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Old 05-03-2014, 12:38 PM   #1
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Removing the Awning on a 2004 16' Bambi to Save Weight

I'm considering removing the CS awning on my AS trailer to increase cargo carrying capacity.

1) Is this a do-it-yourself project, or should I have the dealer do it?
2) The awning seems so small that I can't imagine that it actually is very useful. Am I wrong? Would you miss it if you took it off?
3) Most importantly - Does anyone have an idea of how much the entire system weighs including the awning, the support arms, etc.?
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Old 05-03-2014, 01:19 PM   #2
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It's always nice to have the awning when there is rain. I agree that yours is not very large though.
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Old 05-03-2014, 02:59 PM   #3
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What is a cs awning?
Our 16' Bambi has a Awning that can't weigh more than 40 pounds....
I can think of lots of ways to better save weight...Why exactly do you want to save weight?
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Old 05-03-2014, 03:05 PM   #4
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Curb side...
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Old 05-03-2014, 03:08 PM   #5
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Awnings really help keep things cool. I think every little bit helps. Personally I would get a season of experience under your belt to determine their usefulness to you! I think you'll opt to keep them! For your little Airstream there can't be 100 pounds of weight.
If you get into removing usefull things, the law of diminishing returns comes into play.
I would remove the television before the awnings.
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Old 05-03-2014, 03:15 PM   #6
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Assuming it is a "Zip-Dee" brand, and that CS means curb-side, I don't believe Zip Dee lists weights of any of their awnings on their website.. You'd probably need to call them to see how much it weighs.. Their website is awningsbyzipdee.com
I am also inclined to think the benefits on a hot or rainy day outweigh the potential weight savings, but at least if you called you would know for sure.. There are other options for weight saving, like an air bed mattress, or limiting cookware and dishes/glassware. Also not sure if you are trying to lighten load for tow vehicle or trying to comply with Airstream GVWR limits.. Committing to tow with less than full tanks can save a lot of weight, as can keeping clothing, etc. in the tow vehicle. There is even the possible option to consider upgrading axles or wheels/tires to feel better about weights a few pounds of GVWR... (You might talk to a dealer to get more credible recommendations...)
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Old 05-03-2014, 03:23 PM   #7
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I personally feel the Airstream is built to be serviceable at a moments notice. We keep ours loaded with everything at all times and enjoy them as though we are camping at the Savoy! We are heavyweights in both weighing in well over 10k with equipment designed to start and stop. A Bambi is a lightweight, unless you tow with a Fiat 500 I suggest you try keeping it serviceable, and if needed up rate your tug!
You'll quickly learn to shave weight and splurge on the things that bring pleasure and comfort.
My PanAmerica has 11 feet of garage.... Think of the tonnage I have there! Ready for any event!
Just get out there and live.
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Old 05-03-2014, 03:35 PM   #8
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Unlike the Pan America, some of the Bambi's only have a narrow gap between empty weight and GVWR. A 16' Bambi Sport spec suggests less than 300# of cargo with full tanks and an awning and air conditioner...
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Old 05-03-2014, 03:41 PM   #9
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Oh I didn't realize the margins. I could keep a lil' Bambi in my garage!

I think stuff like removing heavy mattresses in lieu of air beds, composite dishes, movies on a server instead of Disc would be a huge weight shaver. Really only 300 pounds? That's like a grocery store run and a bottle of brandy!
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Old 05-03-2014, 03:46 PM   #10
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I can tell you enjoy "Living Large" but little Bambi's with little tanks and little bathrooms and little kitchens are built light and with minimal capacities for extra's.. We're sort of in the middle with about 1,000# for fluids, stuff and options...
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Old 05-03-2014, 03:49 PM   #11
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We full time between the 2 units. You get used to having huge capacities without really thinking about it!
2 totally different beasts. There are many days I wish it was just me and a dog.... Could be 25 feet shorter.
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Old 05-03-2014, 04:27 PM   #12
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I would keep the awning...it will come in handy and it doesn't weight that much. There are better ways to reduce weight...like traveling with no water in the fresh water tank, an air mattress as mentioned, and taking the bare minimum with you in terms of cooking utensils, food, cloths and gear. I can't imagine not having one on our 19' Bambi... In fact, we added a street side and rear awning to our Bambi...it really makes a huge difference in keeping the inside temps down, especially in our climate.

If you do remove the awning and do it yourself, be very careful removing the tube...there is LOT of spring tension inside that tube and it can be dangerous if unleashed on the human body.
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Old 05-03-2014, 04:52 PM   #13
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Besides, full awnings look just plain cool when deployed!

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Old 05-03-2014, 05:20 PM   #14
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I just looked at the specs for our 2012 16' International and the sticker on the side says that the dry weight of the trailer is 3300 pounds with a max gvwr of 4300 pounds....
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Old 05-03-2014, 10:43 PM   #15
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First, a big thanks to all of you for the feedback. I will leave the awning on for a season and then reconsider the pluses and minuses. I really want to stay cool and dry, and I'm hoping that my tiny awning will help in both regards.

I'm trying to stay within AS's GVWR of 3,500 lbs. Our trailer is listed at 3,117 lbs. dry with no dealer-installed options. We have several options installed on the trailer. I'm just not exactly sure which of these options were "dealer-installed" so I don't know what additional weight I need to factor in. Unfortunately I haven't yet weighed the trailer to see what our real dry weight is. I plan to do that in the next week or two. Then I'll have some solid data.

Nevertheless, I have a maximum cargo carrying capacity of 383 lbs. with NO liquids. Add propane and enough water to flush the toilet a few times plus the weight of the dealer-installed options, and I won't have the capacity to carry much - certainly not a generator, a big cooler filled with ice, food and beer, etc.. Our TV (a 2005 Toyota Sienna) has almost no cargo capacity left either, so I can't afford to shift any weight to it. I know that a beefier TV needs to be in our future, but I'm just not sure that will happen quickly. Also, I really like the idea of keeping the Bambi ready to roll - all packed up with our normal gear so that I can just hook up on a whim, and hit the road.

As suggested I think the key for me is to run with minimal fluids. I'll investigate the air mattress suggestions too. I've already gotten about as minimal as I think I can get for cooking/eating supplies. I'll also have to make sure not to carry any frivolous junk. So far I've been considering weight on all of my trailer's equipment purchase decisions. I'm trying to take a lightweight backpacker's approach to Airstreaming.

I wish my trailer had a GVWR of 4,300 Lbs.! That would solve this problem. I wonder what AS did to increase the GVWR by 800 Lbs. What would I need to do to beef up my trailer to safely mimic AS's 4,300 lb. build?
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Old 05-04-2014, 12:03 AM   #16
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Hi, you might consider changing your axle; Canadian Bambis have a higher GVWR.
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Old 05-04-2014, 12:57 AM   #17
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I know that the axel, wheels and tires are different on the 2012 Sport and International 16's. Not sure what else might have been changed to support the additional weight.
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Old 05-04-2014, 07:11 AM   #18
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Have you actually measured the weight of the thing on a scale as opposed to picking a number out of a hat?

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Old 05-05-2014, 07:15 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
Have you actually measured the weight of the thing on a scale as opposed to picking a number out of a hat?

Perry
No I haven't weighed the thing - I already explained that. I didn't pick a number "out of a hat" either. I pulled it "out of the closet." That's where AS put it.

When I feel grumpy I find that adding some fiber to my diet often helps.
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:49 PM   #20
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Your numbers seem to correlate with the factory specs for the 16' Sport... Dealer options are generally in area of rock guards or extra window awnings.. Factory usually (though not always..) installs heavier ones like Awning, A/C, Spare Tire, Television/Stereo, etc...


I agree with others that heavier rated axle ( I suspect your axle is rated/tagged as a 3200# axle..) is where the GVWR limit came from, since remainder of load is on the hitch/tongue... There are 3 ratings to consider before upgrading: Axles, wheels and tires.. Each tire needs to be able to carry half of higher rated axle load, and wheels need to be rated strong enough as well.. I don't believe there was any difference in frame/sub floor or structure, so those are the path to more "stuff" inside...
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