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Can An RVer Get By Without Facebook?


An RVer uses Facebook outside her RV.

Would An RVer Be Able To Find Enough Information If Social Media Disappeared?

In light of the longest outage ever recently experienced by Facebook, which included Instagram and WhatsApp outages, I mentally turned the clock back a few years and tried to imagine how today’s RVer would manage without social media. Full disclosure: I use social media every day and RV LIFE uses a multitude of social media platforms, just like every other company. Unlike most other companies, however, RV LIFE has established alternatives to social media that are visited by millions of RVers every year.

Where would an RVer go during an outage?

While that sounds like a weather-related question better suited to your local news channel, for an RVer, the question pertains to the vital knowledge-gathering you need throughout your progression from new to veteran RVer. If you, the RVer, had an important question and found that the social media platforms you favor were unavailable, where would you go?

Do you rely on social media for knowledge?

If you are relying on social media exclusively for your RVing knowledge, you are making a mistake. Not necessarily due to the risk of outage … that risk holds for nearly anything. Rather, the risks of relying exclusively on social media for your RV education are multifaceted. Here are a few to consider.

Visibility

Unlike other forms of information, such as forums, blog sites, or formal classes, social media is more of a see-it-now, read-it-now platform. Locating information even just a few days old can be a challenge and the information is not formally organized. Finding critical information when you need it most can be difficult at best.

Opinions

There’s an old expression about opinions that we won’t necessarily repeat here but it closes with “… everybody has one.” Opinions validated with detailed facts and explanations are one thing; irrelevant opinions tossed around with no supporting facts have no value. Nor can you determine if that opinion is supported by experience or not. Unfortunately, social media is often a breeding ground for this type of feedback.

Censorship

Censorship is a scary word, and valid opinions and information should not be censored. Unfortunately, the word “valid” is fairly subjective. Social media has a tendency to censor whatever it deems offensive, not what common sense would dictate. So comments rudely reminding you to “read the manual,” or being told “only an idiot would do that,” are often allowed, disheartening the new RVer. While political and social comments that shouldn’t be there at all are left alone, uncensored in the interest of “fairness.”

Lack of knowledge

The most concerning aspect of social media might very well be the lack of in-depth knowledge. Even when a knowledgeable answer is presented, the context is not always clear or available. A smart comment about a particular electrical issue might be factually correct, however, may have no real relation to the original problem. Readers may associate the thread’s “hero” image directly to the comment they are reading and draw an incorrect conclusion. 

Answers that sound like right answers, might not be correct at all. This is especially concerning. An RVer who says a surge protector is totally unnecessary might say so because their expensive motor coach has one built in. A new RVer might not only be dissuaded to buy that much-needed surge protector, but might incorrectly assume they already have one built in as well.

Social media alternatives for RVers

There are a few alternatives to social media for RVers. Gaining all important knowledge for proper ownership and operation of their new RV is vital to every RVer. Here are a few social-media alternatives to consider.

Forums

Forums for RVers predate social media; they’re the OG. Top RV forums like iRV2.com and AirForums.com provide all the benefits of community without the aforementioned issues of social media. Forums also have a dedicated moderation team to make sure conversations stay on track and pertain to their particular thread. They also ensure that hateful, political, and social opinions and conversation are kept in check and eliminated.

Another huge benefit of forums is that the number of posts that an RVer has made is part of their visible profile. So, when an answer is provided by someone who has posted over 23,000 times, you can have some assurance that it’s a quality recommendation.

Blog sites

Blog sites can also be referred to as a digital magazine. Like the printed periodicals of old, blog sites provide the same informative information on a more frequent basis, daily in some cases. Sites like Camper Report, Camper Smarts, Do It Yourself RV, RV LIFE, and Vanlifers all provide valuable data for the RVer to digest.

YouTube

Some might argue that YouTube is still social media and they might be right. The difference is that with YouTube, you are able to discern with your eyes the full breadth of information being provided so you can make a better decision. You also have the luxury of weighing the number of subscribers and number of video views with that decision. A video seen over 28k times can stand on its own merit as being worthy information to consider.

Books

While print is not as strong as in years past, there is still room in the RVer’s repertoire for a book. Books favored by RVers such as Living the RV Life or RV Hacks 400+ Ways to Make Life on the Road Easier, Safer, and More Fun! are a great source of knowledge for any RVer.

Structured education

Structured education programs like those offered by RV Masterclass, E3 Camping, or RV Education 101 are another great way for RVers to digest trustworthy information outside of the realm of social media.

Conclusion

Is all of social media bad? No, of course not. Like anything, it should be filtered and monitored carefully. It should not, however, be your first recourse. Why ask a handful of jaded RVers what their favorite campground is on Facebook, when you could read thousands of thoughtful reviews about those campgrounds on Campground Reviews? Similarly, why ask a bunch of folks you don’t know how to find a safe RV route, versus using an affordable trip planning tool like RV Trip Wizard?

As long as you apply a liberal dose of wariness and common sense, social media is a fine 3rd or 4th option to supplement your RVer knowledge. 

Author Patrick Buchanan Avatar

Patrick Buchanan

All around RV enthusiast who has been RVing for 7 years and enjoys trips with his wife and little dogs in their 43-foot diesel pusher. 

15 thoughts on “Can An RVer Get By Without Facebook?

  1. (I do not use Facebook or Twitter and have been rv’ing for over 40 yrs. I hooked up to this site to see tips only as surely things are constantly changing and improvements made. I shall keep attentive to my old Roadtrek, 1988 noises to see what issues are arising. Staying alert is the best policy then reading what others think. Best of luck too all.

  2. YES! An RVer can DEFINITELY “get by” WITHOUT facebook. I value my privacy too much to hand details of my life over to facebook, instagram, tik tok, etc, etc, etc. Over the last year or two, a variety of RV centric sites have sprouted up like mushrooms often just repeating / rehashing what’s been posted on some other RV site(s). MOST of these sites have become “Click Bait” havens offering little (if any) true value. In my experience, RVTravel.com is the BEST RV site currently available as the editors and staff are interested in providing ACCURATE reporting without the need of treating the readers as cows to be milked dry. I understand that a business needs to make a profit in order to remain viable. Many (most?) businesses today seem to operate on the principle of draining every last cent from their customers rather than providing TRUE value for those customers. Truly a SAD situation.

  3. Honestly, there is no room for facebook in my life, especially for RV info. You can’t trust anything on it. I am fine with out it.

  4. I gave up on Facebook a couple of years ago. I was irritated by the incessant ads between posts on my page and the runaround required to see the posts from all my relatives and friends. I never used FB for information gathering, only for keeping in touch with friends and relatives. I don’t miss it at all.

  5. Wow, if those who primary source of information is FACEBOOK they are woefully uniformed! The ability to seek accurate information is necessary and with so many sources of intelligent, thoughtful and diverse thinking available, Facebook is the last place to turn to. So many have left face book and other peer-to-peer social media, to take back absolute control of their lives and valuable time. Broaden your knowledge and research very high quality sites to enrich your life – think back before Facebook existed and take back control and enjoy a more positive experience!

  6. This is an excellent article, thank you. The one thing I would add under forums is the “Owners Forums.” Prior to purchasing a trailer I joined the Jayco Owners Forum. The Moderators on this forum work extremely hard to keep all topics relevant and clearly monitor behavior. I have used that forum for education, guides to roads recommended by trip planners, campgrounds, and actual emergency issues such as “no electrical.”

  7. Of course, people can get along just fine without Facebook, they have for thousands of years. No one needs to know what I’m doing every minute of the day. I talk to real people, not my imaginary tens of thousands of (friends). I am not on Facebook.

  8. I have RV’d since 2006, some years as many as 5-months on the road. We have visited all 49 States that we can drive to, and nearly all of the Canadian Provinces. I have NEVER once signed on to Facebook. Given it’s current reprehensible algorithms, I never will.

  9. Nobody needs Facebook! I have never had a Facebook account & even if I did I would not turn to social media for information in a emergency situation. In a emergency there are far better news sources available. We should always monitor weather sites, state highway conditions websites & this time of year the National Hurricane Center’s site if we are down south or along the east coast somewhere.

    The problem with social media is that there are so many who offer their opinions as fact. One could easily argue that social media has exacerbated the issues that we face today. It is more of an echo chamber with many who so often choose to attack others for their opinions because they have heard something different online. There is so much misinformation out there that is intended to sway public opinions.

    Most media sites today censor ideas that don’t fit their intended narratives regardless of how accurate one’s comments are. They don’t want to hear the truth these days!

  10. Facebook is NOT all of Social Media. Even FB + Twitter + Google + InstaG does not make-up social media.
    Haven’t used any of the above for years. Try Rumble, GETTR, DuckDuckGo, and others.

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