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Old 09-08-2020, 07:05 AM   #1
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Bambi Bathrooms -- Pretty Sad Design

I'm shopping for either a 16 ft or 19 ft Bambi and while I love the Airstream overall look, design, and brand I've gotta say I'm very disappointed in the bathroom design in these models?

No sink in the 16 ft?? If Winnebago can put a folding sink in their Travata van surely Airstream could've worked it out.

And that folding door design in the 19 ft reminds me of a cheaply made RV I had years ago. Why not just round the corner and install a conventional door?

While they're at it, how about making that door go all the way up instead of leaving a 6 inch gap at the top? I know all about ventilation yada yada but the door on the 16 ft is completely enclosed so why not do the same with the 19 ft model?

The poorly designed BR on the 19 ft is a deal breaker for me. I'm still considering the 16 ft because I can work around the sink issue, but its still sad to see posters on here trying to manufacture and install their own sinks after paying over $50k for a trailer.
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Old 09-08-2020, 08:32 AM   #2
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I’m pretty sure the 20ft Bambi has the sink. I went with the 22fb because it had the best bathroom. Also, I financed my camper and didn’t pay cash, so the monthly payment was not much more than a 19 or 20 footer. Maybe you should save a little more money for down payment purposes and set your sights on the 20 or 22 ft Bambi. If you don’t like the bathrooms in the 16 and 19s then your will hate those bathrooms when your actually using the camper.

I personally think Airstream did a good job on the 22fb layout considering the shape of Airstream campers in general. I mean...you have to admit that putting a bathroom in an aluminum soda can isn’t an easy task. I can actually change clothes with privacy in the bathroom of my 22fb. That in itself is worth the extra money.
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Old 09-08-2020, 09:48 AM   #3
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I owned a 22 Bambi. If you're concerned about buying one because of the bathroom, you're missing a bigger problem. The bed is impossible. It only took us a few nights before we realized that one of us climbing over the other to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night was absurd. If you have any limitation mobility, that motion is damn near impossible. The problem eclipses the problem with a sink or lack of sink.
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Old 09-08-2020, 11:01 AM   #4
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I agree with the others that you should not buy a model with features you don't like.

That said, we have had our 2002 19' since it was new and have always appreciated the shower/toilet arrangement. Our door is not jointed in the center. The jointed version was introduced as an improvement that gives more space for knees when using the toilet and more space in the rest of the cabin when the toilet or shower are not in use.

The bed can provide problems for those without some agility. We manage quite well despite not being among the youngest Airstream owners.

It is worth mentioning that we are presently in one of our regular month-long stays in the trailer and, in response to Covid-19, only use the trailer's shower and toilet and not RV park facilities.

Tim
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Old 09-08-2020, 01:16 PM   #5
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I appreciate the feedback. I'm limited to the 16 or 19 due to towing capacity. The 19 has a sink but its the jointed door that I don't like. It just seems cheaply constructed and below Airstream standards (or perhaps below my expectations is more accurate).

The 16 bathroom is ok. I can live without the sink and probably will buy a 16 Bambi when they restock them. Its not a deal breaker. I just found it puzzling that AS didn't work in one of those folding sinks like you find in Winnebago Travata. Seems that could have been done pretty easily.

We've considered the bed limitations. Easy solution: Wife gets the real bed. Husband sleeps on the dinette bed. Problem solved.

I don't expect to recreate my home when RVing. If that was the case I'd simply stay home.
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Old 09-08-2020, 01:26 PM   #6
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Hi, one of the reasons that we bought a 25'er was that we don't like the wet baths and the corner beds.
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Old 09-08-2020, 01:55 PM   #7
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When I purchased back in June I looked at 16, 19 and 20 ft. Bambi. Bought 20’ because of the galley counter space and the bathroom/shower/sink. Did not care so much for the 19’ corner bed sticking out. And the 16’ with a combined gray/black tank was somewhat troubling. And although I am only 170lb and 5’11” I found I could barely turn around in the 16’ shower. I did, however, upgrade from a Tacoma to a Tundra.

On your general negative comments, I agree that given the price it seems you should expect more. The “window sheet” on mine, which lists all the details/equipment of the trailer and the options staes there is a bathroom exhaust fan. There is no bathroom exhaust fan. The aluminum hinge plates on the small doors below the dinette seemed loose. I looked with a mirror and found that on one they had never drilled a whole and inserted a screw in one of the three attachment ponts. On the other door the whole in the aluminum hinge plate was drilled out so large the screw went straight to wood, through the hole. Galley draw tracks off so much that one side has large gap and the other side rubbing on the lower drawer. Window gaps when closed. Wiring diagrams listing different gauge of wire than actually was used. AS installed Zamp solar on roof missing the lock washers on the curb side bracket attachments. And the owner’s manual, well enough errors in that which caused me a few hours of reseach sending emails to equipment manufacturers and AS CS.

We’ll see how it goes on my upcoming 50 days trip from NC out west.
Take care.
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:10 AM   #8
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We love our 2018 22FB Sport! Bathroom has plenty of space, don't mind the front bed, even if I have to climb over my spouse and two dogs to get to the bathroom - at least it is a way to check if they are all still breathing in the middle of the night!

The previous owner towed it with his Toyota 4-Runner and their Mercedes SUV without issue, and we use our 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 to tow it - and it tows like butter!

Maybe down the road we may look at going 23-25ft but we are happy with the 22 footer and it's floorplan.
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:40 AM   #9
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pluses and minused

Our 22FB was a necessity because it is narrow enough to fit in our tiny driveway. Fortunately, I can crawl over my wife in the middle of the night. We've agreed that when one gets up during the night we both will just to simplify things. We hate our table / lounge configuration. Nothing about it is comfortable unless comparing it to living outdoors during pouring rain. I had to upgrade the Inverter for $$$ to be able to use the (also new) Lithium Batteries. Now I'm considering running an extra return hot water line from the shower to the HW tank cold water inlet so we can (additional pump) recirculate HW instead of capturing or wasting it. I've built a sturdy wire frame folding countertop we set up outside, just forward of the door. One end sits on the tire; the other on a vertical sturdy wire frame. We do all our cooking outside using a Coleman camp stove on this folding wire counter. I have a couple big 'poly' cutting boards for the top of the wire frame counter as well so it works well as an outdoor cook-space. Attached a photo.

We tow the 11FB with a 2018 Touareg. Towing is a dream.
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Old 09-09-2020, 10:02 AM   #10
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The 16 sink or lack thereof is a nuisance, but we just use the kitchen sink, or if you're flexible place a plastic tub on the toilet. The 16 ft is a compromise that you simply have to work around.

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Old 09-09-2020, 10:32 AM   #11
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Check out the Nest.
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Old 09-09-2020, 11:12 AM   #12
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Folding Sink

I don't know if we're talking about the same kind of folding sink or not. But our 22 Bambi had a folding faucet on the kitchen sink, and it was nothing but trouble. When the sink faucet was folded down, the little flapper handles for hot and cold water could be opened by folding the spigot down. This meant that the faucet dripped (or gushed) water which meant that the graywater would fill up which meant that the shower tub would fill up which meant that there would be water lapping over the edge of the shower tub onto the floor ...

What a mess. A terrible design. I don't say that they can't be designed properly--like, with actual handles? or like a cutoff of the water supply when the thing is folded--but on our 22, it wasn't.
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Old 09-23-2020, 10:35 AM   #13
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I love my 19'FC. The bathroom arrangement is fine, but I usually am on my own. The bi-fold door is a great enhancement to the old straight door. Making the corner bed was the big challenge, and after finding Beddy's Bedding, that's no longer a chore. I have no regrets. Mixed gray and black water in the 16 ruled that out for me.
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Old 09-23-2020, 10:46 AM   #14
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Hi lilboomer, why not get a gas hose and use the propane fron the front. That what we do
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Old 09-23-2020, 10:57 AM   #15
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I completely agree with you regarding the folding door in the 19 and lack of sink in the 16, I thought for the highest end trailer maker out there, this was not a high end solution. If the 16 had a slightly better organized bathroom I would be sold
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Old 09-23-2020, 11:03 AM   #16
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We own a 2019 NEST. It does not have a sink in the bathroom, either. As nice as it would be to have a sink in there, we chose the NEST because of the MANY other superb features that it offers. We purchased the U-dinette model because it came with a LARGE storage cabinet and counter top across from the sink cabinet. We then removed the U-dinette cushions, and we purchased the queen size bed that comes with the FB model. We use the bed as a day bed with several large throw pillows, and we enjoy a tremendous amount of interior storage and counter top space in this set-up. The NEST also has 6'8" interior ceiling height and a LOT of interior storage circling the bed and above both cabinet areas: a LOT of storage. We purchased 9 plastic bins that are held in place with the integral bungee cords: easy to access, and they hold plenty of clothing. The NEST also has a sizable hanging closet that offers enough room for two adult's clothing, and two large, plastic containers that each have a slide out drawer. Each of these drawers hold four pairs of foot wear. There is also a shelf at the top of the cabinet that holds quite a bit more. The awning is electric with arms underneath the fabric like you see on Class A motorhomes; it operates without the need for legs or those manual, side mounted, scissor wings. It has optional slide-out legs if you want to use them. We have never felt the need. It's design allows me to enter underneath the awning from any direction without ducking, and I stand 6'4". We have traveled the USA on several trips lasting 24 days each (set vacation times) with no problems or feeling that we wanted more on hand. The NEST is a superb design, and they surprisingly stopped its production. I would highly recommend searching for a used NEST. If you do what we did and combine the two designs (U w/ FB), you will be very pleased with all that it has to offer. Of course, you do not get the sink you desire. That's a sacrifice that we easily accepted for all of the other aforementioned benefits. The NEST can be towed by many smaller vehicles which is another big plus. It tows beautifully, it does not require sway bars of any type, our gas mileage is barely impacted when towing the NEST, it is very easy to clean inside and outside, its very bright inside, it feels very high end in its appearance, it has tons of natural light coming in through the many windows and sky light on board, and it has 16" rims for decent ground clearance. We were impressed when we visited the dealership and saw one in person, and it has exceeded our expectations in every possible way since owning it. We have experienced and endless stream of curious onlookers every time we stop anywhere. BTW, we do supplement the onboard refrigerator with a large Dometic fridge/freezer in our tow vehicle that runs off the alternator and a solar generator. That would be necessary for most travel trailers when you do long trips with limited access to grocery stores. Best of Luck with your purchase decision and safe travels!!!
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Old 09-23-2020, 11:05 AM   #17
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Absolutely. See our NEST review below. My wife and I love our 2019 "hybrid" NEST.
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Old 09-23-2020, 11:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbusse View Post
< snip > Making the corner bed was the big challenge, and after finding Beddy's Bedding, that's no longer a chore. < snip >
Very interesting! Does your Beddys Bedding have the curves of the corner bed? If so, it is really brilliant.

Rob
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Old 09-23-2020, 11:37 AM   #19
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Good Day,

Yes, the bathroom is a bit tight, but there isn't a lot of space, unless they were to copy the bed layout like the 16' bambi. They could separate the shower from the toilet as there is much more room in the 19' to accommodate that.

I have a 2016 19' Flying Cloud. One thing to consider with the new double folding door is that it was created due to all those who complained about the conventional angled door in 2017 and earlier models. Try sitting on the current rather large toilet and you knees will hit the door as a conventional door is angled, right into you. I'm in the process of assessing smaller toilets as the current one is wide enough for a hippo and larger than any home toilet. A possible solution would be to create an accordion door from left to right, that curves out along a track, like the new curtain divider in the newer 19' & 23' models.
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Old 09-23-2020, 01:53 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Belbein View Post
I owned a 22 Bambi. If you're concerned about buying one because of the bathroom, you're missing a bigger problem. The bed is impossible. It only took us a few nights before we realized that one of us climbing over the other to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night was absurd. If you have any limitation mobility, that motion is damn near impossible. The problem eclipses the problem with a sink or lack of sink.
Hahahaha so true!!! We love our Bambi but we are planning on getting a 23 just for the bed alone!
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