A stretch of non-Airstream time and no blog entries can only mean one thing: plotting the next adventures.
For months I’ve been chafing to write about one of the most exciting projects our event team has ever attempted. This is something entirely new, which we are calling “PTX,” for “Performance Towing Experience.” And now, since it’s coming together, I want to give you advance notice of it.
Next July 2015, we are going to take Airstream trailers to the race track—and you can drive them!
We’ll have three courses: a dragstrip 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.
Whatever your level, PTX is going to be the place to learn more about towing, get your hitch optimized, get a safety check, practice things you hope you never have to do on the road, and compare different towing combinations by actually driving them.
This has never been done before, as far as we know. That’s a big part of why I’m so pumped about it.
PTX will include three days of educational seminars and practice on the courses, plus three days where you can watch others race (on vintage motorcycles and other vehicles), and up to seven nights of camping!
We’ll be camped at the Grand Bend Motorplex, in Grand Bend Ontario. It’s just about two hours drive from Detroit, or about 4-5 hours from Buffalo NY. Camping will be mostly boondocking but there will be water available, a dump station, bathrooms, showers, and you can bring a generator.
We are anticipating that the event will have three levels of participation: Spectator, Driver (beginning towing), and Advanced Driver (experienced towing). Even Spectators will have a lot to do. We’ll have several off-site tours and events for Spectators, as part of the program. The Motorplex is very close to the white sand beach at Lake Huron, and there’s a surprising amount of things to do in the area. And of course we’ll have the usual Happy Hours, catered dinner, social events, door prizes, and fun that we have at all our other events.
I’m really hoping that, besides being fun, this event helps improve safety. Instead of relying on “rules of thumb,” and anecdotal reports on the Internet, and outdated advice, participants will have the chance to learn what works first-hand. I’m hoping they actually feel the differences brought on by proper hitch tuning, tire choices, and tow vehicles.
No matter what you tow with, PTX will be an opportunity to make it tow better … and that should improve safety!
By the way, the newsletter is another new project I’ve very excited about. We just launched it last month. Outside Interests comes out every three weeks, and shares news about Airstream, tips, profiles, and special deals on upcoming events—including PTX. It’s sort of a companion to Airstream Life magazine, but entirely free and delivered by email. Give it a try if you are curious; you can always unsubscribe if you want.