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Old 09-16-2021, 10:46 AM   #1
Chris
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Default Exciting news!!!

I am excited to share some exciting news with all of you concerning our community. I have known Andy from RV Life Network for a lot of years. We’ve shared a lot of ideas and thoughts about running a forum, competing with Facebook and a couple of years ago, merging into the RV Life Network. I opened this forum in 2003 after running it as a message board on a host for the first 4 or 5 years of our existence. Around the time I opened the forum, Andy opened his first forum. What I did for a hobby, Andy had the brilliance to see the bigger picture. In 2018, Andy and I agreed that it would be good to bring my second forum, the Grand Design Owner’s Forum, into the RV Life Network. We had talked at that time that we’d eventually want to move the TrailManor Owner’s Forum over as well. We both wanted to see how the site would regrow and that there would be continued support from the new manufacturer. 3 years later, I’m very comfortable with the way that RV Life Network runs forums and how they foster and grow the community. I am pleased to be a part of their team.
I spent a lot of time thinking about this decision and I feel it's the best for the community. Andy has assured me that it will be business as usual here. You all might be familiar with some of the other sites they run including RV Park Reviews, iRV2, Winnie Owners, Do It Yourself RV, and many other RV websites. These are sites that I have considered “best in breed”, and sites that Andy and I have compared over the years. There are so many things that we do exceptionally well. There are things that they do exceptionally well too. By moving us to the RV Life Network, I believe we get the best of all worlds.

I plan to stay on board running the site for a bit until they can get settled. Bill will also stay on too. It's been a pleasure to get to know so many of you through the forum. I sincerely appreciate your participation, your support, your enthusiasm, and your feedback as we have made this one of the greatest forums on the internet. I’ll be around, and will remain a part of the community, albeit in a different role than before. I appreciate the many years of support and participation in the forum and in making the TrailManor Owner’s Forum one of the best communities on the internet.
Sincerely,
Chris
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Old 09-16-2021, 02:37 PM   #2
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Thanks Chris.
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Old 09-16-2021, 02:56 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for all your hard work over the years Chris, this forum has been a valuable resource since we bought our TM in 2014, many good people helping each other sort things out.

Happy camping!
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Old 09-19-2021, 07:11 AM   #4
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Just FYI, my Forum email address ([email protected]) has gone dead, presumably as part of the changeover. Anyone else who uses the Forum email address has experienced the same, I'm sure. Although PMs still work, be aware that you can no longer use Forum email to ask me questions or seek my advice.

When this situation is resolved, Chris or I will announce it.

Bill
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Old 09-23-2021, 07:29 PM   #5
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Hi Folks - I know these kinds of announcements can be weird so I thought I'd jump in an introduce myself and answer any questions you may have. The only way to make to remove the weirdness is to earn your trust through actions. So I hope through the coming weeks, months and years we will do exactly that. I work with Andy and am here to support Bill and Chris, helping out in any way I can.

I am an rver and joined my very first forum back in 2004 because I needed to know how to fix my trailer. I met Andy R on that forum (www.airforums.com) and eventually became the forum admin. It was fascinating managing the forum, seeing members connect, chat about what campgrounds they like, buying and selling stuff and planning rallies and over time it became a fulltime undertaking. As years passed, Andy gathered more forums and some other sites related to RVing like www.campgroundreviews.com and an RV blog called www.DoItYourselfRV.com.

We found ourselves running RV forums, the largest campground review website around and content sites and were trying to figure out how to coordinate all these sites when Andy caught wind that RV LIFE Magazine was closing down, print was dead. A deal was worked to buy the archives of the magazine and the www.RVLife.com domain name. What a nice short name, RV LIFE! So now we call the network of sites the www.RVLIFENetwork.com

Having worked with dozens of forums over the years we have learned that each forum is unique and has its own vibe. Our intent is to be here with you, get to learn about Trail Manor Owners and adapt to fit in so we can be part of the community.
If we have to wade through an issue that we have experienced on another site, and found an effective solution, we will share what we have learned with you all as a talking point.

As for me personally - I live in WA state and am a reformed tent camper. The ground got harder a few years back and after hunting for something a little softer than an Ensolite pad, I ended up buying an ancient and tiny Airstream. I spent a number of years restoring it and now tow it along whenever I can. Initially I wanted a camper to take to music festivals (I am a working musician with a small touring band) but in the end I discovered a whole community of RVers whose sense of independence and adventure is wonderful.

I know you all probably have lots of questions and I'll likely have questions as well (Bill and Chris have been very helpful already). There is no better way to get to know each other than you asking what ever questions are on your mind. So please speak up and let me know what you are curious about so we can get to know each other.
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Old 09-24-2021, 12:13 PM   #6
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Default Follow up - TMO email address

It appears that the email service that has been part of Forum membership - (name)@trailmanorowners.com - will not be returning.

Bill

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill View Post
Just FYI, my Forum email address ([email protected]) has gone dead, presumably as part of the changeover. Anyone else who uses the Forum email address has experienced the same, I'm sure. Although PMs still work, be aware that you can no longer use Forum email to ask me questions or seek my advice.

When this situation is resolved, Chris or I will announce it.

Bill
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Old 10-01-2021, 11:04 PM   #7
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Default Questions…

I have questions:
- So wait, do we need to switch to a different forum or is this one staying the same basically (and the changes are on the “backend”)?
- I’m currently a member of RV Life/CampgroundReviews, do I have to pay more to have access to the TrailManor Forum under the new deal?
- And will all of this forum’s info be available in the new RV Life version?
- Will the search be better and easier to find things under the new RV Life version?

Sorry, I don’t think I understand how this will all work. I’m glad to see that Bill will continue to be part of this since he’s helped me out so much over the last 10 months when I joined.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-04-2021, 05:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaconLover View Post
I have questions:
- So wait, do we need to switch to a different forum or is this one staying the same basically (and the changes are on the “backend”)?
- I’m currently a member of RV Life/CampgroundReviews, do I have to pay more to have access to the TrailManor Forum under the new deal?
- And will all of this forum’s info be available in the new RV Life version?
- Will the search be better and easier to find things under the new RV Life version?

Sorry, I don’t think I understand how this will all work. I’m glad to see that Bill will continue to be part of this since he’s helped me out so much over the last 10 months when I joined.

Thanks in advance.

I'm glad Bill's staying on as well - he's been doing an amazing job and is a great resource to the community.

About your questions:

There is no need to switch to another forum.

RV Life (network) is a group of sites focused on on camping and RVing - these sites are all independent. They have their own urls, their own moderators and each one has a little different focus. What they share in common is that RV Life maintains the sites, keeps the doors open, handles the tech issues (software etc) and for some of the RV Life sites, there is a single login to access many of them. For example: iRV2.com members can access their Campground Reviews.com account with the same login credentials but this forum has not been integrated into the single sign on system.

Most of the RV Life family of forums are specifically related to an RV brand and so the addition of TrailManor was a natural fit. Other RV Life sites include www.campgroundreviews.com, the RV Life magazine and www.tripwizard.com

Right now this forum doesn't have an integrated login with other RV Life sites but with time that may be possible. That said, there are some changes coming down the road and I think they will be welcome additions.

Forum software update: Currently this forum is running on a fairly old piece of software. It's secure but aging and it will need to be updated. I'll post more about that when the time comes. With new software will come better searching.

Forum look: Currently the forum is pretty basic looking and has limited features - we might want to gussy up the view and add some extras.

Forum Sponsoring Membership: Currently the Forum has a paid membership. Most RV Life forums have no cost associated with them and ads are displayed to keep the lights on with one big exception. RV Life oversees the trip planner RV Trip Wizard and has an RV GPS mobile app (RVLifePro) and there is a subscription fee for these.

We're planning to open access to RV Trip Wizard and RV Life Pro (mobile app) to TrailManor forum Sponsoring members at no cost, since they have already paid a fee and then open forum membership up to new members at no cost. Down the road ads would be shown to non-sponsoring members and unregistered viewers but Sponsoring members would see no ads and have access to Trip Wizard and the Pro version of the the RV Life app. Best of all there would be no ads when using www.CampgroundReviews.com

Details for all this have not been firmed up but I've found that forums with membership fees often have trouble sustaining growth - a lot of folks are unwilling to make the leap to paypal. I'll post up more about this in the coming weeks as I get to know the community.

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Old 10-05-2021, 07:35 AM   #9
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RV Life magazine… I’ve never seen this. Is it digital, print, paid subscription, or whats the details on that?
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Old 10-05-2021, 10:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H View Post

Details for all this have not been firmed up but I've found that forums with membership fees often have trouble sustaining growth - a lot of folks are unwilling to make the leap to paypal. I'll post up more about this in the coming weeks as I get to know the community.

On the other hand, having a paying subscription also keeps out the riff raff. We've been very lucky here in that, overall, everyone is not only quite cordial, but also super helpful. If you're going to spend $30k on an RV and then fret over paying $10 for access to an incredible community resource focused on that $30k expenditure, then you need a lesson in personal finance. Of course, I don't know what the finances are on the backend, so maybe that doesn't pay the bills.

I frankly don't want to see anything change, as least as they are visible to me. Things here are simple -- the forum is simply laid out, no flashing lights, most importantly no ads, no trolls, no spammers, and easy to navigate. If there is a change in software, I seriously hope that all of the current content gets migrated. It's an incredible archive that has taken us all many many hours to collectively compile, and to discard that would be a travesty.

From the meeting space and atmosphere to the content and quality members (including Bill, most notably), I hope we can retain what we as a community have built here.

Dave
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