Sunday, March 27, 2011

RV Product Reviews, Ads, Selling Out?

RV Money Queen
I remember well the days when Doyle and I first went on the road together, we set up and lived in a white canvas tent that was 12X12. We set it up behind our kitchen Under Canvas during Events, but in between Events we set it up at campgrounds and lived in it for months at a time.

I was born an expert at tent life, I spent years in one when my Dad would haul us all up to Grand Portage, MN or Isle Royale, MI For the Summer. It was one of those terrible kerosene smelling types from Army Surplus. I was secretly happy when a water spout took it away in a terrible storm. The last I saw it was just a smelly speck in the sky, headed for Canada.

My affection for tent life did not grow through the years, I usually set up a tent for the kids and slept in a hammock strung from tree to tree when we did camp, rain or shine.
So when the opportunity came up to purchase a Fifth Wheel Trailer, I was first in line at the dealership on opening morning of a clearance to see how we could improve our life. I have never looked back.

When we rolled our new shiny home into the campground we had been tenting out in, the doors flew open on the other rigs in the park and women swarmed to our new home with housewarming gifts and advice.

They took me aside and showed me their RV's and gave me priceless tips on storage and products the Full Timer just can't live without. It was like some sort of Secret Sisterhood we all shared, the "Sisterhood of the Useless Arm Flailing While Our Husbands Back Up The Rig". Just Kidding, Boys...

They taught me about RV forums, which ones to follow, and which ones to avoid. For a woman, many forums are male information based and there is very little input from the fairer sex. I follow those forums to this day that have information for and by fellow "Sisters of the Road" and thankfully, there are more forums learning that women are a force to be reckoned with and accommodated.

(Not that I'm bashing men at all, if not for my DH, I wouldn't be on the road at all. He takes care of all the "man" stuff, which I am quite capable of doing, but it works out nicely for us if we each concentrate on our areas of expertise. I am a better cook and housekeeper, he is a better mechanic, we share some duties and trade off tasks sometimes so that if one of us is down, the other can take things up.)

It occurred to me one day that there was no place where ALL the information I had gathered over the years was collated into one easy to access data base for all my fellow "housekeepers", (and I use that term loosely, some men are the domestic type also).

I could not start a web page about Full Time Life for New Full Timers, without reviewing and recommending products that I consider must-haves. This led to my beginning to post articles about products and services and building links to the sources for these items. 

It's all about being thorough and to the point, I used to maintain a large Midwestern newspaper website, and accuracy with links provided was a must to get your information across effectively and provide immediate solutions to problems through additional resources (ie links).

This brought me into the gray area of being a sales driven website. It also put me somewhat at odds with forums that do not allow items to be hawked outright on their sites. I understand their reasons behind this, just imagine a forum completely filled with threads  for products from who knows whom.

All one has to do is visit some lesser grade forums to see the chaos that ensues from unrestricted advertising. It violates the spirit of sharing information for its own sake, and buries useful information in rubbish. I did not want to go that path, but I did want to say, "Here's what I use and here's where you can get it".

So I opted for a compromise where I placed hand picked ads on my site of products I own and use and began to write articles on why I felt the way I did about them. What I get from it is a small, (read minuscule), percentage of the sale, if someone clicks on my link and actually buys. This "credit" I use to defray the cost of buying my own goods through the company I advertise through. It's not much, believe me, but every bit helps.

The response has been tremendous. I have had more emails and comments placed on my site since I have done this than at any time before. I get thank yous everyday from women on the road, like myself, who need products but don't know which one to get or where to get them.

They are just as grateful to me as I was when I first got my RV and all those wonderful, helpful women muscled their way into my new home and showed me what to do to save space, save weight, and save money. I have attempted to collate that material and presented it here in a easy to access form.

I will continue to add items as I find them adding to the quality of our life on the road and invite others to comment and make their own suggestions.  I don't know it all yet!

With just a few simple items and ideas, a life on the road can be better lived. It doesn't have to be a lesser existence if one can find what one needs to make it "special".

That's what I hope to offer here. I don't think of it as selling out, no one is forced to click on my thread, or click on my ads. But I do think I provide worth while food for thought and an easy way to get an item if it fits your needs.

Keep the comments and advice coming Gals, I learn something new everyday and love interacting with you all! Happy Trails!


No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...