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Old 08-27-2019, 10:03 PM   #1
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2007 19' Bambi
Glen Mills , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 44
Thoughts on an Initial Trip

The Basics:
2007 Bambi 19
10 Days
2200 Miles
2 State parks
1 National park
2 Independent Campgrounds

The Thoughts:
We have towed a bunch, but not a travel trailer, so this was sort of a new experience. The Airstream attracts attention. Most know what it is, many assume it is older than it is, everyone thinks it is cool. We only saw 3 others on the road during the trip. None at anyplace we stayed. We thought we would see more. It towed beautifully. Great stability and handling. Fuel mileage was better than I expected at 13.1 mpg (TV is a Tacoma). Hot water heater was amazingly fast and hot! Awning worked well. The Fantastic fan was fantastic. There is plenty of storage.

Fridge worked well on propane, but not as well on electric. A couple of the plastic lighting covers fell off every time we got on the road, and one of the a/c filter covers did the same. A hinge, and a latch broke during the trip, but we had a couple of pretty rough patches of interstate in the northeast. It left us feeling more concerned about the beating that the trailer takes while being towed. Having the fridge turned off while towing is highly inconvenient. Bringing a cooler along to compensate seems silly when you have a full fridge.

State and national parks were better than Indy campgrounds both in price and in quality. However, a cell booster is not a luxury at those sites. Reviews and ratings are to be used more as general guides rather than for absolute accuracy. It is hard to drive 60-65mph on the Interstate. The right lane is usually in the worst condition, and is subject to on/off ramps.

A great learning trip overall, and we are looking forward to the next one now armed with greater knowledge.
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Old 08-27-2019, 10:46 PM   #2
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2019 27' Flying Cloud
Box Elder , South Dakota
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We are about to embark on our first real trip (a week at my mil's doesn't count). But from experience with our previous SOB, yes, National and State parks (and CoE parks) are preferred over commercial sites. Also try city parks and fairgrounds.
After a few trips, I stopped trying to stockpile anything much in the freezer...bread, cheese, nuts, that sort of thing works okay, but meat not so much. We only travel 3 or 4 hours at a stretch, too, which helps.
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Old 08-27-2019, 10:47 PM   #3
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Yes - you got a good shake down adventure.

Stuff coming loose - review tire pressure. Slow down when it's rough. Secure stuff with bungy cords.

Lots of storage - you have not made enough trips or should sell your how to secrete.

Hard to drive 60-65 on Interstates - slow down, stay away from the bunch ups trying to push their way through. Relax but stay attentive.

Right lane rougher - yes, it's the commercial traffic. Two lanes can be slower, but less stressful. Three lane interstates help considerably. New pavement is golden.

No fridge. Lots of discussion on this practice. Several approaches to consider. On, off only for fuel stops, on all the time unless restricted for tunnels and similar considerations/rationalizations and logic. Note, the tanks are supposed to have an excess flow valve should they come adrift.

So, start planning the next one. Your smiles are brightening up the Eastern sky. Pat
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Old 08-28-2019, 05:38 AM   #4
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Niagara on the Lake , Ontario
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Sounds like a great first trip.

Youíll soon find all the delicate parts of the trailer and things that need to be adjusted, tightened or a screw added here and there to keep it all together.

+1 on checking tire pressure.

On the fridge, I plug the trailer in a few days before any trip and get the fridge cooled down. Once itís cold and filled with cold things it will stay cold for a while with the door closed.
I try not to add any warm things to the fridge. Buy your beer already cold, not the warm ones on the shelf.
When traveling, I start the day with the fridge on propane and shut it off at the first gas stop. Unless itís extremely hot out I donít turn the fridge back on until we reach our destination for the day. Most of our travel days are short enough that I only have to buy one tank of fuel per day. I like to fuel the truck near the end of the day so that I donít have to look for gas just after departing in the morning.
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Old 08-28-2019, 09:34 AM   #5
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2017 30' Classic
2022 Interstate 24X
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

I would agree about the tire pressure. I'd also take a look at how your WD hitch is set up. Final check would be how heavily loaded you have the trailer. There's not a lot of "payload" in a 19'.

One other possibility is that you live in a state that does a poor job of paving the roads ... err ... ummm.... Oh, you live where I do ... yup, unpaved roads

Light covers and vent covers both can be fiddled to fit tighter. That would be the first step.

======

By far the most common comment we get from non-AS owners: "Do they still make those?". Obviously AS advertising does not get out very well

Bob
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Old 08-28-2019, 02:42 PM   #6
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Things that fall off...Ö.. If it is basically a screw vibrating loose use a little clear finger nail polish on the screw.
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Old 08-28-2019, 03:36 PM   #7
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What is the message with the tire pressure--implying the pressure was too high? Or too low?

Thanks for the notes on your trip. Vermont has a web page with a map of our roads and colors indicating their pavement condition. I wonder if other states do too?
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Old 08-29-2019, 06:35 AM   #8
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2007 19' Bambi
Glen Mills , Pennsylvania
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Thanks for all of the comments. I am not sure where the tire pressure comments are coming from, as I installed a TPMS before the trip, it worked brilliantly, and we were always in the optimal range. We towed about 6 hours on a typical day when moving. As for the comments on speed, I guess I need to recalibrate :-) 60mph on the interstate feels slow, and we slowed even more when it was rougher. We became a lot more sensitive to the state of the pavement, transitions for overpasses, construction zones, etc. As for the Fridge, we did plug in a few days prior based on comments on this forum, and we did not really use the freezer. 5-6 hours (at 85+ degrees) was enough to impact butter and drinks and a sandwich or two. We have not yet decided on the whole leaving it on while driving debate, so we erred on the side of not doing so for an initial trip. We also did not research where it is not legal to do so.

The last point I will mention is this community. It helped pre-purchase, pre-trip, during the trip, and now post-trip. It is probably the most valuable companion asset to the AS. And great value for money too ;-)
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Old 08-29-2019, 06:53 AM   #9
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2007 19' Bambi
Glen Mills , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Aug 2019
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

I would agree about the tire pressure. I'd also take a look at how your WD hitch is set up. Final check would be how heavily loaded you have the trailer. There's not a lot of "payload" in a 19'.

One other possibility is that you live in a state that does a poor job of paving the roads ... err ... ummm.... Oh, you live where I do ... yup, unpaved roads

Light covers and vent covers both can be fiddled to fit tighter. That would be the first step.

======

By far the most common comment we get from non-AS owners: "Do they still make those?". Obviously AS advertising does not get out very well

Bob
Thanks uncle_bob, we have a Curt wd hitch and sway control that I thought worked well, but I have no basis for comparison. I have previously towed thousands of miles with heavier loads, and without a wd hitch. We had maybe 150lbs of stuff in the trailer, so we were well under the payload. We did start out with a full fresh water tank, empty grey and empty black. The big difference IMHO is how delicate the cargo is in the trailer. An enclosed trailer with a classic car in it is just much more rugged than a tiny home! Our great state of PA had the worst roads on the trip, as seen through our new eyes. A national map of trailer-friendly (or trailer-unfriendly) roads would be worth some $$.
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Old 08-29-2019, 07:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fawudd View Post
We have not yet decided on the whole leaving it on while driving debate...
After the first time I left it on while driving the debate was over for me. If other people want to continue to debate it that's up to them.
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Old 08-29-2019, 08:45 AM   #11
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Tire pressure - needs to be enough to support load and least that will do that job. A Bambi does not scrub like a dual axle, but does need a stiff side wall for sway resistance. So review how you established your pressure range and see if there is the option of lowering it a bit. May not be, but that was the reason for prior comments. A light gear load out might give you some adjustment bandwidth.

Note, you have same issue with the tow vehicle tire pressure as that shock gets transferred to the trailer.

There is an extensive thread on the experience of folks having better results with softer hitch spring bars when using a stiff suspension tow vehicle. Worth a look as hitch education.

The hitch design can have an impact on how well the trailer rides. Some designs use stiff spring bars. Others are more flexible. Getting the right mix for your travel style takes some sensitive tuning and compromise decisions.

So, experience and knowledge from research is you friend. Sometimes the only short term solution is to slow down and find smooth road surfaces. Towing places restrictions on your travel that are not in place when traveling solo.

Travel safe. Hope to see you down the road. Pat
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