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Old 05-08-2017, 12:08 AM   #21
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Last fall when we visited family on the west coast, we boondocked on the road; Walmarts, behind a motel, truck stops, at a church, rest areas... No need for hookups or dump stations, though we used them if they were handy and free. No restaurant meals; we stocked our kitchen before we left home. No campground fees on the road; we are fully self contained.

We used campgrounds when we got to destinations. Then we had our truck for running around visiting.

You asked about sightseeing in tight areas while still being hitched up. We did some sightseeing in central Wisconsin on our last day before we came home. We visited friends in a small town, then parked overnight on the street by their church. In the morning they gave directions to the free municipal dump station. Then we visited an apple orchard (on a narrow winding road), then went to Spring Green to see Frank Lloyd Wright landmarks, then on to a cheese factory for some fresh cheese curds (on the side of the road in a small town). At 51', we don't fit into a parking spot marked for an auto. Yet there was always a way for us to pull into an area with sufficient access that didn't block anyone else.

When an RV is serving its highest function, it allows you to stay at home regardless where you go. You can wander aimlessly, and never give a second thought about where you'll stay until bedtime. You never wonder where the next meal will be. If you don't like where you are, get up and leave any hour of the day or night. One night I woke at 4AM and couldn't go back to sleep. No point wasting time, so I got back in the saddle (poor wife dragged herself into the truck with me) and headed down the road. Three hours later we pulled off the road to cook a hot breakfast. Late that morning I got sleepy, so we pulled into a truck stop where I took a long nap. When I got up I took a hot shower (in the middle of the truckstop parking lot ) while wife prepared lunch. It's not about "the trailer", it's all about comfort and convenience wherever you go.
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:43 AM   #22
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Thanks Alluminate for experiences. I really relate to your pre trailer trips of last minute looking for hotel, and or camping spot. So even with the little Bambi, I guess we cover this issue. Hadn't thought of Churches; we could network from ours here.
Pat, thanks for info. We are considering.
After reading people's experiences; we are getting anxious to join the AS gang. Still pondering; we have a trip to Glacier NP and Canada June, so having a little trailer to begin mountains was easier on my anxiety. Think we might have to settle for "hotel" and camping for this trip. Don't want to rush and buy; however if a great deal arose; we could cancel hotels for us ( Daughter and son in law could still have their hotel and their rental car). We were helping to keep 1&3 yr old grandkids when we meet them at Many Glacier.

Does anyone know what to expect for gently used Bambi 16'. From safely towing in mtns 22ft is out until Tow is upgraded (we've heard). 23' comes into play if tow is changed before this trip, but possible if "everything" falls in place.
Adds showing 2016, 2017 16' for 37k to 42k. Seems like they are asking high $ on resale. I have a quote for new one for 38k range (plus our state tax). None of that prep fee, destination charge, etc. How much should I expect these gently used ones from private sellers to accept off their asking price? That is how we thought we would loose only a couple thousand in resale. We would save some by not paying hotels, extra eating out this trip. We pay tax on resale.
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Old 05-10-2017, 06:22 AM   #23
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SOB - Some Other Brand .... true! Sorry, I shoulda capitalized the letters.... if I put punctuation and caps.. S.O.B. ... well, I can't imagine what that might mean...

LOL! Well, I DID think that's what it stood for and thought that many Airstreamers had started out with other brands and had such terrible experiences, that SOB was in fact the label chosen to describe that.

I learn something new every day.
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Old 05-10-2017, 02:01 PM   #24
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We are actually getting closer to a price we might except for a 2017 Bambi 16'. The resales in classified's seem high. A dealer is repairing one that was sideswiped (in repair shop now) 2016 for 34k. Wonder if anything else was damaged. Leaves us hesitant to buy used, being newbies.

So what I would like to know; what extra's do any Bambi 16' owners find beneficial for us. Any items not needed? Ex: sway bar, brake controller, bumper, vent cover, solar panels (they install or portable ones), stone guards, power jack, wheel lock, back up camera? Am I missing something? Just wondering what I should be asking to be included. And a huge thank you to the few I've private messaged.

Our thoughts are try the little one a few yrs, get to Alaska, travel around and then get a larger one if we feel we need one. I just can't jump into a larger one until I'm comfortable with riding the mtns..not even being the driver! lol!

Thanks in advance for help. Also, is this question better suited in another forum? I am sorry to say I am having difficulty searching things on the site. Using an iPad if that could be some of the problem.
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Old 05-10-2017, 03:01 PM   #25
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Mountains - same view with 16 or 23. The bigger coaches are a whole 5.5 inches wider so not much different. The 22 is actually narrower if that helps and the 23 is a dual axle which is more stable to tow. Going slow helps some, but you have to do it the way that works for you. My mother was horrified of mountains. Her defense was to go to sleep. So, understanding here.

The reason for the big price on Bambis is that folks are a bit shy to turn loose of them. They cost a lot on the front end and buyers think because they are small the price should be low. Consequently owners just park them and use them for solo or shorter trips. Now there was adult beverage involved in those conversations, so who knows if that is the driving reason or good rationalization to keep a cute coach. There is also a movement afoot to get a vintage coach and refurb. Another rite of passage kind of thing for the retired and bored ASer who should be out traveling but has done it and done it and needs a new thrill.

However it works out for you - go for it.

SOB - not all other brands are bad. (note - AS is not four season coach and some SOBs really are.) They even make a lot of sense for folks who are learning what works for them. A $5000 used coach that is well maintained can be thrown away when you are done with it. We talked to a couple in Pismo who sold their expensive MoHo and bought a $3800 fifth wheel. It's stored in Pismo and hauled to the RV park when they need it. No TV investment and a nice beach house solution. They will likely get their money back when it sells. Have some friends who did similar and the coach is now their home while they build a house.

Stuff you need: Some of this is provided by dealers in a start up kit for a new coach. Get either a Blue Ox Sway Pro WDHSC or an Easy-Lift with friction sway control. Get a radio frequency (RF) wireless brake control like the Tekonsha prodigy rf model. Get a Voyager rear view camera system - Camping world. Get a battery disconnect switch. They make removable post connections if you want an inexpensive approach. Consider adding a second battery. Get a pair of comfortable camp chairs (look at the rockers). Get the small aluminum table from Camping world. Get a small propane grill and make sure it fits in the cubie before you buy it. Get a couple of battery lanterns and some LED flashlights. Costco has 1000/1300 lumen ones for $20. Get a battery powered fan. Use paper plates and disposable glasses until you have a better plan. Get a box of big trash bags and a box of kitchen size. Get paper towels. Get knives that have plastic covers....not same color as knife or you can't tell if they are on the knife. Get a coffee pot and paper filters. Get a tea pot to boil water. Use towels, bed clothes and blankets from home as well as anything else you have from camping that will work. Get a bottle jack, torque wrench and socket for lug nuts, a breaker bar and 1 in socket for BOSP. Get a half dozen lego blocks, four wheel chocks, some orange cones to mark the path you want to travel as you back up to park. Get some nitrile gloves to protect your hands - Harbor Freight - when dumping. Get a dump hose, a clear section and an elbow. Get an external water filter, an adjustable water pressure regulator and set it to 40 PSI. Get a drinking water safe water hose and a std garden hose to flush the black tank. Start with 20 ft and get a second one if you need it. Get a set of fuses for all those in the coach with an extra couple for the tongue jack. Get some hose washers. Put a small hand tool kit together including a multi-meter, IR heat gun and tire pressure gage. Get a wrapping pad for the steps, an entry door mat and an inside mat. Get a surge protector, a 50-30amp pigtail and a 20-30amp pigtail. Then you can get started getting the stuff that was forgotten above. Like RV toilet paper. Good luck. Pat
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Old 05-11-2017, 07:20 AM   #26
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Great info!

Thank you Pat for all of those recommendations? Oh, if only I could sleep while riding as a passenger! My husband would love that too! lol!
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Old 05-11-2017, 08:47 AM   #27
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Sounds like a big decision ahead of you.

It also would appear you have what is somewhat ironically called "aluminitis" on the forums. "Aluminitis" is a term that in a clinical setting would mean "inflammation of aluminum"...but I like to think what we mean by it is more like "disease of aluminum" or "an affliction of aluminum"...which would be more like "aluminosis"...

That aside, it is a condition of becoming fixated on the shiny aluminum AS trailers....an itch that will not subside until it is scratched.

Anyway, I am fascinated by such discussions by proxy....we (my wife and I) have 2 children so that made us jump right into a big ol' airstream bunkhouse....but if we were alone, the compromises being discussed would be difficult.

Opinions vary on this, a 16 bambi will have some things to offer that a 22 or 25 footer will not have....BUT, it seems to me that the 22 or 25 at a "pretty similar price" can do still what you are wanting to do and do it arguably better.

But clearly the bambi will do the job....its just crazy because what a couple uses can vary from a teardrop, to a 20 footer TT (travel trailer), to a class B-MoHo (motor home) to a 25 foot AS, even up to a 28-30 footer. It just depends on your various personal preferences, budget, TV (tow vehicle), etc...

The general "orthodoxy" among online "trailer trash" is that "bigger is better" up to 25 feet...25 ish feet seems to still get you into many spots in various parks.

If boondocking will be often done, the limits of the bambi are notable...battery capacity, storage space, tank capacities...I think people can do it and do do it, but I think as always the question looms:

"After you have owned it for X amount of time, will you have wished you had a 22 or 25"....no one KNOWS the answer to that question it seems for each and every individual...

Class B van conversion seems interesting option to me for being compact.

Others mentioned like casita and oliver...I freaking love the Oliver...4 season camping in that thing as I recall...if it were me at that price point around 40K, I would seriously look at that trailer as well....not sure how light it is...it is a boondocking machine...there is a long youtube video of an owner that reviews it, and it is impressive.

Good Luck!
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Old 05-12-2017, 08:04 AM   #28
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Big decision

Thank you Pharmgeek! I looked up Oliver.
You are correct; it is a big decision! We had originally planned to sell out beautiful Cobalt boat before we purchased another toy! Then as our trip approached we began thinking of buying a trailer anyway. So if anyone can help us out (find a buyer for our 2008 252 Cobalt at $58,700) we would be staying with our original plan! lol!

Decisions, decisions!
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Old 05-12-2017, 08:40 AM   #29
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There is the video I mentioned...I know it aint AS, but boy I was smitten by this video.

Good luck in your decisions!
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Old 05-12-2017, 10:03 AM   #30
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A boat broker will cost 10% plus the extras like detailing, safety repairs, doc fees and close out of berthing/storage and insurance. You can afford to pass that cost along to the local AS dealer as profit. It would even be worth traveling a bit of distance to do a deal. Might or might not be successful, but moving product is the sales manager's job. Help them out. Lots of folks need a Cobalt and summer is here. Can likely bait the hook with pictures and a good story, then sit back and e-mail several dealers. Might have a deal without even leaving home. Pat
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Old 05-12-2017, 10:33 AM   #31
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There is the video I mentioned...I know it aint AS, but boy I was smitten by this video.

Good luck in your decisions!
Very interesting video indeed. Really nice features that you would expect in a top of the line trailer.

Just curious how the prices compare to AS?
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Old 05-12-2017, 11:34 AM   #32
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Very interesting video indeed. Really nice features that you would expect in a top of the line trailer.



Just curious how the prices compare to AS?


I am not sure - I think this unit I recall being in the 50-55k range as it was fully loaded - just going on my recollection mind you

The battery box was amazing and the way the whole thing under it has no exposed bits - man - I'm telling you I have been intrigued by that trailer design - all components appear to be very high quality when you look at it and ordering it is all totally customizable - impressive company

Support for repairs? Not sure about that - the thing seems like it would have very little risk of leaks

A bit small of an interior for me though if it was just the wife and I - I still would probably want something equivalent to AS 25-28 footer - but still......
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Old 05-12-2017, 11:42 AM   #33
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I am not sure - I think this unit I recall being in the 50-55k range as it was fully loaded - just going on my recollection mind you

The battery box was amazing and the way the whole thing under it has no exposed bits - man - I'm telling you I have been intrigued by that trailer design - all components appear to be very high quality when you look at it and ordering it is all totally customizable - impressive company

Support for repairs? Not sure about that - the thing seems like it would have very little risk of leaks

A bit small of an interior for me though if it was just the wife and I - I still would probably want something equivalent to AS 25-28 footer - but still......
All good points. The idea of no water leaks is very appealing, especially after spending countless hours last summer repairing the water leak, and all the resultant floor damage, that should have never happened, in the back end of my 2009 Int. But it does appear to be a bit small. Of course it all depends on what is the right choice for each person!
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