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Old 07-26-2021, 12:55 PM   #1
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2021 16' Bambi
Carlsbad , California
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 14
New Bambi 16RB delivery

Hi folks, We have just been told by the AS dealer that we should be getting our Bambi 16Rb sometime by end of this week (yay!).

I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions the good folks over here may have with respect to any tips for taking delivery of the Bambi. Things to avoid, watch for, etc.
Also, we are looking at a WD hitch and want to add a wired brake controller. Any suggestions for the same are greatly appreciated. If it helps, we will be towing with a 2021 Grand Cherokee L (6200 lbs tow capacity)
Thanks!
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Old 07-26-2021, 02:08 PM   #2
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Port Coquitlam , British Columbia
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Welcome and congrats!

When the rig is hitched together, stand back and take a look to make sure that both the Jeep and trailer are level. This may take a bit to get the hitch adjustment correct. Get the techs to show you how to remove the load bars and reinstall them. Better than fighting with these at the campsite.

There are many threads on this site that talk about pre inspection due to potential issues with manufacturing shortcuts. Just go through everything and be picky for function, fit and finish and make notes so if you find something, it will be documented so they can fix it. Try all the doors and check for floor squeaks. Get them to put some fresh water in the tank and try the plumbing and water heater. Try the fridge as well.

Set you brake controller up so you can feel the brakes being applied to the trailer. I have a wired Prodigy P3 by Tekonsha which allows me to test the trailer brake force without pressing the brake pedal.

Most of all, have a great time out there!
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Old 07-26-2021, 05:41 PM   #3
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2021 27' Flying Cloud
Madison , Wisconsin
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Congratulations! As far as setting up your WD hitch correctly or adjusting it to tow better, I'd really recommend this video from Andy Thomson of Can-Am RV:
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Old 07-27-2021, 09:13 AM   #4
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Durham , Alabama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallboyslim View Post
Hi folks, We have just been told by the AS dealer that we should be getting our Bambi 16Rb sometime by end of this week (yay!).

I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions the good folks over here may have with respect to any tips for taking delivery of the Bambi. Things to avoid, watch for, etc.
Also, we are looking at a WD hitch and want to add a wired brake controller. Any suggestions for the same are greatly appreciated. If it helps, we will be towing with a 2021 Grand Cherokee L (6200 lbs tow capacity)
Thanks!


Exciting news! We are also awaiting our Bambi 16, which we will be towing with our 2020 diesel Jeep Wrangler. I canít wait to get that call! Just out of curiosity, how long have you been waiting? Our dealer ordered our Bambi in January for a ďlate summerĒ delivery, which has now been pushed back to November. At least it is good to hear there are Bambiís coming out of production!
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Old 07-27-2021, 10:18 AM   #5
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2021 16' Bambi
Loveland , Ohio
Join Date: Oct 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallboyslim View Post
Hi folks, We have just been told by the AS dealer that we should be getting our Bambi 16Rb sometime by end of this week (yay!).

I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions the good folks over here may have with respect to any tips for taking delivery of the Bambi. Things to avoid, watch for, etc.
Also, we are looking at a WD hitch and want to add a wired brake controller. Any suggestions for the same are greatly appreciated. If it helps, we will be towing with a 2021 Grand Cherokee L (6200 lbs tow capacity)
Thanks!
Congrats! We took delivery of our new Bambi 16rb almost two months ago. We do not use a WD or AS hitch. We were told by Airstream we did not need one. Tows just fine behind our 2020 Honda Pilot with installed tow package which is rated for 5,000 lbs. Remember the Bambi tops out at 3,500 lbs and is only 16 feet long. I understand the Grand Cherokee L has an optional tow package which may include a brake controller. We use the wireless Curt Echo brake controller and find it works very well. We tow with dry tanks, or at most a couple gallons in each. We simply love our little Bambi! Relax and enjoy yours! We've been out three times with ours already with two more trips planned. We are already planning long trips in the years to come.
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Old 07-27-2021, 10:45 AM   #6
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2021 16' Bambi
Carlsbad , California
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 14
We ordered ours in March this year. Well we didn't really order it. We were looking at options and the local dealer got back to us saying there was one that was going to hit production in May and was unspoken for (likely someone previously back out or something). So we just jumped at the opportunity and put down the deposit for it. It was supposed to come in earlier this month but got delayed a bit. But I am not complaining
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Old 07-27-2021, 10:52 AM   #7
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2021 16' Bambi
Carlsbad , California
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Thanks and Congratulations on your Bambi!
We looked at the Pilot, Highlander, Tahoe and the whole list of SUVs. We didn't want a truck as we wanted to SUV to double up as a family car when not towing.
There was whole discussion about weight and capacities etc. after which we decided to go with something a little on the higher end of what we needed. Since were going to get a new car anyway, we figured it was worth it.
We plan to add the WD hitch (for peace of mind) but realize it is not absolutely needed for the Bambi. Also, we will likely go with the Echo controller (to avoid and add-ons to the dash).



Two more questions,

1) What insurance options did you consider? Do you care to share what you went with finally? I called Progressive and Geico and both landed at approx. $530/year.
2) Did you go for the additional protection packages that the AS dealer offered?


Thanks for the discussion and pointers.
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Old 07-27-2021, 11:48 AM   #8
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2020 22' Bambi
Menifee , California
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Congrats to the OP on the new Bambi. We have grown to love our 22FB, and pull it with a Ram 1500 crew cab. We tried a couple of times to tow it with a 2014 Honda Pilot, but it quickly became obvious that the Pilot was way over-stressed by pulling even our small Bambi. The salesman had told us the Pilot would be fine. It wasn't. So we bought a truck.

I notice that the video, linked above, shows a WD hitch being set up to a passenger car. The Airstream in the video is no Bambi! I can't believe that anyone would try to use a passenger car to pull such a large trailer. After I saw the size of the trailer the gentleman, supposedly an "expert", was trying to hook up to a Tesla, I lost faith in anything else he said.
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Old 07-28-2021, 05:09 AM   #9
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2021 27' Flying Cloud
Madison , Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrustyKush View Post
I notice that the video, linked above, shows a WD hitch being set up to a passenger car. The Airstream in the video is no Bambi! I can't believe that anyone would try to use a passenger car to pull such a large trailer. After I saw the size of the trailer the gentleman, supposedly an "expert", was trying to hook up to a Tesla, I lost faith in anything else he said.
Go back and look at photos of Airstreams from earlier decades. For most of the company's history, Airstream trailers have been pulled by passenger cars. It's only in the last twenty years or so that a lot of people have decided they absolutely have to have a huge pickup truck to pull their trailer.

IMHO many people today use a big pickup to tow as a way of compensating for not understanding how to properly set up a vehicle and hitch for towing. Andy Thomson at Can-Am has been doing this for decades, and very clearly does understand towing setups, so he can configure a Tesla properly to tow a 27FB, as he does in the above video.

We use an Audi Q7 to pull our Flying Cloud 27FB, with a hitch and setup guidance from Can-Am, and it tows beautifully. If it wasn't for the trailer completely blocking the rear view in all the (regular) mirrors, you could almost forget it's back there.


(Cue the outraged responses from the "YOU HAVE TO HAVE A PICKUP TRUCK!" crowd. )
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Old 07-28-2021, 06:19 AM   #10
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2021 27' International
Fredericksburg , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2015
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Check the batteries! New had a bad battery form the start and fortunately caught it at the dealer before pulling off.

Does your dealer offer a stay over night at the dealership to check things out? If so, take advantage of it.
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Old 07-28-2021, 07:26 AM   #11
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2021 27' Flying Cloud
Madison , Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallboyslim View Post
I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions the good folks over here may have with respect to any tips for taking delivery of the Bambi. Things to avoid, watch for, etc.
On delivery day, plan for a couple of extra hours at the dealership, go in with a detailed checklist, and use that checklist to go through the trailer from top to bottom (by yourselves, not with dealership staff) and double check that everything is in good shape and works well. And then do not sign off on the purchase until any issues you found are fixed (many can likely be resolved while you wait) or you have a written commitment to fix them in a timely fashion.

(FWIW, I've attached the checklist we used for our 27FB.)
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Airstream Inspection Checklist - FC 27FB.pdf (177.9 KB, 23 views)
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Old 07-28-2021, 10:59 AM   #12
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2020 22' Bambi
Menifee , California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ealmasy View Post
Go back and look at photos of Airstreams from earlier decades. For most of the company's history, Airstream trailers have been pulled by passenger cars. It's only in the last twenty years or so that a lot of people have decided they absolutely have to have a huge pickup truck to pull their trailer.
I'm new to trailering, and am still in learning mode. Out on the highways, we observe every other trailer rig we see, wanting to know how others are doing things, wanting to know as much as possible.

We do, very occasionally, see someone pulling a small Airstream with an SUV. We have not yet seen anything remotely as large as a 27 footer being towed with anything remotely as small as a Tesla.

I'm thinking that our 22FB with a max GVWR of 5000 lbs, is too heavy for a Honda Pilot. The Pilot can pull it, but I believe the car would have been worn out under the workload. Especially when highway factors such as mountains and extreme heat are considered.

We decided to lose the Pilot in favor of a half-ton pickup. The Pilot was not designed to pull a 5000 lb trailer. A 3000 lb trailer would be better. Our Ram 1500 4x4 pulls our 22FB very capably, up and down mountains, out in the desert heat. I can't imagine that a Tesla passenger car could do the same. Let alone with an even larger, heavier 27 footer. Not without putting the Tesla into the junkyard early.
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Old 07-28-2021, 01:34 PM   #13
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Madison , Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrustyKush View Post
I'm thinking that our 22FB with a max GVWR of 5000 lbs, is too heavy for a Honda Pilot.
An unmodified 2014 Honda Pilot has a max towing capacity of 4,500 lbs, so I would say that your experience towing a Bambi 22FB with it is spot on. With gear and/or tanks loaded, a 22FB going to be near (or over) 4,500 lbs.

I'm not saying you can ignore rated towing capacity, but I think there are many non-truck vehicles able to very capably tow most Bambis, particularly when using a correctly-configured WD hitch.
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Old 07-28-2021, 02:17 PM   #14
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2020 22' Bambi
Menifee , California
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Yes, hitch set-up is so very crucial! The tech at the Airstream dealer where we bought our 2020 22FB didn't know his stuff. He left the two bolt/nuts that hold the head onto the flange LOOSE. We pulled out onto the highway with a gawd-awful clanging and banging. I called back to the dealer shop immediately and was told, oh, these Equal-I-Zer hitches are "noisy" and don't worry about it. It was a couple weeks later that I found the head flopping around loose on the flange.

So, lesson learned, and the OP may want to pay attention to this: The dealer shops are suspect right from the git go. There are duds working in these places. When you combine incompetence with the usual don't care attitudes you may be left, as we were, in a very dangerous condition. The tech who screwed up my hitch actually accused ME of loosening the bolts. That was the last time they will ever see me in that shop. So, OP, educate yourself about hitches and tow vehicles, don't take anything they tell you at the dealership as necessarily true.
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Old 07-28-2021, 09:45 PM   #15
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2021 27' Flying Cloud
Madison , Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallboyslim View Post
1) What insurance options did you consider? Do you care to share what you went with finally? I called Progressive and Geico and both landed at approx. $530/year.
2) Did you go for the additional protection packages that the AS dealer offered?
  1. We have Progressive, purchased through FCIS, who (AFAICT) bring significant experience insuring RVs to the table, without adding anything to the cost.
  2. No add-on protection packages for us; when I ran the numbers, the likely benefit / cost was too low.
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Old 07-29-2021, 12:10 AM   #16
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2021 16' Bambi
Carlsbad , California
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 14
Thank you folks.
So we decided to go with the Blue Ox 750 for WD hitch and the Echo brake controller. The AS dealer offered to set them up for us and I will be there to learn whatever I can.
The AS dealer also said we didn't need a WD hitch. But we chose to go with it as we felt it doesn't hurt and potentially adds some level of safety for towing.
In terms of TV, we had considered many cars and we essentially converged on a rough ball park that the TV tow capacity should be approx. 15% to 20% higher than the GVWR of the trailer (oversimplification, I know). So, the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot would be just right for us.

We decided that if we already had something like that (Highlander or Pilot) we would work with that. However, since we were going for a new TV we chose to something that had a slightly higher tow capability.
We'll see how this goes. Hope to run into some of you folks on the trails somewhere
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:30 AM   #17
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2020 22' Bambi
Menifee , California
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Tallboy, your choices seem wise. Since you are already poised to buy a new TV, you have the luxury of many choices. Unfortunately, this is not a good time to buy a new vehicle, because of the supply chain problems brought about by the virus. Dealer stock is low. If you order, you may have to wait longer than normal, and there is the fear of substitution parts on the new vehicles that aren't as good as what the manufacturers usually have on hand. Used prices are high and going higher in most places.

We bought our new truck in the midst of all of this, and it was difficult. We had to settle for a truck not quite what we would have chosen. Had to install a brake controller, and it was pricey to use the Ram device. Installed it myself, and the dealership charged $170 just to flash the system to "see" the new controller. Quite a rip-off. You may want to be prepared for a handful of this type of thing as you proceed with your TV search.

When it comes to WD hitches, if you are like I was, and are completely unfamiliar with this type of device, be advised there is a lot to learn. The dealer shop may or may not have anyone employed there who a) knows how to set a hitch up to your vehicle or b) gives a **** one way or the other. Don't assume that they will do what you are paying them to do. Educate yourself early by reading the installation instructions for your hitch. Out on the roads, I have asked many people about their dealer experiences. WD hitches are a most common issue. Apparently most WD hitches are improperly set up by dealer shops. You need to know how to do it yourself. You can't be running back and forth to a dealer shop every time you need an adjustment. You'll need some special tools and know-how. Once you get these, then you don't need no stinking dealer shop.

Hopefully you will have a better experience with your dealer than I had with mine. I'm wishing you well. Once you get past the hitch and TV hurdles, you will have a great time in your new Airstream.
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Old 07-30-2021, 10:30 AM   #18
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2021 16' Bambi
Forest Lake , Minnesota
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FWIW we picked up our 2021 Bambi 16RB in March. We have a 2017 Audi Q7, 7700 lbs towing capacity, no WD hitch (Audi says it's not recommended and it can rip the hitch off the car). (I'm curious how @ealmasy has his/her Q7 set up.) We have only been on weekend trips but with absolutely no issues towing. It's easy to forget it's back there. But we were novices towing a trailer and when we picked it up the dealer had no clue how to hook it up to our vehicle. Turns out the hitch needed a 4" rise and they had it at zero. So, don't trust that dealer knows what they're doing. I finally found a thread in the Audi forums that had the information we needed.

We have the tow package on the Q7 and use the Tekonsha Prodigy P3. Initially we had the Curt wireless, but I prefer that the controller is wired in and it doesn't tie up the phone if you need to apply the trailer brakes (hasn't happened yet). Aside: the Curt is for sale if you need one, used once.)

One thing with the dealer, ours showed us how to extend the awning and had us practice it. It's not too obvious and it's possible to break it so it was time well-spent.

We have some issues with build quality: dirty bathroom shade, broken snap on cushion, sloppy caulking, screen door with a 1/4" gap at the bottom, back hatch latch mechanism came apart (put some locktite on these), the propane tank gauge is not readable - they substituted an inferior regulator, the toilet is plastic and not porcelain as specified, wall socket over sink is crooked. I hope we can get some these resolved under warranty.

All that said, I don't mean to sound negative, we love our trailer, and it's been great. We are already fantasizing about our next Airstream. We are about to embark on a two week trip with only one stop with hookups which will test our skills at boondocking -which should be interesting.

We purchased a number of add-ons and mods. Here's a few that we particularly like:

1. Replaced the thermostat with a digital. The Dometic it comes with is a POS, it's hard to turn on, know what the setting is, and monitor temperature. This wasn't too difficult to install and a big upgrade for $30. Get the horizontal model: (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1).

2. Teak floor mat for bathroom. This was a splurge but it really makes a huge difference in appearance, foot comfort, and cleaning. https://airstreamsupplycompany.com/p...04-to-mid-2012

3. Shower head upgrade. We haven't used the shower much but this one is much easier to control and uses a lot less water. https://www.campingworld.com/bodyspa...ome-94093.html

4. Power jack. I'm not sure I'm totally sold on this since the manual one wasn't a ton of work but we'll be changing locations on our upcoming trip quite a bit, so we got one. The Husky Super Brute is overkill but it's built like a tank, gets raves, and the color matches the trailer. It wasn't too difficult to install. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Husky-Tow...mote/113893711

5. Stabilizer jack pads. We just got these, so jury is out, but it's a bit of a pain positioning the pads under the stabilizers and these will protect them as well. https://www.etrailer.com/RV-Jack-Pad...ad/SN59FR.html.

6. Weight Safe Hitch. This is probably overkill also, it measures tongue weight (mostly form my piece of mind), it's aluminum and extremely solid and well-made. The adjustable height and short shank was perfect for our vehicle. https://smile.amazon.com/Weigh-Safe-...7661777&sr=8-6

7. Battery monitor (future purchase). If you got solar there's a battery monitor it gives the charging amount from the panel, but it's impossible to determine how much battery capacity is left. I am about to get this one. It's a Victron bluetooth version without the gauge. (Anyone have any experience with this?). https://www.victronenergy.com/batter...-battery-shunt

I hope this helps, as I said it will be interesting to see how things go on a longer trip with the small tanks. We have solar so that helps with the battery. On our weekend trips power hasn't been an issue but the black tank fills up fast if we're not careful.
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Old 07-30-2021, 02:07 PM   #19
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2020 23' Flying Cloud
Sebastian , Florida
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Congratulations!
Ditto on the battery check.
And have your phone or tablet charged to record the fussier procedures. So much to remember!
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Old 07-31-2021, 05:51 AM   #20
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2021 16' Bambi
Forest Lake , Minnesota
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Correction to my previous post. The teak floor mat is this one: https://airstreamsupplycompany.com/products/airstream-teak-shower-mats-16rb/
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