Tow vehicles - choices, choices! - Page 10 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-22-2013, 12:09 PM   #127
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You've never heard of my Falcon? She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself....She made the Kessel run in less than 12 Parsecs! That Federation junk better take some notes!
Ha!
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Old 07-22-2013, 03:00 PM   #128
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A note on the complexity factor. My new Jeep came with a 200 page 'owner's guide', kind of a quick start publication in the glove box. You can down load PDF versions of the full owners manual 600 pages, and the radio/nav system owners manual, another 600 pages. They will send paper copies if you ask.

Who is going to read 1200 pages, much less remember it? But who's going to complain when the car 'doesn't work' because they don't know how to work it...
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:00 AM   #129
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I totally understand what Consumer's Report is saying regarding Ford My Touch. Drivers should be able to operate any control on an automobile without having to search or grope around to operate it. Having layers of menus, ridiculous small text labels, finicky touch screens, and no intuitivity is just dangerous and wrong. Volume controls should be knobs not buttons, so you can feel for it and turn it while going over bumps, and you surely don’t need a screen with numbers flashing the sound level 1 thru 50 to tell you how loud your music is. It is a legit reason to not consider a vehicle for purchase if the driver interface is inane.
Russ

I don't single out Ford as being the biggest offender, they are just being used as an example, since Consumer Report brought it up.
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Old 07-24-2013, 04:08 PM   #130
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My wife has a 2012 Focus with MyTouch and I completely understand any complaints or poor reviews related to the system. We are in our 30's, not our 60's, and are pretty tech-savvy but we still have trouble with it at times. Even after you learn the system it has its quirks. I'm not sure we would trade it in and buy something else because of it, but if there was an equivalent vehicle that had the options/features/mpg we were looking for i wouldn't be sad see it go.
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Old 07-24-2013, 04:54 PM   #131
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I totally understand what Consumer's Report is saying regarding Ford My Touch. Drivers should be able to operate any control on an automobile without having to search or grope around to operate it....
This is a common topic in automotive publications and forums. I agree that interfaces which require reading a screen and touching it or using multifunction buttons are generally inappropriate for use while driving. I believe that there is no good excuse for using this type of interface for any control which is routinely needed by the driver. I think that as buyers, we need to insist that what we need be readily operable, and as driver we need to resist playing with the stuff which we don't need and which is provided in an unsuitable interface.

Both of our daily-use vehicles are now 9 years old (middle-aged in my world), and neither was a techno-toy showcase even when new. Our motorhome is newer, but the Ford motorhome chassis has a pretty basic dashboard. As a result, I don't currently have this problem, although I have seen it in rental cars. It would be a concern for me if I were shopping for a new vehicle, whether for towing or not.
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Old 07-24-2013, 04:58 PM   #132
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Complexity

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Originally Posted by MCDenny View Post
My new Jeep came with a 200 page 'owner's guide', kind of a quick start publication in the glove box. You can down load PDF versions of the full owners manual 600 pages, and the radio/nav system owners manual, another 600 pages. They will send paper copies if you ask.

Who is going to read 1200 pages, much less remember it? But who's going to complain when the car 'doesn't work' because they don't know how to work it...
I agree that no one is going to read 1200 pages of manual... but why don't they look in it for specific information when they need it? The PDF file may seem like a cop out, but it is actually more valuable to me than the printed version, because I can search it. I have downloaded versions of the manuals for both of our more recent vehicles - even though I have the full printed manuals - for easier searching.

One problem is not even knowing that a feature exists, and thus not knowing to look for it in any form of manual. At least that's harmless if it just means to don't use a feature that wasn't of benefit to you anyway.
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:28 PM   #133
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I agree that no one is going to read 1200 pages of manual... but why don't they look in it for specific information when they need it? The PDF file may seem like a cop out, but it is actually more valuable to me than the printed version, because I can search it. I have downloaded versions of the manuals for both of our more recent vehicles - even though I have the full printed manuals - for easier searching.

One problem is not even knowing that a feature exists, and thus not knowing to look for it in any form of manual. At least that's harmless if it just means to don't use a feature that wasn't of benefit to you anyway.
And further in defense of PDF ( I love pdf ! ), it really "is" a portable document format. I have the entire owners manual, AND the entire workshop manual for the Nissan Frontier on the iPad as pdf's. Since the iPad always goes with me when I'm out and about, I have these two manuals which "may" help me in a potential troubleshooting session.
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:45 PM   #134
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I totally understand what Consumer's Report is saying regarding Ford My Touch. Drivers should be able to operate any control on an automobile without having to search or grope around to operate it...
Humans are really good at finding and remembering the location of things in space. Touch typing or the ability to hit the light switch after a quick glance in the light switches direction, or in the dark are good examples.

Drill down menus or context related touch points are NOT nearly as suitable for that ability.

Best car radio I ever had for traveling had a nice big search rocker button under the tuning knob. Easy to hit once to start searching for stations, hit again when I heard something I liked. One I have now has more features but with so many tiny buttons I would have to park and get out the manual to do anything more than change the volumn or hit one of the preset station buttons.

If I can't use it safely while driving it's not a feature it's a failure.
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:02 PM   #135
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And further in defense of PDF ( I love pdf ! ), it really "is" a portable document format. I have the entire owners manual, AND the entire workshop manual for the Nissan Frontier on the iPad as pdf's. Since the iPad always goes with me when I'm out and about, I have these two manuals which "may" help me in a potential troubleshooting session.
I agree too, the the PDF manual is more useful than the dead tree one. I didn't order the paper ones yet and have both radio and vehicle manuals on my iPad, the search function alone is worth going this way.
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:05 PM   #136
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Humans are really good at finding and remembering the location of things in space. Touch typing or the ability to hit the light switch after a quick glance in the light switches direction, or in the dark are good examples.

Drill down menus or context related touch points are NOT nearly as suitable for that ability.

Best car radio I ever had for traveling had a nice big search rocker button under the tuning knob. Easy to hit once to start searching for stations, hit again when I heard something I liked. One I have now has more features but with so many tiny buttons I would have to park and get out the manual to do anything more than change the volumn or hit one of the preset station buttons.

If I can't use it safely while driving it's not a feature it's a failure.
VW Touareg has a virtual old radio dial on the bottom of the telematics screen. As soon as you touch the tune dial, an image of an old fashioned radio dial appears, just like the ones a long time ago where the two strings pulled the needle across the number line for the AM stations. I loved it!
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:55 PM   #137
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"If I can't use it safely while driving it's not a feature it's a failure.""

What a great quote!




I travel alot, renting cars at airports. I often have to drive a bit to get to the field site, and I like to have good sound, so I'll pick the models with the usb interface to my iPhone. And then I'll sit in the car for 10-15 minutes setting it all up and figuring it out. Whata PITA! And getting the blue tooth set up for the phone...some are easy, some aren't. By far the easiest was the VW Jetta. It even had bluetooth audio which took no time at all to get going. Everytime I got in that Jetta the bluetooth audio and phone was ready to go, no input needed from me, just like magic.


After all this, I swore I was going to get my next vehicle with good but easy to use electronics. My frontier's electronics are easy enough to use, but each and every time I get in I have to spend a few frustrating moments telling the blue tooth which phone to use.....I'm wondering if I can buy the VW electronics and surgically insert into my Nissan...
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:52 AM   #138
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"If I can't use it safely while driving it's not a feature it's a failure.""

What a great quote!



.....ha ! ha ! ....yes, but one needs to remember that difference between a bug and a feature is a very fine line....

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Old 07-25-2013, 10:09 AM   #139
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In my line of work, we call bugs "undocumented features"
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:28 AM   #140
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Paper! I vote for paper. I'm too dumb for a smart phone. You drop it you bust it; you forget to charge it or it gets stolen, you're out of luck; you missed a dumb call, so what, you're driving; you need that ap so you can be entertained by a 4 inch screen - OIK!

So I'm going to download a PDF file and print 600 to 1200 pages on 8x12-inch typing paper, and staple it together? I don't think so.

Give me a properly indexed booklet that fits in the glove compartment every time. Properly indexed? OK, that might be a stretch. Could that also suggest those 12 pages of tiring, redundant safety rants be moved to the back of the booklet? Now that might be a really tough one for Detroit.

End of rant.
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