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Old 08-13-2003, 03:05 PM   #1
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Looking for a mini trailer

First post here - newbie! I'm looking for the smallest trailer that has a shower. Any year, any style OK. Can anyone help steer me in the right direction? And where to go to find one?

Thank you,

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Old 08-13-2003, 03:51 PM   #2
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1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
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Hi Newbie When I started my search for an airstream I fell in love with a fifties Safari, only to find it didn't have a shower (gotta have a shower). By my research (others may be able to tell you better) Airstreams didn't get showers until the early to mid-sixties. The smallest trailers would be 16-17 ft Bambis and Caravels. We have a Caravel and it has a shower. Of course new Bambis are 19 ft long and have ALL the ammenities.

Here is a wonderful site that will let you explore the different years and see pictures of the interiors. I spent a lot of time on this site while I was researching.

Have fun, there's a lot to learn!

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Old 08-13-2003, 04:07 PM   #3
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2004 22' Interstate
Tipton , Iowa
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Hi PtRichSue!

And welcome to the forums. Stef is right... you've found a whole world of cool stuff to see and learn.

FWIW, the smallest trailer built by Airstream that was fully self-contained was the original 16' Bambi. There were fewer than 850 built from 1961 to 1963; most of those in the Ohio plant, about a third in the CA plant. They come in two flavors, the curbside kitchen and the streetside kitchen. I believe that the Ohio Bambis were built with the curbside kitchen and the CA Bambis had the streetside kitchen. (I had a '61, and I remember reading this stuff somewhere, probably something from the Vintage Club membership). In any event, because of their low production numbers and their 'cute' value, they have gotten to be pretty unreasonably priced for one in useable condition. In 1964 the Bambi was lengthened to 17' and called the Bambi II. The Bambi II was re-badged for 1965 as the Caravel and the '65-68 models were all pretty similar with few production changes. by 1969 the Caravel grew to 18' and was produced until (I believe) 1970 or '71 (I'm not sure...).

Over the years, Airstream has built a number of models 23' and under though, most notably the Safaris, Flying Clouds, Globetrotters and Caravels that are priced well below the Bambi today.

Of course, as Stef said, there are lots of new and exciting offerings from Airstream today too.

Check around, peruse the resources here and elsewhere on the web, and happy hunting!

AIR 2053 Current: 2004 Airstream Interstate "B-Van" T1N Sprinter & 2006 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis
Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"
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Old 08-13-2003, 09:20 PM   #4
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Thanks to Stephanie & Roger for their knowledgeable replies. Hope I'm doing this correctly. I'll be looking for a Bambi or Bambi II or a Caraval in decent shape in California/Oregon/Nevada.
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Old 08-13-2003, 09:54 PM   #5
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1978 25' Tradewind
Metro Phoenix , Arizona
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Well, from what I can see...

...just having the name "Bambi" on the side adds several thousand dollars to the price tag! You'll get a much better deal on a Caravel, unless the Trailer Gods smile upon your quest with significant favor!

Why do you want the smallest one? Is it a tow vehicle limitation? You might consider checking your vehicle's tow capacity and then look for trailers significantly under that weight. Rule of thumb is stay below 70-80% to be safe...
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Old 08-14-2003, 07:53 AM   #6
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1959 22' Caravanner
Atlanta , Georgia
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Well showers vary by models. While the bambi didn't have one in the 50's some of the others did. Our 59 caravanner has a shower or what is known as a "wet bath" The bathroom is also the shower stall. The vanity is outside the bathrrom on our model.

Now I assume one of the biggest reasons your looking for a small trailer is because of the weight and the vehicle you intend to pull it with. The older units are far lighter then they newer. Our 22ft Carravanner is under 3,000lb empty. Once you get gear and water in it it will be around 3700lb. Most mid size SUV's with a V6 could handle that sort of weight. As was pointed out....the Bambi's and even the Caravells are going for a premium right now. The 20plus ft trailers are still reasonable.

The floor plan on our Caravanner is quit simular to that of a 60's bambi. Bed in corner next to bath. Ours has the Goucho in the front instead of a dinnete. Where the extra 4+ft come in is in the galley. Ours has a double sink and still has available counter space for prep. The wardrobe is a double and the reefer is a fairly large one for the time. Again this is all a bennifit for longer trips.

Also understand the the length is measured from the ball to the bumper. So for an example...our 22ft is actually 19ft inside from end to end. A 16ft bambi is really 13ft inside. Very cozy and great for a couple for short trips or a single person but for a longer trip or if you have kids it may get quite cramped.
1959 22' Caravanner
1988 R20 454 Suburban.
Atlanta, GA
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Old 08-14-2003, 09:17 AM   #7
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.7 Metre
Love It Here , Colorado
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ARgosy Minuet

Don't skip checking out the Argosy Minuets. They were made during the 70's fuel crisis and are lighter weigh. They started with a 20' model, then expanded to the 22' and 24' a couple of years later. They have the wrap around windows in the front that let in a lot of light!! We started out looking for a 19' Bambi, but fell in love with our 22' "Mini" when we saw her and don't ever want to give her up!! Check out the All Argosys" section of the forum for more info. Its great fun learning about all AS and the more you get "inforurmed" the happier you will be when you find your dream AS. LEigh

PS We are very glad we ended up with the 22'. We were concerned about getting bigger than 19' when we first started looking because of towing, plus the little ones looked so cute. But now, with 4 of us(2teens), the extra room really helps us from stacking up, and it tows like a creampuff!! Light and airy.
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Old 08-14-2003, 09:27 AM   #8
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1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
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Agreed! When we were looking a 20' Minuet was actually what I was aiming for. They are nice and small, lightweight, and have big windows down one side so they are light and airy inside.

However, old airstreams are so popular they get snapped up quick, and I couldn't even find any locally to look at. I was about ready to buy a Minuet in Colorado and haul it home (with the help of the seller) when we decided to put an ad in the local paper, and that's how we found our Caravel. It was still two hours away in Oregon, but it was better than going to CO! First Airstream we saw in person, and we snapped it up. No regrets, we've had it out about six times since we got it in April and we adore it.

We were'nt as concerned about weight as the fact that some state parks and national forest campgrounds I planned to visit don't allow units over 20ft. Otherwise, I think a 22-24ft unit would be a little more comfortable for the two of us and two dogs (one big, not-very-bright one).

Good luck in your search.

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