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New Forum Software?

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I spoke with a representative at Oliver today and expressed concerns about several things including the difficulties a lot of folks are experiencing with the forum. I was told that Matt (and perhaps others) are working on developing a new forum. I asked if they were planing to use new software not based on WordPress and was told that 'the goal was to make it like other forums'. I'm not sure if this means there will be new software or not. It sure would be nice to get to a standard software format that most everybody else uses.

 

Escape, Fiberglass RV and Airstream use vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1 Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

 

The Casita Club Forum and Casita Travel Trailer Forum use Community Forum Software by IP.Board.

 

My personal favorite is vBulletin.

 

I really hope that this is the case because there are people that have joined and then could not get on as well as folks that have become dismayed at the difficulties and just gave up.  The forum is absolutely Oliver's best and cheapest advertisement and information dissemination service. At the very least it should be user friendly and fun.

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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We used to use a more standard forum based software. We had a lot of spamming, but it was more user friendly, for sure.

 

I still can't post from WiFi FiOS on my phone. I waste a lot of data... I try to toggle back and forth from WiFi to read, data to post, and then forget. So, if in in an are where data is expensive, like last month in Cuba, I just have to disappear.

 

I hope it all gets worked out. The old phbb format worked great for me.

<p style="text-align: left;">Sherry</p>

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Steve,

 

That is great news concerning a possible replacement for the WordPress platform.  The current performance can be very discouraging, especially for new users.

 

I am sure OTT understands how our Forum is more than simply a platform for exchanging ideas.  It forms the basis for a community.  RVing in many ways is a community based activity.  We enjoy sharing ideas across a whole spectrum of camping activities and styles.  For many owners, the community involvement aspects are as important as owning an Ollie.

 

Although our Forum is special in many ways, it is not unique.  As new or existing members experience continuous system issues, they may just move on to another community.  Perhaps to a larger community with more ideas.  I believe it is the ideas which draw members into the community.  If posting or exchanging ideas is cumbersome at best, there is no reason for involvement.

 

Once we stabilize our Forum platform, we might begin a discussion regarding Forum content.  Great content, which is thoughtfully organized for easy retrieval, can elevate our Forum.

 

As a case in point, I really appreciate the new category Jason has created entitled, “Oliver Technical Service Bulletins”.  I am also looking forward to the day when OTT creates a category containing the OTT videos.  Posting in those sections would always draw me into our Forum.  It might be wise to reach out to our members to determine what draws them into our Forum?  What do they seek?  What format do they prefer, text/photos/video?  Maybe we would benefit from a designated “library” of word documents, videos, maybe interior design photos, etc.

 

As we integrate ideas regarding content and format, I bet some members might enjoy focusing their energy over refreshing the content for a designated category.

 

Just a few thoughts.

 

Buzzy

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Buzzy


2016 Oliver Elite II - June 9, 2016
2016 F150 Lariat 3.5L EB, Max Towing

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I will chime in on this posting and say that I would love to see any kind of improvement. If it takes new software to accomplish this, so be it.

 

With that said, since Steve is retired and has nothing else to do, I think he would be a great person to take the lead on this mission. Further more, Buzzy would make a fine First Lieutenant.

 

Remember, with this mission and rank, the pay grade would be the envy of us all. Not!

 

Just kidding, but thank you Steve for starting the discussion and to you Buzzy for your words that do speak to what a forum could and should be about.

 

A side note, today is the day I have worked toward for 42 years. March 31st - Retirement Day!

 

Pick up "Olivia" Hull # 204 April 12th.

 

Malcolm M.

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Malcolm and Ursula M.


2017 Legacy Elite II Hull # 204 "Olivia"


2016 Ram 2500HD Diesel 4x4

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Malcolm,

 

First off, congratulations on reaching your goal of retirement.  That is a major milestone in life.  I began my retirement two years ago, and I understand the rewards and challenges which lay ahead for you.

 

By the way, I have always enjoyed reading your thoughtful postings.  As you contemplate new ways to acquire and share knowledge, I hope postings on our Forum will become routine for you in your “golden years”. ????

 

Seriously, I can list at least a dozen topics I am hoping you will consider.  Many of your experiences could aid both prospective and existing owners.  I would love to hear about your experiences during your purchase cycle, your delivery day, your interior décor plans, your first three planned modifications, your planned camping trips, etc., etc.

 

You could demonstrate how Forum members do not need to be experienced Ollie owners to add content.  You just need to speak to what you know best, which is your own unique experiences.  It is the richness of shared experiences which adds value.  From that collection, we each harvest ideas which enhance our Ollie camping.

 

Will you enhance my camping?  ????

 

Will you give it a go?

 

Buzzy

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Buzzy


2016 Oliver Elite II - June 9, 2016
2016 F150 Lariat 3.5L EB, Max Towing

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Malcolm, congratulations on your retirement!  I retired 7 months ago and we are really enjoying retired life.  We'll be interested in your pick up experience and first few days in your new Oliver.

 

Steve, a new forum platform would end a lot of frustrations.  I frequent Fiberglassrv and Airforums and the exerience is much smoother.  I know this forum is integrated into their company website so it seems like they either have to change the entire platform or break the forum away from the web site. Like Buzzy, I appreciate Jason's technical bulletins and would like to see a technical/reference section where you could find videos and bulletins along with troubleshooting information.

 

Mike


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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You have to be careful when you retire. I have come to realize that you no longer get days off or have vacations. Many a day you are going to ask someone.." what day is it?".

 

I have come to realize, that for me, a phone/pc/tablet is like a hammer is to a carpenter. It is a tool that we use to accomplish a task. But when the task of navigating the forum becomes frustrating enough to lay down the hammer and reach for a sledge? Maybe we move on to another task and wait for the architect to redesign the task.

 

With all the pictures now on the Oliver facebook page, instead of delivered page of the forum, it is as if the lines of communications were fractured when Tommy left? A whole audience of new users (potential buyers) are getting on a ship that has lost its rudder? Hopefully the rudder still works, it is just waiting for a new pilot to get on board.

 

I actually had a customer, who was picking up their unit, send me pictures of MINE. Our newly completed unit was outside, and she told us it was only waiting for graphics. The sales office (I had to call them) had JUST told me an hour before that our unit was inside and safe from hail. That was Monday. We are still waiting for the promised call that ours was done. The pictures promised, as our unit progressed during construction, must have gotten lost too. But when a customer knows more about the status, and can communicate to me raises some concerns. Think there has to be some more involvement by the company than giving away 5 days of free camping in a state park. Hopefully the cohesive and happy staff at the factory are still of good morale...

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Hi Canoe12,

 

I understand your concerns.  For what it is worth, I can share some of my experiences.

 

·       I did not receive any photos of my Ollie during the build process.  I think that was common with Ollies built prior to June 2016.  As the sales office got busy (A good thing!) that action stopped from what I could determine.

 

·       Although it would be good to think the sales staff and factory staff have regular interactions and communication, that may not be happening.   At least that was the impression I received during my build cycle.

 

·       Please understand a custom-built TT is very much like a custom-built house.  You may discover a few “Oops!” during your delivery day.  Because that may happen, it is always best to allow at least two full days to determine what might need fine tuning.

 

·       I completely understand the added complexity being a long-distance buyer adds to the equation.  In many ways, OTT is a small company with a local view.  They do build a damn good trailer and they seem to be able to sell on a national level in-spite of the current processes.

 

·       My recommendation is to inspect your Ollie from top to bottom and use a methodical process for checking each system.  The factory staff are great and they will rectify any errors!

 

·       The process outlined above worked for me although my purchase cycle was a real nail biter!

 

Buzzy

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Buzzy


2016 Oliver Elite II - June 9, 2016
2016 F150 Lariat 3.5L EB, Max Towing

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Agree that it is a small company, and it would appear that they want to grow. As would be expected there will always be growing pains.

They do seem to be able to get sales on a national level, but I think it has a lot to do with the forum. The forum and referral program are the only sales force the company has on any regular basis, except maybe a few shows. By word of mouth of Oliver trailer owners (and your videos), my guess they have driven a large majority of orders. They do have a quality designed product, but if they can not reach a buying audience? And if that audience isn't met with an informed and interactive face of the company, a professional sales office, I am worried. When I get more information from a customer, than from Oliver sales clerks, their systems are more broken than what program their computers are running.

I do have a 'pre-flight' checklist. It includes from the bulldog hitch operation to the size, make, and date of the full size Michelin tire. All system in between will be cycled, including the torque of the screws on the draw slides.

We haven't heard about your new pooch. Are you living up to it's expectations?

 

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Hey, Canoe12, the new "keymasters" are the new IT people assisting Matt in improving and migrating the forum to a new platform. To be able to do that, they'd require the upper level priveledges to affect changes.

 

Glad hear your trailer was inside during the storm, and unharmed.

 

Malcolm, welcome to the Every Day is Saturday Club. Been a member for awhile now, and still trying to figure out how we ever found the time to work. Lol.

 

Sherry

 

 


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Canoe12,

 

The little pup (Buddy) is wonderful.  Thank you for asking!  I posted pics in the images section of my profile.  He is growing like a weed.

 

Buzzy

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Buzzy


2016 Oliver Elite II - June 9, 2016
2016 F150 Lariat 3.5L EB, Max Towing

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I actually had a customer, who was picking up their unit, send me pictures of MINE. Our newly completed unit was outside, and she told us it was only waiting for graphics. The sales office (I had to call them) had JUST told me an hour before that our unit was inside and safe from hail. That was Monday. We are still waiting for the promised call that ours was done. The pictures promised, as our unit progressed during construction, must have gotten lost too. But when a customer knows more about the status, and can communicate to me raises some concerns. Think there has to be some more involvement by the company than giving away 5 days of free camping in a state park. Hopefully the cohesive and happy staff at the factory are still of good morale…

FYI Anita told me yesterday that a good deal of the confusion is due to the Sales office moving half a mile from the main production facility and setting up a new computer system. A lot of bogus emails got sent out erroneously and I also received a call from Heather Oliver asking if I could show my Ollie to an interested customer in Coeur d'Alene ID. If I actually owned one, I would have been delighted.

 

Anita also said that it is going to be much harder to just go out onto the production floor and snap "baby pictures". I am a little disappointed since my trailer is more than half way through the build.

 

But I guess I could just collect any old pics from the production line to use for my album. How would anyone tell that it wasn't mine, other than obvious external clues like maybe lack of panels?

 

Anyway, I am eager to experience a new, better, fast running forum.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Trouble is the office told me the unit was indeed inside and safe from the approaching storm. An hour later a customer that happened to be picking their unit up saw mine. She had a picture taken of her patting it for me. It was OUTSIDE. It was DONE, except for the graphics. I am still waiting for the call...

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Actually ,our trailer sat in at least steely sized hail for over an hour. We went to dinner with friends. On our way home, the roads and banks looke like a snowstorm had just passed. Needless to say, we were very nervous about what we would see when we got back to camp..

 

We were thrilled to find big chunks of hail next to the trailer, but no damages to the trailer , nor the solar panels, which are our lifeline.

 

Hoping your experience is the same.

 

And, I can't blame you for anxious feelings. I d be the same way. I'm just glad we have the heavier fiberglass trailer mold. It takes a lot of weather, with no damages

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I took my Oliver to a local RV dealer to have some issues addressed after a Jan/Feb '17 trip to Big Bend, etc. Jason was coordinating the repairs--nothing serious. The service manager left a message on my cell phone. He called all owners who had campers in storage or sitting outside for service because of a major hail storm and resulting damage. He explained that he hadn't inspected my Ollie but suggested I come out and inspect it, submit an insurance claim, etc. I called and learned that the hail had been large--some approaching golf ball size. Drove out, inspected, and saw no damage. I brought the Ollie home a few days later and washed it, winterized it and prepared it to go back into my indoor storage facility. There was absolutely no evidence that a piece of hail had hit the Ollie! Not only is the fiberglass thick and strong, the solar panels appear to be as well. After washing, they looked like they did when the camper left the factory last March.

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Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2019 Ram Rebel

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

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