View Full Version : 12 for this, 15 for that...30k for the other

04-24-2006, 01:57 PM
$12 for forum access and $15 for the TrailBlazers club...What, $30k for the trailer wasn't enough? :cool:

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my new 3124KB! But what other hidden costs are involved? Is the $12 forum access charge an annual thing, or is that a lifetime charge?

I really like the forum, so I'll go with that. Any comments on the TrailBlazers club?

04-25-2006, 12:26 AM
Joe -

I can't speak to the Trailblazers fee (I'm not a member). But as to the $12 for TMO forum membership? You'll never find such a good deal again!

Contrary to what you suggest, the TMO forum has no connection with the manufacturer. The TMO forum is completely independent. If you pay $30K for a TM, then you paid $30K for the TM, and nothing else. Not one penny of that goes to the operation or maintenance of the TMO forum. No one who works at TM is a member of the Forum, or (to my knowledge) has ever posted here. That ensures that we, the owners, can all express honest opinion - good or bad - about our TMs. The owner/admin of the forum is not obligated to make the posts look good.

So why the fee? A board like the TMO board really does have expenses. Seems to be free? Try to buy a solid, professional, web hosting service for free! Or try getting the phpBB software for free! Try registering a domain name for free! Chris has done a marvellous job, and he (as well as the moderators) do everything with NO PAY! Since advertisers don't pay the freight, the membership has to pick up the expenses. And a good measure of the value of the forum is the number of people willing to pony up $12 each year. In my opinion, that isn't much, and a lot of folks seem to agree with me. The number of Sponsors continues to increase.

Don't believe me? Check some of the other RV-oriented forums. All forums have real expenses, and most of them pay for them with ads at the top of the page, ads at the bottom, ads at both sides - and the forum content is squeezed into that little area in the middle. Boy, is that annoying! Not my style at all, dunno 'bout you. Some people have more tolerance for relentless ads than I do.

The TMOwner forum has no ads. Chris set it up that way several years ago, and holds to that promise, and I like it. The TM forum is not beholden to any advertiser, to push his product. I like that A LOT! Anything you read on the TMO forum is honest opinion, even if it is not always expert. And you can always ask a question, and receive an answer that is more helpful than the common "It rocks!" or "It sucks!" - the useless stuff you get on other forums.

I was e-talking with a non-TM friend the other day. He is an expert in solar power, and he is a moderator on a solar power forum. Like us, he has a camper, and he uses solar power in the real world. He told me that he has given up on the general RV forums, because he found "the level of civility and the level of technical knowledge to be too low" to be useful. Compare that to the TMO forum. We are different. That is another thing you get for your $12 - a well-behaved, technically excellent source of information.

So anyway, you have to decide for yourself if you are willing to invest the price of a pizza in a year's worth of the TMO forum. After a month as a Trial Member (free), you should be able to make the decision, and if the decision is "NO", then as the bard says "Be well and prosper!"

Bill (one of the long-suffering unpaid moderators!)

Bill & Lisa
04-25-2006, 11:55 AM
On the forum...

$12/year every year......or $1 a month - for that I get unlimited access to a historical data base and if by some chance my question isn't addressed I can ask a question and get a large number of answers in less than 24 hours (sometimes much less!)

The number of good ideas and things to do (or not do) have saved me enough money and time that if there was a lifetime membership (say 20 years worth of dues) I would pay it today and still be able to claim a great return on my money. But that is just my opinion......


We have only been to one rally but want to do more and are going to be in Colorado Springs at the Jubilee in June. You can not attend these events unless you are a member (or one time as a guest of a member). It is great to be able to meet fellow campers that own the same brand of tt as I do and I always get new ideas of a customization I want to do from looking at what others have done.

Joining Good Sam chapters or Family Camping and RVers group or any of a dozen other groups all have national and in most cases chapter dues. We like to camp and meet new people so we belong to several groups. If that doesn't appeal to you then don't join. Luckily, you aren't required to join these groups when you purchase a TM. Also, the fee is $15 for the first year only and then drops to $10 a year. In addition to getting the newsletter (which mostly deals with upcoming rallies, but does have TM specific hints) you get a 10% discount on any items ordered from the factory. Did you get everything you wanted on your TM when you ordered it or took it from dealer stock? We have gotten additional wall mounts, fabric (to make curtain and valence for the door, and some other misc parts so far so we are on our way to recouping our $15 for the first year.

Anyway, you have to be happy with your choice but hopefully this provides some perspective.

04-25-2006, 12:29 PM
I feel this forum is well worth $12.00! When I went to pick up my TM I was showing the dealer how to set it up thanks to this site! Its nice to know whenever I have a question I can get it answered here.

04-25-2006, 12:34 PM
You'll never find such a good deal again!

So why the fee? A board like the TMO board really does have expenses. Seems to be free? Try to buy a solid, professional, web hosting service for free! Or try getting the phpBB software for free! Try registering a domain name for free!

I beg to differ. I own a similar forum (specific interest @ http://www.jeepboard.com) with over 15,000 users that receives many hundreds of thousands of page views per month, and I don't charge my users a single dime. I surely don't impede their posting privileges or rights for failure to contribute monetarily.

And $12? With over 2,000 users - even if only 1/4 of those are paid members - $6,000 is a bit much for software, hosting, and a $9 domain name. The owner is being ripped off, and badly, if he's not showing a profit to big brother.

That said, this IS a great forum. I'm just wondering how many useful members are turned away daily by the imposed membership fee. ;)

04-25-2006, 12:42 PM



04-25-2006, 12:49 PM
Click on the forum you wish to post to, and look for this button:

04-25-2006, 12:58 PM

By new topic think you mean you want to start a new thread, yes?
Go to the main forum page (click on TrailManor Owner's Forum - top left of this screen).
Choose the discussion that fits your new thread, e.g. Plumbing, Electrical, etc..
Just above the list on the left is the button marked "New Thread".


04-25-2006, 01:10 PM
Coyote, one benefit of TrailBlazer membership is the 10% discount that the TM Factory will give you on a purchase of parts and service (correct me about the latter if I'm wrong).

"That said, this IS a great forum. I'm just wondering how many useful members are turned away daily by the imposed membership fee."

Customers are willing to pay if they perceive that they will get their money's worth from something. I've gotten a lot of useful information and advice from other TM owners who participate here and, therefore, don't mind paying the small annual cost of subscription. Chris T., who started this forum, offered to continue it when he sold his TM if we would help pick up the costs of it. If he makes some money after paying all the bills, that's fine with me. After all, selling a product is perfectly legal (illicit substances not included) and entrepreneurship is what has made the USA great. Besides, notwithstanding what Bill said, he and RockyMtnRay may be pulling down some huge salaries! :o) Perhaps you should consider charging a small subscription fee to the members of your JeepBoard forum?

04-25-2006, 03:20 PM
I did notice that there are two places where you make it very easy for viewers to make a 25 or 50 dollar contribution... Maybe we should try that approach. It may work much better for us, who knows?????

The thought there is that if it's voluntary, the users feel better about it. It's all in the frame of mind. :)

Debian Dog
04-25-2006, 03:32 PM
for viewers to make a 25 or 50 dollar contribution... Maybe we should try that approach. It may work much better for us, who knows?????

I run the iMovie FAQ (http://iMovie.danslagle.com) and l I used to ask for contributions. I switched to Google ads about a year ago and now I make WAY more $$$ than I used to ($60-$200 a month). I did not start th FAQ for $$$ but bandwidth costs and all that. I am trying Amazon on the front page, but it seems "Hit or Miss"

04-25-2006, 03:56 PM
I must be in the wrong business then, if you use the 1/4 of the members thing as coyote suggested than of his 15,000 members he has 3750 that opt to donate $25 and that's $93,750.00. At least now I know why you don't have to charge a single dime. Wow can you say career change
It is a very nice site too by the way, I have used it prior, nice to know who made it.

I think this site is great as well! and I don't mind the whole dollar a month fee either. It's just another dollar that I could have given to Camping World for some silly accessories.

04-25-2006, 03:59 PM
Because of this board, I got an excellent tip from Larry Loo a year ago regarding Odyssey versus Prodigy brake controllers. He even showed me where to get a great price that saved me more than the annual fee of the membership in TMO.

So, what does a Costco membership cost.

I buy lunch almost every day at five bucks per day. If I brown bag it 3 days per year I can pay for the TMO subscription.

I also spend a lot of time on RV.net ( I hate television). The general tone around TMO is so much more friendly. I can't recall ever seeing any post in the last year on TMO where Chris or a moderator removed or edited a posting as a censor. It happens rather often on RV.net.

You get what you pay for. Chris is providing a lot more value than the retiring CEO of Exxon.