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Old 06-10-2009, 07:35 PM   #1
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2008 25' Safari SS SE
Colleyville , Texas
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Does Size Matter ?

Looking for our first AS. We seem to be attracted to 19' Bambi. Just the two of us and two dogs. We are 50ish and interested in seeing the US. Would love your input on size. Pros and Cons.
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Old 06-10-2009, 07:52 PM   #2
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Upton , Massachusetts
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Check the toilt situation out. Other than that we love our 19' Bambi. We dont have 2 dogs though. How big are the dogs? Check out the other sizes and see what feels comfortable. Think of what you will bring and if it will be big enough.
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:02 PM   #3
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How you plan to use it will determine largely whether or not you'll be happy in 19'. Do you cook inside or outside? Do you spend most of your time out in the trailer, or outside it? How large are you physically?

If you're small folks and you plan to use it primarily to sleep in and as an escape from the weather when it's bad... then 19' is probably adequate. If you are folks who are using it more as a travelling motel and restaurant (as we use ours) then I'd suggest looking at a 25'.

AIR 2053 Current: 2004 Airstream Interstate "B-Van" T1N DODGE Sprinter & 2006 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis
Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:10 PM   #4
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Colfax , North Carolina
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Does size matter? My wife insists it doesn't ...

But we started out with a 20', moved up to a 26', and now have a 31'.
Knowing now what I had forgotten when we bought our first Airstream product, I'd look for something a little bigger than 19'. It's better to have a little more room than you need, than wish you had more room.
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:15 PM   #5
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Grand Junction , Colorado
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Size does matter in many things, but I'll stick with the Airstream question.

What are you used to living in? A small apartment, a big house, an average place? Are you tall or short? RV beds are smaller than what you are used to at home, so a double is difficult for some people and even a queen can be too short; some are narrower too.

Toilets can be a problem for the long legged or wide hipped—sit down on one, close the door and see how it feels.

Some people need more personal space than others. Some people need a bedroom to be in while their partner is at the dinette table just to have some time alone. Others don't care.

Do you need a lot of clothing? Some people wear the same stuff a lot, others need to change several times a day and throw stuff in the laundry right away. Laundry piles up fast in a trailer because of limited space to put it.

Do you cook complicated meals requiring lots of ingredients, or need special foods that aren't easy to find at an IGA or a Walmart? Do bring a lot of stuff like books, magazines, cameras, and the millions of things people get attached to? Storage is not all that big in RV's, but especially small in smaller ones.

Do you want to boondock? Smaller means less fresh water and grey and black water storage limiting boondocking days for some.

Some have no problems in small trailers, and some buy them and then find out it isn't right for them and trade up, a process that costs a lot of money in quick depreciation of the 1st, small trailer. This is not something you want to make a mistake about—it's a long term purchase. I don't know if you can rent an Airstream and tow it somewhere to see how it fits, but you can rent other RV's to get a feel for what it's like (the one's built on a truck frame that say "rent me"). It's a good investment to check what is right for you although the rental units are probably roomier than a Bambi. A few KOA's have Airstreams on site you can rent for one or more nights—larger than Bambi's, but something to try. Check the KOA website to see where they are. Las Vegas is one place.

What works for some people is awful for another person—it's all very individual.

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Old 06-10-2009, 08:15 PM   #6
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Dewey , Arizona
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It's my wife and I and 3 dogs (2 big and 1 small). I don't think that we would be happy with anything smaller then our 25' Trade Wind. The only time I wish my trailer was smaller is when it's time to polish!


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Old 06-10-2009, 08:18 PM   #7
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Southwestern , Ohio
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Welcome to the forums!

Great title for your thread--guaranteed to get a lot of responses.

My wife and I started out six years ago in our 1960 16 foot Pacer with three dogs and had a blast. Since then we have graduated to a 1980 22 ft International Caravelle and like it better, especially for longer trips.

There's an economy of scale--a little bigger doesn't cost that much more--so I vote for a little bigger trailer, just not much bigger.

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Old 06-10-2009, 08:28 PM   #8
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I love a small trailer, and would love something sub-20' for just me. With the SO and I the 25' is perfect, and the 31' seems caverneous.

The important thing is that you buy what suits your tastes and budget. If you out grow it and trade up to a longer unit, you'll be following in the footprints of numerous others before you.

Keep us posted.

Best of Luck...And Welcome,


"One of the best lessons I've learned is that you don't worry about criticism from people you wouldn't seek advice from."

William C. Swinney

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Old 06-10-2009, 08:33 PM   #9
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Colleyville , Texas
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As Roger suggested I like the idea of a traveling motel room and restaurant. I like the Ocean Breeze but my Hubby thinks the Bambis are cool.
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:38 PM   #10
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Dexer , Michigan
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Originally Posted by LisaP View Post
As Roger suggested I like the idea of a traveling motel room and restaurant. I like the Ocean Breeze but my Hubby thinks the Bambis are cool.
Isn't there a 19' Ocean Breeze? I do like that interior too. You could then name it Bambi and both be happy
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:49 PM   #11
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Grand Junction , Colorado
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Some people buy the Bambi's because of style—they are "cute" or "cool". Men and women use different words for the same thing. But when they have to spend days or weeks in them, they aren't so cool or cute. The trailer functions as a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room and storage facility. 25' works for us.

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Old 06-10-2009, 08:51 PM   #12
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Viera , Florida
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Hi Lisa and welcome to the Forums.

Pat and I had pretty much settled on the 19' Bambi when someone told me that for long distance towing and travel, which we do, having a tandem axle is better for stability, safety, and load carrying. In 2007 you had to go to a 22' to get the tandem axles, and we didn't like the floor plan there, so we ended up with a 23'. The rear end of the 23' is the same as the 19' with the corner bed and shower. We are average size folks so getting in the bed and the bathroom isn't a problem, and we like the lounge up front for relaxing at the end of the day. Having only a dinette, wouldn't provide the comfort that the sofa does. We don't have any pets.

Sometimes we wish we had gone to the 25' for the larger bed and tanks, but then we remember how easy our 23' is to pull and maneuver and we're happy again. Good luck with your decision.

Randy & Pat Godfrey
Florida Airstream Club (027)
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2014 27FB Flying Cloud - SilverCabin II
2018 F-150 Platinum - unnamed

The best part of any trip is when you pull away from home.
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:51 PM   #13
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Athens , Georgia
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First of all ..... welcome to the forums. One more thing to think a bit about also is what type of tow vehicle you already have or want to have. My wife wanted to stay small because she didn't want to drive a heavy truck but I wanted a bigger trailer. We decided on a 25 footer but she has since decided she doesn't even want to drive while we are towing it. Was my choice to go larger than the smaller Bambi so I do all the driving, I know she could do it if she wanted to but she really doesn't even want to try. So I think that should be thought about also. Just my thoughts.....

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Old 06-10-2009, 09:00 PM   #14
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Great for a weekend with good weather. On the road for more than a couple weeks may be a challenge. Some folks can live on top of each other, some need breathing room. Then there is were are the dogs going to sleep. We used a 17 Caravelle with two standard poodles up to 2 weeks. It was great except the last one to bed got little room. The dogs figured this out faster than I did. Then there is the he's touching me melt down in the middle of the night by the female. The dogs are gone and we have a rebuilt 26 and wonder how we did it. The only other issue is IO think some state and federal campgrouds have 17foot limits. Those extra feet don't cost much more. Go checkem out. Good Luck
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:35 PM   #15
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Ogden , Utah
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Another factor I didn't see mentioned above - what kind of campgrounds will you be primarily staying in? We mostly go to National Forest Service campgrounds and there's a lot of camp sites we get into with our 16' (or a 19') that would be a real problem with the 28' or 30' models, with the 23' to 25' models being a compromise. If you are going to use developed campgrounds with good roads, pull through sites, etc then the longer lengths aren't an issue.

On the other hand, if you're dry camping (like in NFS campgrounds) the bigger trailers have larger water and waste tanks which means you can stay longer.

Try to look ahead and think about the kind of camping you want, and where you will go most of the time, and factor that in to your decision.

Ogden, Utah
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2005 Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab 4WD
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:34 PM   #16
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Early on in our camping days(1973), we camped in the back of our tiny pu and/or tents. Graduated to a vw vanogan. Then we didn't campout 'forever'.Years have gone by and we now have a 22' Safari. We also have no idea why we made the decision to camp again. It was actually my idea for the trailer (and I have no idea where this idea came from - I am more of a hotel/spa/eating out gal). Rustyrivet wanted a Airstream if were going to get a trrailer - I wanted several of the things you can get with sob, but hubby was sure the comprise was - sob (me) - AS (him) and I am so happy he won this one!!!!! So far we have only made short trips, and the size is fine for us. We plan on taking many more longer trips and will see how well that works. We think that our TV, 2009 Tundra will handle a 25' if we decide we need to "move it on up". Rustyrivet says no way to another one, but then again he is already talking about if we went up to 25'. He is such a sweetheart. So for us right now the 22' seems to be perfect.
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Old 06-11-2009, 12:45 AM   #17
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I've heard it said that while towing you want the smallest trailer you can get, and while parked you want the biggest

We love our 17ft trailer. When we first got it everyone told me we'd be upgrading soon. That was 6 years ago! It can get a little cramped with the dogs, but generally we're the sort of people that don't need a lot of stuff and don't mind the close quarters, and we spend a lot of time outside anyway. Being small means you can't be lazy about clutter, you have to keep it neat! On the road it tows so nicely and follows the van perfectly, so we don't even have to swing wide with it. Plus it fits into any spot we can find, once a park ranger even put us in the tent area. At a telescope rally they squeezed us into the car camping space because the trailer fit perfectly in a parking spot (the van had to go into overflow parking). When we stop for a break on the way to our destination, we can park it in any shopping center parking lot where we find two spots end to end. My husband insists there is no reason to ever go up to anything bigger. Size definitely matters, small is beautiful!

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Old 06-11-2009, 01:29 AM   #18
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2009 28' International
Columbia , Illinois
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As others have said I think it depends on how long you plan to be out and what you are looking for. We tend to go for 1-3 months at a time so like a bit of extra room. We also tend to pack light* so closet/storage space was not that big a deal for us. We considered the 25, 27fb and the 28 and decided after a year the 28 foot was right for us. One thing to consider is the 25 is 25' 11", the 27fb is 28' and the 28 is 27' 11". The 28 is effectively only 2 foot longer than the 25 foot.

We got the 28 because the bedroom is in the rear and we go to lots of places that have back-ins. We prefer bedroom privacy to fb kitchen/living area vistas. We tend to be outside when up and about so the fb thing is not a big deal to us. YMMV

*went to the far east for a month with one carry-on backpack each, two adults and two kids.
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Old 06-11-2009, 03:29 AM   #19
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winter garden , Florida
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My wife and I are 50ish with two dogs and 28' seemed to be perfect for us. Her and 1 dog at one end and me with the other dog on the couch works just fine. On rainy days anything smaller would be just too cramped for us, I think choosing you AS is a personal choice, one persons perfect fit will be differant than the next person. I would assume thats why they come in 16', 17' 19' 20' 23' 25' 27' 28' 30' 34'
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:08 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Over59 View Post
Then there is were are the dogs going to sleep.
In our 20' Safari, Luke the Border Collie sleeps under the dinette and Molly the Jack Russell sleeps here:

I took the door off one of the storage bins under a dinette seat and put her bed in there. She loves it.
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