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-   -   Keeping It Simple for Bambi? (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f463/keeping-it-simple-for-bambi-54447.html)

poems&songs 07-29-2009 04:35 PM

Keeping It Simple for Bambi?
 
I'm a bit tangled in all the new vocabulary (Airstreams, rving, hitches, and towing vehicles). At the end of this year, my TV and Airstream will be my home, not a hobby, and I'll be on the road full time for the first year of my retirement. I need to buy a vehicle anyway and so thought I'd get one that at the end of the year I can get a Bambi (nothing larger than 20 feet at most). But the trucks mentioned--like F-250 + seem so huge to me. And all the "...I added a...) to suspensions and bars and such put me at the mercy of whoever sells me a vehicle. I like the size of the Ford Ranger, or the Dakoda for a vehicle, but I don't know about there being enough upgrades for small trucks to handle even a 16-19 foot Bambi. Many of the people posting are so generous in their advice, that you've sold me on the Airstream.

What sort of "added a..." should I ask the salespersons about? There's not an Airstream dealer or shop in my town, Charleston, SC. Plenty of auto dealers, though, and they're starting to call. Thanks.

TBRich 07-30-2009 12:15 AM

We tow a 2007 19' Bambi (3500 lbs dry, 4500 lbs loaded) with a 2007 Tacoma Double Cab V6 TRD with a factory tow package (tow capacity 6500 lbs.)....07 Tacomas are not huge trucks (but larger than pre-07 models), and fine to tow a 16' of 19' Bambi. Older Bambis are lighter than newer ones, too. You need to study your tow numbers, etc to make sure you are looking for a trailer & vehicle combination that works well. There are several subforums and threads about towing that will help. Good luck and don't hesitate to ask questions. We've all had to start at the beginning at one point or another.

ROBERTSUNRUS 07-30-2009 12:33 AM

:) Hi, poems&songs. A Ford F-250 would be too much and a Ford Ranger wouldn't be enough. Maybe an Expedition or F-150 would be better for you if you want a Ford product.

mello mike 07-30-2009 05:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS (Post 728490)
:) Hi, poems&songs. A Ford F-250 would be too much and a Ford Ranger wouldn't be enough. Maybe an Expedition or F-150 would be better for you if you want a Ford product.

I absolutely agree with Robert.

dlb435 07-30-2009 08:26 AM

I've got a small trailer too. (17' Safari) Not only will your TV work to haul the trailer but it will also carry the overflow from your camper. Either a pickup truck or an SUV will work fine. If you get an SUV, be sure it's built on a truck frame and is rated to tow 7,500 lb or more. Get the tow package. It will have options like oil coolers, pre-wired for the brake controller and have a lower ratio rear end to tow with.
If you go with the pickup, look at getting the big tool box for the truck bed. They lock and you can store things in there securely.
Ford F-150, Ford Expidition, Chevy 1500, Suburban, Dodge Ram 1500 or Dodge Durango would all do fine. Get the optional towing mirrors.
Once you get behind the wheel you will get used to the larger size very fast. All of these come with very car like interiors. Pickup trucks are used by many people as their regular car.

poems&songs 07-30-2009 04:02 PM

Thank you all. You've put a lot of order to the chaos of choices. I'm going up to North Carolina this weekend to actually step into an airstream just to see if they feel like they look on the web. (I've never been in one).

mello mike 07-30-2009 04:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by poems&songs (Post 728696)
Thank you all. You've put a lot of order to the chaos of choices. I'm going up to North Carolina this weekend to actually step into an airstream just to see if they feel like they look on the web. (I've never been in one).

Awesome! Good luck. I hope everything goes well for you.

Phoenix 08-01-2009 08:16 PM

Check out the KOA Web site. Some KOAs have Airstreams that you can stay overnight in, like a motel room. That way you can see what it's like living in one without a salesman pressuring you. However, I am pretty sure those models are a little larger than the size you are interested in.

We have a 19-foot Bambi, and I think that about any full-size, half-ton pickup with a V8 and towing package would be fine for a smaller Airstream. Most of them can be equipped like a luxury auto, so you won't miss your car (except, perhaps, at the gas pump).

moosetags 08-01-2009 08:56 PM

Welcome from the Florida Panhandle
 
First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

If you intend to spend a lot of time on the road with your Airstream, I would suggest that you seriously consider going to a 20 footer. A tandem axle trailer is really a plus if you put a lot of miles on it. Trailer tires are notoriously unreliable if driven hard. Tandem wheels afford an extra level of safety when a tire fails; it also makes changing a tire much easier.

As far as a tow vehicle goes, I would recommend going with a 1/2 ton truck or SUV, such as an F-150 of a Tahoe. Again if you plan to do serious traveling, you may very well be disappointed with a mini truck or SUV. A little trucks would probably be OK for short trips, but I don't think that I would care to go cross country pulling a 4500# trailer with a mini truck.

Brian

Stefrobrts 08-01-2009 09:17 PM

You might want to consider vans too. We tow with an E150 passenger van and enjoy the extra enclosed space inside. Vans can often be found cheaper than an equivalent truck.

Ahab 08-02-2009 09:22 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Or one of these. Honda Ridgeline :)

Janet H 08-02-2009 09:49 AM

Take a look at Nissan Pathfinders, xterras, Toyota 4 runners, etc if you are interested in an SUV.

mutcth 08-02-2009 11:20 AM

Another option - a last-generation Toyota Tundra/Sequoia is smaller than the domestic full-size trucks, yet can tow (IIRC) 6700 lbs, easily enough for a Bambi, not to mention considerably larger trailers. We recently talked to two Sequoia owners who were towing 60's 26-foot Overlanders; both were very pleased, including the family who was full-timing for 6 months.

The Sequoia has the advantages of having standard stability control and curtain airbags, even back to 2001. These are critical safety features that I wouldn't be without in a daily driver.

Other than the Ranger and Colorado/Canyon, small trucks aren't so small anymore.

Tom

Pinecone 08-02-2009 12:02 PM

I would strongly recommend finding a TV equipped with a diesel. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of smaller models so equipped. I think the F-150 has that option.

Diesels will get you much better mileage, cheaper fuel, and plenty of torque to haul anything around. The new generations of diesels are quiet, smooth easy to start (I've started a Dodge Cummins cold at -25C).

They are, however, more expensive than gas, but they have a much stronger resale value at the end.

Cheers and good luck!

SteveH 08-03-2009 04:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pinecone (Post 729761)
I would strongly recommend finding a TV equipped with a diesel. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of smaller models so equipped. I think the F-150 has that option.

Diesels will get you much better mileage, cheaper fuel, and plenty of torque to haul anything around. The new generations of diesels are quiet, smooth easy to start (I've started a Dodge Cummins cold at -25C).

They are, however, more expensive than gas, but they have a much stronger resale value at the end.

Cheers and good luck!

Just adding a little reality here....the F150 is not and has never been available with a Diesel engine. To get a Diesel in any brand of American truck, you have to go up to at least a 3/4 ton (about a $7K jump in price). There was talk about some smaller 1/2 ton Diesels last year, but that was before Government Motors took over.

Also, as I write this, Diesel is more expensive than gasoline, and forecasted to go even higher by the "experts".

Diesels do have much greater torque, and deliver slightly better fuel mileage.

poems&songs 08-03-2009 10:53 PM

Thanks. If it has air conditioning and a working radio, it'll be a luxury vehicle compared to my 92 Toyota.

poems&songs 08-03-2009 11:00 PM

Thanks on all of these suggestions. I've printed your messages and am compiling a list of things I want. Then it's a matter of deals. I'm not good at haggling. In the bazaar in Morocco, I couldn't buy an ashtray without my brain overloading. But with all of your input I can get my ducks in a row. I only have a couple of ducks, but they are big and loud.

Phoenix 08-05-2009 02:06 AM

If you want to haggle, check out Consumer Reports New & Used Car Price Service for actual dealer cost and bargaining tips: New and Used Car Services -- New Car Sample Report

Or, if you don't, investigate Costco's Auto Buying Program (usually a couple of hundred dollars over "invoice"):
Costco - Auto Buying Program=

Both will save you money...

Note: I do not work for either organization, but have purchased vehicles using both of these services. If nothing else, Consumer Reports will help you determine which options are available and their individual costs; and Costco will get you a fair (if not quite the lowest) price.

GettinAway 08-05-2009 09:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TBRich (Post 728488)
We tow a 2007 19' Bambi (3500 lbs dry, 4500 lbs loaded) with a 2007 Tacoma Double Cab V6 TRD with a factory tow package (tow capacity 6500 lbs.)....07 Tacomas are not huge trucks (but larger than pre-07 models), and fine to tow a 16' of 19' Bambi. Older Bambis are lighter than newer ones, too. You need to study your tow numbers, etc to make sure you are looking for a trailer & vehicle combination that works well. There are several subforums and threads about towing that will help. Good luck and don't hesitate to ask questions. We've all had to start at the beginning at one point or another.

TBRich,
I hope I'm not hijacking this thread, but I'm curious about you pulling the Bambi with your Tacoma. Maybe the original post is considering a midsize pick-up..
We will have the exact same set-up as you have, in a few weeks when we pick up the "new to us" Bambi (04).
We plan on heading to WY or CO in Sept. We always head back into the Forest Service campgrounds pretty far off the beaten path.
Have you gone 700 mile days pulling the Bambi w/ the Tacoma? Do you run in 4th (instead of 5th gear) How fast will you run on the interstate?
Did you get a transmission temp guage? Have you pulled it down 20 miles of washboard gravel roads? If so how was that.. We will be doing it.
I know, lot's of questions.. I'm a new guy to airstream.
Thanks,
Jeff

Ahab 08-06-2009 08:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GettinAway (Post 731096)
TBRich,
I hope I'm not hijacking this thread, but I'm curious about you pulling the Bambi with your Tacoma. Maybe the original post is considering a midsize pick-up..
We will have the exact same set-up as you have, in a few weeks when we pick up the "new to us" Bambi (04).
We plan on heading to WY or CO in Sept. We always head back into the Forest Service campgrounds pretty far off the beaten path.
Have you gone 700 mile days pulling the Bambi w/ the Tacoma? Do you run in 4th (instead of 5th gear) How fast will you run on the interstate?
Did you get a transmission temp guage? Have you pulled it down 20 miles of washboard gravel roads? If so how was that.. We will be doing it.
I know, lot's of questions.. I'm a new guy to airstream.
Thanks,
Jeff

We routinely do all of above and more with our Ridgeline. We run 65mph on the interstate because that's the max stated by the trailor tire mfg. Your Tacoma should be able to do the same. :D


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