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Old 01-26-2012, 09:25 AM   #113
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So much fun to see your Bambino set up and so many of the things you researched and talked about in your blog actually in place.

Such a special time. Congratulations! Thank you for letting us be vicarious travel friends on your adventure.

Hope the weather on your return trip is as cooperative as it was on your trip to Ontario.

Nancy Mac
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:27 AM   #114
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I hope so, Nancy, I'm actually quite pleased that my first teaching tows will be with snow on the ground--the only thing that could make it any better is a 9% grade to get shepherded down, but not terribly likely in London ONT.

Time for brunch!
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:37 PM   #115
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Just checking in. How's it going in your AS? When do u head back?
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:03 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blmitch5
Just checking in. How's it going in your AS? When do u head back?
It's going luvverly! Enjoying a quiet evening in the Bambino, a bowl of soup and some hot chocolate, and now I know more about the trailer, so relaxing is easier!

Plans may have to change a bit, due to unforeseen and all that, my orientation and such is happening a day later, so I may not get my solo run back to the Toads's Hall until Saturday night, then come back up for the Sunday of the CanAm Open House. Weather will dictate the return trip, again!

But my practice run today was in snow and rain, so you're proved right again, Brad! It wasn't a piece of cake...but might have qualified as scones, perhaps.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:49 PM   #117
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I'm home all week next week so if you need a place to stay or anything please call or text me. I'm walking down amnesia lane reading your post! I didn't get a class or orientation but learned by white knuckles and lots of humorous mistakes! Continue having fun and were all so excited for you! VW and Airstreams RULE!
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:07 PM   #118
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I am a little concerned about zlee. Nothing on this thread or her blog in the last 24 hours and wx forecast is not too good. London is showing snow the next 3 days (altho not heavy) and winds gusting to over 40 MPH. Not propitious for one's first solo cross country. Might want to delay her departure a couple of days.
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:16 PM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blmitch5
I'm home all week next week so if you need a place to stay or anything please call or text me. I'm walking down amnesia lane reading your post! I didn't get a class or orientation but learned by white knuckles and lots of humorous mistakes! Continue having fun and were all so excited for you! VW and Airstreams RULE!
Gads, practice going backwards was NOT good today. I'm hoping to get in some more practice time in the am before going down to Toad Hall if the weather allows. I can't seem to get my head around the direction the trailer will go...

I did feel even more a perfect idiot unhitching (in the dark) when I couldn't get the spring bar off on the left side. Slunk in to get help...to discover that there's something awry on the hitch head, and they need to fix it tomorrow morning.

CanAm has been really great about the little things on a used trailer that need fixing ("where'd the stowing strap for the telly go?"), and they've been so patient trying to help me with this backing up business. I definitely come firmly down on the "spend as much time in the trailer at your dealership as they'll allow" side.
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:28 PM   #120
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The going backwards thing just needs to be learned and you'll get it with practice. As we said before, never be frightened to abandon your backing up, go forward and start again. Hope the hitch head gets sorted and if the weather stops you from heading down here tomorrow, we'll be up on Sunday to check out the Bambino.
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:29 PM   #121
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Z--good to hear from you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zlee View Post
Gads, practice going backwards was NOT good today. I'm hoping to get in some more practice time in the am before going down to Toad Hall if the weather allows. I can't seem to get my head around the direction the trailer will go...
Backing is the most difficult part of towing. I have been Airstreaming for close to ten years and am starting to get the hang of it. And your rig does not look like an easy one to back, from the standpoint of relative wheelbases and visibility.

Quote:
I did feel even more a perfect idiot unhitching (in the dark) when I couldn't get the spring bar off on the left side. Slunk in to get help...to discover that there's something awry on the hitch head, and they need to fix it tomorrow morning.
You're a trouper, hitching and unhitching for practice--and in the dark! Two new Airstreamers of my acquaintance towed their rigs home--thousands of miles--without ever unhitching!

Good luck with your weather!

A piece of advice which has stuck with me from my flying days: "The superior pilot uses his superior judgement to avoid situations which would require the display of his superior skill."
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:30 PM   #122
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Single axels are harder to back up but you will get a feel for it. It just tales time. I'm glad to hear they are helping you out and Taking their time with you. Keep us posted on your travels, we're all addicted to your journey!
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Old 01-28-2012, 01:07 AM   #123
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Hi Z. I've seen you're posts here and there but didn't know you were pickin' up a cute Bambi to tow by yourself. Good for you! That is so cool! I hope the weather cooperates with you. The rest of the stuff, like Nuvite-F and blmitch5 says, it'll happen with time and experience. You're doin' great! Take your time and take care. I'll keep reading and cheering you along. Fellow female Bambino tow-ette!
~Cari~
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Old 01-28-2012, 01:54 AM   #124
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zlee -

Hold your hand at the bottom of your steering wheel. The direction you move your hand is the direction that the back of the trailer will go.

Turning too sharply will cause jackknifing and the trailer won't respond properly. If that happens, pull forward until it is straight, then try again.
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:51 AM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuvite-F
I am a little concerned about zlee. Nothing on this thread or her blog in the last 24 hours and wx forecast is not too good. London is showing snow the next 3 days (altho not heavy) and winds gusting to over 40 MPH. Not propitious for one's first solo cross country. Might want to delay her departure a couple of days.
.
Aw, thanks hon! Somehow I missed this last night. They've been keeping me pretty busy--I haven't knit or crocheted a single stitch (highly unusual, I assure you) the entire trip!

I know everyone said that Airstreams are easy to tow, and I believed them. I didn't realise how easy, though. There's a bit of porpoising which I didn't expect, but, after I tried towing an Elements trailer (dual axle) for some going-backwards practice using an automatic Jetta so I could concentrate on steering, I was really surprised at how little passing trucks and wind affect an AS compared to the Elements trailer. (Admittedly a longer trailer than the Bambino!) Even the Elements trailer was better than some of the vehicles I've driven, though.

I was going to get in some solo backwards practice (and hitching) this AM, but now I guess it'll depend on the hitch head getting fixed.

It's sure different hitching and unhitching outside in the cold wind than it is inside in the nice lighted shop!

I talked to Andy Thompson yesterday (he's so nice!) and asked if I should get chains for the tires. He said that if it was bad enough to need chains, it was time to pull over and wait it out! I might still get them for in case I get caught by weather by accident and need them to be able to get somewhere to do that waiting it out, though.

They're pretty used to snow here, I have to say. Evan explained that the famed lake effect means they get a lot of it here. Makes for good supervised practice!

I turn out to have lousy clutching skills. I need to rev higher faster and let out the clutch faster. I've gotten away with using the clutch as speed control (all unconsciously) all this time in various vehicles, but was overheating the clutch practising going backwards while towing.

I also have to remember to swing wide on turns, especially left. I may put a little sign for myself on the windshield, like they do in Ireland on the rental cars for driving on the other side of the road.

Time to get out of my cozy bed--I'm making little pies for everyone who has helped me this morning.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:26 PM   #126
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Just back from having Tea with Zlee at Can-Am. The Bambino is a beauty and was just so snug and cozy inside with the snow falling in large quantities outside. Weather and minor technical hitches allowing, she should be heading home, via Chicago, on Monday or Tuesday. Read her blog folks!
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