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Old 08-28-2014, 04:33 PM   #15
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....on car forums I've seen threads go on for pages about which colour is best
Well, we can certainly add to the number of debates - how to spell the word "color".

Sorry, couldn't resist. Now I'll hear from all my Canadian and British friends...

Chris
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Old 08-28-2014, 04:45 PM   #16
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The #1 most important safety factor is luck. We've read about accidents caused by distracted drivers and prior wreckage affecting upcoming traffic. You can be in the wrong place at the wrong time with dire circumstances as you have no more control over that than the weather.

So the #1 piece of safety gear is you - the driver. Trick out a Bambi with Michelins, a 3500 dually and a PAIR of proprides - if you're not an attentive, defensive, well rested and alert driver - your odds of an accident increase dramatically.

Absent a scientific method of comparing apples to apples, it's all subjective and my advice - worth everything you're paying for it - is to know WHY you want the particular TT, TV, tires, hitch, etc. - get that setup - go to a CDL school and take a Safe RV driver course - then camp, driving slowly and enjoying your life. :-)
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Old 08-28-2014, 04:50 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
So the #1 piece of safety gear is you - the driver. Trick out a Bambi with Michelins, a 3500 dually and a PAIR of proprides - if you're not an attentive, defensive, well rested and alert driver - your odds of an accident increase dramatically.

You mean International Freightliner, no one in their right mind would tow with an inadequate vehicle like a 3500 dully. That's just absurd.
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Old 08-28-2014, 05:00 PM   #18
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2 + 2 = ????

One of the more common narratives on this forum is safety this and safety that...... But,,,,, imho ,,, if it is all about safety, why own a tongue mounted trailer at all?

Within the realm of reasonableness, It is all about a balance that the driver feels comfortable with, even safety.
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Old 08-28-2014, 05:47 PM   #19
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One of the more common narratives on this forum is safety this and safety that...... But,,,,, imho ,,, if it is all about safety, why own a tongue mounted trailer at all?
Safety professionals don't talk about safety anymore. The correct term is "risk management."

The reason for the change? Safety consists of eliminating all risks. Which is impossible. Eliminate the risks you can, minimize the risks you can't.

The number-one tool for risk management is the Risk Assessment Matrix. If you Google "Risk Matrix" you'll find several examples. For trailer towing, you can do your own risk assessment matrix (and everyone SHOULD do his or her own, not rely upon someone else's).

Start with a listing of every risk you can think of. Then decide how severe that risk is, ranging from "fatal" to "merely annoying" using whatever terms you like. For example, fatal, serious, moderate, minor, annoying. List those in the first two columns of a spreadsheet. For example, in column one, you would have "low tire" and "flat tire" as two of your entries. In column two, a flat tire might be of moderate severity, while a low tire is of minor severity. Sort the risks by severity, highest at the top to lowest at the bottom.

Then across the top, make columns for how often each risk is likely to occur. This is kind of subjective. In the example, a flat tire occurs "rarely" while a low tire occurs more often, maybe "occasionally." Whatever terms you use for frequency, make sure the columns are sorted from most frequent ("all the time") to least frequent ("once in a blue moon").

Then divide the spreadsheet into quarters. Top left will be severe/often, top right will be severe/seldom, bottom left will be minor/often, and bottom right will be minor/seldom.

Once you know how the risks fall out on the spreadsheet, you know which ones to pay most attention to. The stuff in the top left quarter of the spreadsheet needs to be eliminated or minimized first, stuff in the bottom right can be postponed indefinitely if necessary, and stuff in the top right or bottom left quarters rank somewhere in between.

Risk assessment matrices should be redone every so often, maybe annually. That way, any risks you have eliminated fall off the list, and new risks you find get added, and you can readjust the frequency based on your greater experience.

The risk assessment matrix lets you get the most bang for your buck— or maybe that should be the LEAST bang for your buck. If you don't have enough resources right now to address everything, you can prioritize and be reasonably sure that you're making yourself as safe as possible with what you've got.
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Old 08-28-2014, 10:08 PM   #20
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OK, I've researched and read this forum faithfully for over a year now. As many have said, in the absence of hard data you have to use your own judgement. As far as equipment is concerned, I agree with Jim:
  • Adequate tow vehicle
  • Decent WD hitch
  • Good tires balanced and inflated properly
Add proper maintenence and safe driving practices and you're probably 98% of the way there in your risk management. YMMV

I'm ready to move on and discuss and go Camping(!).

Cheers,
John
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:02 PM   #21
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My favorite posts are the ones that cite primary and/or authoritative documentary sources via web links that support their position.

My least favorite posts are those based on a strongly held but apparently fact-free opinion...especially if I realize later that I've posted one of those myself.
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:44 PM   #22
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I...<snip> One of the ways I sift through the mass of information for nuggets is simply to try and get a feel for the competence and credibility of the poster. Over time I've been able to assemble my own little unpaid Advisory Committee, completely unknown to them.

John
Bingo! The Forums is deep and wide and has a wealth of useful information to be sure ... and there are many varying opinions on certain topics .... based on everything from hearsay to personal experience to brand adoration to real facts. I try to take much of what I read with a grain of salt but know that if I listen carefully, I will be able hear those who have solid information to offer... and a reasonable consensus emerges. That said, we all have opinions ... that's human nature ... and after all, isn't that what we are asking for from a community like this ... others' experiences and opinions? In the end, we take those opinions and experiences for what they are worth ... then make our own decisions.
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Old 08-29-2014, 01:11 AM   #23
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In search of knowledge vs. opinions, beliefs & biases

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Originally Posted by John-aka-Poppy View Post


I enjoy this forum. I enjoy the social aspect of it and I enjoy the information I gather here. But whew! It can often be frustrating. Some topics are debated endlessly with no logical definitive answer at the end. For example:
  • Hitches: On the ball vs. off the ball
  • Tires: ST vs. LT, 15" vs. 16"
  • Tow Vehicles: Trucks vs. everything else
  • Wheel Balancing: Centramatics vs. DynaBeads
  • Jacking Up: Axle plate or jacking points

As has been commented on many times, these topics and others have become almost a religion here among the faithful. I get the feeling that unless my rig consists of a large truck for a tow vehicle with a HA/PP hitch towing a trailer mounted with 16" wheels with Centramatics and mounted with LT tires then I might be deficient, negligent, ignorant or all three.

But nothing, pretty much nothing, is based on objective controlled testing. Manufacturers and their loyal customers are free to sing the praises of their products unrestrained by facts. Sometimes a positive feedback loop is created by loyal users and things become "true" because they're repeated so often. Which doesn't mean they're not true, but I just can't tell.

For someone fairly new at this who is making a sincere effort to get it right this can be really frustrating at times. I'm hoping that I'm making informed decisions but I'm not sure how informed I really am.

Cheers,
John
Thanks, John, for your observations here.

When I joined AirForums, their tagline was "The Airstream Knowledge Sharing Forums". Subsequently, the tagline, and perhaps the emphasis, changed to "Airstream Trailer & Motorhome Owners Community".

In 2007, this community discussed, gave input and voted on a new tagline. Perhaps it is time to take a another look at what the emphasis and tagline should be.

Cheers,
Bill
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Old 08-29-2014, 01:55 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John-aka-Poppy View Post


I enjoy this forum. I enjoy the social aspect of it and I enjoy the information I gather here. But whew! It can often be frustrating. Some topics are debated endlessly with no logical definitive answer at the end. For example:
  • Hitches: On the ball vs. off the ball
  • Tires: ST vs. LT, 15" vs. 16"
  • Tow Vehicles: Trucks vs. everything else
  • Wheel Balancing: Centramatics vs. DynaBeads
  • Jacking Up: Axle plate or jacking points

As has been commented on many times, these topics and others have become almost a religion here among the faithful. I get the feeling that unless my rig consists of a large truck for a tow vehicle with a HA/PP hitch towing a trailer mounted with 16" wheels with Centramatics and mounted with LT tires then I might be deficient, negligent, ignorant or all three.

But nothing, pretty much nothing, is based on objective controlled testing. Manufacturers and their loyal customers are free to sing the praises of their products unrestrained by facts. Sometimes a positive feedback loop is created by loyal users and things become "true" because they're repeated so often. Which doesn't mean they're not true, but I just can't tell.

For someone fairly new at this who is making a sincere effort to get it right this can be really frustrating at times. I'm hoping that I'm making informed decisions but I'm not sure how informed I really am.

Cheers,
John
Hi, sometimes I think this way; Try it. Go to an Airstream rally; [or any camp ground full of trailers] While there look at all the different set-ups. look at all of the trailers. Look at all of the tow vehicles. And look at all of the hitches. Maybe even look at the tires and brakes on the trailers. Then you will find virtually one thing in common with all of them; And that is the fact that they all made it safely to their destination and we can assume that they all made it safely back to their homes. With this in mind, they all went out for a good time and I believe that they did have a good time.

Now after you checked out the entire camp ground, did you determine who was right and who was wrong? I didn't!
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:38 AM   #25
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Personal... That is what we hope most experiences are. If I am a skeptacle or "observational" person I may approach problems different from a "trained" person.

This harkened back to a movie "Days of Thunder" where the ole' country boy Car Builder, showed the wise-guy race car driver how driving properly saved enough tires to finish the race. The "trained driver" learned from an "experiential" trained person. Moral? Tom Cruz can be taught??? Hahaha. No.

But I digress.

What I have learned after only 60 years on this Rock is that I learn from everyone. Some things I am awed by. Some things startle me. Some things I am amazed by. So, I keep the "good" and the rest I gently set aside or do an about-face and walk or run away.

There are some things, no matter how ugly, we must confront. But nothing about "camping", really, is worth attempting to destroy one another.
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:43 AM   #26
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"""There are some things, no matter how ugly, we must confront. But nothing about "camping", really, is worth attempting to destroy one another"""

Now that is wisdom right there.
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Old 08-29-2014, 06:00 PM   #27
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"""There are some things, no matter how ugly, we must confront. But nothing about "camping", really, is worth attempting to destroy one another"""

Now that is wisdom right there.

Agree

I think john used some terms like "reckless idiot" - I think that sorta stuff about such debates has no place - no one deserves that qualification solely because they disagree about a tire or a hitch IMO.


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Old 08-29-2014, 06:16 PM   #28
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I have posted on a lot of forums over the last 20 or so years, opinions here run deep on some subjects.

I admit to liking the banter a little too much, but I prefer banter without the anger.....

I think we Americans have become a bit too soft to the point that we take disagreement about trivial things a bit too seriously.

We need to learn to disagree gracefully. We gain more from doing so than either capitulation, bowing out, or taking things to a overtly personal level.
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