RV forums have been around for a long time. We’ve been full-time RVers for nearly two decades, and RV forums existed when we hit the road and for many years prior to that. With today’s focus on social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, and others, you might not be as inclined to focus on RV forums. If that’s the case, you may be missing out, and in today’s post, we’ll tell you why.
What Are RV Forums?
A few decades ago, online forums existed in the form of “bulletin boards” or “listservs” covering a wide range of topics. Today online forums have taken on several different formats, but their functions are the same. People with common interests join forums to discuss and share knowledge on a particular topic.
Online forums offer the opportunity to ask and answer questions, offer feedback and instructions, and share experiences, knowledge, and advice.
For as long as there have been RVs and online forums, there have been online forums about RVing. RV forums cover everything from 12-volt electrical systems to holding tanks, water heaters, towing, tires, campgrounds & RV parks, boondocking, and anything else you can imagine related to the RV world. There are even dedicated forums for owners of specific RV brands (which can be incredibly helpful when trying to troubleshoot a problem specific to your RV’s year/make/model).
RV Forums vs. Social Media
Although social media apps have gained substantial relevance in the past decade and online forums have declined in popularity, many online forums continue to exist, and those relevant to RVing are no exception.
One great benefit of online forums is that they offer the opportunity for true discussion and the easy dissemination of lots of detailed information.
Typically organized into categories with “threaded” posts, a person can ask a question or otherwise start a discussion, give their post a title, and then other forum members can read the post and reply, with responses displayed chronologically within the thread.
Moreover, topics are searchable, so if you’re looking for information related to the battery isolator in your vintage Class A (or B or C) RV, you can search a forum for that class of RV using the search term “battery isolator” and the brand and model of your RV, and bring up all past and current discussions about exactly that topic.
By comparison, Facebook and Instagram posts, while often entertaining, can be difficult to search and not as easily browsed for specific information.
Another difference is that moderation of social media posts is all but non-existent while online forums usually have moderators specific to that forum.
Types of RV Forums
Since forum software, bandwidth usage, and server space aren’t free, RV forums can be ad-based or sponsored. For example, the company behind Good Sam and Camping World owns the RV.NET forum.
But this isn’t always the case. RV forums exist in places such as Yahoo Groups and Groups.io. Like most, these forums have moderators and have specific topics.
Some forums are brand-specific, and the manufacturers operate them. Other platforms like iRV2.com have brand-independent operators and receive funding through ads and member donations.
All of these types of online forums offer long-form discussion and searchable databases that go back many years in some cases. And most offer a tremendous amount of information to members. When we’re asked how we learned about a very complicated topic that might be specific to our own RV, we often cite an RV forum as the source of our information.
When a fellow RVer with the same rig you have has experienced the same situation you’re dealing with, it’s a first-hand helping of karma to be sharing that kind of information back and forth among members of the RV community.
General RV Forums
General RV forums typically feature categorized topics such as:
- General RV topics
- Class A, B, or C
- Travel trailers
- Fifth wheels
- Toy haulers
- Truck campers
- Roads and routes
- Technical issues
- General “campfire” discussions with no particular topic
- Brand- or model-specific information
These types of categories are effective ways to keep members linked together in forums where they can share common interests.
Brand-Specific RV Forums
Brand-specific forums can delve deeply into specific product lines and models.
These RV forums are especially good for sharing and seeking technical information because members with similar RVs can address detailed questions more effectively.
However, membership of brand-specific forums tends to be much lower than in general RV forums because market share limits their numbers. For example, the Crossroads brand only manufactured toy haulers for a few years. Since the number of Crossroads toy hauler owners is low, participation in that particular forum is much lower as a result.
iRV2.com is an evergreen in the online RV community. With its familiar bulletin board interface, iRV2 has been around since 2000. iRV2 has a reputation for being friendly, upbeat, and extremely active. This extends to its moderation team which in turn bolsters its reputation as a safe place for newcomers to ask questions.
While most RV forums focus on common, generic categories such as Class As, Travel Trailers, and Fifth Wheels, iRV2 includes a much broader range of topics, including MDTs and HDTs (medium- and heavy-duty trucks), power trains, chassis, and brand-specific categories.
That’s a lot of ground to cover, but iRV2 seems to have done it successfully, and it’s one of our go-to locations when we have a question we can’t get answered anywhere else.
iRV2 is also a part of the RV Life suite of products. While iRV2 is free to join and use, you should also consider upgrading to an RV Life Pro subscription, which gets you access to a bunch of extra and valuable features: the RV Trip Wizard trip planner; the RV Safe GPS app; and Maintain My RV for tracking maintenance schedules. Plus, RVgeeks viewers can save 25% (see below)!
RV Life Pro membership provides access to a suite of valuable tools (each one separately worth the cost of the whole package), including: RV Trip Wizard (trip planner); RV Safe GPS app (for...Show More
RV Life Pro membership provides access to a suite of valuable tools (each one separately worth the cost of the whole package), including: RV Trip Wizard (trip planner); RV Safe GPS app (for RV-specific navigation); CampgroundReviews.com (user reviews of RV Parks & campgrounds); iRV2.com (community forums); and MaintainMyRV (maintenance schedule tracking).
Save 25% on an annual subscription to RV Life with discount code “RVGEEKS” (signup on the RV Trip Wizard website and get access to the whole RV Life Pro package). Show Less
2. The Dyrt Forums
The Dyrt is a newer independent general forum that shows great promise. With around 600 threads and over 100 weekly posts, The Dyrt forums are quickly gaining momentum, and are becoming a great spot to feel like a part of the bigger RVing community.
The site is attractive and folksy. The topics have a “campfire” theme (they’re called Campfire Forums!), like “RV Campfire,” “Trailer & Pull-Behind Campfire,” and “Tent & Car Camping Campfire.” The Dyrt gains more users every day, and because their app extends to such a wide range of campers and RVers, they’re beginning to cover areas left unaddressed by other RV forums such as backpacking.
Also unique is the fact that The Dyrt has space for participation from park owners and managers, which most other sites tend to discourage.
You can sign up and use the forums at The Dyrt for free, but if you want even more out of it, consider upgrading to The Dyrt PRO. They’re offering RVgeeks viewers the opportunity to try PRO level access for free for 90 days, so there isn’t much to lose! With The Dyrt PRO you get access to their new trip planner, map layers for free camping, offline access to maps, and even discounts.
Use the "Go To The Deal" button to access the website, then click the "Redeem Your Gift" button found there to start your FREE 90-DAY TRIAL (a credit card is required, but you can cancel at any...Show More
Use the "Go To The Deal" button to access the website, then click the "Redeem Your Gift" button found there to start your FREE 90-DAY TRIAL (a credit card is required, but you can cancel at any time).
NOTE: the discount code field should fill in automatically. If it doesn't, click "I have a discount code" and enter code RVGEEKS90 to start your free 90-day trial.Show Less
3. RV Network by Escapees RV Club
The Escapees RV Network site is an established forum with a very good reputation. One of their strengths is the fact that a large number of full-time RVers participate, bringing a lot of real-world experience to bear. Reliable information on everything from DIY repairs to establishing a domicile is available here.
The Escapees forums have categories and sub-forums like most others, while also offering an “RV Marketplace” as well. Here the site embraces buying, selling, and trading RVs, tow vehicles, accessories, land lots, and memberships. They even have sub-forums for camp hosting and workcamping. They pretty much cover it all.
The forums are open to the public, so you don’t have to be an Escapees member to participate.
Help Us Help Escapees C.A.R.E. Center
But why NOT join Escapees? They offer a lot of valuable resources to their members… and, if you join using our link, we’re donating 100% of our affiliate proceeds to the Escapees C.A.R.E Center (which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that provides a safe haven with professional assistance at affordable prices for members whose travels are permanently ended because of age or temporarily interrupted because of health problems).
4. FMCA Forums
The Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) is a paid membership club similar to the Good Sam Club, but their FMCA Forum is free. As their name suggests, their focus has historically been on motorhomes (hence the “motor coaches” reference in their name), but they now include travel trailers and fifth wheels in their forum categories.
They’ve wisely carved out designated sub-forums for some of the more contentious topics, like tires and weight issues. As dull as those topics may appear, they seem to be fodder for argument based on differences of opinion.
Another nice touch is a sub-forum dedicated to mobile internet, a hot topic these days with so many of us working on the road.
FMCA is a great travel club that offers an incredible array of benefits and discounts to all its members, not the least of which is their tire discount program that we've taken advantage of...Show More
FMCA is a great travel club that offers an incredible array of benefits and discounts to all its members, not the least of which is their tire discount program that we've taken advantage of ourselves (twice!).
Save $10 on your annual membership with the promo code listed here.Show Less
5. RV.net by Good Sam
RV.NET is one of the oldest and most established general forums around. With so many years of active member participation, RV.NET has a wealth of posts to search for information.
Most new members arrive at RV.NET by typing questions into the Google search engine and finding many of the top hits to be RV.NET posts. Google has been a tremendous funnel to attract new members to this RV forum.
RV.NET also has a “Dear Marcus” area with eight sub-forums where people can voice their concerns to Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World and Good Sam. Camping World can have a reputation for disappointing service, and these forums provide a way to escalate customer concerns. While Mr. Lemonis may not personally monitor posts, his staff is reportedly responsive about presenting resolutions to problems.
With posts dating back to the late 90s, experience over time is the primary strength of this forum. However, time is also its worst enemy as the site hasn’t seen many updates/upgrades over the years. But the incredible wealth of information stored in its postings is an invaluable resource which makes RV.net worth using to this day.
Benefits of Joining RV Forums
The beauty of RV forums is that most are free, and you can join as many or as few as you’d like. These forums are unrivaled in their value for:
Getting camping advice: Whether you’re browsing and reading about new topics, conducting research before purchasing an accessory, or just trying to figure something out, RV forums can enhance your knowledge.
Finding help with RV-related problems and questions: When something breaks or you’re not sure how it works, post a question to your favorite forum(s), and other members with experience can help. Or you’ll often find that the answer to your question has already been posted.
Making new friends: Many RVers have formed friendships with fellow RVers they’ve met online. Some participants develop meaningful relationships with fellow RVers they’ve never met in person… while others take advantage of planned gatherings and forum-sponsored rallies to actually connect in person!
Whether you’re a newcomer seeking answers or an old hand who’s happy to share, online forums are an incredible way to share and spread expertise. And as long as social media focuses on trending topics and hot ideas, the traditional forums will continue to be among the best resources for tribal RV knowledge.
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