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Old 01-29-2018, 09:41 AM   #1
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1961 16' Bambi
Dallas , Texas
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It all started here...

It's been a while since my last post. A lot less free time compared to my old singles days. Family & work are taking more time (which I'm grateful for!).

I was chatting with Janet H and she suggested I post an update here about what we were talking about. So here goes...

I founded AIR Forums about 14 years ago. Quickly I found my '61 Bambi restoration project on the sideline as my attention was completely consumed by learning about forums. We added features based on what users were doing like planning events, sharing photos, selling stuff, and finding places to camp.

Through some random turn of events, we ended up adopting some other forums and building a little network of RV sites. The members of each site seemed to have similar needs, go figure?

The problem was that the userbase of a single site was limited. As you can see our Campground Review section here on AIR is a great resource but we only have 269 campgrounds added in all these years (out of 15,000+). Seeing this issue we started to look for a solution.

One of the most popular sites for finding places to camp was www.campgroundreviews.com. It had enough critical mass to cover pretty much every non-primative campground in the USA & Canada. We acquired RV Park Reviews in 2013. Since then we launched a new version of the website and made some improvements with more planned in the year ahead...

Our work with RV Park Reviews led us to an amazing man in Florida name Richard Hill. Rich was fed up with the RV Trip Planning process and spent years building a tool called RV Trip Wizard www.RVTripWizard.com. Quickly we realized that RV Park Reviews plus RV Trip Wizard was a great fit. We acquired RV Trip Wizard and have been busy making improvements ever since.

We also run www.RVLife.com and www.DoItYourselfRV.com. We call the collective of sites together, the RV Life Network.

It's kind of neat to see how a community like ours inspired tools that will end up providing assistance to the greater RVing community. If you have any suggestions, questions or comments about the RV Life Network, let me know.
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Old 01-29-2018, 11:24 AM   #2
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Hinckley , Ohio
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Thank you for creating Airforums.
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Old 01-29-2018, 01:29 PM   #3
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Nice job! Love hearing how the American Dream plays out for different people.
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Old 01-29-2018, 01:46 PM   #4
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1961 19' Globetrotter
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Thank you for sharing your story here. And thank you for the Airforums site it is incredible and gave us the additional confidence to just go for it.
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Old 01-29-2018, 02:33 PM   #5
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I just put up the site and let others know. the real credit is due to the thousands of amazing members that have made AIR the great resource that it is.
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Old 01-29-2018, 03:58 PM   #6
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Charlottesville , Virginia
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Your story reminds me somewhat of ActiveCaptain.com. It is the go to place for crowd sourced reviews of marinas for the liveaboard boating set. Great resource. Small start, big growth, and then recently purchased by Garmin.
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Old 01-29-2018, 05:09 PM   #7
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Van By The River , Georgia
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Hi Andy R,

Air Forums is a great resource as are your other Social Knowledge web sites. I participate in several of your forums and appreciate that members can support the web site for a reasonable fee and gain additional privileges.

Consequently, I was surprised to see the $39 annual fee for RV Trip Wizard. I realize membership comes with a 30-day unconditional refund policy but why not offer a "starter" membership at a lesser cost and this low level membership would allow the user to do planning but perhaps not print (or save) the data? I'm the type of person who wants to tinker with things for a while (much longer than 30 days) before I jump in and say I'm committed.

I realize it's your business and you can run it any way you see fit. Just wanted to provide another perspective.
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2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:39 PM   #8
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Hi Andy,

I have supported Airforums almost from the time i joined. I find it an incredible resource for all things Airstream and try to contribute when I can. Thanks for setting it up!

I'll echo nvestysly's comments about RV Trip Wizard. I found it through a search for planning apps. It was listed as the best of several but the $39 fee put me off as I use the free Good Sam planner and see the benefits of RV Trip Wizard but would like to try it first. The demo doesn't help me much. I'd like to be able to actually plan a trip, maybe be guided through the process, before I buy. The 30 day refund mitigates my concern somewhat, but I just dislike the hassle of having to join and then back out.

Al
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Old 01-29-2018, 11:11 PM   #9
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Andy, thanks. You're right in that the collective input here makes the forum...but somebody had to get it going. Your site literally enabled us to educate ourselves over two months of Q&A and then hit the road full-time. I just wanted to let you know your effort helped change our two lives.
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Old 01-30-2018, 09:28 AM   #10
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Thank you for doing this! What a great platform to share ideas and to find solutions to everyday challenges
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Old 01-30-2018, 09:33 AM   #11
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Andy,

I'll never forget what a stand-up guy you were when the Forum and some of us were under attack.

Pat
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:42 AM   #12
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The link to RV Trip Wizard didn't work for me--"page not found."

????
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Old 01-30-2018, 04:06 PM   #13
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Andy,
We didn't know we were going to buy an Airstream until the day we did. We didn't know anything about the trailer and after the the walk through, hook up and drag home the Airforums became our go to resource for answers to every question, including questions we didn't know to ask. Thank you!
Steve & Patsy
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Old 01-30-2018, 05:02 PM   #14
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1964 19' Globetrotter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SafariSarah View Post
The link to RV Trip Wizard didn't work for me--"page not found."

????

Not sure what the issue might be but you can just do a search for RV trip Wizard if you're interested in checking it out. Trip Wizard currently costs something to use because it has no ads to support the site and uses services that are costly to keep updated.

@Andy - thanks for the update. It's been awesome to watch AIR grow and the Airstreaming community expand. AIR was online when there was no other meaningful web presence for Airstreamers and has been a huge asset to the greater rving community.

I've learned so much here and met so people who have become life long friends as a direct result of the forum. I've also learned:

How to change an axle
Polish my rig
How to change out a leaky toilet
how to make the BEST whiskey sours
How to replace segments
How to throw a rally
Where the best dealers and parts places are
How to avoid getting sucked in disputes about whether a 1/2 ton truck is enough truck (or not)

Good Job and thanks for your continued dedication to the rving community.
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