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Surfing or searching – Where to find truth about RVing

There is so much questionable material floating around these days, how do you tell fact from fiction?

My Pastor recently posed a question in a sermon entitled “Surfing or Searching, Where to Find Truth?” The sermon touched on the false teachings the Bible warns us about and those with “itchy ears” eager to find “teachers” that will tell them the falsehoods they want to hear. The gist of it: Are you surfing the internet for what is convenient, and you want to hear? Or are you diligently searching for the truth even if it is not convenient and not what you want to hear?

While the sermon was designed to keep us on track morally and spiritually, I couldn’t help but think how it also applied to all the questionable material on the internet regarding RVing. Especially the proliferation of so called “teachers” since the pandemic began. My guess is more people at home or in their newly purchased RV are trying to make a living.

RVtravel.com publisher Chuck Woodbury, in the January 29, 2022, newsletter, touched on this when he said, “Even though this website is doing well, it’s increasingly a challenge for us to stand alone amid a barrage of new RV websites written by formula by ‘content creators’ (many of whom, perhaps most, have never stepped inside an RV) to attain favorable Google rankings (and thus earn more money). We’re all vying for the same eyeballs.” [emphasis added]

Questionable information

Some of the “advice” you will find on the internet is questionable, but harmless. Other information violates established safety codes and is downright dangerous. I was so concerned about RVers accepting and promoting bringing full propane cylinders into their RVs while they are occupying them, I wrote this article warning of the dangers.

Following are a couple of examples of other questionable myths / fantasies I have recently viewed online:

A big issue when staying at a ski resort in your RV is quiet hours. You’ll want to bring portable electric heaters that run off your house batteries because you typically must turn off generators after 10 p.m.” per this RVing blogger. [emphasis added]

Have you been on the receiving end of questionable advice?

I could list dozens of other examples of false or questionable online teachings.

My question to the readers of this newsletter is how many times have you received false teaching? Did you know they were false or accept them as truth only to discover later you had been misled? Maybe you haven’t discovered you were led astray yet? While I am hopeful nobody is deceiving RVers intentionally, I just want to point out there is a lot of bad information out there and you need to question the source.

Question
Pixabay – Photo

One trustworthy source is RVtravel.com. I had been following the RV Travel newsletters for several years before publisher Chuck Woodbury asked me to start contributing material. Had the newsletter been publishing questionable material, I would have declined the offer as I wouldn’t want to be associated with leading RVers astray. Plus, the newsletter had other writers that I respect with tons of experience in the RV industry including Russ De Maris, Certified RV Technician Chris Dougherty, Mike Sokol, Dave Solberg, the late Gary Bunzer (the RV Doctor), and others.

I close in asking you, the readers, where do you find RVing truth? Have you acted on questionable information only to find out later it was wrong? Please share using the comment box below.

Final Thought: There is much true and useful information on the information superhighway (aka the internet). Unfortunately, just like a real highway, there are road hazards and a lot of trash along the route. Be vigilant!

Dave will be speaking at the FMCA Convention in Tucson, AZ, March 25th and 26th. He would love to meet RVtravel.com readers that will be attending. Feel free to introduce yourself after one of his seminars.

##RVT1043

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BILLY Bob Thronton
6 months ago

Here is a barometer; did you believe the Russia, Russia, Russia sell job. If you answer yes, think deeper what the legacy media is selling. If you answer no, you’ll be just fine.

Irene
6 months ago

A lot of misinformation by people who are intent on convincing others of the correctness of their wrong information. Some feel so threatened that they make snide or disparaging remarks when information directly from an owner’s manual is posted (my first go to for correct information). I trust people like Mike Sokol who obviously knows what he is talking about, and the other experts that make RV Travel a better resource than the online self promoting “experts” who “have done it this way for years without a problem” and then go on to give wrong advice to newbies looking for the right answers.
I acted on questionable information and advertising when I bought my Kia Telluride – supposedly a rugged tow vehicle that could tow horse trailers for miles over rugged trails. Yeah. Right. Without a 7 pin connector and only 7.5″ of road clearance. As for the rest? I check and re-check and am unsubscribing to the sites with more wrong than right advice.

Last edited 6 months ago by Irene
Gregg G.
6 months ago

Great article Dave.
RV Travel has been a good source of information (why I contribute monthly) and I’m able to find some helpful things on IRV2, but I always use a skeptical eye and try to confirm though multiple sources. Confirming first has helped me avoid most bad advice.

Duane R
6 months ago

Have you acted on questionable information only to find out later it was wrong?

Yep. I believed Chrysler/Jeep regarding how much my Grand Cherokee could tow. They publish 7,200 lbs. Only after buying our GVWR-5,700 lb travel trailer, did I really learn about tongue wt and the Jeep’s Cargo Capacity. Oops! I believed a manufacturer. So much more to matching TV and TT than what the manufacturers of each will tell you.

Happy Camper7424
6 months ago

Dave, you are definitely one of the information providers that I trust.

Dave Helgeson
6 months ago

Thank you for your trust.

Bob p
6 months ago

There’s an old saying, “Don’t believe anything you hear and only half what you see.”

Richard Chabrajez
6 months ago

Arguably, sites with false information generate as much, if not more traffic than reliable sites. deliberate misinformation incites people to respond and argue – driving up traffic on the site. The longer one continually argues in a post, the more advertising they can be exposed to. Who’s the bigger idiot – the person generating false content, or the person generating hits by responding to it?

Marie Beschen
6 months ago

I mostly used information directly from the factory! We bought a Tiffin and they not only have a good magazine that has a Q & A section, but if you have any that needs “immediate” answers, you can call directly to their service dept and get them. FMCA and their classes have also been our “go-to” source. Sure has been the best teachers along our 12 year journey out here!

Dino Evans
6 months ago

Thank you Dave, I enjoyed reading your article and agree with your point. Teaching my children these things currently, but applies to us all.

Wendy Ansel
6 months ago

My big complaint is people answering a question with totally unrelated information. Please read the question, people!

Neal Davis
6 months ago

I read everything that I could find in the years leading up to our purchase of an RV. I subscribed to Motorhome magazine near the end of the tenure of the Kievas and Gaylord Maxwell (while Bob Livingston was still editing it) and RV Travel’s newsletters, bought much of the last of the stock from RV Travel’s bookstore and read the books and watched the DVDs, joined FMCA to get their magazine, and began regular visits to websites of both manufacturers and retailers. I found a few RVing shows, mostly about buying an RV but some that talked a bit about the construction or renovation of them, and devoured them. I also watched lots of YouTube videos and eventually subscribed to several. Helping me make sense of the wealth of information was my in-laws with whom we RVd and against whom I could bounce ideas. I guess the worst advice I ever got and actually followed was to leave the gray tank valve open when connected to sewer at a campground. I don’t do that any longer.

Travelingjw
6 months ago

I have read RVtravel since the day we decided to purhase an RV. It seems as if Chuck/Emily have set a standard for facts. (And if you are a reader you should contribute to support their efforts). I also am a member of Jayco Owners Forum and IRV2. JOF has a high percent of , “facts,” IRV2 not quite as high. I trust an article on RVtravel but take all comments on any newletter/forum with a grain of salt.

Spike
6 months ago

I rarely trust a single source unless it is one I am familiar with and highly trust. Some….OK, MANY…would call me a pessimist. I think I’m a realist. Therefore, I usually do some research across multiple sources on something in question. Over 40 years in global business taught me a lot about verifying what people tell me and doing “gut checks” on things that don’t seem right.

RVTravel is pretty good, but misinformation/mistakes can even happen here! 🙂

Jesse Crouse
6 months ago

From a Master Plumber- I can not tell you how much “plumbing advice” or “technical information on how to do plumbing” is just flat out wrong and down right dangerous. Propane hook ups and how to operate propane using equipment is #1. The National Fuel Code exists because it saves lives .”And I have done it for years and no problems” kills people every year. Talk to the manufacturer and do what they state. Their liability insurance carrier tells them what to state in the “INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS”. Follow them- first you got to read them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bob M
6 months ago

I go by the information in RV Travel plus use my years of mechanical knowledge and common sense.

RallyAce
6 months ago

My experience is that the biggest source of misinformation is the RV salesperson. Two examples from a recent show I attended. I was told by one salesman that a vehicle’s towing capacity is intentionally listed lower than the actual capacity so they can sell you a bigger truck so my 9800 lb towing capacity was really about 12,000 lbs. Another told me that buying an RV is like buying a house, it will appreciate in value over time as he tried to justify a 20 year note on an entry level class C motorhome.

Spike
6 months ago
Reply to  RallyAce

+1

I have been materially lied to by so many RV salespeople, I couldn’t count the times. Sometimes they just don’t know the product and spew nonsense. Other times I feel they know and intentionally try to deceive.

Before we bought our first DP back in 2002, a very large outlay of $, I did three years of research across brands with focus not only on desired features but especially quality of build and customer service after the sale. I had spreadsheets put together and an accordian folder of information. Most salesmen we talked to were clueless. We finally bought from a small dealership that knew the product, and if they didn’t know an answer stated so and committed to finding out, then followed up with their commitment.