be better. A heavier truck is just more mass that needs be controlled with brakes/engine/transmission. A lighter TV and trailer, with superior brakes, will be easier to stop - level or downhill.
Because a trailer pushes the TV when going downhill, and when the trailer weight approaches/exceeds the TV weight it can push the rear axle of the TV out-of-line, which then leads to a possible skid/roll-over. A heavier TV will be more capable of braking/controlling the trailer and will be less affected by it. (And heavier vehicles are designed with better, more capable braking to match the design weight.)

Downhill is more dangerous by many powers than uphill. Going downhill on wet or slick pavement is particularly dangerous and a heavy, long wheelbase dramatically improves controllability and safety.
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Old 10-24-2016, 12:48 PM   #7
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To answer the OP, sometimes AWD will be the difference between backing your AS in to a grassy spot and moving on to another. AWD increases your options and gives you the ability to fully use all four wheels instead of just two to drive.

It's not the magic bullet for ice that people often think it is, but it will save your bacon in snow or mud; or even wet grass from time to time.
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Old 10-24-2016, 12:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxite View Post
Because a trailer pushes the TV when going downhill, and when the trailer weight approaches/exceeds the TV weight it can push the rear axle of the TV out-of-line, which then leads to a possible skid/roll-over. A heavier TV will be more capable of braking/controlling the trailer and will be less affected by it. (And heavier vehicles are designed with better, more capable braking to match the design weight.)

Downhill is more dangerous by many powers than uphill. Going downhill on wet or slick pavement is particularly dangerous and a heavy, long wheelbase dramatically improves controllability and safety.
I find that I have set up my trailer brakes to efficiently assist with any use of the TV brakes. However, when using a gasoline engine/transmission for braking, the extra mass that a heavy tow vehicle brings to the equation will increase downhill momentum and be more difficult for the engine to manage, thus require more use of the wheel brakes. (If extra slowing is needed heavy duty brakes on a lighter TV, combined with the brakes on the the coach will combine to slow the rig more easily.) If you loose control of your trailer by going too fast, over braking and causing the coach to slide, I don't believe a heavy tow vehicle will save you, but the added mass of your TV will just accelerate your crashing rig to the bottom of the hill more quickly. YMMV
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Old 10-24-2016, 01:14 PM   #9
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I find that I have set up my trailer brakes to efficiently assist with any use of the TV brakes. However, when using a gasoline engine/transmission for braking, the extra mass that a heavy tow vehicle brings to the equation will increase downhill momentum and be more difficult for the engine to manage, thus require more use of the wheel brakes. (If extra slowing is needed heavy duty brakes on a lighter TV, combined with the brakes on the the coach will combine to slow the rig more easily.) If you loose control of your trailer by going too fast, over braking and causing the coach to slide, I don't believe a heavy tow vehicle will save you, but the added mass of your TV will just accelerate your crashing rig to the bottom of the hill more quickly. YMMV


Nope. This is where basic physics come in. An 8000# trailer is going to throw a 4000# SUV around a lot easier than a 7000# truck. Won't matter what kind of brakes you have if you don't have the weight of the vehicle to maintain control and traction.

Will it take more braking to slow the heavier combo down? Yes - but you will maintain control while doing it.
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Old 10-25-2016, 11:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxite View Post
Because a trailer pushes the TV when going downhill, and when the trailer weight approaches/exceeds the TV weight it can push the rear axle of the TV out-of-line, which then leads to a possible skid/roll-over. A heavier TV will be more capable of braking/controlling the trailer and will be less affected by it. (And heavier vehicles are designed with better, more capable braking to match the design weight.)

Downhill is more dangerous by many powers than uphill. Going downhill on wet or slick pavement is particularly dangerous and a heavy, long wheelbase dramatically improves controllability and safety.
I agree & that's why we chose the Nissan 3500 HD cargo van that out weighs our 2016 22' Sport Bambi by more than 3,500 Lbs loaded.
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Old 10-25-2016, 11:44 AM   #11
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Hi Gary. I recently bought a 2017 Bambi 22FB Sport and chose the 2016 Tacoma 3.5 V6 as my towing vehicle. Taking off on my first trip this coming weekend. I guess I'll be updating my first towing experience next week. I am a total newbie at towing, except for a few turns and backups in the local church parking lot. I won't be breaking any speed records.
Wish me luck!
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Old 10-25-2016, 11:59 AM   #12
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TV discussions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxite View Post
Because a trailer pushes the TV when going downhill, and when the trailer weight approaches/exceeds the TV weight it can push the rear axle of the TV out-of-line, which then leads to a possible skid/roll-over. A heavier TV will be more capable of braking/controlling the trailer and will be less affected by it. (And heavier vehicles are designed with better, more capable braking to match the design weight.)

Downhill is more dangerous by many powers than uphill. Going downhill on wet or slick pavement is particularly dangerous and a heavy, long wheelbase dramatically improves controllability and safety.
I have had 4WD and AWD with last 3 TV's and highly recommend if your going into any mountains or weather areas with your AS. The extra traction for us has been helpful many times even in TX. I also agree with Boxite and others; you should not error on "adequate" when selecting your TV. Sure, you may get by with a 5000 LB rated TV such as the Highlander or some other 'light weight" TV when pulling a Sport 22, but why risk it? Safety when towing an AS as many will attest, includes several unexpected conditions on the highway. Weather, bumpy roads, detours, steep grades, and in some states traffic at high speeds that will make your knuckles white! Each trip we learn something else about our 25' and our TV's capabilities, be it value of torque and HP, 4WD in snow/mud, Tow/Haul mode and manual downshifting to hold speed on steep grades, manual trailer braking on really steep grades, octane and additive effects on our EB engine when towing, etc....the Forum has taught us a lot from the experienced contributors...But safety while towing can not be over emphasized, from my perspective. If you are new to pulling an AS or new to any travel trailer towing, know that many of us start out with one combination of AS and TV, and quickly find we want something else, bigger in most cases...you want to make sure your TV can handle that upgrade and all the "gear" weight, you plan to take with you; generator perhaps included. my 2 cents...
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Old 10-25-2016, 01:28 PM   #13
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My fear would be the same as Boxite cautioned against (for?). I have a 5,000lb (loaded) 20ft FC, and pulled it with either an '05 Yukon or '12 Tahoe....i.e., heavier vehicles than the Highlander. Once you're somewhat out of control heading downhill, or the first time your TV is fishtailing because something caused the AS to fishtail, you wish you'd have bought a heavier TV. So I went out and traded for a used 2,500 Suburban...and am glad I did. This is only my personal opinion, but I would not want a Highlander to tow a 22ft Sport, whether downhill, in cities, or in bad weather. Safe travels to you, no matter what you decide. jon
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Old 10-25-2016, 02:37 PM   #14
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There have been some incidents where FWD alone could not pull up a steep graveled slope. The TV in an upward pointing position loses the weight/traction on the front wheels. This has been a particular curse of Minivan TVs.
I'll second joshjacks post #7. 4wd was necessary to get off slippery grass years ago when we were pulling a '77 Tradewinds. My own experience with 4WD is that I only needed it when I deliberately got myself into a situation where I knew I would have it if needed. With the Dakota I just keep away from issues as much as possible.
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Old 10-25-2016, 03:09 PM   #15
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Hi Gary,
As I have written before, I'm astonished at the number of owners who insist on using a tv that is way larger than needed. They cite the presumed safety aspect of a larger tv and ability to travel in conditions rarely if ever encountered by the average owner. If tv size was the magical factor ensuring safety and reliability, then you should hook up to a Freightliner Cascadia tractor unit and your worries would be over. That logic, though, is clearly flawed. An overly large tv can be as much or more trouble as a smaller one. The most important factors are how you drive and how well your trailer is paired to your appropriately sized vehicle. Assuming your tv is adequate for the size of trailer you plan to tow--and in your case the Hghlander is certainly enough for the Bambi--you need to be sure the trailer brakes function properly. Getting the trailer brake controller adjusted correctly is key. Of course you will drive with extra caution, traveling at a lower speed and making extra allowance for the idiot moves of some other vehicle drivers. Full time 4 wd may be useful if you think you will be on a lot of loose gravel roads or slippery pavement. I've driven a setup very similar to Mary's over many miles over all kinds of roads and conditions, and I can tell you it works perfectly well.
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Old 10-25-2016, 09:44 PM   #16
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IMHO and to answer the specific question to the OP, if you can afford 4x4/AWD, option, get it. It'll help you get out of sticky situation with or w/o your AS.
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Old 10-25-2016, 11:16 PM   #17
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16' Sport (Bambi) or 22' Sport??

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Hi Gary,
As I have written before, I'm astonished at the number of owners who insist on using a tv that is way larger than needed. They cite the presumed safety aspect of a larger tv and ability to travel in conditions rarely if ever encountered by the average owner. If tv size was the magical factor ensuring safety and reliability, then you should hook up to a Freightliner Cascadia tractor unit and your worries would be over. That logic, though, is clearly flawed. An overly large tv can be as much or more trouble as a smaller one. The most important factors are how you drive and how well your trailer is paired to your appropriately sized vehicle. Assuming your tv is adequate for the size of trailer you plan to tow--and in your case the Hghlander is certainly enough for the Bambi--you need to be sure the trailer brakes function properly. Getting the trailer brake controller adjusted correctly is key. Of course you will drive with extra caution, traveling at a lower speed and making extra allowance for the idiot moves of some other vehicle drivers. Full time 4 wd may be useful if you think you will be on a lot of loose gravel roads or slippery pavement. I've driven a setup very similar to Mary's over many miles over all kinds of roads and conditions, and I can tell you it works perfectly well.
Dave
Well, each of us has our own opinion on TV's, for sure...but you can not control the unexpected on the road when towing. I was cut off with my F150 at 65 earlier this year, when a guy decided to try and speed by me in the slow lane...when my wife spotted him speed-swerving to go around on my right as I was changing lanes, I overcorrected left back to fast lane, and fortunately, the weight of the TV and anti-sway BlueOx hitch saved us. I am sure my old Tahoe would have not handled it as nicely as the F150. Also, a 22' Sport is at 4500lbs loaded not counting extra gear in TV- think the Highlander is at 5K max tow weight? Could be wrong there... good luck in your decisions... in any case, be safe in your choice; its a jungle out there.
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Old 10-26-2016, 02:28 AM   #18
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. . .
Any other advice on my plan is welcome.
. . .
Welcome to the forum!

I would recommend that you plan carefully with regard to the windows, and free air flow during hot weather, if you intend to camp without shore power a significant amount of time. As I understand it (and was true in some used AS I looked at), the Sport line has the Hehr windows which have only a very small operable sliding window within, and mostly fixed glass above.

Compare these windows to the Flying Cloud line's large operable windows, fully screened, which are hinged on the top edge. When all the windows are open, the amount of cross-ventilation is a life-saver in hot weather without A/C.

Have you seen all the different models, and spent some time in each with your traveling partners, including dogs maybe? Picture the outside temp in the 90's, no wind, and no air conditioning.

Any units with the Hehr windows become baking ovens in conditions like this.

Ditto to the comments about going for 4-wheel drive if you can afford it, including the lower gas mileage.

Good luck!

Peter
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Old 10-26-2016, 04:45 AM   #19
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I think that that combination will work great, you will not go up steep hills at 65 miles per hour, but will get good millage and not take more than a couple more minutes to get up a long hill. Now FWD vs all AWD. I keep getting into campgrounds with "soft spots" and need my 4 wheel drive.
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Old 10-26-2016, 05:25 AM   #20
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Welcome to the forum!

I would recommend that you plan carefully with regard to the windows, and free air flow during hot weather, if you intend to camp without shore power a significant amount of time. As I understand it (and was true in some used AS I looked at), the Sport line has the Hehr windows which have only a very small operable sliding window within, and mostly fixed glass above.

Compare these windows to the Flying Cloud line's large operable windows, fully screened, which are hinged on the top edge. When all the windows are open, the amount of cross-ventilation is a life-saver in hot weather without A/C.

Have you seen all the different models, and spent some time in each with your traveling partners, including dogs maybe? Picture the outside temp in the 90's, no wind, and no air conditioning.

Any units with the Hehr windows become baking ovens in conditions like this.

Ditto to the comments about going for 4-wheel drive if you can afford it, including the lower gas mileage.

Good luck!

Peter
Another view point on this matter. We have owned our 22 sport for 2 summers. Live in the midwest, and have vacationed on the Kansas plains, and Yellowstone with no hookups.

We chose the 22 sport and the windows was one of the reasons. We wanted a window that opened in the bathroom, and windows on all 4 sides that opened. We have found it to be great for camping without AC in conditions where it would be comfortable outside. That is saying, if you are comfortable outside with no AC, you will be comfortable inside the sport 22 with the windows open and the fan running.

That being said, we live in the midwest where it is humid in summer. We find the AC in the 22 to be more than adequate, and have no issues camping when it is in the high 80s low 90s. That is saying if you are comfortable in your car with the AC running you will be comfortable inside the sport 22 with the AC running.

Do the windows on the flying cloud open up differently/wider. Sure they do.

But the 23 FB is the only one with a window that opens in the bathroom. But not in the galley.
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