RVillage is … our village!
[Note: The information on this page was current and accurate, to the best of our knowledge, as of 10 May 2014. If you find that RVillage does not work as indicated, feel free to drop us an e-mail and let us know.]
On Wednesday, March 12, 2014 a new website was publicly unveiled named RVillage (http://www.rvillage.com). RVillage is a social networking site conceived and designed to help create real community among RVers, especially those who are using their rigs on a full-time, extended-time, or seasonal basis and are very mobile. Membership is free.
If you are not familiar with RVillage please take a few minutes to read this page. We have additional pages under this one with step-by-step instructions on how to:
RVillage will be in public beta status for a while but most of the site is working very well at this point. The developers will continue to find and fix bugs, redesign some aspects of the site to make them work better, and extend its features. Being a social networking website, RVillage has a few things in common with other such sites. One of them is creating “friend connections” with other members. We never got into Facebook and the whole “friend” business is one of the reasons. We do not, however, find the friend feature of RVillage in any way objectionable and are sending and accepting friend requests.
At its heart, RVillage does several things that we have never seen anywhere else, or at least not in a way that is so specific to the needs of RVers:
- PARK CHECK-IN. RVillage allows you to check in to RV parks, campgrounds, state and national parks, forests, and recreation areas, etc.; any place that is in the AllStays database. It also allows you to check in to a U.S. city/state and will eventually let you check in to a city/province in Canada and locations in Mexico. At present you must either check into an RV park/ campground in the database or specify a location. The location can be a state, a city and state, or anything you want to enter, such as “on the road.” You can also submit camping locations that are not currently in the database. Once you are “checked-in” to a park you can “see” other RVillage members who are also checked in to that same location.
(Note: This RVillage “check-in” has nothing to do with reservation and registration systems used by individual parks, this is strictly an RVillage feature that allows members to indicate where they are. You do not have to physically be in an RV park, campground, or other location in order to check-in there with RVillage. The whole point of RVillage, however, will be undermined if a lot of people give false locations.)
- MESSAGING. The messaging feature allows you to send messages to other members, such as people who might be checked-in to the same RV park as you. Why messaging? If they are not already personal friends, you don’t know their e-mail address or phone number. This is basically like text messaging on your cell phone, but is an internal feature of RVillage.
[Note: When you join RVillage you set up a profile. One of the options in your profile is to have messages, friend requests, notifications of forum posts, and other RVillage traffic sent to your designated e-mail account.]
- GROUPs/FORUMs. Ahhh, groups. RVillage allows members to create and join groups based on shared interests. This allows you to narrow down who you interact with on RVillage and perhaps eventually meet in person somewhere down the road. RVillage is not about creating a virtual community with virtual friends, it’s about creating real community with real people. Membership in most groups is open and they are easy to join. Some groups are closed. If you request to join a closed group, your request will have to be approved by the owner/leader of that group.
Groups can have forums, and most groups have this feature enabled. Members can post to existing topics or create new ones. Through conversations strangers become acquaintances as they share information, and some acquaintances eventually become real friends. Many websites provide bulletin boards and forums, and RVillage will not replace those, but we are not aware of another system that allows RVers to create groups and forums so easily around any potential shared interest of their choosing.
- MAPPING. This is the Big Kahuna! Are you traveling from here to there and wondering if there are any other members of one or more of your RVillage groups convenient to your planned route? Select one of your groups in the EXPLORE tab and see the location of every member displayed on a map.
(Note: the mapping feature does NOT use GPS information from a cell phone, tablet, computer, or navigation system; it shows member locations based on where they are currently checked-in.)
- GET-TOGETHERS. Are you staying in a campground, RV park, state or national park or forest, on BLM land, or any other location where there are other RVillage members? Want to schedule a pot luck dinner, happy hour at your rig, or outing to a local restaurant? How about a group hike or bike ride? Create a “get-together,” invite your fellow RVillagers (old and new), and let the RSVPs roll in. Or maybe you belong to an RV club and want to host a rally? Get it approved by the leaders of your club and then create an RVillage get-together for that rally, share information about it, and have club/group members RSVP through RVillage. Collect feedback afterwards and when it’s all wrapped up, delete the get-together; they are intended to be temporary.
- LOCATION-CENTRIC SERVICES. You may be wondering about now how RVillage can do all this and have membership be free? The promise is that membership will always be free. To cover the costs, RVillage is signing up businesses that provide services of interest to RVers to advertise on the website. Nothing novel about that, except that the advertising will be available to members by location and category. “By location” means you can view businesses in the area where you are checked in. They are also going to accept “national advertising” from companies whose products and services are not location-centric.
Are you ready to JOIN RVillage? Of course you are! It’s as easy but we have provided step-by-step instructions on our Join RVillage page. If you have already joined RVillage and want to know how to join and use RVillage groups, go to our RVillage Groups page. If you are looking for some quick tips on how to use the RVillage website, go to our RVillage Navigation page.
We look forward to seeing you on RVillage.
Bruce and Linda (Omnibus) on RVillage!