I received a phone call today from one of the participants of a couple of different forums. He and his wife are planning on traveling through Oklahoma City in late October and will likely (his words, if I remember correctly) spend a couple of weeks with some of his family here in the OKC area.
He had mentioned in one of his private messages to me that they would like to meet up with Jo and I and have supper together. Now, I can certainly appreciate and look forward to meeting people from the forums in person instead of always online. So far, we have had the opportunity to meet up with two different families who were participants on the forums when they traveled through OKC.
But then “S” (I won’t use his full name, but just his initial) mentioned something to me that darn near scared me to death. He reminded me that he had called me in the past prior to them buying their first RV, and then he said that I had played a major role in their decision to buy the DRV Suites that they did, based on what I had said on the different forums.
Can you imagine my shock and real concern that someone is spending tens of thousands of dollars on a product based on my comments and advice? I mean, it is one thing for me to research a purchase for myself, because I know that if I make an error in judgment, it is only going to affect my family and me. It is an entirely different thing to think of someone else basing a decision on my judgment.
In truth, they have enjoyed their Mobile Suites and have even placed an order for a new 2012 model. So, to some degree, my mind is alleviated by the knowledge they “S” conducted his research and toured the factories. He spent some time on the “owner’s forums” of another brand of RV, as well as on forums made up mostly of owners and potential buyers of DRV Suites.
His research into issues with the “some other brand,” communication that he received from “someone” from the factory, and comments from two different salesmen of that other brand led him to even follow the advice of those salesmen to purchase the Mobile Suites instead of the “some other brand” that they were selling.
Knowing that he did his own research and that he was happy with his purchase helped to alleviate the initial concern that I had that my thoughts and comments helped lead him to spend a lot of his money on a DRV Suites product. Then, as the day progressed, I became even more comfortable with the idea.
Anyone who has read very much of this blog knows that there isn’t any way that I can get things said in a short and timely manner. Most of my postings run at least two full pages of space in Microsoft Word. Why, just this introduction into this posting has run for 8 paragraphs and over 500 words, and I’m not done yet with my comments.
(I’m thinking that this “problem” may be caused by the fact that as a youngster in school, I got into trouble quite a bit and had to write a number of 500-word themes for punishment. Well, that and usually a paddling as well. So, if you really get irritated with my long comments, blame it on my school teachers and principals.)
My postings here aren’t the only place my comments go longer than many others. It is the same way on the forums. I guess that I want people to have a more “rounded” answer than just a quick, short one. So I tend to “flesh-out” an answer with more information than that for which their original question may have asked.
Anyone who has kind of been around the forums since we started researching knows that Jo and I researched on different RV’s for two years before we made our purchase. That time involved visits to RV shows, RV dealerships, and a lot of questions and even more reading on the forums.
Thanks to the very knowledgeable and friendly folks on those forums, I gained a pretty good education about RV’s. Incidentally, anyone reading this should also know that the RV education continues on after the purchase as well. There is a lot to learn about all the “systems” that are a part of the RV, such as inverters, appliances, air conditioning and heating, plumbing and so much more.
Anyway, the point I am leading up to is that as RV’ers and participants of forums, we have a responsibility to give the best answers we can to the questions that are asked. If someone asks about “X-part of the RV,” perhaps a short answer like “We’ve had “X-part of the RV” for six years and no problems” isn’t necessarily a really good answer.
In my case, I participate on three different forums; RV Dreams, Suites Owners International Travel Club (SOITC), and 5th Wheel Forums. I also read on other forums and a number of blogs and travel journals. If we as forum participants have heard of others having issues with “X-part of the RV,” perhaps we should be mentioning that some others have had problems and that the questioner on the forum should also look at those other resources of information.
We should also be careful to mention to those asking questions that EVERY brand of RV, regardless of type, will have some problems. So, we also shouldn’t be sugar-coating our answers. After all, someone may very well be purchasing an RV with tens of thousands of dollars based on the answers we gave on a forum.
When we were researching, we wanted to get an RV with an inverter so that we could be “campers” on occasion instead of RV’ers. (OK…in our case pretty luxurious camping.) In looking at the forums, I learned that for those using computers and other equipment with “computing power” within them, a Pure Sine Wave inverter is the best bet because it will better protect that computing equipment than what a Modified Sine Wave inverter will.
There is another benefit to all the batteries and inverters on our Mobile Suites. I was sitting up a few weeks back working on the computer and “sounds in the RV changed. I looked up and the oscillating fan on the dining room table was slowing down. There was a thunderstorm going on and the power had gone off. However, my laptop was still running and we still had lights. Quite a change from being in a stix and brix when the electric goes off.
After saying all of this, everyone can now take solace in the fact that it is unlikely that my posts and forum answers will get any shorter. Sorry, but after all the help I’ve received from so many others, I owe as much and more to those who can benefit from my answers.
Sorry, this is not my photo, but it just seems funny to me, and maybe it represents all those interested researchers out there in their own hurry for knowledge.