11Dec2019

Bambi vs. Caravel – A Comparison

Bambi or Caravel? Take a look at a side-by-side comparison of features to help you identify the right single axle travel trailer to suit your lifestyle.

This year, Airstream introduced two new lines of single-axle travel trailers. With Bambi and Caravel, you now can choose between four different trailer lengths in an easy-to-tow form: Lightweight, single-axle travel trailers that are true to Airstream’s iconic style, low center of gravity, and highly aerodynamic shell.

While Bambi and Caravel have a several similarities at a quick glance, there are a myriad of features that create a stark contrast between these two single-axle models. How do these two small but hefty travel trailers stack up against one another? We’ve created this side-by-side comparison to illustrate the differences between the Bambi and Caravel to help future Airstreamers find the single-axle travel trailer that best suits their needs and desires.

Bambi and Caravel Similarities

First and foremost, the Bambi and Caravel are available in all of the same 4 floor plan lengths, which is important because they look fairly similar from the outside. From the 16RB, 19CB, 20FB, all the way to the 22FB, there is no difference between the floor plan options between these two models. That component is important because they’re both equally designed and streamlined to be towed by an SUV or any truck.

As with all Airstream travel trailers, these two models include a low-center of gravity, a semi-monocoque shell construction, and the same durability, stability, and quality standards that Airstream has been known for since 1931. Additionally, both adventure-ready models have a heated underbelly, Nev-R-Adjust brakes, torsion suspension systems, and a temperature reducing one-piece white aluminum roof. Oh, and best yet — a single axle, of course!

How are Bambi and Caravel Different? — An Overview

Airstream Bambi 20FB

Former Airstream Director of Sales C.H. Manchester put it best. “Bambi means speed. Bambi means stamina…and, most important of all, Bambi means full Airstream quality, engineered and proportioned and thoroughly travel-tested.” The 2020 Airstream Bambi was built with the same inspiration and intentional features to give campers and travelers the ability to easily go anywhere, while still having every comfort of home along for the ride.

Airstream Caravel 16RB

The Airstream experience is amplified with Caravel, as numerous design touches heighten the single-axle experience. Like a sophisticated big-city loft, Caravel features the perfect blend of metal, woodgrain, and neutral white – a palette that provides the interior with a distinctly modern feel. Named after Airstream founder Wally Byam’s admiration of sea-going vessels – and harkening back to the original Caravel line introduced in 1956 – this new iteration maintains the feel of a land-borne yacht. The Caravel answers the need to travel farther, stay longer, and have all the premium features that are ready to go out of the gate.

Exterior Features

Difference #1: Rear Bumper

With an enhanced rear polished bumper, Caravel has additional room to store equipment such as hoses, power cables, and other tools.

Bambi – No Bumper

Caravel – Rear Polished Bumper

Difference #2: Front Protection

Bambi comes standard with a durable 3M protective film strip to protect the aluminum from scrapes and scratches. The Caravel includes two front stainless steel stone guards that will safeguard the aluminum from rock damage or other road debris that may come up while traveling. Both models feature a front window guard that not only protects the glass from road debris but also shades the interior and provides extra privacy.

Bambi – 3M Protective Film

Caravel – Stainless Steel Front Stone Guard

Difference #3: Bearings

All Airstream travel trailers are equipped with premium Nev-R-Lube bearings with the exception of the Bambi. Benefits of Nev-R-Lube bearings include never having to repack bearings or replace the seals which decreases maintenance, they’re pre-lubricated and resistant to contamination, and they have a 5-year or 100,000 mile warranty against defects.

Bambi – Standard Bearings

Caravel – Nev-R-Lube Bearings

Difference #4: Stabilizer Jacks

While both models do require a manual crank to lower and raise the 4 stabilizer jacks, the Caravel has upgraded heavy duty stabilizers to manage the slight weight differences between the floor plans.

Bambi – Manual Stabilizer Jacks

Caravel – Heavy Duty Stabilizer Jacks

Difference #5: Hitch Jacks

Same functionality, different accessibility. With the Bambi manual hitch jack, you’re required to crank the handle to lower and raise the front of the trailer during hitching and leveling. With the powered hitch jack that comes with the Caravel, it’s as simple as the push of a button.

Bambi – Manual Hitch Jack

Caravel – Powered Hitch Jack

Difference #6: Entry Step

Bambi – Steel Entry Step

Caravel – Thule Aluminum Entry Step

Difference #7: Awning Fabric

Bambi has a Weathermax awning and Caravel has a Sunbrella®  awning which both feature a high performance fabric that are water resistant and dry quickly. The performance Sunbrella® pinstripe patio awning on the Caravel adds a taste of designer style when the awnings are extended.

Bambi – Weathermax Fabric

Caravel – Pinstripe Sunbrella Fabric

Difference #8: Torsion Suspension

There are several benefits to a torsion suspension system, but for the sake of the Bambi and Caravel comparison, we’ll keep it to the fact that the Caravel includes shock absorbers for an even smoother towing experience. Torsion axle suspensions enhance trailer control, towing, and stability compared to traditional leaf springs. All Airstreams except the Bambi (and Basecamp) are equipped with shock absorbers. Shock absorbers add additional dampening and insure an exceptionally smooth ride.

Bambi – Torsion Suspension

Caravel – Torsion Suspension with Shock Absorber

Difference #9: The Tail Lights

Bambi – Single (2) Round LED Taillights

Caravel – Dual (4) Round LED Taillights

Difference #10: Window Awnings

You’ll find a single curb side awning on the Bambi which is perfect for catching some relief from the sun. Large side awnings are also useful for keeping the trailer cool because it reduces the amount of direct sunlight that is hitting the the shell. There are optional street side and rear window awnings available in addition to the main awning on all four Caravel floor plans.

Bambi – No Window Awnings

Caravel – Rear and Side Window Awning Package Optional

Difference #11: Windows

Both 16RB floor plans have a rear window, but they do differ in size. The rear window on the Caravel reaches around the sides to give a panoramic view of your surroundings. Our hand-crafted, custom Airstream windows are riveted right into the frame of the trailer and designed to give you a bigger opening radius so more breeze can flow throughout the cabin. All windows on the Caravel and the front panoramic window on the Bambi are crafted in Jackson Center, Ohio.

Bambi – Single, Center Window

Caravel – Panoramic Window

Difference #12: Battery Location

Both models come equipped with 2 deep cycle group 24 batteries with a multi-stage converter, but they’re in slightly different locations on the front of the trailer. A plastic molded battery container holds the batteries above the frame and directly behind the LP tank cover on the Bambi models while the Caravel has a concealed steel box secured under the trailer A-frame with a hinged door for quick access and minimal appearance.

Bambi – Plastic Molded Battery Container

Caravel – Concealed Steel Box

Interior & Decor

Difference #13: Air Conditioning & Heating

Bambi comes with a non-ducted 13,500 BTU air conditioner with a heat strip and manual controls. What’s a heat strip? Heats strips are an electrical element that will heat up and allow the A/C fan to disperse warm air throughout the cabin without firing up your furnace. The upgraded Caravel also includes a 13,500 BTU air conditioner but has a heat pump, climate control center, and features our ducted Quietstream air ventilation system. What is a heat pump? A heat pump is A/C working in reverse and takes ambient air from the cabin to provide warmer air when the temperature is above approximately 40 degrees fahrenheit. Quietstream circulates air evenly with multiple vents across the trailer ceiling and has return vents making the system very quiet.

Bambi – Non Ducted A/C with Heat Strip

Caravel – Quietstream A/C with Heat Pump

Difference #14: Seating / Upholstery

The seating fabric in the Bambi is a fade resistant, durable Performatex material that can easily be spot cleaned with water and mild detergent. Inside the Caravel, you’ll find premium Ultraleather seating. Ultraleather is designed for maximum longevity and luxurious comfort and breathability.

Bambi – Performatex Seating

Caravel – Ultraleather Seating

Difference #15: Light Switches

The primary interior lighting in the Bambi models are LED ceiling dome lights that are controlled with a switch on each individual light. The Caravel has surface mounted puck LED lights that are controlled with a multi-function touch dimmer switch.

Difference #16: Overhead Storage

The overhead storage in the Bambi features tambour doors to make it quick and simple to stash away food and other items. Bring even more plates, cups, and containers to stow away in the larger Caravel overhead sliding door storage compartments.

Bambi – Overhead Storage with Tambour Doors

Caravel – Overhead Storage with Sliding Doors

Difference #17: Toilet

Bambi comes with a molded plastic toilet whereas Caravel includes a porcelain toilet.

Appliances & Entertainment

Difference #18: Power Inverter

The Caravel offers a 1,000 watt pure sine wave power inverter on all floor plans. What’s an inverter? An inverter is a device that takes your 12V battery power and inverts to 110V so that you can power GFCI specific outlets in the trailer and the devices plugged into them (Blu-Ray player, T.V., etc.).

Difference #19: Microwaves

Did you know you could have roasted your Thanksgiving turkey in a convection microwave oven? That’s just one of the available Caravel (not an option on the 16RB) kitchen features that’ll inspire a more exciting camp meal. A standard microwave is included with each Bambi, however, the convection microwave option is not available.

Difference #20: Blinds

Same function, different feature. Block out light and keep your privacy, but get a slightly different look and functionality. Both feature a sleek, aluminum style that matches the rest of the silver interior.

Bambi – Aluminum Blinds

Caravel – Aluminum Roller Blinds

Difference #21: Cooktops

What type of cooking experience are you looking to have inside your Airstream? In all of the Bambi floor plans, there are 2 LP (liquid propane) burner cooktops which will accomodate just about any type of meal you want to prepare. If you’re looking to take it to the next level, Caravel features a chef-inspired 3 burner cooktop in the 20FB and 22FB foot floor plans. As with the Bambi, the Caravel 16RB and 19CB both have a 2 burner cooktop.*

Bambi – 2 Burner Cooktop

Caravel – 3 Burner Cooktop*

Difference #22 Stereos & TVs

For the Bambi, you can enjoy a 12v/110V LED HD TV with a DVD player or switch to over-the-air channels with the omni directional antenna. When plugged in to shore power the TV will utilize the 110V power, but when running on battery and because the Bambi doesn’t have an inverter, the TV will be powered with the 12v outlet so you can enjoy your shows when disconnected from 110V power. There’s also a JVC Stereo with Bluetooth for streaming your favorite music. Step inside Caravel and get an even more premium experience with an LG LED HD TV (with antenna) and Blu-Ray player. The Caravel’s JL Stereo with Bluetooth® and surround sound speaker system with a subwoofer creates a premium audio experience.

Difference #23: Bathroom & Shower Door

In the 19CB, 20FB, and 22FB floor plans, you’ll find a difference of shower doors between the two models. There is a sliding retractable door in the Bambi and a glass door throughout the Caravel series, giving it an upscale feeling in the bathroom.

Difference #24: Interior Decor Options

Bambi is available in two interior décor options: Dune and Ocean. Caravel is available in two completely different interior décor options: Tungsten and Pewter.

Caravel’s Tungsten Décor

Caravel’s Pewter Décor

Bambi’s Dune Décor

Bambi’s Ocean Décor

For an even more detailed look at the Bambi and Caravel features and photos, download the product brochure.