• GPI Content Corporation's Airstream Bambi Road Test

  • Posted on May 06, 2015

  • Airstream’s Bambi travel trailer was the most compact Airstream on the road -- a lightweight little gem, perfect for those who like to get up and go on a moment’s notice.

    When researchers and producers at GPI Content Corporation started looking at the latest rage in RV’ing…. light weight travel trailers; they quickly realized that Airstream had set the benchmark for economy, efficiency and great looks in this RV segment for decades...starting  in 1961 with a 16-foot single-axle trailer called the Bambi.

    Today, the Bambi nameplate is common to all of Airstream’s single-axle travel trailers from the Airstream Sport to the single-axle versions of the Flying Cloud and International.

    So Ashley Gracile Show Runner and Executive Producer of one of GPI Content Corporation’s flagship programs Distant Roads thought a story on a vintage 2003 Bambi would be perfect for the times.

    GPI Content Corporation continues to be a leading world-wide force in the development and production of lifestyle television.

    Under Ashley Gracile's leadership GPI Content Corporation has produced and/or distributed 15 television series and over 1,300 episodes into well over 200 million homes around the world. Its culture changing television titles include the Genre Creating TV series Distant Roads whose 610 half hour episodes celebrate RV travel in the USA, Canada and Europe.

    Now in its 25th year of continuous production and 11th season in first-run, broadcast syndication; Distant Roads reaches over 100 million US TV households weekly for the 2015/2016 TV season. “Every inch of the Bambi has been designed to offer maximum livability in the shortest possible length; yet it doesn’t sacrifice any of the basic Airstream features of construction or comfort – or Airstream’s inimitable style” marveled Ashley Gracile as he toured a pristine 2003 Bambi that looked like it just came off the line at the Airstream factory in Jackson Center, Ohio.

    A GPI Content Corporation TV crew took that ’03 Bambi out into country roads that surround the Airstream factory near Columbus Ohio. The Bambi sailed along the road so effortlessly they hardly knew it was there. It was fast on the highways, light on the hills and easy on their rental car.

    A veteran TV executive and longtime member of the RV industry Ashley Gracile feels that: “There’s long been a need for a really good, small, lightweight trailer. One that can stand up to a good, hard shaking over bumpy highways and the Bambi fits the bill.” Many of the stick-and-tin, box-type light weight travel trailers are so poorly built, a rough ride can loosen them at the joints shorten their useful life dramatically. Not the ’03 Bambi; it’s all about Airstream quality.

    It’s an RV that will last as long as you want to enjoy it as this ’03 proved during the location shoot for Distant Roads - An Ashley Gracile TV Series produced by GPI Content Corporation. Light as a feather, yet battleship strong; the ’03 Bambi provides complete independence at the beach or in the deep woods. Beautifully evolved from Wally Byam’s original concept, the Bambi had been lovingly perfected by nearly a century of Airstream manufacturing and design experience.

    When it comes to small trailers, Airstream’s are the finest investment available.

    As small as it is; the 2003 Bambi that Ashley Gracile and the TV crew from GPI Content Corporation’s Distant Roads TV series road tested was made for dry camping. It has its own fuel for cooking, its own lights and its own water. It stays warm in the winter, and cool in the summer. With a GVW Rating of 3,500 pounds, the Bambi lets you travel as fast and as far as you want without the hassle or expense of hotel reservations or airport security check points.

    The ’03 Bambi’s unsurpassed lightness and durability comes from its’ efficient, aerodynamic design. The trademark graceful profile is the calling card of Airstream’s hand-crafted Monocoque construction. The trailer’s aircraft-inspired radius design lowers its wind resistance and lets it slip easily through the air making for a stress free tow. So no surprisingly an Airstream uses substantially less horsepower and twenty-percent less fuel to pull than an ordinary box-type trailer.

    While touring the Airstream factory Ashley Gracile was impressed with the how every Airstream’s aluminum panels and rib structures are fastened together by hand with thousands of rivets, while other trailers use glue and staples; “The riveted panels and ribs form a lightweight and strong body that is self-supporting, and requires no extra frame” observed the Executive Producer of Distant Roads and President of GPI Content Corporation. Spacers are then attached to allow for insulation, and the attachment of the interior walls. The 2003 Bambi’s windows continue the graceful look in high strength safety glass. The windows add strength and security to the streamlined coach, while providing a strong visual connection to the outdoors. Airstream’s available proprietary window design delivers the highest quality window in the RV industry.

    A high-grade aluminum skin seals the chassis underbelly from beneath. Thick fiberglass insulation regulates interior temperatures and keeps the holding tanks from freezing, with ducted heating offering even greater protection under the rugged floor.

    With the monocoque shell and chassis assembled first, Airstream can test each coach in its Hurricane Force water check facilities before the furniture and interior skin are installed. This makes it easy for Airstream’s on-the-line quality team to detect and remedy any possible leaks. Other RV manufacturer’s test their products after the interiors have been completed – which can make leaks difficult to see behind bulky interior appointments.

    First-time Airstreamers, Airstream veterans and even the TV crew from GPI Content Corporation were continually surprised at the engineering excellence at Airstream – and the many simple but clever ideas that make their coaches truly outstanding.

    The aluminum wheels echo the timeless sensibility of Airstream style; but more important are the strength and durability they offer, without adding excess weight to tow. Ashley Gracile reminded his crew to showcase the ’03 Bambi’s smartly-placed hookups, easy to use awnings, and Airstream’s exclusive “one-touch”, cast aluminum step take the hassle out of setting up. There is rear bumper storage, and compartments designed specifically for wet or soiled items. “The proprietary Airstream door system is yet another mark of the Bambi’s legendary quality” said Ashley Gracile. The signature bank vault slam of the entrance door is a testament to the strength of the Bambi’s construction. “It’s a feature unheard of in any other trailer…. of any size!” concluded Ashley Gracile as he slammed the door to the ’03 Bambi his GPI Content Corporation TV crew was putting through its paces.

    With all of its rugged stamina, the Bambi is still a comfortable little home. In 2003 Airstream offered the Bambi in both Safari and International CCD interiors. So customers will be choosing between a sumptuous, more traditional look, or the striking modernity of the International CCD.

    This towable’s interior is amazingly comfortable. It has a double bed in the back, with storage areas underneath. And the Bambi sleeps up to four people, when the convertible dinette is converted into an extra bed for the kids. From the outside, you’d never guess that this trailer is equipped with a full bathroom – including shower -- and plenty of storage space.  The ample galley comes equipped with a two-burner cooktop in the 16-foot model, and a three-burner stove and oven in the 19-footer.  Both models were offered with a sink, and a full-sized fridge. And every bit of extra space is put to use in the Bambi.  The up to 16-thousand BTU furnace and up to 65 gallons of combined water tank capacity lets you be self-contained in the most remote locations.

    No matter where you travel, the remarkable Bambi will take them there with the peace and mind and comfort that can only come from Airstream.

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