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Old 03-26-2003, 12:51 PM   #1
 
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Unhappy Frustration_forum improvement ?

I have been frustrated for a while to see so much good information being underused. Do not read that wrong: there is indead a lot of good information in here, but there is nearly as much burried and close to useless for now.

I think it would be great to have a REAL data base of trailers' systems. Everything is here, scattered all over the place. I mean things like: "they used this type of ceiling fixtures, wired that way, from that year to that year." Same things for plumbing, heater, body changes,.......

The "model by year...." forum is pretty much useless for that purpose.
The picture gallery is about the same. There is I am sure a lot of very good information in there, but how do you use it to its fullest ?

Bob (or John or Lynn) So and So, has posted a lot of great pictures about the inside of his trailer. But, even if you manage to stumble unto these pictures, Bob does not always tell us what year/model and length his trailer is. Nice color of curtains though. And his dog is so cute.


Here is one example on a thread beginning of March 2003, where miscommunication could have had deadly consequences:


Dave-O: 1972 International Ambassador had a question about power to the wires after installing a fantastic fan.

femuse: 1974 International Ambassador & 1971 Trade Wind
Trailers being simiIar years, I guessed that he had the same wiring as us, that is: all the lights & fans operate on 12v.

59toaster: 1959 Caravanner "I have both 110v and 12v at every fixture. The lights have a 12v bulb and a 110v bulb."

my comment was: " They made some changes between 1959 & 1971." A lot of leeway.

What seems important to me is: somebody could have in good faith given somebody else an advice that could have been deadly. Like: wire a 12v fixture on 110.

We handled all this like "adults" and were able to find out that we were not talking the same language (no pun intended). We all learned something new.

Most of the times, we are just stumbling around nearly in the dark, without serious falls. The frustrating part as far as I am concerned is to know that light is available to show us the way, but it is so difficult to reach. (Am I getting poetic now or what ? )

Anybody sees my point ? And if yes, what can we do about that ?

I have too many ideas, one of them could be to ask people who have informative picture galleries, to post links to these pictures, be specific about year/model/length. To start threads by decades only for a start, until we know which years are miningful for a later separation. The "models/by years" is too thinned out as it is to be of any use.

I quit as I am starting to ramble.

Mike suggests maybe: strart threads like: "light fixtures", "couch", "axles"....NOT what you have modified or have problems with, but simple catalog of set up, links to pictures, with model/year/length clearly stated. And brief. And NOT redundant.
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Old 03-26-2003, 02:20 PM   #2
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Thanks for the comments....but,
there are so many threads here it would be a major challenge to organize them into a database, but more importantly I think our host would not want anyone to think that he or his firm endorses any advice or information given here, in other words it is all to be taken " with a grain of salt" as they say. Pick and choose what you can glean from the posts.

Also using the search function can yield lots of info on a topic.
Many times the same questions are asked in different ways, such as the topic of washing, waxing, polishing, aluminum care, shining, etc...you get my point.
I have tried to combine some threads into one where they were obviously covering the same ground, but it is a full time thing to keep up with it.


I guess we should all just be very thankful for this terrific place to share, and assist each other with our common passion.
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Old 03-26-2003, 03:12 PM   #3
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I'll also chime in that it would be nice if everybody posted in the correct forum and that we would all stay on topic, but the process is not perfect and the moderators really can't be topic police and thread movers and still stay active in the forums themselves. I also use the search function and that pretty much gets me to the proper threads. But some of the information posted is micro in nature and indexing to that detail would almost be impossible.

Part II of the question regarding the potential of misinformation or misinterpretation. There is no doubt that some of the information imparted on these forums is incorrect or could be misinterpreted. Sometimes its because of assumptions made, sometimes things change. None of us here are experts on everything. Personally I know nothing about the vintage trailers and my "expertise" if any is with the new trailers. You will see very little if anything from me in the vintage venue. I also would be quick to step up if I see something posted incorrectly and would encourage all readers to either report postings which have potentially dangerous information or at least post corrections to that same forum.

To those of you who do post something which is found to be incorrect, edit your post or delete it. The forum software has some great tools to allow you to correct your posts. I know I have used them.

Those of you reading the forums for information. Look for confirmation from others. Just because Jack says so doesn't mean that Jack's right (did I just say that?). To others, if you concur say so. That will give the reader some comfort level in the information they have just read.

Bottom line you have to be the one making the final judgement as to what you have just read. If you don't feel confident then press on getting further information or clarifications until you can make that decision. I can tell you that I spent many weeks at Airstream sites conversing with others and soaking up knowledge before making the plunge. It was time well spent.

OK I'll jump down off the soapbox.

Jack
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Old 03-26-2003, 03:25 PM   #4
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I agree. I would like a few things.....

This is a forum of opinions and comments. Some right on the money, some are just suggestions from people trying to help.

If you're looking for a type of "pay" support, this is the wrong place to be as would any public forum. You need to go to a mechanic or a person that does what you need as a business. It's up to the reader and the person asking the questions to use common sense and draw their own conclusions.

I will say as a sort of new forum member that this forum can be confusing at first before you get to see how things work. There are far better end user features in this forum than in others.

I think in the end, the problem of people misposting will continue until the forum makes it a bit more store front savvy. As for the wrong info, it must be taken in the forum it is being presented. There are no warranties implied or expressed.

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Old 03-26-2003, 03:28 PM   #5
 
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If you think my first post was too long and rambling...........

I very well see your point about liability. I am not suggesting anything that could be taken as endorsing, advising,... I get that.
But you miss most of my point (my fault: too long and rambling)
My last lines, (suggested by Mike) do not advocate anything like advising, exactly the opposite:
Quote:
NOT what you have modified or have problems with, but simple catalog of set up, links to pictures,.....
I am not talking about organizing current threads into an "official database", as much as people cataloguing their trailer features. Just to tell each other when changes were made, say from swivel switches to rocker switches, where was the converter located and the wires routed in a specific year, when was the oven a wall oven, when were grey tank added ,.... More in the line of improving on the idea of the "model/year forum". Just starting new threads (one for ligth fixture in kitchen, one bathroom lights, one fans,.....) were individual would post links to their existing pictures, were other would tell us location of their converter,......etc.
I think there would be enough volonteers to start individual posts. I am not suggesting this is something you should start....only if you are dying to.

You are right that a simple search gives a lot about things like "washing, waxing, polishing, aluminum care, shining, etc...". This is unfortunatly a bad example. It does not matter what year a trailer is, it can be washed the same as an other.
There are more important things to know when owning any trailer: washing & polishing is not exactly brain surgery. (a lot will disagree, I know). Replacing brakes, axles, fans, ligth fixtures require a bit more informations and care. Having a thread called "FAN" for example, will let everybody involved in a post somewhere else know that they are talking about the same thing.

When it comes to do a simple search, I tried to do that in the picture gallery which is a great untapped source of information. Too many of the posts do not say trailer's year/model....... to be really useful. A big percentage of this information is going to waste.

The fact that a lot of these posts are sometimes written hastily does not help. We are all guilty of mispelling words. So many people misspell even the model of their trailer !!! That does not help in a search. (at least I have a good excuse. )

Do not think I am not thankful about the information I get here, but knowing there is so much posted, and..... blablabla......
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Old 03-26-2003, 04:01 PM   #6
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I see pro's and con's with both sides of the story.

I think that it would be alomost imposible for anyone to categorize all of the information on this sight. I easily spend 3 or 4 hours looking for stuff and barely scratch the surface. I really would be a full time job for someone to "organize" the existing information on the forum, let alone keep up with new info.

On the other hand, maybe there are a few things that could make things a little more user friendly.

Maybe, a feature could be added to new posts that features check boxes for year and model of trailer for wich the question was posted, and maybe some choices for general topics (like "fans," "electrical," "brakes"...) Just a simple check box would work. This would put the "work" into the posters' hands and not on the moderators' shoulders.

Then again, I am not a web designer. It would probably be major work to even add features like this.
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Old 03-26-2003, 04:18 PM   #7
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Also, I forgot to mention the obvious in my last post. This is a free forum and people that generously give their time and resources do so on a volunteer basis.

Eric
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Old 03-26-2003, 04:43 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
This is a free forum and people that generously give their time and resources do so on a volunteer basis.
Please try to explain the connection with what I have posted:

people cataloguing their trailer features. Just to tell each other when changes were made

Individual would post links to their existing pictures
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Old 03-26-2003, 04:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
I am not talking about organizing current threads into an "official database", as much as people cataloguing their trailer features. Just to tell each other when changes were made, say from swivel switches to rocker switches, where was the converter located and the wires routed in a specific year, when was the oven a wall oven, when were grey tank added.... More in the line of improving on the idea of the "model/year forum".
As nice as this would be, I'm afraid it wouldn't be very accurate with the older units. Last summer we were at a VAC Rally and were fortunate to have several "twin" trailers in attendance. Ours was one of three "intact" 1964 GlobeTrotters. One would assume that they would all be "the same"...nope! There were as many differences as there were similarities and I'm not talking about owner modifications.

We were able to compare them side-by-side. We were all amazed at the differences between the three, even between the two OH units. Essentially they were all the same, but there were differences:

Heaters...both OH units had Furnances w/thermostats & CA just has a on/off heater.

Cabinets...although the same basic design, they were different...three doors on our CA overheads, and four on the one of OH ones & three on the other. Also the cabinet height was different, both OH units were shorter. So all three were different.

The windows were different size...CA were bigger but the other two didn't match either...I don't recall the precise differences, just that they were different. We were all amazed...

The exhaust hood & vents over the stoves were different, CA went out the top, OH out the side.

The stoves are also different, ours is four burner as was one of the OH ones, the other OH one had three.

The toilet & shower fixtures were different too, one OH had been replaced, but the other was original & different than Max.

Anyway...Neither one or the other was "better" just different...like the factories just used the local folks in each location.

Oh yeah, one other thing, CA had clearcoat & OH did not. One big advantage of the OH units.

Some of the other years, 50's models I think, they had different shaped wheel wells between CA & OH. Also they had different rear ends.

Other "twin trailers" had similar findings, I just wasn't as observant in models other than our own.

If you are interested in these things with the older units, a great site to check out is Airstream Archives Some of the archives show & expalin some of the differences.

Sorry for being so verbous......just thought these things might be interesting to some folks.

Enjoy!

Shari
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Old 03-26-2003, 05:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by femuse


Please try to explain the connection with what I have posted:

Are you sure you are responding to the right message ?
Femuse,

My comments are regarding your overall comments not one specific item. My point is that this is a free public forum and although your ideas sound interesting and very constructive, I am not sure how doable they really are.

In your first post you spoke of good stuff here, but "as much burried and close to useless for now." Welcome to a free public forum where everyone posts are in an effort to communicate. Some not in the clearest sense we'd all like to see I'm sure, but an important part of being a public (not for profit) forum.

Next you go onto say:
"Anybody sees my point ? And if yes, what can we do about that ?"

I would think sure and if the powers that be here think it's possible, why not make you in charge of it, spending all your time putting it together and managing it. My comments are in regards to the tireless and thankless job the current moderators do, yet still work full time and volunteer thier time to do this on the side for all of us out of pure passion for the Airstream. I have never done it, but I am very sure it's not easy by any measure. So if you're up to doing it, I say go for it if you got the time and all!

Dots now connected (hopefully)!

Regards,

Eric
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Old 03-26-2003, 05:51 PM   #11
 
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Shari,
Quote:
just thought these things might be interesting to some folks.
You may be the only one who understood my point. I, of course do not have any idea of the practicality of posting all these types of info about trailers. But, that was the point of my question:
It would be interesting to know what types of modifications were made and when.
As we cannot all go put our Airstreams side by side at a rally, I thought we could try to do it here.
I guess, I was wrong
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Old 03-26-2003, 06:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
As we cannot all go put our Airstreams side by side at a rally, I thought we could try to do it here. I guess, I was wrong
I wouldn't say you are "wrong" it's just difficult to manage. Every participant would need to "play by the same rules"...and if there are too many rules to posting, I think folks would post less.

It would be nice if members included more info with their photos though (hint hint hint ). I guess that's what the forum's email & PM features are for...ask questions!

Shari
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Old 03-26-2003, 08:18 PM   #13
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Unhappy 2 cents worth to the eighth power

I remember long ago that I was asked to again coach a youth baseball team, Pony league it was.I had done so for about 6 years and was encouraged to continue.I declined and declined again as they wouldn't take no for answer. I did not have the time nor did I want to make the time.Life went on for me..and for the Pony league just fine.

Now I could have taken the job, never had practice, lost most of the games, kicked back and said.."I'm a volunteer, not paid for this coaching and I do have a job to keep and a family to raise etc yadayadayada". BTW in the 6 years I did coach the kids had fun, we won alot more than we lost, everyone played (alot) I spent money of my own and never expected to be re-imbursed,neglected my job (a little), and probably my family a bit too.
I despise the maxim that being a volunteer gives one an out when it comes to doing it right. You want to take a turn behind the wheel, then drive like your kids lives depended on it.If that is asking too much then just stay in the back seat and watch!

i.e. maybey we ought to recruit moderators from the Pony league

BTW I am aware that it was a non moderator who was patronizingly blathering about volunteers and their unselfish contributions.Bless them, thank goodness we have so many of them,..but what exactly do they do?

I do think that Femuse is right on partially about the incredible mess and maze of mis-indexed and redundantly started threads and posts totally in the wrong places. And I strongly believe that moderators should be THREAD POLICE as their most important task!

And yes I would disable the registration for anyone who did not put down at least a home state (or two) and default the "my Airstream info" to require Year, Model, Length, and floorplan (rb/tw). And I would plead by PM with picture posters to go back and place year ,mod, length, & floorplan on each picture.

This forum for all it's greatness aint close to perfect, just ask yourself where are all the former posters who we don't see anymore and what about the 1600 members we never hear from. The greatest thing the forum should fear is fear of honest criticism. Not personal attacks mind you, just the ability for a Femuse to suggest something without being told "OK you do it and if you don't want to do it all yourself then hush up".

And Shari one last thing, why do so many avoid and apologise being verbose? Heck if there is something to say hang it out here. I would rather read One 1000 word report of substance than fifty 20 word innane fluff pieces inserted just to see somebodies post & karma numbers rise. In search of another rivet award.
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Old 03-26-2003, 08:59 PM   #14
 
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pap:

I couldn't have said it better myself.
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