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Old 01-30-2020, 08:44 AM   #1
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Airstream to SMB 4x4

Hi, we are selling our 2016 Airstream Bambi Sport 16' so we may purchase a Ford SMB, 2011 (or later) 4x4.

We love our Airstream, however, we miss the offroad options and we have two BMW GS 700 motorcycles that we want to tow behind the SMB.

Any insights from the group are greatly appreciated!
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Old 01-30-2020, 02:48 PM   #2
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I traveled a similar road when I sold our beloved 16í Camplite trailer in order to prioritize investing in the van. Though I miss the trailer a bunch (the room! the shower!), Iím glad I made the switch. Hereís what Iíve found:

1. Jumping in the van and GOING is so much easier. No trailer to hook up, etc. I find we get in and go more often.

2. I sure donít miss pulling the trailer on the road. Though the Camplite was indeed light, youíre still pulling more than a ton of metal behind you. And also a wind-catcher.

3. I can go down any - and I mean any - road without worrying if I can get out. There was many a road, not even dirt, that we didnít turn onto because I feared there wouldnít be a turn-around opportunity. Forty feet of vehicle(s) is a lot. Now? I take a turn and, if I donít like what I see, I turn around. Heck, even if I had to back out, itís WAY easier than contemplating doing it with a trailer in tow.

4. The campsite: pull in, enjoy. No more ďWill we fit?Ē, or backup disasters, or yelling from the rear, ďTree limb!Ē, or major leveling, or hookups, or whatever.

5. Time to go? Procedure: Get in, go.

6. I can tow whatever I want to camp. Boat? Bikes?

7. Last but not least on my personal list: when we just wanted to stop for a burger while traveling, I hated trying to figure out if I could fit in the drive-thru or, barring that, be able turn around in the parking lot. Scouting out every darn burger stop was a pain. Admittedly, since I put the poptop and a roof rack on (9 ft exactly) I do have to watch the drive-thrus. But I can also just park and hop out like a regular person.

I really do miss the room in the trailer and only time will tell if we wind up spending as many extended days in the van. But since itís also my daily driver, having a nice 19ft RB letís me park in most places. I no longer feel like I have an expensive toy that just sits in the driveway waiting to be used.

I hope this helps some. That Bambi is great but I encourage you to move ahead with your direction. Good luck and have fun!


Then:



Now:

.
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Old 01-30-2020, 03:49 PM   #3
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Really only one drawback after you make the transition: if you decide to leave a campsite for any period of time you will not have anything that visually says "occupied". In my experience its never been an issue, but have heard some war stories (thread on this forum someplace with a lot of info) documenting deviates planting themselves in your spot. With that said, might consider a cheap set of chairs or a small inexpensive tent you can leave behind.
Normally, if someone is relatively close by, we'll partner with a neighbor in keeping an eye out for each others area. We also leave a couple chairs behind with a vibration triggered "bike alarm" attached to one in hopes it'll scare off any intruders.
Wish you the best in your hunt for the perfect Rig!
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Old 01-30-2020, 07:25 PM   #4
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Hi Otter,
Great post! Thank you, you stated everything I have been thinking about, especially your comments, "I no longer feel like I have an expensive toy that just sits in the driveway waiting to be used".
Thank you for your insights!
Kim
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Old 01-30-2020, 07:26 PM   #5
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Twoxentrix,
I will remember to carry a couple of folding chairs and maybe a rubber rattlesnake to place under the chairs just in case!
Thanks!
Kim
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Old 01-30-2020, 10:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twoxentrix View Post
Really only one drawback after you make the transition: if you decide to leave a campsite for any period of time you will not have anything that visually says "occupied".
They will have their motos to leave camp with... unless those bmws are road only bikes. Sorry, donít know bikes all that well. Thatís what we do though. Van stays in camp and we explore on the motos.
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Old 01-30-2020, 11:23 PM   #7
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...or a small inexpensive tent you can leave behind.
Thatís exactly what we do. A cheap easy-to set-up tent. Itís amazing how people will leave that thing alone.
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Old 02-06-2020, 02:27 PM   #8
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Great insights. I already have the camper van. I am tempted to go the other way and start pulling a small Airstream trailer so that I could have more room and a SHOWER!!! I have been kicking the idea around, but I have also identified all of the downsides to a trailer already mentioned. I have a decent toilet in the van and enough space. I think I need to just do some research and figure out a way to add a shower to my E350 - something like a tray with drain to stand in and hose down.
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