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Old 10-01-2019, 03:39 PM   #1
Tao
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Chapel Hill , North Carolina
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2017 bc or 2019 bc "x"

Hi Folks,

I've previously owned the Bambi 16 Aniv. Ed., a 19, a 22 and last an Interstate. Loved all of them and have been to the factory for service in the Interstate once and got the tour!

Now, Sold the Interstate to pull cash out of it, I'm not 73 and conserving cash at every chance I can.

My question regards the Basecamp.
I do not know a soul that has owned one and I've never spoken to an owner of one. I live in NC and have been told by a couple of dealers that the BC sells well west of the Mississippi but not worth a flip east of it. Is that true?

My Usage: 90% solo, I'm 6'3" now and about 215#s.
Do landscape photography as my passion, but days of long hikes hauling a medium format camera and several lenses are past. Will be National Parks, State Parks and a few lesser campgrounds.

I need a great frig as I eat organics, especially meats/free range/grass fed - frozen during travel.

Most trips will be no longer than 2 weeks with just one a year of 3 to 4 weeks.

Tow is a 2018 Lariet F-150 diesel crew cab 4x4. Unloaded on highway at 70mph I get 29-30mpg.

Questions:
Before me is one used 2017 at dealership. They are installing a new A/C (unit did not have one) and a new Nova Kool 2 way frig 12v/110v. Unit has solar and double tents. Got price to basically $24,500 Out the Door and I cover tax when I get home.

Alternative is a new 2019 "X" with solar BUT old style frig and that's about $35,000. Again I take care of sales tax when I get back home.

Last, a new 2020 with all upgrades including the frig. For that I'm finding a price of $39,749 and again I do tax at home.

You BC owners opinions are welcome. You've been where I'm going and know far better than I can guess at what lies in front of me with a BC unit.

I'd definitely do the 2020 at a price of $38,000 but I've not found that yet.

So, door number one with the used 2017, door # 2 with the 2019 X but old frig and door #3 new 2020 X that puts a strain on my IRA! :-)

Best,
Jack/Tao
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Old 10-01-2019, 06:18 PM   #2
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Hi

Read through the seemingly never ending problems people have had with the fridge in the Basecamp. There have been multiple "fixes" come out. The only way to *know* that a fix works is to take it out in the high summer heat. It'll be some time next August before the latest round or fixes get that test.

Bob
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Old 10-01-2019, 06:22 PM   #3
Tao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

Read through the seemingly never ending problems people have had with the fridge in the Basecamp. There have been multiple "fixes" come out. The only way to *know* that a fix works is to take it out in the high summer heat. It'll be some time next August before the latest round or fixes get that test.

Bob
Bob, you're right. I have been digging deep into this forum I used to "haunt" for many years and I'm starting to think I'd be much wiser to drop the BC and just go for a 16 or 19 Bambi. More research to do BUT I have to admit I am not a man with patience in dealing with what for a premium price should be premium product, and isn't.

Jack
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Old 10-02-2019, 09:35 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tao View Post
Bob, you're right. I have been digging deep into this forum I used to "haunt" for many years and I'm starting to think I'd be much wiser to drop the BC and just go for a 16 or 19 Bambi. More research to do BUT I have to admit I am not a man with patience in dealing with what for a premium price should be premium product, and isn't.

Jack
Hi

If you can fit into a 16' and afford it, that seems like a better choice to me. It's a design they seem to have mastered a bit more than the Basecamp. The main issue is indeed "do you fit?". I'd head over to a dealer who has a 16, a 19, and maybe a 22 to see how you do in them. I'd look at both the Bambi and Caravel lines.

Yes, there has been a *lot* of price creep in that paragraph above. The point is to get something you can use and can fit in. A trailer you trade after a month of camping is not a good deal.

Bob
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:44 AM   #5
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I have 2017 16 Bambi Sport Series since May. Camped with wife, the bed is kinda little too small since that we sleep on King size bed at home. But got used to it after a few camping trips. Last weekend I camped solo, the bed was perfect. The 16' Bambi for me is perfect for solo camping. Wife and I will buy larger AS a few years from now.

I like the 16' Bambi. The fridge is good, everything works. Remember it has wet bath.
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Old 10-02-2019, 03:06 PM   #6
Tao
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OK, I must have gone crazy this afternoon.

After talking with Airstream Tech Support I found a 2019 with the NovaKool frig built the end of the model year and bough it.

Heck, it will be new experience compared to the standard trailers and it's all that I really need. Time will tell if the frig works as expected, but with a 3 year warranty I'm not too worried with Airstream experience I have had in the past.

Thanks for input folks,
Jack
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Old 10-02-2019, 03:25 PM   #7
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"I am not a man with patience . . ."

Well, we've firmly established that.

While the Novacool is generally a much better option than an absorption fridge (given you have adequate battery capacity), it only works well if ventilated to manufacturer's specifications. In your case, that would mean a minimum of 30sq/inches lower ventilation and the same amount of upper ventilation. It also helps if the area is behind is well insulated.

In my '2012 Avenue class b, Airstream chose to ignore those suggestions requiring me to add additional ventilation and a small exhaust fan. Not saying it won't work well (especially in milder weather), but it needs to be a proven design. A fan is probably included for the coils, but I'm not sure.

Good luck.
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Old 10-02-2019, 03:29 PM   #8
Tao
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Yes, you are so right! I can't run away from "Who" is am!

I'm going to give the BC X a try and looking forward to it.
My use is landscape photography and it's really all that I need.
I might stow a digital antenna and a SMALL TV somewhere.

I'll have fun with it and expect it will be the last major "toy" that I purchase in this lifetime.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:18 PM   #9
gsp
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Denver , Colorado
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It’ll be interesting to see what you think of the sleeping arrangement. I follow a lady who full-times in a basecamp, and she’s finally added a permanent mattress and will forego the setup/tear-down cycle.
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Old 10-03-2019, 03:43 AM   #10
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Photos

Now that Door # 1, # 2 # 3 is behind us,


Let's Se the Photos!

Is there an Instagram account we should be following?
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Old 10-03-2019, 05:12 AM   #11
Tao
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Chapel Hill , North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeeSag View Post
Now that Door # 1, # 2 # 3 is behind us,


Let's Se the Photos!

Is there an Instagram account we should be following?

Can do better than Instagram!
I rebuilt my own web site about a year ago with Word Press to share my photos and some of my writings.

My work can be found at http://www.shadowsdancing.com

Jack
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Old 10-03-2019, 05:19 AM   #12
Tao
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Chapel Hill , North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsp View Post
It’ll be interesting to see what you think of the sleeping arrangement. I follow a lady who full-times in a basecamp, and she’s finally added a permanent mattress and will forego the setup/tear-down cycle.
I've shrunk now in my "middle age phase" (73) to 6' 3" and when I laid in the bed at the dealers, I realized that to be comfortable I needed to be in the middle of the bed or on an angle.

As such, bed will normally be set up all the time.
I'll try the 1/2 bed setup initially, but expect it will be too small.

Do you know where she found a bed to fit the curvature of the area?
I like a really firm bed and that may also be an issue.

But I'll know shortly as I pick it up this afternoon.
Hope to get in a short test run to the coast next week for a couple of nights.

ANY pearls of wisdom from lessons learned in the BaseCamp that separates it from what I have learned for the prior Airstream rigs I have had would be appreciated.
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Old 10-04-2019, 05:29 AM   #13
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Try ABLifestyles

For your firm matress, try ablifestyles.

Their pocketed coil is fairly firm and they have the option to sell extra firm.
Not sure if they have the base camp in their selection yet.
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Old 01-19-2020, 09:55 AM   #14
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I hope that you found the Basecamp Bed Hack on this site: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f404...-168752-7.html


I did it to mine and see it as a must do. My 2019 Basecamp functions much better inside with the option for a 2/3 bed and 1/3 dinette.



Hope that your Basecamp is as enjoyable as I find mine.



Is it hard downsizing form a larger Airstream?



- Dr. Todd
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Old 01-19-2020, 11:04 AM   #15
Tao
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Thanks for your message.

I have pondered doing the modification but was hesitant cutting up the rig.

Did you do anything different from what the web site suggests?
Anything now that you have had it for a while that you would suggest doing differently?

No regrets in the downsizing. I like the substantially improved fuel economy I'm getting with my 2018 F150 diesel!

Two items I feel Airstream should have included in the X model that I feel are essential:
1. Backup lights!
2. Back up camera!

I camp frequently alone and it's a bitch backing into sites after dark without lights or a camera! It's a safety issue!

I'm also researching how to make the little stowage mesh areas on the side walls (with the red supports) into something much deeper with zipper access to various compartments. Yes, they would drop down enough to interfere with views out the windows but I'm not sitting inside unless its night time or raining.

Things I'm planning to add over this winter:
In/Out Thermometer

Reading lamp against the shower wall so I can lean back again that wall instead of the alum.

Change the current exhaust fan the one with a rain sensor. That way I can leave the hatch open for venting, fan off or on slow and if it rains the hatch closes. Alternative is a MaxAir cover but I'm not sure there is space for it to fit on the roof with the vertical vent pipe where it is.

Again, thank for your endorsement of the modification!
Jack
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Old 01-20-2020, 04:54 PM   #16
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Jack,


I'm glad to hear that you think downsizing is a good thing. My Basecamp fits me like a new ski suite, goggles and all. It is my first travel trailer and I've felt a little bad when I can't offer more room or over night guests. Even a Bambi offers a lot more space.


Personally I am really happy with my little Basecamp as it is easy for me to handle even in harder to get to remote spots.




Cut the bench:


I say just cut the bench! I was going to buy some replacement plywood then just went ahead and cut the original boards. Only regret is not doing it sooner.


I suggest cutting three of the four boards. Both boards on the curbside and one board over the street side. Cut the hinge on the curbside all the way through and on the street side halfway through. By cutting both boards on the curbside, you can more easily access the under bench storage. The original boards are laminated plywood and cut nicely. I suggest some tape on the cut line before cutting to help protect the laminate. I put a small radius on the inside front corners like Airstream has done and sanded it smooth. I thought I may need to place some edge trim, and after sanding the wood (it is light color, of nice quality) it blends in nicely.


Add a 3” foam topper. I laid the cushions on a memory foam bed topper and cut the foam to match. I got a comforter cover and cut and sewed it to size up with the foam. When I use the ¾ bed I fip the foam under. If I want it totally out of the way I roll it up and stow it under the curbside bed.


Do not hesitate to do this. It makes the interior much more practical. Like adding 3 feet in length inside.


And besides, you still have the five person dinette available for four guests in your trailer that has sleeping for two!


Backup Camera:
I agree that for the money Airstreeam should have pre-installed the wiring for a rear camera and lights. They could at least offer them as accessories. Don't they have all that stuff in stock in the factory anyhow? For me it be just as important to see something that popped up be behind your trailer after you checked your path like someone on a bike. I see the safety factor. That said I am amazed how easy this thing is to back into tight spots. Notice that it responds to input much faster in reverse than a longer trailer. I found this tricky at first.




Part of the beauty of the Basecamp is in in its simplicity and lower power draw. You could consider using a wireless camera like a go pro and your pone to view. Place the camera back in the spot that you want to back into and then watch yourself in the phone from behind. Alternatively I have a smart watch that connects to my phone camera and I can put the phone back outside in the spot and watch on my watch. This does not work in the rain.






Vent Cover:


Put the cover on the roof fan. It is a must! You need some ventilation, especially when it is rainy. I used the brand that matched the fan.


I suspect that if Airstream included the fan cover from the factory leak complaints would drop. The second day I owned my Basecamp I entered to find a puddle of water in front of the frige. Later saw water running down the inside of the front window and behind the front counter.


Took me a while to discover that my fan nob was loose and not closing the fan completely before the nob spun. Tightening the nob stopped the leak. Apparently water was entering at the fan, running inside the ceiling and down the front window.


I now have the fan cover and can keep the vent open in the rain and snow with no water entering. Fan cover is highly recommended.


If you attach to the shower wall I'd like to check it out in a photo. That wall looks thin and I was chicken to drill into it.


I am way into your idea of zip into shelves/wardrobe hanging under the rear rails. Could easily be made removable and retain the existing shelves above. Let us know how it goes. I hang a lot of things off those rails and a stowage area is a great idea!




P.S. your nature photography is awesome! The Basecamp can easily carry your medium-format body, lenses and tripod!


- Dr. T.
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Old 01-29-2020, 01:28 PM   #17
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continuous upgrade of 2017 to what i call super X

Backstory: I bought original 2017 and had the many problems (especially fridge) and still working on some (leaky rear door). If anyone on here is familiar with Lewister, I had him redo my electrical including new solar and replace fridge - also, boost for network.

Currently, upgrading to X - adding stone shields and raising frame for new wheels and tires.

The help I need - what wheels and tires should i settle on (size, make, etc) - from my Airstream experience I assume they didn't really consider from an engineering aspect and i don't have much knowledge myself.

So the original were 18 inch trailer wheels and tires with 255 width the X has 15 inch with 235 width. I live in Florida and take long 2 or 3 month trips - 4000 to 6000 miles - so the 18 inch dont go round and round as much which is good but i am planning long trips to more rugged parts of Canada and an Alaska trip and to do more boon docking in rugged areas like north rim GC.

So just looking for opinions on what i should mount on axles after I increase the clearance and any informational places you could point me to - i looked at 4X4 offroad sites (off road trailering doesn't seem to pop out anywhere )

Thanks in advance for anyones time and effort.
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Old 03-03-2020, 10:10 AM   #18
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Arlington Heightsi , Illinois
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Wheels/tires

Go with the stock BasecampX wheels and tires. They work perfectly in all conditions. I originally thought I would upgrade my trailer tires and wheels to match those on my truck. The longer I delayed the more I like the stock X set up.


Airstream got it right!



Interesting to note in the early trials with the Basecamp the standard tires could rub and required Airstream to change the axles. The lift on the X prevents tire rub even more.





-T.
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Old 03-10-2020, 04:37 PM   #19
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TAO,


Did you see that Airstream has added the bed hack as standard mid year 2020? I did my own cut / conversion. I did read that someone went to the factory service center and had their bed modified there in Ohio.


- Dr. T.



https://www.airstream.com/wp-content...re-2020.V2.pdf
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Old 03-10-2020, 10:14 PM   #20
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photo of new 2020 bed

here is the new bed
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