Elegance of Behavior - Fiberglass RV

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Old 03-25-2008, 12:28 PM   #1
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Moderator's note: Mike was the founder of FiberglassRV.com. His take on what he called elegance of behavior continues to be good advice.

I would like to ask for help for what I call "Elegance of Behavior". What do I mean by that?

I've noticed a tendency to jump on posts with which people don't agree. RVing is a very personal experience. People from the Northeast see RVing much differently than people from Arizona. Same holds true for people in the Northwest or Canada compared to the Southwest. Full Timers have totally different needs and characteristics than weekenders. Who is right and who is wrong? I would say neither.

I posted a long time ago about adding a generator to my trailer. I almost got flamed on my own site. What is that all about? How and when I use it is my responsibility in showing good citizenship and low impact in the area I'm in. To that, I have fired up my little EU2000i Honda generator to cook dinner and to make sure my medical equipment battery was ready for the night at 11 PM. I was parked in a Flying J truck stop next to 18 wheelers running their refers and idling their 500 horse power diesel engines. After driving 500 miles, I like to relax, unwind, and watch the news and weather on TV. Would I run my generator at 11 PM next to someone in a forestry park using solar? NO.

I visit other websites which have all types of behavior. Some sites jump on people no matter what they post. This causes people to NOT feel comfortable joining in and becoming part of the group. In contrast, on other sites there is the feeling you can ask any question and feel people will help direct you in the right direction or at least give you options.

When someone posts something you disagree with, what is the best way to respond? I have seen Bolers painted colors I would not do. I ask myself, "Why would they do that?" I know I do things others would never do, but it fits MY NEEDS and CHARACTERISTICS. When I post, it is to share what I have learned or to ask questions.

I have an internet-based business. When I camp, I need to be able to support my customers - otherwise, I cannot go camping. How do I do that the most cost effective way and still have high speed connectivity - WiFi, EVDO, Satellite, what? Some people think it is sacrilegious to take technology camping.

My point is, PLEASE SUPPORT or LEARN; don't argue and don't blast someone just because it is not your lifestyle. If you feel the practice is or may be unsafe, answer in such a way they feel you are trying to help and care about them. Also remember, what is the norm in your little part of the world may not be so in the rest of world.

I know that, by and large, most of you do show "Elegance of Behavior" and I really appreciate it. We have recently had a rash of posts the Moderators have had to deal with, and I felt we should have a Fire Side Chat.

Thanks for listening,
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Old 03-25-2008, 02:53 PM   #2
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Trailer: 1976 13 ft Scamp
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I hear you loud and clear Mike. I will have to admit though that common decency and respect seem to be MUCH more prevelant on this forum than any I have ever been a part of. Perhaps it is due to the fact that the average age here is higher than most places I frequent. I'm not saying that you don't have a valid point. I have not yet seen the type of attitude that you mention. But from a newbies perspective I feel you have built a very great community of people that are very eager to help others. That is something you should be proud of. I know I appreciate it more than you know. Two months ago I never thought that the sites I had previously wasted entirely too much time on would be replace by a site about fiberglass RVs!!

What you seem to be addressing here is a flaw in human behavior that seems to be magnified by computer technology. You assemble this many people and let them hide behind a computer monitor and they will act and say things that they would never act out or say when face to face. Have you seen that commercial from Allstate (I believe) where they are telling you to view others in traffic as you would people in your home, and by doing so they hope to encourage people to be more considerate drivers. They show a a family having dinner at a table in the middle of the interstate to make the point? Someone should make a similiar commercial about the internet reminding folks that there are real live people on the other end of their monitors.

Thanks for what you do Mike!
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Old 03-25-2008, 05:08 PM   #3
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Trailer: 1979 13 ft Trillium
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Mike, (and all)

I have had such a great three years on this site with minimal yuck. Let alone have met some terrific people that I feel are a wonderful influence on my children. Thank you for the direct and gentle reminder.

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Old 03-25-2008, 05:41 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reminder, Mike! Well put, and I will do my best to take it to heart.

I sometimes visit other forums, and I must say that this one is a cut above. Much appreciated!
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Old 03-25-2008, 06:33 PM   #5
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Trailer: 17 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe
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Well spoken Mike. I like this forum because it IS the nice forum.
2003 Casita SD 17'
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:42 PM   #6
Trailer: Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Posts: 48
I'm not deterred by someone's negative rebuke or adverse opinion. My response is simply no response at all. I've noticed that same non-response by others on occassion, often with the result that no one pays any more attention to it, the negative thread dies and the positive discussion continues.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:45 PM   #7
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Who is right and who is wrong? I would say neither.
Problem is: moderators do such a good job that we rarely see any of the problems you are referring to. I haven't been following this RV forum all that long yet, but I can tell you that I have pretty much dumped all the other ones I had in my bookmarks. To me, this is as good as it gets so far, and I am very much impressed with the moderator team here. I would add, however, that I personally don't mind seeing conflicting opinions/lifestyles/worlds bump into each other from time to time, as they provide a way to see things from a completely different angle and there is often a lot to be gained from that. Also, I think that part of the problem happens when readers take other people's comments too seriously. (If the shoe doesn't fit...) That being said, I think that you handle problems well here and your message is a perfect example of it.

Driving on parkways and parking in driveways.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:12 PM   #8
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Thank You for the feed back.

My hope is that differing experiences and knowledge continue. When ALL information is expressed, it gives the whole of us perspective and a way to make informed decisions. Keep all the opinions coming, just keep them kind and helpful.

The way the differing information is expressed, and why, is what I talking about.

What we need to do is to NOT put someone down for wanting to do something or asking a question. My view is to offer facts that give information on point.

i.e. Can my Smart car pull a Casita? I believe most of us with much towing experience would start thinking Tow Ratings, Braking, etc. How do we help the person asking the question in such a way they come to a safe conclusion?

Thanks for taking the time to consider these perspectives.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:16 PM   #9
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Way to go Mike...
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:55 PM   #10
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I would like to know why some can make a very liberal and {politically correct} statements that are tolerated by the moderators but a more conservative view point, expressed in a respectful manner, is not tolerated and deleted?
Respectful debate on subjects that are very important to our lifestyle could be very interesting and educational.
I think more judgement should be used when deleting posts and locking threads.
The respectful and helpful manner in which most members express themselves is what makes this a great group.

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Old 03-25-2008, 10:28 PM   #11
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Trailer: 16 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe
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I have to say that Mike has a very valid point..... I thought it was just me. I have been on these fiberglass forums for awhile now and have to say i never had any incidents on this site.....first class all the way
On a very few occasions on the other sites people got downright insulting to others. Opinions posted are just that "Opinions" and they are there for reference to compare to your notes. I really like to hear different Opinions But what i've seen is "Namecalling" when someone has a different view.I like to treat people "Nice" and not berate them in front of others. Like they used to say back in the Seventies:"Can't we all just get along"
Great Site Mike.....Thanks for the effort.
Joe and Linda
2013 Casita SD
Dodge Ram 4x4
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:35 PM   #12
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Thanks John, Next Question...

Really though, that is a good question John. I have asked people from as Diverse a Background, RV type, and Location as I could to be Moderators. That being the case, we all come with baggage and differing World Views.

The overriding philosophy is No Preach'n, No Politic'n, No Sell'n and NO Flame'n and to grow the Fiberglass RV community for the benefit of all.

Now when a thread is NOT about Fiberglass RVs, it is then about Building Community. Thus we have Jokes, Around the Camp Fire etc. If it affects our RVing and starts getting controversial, then it is evaluated based on "Will this benefit the Website?" (very subjective)

If a Post or Thread becomes tense, augmentative, ugly, it is moved to my "Back Room" and discussed by all the Moderators. We vote on it and in many cases I'm out voted. Even though I can overrule the leadership team, I rather have them as a group make any decision. My World View is open to learning.

I have had one of my post deleted. I have had several of my posts edited. I encourage Moderators to Edit what I write. They see things I do not. Nothing I post is so important it can't be made better.

What we ask is, if you have a problem with a thread or post, email or PM a Moderator. We will deal with it. Our hope is that this website does not become a soap box for pushing a cause. That is not what we are about.

I hope I have answered your question.

PS: If anyone feels the need to take this further, please PM me.
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:56 PM   #13
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Mike, you captured this topic very well. I will expand this topic a little hopefully within the limits of being perceived as too philosophical but certainly neither right nor left.

I believe that this problem of lack of courtesy runs a little deeper in our society than some rudeness on public forums. Most of forums’ black or white biased views are simply the continuation of media opinionative feeds. Polarizations in our society run deep by politics, subjects and media. Politics by wedging our society are painfully common and greatly propagated by our media. Some times I feel like living in the black and white world with no grey scale; that is worse then “Pleasantville”. Media thinks that society is not capable of digesting the gray scale so they feed us with black and white images appropriate for an IQ of 75. Once the picture is dummied up by stripping the gray scale, I can no longer use my own judgment. I am retired, 59 years old and have never seen in my family or professional corporate life situations which are purely black or white. Bell curves govern our realities. Just as media presents us with heavily polarized “news” we continue the same concept in forums discussions.
Raw data information, used to called news, pretty much vanished from our media except breaking sky view news of vehicles running away on LA Highways. Sorry for getting philosophical, it is my hot topic.

This forum is the breeze of fresh air in civility. Great kudos to all of us and especially to our moderators for staying on subject of Fiberglass Eggshells.


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Old 03-26-2008, 07:47 AM   #14
Trailer: 1981 Trillium 5500
Posts: 51
I too have bookmarked this site and often check threads I have joined. I especially appreciate the willingness of members to offer suggestions and/or help for trailering issues. Thank you Moderators... your attention to the general tone of the site gives me the confidence to ask dumb (but important to me!) questions and offer small suggestions. As a newby to fiberglass the information and conversations have been invaluable! Helen
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:19 AM   #15
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Good post Mike.

I joined this forum in about 2000, when I purchased my first trailer, being a Boler. I found great news and advise from members, and try to reciprocate when I can. I find that RVing is good for my psyche, since taking on a high pressure occupation a few years ago, and look for times of peace and relaxing and communing with nature that the RV affords me. As my interest in trailers has grown and I got the 'bug', I have changed rigs and tow vehicles accordingly. As I am hopefully within 2 to 3 years of retiring from my current job, I have purchased my most expensive trailer, thinking that I can stay in it for long periods and have the reliability of a fibreglass trailer.

I recognize that members are probably folks like me, being mostly hobbyists and do what they do to enjoy their pastimes. I feel it unfair for me to criticize or offer offending comment, but do take out of discussions what will work for me.

I really appreciate you setting up this site Mike as well as the volunteer moderators, and are indebted to suggestions made by members over the years.

Rick B

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Old 03-26-2008, 09:32 AM   #16
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This forum has been an inspiration to me from day one. I have learned so much from it that I can't help but feel lead to contribute to it when I can, and I'm forever telling others about it as THE place to learn about our little glass eggs. I've subscribed to other forums, all about Camping, Scamp Trailers, Ham Radio, as well as other topics. But I don't frequent them at all as much as the time I spend here.

The civility, friendliness, and vast communitity of information found in this forum is what draws me here every day.

Mike, and all the moderators, y'all do a GREAT job!

Check out my Scamp restoration video on Youtube, & my Ham Radio Blog. Or take the 50 cent tour...
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:18 PM   #17
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Trailer: 1994 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
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Mike, I, too have been a member of this "community" for many years, if an infrequent poster. There are two things I have noticed over that time.

Like in a community, we don't all have the same taste or level of expertise, so we all won't like the same posts or the same posters. I wouldn't think of skipping "sightings" or "Show us your Rigs" as soon as I see a new posting. However, I usually get that glazed-eyed expression when reading through some of the techical stuff (what the heck is an amp anyway?).

Also, it is really difficult to type "funny" at times. What the poster may think is a comment made tongue firmly in cheek may come across as "snotty" regardless of the rolly emoticons. I have to watch that tendency in myself. More than once, I have had to do a quick edit, as what I said wasn't what I meant, or at least didn't sound like it.

That said, it is the most civil group I've encountered, and I would welcome any of it's members into my rig for a cup of coffee and a biscuit any day.

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Old 03-26-2008, 01:04 PM   #18
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See ya in May, Chuck
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Old 03-26-2008, 01:16 PM   #19
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See ya in May, Chuck
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Old 03-26-2008, 01:45 PM   #20
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Keep on keeping us all in check, because that keeps us spreading the RV knowledge without it becoming personal. This is a good community.

There are plenty of other forums where we can get nasty if we feel a need to do that (Like the Usenet forum rec.outdoors.rv-travel, where threads longer than about ten posts deteriorate into the same folks calling each other the same rude names and the vast majority of posts are Off Topic).
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