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Discord and Strife in the world of motor homes

Tom Winnifrith
Sunday 22 July 2012

Do not ask why, but I seem to be registered as a member of wildcamping.co.uk – an online forum for those interested in motor homes. I am not interested in this subject matter in the slightest but was researching an article once and so registered.

I cannot say that I am a frequent visitor and in my heart of hearts I would admit to a prejudice that a motor home enthusiast is a train spotter who likes the open road. You would have thought that this would be a peaceful community where they swapped takes of cheap spare parts, narrow roads to avoid, camp sites which turned out to be next to dogging venues or other matters of general interest to those who, for whatever particular reason, are fascinated by motor homes.

To give you an idea of how fascinating these forums can be I bring you the start of a recent thread started by “Beemer”:

Just recently picked up a new bike for my son, so we thought we would give it a trial and have a day out cycling.

The only vehicle we have that is able to carry said bikes is the motorhome so we set off for Lady Bower dam in the Peak District.

The Derwent Dams provide water for Sheffield, Derby, Nottingham and Leicester.

As usual the parking at the side of the road was full of cars parked to take full advantage of the sunny day, so we drove a bit further up the Snake Pass to the next car park where the Lady Bower Cafe sets up his ‘chuck wagon’.

I look for a parking place and just about to reverse in when the ‘chuck wagon’ owner comes to the van window and says “can you park right up the other end of the car park?”…. Immediately, right or wrong, I take offence…and say NO! … he then says “well you are blocking the way for people to see the cafe”….. I then say “why did you not say that in the first place?” and an argument ensues.

Of course I did park up at the end of the car park because I could see his point, but if he could have made himself clear why, the first time, there would have been no argument.

Maybe I was a bit ‘jerky’ with my initial “NO”..but I just thought how rude to say “park up the other end of the car park”.

I can understand why he would want me to move, but I would have tucked the back end of the van into the trees, so that I was not blocking the ‘view’…. his ‘customer skills’ was evident later when he was packing up around customers who had clearly not finished what they had bought from him

“Runnach” replies:

Yes, a better explanation from the outset would certainly have saved any verbal.

Nice pics, pic two, is that a large drainage sump, reminds me of the Corryvreckan?

And so on… It is truly a fascinating place. I have no idea what many folk are talking about but it really did seem a friendly sort of forum for people interested in motor homes.

But no! It appears that civil war has broken out at wildcamping.co.uk and we loyal members are being asked to vote in a poll as to whether certain members should be banned for arguing and abusing fellow forum members. My motor home is bigger than yours. No its not – I have extra large lamps on the front so mine is longer. No! You scumbag you lie. Piss off you are a (insert John Terry phrase here). I have trawled the forums to find the exact nature of the abuse but cannot seem to find it. Clearly in the world of motor homes there are areas of great controversy capable of causing wide-spread discord.

For what it is worth, 604 of my fellow Motor Home enthusiasts have voted and 91% of them are urging Phil (our moderator) to ban folks who start arguments or are abusive. There is clearly a high inverse correlation between being interested in motor homes and believing in free speech. I am not sure that I wish to belong to such a totalitarian community and may have to cancel my membership at once in protest. But on the other hand, I would then miss out some truly fascinating discussions. I am almost becoming hooked, despite having no actual interest in motor homes.

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Tom Winnifrith is the editor of TomWinnifrith.com. When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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