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Old 02-11-2011, 08:19 PM   #1
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Default Make this forum the #1 spot for Class B information

Make this forum the #1 spot for Class B information.

Your suggestions or ideas are needed.
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Old 02-12-2011, 04:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: Make this forum the #1 spot for Class B information

This is really a hard question since most everything B related is here already. The only thing I can come up with at this time is manuals for things in a B, Like Onan 2.8Kw genny it seems all other RVs have bigger units. There may be other things like the fridge's, toilets, etc. used in Bs and I really don't know what kind of things most Bs use. I see there are Ford, Chevy and Dodge manuals.
I find the people on this forum are the best. Not the bashing type found on other forums. Maybe it is controlled but everything comes off as the best.
The help and knowledge of B related items are top quality. I have seen so many post where people have gone out of their way to find quality answers to questions namely Marco & Mike, both you are fantastic and know so much. I try to help on some points but let's just say I'm just not that experianced on so many topics.
The only other point to bring up is get more B owners and they will see how great it is.
If I come up with any other ideas I'll repost
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: Make this forum the #1 spot for Class B information

Markopolo - you have a huge investment in this site, timewise. It's a very good site - I look at it everyday, and thank mainly you and Mike for your conversations. It was a huge benefit to me when I purchased my first Class B in April last year.
This week I'm replacing my 3" and 1 1/2" sewage/grey water discharge valves, they are leaking a bit. Then I have to check out my ABS light. Then I will replace the timing belts on my '89 Goldwing, and then I'm ready for the summer.
PS: I think this site is already the #1 site for Class B information. Maybe a bit slow this month, but I'm OK with that.
Cheers.
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Old 02-12-2011, 11:37 AM   #4
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Default Re: Make this forum the #1 spot for Class B information

Thanks guys.

I'm just trying to figure out how to get more members to participate. There are more than 1200 now.
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: Make this forum the #1 spot for Class B information

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
Thanks guys.

I'm just trying to figure out how to get more members to participate.
Jeeez, I'm doing the best I can!!!!!
I appreciate the kind comments, too.
(I have "waaaaaaay too much time on my hands" )

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
There are more than 1200 now.
I think you've already got the answer.
The more people that know about, and visit the website itself, might then choose to join
and be more likely to get into the various discussions, even if only to ask a question, or provide an
answer, or add a different opinion or perspective.
I think the overall participation will increase, as the membership base continues to increase.
We have such a broad range of skill sets and experience and knowledge already, like Booster and Photog
for their suspension/photography hints, Visonquest for his battery and DIY knowledge and projects,
as well as insight into the world of full timing, VernM and others on solar and some of the finer things
in life (RedRose Tea), Davydd for everything edible (including "Apples") as well as all the others who
provide all sorts of ideas and know how on a variety of topics. And yourself, of course, on pretty much
everything, including website care and feeding. Everyone on here has their area of expertise, be it
mechanical, electrical, biological, plumbing, I/T, culinary, financial, etc.... It doesn't have to be conversion
van related, to be useful. The trigger mechanism is when someone posts a thought, or idea, or question.
That gets the ball rolling, although some threads get more hits than others. I don't think you can change that.

So, to broaden/increase the participation, broadening the membership base, would be my answer.
I know I'm always mentioning this forum to people we meet on our travels, and have even made up
some "Class B Forum" business/welcome cards. I rarely have a pen and paper handy in a parking lot, or
at the Grand Canyon, or Devil's Tower, when we meet and talk to another Class B RV owner, so to save me
scrounging around looking for something to write with/on, I made up some simple cards with the basics,
including the URL for the forum, and that it's free to join. I keep them handy in the door pockets of our
Roadtrek.
This is what they look like.....

Class B Forum
Class B RV's and Camper Van Conversions
http://www.classbforum.com/
It's free to browse, and free to join.
Come share your B knowledge and experience,
or just browse the forum for a while.

Just my 2 cents (OK, $2) worth.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: Make this forum the #1 spot for Class B information

I think you are up against a tough situation. It may be because B folks are so fiercely loyal to what they own, but it seems the one brand, dedicated, sites, get a lot more traffic than the all inclusive ones. The Yahoo Roadtrek site is an example that I am familiar with, and it gets way more traffic than the RV.net forum or here. Maybe because there is only one brand, there is less conflict, and folks like that. Mutual reinforcement of their wise decision? Many times, on the general sites the discussions degenerate into "whose is best" arguments. On a one brand site, at least that is limited to Sprinter/non Sprinter arguments!

The "any B" sites seem to get more of the folks that have the lower sales volume units, probably because there isn't a good brand only site, but it makes for much less in common between the participants. They also seem to get the evangelical owners of other brands trying to convince everyone to get what they have.

I don't know how you break into the "herd mentality" and intense brand loyalty and get folks into an all inclusive site. Familiarity seems to breed comfort to most people.

I don't particularly like the mentality that many have about how their rig is the best, it is perfect, and how they can't understand how anyone would want anything else. We have a Roadtrek 190P, that we chose for many reasons that apply to us, and how we use it. Others may have different views, and that is fine. I also will tell you what I don't like about our unit, unlike many other folks. I took a huge bashing the first few times I mentioned quality issues on newer Roadtreks, it was like I was blasphemous. That said, with what these units cost, it is understandable that folks will defend their decision.

Probably best to have a place where folks can say what they thinK without undo chastisement, where opinions are just that (opinions not facts), and not everyone agrees that you have to have a diesel, or a kitchen on the passenger side, or a generator, or AC, or duals, or new, or old, or Dodge, or Chevy, or Ford, or whatever. Discuss the merits, give the reasons you chose what you did, and accept that others will do the same. Accept that everyone isn't you!

I am an engineer, a unabashed tweaker (as Peter Lange at Roadtrek calls us) and really enjoy the fact that this site is more tuned to those of us that like to mess with how the rigs are setup. There have been some great threads here on things that go way deeper than most folks are interested in. Unfortunately, we are in the minority, and cannot carry a forum to greatness by ourselves. You need the folks that into the common things like what campgrounds, best restaurants, what sleepsack, etc to carry the day to day interactions.

I truly hope that this site continues to grow, and draws in a larger, more inclusive, crowd.

Jim
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:15 AM   #7
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Default Re: Make this forum the #1 spot for Class B information

This site does seem to showcase the tweakers and tinkerers, doesn't it? I'd imagine those of
us who have the DIY urge, or who are getting it, but need a little info and some sourcing, are
the major participants. But there are plenty of categories that aren't necessarily DIY related,
and I see some folks "handles" that you rarely see in the other categories adding their 2 cents
here and there and that is encouraging. It is, what it is, I guess.

I also wondered if it's just that many of us class B owners are an older crowd? I bet many on here
are retired, and bought there B as an inexpensive tool (cheaper than flying and renting a car over
time maybe? greater scheduling capability, you're not on some travel/tour company's schedule) to
travel and see the world, without ever leaving the ground (we don't like flying particularly). I know
that the only reason I'm familiar with the internet and web forums is because it was part of my
profession during the later years of my career. Others our age might not feel as safe or confident
on the internet. Perhaps they are afraid to join in, for fear of exposure to identity theft, or many of
the other techno-perils that we hear about every so often. Seems there's always someone scamming
someone, and a lot of times it's pretty high-tech, and so places like this forum might be scary for
some? I do know people with internet access, and absolutely no fear, that I constantly worry about.

Maybe it's just that some people don't want to be ridiculed, and that's normal. Fear of asking, in public,
(for whatever reasons) a question that others might see as silly or "dumb". You either have to have a
thick skin or be very brave to get involved on some websites where there can be some pretty unforgiving
participants. I can't see that being a problem on here, as everybody seems very friendly and very helpful
for many of the questions and problems we get to read. I've always thought the only stupid question is the
one that goes unasked. Cliche, but largely true, methinks. Too much pride can cost you money too, methinks.
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Old 02-14-2011, 05:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: Make this forum the #1 spot for Class B information

For those who are interested to know, I posted a question on other "B" forums and this is the ONLY site that gave me an answer to my question. I have posted other questions on this site and I always get some kind of response that is helpful and informative. I to made up a business card with our information on it and I like the idea of including this web site, so I'll be making some new ones. I check this forum everyday....sometimes 3-4 times a day
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:24 AM   #9
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Default Re: Make this forum the #1 spot for Class B information

I'm new here and this is my first post. I had come across this forum a week ago and came across a posting where the submitter had an older unit but was hesitant to discuss as most discussion here is over much newer Class B units. I feel the same way so I figured this is the best way to atleast put in my 2 cents. I guess the best way to offer some input is to stand back and ask the question, "What is a Class B?" 3 wikipedia pages have some description:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conversion_van
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campervan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recreational_vehicle
another definition: http://changingears.com/rv-sec-learn-type-b.shtml
The points that have been brought up in this thread are great. There are areas that Class B/Conversion Vans have in common and some that are manufacturer specific. There are also similarities in the "Classic Class B" subgroup and "Newer (1990+) Class B" subgroup.
The original question:
Quote:
Make this forum the #1 spot for Class B information. Your suggestions or ideas are needed.
My suggestion would be subforums and inclusiveness. I looked at phpBB to see if sub forums are possible and they are. I highly doubt I'd get much feedback about questions on my 1984 VW hightop Get-Away Van or the 1988 Dodge Chinook I'm looking at. So how do you make the owner of a 2012 Winnebego Era and a 1988 Dodge Chinook fit together...or is that what you want? Is this forum just for newer units? I can see that there could be some consolidation of current forums into subforums under a primary header forum (ie. Buying a 'B' >Trading Post (Classified), The Dealers, (new) Sources). There is currently "general" discussions that are shared across manufacturers and then there could be specific to manufacturers. Photos might be categorized by manufacturer and then by year or model.
I realize managing a forum like this can take quite a bit of time so, if you're possibly thinking of changing it a bit, think of admins for certain sections (delegate). Just a bit of "food for thought" from a set of fresh eyes.
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Old 02-15-2011, 01:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: Make this forum the #1 spot for Class B information

Quote:
Originally Posted by Southbound
I'm new here and this is my first post. I had come across this forum a week ago and came across a posting where the submitter had an older unit but was hesitant to discuss as most discussion here is over much newer Class B units. I feel the same way so I figured this is the best way to atleast put in my 2 cents. I guess the best way to offer some input is to stand back and ask the question, "What is a Class B?" 3 wikipedia pages have some description:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conversion_van
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campervan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recreational_vehicle
another definition: http://changingears.com/rv-sec-learn-type-b.shtml
Don't forget
http://www.gorving.ca/classb.asp

Quote:
Originally Posted by Southbound
The points that have been brought up in this thread are great. There are areas that Class B/Conversion Vans have in common and some that are manufacturer specific. There are also similarities in the "Classic Class B" subgroup and "Newer (1990+) Class B" subgroup.
The original question:
Quote:
Make this forum the #1 spot for Class B information. Your suggestions or ideas are needed.
My suggestion would be subforums and inclusiveness. I looked at phpBB to see if sub forums are possible and they are. I highly doubt I'd get much feedback about questions on my 1984 VW hightop Get-Away Van or the 1988 Dodge Chinook I'm looking at. So how do you make the owner of a 2012 Winnebego Era and a 1988 Dodge Chinook fit together...or is that what you want? Is this forum just for newer units? I can see that there could be some consolidation of current forums into subforums under a primary header forum (ie. Buying a 'B' >Trading Post (Classified), The Dealers, (new) Sources). There is currently "general" discussions that are shared across manufacturers and then there could be specific to manufacturers. Photos might be categorized by manufacturer and then by year or model.
I realize managing a forum like this can take quite a bit of time so, if you're possibly thinking of changing it a bit, think of admins for certain sections (delegate). Just a bit of "food for thought" from a set of fresh eyes.
I think the other motivation in addition to making this the best place to come for class B information, is to
increase member participation, and that's a tough one. However, when a new member jumps right in and
gets involved in the most current discussion, that's another step in the right direction.
I don't know if I'd subdivide things much more than it is right now. I think if you create too many "rooms"
and doors connecting them, it gets harder to find things, and people get discouraged and lose interest perhaps.
On the other hand, I'd agree that it's hard for someone with an older B to relate to the issues a newer B owner
might face, and vice versa. Still, the similarities that exist across the decades since the class B van first crawled
from the primordial soup, are always interesting to me, and they might be to others too.
Don't be surprised if you do ask questions about your existing van, and the one you're looking at, and someone has
some knowledge or experience about them, or maybe a suggestion for another way to look at it, or someplace else
or a different way to get an answer. Also, don't be surprised if you don't get the answer you might have expected.
On here, everyone is a potential source of information, experience, and (often) opinions. We just have to figure
out how to wring it out of them.
Welcome, btw.
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