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RV Forums...Good or Bad?

I have been camping for years and other than a short stint in a tent most of them years have been in some type of trailer or RV. As my website's name implies I do have somewhat of an RV Habit. Yes, I love all types and sizes. I enjoy going to any RV show I can find. I can just go to my back yard and look at my RV and I smile.

My habit started when I was about 12 years old and my parents had just upgraded from a StarCraft Pop-up to a used 24' Terry Travel Trailer. I was fascinated with that trailer. It had a kitchen, a bathroom, my goodness it had a bunk bed! I played in that trailer for hours when it was just parked in our yard and waited anxiously for every trip. I was hooked. As I got older I bought trailers of my own and loved every one of them. To this day I love spending my spare time "working" on my RV.

I have always lived in the northeast so cold weather and snow makes up the winter months. Those months were long and dreary as I would impatiently wait for the first sign of spring so I could get back into my RV. As with life, technology progressed and along came computers, the Internet and eventually the birth of forums. What a cool idea, a place where people with similar interests could post questions, comments or just talk. I was hooked immediately on the RV forums.

RV forums have grown over the years and there are thousands upon thousands of people who belong to one type of RV forum or another. There are general RV forums, forums for RV brands, RV types, the list is endless. What ever your interest is, there is an RV forum for you. That brings me to the subject of are RV forums good or bad?

As is with the Internet there are people that hide anonymously behind a keyboard who wait to troll, ridicule or just be a negative voice and RV forums are not exempt. I will say most RV forums have great moderators that keep things in check and topics on point. Most of these forum moderators are volunteers and do it happily because of their love of being involved in something they are passionate about.

These forums are a great source of information and for many members, entertainment. Most RV forums have a structure. For example an RV forum may have multiple sections like types of trailers, brands of trailers, general maintenance, etc. In those sections are sub-sections like pop-ups, travel trailers, fifth wheels, etc.. or plumbing, gas, electrical, etc. I have seen some forums with dozens of sections and dozens of sub-sections in those sections. Yes there is no shortage of areas on an RV forum to choose from. When a forum member creates a post, which can be anything from a question to a comment, it is called a thread. RV forums have thousands upon thousands of threads and the number grows daily.

A good percentage of threads on the forums are questions. For example, 'I have a travel trailer and it's connected to city water and it is filling up my fresh water tank and its over flowing...please help.' Now any question will elicit dozens of fellow members to respond with advice, solutions and occasionally a useless comment. By useless I mean something like, 'I don't have a travel trailer but when my Class A is connected to city water it works fine.' Now you may chuckle but that actually happens more often than I care to admit. Maybe the person just wants to be part of the conversation and that's fine. Hey it's the Internet and that is all part of the experience. But, between an occasional off topic comment there are numerous quick responses to a possible solution. With so many members someone knows the answer to the question. This is where Forums can truly be beneficial to any RV'er.

The trick is to do your research. Just because someone posts an answer and it sounds articulate describing the solution does not make it right or wrong. What that person is saying may have worked for him or her and they are genuinely trying to help. On the other hand that person may have no clue on the correct way to answer your question but answers anyway. This is where it becomes your responsibility to investigate any answer thoroughly. I have seen some pretty bad advice over the years but thankfully much more good advice. Not everything on forums are questions though. Members show off their rigs, review their last trip, plan meet-ups and much more.

In the end I think RV forums are a great source of information, enjoyment and fun for both new and experienced RV'ers. They also provide an outlet for those of us who are sometimes stuck at home itching to get back on the road. I encourage all of you to join an RV forum. You will be surprised when someone has a problem and you say, "hey I know what is wrong and I can help." You might even make some new friends with a common interest. My only advice is not everything you read on the Internet is true but if you become part of the community that's one more person helping to make it a better place.




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