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Old 10-16-2002, 03:02 PM   #21
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Originally posted by gwsullivan
Hubba, the worst case scenario for the 2wd Tahoe is 6700 pounds towing.
True, with the 5.3L (and 3.42:1) but the 4.8L is only 4700 lbs with that axle. Given that the Tahoe uses 265/70X16 (2WD) or X 17 (off-road pkg) tires, and the 5.3L is one of these new higher-rpm engines, I'd definitely opt for the 3.73:1 axle with limited slip (7,700 lbs). I'd also seriously consider 4WD for pulling up steep grades in the rain, not to mention boondocking on dew-laden grass, or if the Bambi's tires (which have as much load on them as those on a 9,000 lb 31' dual-axle) get stuck in the mud. It's no higher than the 2WD Tahoe and has the same turning radius. A little heavier, yes, but you'll be glad to have that tow vehicle weight if you ever have a flat tire or brake failure on a single-axle trailer. And the 4WD only gives up 1 EPA mpg to the 2WD.

Just my thoughts on it...
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Old 10-16-2002, 04:12 PM   #22
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RoadKingMoe:

Thanks for the reply. It seems to me that the Tahoe, at 16 and a half feet, it close enough in length to the 19' Bambi that there shouldn't be any tail wagging, right?

Our usage will be close to 100% in State Parks and developed campgrounds or taking long highway trips. Although we have tent camped and sleeping bag/air mattress camped for all of our 32 years of marriage, I don't see us boondocking, etc. - we're just looking to get off the ground into a small quality trailer and not have to spend 3 hours setting up and taking down camp in order to move on.

I love the 22' International AS, but I feel it is too big for our purposes that can be met with a snug Bambi - after all, we spend our time cycling/hiking/out-and-about, not in the trailer. Although our 3 children are grown and the grandchild count is increasing, we are looking to purchase just for ourselves.
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Old 10-16-2002, 04:22 PM   #23
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decided!

Craig, Maurice, et al,

Wife and I have decided thanks in no small part to this thread, next puller will definitely be: a) full size 3/4 ton pickup, b) diesel, c) automatic trans, and d) 4WD. Remaining decisions are New or Used, Chevy, GMC, Ford or Dodge, extended cab or crew cab. Since we have at least a few years before we go mission critical, I expect lots more good advice from all you fine folks at the forums!
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Old 10-16-2002, 04:38 PM   #24
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19-footer

Hubba,

You will find the 19-foot Bambi to be exceptionally comfortable for an outdoorsy couple. We have been using ours for two seasons and have already decided to keep it for full-time use after our retirement (soon). Also met a great couple last summer who had taken theirs to all 48 contiguous states and all Canadian provinces in their retirement travels.

We find the floorplan of the 19-footer to be the most efficient use of space of all trailers we looked at, love the fact that it feels bigger than it is, and even though we are above avg. height (6-0 and 5-6) the corner bed is perfectly comfortable for us.

When we do head out on our own, we will no longer have to drop the dinette for the kids, and that will be as close to perfection as we need to get.

We wish you the best of luck, and hope you enjoy your Bambi as much as we do. If you have any questions feel free to email!
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Old 10-16-2002, 04:48 PM   #25
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cactushead,
I hear that Dodge is looking at an improved Cummins diesel engine and since Chevy has made such a hit with the quiet but strong Duramax, you should see improved diesels from not only those companies but from Chevy (Isuzu who makes the engine) also to stay ahead. It will be an interesting few years in the making. You should have plenty of choices of used or new when you are ready.
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Old 10-16-2002, 05:27 PM   #26
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Craig,
Just read a review of the new 2003 Cummins in Trailer Life (oct'02). 80% quieter at idle, 40% fewer parts than typical diesel v-8's, 16,300 lbs tow cap., 15,000 mile oil change interval, etc, etc.

You're right, sounds like the diesel wars are about to heat up. Good news for us!
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Old 10-16-2002, 05:31 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hubba
RoadKingMoe:

Thanks for the reply. It seems to me that the Tahoe, at 16 and a half feet, it close enough in length to the 19' Bambi that there shouldn't be any tail wagging, right?
Hubba, I'm just not a fan of single-axle trailers. If a tire goes down on one side, there can definitely be tail-wagging! Especially with a tall, narrow trailer. Even though it's a 4,500 or so lb trailer trying to move a 5,000 lb tow vehicle, the wagging's effect on the tow vehicle's rear axle is multiplied by the sum of the wheelbase and rear axle to ball distance divided by the wheelbase... about 140% in the case of the Tahoe.

I wouldn't be as concerned about a flat with a good anti-sway hitch, such as the Hensley , the Pullrite or at least a Draw-Tite or Reese Dual-Cam hitch. Some here would say they're overkill with a Bambi being pulled by a Tahoe. I wouldn't... not if you ever have a flat.
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Old 10-16-2002, 05:45 PM   #28
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Good deal, cactushead. One of the reasons I bought a left over 2002 is because I won't buy a new vehicle, engine, etc in the first two years of its production. The 7.3L PSD may not be the best, but it's been around awhile and is pretty well proven. In two years, this new Ford 6.0L/5-speed auto should have all the teething problems worked out... of course there's a new design Superduty due out in 2005. Should be an interesting next few years.
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Old 10-16-2002, 05:49 PM   #29
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Great Info Here...

For the 11,000 miles a year I put on my truck, and the price of diesel fuel in my area, the big block gas motors are best for my situation. The numbers just don't justify a diesel for me. I am completely satisfied with the way my 7.4 L (454) pulls my 31 footer. I can pass anyone I want to on the Interstates, and can "run with the pack".
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Old 10-16-2002, 10:51 PM   #30
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RoadKingMoe:

Thanks for your thoughts on a single axle trailer. The Bambi is the only Airstream trailer with a single axle - so, it must work. However, your thoughts are well taken. If I move up to the 22' International AS (don't care for the CCD) I get two axles but do not need the added length - the Bambi is just fine. I have read over and over how individuals swear by the particular type of anti-sway mechanism they use, but I've thought to myself that that must be over-kill for a 19' trailer. Perhaps it isn't. One thing for sure: for every person who feels one way there is someone out there that can make a case for the opposite viewpoint. There are no correct answers in the RV world. So, I keep looking for what makes the most sense to me.

Any of you out there pull a 19' Bambi with anti-sway equipment?

Why? Why not?

Thanks to all for your helpful comments and thoughts!
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Old 10-17-2002, 01:16 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally posted by davidz71
cactushead,
I hear that Dodge is looking at an improved Cummins diesel engine and since Chevy has made such a hit with the quiet but strong Duramax, you should see improved diesels from not only those companies but from Chevy (Isuzu who makes the engine) also to stay ahead. It will be an interesting few years in the making. You should have plenty of choices of used or new when you are ready.
I began to reflect on that, and have come to the conclusion that the diesel trucks are now getting into "the crotch rocket wars". If a cycle magazine publishes that a new bike will go 0 to 60 in 2.3 seconds or 178 mph vs the previous king's 2.5 seconds or 175 mph, readers think they gotta have the new one, and it's a big coup for the winning manufacturer... even though in the real world, especially on the street, but even on the track, there's little difference in real world performance.

GM now has the new Duramax which trumped the PSD, so now Ford's got the new PSD with a 5-speed auto, which regained the crown, and GMs working to get it back. What does it mean to us?

Well, just for grins, I thought I'd compare my "old PSD" to the Duramax. I found the gear ratios out on the net, but won't post 'em here.

With the same size tires and 3.73:1 axles, from 55-70 mph in OD (0.71:1) both the Isuzu/GM Duramax/Allison and the older International/Ford Powerstroke/E4OD should be running 1,400 to 1,800 rpm, with less than 1% difference in torque... at wide open throttle. Doesn't really matter though, since both transmissions will downshift to Drive before they'll let you put 520 or so ft-lbs through their OD gears with WOT.

Coming up on a hill and downshifting to Drive (1.0:1 or "direct drive"), they should both now be running in the 45-70 mph range from 1,600 to about 2,500 rpm range, again with less than 1% difference in torque.

If we're full throttle at 45 mph, they're going one gear lower, the GM to third (1.41 and about 2256 rpm) and the Ford to second (1.54 and about 2464 rpm). At these rpms, the GM will have a 2% advantage in engine torque, while Ford will have a 9% advantage in torque multiplication from the gearing, for a 7% advantage. That will diminish as the rpms go up and the Ford torque drops faster than the GM's, until the Ford shifts up to Drive at 62 mph at 3,400 rpm. At that speed, the GM will be at its hp peak of 3,100 rpm and have a 40% mechanical advantage up to 68 mph, if it also shifts to Drive at 3,400 rpm.

So there ya have it... the GM will win the 62-68 mph race if both drivers are willing to rev their engines to 3,400 rpm. And yeah, if you use full throttle from a stop light for magazine test 0-60 mph and 1/4 mile drag strip times, with or without a trailer, the GM will be quicker with its very low 1st and 2nd gear. In these gears, the GM is at it's 3,100 rpm peak horsepower point at the same mph the Ford is at it's 2,600 rpm peak horsepower point and they'll again be within one-two percent of each others torque at these points.

Remember the post I made about calculating hp and torque and what I wrote about horsepower meaning you can use gearing? Here it is in real life. The GM has a 14% mechanical advantage in 1st gear, and a 17% advantage in 2nd gear, over the Ford... which made it the winner until 2003 and the new PSD. That's why horsepower (torque X rpm)/5252 is important in racing and magazine test results.

What's the difference between the two climbing a highway grade in the mountains with a 9,800 lb trailer? The numbers say not very much at all in the rpms we're usually using. Keep in mind these peak hp and torque specs are at full throttle. At anything less the difference is only how far each throttle is pressed.
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Old 10-17-2002, 05:35 AM   #32
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Bambi and anti-sway equipment

We do use a friction sway control on our Bambi. With the Dodge extended cab 3/4 ton Diesel it probable is overkill. However, it didn't cost much and if it provides a small margin of safety then it is well worth it. I have towed with and without the sway device and can sense a difference when big truck rigs pass by, enough to know that the device when used does make a difference.

We love the size of the Bambi. We are still pretty far from retirement but when we saw the Bambi we just took the plunge. One thing I did discover that even makes it seem more spacious is to take out the dinnette completely and use a couple of folding oak TV dinner tables(got them at Walmart for around $10 each). Both or only one can be folded up and put out of the way. Makes it feel like a lounge area when the tables are put away. We use the dinnettes oak frame and the drop down platforms behind them to put our drinks and snacks. Works very well.

Another thing we did was to replace the carpet with wood flooring. I matched the oak in the trailer with a little lighter oak flooring and it really looks rich. Easy to maintain as well.

In reality, there is a lot an individual can do to these little trailers to make them more functional, comfortable and personable. Take for instance the vent fan over the oven. It comes with one speed and sounds like a hurricane. I saw an article about adding a resistor and small switch to make it into a two speed fan. We now used it on low and it really helps. I am not much of a electrician but these types of things can be done by someone with simple abilities. Other things such as adding oak magazine racks (from Camping World) helps to keep things tidy. One other thing I did was lengthen to dinnette bed to accommodate our college son when he does occasionally come with us. The original dinnette lenth was approximately 74 inches. I took the street side(sink side) of the dinnette apart cut an opening in the wood back support of the dinnette that matched the width of the dinnette bed. Used the cut out piece of wood and took a piano hinge put it back on so it opens toward the dinnette table when you take the dinnettes back cushion off. it lays flat against the dinnettes wood bottom seat. the exposed opening (has the water tank and fuse box below) I built a small frame to match the height of the dinnette wood seat, made a small cushion to go on top of the frame that matches the height of the original seat cushion. So now when our son comes with us I make up the dinnette bed by taking the cushions off, folding down the hinged back support wood, then put the cushions on the dinnette(one seat cushion goes on top of the hinged fold down wood back support). they now butt to the cushion made inside the opening and instead of the 74 inches it measures 85 inches by the sink to 81 inches toward the front of the trailer taking into account the trailers curve. That now is the end where his big (13 size) feet extend and he doesn't have to crunch up now. One other thing, the shelf behind dinnette's wood back was raised up about 5 inches to allow him to lay with his feet sticking up. THAT WAS A LONG STORY BUT JUST GOES TO SHOW YOU WHAT IS POSSIBLE WITH A LITTLE THOUGHT. We have done other things as well but that will be another story.

I would like to hear how others have personalized their Bambi. Those things might be something we would like to entertain as well. That is what makes this forum so interesting is sharing with others.

Thanks,

Bob Caldwell
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Old 10-17-2002, 06:08 AM   #33
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Anti Sway Advantage

Hi Hubba;

Back in the 60's my dad was a high school teacher and had a small RV dealership (on the side) down near Windsor Ontario. He sold Mallard, Holiday Rambler, and Apache's. No trailers over 19 feet and all were single axle.

At the end of the season in August we would go on a two week vacation usually to the Maritimes. Whatever trailer was left on the lot we would use for the trip. One year while going through Quebec we traveled on freshly paved road that was raised and had gravel shoulders about 5 inches lower than the pavement.

Well the worse thing happened. The combination got too close to the edge and one wheel of the 16 ft Mallard ( single axle ) dropped off the pavement. The next few seconds were scary as the car and trailer swayed all over the road, finally regaining control.
Back then we used a Equalizer hitch but I believe sway control was still on the drawing boards. Today our 23 foot L/Y came with the Reese Dual Cam ( built in sway control ) and I was amazed at the difference this hitch makes on the overall drive and its potential to help in emergency situations.

The Bambi is a larger trailer and is much heavier than the small Mallard that I refered to. I believe that an anti sway device or special hitch would add a large safety margin to your combination.

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Old 10-17-2002, 08:37 AM   #34
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I love these discussions! funny how different our experineces can be.

I suppose if I had 30,40, 50 thousand+ for a new AS, plus another 40 or more for a tow vehicle, I'd drop 3 grand on a hensley hitch. Heck, I might buy a spare, too. or perhaps I'd consider it if I were towing my trailer with a mini-van!! (sorry Wayne, couldn't resist!).

All I can say is that I have yet to feel any sway while towing my 23 foot trailer with my 1/2-ton pickup. Last weekend, I even took my hands off the wheel while 18-wheelers passed me on the highway. nuthin'. not a thing.
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Old 10-17-2002, 08:49 AM   #35
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Chuck, it sounds like you have your Safari pretty well balanced. I think the proper tongue weight makes towing much more pleasurable.
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Old 10-17-2002, 09:02 AM   #36
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Lack of sway

chuck

I did the same thing on my first trip with the 22' International behind my Silverado. I had a stiff crosswind and a road with a wide, paved shoulder for safety. I relaxed my grip on the wheel as an 18-wheeler passed at high speed. There was substantially no reaction except a gentle push by the bow wave as the truck passed. I have just a single Reese sway bar.

The 4WD truck is actually a lot less wind sensitive with the trailer in tow than it is without it. The truck always feels a little goosey by itself right after dropping the trailer at the storage yard.

BTW re blowouts with single-axle trailers. I have blown a total of 4 tires on 3 different single-axle trailers and 3 blowouts on two different tandem-axle trailers over the last 25 years. There was no swaying at all in any event... just a lot of drag and noise. I think all the fuss about blowouts and instability on single-axle trailers is overblown. Frankly, I can't tell the difference.
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Old 10-17-2002, 09:16 AM   #37
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I've had a blowout with a single-axle large utility trailer and a boat trailer. In both cases, they were all over the road. So was a camper driven by a friend I was following one day. So my experience has been quite different from yours.
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Old 10-17-2002, 09:32 AM   #38
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I blew a tire on a Cesna 172 once, on landing. (and it was a nice, gentle landing, too). I guess the tire just had enough. anyway....no biggie. just had a shorter roll-out. good thing this particular airplane had a lot of prop-clearance.

never had any sort of blow-out in a ground-vehicle.
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Old 10-17-2002, 09:55 AM   #39
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Due to the heat and high-speeds, I had many blow-outs with a Chevy Impala in my years in Saudi Arabia. These would be radially spread sidewall blowouts or tread separation. Often carried 2-3 spares going cross-kingdom, but it wasn't a biggie as far as handling.

The worst I ever had was a tube split in the front tire of a motorcycle going about 70 mph. The handlebars went into a tank-slapper and I was just lucky to keep it upright until it came to a stop.

In 40 years of riding motorcycles on the street, that was the closest I ever came to needing a helmet. I don't wear one now... and that's no different from towing years without sway control and never needing it. The odds of needing either (or a seat belt for that matter) are very low and decrease with experience. However, the odds of needing any of those are NOT ZERO! The difference is that I don't tell new riders or those with much less experience they don't need a helmet either... quite the opposite... I tell them they DO.
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Old 10-17-2002, 10:21 AM   #40
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I have a Reese Equalizer with a single Reese friction type anti-sway bar. Pulling with a relatively short wheelbase Land Rover Discovery, the 19' Bambi has no sway.
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