My name is Rich Truesdell and I am an automotive editor and now, a full-time RVer (1980 Pace Arrow 30-foot motorhome).
This past week I was talking with some friends about developing a monthly digital-only RV magazine using the same iPad- and browser-friendly viewer I already use for my magazine, Automotive Traveler.
First off, is this a viable concept and how old does an RV have to be to be considered vintage? Ten years old, now subject to the 10-year rule in many parks and resorts? Fifteen years old? Twenty years old? Twenty-five years old?
My thought is that for starters that a vintage RV be defined as being 20 years old but I'm not locked in to that and welcome feedback from the vintage RV community.
If you take a look at this article on the 1973-1978 GMC Motorhomes I wrote for Automotive Traveler,
you'll have a good idea of the editorial and production values that would define the proposed publication. I have two working titles that I'm developing, Legendary RV Owner Magazine or Vintage RV Owner Enthusiast Magazine. Anyone have any other suggestions?
Here's how I see such a package, all the components you would find in a traditional printed magazine..
1. Editor's letter that sets the tone for the issue
2. New Product Pages
3. Main feature 1 on a vintage Class A, B, or C motorhome profile (similar to the GMC feature)
4. Main feature 2 on either a vintage towed trailer or fifth wheel
5. Main feature 3 road trip/destination travel feature
6. Tech/Maintenance D-I-Y/How-to feature
7. Short feature on a vintage-friendly RV resort or park with an emphasis on ranking features important to vintage RVers (like how clean it is, amenities, how close it is to shopping)
8. Reference materials embedded into the magazine such as ads an brochures, that would be reproduced as downloadable PDFs.
Since the publication, whatever it might be called, will be available for free in the same viewer as Automotive Traveler through a dedicated web site, to support the cost of production we would need advertising support. I see that coming from three areas. I am also looking at the possibility of producing versions for the Amazon Kindle and Fire as well as the Barnes & Noble Nook Color and Nook Tablet for a nominal price of $1.00 an issue. At the same time I see developing a Print-On-Demand version for between $7 to $10 and issue.
The first advertizing constituency are dealers that specialize in the sale of vintage motor homes, especially those who position a classic RV as a viable alternative to today's mega coaches. Obviously the Airstream and GMC communities first come to mind but I realize that many RV brands have passionate supporters; all are important.
Second are the parts and service vendors who support the vintage RV movement as this will be a very targeted way to reach the vintage RV community.
The third would be display and classified advertising for owners wishing to sell their vintage RV. My idea here is to develop a template where sellers could provide text and images to produce a feature-style presentation of their for-sale RV. I'm thinking that this would be a two or three-page presentation that would cost $50-$100/page. While this might seem high, it would be something that a seller could link his or her other ads to, from eBay as an example, to enhance their sales efforts.
I'm going to work on a sample issue over the weekend, using features I've already written, like the GMC feature as well as a story that I wrote years ago for Cars & Parts Magazine on a couple that towed their 1956 Shasta with a 1956 Chevy Nomad.
The key to producing a magazine like this will be getting high-quality contributions from the vintage RV community. Getting feedback from a wide cross section of vintage RVers will really help me develop an editorial package that will appeal to and best serve the vintage RV movement.
If you have suggestions, or feedback, please leave your comments here. If you have writing, photography, editing or magazine experience and would like to help me formulate the package, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can exchange phone numbers.
1980 Pace Arrow 30-foot motorhome
First of all, I hope you enjoy your old Pace Arrow. Several of us on this site live full-time in Pace Arrows, but most of us are musicians. I s'pose we could invite a writer into our circle. LOL
As this site won't allow me to post a long reply, I'll put an email in your box with my particular feedback.
William you mention bing a musician, do you play anywhere here in Bay county? I am trying to teach my self steel guitar and I play keyborad.
The concept sounds good, the GMC article was good. I don't like the way the page is displayed, because of the sidebars, I couldn't get enough magnification for my tired old eyes and I had to resize every page.
I saw a GMC around ten years ago and was impressed by the outside looks. Unfortunately, when I went inside I could see the rear tires where something major had given way and it looked like it had all rusted out. Its unfortunate that this ended my enthusiasm because I would have been very intrigued to find out about the Toronado drivetrain, as I had perviously worked on incorporating that type of drivetrain as a mid engine Bradley GT 11.
Thanks for looking at Automotive Traveler. I'm curious, what size screen are you viewing the pages on? What kind of device, an iPad tablet with a 10-inch or smaller screen, a netbook, laptop, or a desktop? When I design the pages I design them on a 14-inch laptop screen but the font size I use, allows me to read it -- I wear glasses to read -- on the iPad's 9.6-inch screen.
If you're on a PC, here's a hint for you, hit F11 to go to a full-screen view. That will remove your browser's toolbars, which for some people is 10-15% of their screen. This may allow you to "read" the page without zooming in, which is my intent when I design the pages.
1980 Pace Arrow P-30 454 Chevy
My screen measures 13" horizontally. F11 works, somewhat. Still wish the arrows weren't there.
The arrows are there to navigate, which is redundant since we have a two ways to advance the page in the viewer's blue toolbar above the "page." But for most people those arrows are helpful and intuitive.
Is your screen a 16x9 wide screen or a more traditional 4x3 aspect ratio?
1980 Pace Arrow P-30 454 Chevy
By the way, Richard, I was able to read your article (on the GMC motorhome) reasonably easy on my Android. Easier for the Android to read, than most web sites.
It was a great article!
You'd be better off using George and Ms. Tiogas revenue model of a daily blog with paid advertisers muckin up the blog like George does. See his free link (we never charge for anything here-I dumpster dive to get items to sell to support all the expenses of good old rvs) under Dry Camping on right of the home page. George even tells you how to get started and shares in expenses and income. He's got 1 million viewers, but we have 1,700 good friends who don't get blasted with adds every time they open up goodoldrvs.com!
I think IT's a great Idea, there is a lot of coverage about vintage trailers but little coverage about vintage motorhomes, There were so many cool motorhomes made between 1965 and 1980, and I strongly feel they need to be brought out into the open. I think there should not only be a digital magazine but also a regular magazine people could subscribe to.
I have a 21-page preview issue already done. I'm a day or two away from posting it in the open as I want to add some more pages and get a bit closer to a final version. Thus far the feedback has been quite favorable.
Right now people who have E-mailed me directly are getting a sneak peek and are offering up suggestions so it's moving along quite well. If you want to be part of the review group, write me direct at email@example.com.
I am planning a print version using the Print-On-Demand technology available through amazon.com's CreateSpace affiliate. The cost might scare some people away as it will be between seven and 10 dollars for a 49 to 52-page publication. There is no way to do it via traditional print methods as that would involve a print run of at least 1,000 copies at three dollars a copy. Copies via POD will be printed just as needed. If there's a subscriber demand for a traditionally printed version, then that is a possibility but I think it's very remote, as much as I'd love to do it.
Thanks for your feedback,
Hows this for an old motorhome, I live old motorhomes and would be glad to contribute
Glen, don't forget about usins here at GoodOldRVs. We need all the contributin (is that a word) that we can get! pat