This is a fun, thoughtful and very relevant discussion. I enjoyed the guy from Montana who was puzzled over how anonymous got to "every wilderness area in the country" on public transportation. Maybe he didn't see the signature -- the country was Japan.
Two years ago I found my own solution to the same problem. Of course, I think it's best, but I don't write to convince anyone. I just want to inform you about my compact travel trailer of choice, which you'll never see on any RV lot. It's the same length as my small SUV, but can sleep up to four. It's warm, convenient, economical and cool-looking, too. It's relatively thief- and bear-proof, virtually indestructable, and cost me less than a new pro DSLR body.
It's a Scamp, a fiberglass "egg"shaped trailer. Much like your Airstream Bambi, except half the weight and price. I pull it over the Colorado Rockies (and more importantly, I control it on the downhills) with a Subaru Forester. That's good for 18 mpg towing at 60-70 mph on Interstates, and the car gets 25+ mpg unhitched. And it tows like a dream, with nary a white-knuckled moment in over 5000 miles. For me, that's great all-round performance. It's been a marriage-saver; my wife wants to camp again. We get out more and enjoy it better.
Two manufacturers are making these still: Scamp in Minn., and Casita in Texas. They're available in 13-foot lengths (10 feet long insidel) and 16-footers, like mine. Empty and unoptioned, they tend to weigh 100 lbs per foot, plus cargo and options. Mine has a propane cooktop, a 12v system and AC hookups & outlets, two bunk and a dinette that converts to a full-sized bed. You can add bathrooms, furnaces, water heaters, refrigerators and air conditioners as you wish, or leave it lightweight, spacious and simple, like mine. I paid $2,500 for my 1985 model. All it needed was replacement tires and a $20 hand water pump, but I added a big exhaust fan and a few extras.
In this category, 98% of campers choose pop-up tent trailers. I guess they do have some advantages. Your pop-up will probably be roomier, when set up, because the beds are outside the chassis. You can still see out your rear window when driving, can't you? And it must be nice to sit there enjoying the breezes under that netting on balmy, buggy evenings.
But when the weather turns bad quickly, as it will in the mountains, I'm glad my trailer's rigid walls won't flap in the wind. I'm even gladder I can park and go inside right away, with zero setup. And leaks? Hey, they make boats of this stuff. Convenience is a big factor for me. Every item of gear inside my trailer is accessible immediately. I can stop and use the porta-potty. I can make a hot meal while I sit out a thundershower. It has real insulation in the walls, so not much heater is required- I've heard the furnaces on nearby pop-ups blasting long into the night, while I needed only a down bag.
I thought Aliners looked nice, but they have so many folding seams and moving parts that I can't imagine them giving decades of service. This Scamp looks like it could ride for a hundred years, with a little service now and then.
I could go on and on, or you could consult the leading blog in the field, www.fiberglassrv.com
for many more satisfied owners' accounts. I feel lucky I discovered this option before I bought something else. But plenty of other eggers have come from owning Airstreams and pop-ups. These trailers are little-known because they don't advertise, and they don't sell them off dealers lots. If you spot one of these at a campground, act friendly. We're used to giving tours. Thet's how I decided I wanted one.