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Old 01-07-2017, 08:54 AM   #21
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Yes they have different floor plans ands much better interiors overseas but that is at a stiff price premium:

http://www.airstream-europe.com

They have cassette toilets and limited fresh water tank capacity, surge brakes and very light tongue weights. They are all what we call narrow body models here since the roads are narrow.
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Old 01-07-2017, 01:32 PM   #22
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part of me aims to live well below my means as a path to serenity, security, as well as flexibility to have fun and enjoy life.
Now you're singing my song. I wouldn't be in this conversation at all if we had not purposefully chosen the path of living below our means. Instead, I'd be at work slaving away to pay off credit cards. Temporary self-denial has netted us far greater fun in the long run. Serenity, security, and flexibility are just some of the side benefits.

You can get a modest MH (used or smaller) for not a ton more than a Bambi.

Or (take a deep breath), you need to decide what that beloved Jeep is worth to you. It could be holding you back. A run of the mill pickup truck will pull a much more comfortable trailer. I fear you are giving up too much to keep your Jeep at hand. If a Jeep's tow numbers only support a 16, then you need to not tempt yourself with a 19 as long as the Jeep remains in the picture.

Park the Jeep at your next of kin's house. Then plan to visit it for the holidays. Or hook it up to the rear of your MH.
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Old 01-07-2017, 04:01 PM   #23
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If you love the Jeep, stick with the Jeep. With some hitch work it can easily handle a 19' Airstream. This is still a free country, take advantage of it and enjoy yourself.
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Old 01-07-2017, 06:46 PM   #24
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A simple renovation to give you more room and flexibility in either a 16 or 19 is to remove the dinette table, which is attached to the wall and needed only if you will need a second bed. Replace it with a bit smaller table on a pedestal base. You can totally remove it to have more floor and living space when desired. We found one at Ikea that works perfectly for us.
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:16 PM   #25
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The dream started with the Jeep.... I just could never part with it. that Wrangler has given me more than I could ever have imaged. I think it's left tire tracks in my soul.

I oringally wanted to live out of the jeep, there are great tents to do so, but I can't do that AND show up looking "respectable" 5 days a week at work. Plus with the rooftop tents, I'd have to pack them up every time I needed to drive somewhere.

Basically, the AS provides a towable shower and toilet and comfy-er bed. My inspiration draws not so much from RV full timing as those that live out of vans or small boats.

I definately think pulling out the dinette would be helpful, but I agree with the feedback I got here, wait a little while before modifications.

I think after some additional mods to the jeep I could look at the 19 as well... so that may be an option.
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:46 PM   #26
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We spent 4-7 weeks at a pop in both our Bambinos. We never felt crowded, and this is with 2 ample adults plus a medium-size dog for much of the time. Space is so much a state of mind.

It's doable if you can spend a lot of time outdoors or away with your job. Otherwise you may feel claustrophobic indoors-- especially in cold or wet weather when interior condensation is a factor. I would think this would be a consideration during an Oregon winter.

I would sure keep the dinette if you need some kind of a desk surface.

Neither the 16' or the 19' Bambi is ideal for cooking. The 20' unit has a nicer kitchen in the back, with counter space.

With the 16' Bambi I, we kept spare clothes in a black duffle bag that lived discretely at the foot of the bed. Then we pretty much restricted what we wore to dark colors that went with everything, and that could all go in the same laundry load. We found a fair bit of sturdy, petite gear at mountain shops like REI (or try Cabelas.)

There is a longstanding thread here on "small space living," mostly for Interstate owners, but helpful for Bambi owners, too.

We found the truck with a canopy to be super helpful, though, due to the dramatically enhanced storage space over a SUV. Unless you have a really high tolerance for clutter and living amidst all your belongings inside the Bambi, consider the storage capacity and options for your tow vehicle, as well.

When we had to replace the 16' Bambi, we really considered another one, but decided to go with the 19'. A big advantage of the 19' is more cupboard space.

If you do buy a 16' Sport, consider adding on the front stone guards and rear bumper, which are standard on the bigger units.
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Old 01-07-2017, 11:42 PM   #27
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For long term comfort in the 19' one of the easiest modifications you could do is pull out the curbside dinette seat and replace in with a swivel recliner with built-in leg rest. You may want to trim the table top slightly, but try it as is. Keeping the table top will provide many functions, meal prep and dining space, as well as a reading, work and hobby table.

A recliner should stay put while travel without fastening it down, we put in two of them and they don't move. You can however push the recliner back from the front if you need a little lighter hitch weight for weight distribution when towing.
Similarly, you can move heavy gear from the back of your Jeep toward the front, and carry the light gear in the back for the same purpose.

You will most probably still need hitch work to strengthen the Jeep's receiver and enable the use of a good weight distribution hitch.
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Old 01-08-2017, 05:10 AM   #28
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SheBop, love your enthusiasm....its the kind that got most of us into camping when we were young. But the advice you're getting is worth listening to. Personally, I can see something like my 20ft FC being the smallest model suitable for full-timing. A large and perfectly laid-out galley, very nice bathroom, and large bed...all at 5,000lb max., and only about 3ft longer than those cute little huggable 16fters. At least look at one, I think they'd be perfect for your plans. Safe travels. jon
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Old 01-08-2017, 05:28 AM   #29
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SheBop, love your enthusiasm....its the kind that got most of us into camping when we were young. But the advice you're getting is worth listening to. Personally, I can see something like my 20ft FC being the smallest model suitable for full-timing. A large and perfectly laid-out galley, very nice bathroom, and large bed...all at 5,000lb max., and only about 3ft longer than those cute little huggable 16fters. At least look at one, I think they'd be perfect for your plans. Safe travels. jon
Bingo!

We have a winner . . .



PS -- SheBop, Airstream Adventures NW is just south of you in Gladstone.

http://portlandairstream.com/

Before you purchase, you might consider spending some time in all the AS models up to (and including) the 23', if you are serious about full-timing. The 20-footer thread is pretty long, but makes for a good read about the general enthusiasm for this model:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f516...rs-127845.html

A 16' is going to be very crowded for you and the dog IMO. It may be time to get the rig you want for the next phase of life, including a different tow vehicle?
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Old 01-08-2017, 08:01 AM   #30
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The Airstream 20' is a nifty kitchen model but the living room is compromised, there is none. We had one but could never find comfort in that dinette for long term travel, and the seating cannot be changed out. The water heater sits underneath one side and the remaining space is too narrow and short for a recliner install. Personally I like sitting under the pano windows at the front of the Airstream, the shaded rock guard helps control the sunlight and allows privacy; we can see out but they can't see in.

For a weekend and vacation Airstream, the 20' was fine for us. Long term travel, no so good. The 19' is a compact version of the larger floor plans, quite livable. We are in our 25' 6-7 months every year with a seating modification.
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Old 01-08-2017, 08:05 AM   #31
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Yes they have different floor plans ands much better interiors overseas but that is at a stiff price premium:



http://www.airstream-europe.com



They have cassette toilets and limited fresh water tank capacity, surge brakes and very light tongue weights. They are all what we call narrow body models here since the roads are narrow.

Thanks for the info. Very cool!!!


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Old 01-08-2017, 10:57 PM   #32
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oh man, I think I'm more infused than when I started.

I'm not too fond of the 19.... but the 20 looks impressive. I'm getting more and more encouragement that with the right mods I could tow that with the Jeep. Again, the Wrangler stays. IMO, I really don't get anything more in the 19 than I do in the 16. I don't need another sink 2 feet from the other one and I dislike the corner bed. The 20 gives me a larger kitchen... that I could us. Though, my current kitchen consist of a mini fridge, hot plate, and toaster over.... no sink, I have to use the bathroom sink.... so I know I could make the 16 or 19 kitchen work.

Now I am just hemming and hawing on the price... but maybe there will be a decent used one out there. I think if I can get the Wrangler set up to tow a little better and get a decent price on a use 20, that would be the way to go. Otherwise, I may start a wild and crazy experiment in the 16
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Old 01-08-2017, 11:13 PM   #33
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oh man, I think I'm more infused than when I started.

I'm not too fond of the 19.... but the 20 looks impressive. I'm getting more and more encouragement that with the right mods I could tow that with the Jeep. Again, the Wrangler stays. IMO, I really don't get anything more in the 19 than I do in the 16. I don't need another sink 2 feet from the other one and I dislike the corner bed. The 20 gives me a larger kitchen... that I could us. Though, my current kitchen consist of a mini fridge, hot plate, and toaster over.... no sink, I have to use the bathroom sink.... so I know I could make the 16 or 19 kitchen work.

Now I am just hemming and hawing on the price... but maybe there will be a decent used one out there. I think if I can get the Wrangler set up to tow a little better and get a decent price on a use 20, that would be the way to go. Otherwise, I may start a wild and crazy experiment in the 16
Shebop, as someone who has spent a lot of time in both the 16' and 19' Bambi, here are some things you probably can't tell from just looking.

You do get significantly more storage space in the 19' than in the 16'. The cupboards are not huge in either model, but the 19' has a lot more of them. The interior space under the 19' bed is significantly greater.

The advantage of 2 sinks is personal hygiene. With one sink, you are washing your hands after using the loo, brushing your teeth, washing dishes, and washing your face. With the 16-footer, we installed a package of baby wipes in the loo for hand sanitizing and then we cleaned out the one sink frequently so that we weren't washing dishes in.......

You can probably get your beloved Wrangler to tow a bigger trailer than its weight rating. But you live in Oregon, no? If you're OK with being significantly under-powered driving in the mountains, it's your call.

I actually liked the east-west bed layout better in the sixteener, as well. But there is a lot more useable interior storage space under the bed in the 19-footer. Plus you still have an exterior compartment for your power cord, hoses, adapter, hitch when not in use, &c.

I think full-timing could work in the petite Bambi, but it would require a massive amount of efficiency and paring down your belongings to the absolute minimum. If you're an ultra-light backpacker or long-haul traveler, you get the idea.

If Bambi the First hadn't been in an accident, we would have it still, and enjoy the advantages of a small RV, but when we decided to replace it we went up a notch.

Anyway, best wishes on this, and let us know what you decide.
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Old 01-09-2017, 05:35 AM   #34
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Anyone who thinks that they might possibly live out of a Wrangler will be fine in a 16' Airstream!
We have spent 2 months at a time in out Bambi and we love it. Note that I say "we" as there are 2 of us and our 2 Scottish terriers. There is plenty of room for us.
Yes, we marvel at the space in larger units. Yes we have to think before acting in our small space but we love it.
We are about to embark on a 4 month trip this year and I'm sure it will be one of the great times we have had in our lives...
For what it is worth, if we were to loose our Bambi, a 5 year old International model, we would be hard pressed to know where to turn for a replacement.
We are not fans of the layout of the 19' through 23' models, we like seeing out the back of the unit. I'm guessing that we look at something like a 25' model then, simply for the wrap around windows.

As for towing with a Wrangler, although I understand your love of the vehicle (I owned a 2001, loved mine too!), I'd be very careful about the setup.
You need to be in contact with Andy of Can-Am in Ontario. I would consider this essential.
He will happily answer e-mail and he is the master of setting up "unusual" tow vehicles. Send him an e-mail, you will be happy you did...
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:02 AM   #35
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To reach Andy Thompson at CanAm RV:

Phone: (866) 226-2678

E-mail: andy@canamrv.ca

Website: http://www.canamrv.ca

Get a reality check here before spending too much time dreaming about what your Jeep can tow.

I drove 2,200 miles each way from Phoenix to London, Ontario (three days including an Airstream factory tour on the way over and three days with a stop in Santa Fe on the way back) and a day at his store getting the hitch reinforced on my 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI with a 3.0L V6 turbo charged diesel. This was not an inexpensive modification by the time fuel, food and motel costs were added for the seven day trip.

I towed our new 2013 25FB International Serenity home to Phoenix from Los Angles on I-10 which included an massive climb at Palm Springs. I was able to maintain the posted 55 mph with no issues (engine dropped back to 4th gear and 3,100 rpm). The new no personal stuff 25FB weighed just under 6,000 pounds. The literature tongue weight for the 25FB was 833 pounds. The Hensley Hitch head, full propane tanks and fresh water and a brief case had the tongue weight at 1,150 pounds. Moving stuff around, we got the tongue weight down to 1,175 pounds camping ready.

This trailer became too much load at 6,900 pounds loaded for camping as it was working too hard. We acquired a 2012 Ram 2500HD Cummins diesel and the towing issues were resolved. The 25FB was traded in on our 2014 31' Classic. The Ram can tow at 65 mph with no issues. That is our personal maximum speed when towing with this rig scaling 19,200 pounds fully loaded.

Several years later we added a 2015 23D International Serenity to our Airstream collection that scales 6,068 pounds fully loaded and that is a much better fit for the Mercedes (now well broken in with 160,000 miles on it). We drive 55 mph maximum and less when going down hill (second gear and 35 mph allows the small diesel's back pressure to maintain that descent speed).

One has to address real world expectations when towing a large mass behind a small tow vehicle.
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:43 AM   #36
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I understand this is not a popular opinion around here, but my suggestion to the OP is to stay within the ratings of Wrangler (or get a more capable vehicle).

I would only proceed with the after market route if the shop is willing to specify the new and improved tow ratings in writing.
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Old 01-09-2017, 04:27 PM   #37
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Jeep says your Wrangler can tow 3500 lbs.

16' Bambi GVWR is 3500 lbs.
19' FC GVWR is 4500 lbs.
20' FC GVWR is 5000 lbs.

Two groups here:

One says the engineers at Jeep know what they are talking about, and that your engine, transmission, brakes, suspension, tires, radiator, etc... are all sufficient to tow 3500 lbs.

The other group says there is only one place in North America where you can go to get your hitch reinforced so that now your Wrangler can tow a whole lot more than the factory says you should.
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Old 01-09-2017, 05:53 PM   #38
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Jeep Wranglers have been designed by the engineers at FCA to accommodate the thousands of aftermarket upgrades available; more improvement options compared to any other NA production vehicle. All designed to improve the performance of the JKU beyond stock. It's normal to want to make our beloved Wranglers better than stock. Non Jeep owners usually don't understand if it is outside their belief system that "no one should improve anything". You have to own one to know what it means if someone says it's a 'Jeep Thing'.
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:44 PM   #39
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Hitch and welding shops all over North America have been building and reinforcing hitches and receivers for Airstreams for 85 years. And they still do.

The good ones go a little farther and ensure you have a good weight distribution and sway control system and that it is set up correctly, and that it is capable of distributing enough weight among your tow vehicle and trailer axles. They will also recommend tire and shock absorber upgrades for improved performance, as well as ensuring you have a good functioning brake controller. If you ask, or are an obvious rookie, they can help you with the basic operation of the towing equipment.

Then it will be up to you to learn what your combination can do. Start on simple highways and hills and get some practice before heading across the country.
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:50 PM   #40
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I don't know how serious you are about any of this but I noticed your interest has jumped to the 20' Airstream with your Jeep. That concerns me because we towed a 20' extensively and are familiar with it. Compared to a 19' for example, the 20' can load very heavy in the front. There is a huge storage area under the front bed and the wardrobe is also located there.

I don't know how you would load it but there is a possibility the heavy hitch weight combined with whatever you load in the Jeep you could go over the axle capacities of the Jeep, even with good weight distribution.

It's a gut feeling not based on your known weights but our experience; stick with an Airstream that does not tend to load heavy in front for your Jeep.
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