The New Adventure Begins...

 

AZBambi’s Maiden Voyage:

Picacho Peak

It’s all Annie’s fault!
Let’s think about how we RV...we may need a change.
Our first backing-in routine was pretty entertaining (in hind-sight).
So off we go on our maiden voyage...to somewhere “safe.”
A maiden voyage is best taken near to home...not in a crowded park...and not too far from civilization and a helping hand.
 

We begin a new phase of our RVing life! We original entered the RVing world in Sept 2004 when we rented a Class C RV and took a trip to Bisbee, AZ to see if we’d enjoy it. We were motivated to do this because we had not been on a vacation for too many years because of  Annie’s (our black cocker)

health issues, precluded us leaving her in anyone’s care...so we

just stayed home. Boring. We finally decided that the only way

we were ever going to “get out of Dodge” was if we took the

Girls with us!  It rained the entire weekend in Bisbee, but we

had a great time anyway... and both us and the Girls enjoyed it a lot!


When we returned the rental RV, there was a smart B+ coach on the lot that we thought belonged to someone...we asked if we could just peek inside it to see what it was like...we’d been researching small motor homes this size and felt they were just the ticket for us to start with...  Well, it turns out the unit we saw was a trade in and was available for sale... We looked it over, realized it had never been used (the manuals were still inside the oven!). It had been owned by an elder lady in CA and she had never used it!  It was a 2003 but never used! Before the end of th day we had put our money down and bought the small motor home...the price was great and its condition was phenominal...it was a 22’ “Trail Lite” on a Ford 350 Super Duty chasis, drove like a dream compared to the Class C cab-over monster we’d rented...(talk about white knuckles...).  We really shouldn’t pass it up, so we took a deep breath and took the leap. We have not regretted it...


We enjoyed the Trail Lite very much and traveled over much of Arizona over the next 2 1/2 years. Then in the Spring of 2007 we began thinking

                     that perhaps it was time to adjust the way we RV’d...we really

                         liked the size, amenities and maneuverability of our little

                          motor home, but because it was so small, we didn’t tow a

                        “toad” (another vehicle to travel about in)...so we felt marooned

                         once we reached a destination...in order to do any side trips or even go to the grocery store, we had to “pull up stakes” and take the whole

rig to town or on side trips...  So we were thinking of a towing situation.

This would require us to sell our car and get a truck...and decide what

trailer we wanted to tow. 


We had always wanted an Airstream, so the “brand” of trailer was a no-brainer for us...Airstream it was. We began what we thought was going to be a casual, sensible transition from a motor home to a travel trailer...then we saw the Airstream we wanted...a Bambi. That was all it took...so much for the “plan” of keeping the motor home through the spring, taking our time to find an Airstream, and selling the car to get a truck...it was like a domino effect. Within a week we had sold our car to a good friend who needed economical wheels...and we bought a new 2007 Toyota Tacoma...they had beefed up their trucks in 2007, and it rated at 6500 lbs... In another week we had bought the Bambi we saw. So there we were...a new Airstream hitched to a shiny new red truck...and a motor home still sitting in the drive way. A friend of ours had secretly predicted a year earlier that we would have an Airstream within theyear...and she was darn close...right, Deb!?  (We are sooo predictable sometimes.) The rest is history... It took us a couple of months, but we sold the motor home privately to a nice retired couple and used that money to nicely pay down the Bambi.


But we’re ahead of ourselves... Let’s go back. Airstreams hit the market in 1936...and we saw a 75th Anniversary Edition in Phoenix that really got us

                       going, but it wasn’t to be...the deal fell through (if you want the

                            details, email us...it’s a story about an awful dealer

                              experience that led us vow to never darken their doorway

                              again). But not to dwell on the unpleasant...we returned to

                          our local Tucson Airstream dealer, Oasis RV Center, where

                            we’d looked at a number of units...we revisited a unit we’d seen...a new 2006 19’ Bambi Safari SE LS. The more we considered it the better it felt...so we signed the dotted line on the Ides of March, 2007...a date we will never forget.  It was beautiful. The 19’ Bambi is the next-to-smallest Airstream currently produced (there’s a 16’ Bambi, too)...and weighs in at 4500 lbs loaded, so it’s a good match for the Tacoma.  “Safari” is a model with a specific package and cabinet style... “SE” means that it’s a version of the Safari that has a panorama front window at the dinette and has an all-aluminum interior skin... “LS” indicates an upgraded package that includes a solar panel, special audio-visual package, fixtures, larger BTU AC, a black tank rinsing system, and a few other things. It’s sweet.


The day we brought it home is another day we will never forget! We

had never towed anything before, so this was all new. Oasis set

up the hitch system with an Equal-I-Zer hitch and anti-sway

and weight distribution bars, and Richard, one of the techs

gave us some basic towing tips... It was kind of scary at first,

but the truck towed the Bambi easily and it felt natural...

till we got home with it. Then the fun began!  We entertained the neighborhood for at least 45 minutes trying to get this little trailer backed into the driveway...not into a tight space, mind you...just into the driveway! It was mid-afternoon, so at least some of the neighbors were at work!  But one lady down the block was standing out in the middle of our cul de sac, hand to chin, taking it all in...oy! And they guy across the way actaully offered to do it for us... but we had to figure this out if we were going to have the fun we anticipated...  We finally got it in... The next weekend we took it to a BIG OPEN parking lot and did some practice backing where we didn’t run the risk of hitting anything... That helped, but it is definitely a learned skill.  We are happy to say that it did, in fact, get easier and before long we were looking like pros getting it right where we wanted it...the Bambi is so short that the pivot-point comes quickly...that’s the point where it doesn’t matter which way you turn the steering wheel...the trailer goes the same direction...that’s the secret...knowing when to stop, pull forward and get in front fo the trailer again...


It was time to go on the maiden voyage...we wanted to go somewhere familiar

                          and safe where we weren’t too far from home and didn’t have

                               to drive long...so we decided on Picacho Peak State

                                Park, one of our favoite quick get-aways and only 50

                               miles northwest of Tucson right off  I-10...half-way

                                between Tucson and Phoenix.  We’d been there many

                                 times in the motor home and knew exactly what to expect... (The park has both pull-through sites ands back-in sites in the

event our backing-in skills were not as good as we hoped in the real world!)


But we were pleased with ourselves...we did fine. When we left Tucson we drove through a drenching rain storm on the freeway before we’d even got out of the city limits...that was another good thing to experience...and glad it happened near home... no problems due to rain, other than traffic being a little nuts...but then that’s something we have to be prepared for...  By the time we were out of town, it was dry again and we were on our way.  We’d fashioned a cushy little bed in the rear seat of the double cab for Annie and Sadie, and strapped them in so they could not become projectile puppies... and they were just as snug and happy as could be.  We could already tell this was going to be a much nicer and more relaxed, comfortable RVing drive than we’d had with the motor home...all the way around...


We appologize that there are so few pictures of Picahco Peak or the interior of the Bambi below...we were just so tickled with it that we mostly took picutres of it and the sunsets...  Please look at other trips for more details about Picacho or the interior of the Bambi...taken once we were over the initial thrill and “new-toy” admiration of this wonderful little trailer.  We are happy to report that the long weekend went very well and we had no probems or issues to speak of...we were such proud new “parents” of the Bambi that we were probably just grinning the whole time and would have been most obnoxious company... a good reason why maiden voyages are best taken with civilization near (in case of a real problem) but far enough away so that you have some

solitude to be a novice... Like in case you have trouble backing

up...in case you can’t figure out how to hook up the sewer

hose...in case you forgot the sequence of things necessary

to unhitch the trailer... or you can’t figure out any number

of what are now routine tasks in setting up camp in an

Airstream...and just enjoying your aluminum adventure.


Click on the slideshow icon below to see what are

probably too many pictures of the Bambi’s exterior and

not enough of Picacho... or you can click on “Other Trips” at the bottom of the page to go to our other travel logs... We hope you enjoy our new adventure as much as

we are!

 
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So what kind of Airstream did 
we get, 
you ask??
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