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Old 07-22-2020, 09:02 AM   #1
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2011 22' Sport
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16' v. 19 -20' comparability

I notice a number of folks have a couple airstreams...usually an older vintage 25'+ model and a smaller 16-20 footer. Obviously, more room equals more cargo and living area vs towability and greater flexibility to boondock and access some national parks. There are probably too many differences in capabilities between a 16 footer vs. 25+ footer to make a fair comparison. However, the practical difference between a 16 vs a 19-20' airstream...maybe not so much.

Wife and I are weekend warriors...and now that my wife just started her own consulting business...we can both work remotely. We have no immediate plans to do a full-time thing, but can see us easily extending our weekend trips here in the northeast to some more interesting places...perhaps 2-3 weeks at a time. We'd both need the ability to work (laptops) indoors at least 2-4 hours per day in poor weather.

I am interested in opinions from those couples (2 people with 2 dogs) who elected to purchase a 16 vs 19-20 foot camper or vice versus. We can tow either and rather than just conceding that "bigger is better," Id like to hear your thoughts on it.
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Old 07-22-2020, 09:16 AM   #2
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My best advice would be to grab your wife, your laptops and spend a day at a local dealership in each of the models that you are considering. Pretend you were on a camping trip and move about the trailer in and out of the bathrooms, moving about the galley, etc. Imagine the dogs are with you. See how many times you get in each other’s way. Each of you make a call on your phones at the same time and listen to how well you can hold a conversation in each of the trailers simultaneously. That will tell you far more than any anecdotal evidence you read here.
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Old 07-22-2020, 09:26 AM   #3
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We were asking the same question as you years ago. We went to the dealer to buy a 25 footer. We liked the 25 but decided we should go one size larger anticipating our travels. Two years later we bought a Classic 30!
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Old 07-22-2020, 09:27 AM   #4
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Couple with a kid here. No dogs. We have a 16 and it fits our needs perfectly. There are numerous threads here comparing 16s and 19s. I think the biggest difference between the 2 is the wet bath. The extra 3 feet in the 19 goes towards accommodating the full bath. There really isn’t much of a difference in terms of living space.
As for the 20 I would say the additional space goes to a much more workable kitchen.

My takeaway is that they all have about the same “livable” space. Some hate the wet bath others have no issue with it. Some plan on lots of cooking others not so much. Think about your priorities when it comes to full baths and kitchens. Don’t necessarily think that the extra 3 or 4 feet will give you more elbow room.
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Old 07-22-2020, 10:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffofCT View Post
I notice a number of folks have a couple airstreams...usually an older vintage 25'+ model and a smaller 16-20 footer. Obviously, more room equals more cargo and living area vs towability and greater flexibility to boondock and access some national parks. There are probably too many differences in capabilities between a 16 footer vs. 25+ footer to make a fair comparison. However, the practical difference between a 16 vs a 19-20' airstream...maybe not so much.

Wife and I are weekend warriors...and now that my wife just started her own consulting business...we can both work remotely. We have no immediate plans to do a full-time thing, but can see us easily extending our weekend trips here in the northeast to some more interesting places...perhaps 2-3 weeks at a time. We'd both need the ability to work (laptops) indoors at least 2-4 hours per day in poor weather.

I am interested in opinions from those couples (2 people with 2 dogs) who elected to purchase a 16 vs 19-20 foot camper or vice versus. We can tow either and rather than just conceding that "bigger is better," Id like to hear your thoughts on it.
I would suggest that the similarities in size and weight are broken into 2 categories, Single Axle and Double Axle.

The the single axle units go up to 22' and the double axles go from 23' and up. Both the single axle and double axle trailers come with wide range of finishes to suit a wide audience. More luxurious features in the double axle trailers.

The suggestions about going and spending some time in each floor plan makes perfect sense since this in not a purchase that you want to be doing over and over again.

Good luck with your search!
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Old 07-22-2020, 02:47 PM   #6
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2020 20' Bambi
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Two adults and two retrievers!
We bought our Bambi 20 last August and are really enjoying it!

Big selling points for us were:
1. We could tow with what we had
2. Big kitchen with plenty of work space
3. Shower

We had planned on a 16, but were able to look at all 4 Bambi models side by side. Unfortunately, youíre not going to be able to do that with most dealers having no inventory.

Try to find owners in your local area who might let you look at their Bambi.
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Old 07-22-2020, 04:00 PM   #7
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Suggest appt. with Patrick Botticelli at Colonial AS in NJ to view all small models. Hilton Garden Inn nearby, or long day RT from home. Easier traffic on Sundays.

FC20 rocks!



Happy Trails,
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Old 07-22-2020, 04:05 PM   #8
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. . .
Try to find owners in your local area who might let you look at their Bambi.


Is that a CT2CT offer?

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Old 07-23-2020, 05:31 AM   #9
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Yes! Do you know how to private message on the forum?
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Old 07-23-2020, 06:27 AM   #10
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Click on a user name, and choose "Send a private message . . . " from the drop down menu. [FAQ link above has all that info and more]
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Old 07-23-2020, 09:27 AM   #11
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SkyGuyScott has the best advice! Those shorter trailers can be very crowded when you are working on your laptops. Perhaps one person can work on the bed and the other at the dinette? Rainy days impact this discussion as well. Check out the short trailers and then compare to the 26' or longer. Longer ones will extend your marriage since there should be less congestion in the little hallway.

Also agree that Colonial RV has a great inventory, and Patrick has produced many videos on YouTube and has become a bit of a celebrity within the AS family! Check the videos out and think about all scenarios, including who gets up in the night to use the bathroom, and whether that person has to crawl over his/her mate. Colonial has their floorplans on their website, so that is a great place to research.

Have fun with the search and join a WBCCI club and participate with some of the best people in the world on Rallys and Caravans!

Plus, it would be a bonus, if you share your decision and rationale for the purchase.
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Old 07-23-2020, 10:56 AM   #12
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We had a Camplite 13QBB which is about the same size as a Bambi 16'. We loved it and used it for 4 years. The Camplites are very boxy and utilitarian in the look and feel but are extremely light all aluminum trailers. The partial aluminum construction of the Airstream was what drew us to them.

We would have kept the Camplite but we just didn't have the space inside to sit when the weather got bad. We would be camping offseason so in Feb and Nov we would be out there in the rain!

Having the the extra 6 feet gives us the lounge area and table and space to hang out while the weather is bad. That was a major factor and the price was the best we could find. Also, it fit into our tow vehicle capacity (not the best way to decide on a trailer).

Lastly, it was old new stock from last year 2019 so that helped with the price. We looked at some used ones, Caravels, single axle FC's and 16's but this one seemed to work for us. We have had it for almost 3 months now and are getting used to it
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Old 07-29-2020, 05:29 PM   #13
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I don’t know anything about the 20’ - but we had a 16’ and moved up to 19’. The main issues was the grey and black water tanks. In the 19’ we can empty our gray water into a bucket and carry it over to the dishwater emptying receptacles. In the 16’ the gray and black water is combined in one tank and therefore you HAVE to empty it at a dump station.
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Old 07-29-2020, 05:48 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by tjwoods1 View Post
I donít know anything about the 20í - but we had a 16í and moved up to 19í. The main issues was the grey and black water tanks. In the 19í we can empty our gray water into a bucket and carry it over to the dishwater emptying receptacles. In the 16í the gray and black water is combined in one tank and therefore you HAVE to empty it at a dump station.
Separate tanks does make life a bit easier.

A few years ago when we were camping up in the Rockies, we observed a trailer/combo pulling out before breakfast. They had their caps dragging on the ground and were leaving a trailer of foamy green water on the pavement as they made their way out of the camp ground!
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Old 07-29-2020, 05:58 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by JeffofCT View Post
I am interested in opinions from those couples (2 people with 2 dogs) who elected to purchase a 16 vs 19-20 foot camper or vice versus. We can tow either and rather than just conceding that "bigger is better," Id like to hear your thoughts on it.
I have a 16' Bambi and I'm usually the only person in it. Occasionally will have 2 people. For weekend warrior trips, it's good for 2 people. Add 2 dogs, or do more than an overnight, and it could get too cozy.

I'd definitely vote for the 19 footer. I think 19 is the sweet spot for 1-2 people looking for a small, manageable, easy to hook up and go, single axle trailer. The 16 is pretty tight, especially considering 16 includes the tongue, not actual usable inside space. Usable space in the 16' is more like 14'.

Go fro the 19 is my advice. I love my 16 and have no plans to change it but if you're starting from scratch and can afford the 19 and safely tow it, go for it. For 1-2 people in weekend warrior mode (or work remotely mode), anything longer could be nice but will start introducing additional stuff... more weight, more axles, etc.
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Old 07-29-2020, 07:14 PM   #16
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My wife and I spent well over a year in our selection journey. Based on our needs and the kind of camping we were planning on doing it boiled down to the 16,19 & 20. We decided against the 16 due to the wet bath and lack of a separate grey tank. We thought long and hard about the 20 as we both like to cook. While we liked the kitchen in the 20 after spending a day sitting in one it just seemed like a long hall way. We ended up purchasing a 19 and have never regretted our decision. Our trips typically run between 3-8 days, about a 50/50 mix between camping with hookups versus dry camping, and seldom more than 500 miles from home. There are the two of us plus a Chocolate Lab and a Golden Retriever and we feel we have more than enough room. The biggest issue we have with towing the 19 is forgetting it's there. It's a dream to tow, maneuver into tight places, and for us a perfect choice.
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Old 07-30-2020, 06:24 AM   #17
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16' v. 19 -20' comparability? Well, I bought a 22' Sport from a nice couple who are also members of this forum. We're moving up from a 12' 1966 Canned Ham...so, this will be like an overnight stay in the Taj Mahal.

While I like to spend most of my time outside, my wife will often go inside in poorer weather and when the skeeters get bad. It will be nice not to have to choose between a bed and a dinette.
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Old 07-30-2020, 06:53 AM   #18
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Thanks OP for the update!

That was quick . . . . . . welcome to the Taj!

Happy Trails,
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:10 AM   #19
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Awesome.
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Old 08-05-2020, 04:03 PM   #20
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Oakland , California
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Our Caravel is 17ft and it's just the 2 of us. I can't see owning a larger trailer. I really enjoy the mobility. Things like U turns, more interesting campsites for boondocking etc
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