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Old 06-02-2022, 10:00 PM   #1
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Custom Order Options?

Hi,

I'm considering ordering a 2023 Caravel 16RB. How much customizing can you do? For example, I do not like/want the rear bumper or the rock guards in the front. Can I order without these things and could I add instead the 3M rock guard coating?

I also don't understand why it comes with two propane tanks if the refrigerator is electric only. Why is the fridge electric only? Why do you need so much propane?

I also don't like that the gray and black tank are combined (maybe even a deal breaker for me) but obviously that wouldn't be something you could change.

Has anyone moved the batteries inside and to the rear? (Of course you would also need to enclose them and allow outside venting)

I know you need 10-15% tongue weight, but if you put that aside and not consider it for now, how much customization does Airstream allow on orders?

One more thing......there are alot more things I like about the Caravel than I dislike, so I don't mean to sound so negative in this post. I'm just trying to get these details sorted out.
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Old 06-02-2022, 10:21 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobynE View Post
Hi,

I'm considering ordering a 2023 Caravel 16RB. How much customizing can you do? For example, I do not like/want the rear bumper or the rock guards in the front. Can I order without these things and could I add instead the 3M rock guard coating?

I also don't understand why it comes with two propane tanks if the refrigerator is electric only. Why is the fridge electric only? Why do you need so much propane?

I also don't like that the gray and black tank are combined (maybe even a deal breaker for me) but obviously that wouldn't be something you could change.

Has anyone moved the batteries inside and to the rear? (Of course you would also need to enclose them and allow outside venting)

I know you need 10-15% tongue weight, but if you put that aside and not consider it for now, how much customization does Airstream allow on orders?

One more thing......there are alot more things I like about the Caravel than I dislike, so I don't mean to sound so negative in this post. I'm just trying to get these details sorted out.
Hi, A rear bumper could save you from a tiny bump that would cost thousands of Dollars in repairs to the body. You might want to rethink that one. Rock guards on Airstreams protect your front windows; Did you mean Segment Protectors? Those take the hits from rocks tossed by your rear tires. Once again, I would not want to be without those.

Why do you need so much propane? My first tanks lasted for more than two years due to Southern California weather, or lack-of. But one trip to South Dakota, in October, with a high of 27 degrees and a low of zero degrees I had to run my furnace and water heater 24 hours a day. Five days in this weather and one more day could have drained both 30lb. tanks. It was time to move to a warmer place and refill both propane tanks.

I don't like gray / black tanks or wet baths, but that is what you get when you buy such a small trailer. You'll have to live with those.

Moving the batteries is sometimes a desperate move to change the tongue weight that is too high for the vehicle you plan to tow with.
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Old 06-02-2022, 10:50 PM   #3
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RobynE, welcome to the Airstream Community and Forums!

To your question about customizing an Airstream order, they follow the old Henry Ford motto “You can have any color as long as it’s black”. In other words, you can’t make the changes you mentioned. If you don’t want the bumper and stone guards, consider the Bambi instead.

The Caravel is one level higher in the Airstream lineup and includes those options buyers want. If the combined grey and black tank is a deal breaker, look at a larger trailer with separate tanks. Whatever you decide, think it through. There’s a saying “buy your second trailer first“. It took us two tries but we’re happy now.

Good luck!
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Old 06-03-2022, 04:10 AM   #4
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Combined black/gray tank can be a benefit when trying to maximize smaller tanks, as the engineers don't have to guess which you'll usually fill first.

On our coach we had just the single waste tank and it worked perfectly fine. The contents were always liquified, never clogged, and always dumped well at the dumpsite. Never had a problem.

There are very few places anymore which allow dumping gray water to the ground, so there is really little advantage to having separate tanks.

If you want to move the batteries inside the trailer, the easiest way to do this is upgrade to lithium. You'll get virtually twice the useable Ah with the lithium, they weigh less, and no venting is necessary. Possibly you'll have to get a new converter/charger, but that's easy and your might already be lithium-ready and just need to be reconfigured.

Rock guards and segment protectors? Unless you want the rocks to take out your expensive front windows leave them be. Segment protectors will save you thousands in repairs from rocks and debris thrown by your tow vehicle tires.
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Old 06-03-2022, 05:09 AM   #5
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Custom Order Options?

If you donít want the bumper and segment protectors, save 5-10k, buy the standard Bambi. You can also remove one of the propane tanks yourself. The combination grey / black tank ( canít change ) saves weight, moving house batteries inside uses up precious storage space. I have the model I mentioned and added the bumper and segment protectors as well as electric jack and Lithiums ( left outside ), at my trailer purchase they didnít offer the Caravel.
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Old 06-03-2022, 11:34 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the nice replies! So many things to consider but alot are common sense or preference decisions. Looks like I was meaning to say "Segment Protectors" as I was referring to the lower "shields" on the aluminum part and not the windows. I better learn the Airstream lingo! haha I've always had T@bs so I've still got a long way to go to learn the Airstream.

I actually have mud flaps/rock guards on my tow vehicle so that might be enough if I decided I couldn't live with the "Segment Protectors." The reason I was going with the Caravel and not the Bambi are some of the upgraded features like the no-lube bearings, etc

My reasoning for not liking the combined tanks is because I have a lot more gray water since I shower frequently during the summer and I like to be able to open the little hose outlet on my sewer cover and let about half of the gray water into my 7gallon tote that then easily lifts into the back of my tow vehicle. Its just a bit off putting to think of doing that with combined "output" I would just have to use a tow behind tank I guess. I always just feel so funny thinking about parading through the camp ground towing my poop behind me, hahahaha.

I would most likely switch to lithium. I added lithium to my current T@B 400.

I could blab on endlessly about my likes and dislikes and why this or why that, so I won't bore you with any more of this. I appreciate all these owner responses. This is why these forums are priceless!
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Old 06-03-2022, 02:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobynE View Post
Thanks for all the nice replies! So many things to consider but alot are common sense or preference decisions. Looks like I was meaning to say "Segment Protectors" as I was referring to the lower "shields" on the aluminum part and not the windows. I better learn the Airstream lingo! haha I've always had T@bs so I've still got a long way to go to learn the Airstream.

I actually have mud flaps/rock guards on my tow vehicle so that might be enough if I decided I couldn't live with the "Segment Protectors." The reason I was going with the Caravel and not the Bambi are some of the upgraded features like the no-lube bearings, etc

My reasoning for not liking the combined tanks is because I have a lot more gray water since I shower frequently during the summer and I like to be able to open the little hose outlet on my sewer cover and let about half of the gray water into my 7gallon tote that then easily lifts into the back of my tow vehicle. Its just a bit off putting to think of doing that with combined "output" I would just have to use a tow behind tank I guess. I always just feel so funny thinking about parading through the camp ground towing my poop behind me, hahahaha.

I would most likely switch to lithium. I added lithium to my current T@B 400.

I could blab on endlessly about my likes and dislikes and why this or why that, so I won't bore you with any more of this. I appreciate all these owner responses. This is why these forums are priceless!

Our trailer is the predecessor to the 16í Caravelle and very similar. I also would advise you to keep the segment protectors and rear bumper for the reasons others have expressed, plus the rear bumper storage is very useful for the long objects (awning hook, stabilizer jacks crank) and dirty objects (chocks, levelers).

I am a big fan of lithium - we added it to our trailer - and while it will cost a bit moving them into the trailer has several benefits.
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Old 06-03-2022, 03:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobynE View Post
Thanks for all the nice replies! So many things to consider but alot are common sense or preference decisions. Looks like I was meaning to say "Segment Protectors" as I was referring to the lower "shields" on the aluminum part and not the windows. I better learn the Airstream lingo! haha I've always had T@bs so I've still got a long way to go to learn the Airstream.

I actually have mud flaps/rock guards on my tow vehicle so that might be enough if I decided I couldn't live with the "Segment Protectors." The reason I was going with the Caravel and not the Bambi are some of the upgraded features like the no-lube bearings, etc

My reasoning for not liking the combined tanks is because I have a lot more gray water since I shower frequently during the summer and I like to be able to open the little hose outlet on my sewer cover and let about half of the gray water into my 7gallon tote that then easily lifts into the back of my tow vehicle. Its just a bit off putting to think of doing that with combined "output" I would just have to use a tow behind tank I guess. I always just feel so funny thinking about parading through the camp ground towing my poop behind me, hahahaha.

I would most likely switch to lithium. I added lithium to my current T@B 400.

I could blab on endlessly about my likes and dislikes and why this or why that, so I won't bore you with any more of this. I appreciate all these owner responses. This is why these forums are priceless!
Those segment protectors will still be helpful, even if you have mud flaps on the TV. We have mud flaps, and our segment protectors still stop quite a good number of dings from making it to the Airstream itself. I'd hate to have all those marks in the trailer - the protectors are easy to replace but the trailer's sheet metal is not.

The fecal aversion is understandable, but you probably already know that owning a travel trailer means having to deal with toting fecal waste one way or the other. My advise is to get over it and just proudly take that waste container to the dump site and get the task done. If your 7-gallon tote is water tight there should be no reason you can't continue doing it the same way you have been with the combined waste. But, a larger tote means doing this less often so it's something to consider.
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Old 06-03-2022, 05:53 PM   #9
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Hi

An "unmentioned as yet" option:

Buy an older ( = used ) AS and rebuild it to match what you are after. You probably won't save any money, but it will be just the way you want it once the rebuild is done. If / when you decide to sell it, I would not count on a highly customized trailer holding value as well as a "stock" model. ( = you take a double hit money wise).

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Old 06-03-2022, 07:22 PM   #10
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Speaking of “unmentioned as yet” ideas: I don’t know if this might be at all attractive to you, but a composting toilet is a way to keep your grey tank grey. They are not hassle-free, but they do have proponents and they are a way to address your poop-handling concerns. Lots of info online, and numerous YouTube videos by folks using them in rv’s.
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Old 06-04-2022, 08:36 AM   #11
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Wow some excellent ideas here! I like the composting toilet and buying a fixer upper to customize. I can do some of the work myself too so I will definitely consider these options. I'm not totally poo toting averse and the suggestion to continue to use my 7gal tote is not to much of a stretch from my comfort zone. It's all about weighing the pros and cons.

I'm sure I would get used to the protectors. With them the trailer kind of reminds me of some little cartoon guy (old school) that had some sort of body armor or something. I can't even come close to thinking of his name.
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Old 07-17-2022, 10:05 AM   #12
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Bambi

Then you need to get Bambi. If you look at my rock guards you would change your mind. Also bumper gives you plenty of storage for dirty tools, water filters, and sewer connectors.
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