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Old 08-28-2018, 09:10 AM   #1
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Jim Thorpe , Pennsylvania
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Advice - Buying our first Airstream - 19' 1999 Bambi

We are picking it up on Friday and off for the weekend camping. Any tips for our first time with this model. Are there any must do's or don'ts for our maiden voyage?

We really like the feedback on this forum!

Jack
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:36 AM   #2
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Have fun, if things go wrong don't let it get you down! You are going on an adventure!
Just have fun!

And remember to take along every tool and every part you may need-Bwahahaha

Take along a notepad and jot down questions and issues, and then return here to get your answers-maybe.
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:59 AM   #3
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@vintagemotor - Thanks! That really is good advice!
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Old 08-28-2018, 11:39 AM   #4
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Welcome. We have a 2008 19' and love it. Have fun

Remember to raise the stabilizers (by the way they are NOT levelers) before raising or lowering the tongue jack.

Happy trails,
Mike
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Old 08-28-2018, 12:03 PM   #5
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Your 1999 probably has a small blackwater tank just like our 2002, so you may want to make sure you don't get it too full. Easy to see the level, just look down the toilet with the valve open.


Tim
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Old 08-29-2018, 09:32 AM   #6
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2018 25' International
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Congratulations and enjoy your first trip. Please do join one of the Airstream clubs. If you’re not sure about that you can also join as an associate to one that’s in your area. Of course you want to join the international Wally’s group. The magazine we get each month gives us a plethora of great information I have to say those folks answered all questions on our first trip to years ago. We even had their cell phone number should we have a problem arise no matter what the hour. We sent have become full members and are enjoying being with all of our new Airstream Friend on a few caravans & local trips. Many have been Airstream mean for a few decades and know every trick in the book, and know all about the in’s and outs of our beautiful Airstream‘s . You have just open the door to great adventures and roads less traveled. Enjoy yourself
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Old 08-29-2018, 10:14 AM   #7
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Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

Welcome !!!!

You are running a trailer that's almost old enough to vote. It may have been lovingly cared for by a single owner who never changed anything. It also might have been owned part of the time by some guy named Bob . Download the manuals from the Airstream site and look through them. Start off with the assumption that the trailer is "as built" but verify things as you go along .....

Getting out and going camping *is* the best way to do things !!!

Bob
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Old 08-29-2018, 10:48 AM   #8
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If you did not get a check-list with your Bambi, start one and use it on every adventure.

Congrats on the Bambi - we love our 2002 19' Bambi we call thumper.
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Old 08-29-2018, 01:41 PM   #9
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San Jose , California
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19 footer

Hi Jack,

I have a 2017 19 footer and would tell you itís super fun and I am glad I bought small. Make sure you check tires and pressure. Would recommend you get a tire pressure and temp monitor. I find the gray water tank is the weakness with mine. Itís the first resource that gets used up every trip. Black water has plenty of room.

Read up on the switches and modes. Takes time to understand it all.

You should join the Airstream 19íers on Facebook. Others post about things they are up to.

Enjoy your first trip!
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Old 08-29-2018, 03:17 PM   #10
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All great responses that I can't add to. We started with a 19' for 5 years and it was great. Go with a great attitude and enjoy!
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Old 08-29-2018, 04:33 PM   #11
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If you haven't already replaced the tires, I would seriously consider determining the age of the tires by looking at their DOT code date. ST (dedicated) trailer tires should be replaced every 3 to 5 years, even if the "look" good. This is especially important on a single axle trailer.
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Old 08-30-2018, 06:51 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by SilverWind View Post
If you haven't already replaced the tires, I would seriously consider determining the age of the tires by looking at their DOT code date. ST (dedicated) trailer tires should be replaced every 3 to 5 years, even if the "look" good. This is especially important on a single axle trailer.
Hi

Tires and battery(s) are generally on the short list of things to replace. Pulling the wheels to check the brakes and hubs is also a *really* good idea.

On a trailer that has halogen lighting, I'd start replacing them with LED's. Your batteries will appreciate the change . Having lights that don't burn out is also a plus.

Flushing the water system and running a bit of bleach + water mix through it is well worth the time *if* you will be drinking the trailer water or cooking with it.

None of this should be taken as a knock on the original owner. They may have done all of this already. There's no reason to replace one year old tires or six month old batteries. It's simply a *guess* that there are some checks needed. A lot of trailers spend a few years "in storage" before they are sold ....

Bob
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Old 08-30-2018, 09:37 AM   #13
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Thanks to everyone for the replies! Seriously appreciate all the comments.
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Old 08-30-2018, 10:12 AM   #14
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I was really stressing my first time out because I was going on a journey, not just an outing. I think I would have been more at ease if my first trip out was just an hour away or so. You probably have your trip already planned, but if you don't, well, just consider a short one to build up your confidence.

Also, less is more. Don't over pack (clothes, food, stuff) but bring plenty of paper towels and a few old rags. I'm not into paper plates but they come in handy when you're not in the mood to wash dishes.

Always check your air pressure. There's a lot of nails and garbage out on the open road.

Relax.
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:33 AM   #15
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Hi

Our first couple "trips" were relatively short, close to shopping, and not horribly far from home. That helped with the "forgot this and that" sort of issues.

Of course, that is in no way to say that those issues totally go away after you settle in to doing this. Our first trip this year ... hmmm.... did you close the garage? ... though you closed it ... let's check the camera ... looks open to me ... back home we go

Bob
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Old 08-31-2018, 09:57 AM   #16
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Used to refer to this syndrome as "Departure loop-the-loops" before we got better at doing the checklist...took at least three tries to get under way.
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Old 09-02-2018, 07:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanJoe View Post
Hi Jack,

I have a 2017 19 footer and would tell you itís super fun and I am glad I bought small. Make sure you check tires and pressure. Would recommend you get a tire pressure and temp monitor. I find the gray water tank is the weakness with mine. Itís the first resource that gets used up every trip. Black water has plenty of room.

Read up on the switches and modes. Takes time to understand it all.

You should join the Airstream 19íers on Facebook. Others post about things they are up to.

Enjoy your first trip!
Not findinding the Facebook forum, more info? Thanks

Oh and we just returned from 9 days in our 19fc with 6 days in the same spot with no hook ups, 100 watt portable solar kept us at full charge and we never needed to dump although we did use the campground bathrooms some.
We are frugal campers and as someone here says "your mileage may vary".
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Alan
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