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Old 06-19-2015, 06:24 AM   #1
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2012 25' FB Flying Cloud
Queens , New York
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 69
Performance Towing Experience (PTX)

we were not able to sign up for this rally due to previous commitments, but it sounds like a great idea. looking now though, on the website, it has been canceled for this year. does anyone have any information on what happened or why they pulled the plug ?

<<Take your Airstream to the limit at the only on-track towing event in North America at the Performance Towing Experience (PTX) in Grand Bend, Ontario, Canada, July 14-19, 2015. you’ll improve your towing skills at the Grand Bend Motorplex under controlled conditions on road and track courses, optimize your hitch or tow vehicle, and compare towing combinations. Can-AM experts will provide hitch consultation, and classroom sessions on towing, hitch optimization, safe driving and other Airstream topics will be offered. Bring your Airstream, because we’ll have three courses for you to try: a drag strip run for demonstrations by our instructors, a low-speed cone course for beginners to towing, and a closed road course where experienced drivers can pull their Airstream through a slalom and practice maneuvers like emergency braking.>>

"Common Sense is like Common Courtesy,
ain't neither one too common these days"
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Old 06-19-2015, 08:05 AM   #2
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It is my understanding that they did not have enough reserved spots to pay for it. Apparently few thought it was worth it.


Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
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Old 06-19-2015, 10:57 AM   #3
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Thumbs up

Thanks Chief.
"Common Sense is like Common Courtesy,
ain't neither one too common these days"
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Old 06-19-2015, 11:15 AM   #4
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I heard "local" attendance was also an issue.

My thoughts are that this was a expensive rally. We planned on doing it to the tune of about $700.

There was no incentive to sign up early and give up my cash. Why should I? (I guess I have the answer now.)

Float me a t-shirt at least!
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Old 06-19-2015, 11:21 AM   #5
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we were disappointed.
seemed like an awesome idea.
maybe next year.
"Common Sense is like Common Courtesy,
ain't neither one too common these days"
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Old 06-20-2015, 10:46 AM   #6
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I don't get the point of it really. I don't want an extreme experience. I don't want to go fast.
As a towing instructor, that goes against any training I have received.
Maybe the point is to teach people avoidance maneuvers while at speed?
I wouldn't want to put my trailer through that.
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Old 06-20-2015, 11:39 AM   #7
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I'd like to do this. A visit to my grad school adviser. Laboratory head. Division commander.

There's only so much testing I can do by myself out on the Interstate. Or with scale tickets and tire pressures on the TV. Some limited mods.

Addressing the weak links of lash-up, tire & wheel selection, and more extensive changes (an engineered hitch receiver, not one of these poor OEM or aftermarket receivers we're stuck with as an example) can be explored in analysis. Experience is worth paying for.

I've upgraded the suspension on my truck with a rear antiroll bar, and upsized the front one to compensate. A rear Panhard Rod is next. Bilstein shocks. That it already is 2WD with IFS + rack & pinion steering with a man trans makes it quite different than what most people expect in handling from a one ton diesel Dodge. A Hensley hitch is nice, but how much load to the front axle REALLY works based on testing?

Again, etc. how does the expert think it looks and feels? Two minds better than one.

Dialing in the combination one has is the point. The easiest way down the road is the combined rig that can stay lane centered with the least effort DESPITE conditions encountered. Leave the lane AND return to it the same way. Unruffled. Driving should be as uneventful as possible. Which is not the same as memorable.

Or, as another example, how I choose to load my two vehicles can change the weight of either by hundreds of pounds. And where that load would sit in the vehicles. Etc.

What seems evident about trailer tail swing and truck rear axle tire adhesion on my rig to an expert? Two heads.

That, in turn could change the choice of spring ratings on one or both vehicles as well as shock absorber rates. My base weight is not so far different than GCWR minus 10-12%.

Is it worth the body mods I'd have to do to convert to torsion axle? A 35' Silver Streak (a late model Sterling) is one long mother. Plenty of sail area and with a lot of body overhanging the true suspension width. Worse than the classic SS trailers.

Seems simple to say yes from a distance to change from leaf to torsion, there is no comparison on paper, after all. But it may not pay with results significant enough for me to spend highly. Or would it? And so forth.

Some changes I couldn't do based on tire choice. Others I probably won't based on what I fear is the price for trailer frame and body work. Truth is, I just don't know. Truck and trailer are home, not just the occasional vacation rig. It matters.

Having an expert look things over, offer criticism and advice based on actual performance is the attraction of the event. The pilgrimage to Mecca. That some changes could be effected by his shop makes it even more attractive.

Kind of like a clean sheet of paper with which to optimize the whole thing. Drives better, lives longer.

With whatever changes I elect to make it would certainly be with more confidence of what is reasonable based on my use. Not "one size fits all". I'm still stuck in the in-between. Willing to experiment, but it'd sure be nice to collapse years into days to arrive at conclusions. Not to mention eliminating dead end paths from the outset.
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Old 06-20-2015, 02:33 PM   #8
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I've pulled trailers on I-405, DFW during rush hour, Houston, San Antonio, New Orleans and Atlanta. No dents. All I need for my merit badge is High Speed backing on a banked oval.....

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