Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Website Wednesday: Bulletin Boards

Every Wednesday I write about websites that I visit often.

Yesterday I included a link to a bulletin board discussion about "Strangers Boarding the Bus." Today I want to talk more about the RV/bus bulletin boards we read regularly. Many of you are probably familiar with at least one of these boards, and may have even found this site through them.

All these sites can be accessed by anyone. You don't have to join or become a member just to read the topics (usually called "threads") although you may have to click a button that says you are a guest. Some are called a Bulletin Board, some are called a Forum, but they all work basically the same way. The links take you to the main access page where you can see various main subject areas, and specific threads are within the subjects.

I read two general RVing boards: or the Open Roads Forum

Escapees Discussion Forum

My username is "infopubs" on both boards. is a very large board, with thousands of members and hundreds of new topics every day. Escapees is smaller and friendlier. I usually look at the newest threads in all subjects and scan the titles for topics that appeal to me. This includes, but is not limited to: boondocking, ways that folks have modified their rig, traveling with pets, best/worst of camping stories, motorcycling, safety/skills improvement, and the logistics of full-timing.

Sean reads two boards that are specifically geared toward the bus conversion crowd. These are folks who are either currently converting a bus into an RV, finished with their conversion*, planning a conversion, or just nutty enough to want to read about the topic.

Bus Nut Online
Bus Conversions Board

There is a lot of overlap between these two boards. Sean primarily reads the technical topics, soliciting help in areas that are not his expertise such as our recent low power/black smoke problem. He's too modest to admit it himself, but he is considered one of the electrical experts on these boards and often posts well-researched, lengthy answers to others' bus electrical woes.

(One of the great ironies of our relationship is that even though I'm the one with a degree in Electrical Engineering, Sean knows way more about the subject. I slept through my classes on circuits and power, which would have been really useful now, and then forgot more than I ever knew. My specialty was Microwave Theory (yes, really), but there isn't a lot of waveguide on Odyssey so now I'm in charge of reheating food.)

Sean's username is "Sean" on both boards. He generally does not read my two boards, and I generally don't read his. There are other, members-only, discussion groups that we visit, but I'll cover those in another post.

*It can be argued that no bus conversion is ever "finished," except maybe one that has been rolled off a cliff** and is lying in flames at the bottom. Even then, someone will try to sell the remaining charred hulk on eBay.

**At some stage in the conversion process, all bus nuts are tempted to push their bus off a cliff.

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