Goodbye letter from reader. RVtravel.com has grown too impersonal

28

Dear Chuck,
. . .or whom ever you have delegated to read your emails now. I am requesting to be removed from your mailing list for the RV Travel free edition. I have been a faithful reader for several years and have looked forward to each edition until recently. I don’t mind an occasional guest writer in your place, however I don’t appreciate it happening all of the time. I have always considered myself to be one of your core readers and followers.

For me it appears that RV Travel, like other things, started out small and personal but got big and became impersonal. I am not interested in the paid edition or all of the other various online editions that are now available. I don’t care to spend my life in front of a computer trying to read everything that you promote. With that I bid you a good long life, and I will be on my way, too. —Don D.

Hello Don,
Thanks for the letter. Well …yes, things have changed, including me. I’ve been doing RVtravel.com for 20 years, writing an essay most weeks and probably another ten articles each week in between. In the early years, I wrote virtually every word in every issue.

For twenty years before I started this website I traveled in a motorhome and wrote for others as well as in my quarterly on-the-road newspaper Out West. And for 10 years before that I wrote freelance articles for many newspapers and magazines. I must have written at least 15,000 articles through the years. I wonder how many books that would add up to?

I wrote in this weekly newsletter a couple of years ago that I would step off center stage at issue 1,000, which is coming in a few months (this issue is 978). So I am getting ready. At age 73, I’m running out of stream. My daughter, Emily, is increasingly running the show. I believe I have earned the right to slow down. I’m not retiring from RVtravel.com, but I do hope to find time to pursue some other interests, long on back burners.

So, yes, the publication has changed (evolved may be a better word) and that includes presenting guest essays at the top of the Saturday newsletter, which I believe is a good thing. That said, RVtravel.com remains very much focused on serving our readers in ways that help enhance their lives. That’s been our mission for a long, long time.

Ten years ago, we published 52 newsletters a year. We now publish 650. The amount of information we provide is incredible considering our relatively small staff. I am proud of that! Very few readers read everything we publish — we don’t expect that and I have never “promoted” that idea, as you suggest.

You have been a subscriber to our free Saturday newsletter, and as we do all our subscribers, we have appreciated your continuing interest. But we are gradually relying more on the support of the small but significant number of readers who value us enough to pitch in financially, much the same as they would subscribe to any newspaper or magazine. Bless their hearts! They have made it possible for us to devote far more time and energy to our efforts. As it always has been, and always will be, our readers who come first, not advertisers – the case with most other publications. We remain independent and free of editorial pressure from businesses who may not like what we write.

It’s not the easy path, I am telling you. With our large and growing circulation, if we were to “sell out” by writing puff pieces and accepting paid, sponsored posts (the actual “fake” news), we could triple our income. I can’t do that, I just can’t. And my dedicated staff is with me.

Thank you for staying with us the last few years. And the very best to you.

Chuck

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

28 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Joseph Weinstein
1 month ago

We started RV’ing in 2017. I discovered RV travel the year before. The magazine, along with your Facebook pages; Mike’s electricity contributions are invaluable. We started financial contributions the first year, try to purchase everything an Amazon through your link, and will continue to support your efforts financially. We appreciate that you are not a charity and the effort takes financial backing. We open RV travel on a consistent basis and read the articles of interest to us. RV travel, along with the Jayco Owners Forum are the two most educational and valuable reads that support our RV life. Thanks to you, Emily, and the entire staff. For those of who can can contribute, please think about. RVTravel is an invaluable resource for the RV community.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
1 month ago

Thank you very much for your kind and generous words and support, Joseph. On behalf of Emily and the rest of us at RVtravel.com, we appreciate them — and you! Receiving positive comments like those make our efforts worthwhile, and they’re why we’re constantly endeavoring to improve our readers’ experience. We wish you and yours Happy and Healthy Holidays! 🙂 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Bret
1 month ago

Yea Chuck, I have been traveling in a motor home for 47 years and over 500,000 miles, but the past five years have thoroughly enjoyed and learned from EVERY newsletter. I can only find time to read the Saturday and Sunday editions (if lucky before another Saturday arrives) but enjoy them ever so much. No I do not read every word as some material does not interest me, but I doubt anyone ever really does. I thoroughly enjoy your new contributors as well as they add a new and refreshing view of differing topics.

Please keep up the good work and, at the same time, enjoy your semi-retirement.

Bret

Joe Malvasi
1 month ago

Great publication! Great articles! Really like the JAM and his RV electricity articles. As someone else already said, I may not agree with everything, but it’s all still pretty interesting! I look forward to reading this publication first thing every day. Keep up the good work!

John Koenig
1 month ago

 At age 73, I’m running out of stream.”

I hope you have a strong companion to help with the portage once you truly run out of stream. ;). (gotta love Spell Check).

I’ve been one of your readers (and financial supporters) for almost a decade now. I’ve learned a LOT just by reading RVTavel.com (and look forward to learning more). I recently turned 69 and, understand the need to slow down. I became a Full Timer in June, 2018 and, expect to continue the adventure for many years to come (once it becomes safe to travel again). You were lucky enough to find a good partner / travel companion. I hope to find my “Gail” in the near future. Until then, I’ll keep on, keepin’ on. Even after 10+ years as an RVer, there’s still SO much to see, do and explore across America and, while I’m healthy enough to safely drive a big RV (I have a 2015 Dynamax DX3 Super-C diesel puller), I’m going for it!. THANK YOU for all the “heavy lifting” you’ve done over the decades. It IS appreciated!

Ralph Williamson
1 month ago

I like reading your stuff Chuck, but if you think highly enough of someone to put them in your newsletter, that’s good enough for me, including your daughter. You deserve your retirement as much as anyone else.

Greg Thompson
1 month ago

X2

pgr
1 month ago

I have no problem with guest writers. I must say the newsletter of old was very difficult to maneuver whereas this new format is much better. Unfortunately there was much more valuable info from regular writers in the old newsletter. The new improved version is full of what I consider light weight, filler just to stretch it out to seven issues a week. The Sunday newsletter has actually become better than the Saturday one! I’m tired of seeing “cute” cat & dog photos and reading silly jokes. That’s available everywhere else. I’m a big animal lover but it’s just become too much filler, IMHO. I know people love it and that’s fine I just skip over it but it really does cheapen a newsletter that is supposedly better that what’s out there. It is better because I do get several other newsletters and they are really just junk advertising wrapped up in NL format.
All in all, I prefer the content and writing from the old NL but the format of the new one.

Admin
Kim Christiansen (@imkimc)
1 month ago
Reply to  pgr

Hi PGR,
You know, we never throw anything out! All of our older articles are still available for you right here on the website!

I understand your desire to “get to the point”. Heck, my wife is ALWAYS telling me that. 🙂 But RVtravel.com is more than hardcore RV info, it’s a community and some of the folks here LOVE pictures of dogs and cats.

But if you have a question about some part of your RV or RVing, you can search our website and probably find just the thing you were looking for. The magnifying glass is our search tool. On desktop it’s in the right side of the tool bar, on mobile it’s in the upper right corner. Click the icon, enter what you’re looking for and it should pop up in a list of results.

Also you can look at our “Categories” for our stories. These are broad fields of interest to RVers. All of our articles have a category they fall into. It’s right up there in the menu bar.

Best.
Kim

Carole Pleasants
1 month ago

I admire you, Chuck! You have given it your all. Of course you would like to slow down, enjoy other interests. Too many times we resist change – and then complain later when everything falls apart. I believe being proactive is the way to go! A big thank you and your staff for a great newsletter. Merry Christmas!

Richard
1 month ago

I have been reading rvtravel for several years now and really enjoy it. If there is article I don’t care about I don’t read it! It’s that simple. The old saying goes something like this, You can please some people some of the time, you can please some people all of the time and then you can’t please some people anytime.
You and your staff keep up the good work, my morning coffee would not be as good without y’all!

Ron L
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

I don’t think that’s how it goes.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

Thank you for your very kind words, Richard! We sincerely appreciate receiving positive feedback from our readers. It makes our efforts to provide you an excellent, and hopefully continuously improving, product worthwhile. Take care and stay healthy. 🙂 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Kim Mays
1 month ago

Chuck, you were very classy in your response. I’ve been a paid subscriber for several years and a freebie for many before. I think your newsletter keeps getting better and better keep it up and Emily is doing a great job. I love your guest essays

Bill semion
1 month ago

A strange letter. As if the publisher of your favorite website retires, so you no longer want to visit that website.

Marilyn M
1 month ago

You were very politically correct! Awesome. I believe that the best insult is when someone thinks you are actually complimenting them! Being Canadian we seem to have a built-in politeness but have learned that the Southerners (talking South Carolina, Georgia etc) outbeat us by a mile. Oh how precious!!

Jeff Signorini
1 month ago
Reply to  Marilyn M

Bless your heart! 😉

chris
1 month ago

I really don’t understand what he’s complaining about.

Ken G
1 month ago

Wow! I find the fact that this gentleman is complaining about a free newsletter is curious to say the least. I’ve been a reader (and sometime contributor) for many years. I also find that I like some of the guest writers better than others. Imagine that. Over the years I’ve also liked some of your articles better than others Chuck but that’s just because we are all different. I truly appreciate your many years of service to the RVing community and will never begrudge you the chance to slow down and perhaps retire one day. That being said I will also really miss reading your thoughts on the many issues that you address in your writing. I hope you stay safe and have many more years of writing however much or little you choose to do.

Lindy Maynes-Kolthoff
1 month ago

I’ve only been reading this newsletter for a couple of years. Last year I decided to contribute financially every month. Not a lot, but since I don’t get coffee at Starbucks I figure I could help out. I’ve enjoyed the additional writers, that was a brilliant idea Chuck! Good bye Don. Take your negativity elsewhere. Now I gotta go make the bed…

Richard Hughes
1 month ago

I know this type of guy. He is the one who gives headaches to campground hosts and his camping neighbors. He thinks he is privileged and if everything doesn’t go his way, he takes his jacks and goes home, but everyone has to know it.

STEPHEN P Malochleb
1 month ago

Ummm,I don’t want to read every article that is written! And I don’t like guest writers adding to the newsletter. Well DON, don’t open the email then. He sounds like the people who complain about what’s on the tv or radio. If your not happy, change the channel. I like the idea of guest writers. It adds another perspective and views. I bet 99.5 % of your readers think your doing it right. So I hope you never change for that small percent who disagree with your ideas. MERRY CHRISTMAS. If I offended you by saying that, don’t think about suing me. I have a wife and kids so theirs no money:):):):):) PS,own an RV too.

Marty chambers
1 month ago

My guess is a guest author said something he didn’t like.

Some people just cannot even consider that anyone would dare think differently than they do.

I wish him well and I hope he finds an RV web site as good at this one that is in line with his thinking.

Ed D.
1 month ago

Chuck, I have to say it. This guy was complaining about all of the things you “promote” in the free issue. The truth is, if it is the advertising he doesn’t like, he can always contribute and lose the advertisements. But of course, he apparently is “unwilling” to do that. The fact of the matter is, if you don’t want to view an ad, or read any particular article, scroll on by it! Don’t subscribe to a free news paper of any kind and not expect to see ads and things you are not interested in. The Bills have to be paid somehow! I have been reading this News Letter for years and I contribute each year. Not because I don’t want to see ads but because I love what you have brought to the RVing community. Truth be told, I still click on the highlighted area that says “read this issue with ads”. I find many interesting things of use in them. Beast Wash has become my go-to product for all of my RV and Vehicle needs and many of my RVing neighbors now use it after trying mine. Don’t change a thing!

Ron Holly
1 month ago
Reply to  Ed D.

Its really tough when someone complains about something free. He’s one that doesn’t APPRECIATE anything and expects everything to be given to him. Goodbye, Don, your kind won’t be missed.

Ed D.
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron Holly

Ron, my thoughts exactly but I was just attempting to be nice about it. Have a great Christmas!

Pete Karczmarczyk
1 month ago
Reply to  Ed D.

I totally agree with your post. Since I’ve sold my class C a short while ago, I continue to read a lot of RVing sites to keep updated on most aspects of the “trying times” we’re having right now. I know in the future I’ll be getting another RV, however, I can’t see getting one right now.

Ed D.
1 month ago

We are still doing some traveling but not as much as we used to. Not because of the Covid stuff. Rather because we found a piece of paradise in NC, where we are surrounded by Mountains and on a Lake. We purchased a 5th wheel and leave it there year round. I am writing this response while looking at all the beauty of nature that is surrounding us. I hope you find a good replacement RV for the future. Have a Merry Christmas!