Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB

Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/)
-   4WD Overland TRAVEL (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/4wd-overland-travel/)
-   -   The HU 4wd Forum and what does it need to make better? (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/4wd-overland-travel/hu-4wd-forum-what-does-61908)

Grant Johnson 14 Feb 2012 04:33

The HU 4wd Forum and what does it need to make better?
 
Hi,

I received an email from a user (Ronny) with some good ideas especially for the 4wd forums section: (his comments indented, my comments noted)
I drive a Defender and therefor most of all like to read about things about 4x4-things. In other forums I read there is parts for questions about cars, about maps, about workshops for cars, about motors, about tours and trips and on and on. Could this be something for you? As I can see now everything goes into each other and there is a lot to read before I find what i'm looking for. Maybe treads like this: 4x4 cars - field repairs - workshops in different areas - where to get parts or help - known problems to cars
Grant: SOME of that is in the 4wd forums, but it could absolutely be better.

Motorbikes - field repairs - workshops in different areas - where to get parts or help - known problems to bikes
Grant: All covered in the main sections of the site.

Maps, routes, GPS - What maps to use, and what is available? - GPS, programs, where to find software, web-maps...
Grant: See the GPS forum

- Routes, passable for 4x4 or bikes? Alternatives? - Politic issues that are vise to know about. Rebels, areas not very vise to go to.
Grant: See the Trip Planning forums or the regional forums

- Where to find petrol, diesel, oil and stuff.
Grant: We don't have much of this for 4wd, perhaps it needs to be added. See wikis comments below.

Company and friends - Any other going certain routes? - Find travel companions? - Meeting places?
Grant: See the Travellers seeking Travellers Forum!

Equipment - New items that are nice to know about - Items that are good or better to avoid - Where to buy stuff?
Grant: Most of that is covered in the various technical forums for bikes, not sure how good it is for cars. Unfortunately I have no time to spend in that area, so leave it up to the people who use it to let me know what is needed.

Just something like this. Not sure if this is what your after, but I think it would make a good forum even better.

Anyone else have any thoughts / comments? What are we missing in the 4wd section?

Note that I really do not want to create a whole new set of sections like Planning or GPS etc, as it's all much the same and dilutes the content badly. However that doesn't mean we don't need to shake things up a bit!

Let me know what you think while we are working on the whole site upgrade so we have something to work with when the time comes.

thanks!

twobob 14 Feb 2012 06:20

Hi Grant How about sticky posts for the different sections electrical, mechanical etc? All posters burn out after awhile repeating answers to generic questions. Much of 4x4 touring is just following the basics. The sticky posts would evolve over time. Many new people don't know how to search a site and so embarrass themselves with simple questions

Cheers Rob

rclafton 14 Feb 2012 10:54

More active moderation would help sometimes, although the LC / LR thing does seem to have died down a bit which is really good as its not good for the forums and very very boring

How about an 'Above 3.5 tonnes' section for drivers of heavier vehicles as their requirements / laws / licensing etc can be quite different (for instance if you passage thru austria and use the motorways you need a little black box to record your progress and pay your taxes over 3.5 tonnes)

Repair shops section would be good.

The forum title, actually says 4 wheels , not 4x4 so maybe a 2wd section heading

Origional poster said something about equipment - so a section discussing equipment specific to 4 wheeled vehicles would be a good addition. This is everything from fridges, jacks compressors, mechanical mods would be better in specific vehicle forums imho.

twenty4seven 14 Feb 2012 19:13

Not having a separate Landrover and Landcruiser section, there is enough type specific forums out there for people to get all tribal on and this place is about travel and overlanding IMO.

Vehicle build up / show us your vehicle type section, I love seeing other peoples ideas.

I also like the idea of an equipment section as well. :thumbup1:

Somehow encourage more 4 wheel travel reports, I know of people who have been to some fantastic places but just keep quiet on here about it, I for one would love to learn more from the experienced guys out there.

TheWarden 14 Feb 2012 22:42

I'm fairly new to the site, 4x4's and overlanding and signed up here because thats whats covered.

I'm not so much interested in 4x4 only sites and there are plenty on offer it thats your thing.

When it comes to browsing the hubb I only really look in the sahara forum and 4x4. Looking at the current set up everything seems to be covered, obvioulsly the bike tech is bigger than the 4x4 due to the diversity of bikes in use.

My suggestions would be to

Merge the LR, LC and other 4x4 tech forums into a 4x4 tech forum (there are plenty of marque specific BB's out there and wrt overlanding the tech seems to cross these boundaries.

Maybe a >3.5 tonnes section as rclafton suggested as these vehicles have different issues.

Really like the idea of a Readers Rides/show off your vehicle section (maybe divided into Bikes, 4 Wheels >3.5 tonnes)

Maybe look at the titles of the general sections and the details of each to make these appear slightly less bike orientated, for example Retitle the first section removing Ride Tales and make that Trip Reports in general.

I think sometimes when I do browse other sections I generally feel they are for bikes. Just a feeling really but sometime I find myself thinking "would this be the place for a 4wd post"

Walkabout 14 Feb 2012 23:30

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheWarden (Post 367398)
I'm fairly new to the site, 4x4's and overlanding and signed up here because thats whats covered.

I'm not so much interested in 4x4 only sites and there are plenty on offer it thats your thing.

When it comes to browsing the hubb I only really look in the sahara forum and 4x4. Looking at the current set up everything seems to be covered, obviously the bike tech is bigger than the 4x4 due to the diversity of bikes in use.

My suggestions would be to

Merge the LR, LC and other 4x4 tech forums into a 4x4 tech forum (there are plenty of marque specific BB's out there and wrt overlanding the tech seems to cross these boundaries.

Maybe a >3.5 tonnes section as rclafton suggested as these vehicles have different issues.

Really like the idea of a Readers Rides/show off your vehicle section (maybe divided into Bikes, 4 Wheels >3.5 tonnes)

Maybe look at the titles of the general sections and the details of each to make these appear slightly less bike orientated, for example Retitle the first section removing Ride Tales and make that Trip Reports in general.

I think sometimes when I do browse other sections I generally feel they are for bikes. Just a feeling really but sometime I find myself thinking "would this be the place for a 4wd post"

I am broadly in agreement with The Warden, but it goes deeper -
the HUBB has grown pretty much piecemeal for years and it's current appearance shows that, starkly.
As per the last post, a few examples:-
1. The website for motorcycle travellers
2. An annual calendar of motorbike travel
3. Ride Tales
4. Organised tours (by bike naturally)
5. Shipping bikes
6.Motorcycle events around the world
7. The "want ads" section does not include for 4 wheels - that has ads for want/sale that are entirely separate
8. Repair shops recommended around the world - with bikes in mind

There are probably other examples, these were just pulled out from a very quick review of the HUBB alone - I know that if someone enters via the homepage then they would be hard pressed to know the breadth of subject matter within here. Indeed, they may well write it off as being too specialist - for motorbikes alone - and move on in their web searching.

I do think that the site needs to have an appearance that is more logical but that will need to be very carefully balanced with the origins of the site (it was I who suggested the inclusion of a bicycle section a few years ago, and that has had limited readership and input - yes, there are lots of competing websites for that also).

Contrary, to some views, I think that the 4 wheel section (should there be a 6x6 section??) needs to be broken down into specific vehicle interests - obviously, that includes areas for LR and LC). At the very least, to do this would replicate the layout for the bikes section.
Recently, I added a thread about the Nissan X trail, but there are a few Nissan models and I think there is scope for a section to cover that marque of vehicle - Yes, bikes are diverse, but so are 4 wheeled vehicles, probably more so because of the different body configurations and the weights involved + as mentioned above the licencing requirements (including driving licences in the case of the UK) are more complex.

I don't envy you making these decisions, Grant!!

Grant Johnson 15 Feb 2012 01:48

Quote:

I don't envy you making these decisions, Grant!!
SOME consensus of opinion would help! :)

And specific suggestions too.

If a number of people agreed we need x y and z forums, that's actually easy. Deciding what they are is the hard part!

So be specific, let me know what you need and we'll do what we can. Note that I've ALWAYS been open to suggestions - you folks just need to make them :)

Understand that there is absolutely no way I can remotely know what you need here in the 4 wheels area. You need something, just say so!

I'd love to do a lot of stuff, and there is new stuff coming. "Garages" for instance are in the plans, also wikis for all the same old same old stuff.

Thanks for all the thoughts guys, it's all helpful. Keep 'em coming!

twobob 15 Feb 2012 13:31

Something like this Grant ?

Leaving the blacktop

Stock 4x4 and 2x4
Out of the showroom and into the mud. How capable are they?

Basic upgrades 4x4 and 2x4
Roof racks, Air compressors , refrigerators, Gps, snatch-straps, hand winches, extending breather tubes, first-aid kits, puncture repair, toolkits etc.

Major upgrades 4x4
Lift kits, winches, diff-locks, snorkels, twin batteries, storage drawers,long range fuel tanks, cargo barriers, water tanks, turbos etc.

Bush mechanic
Don't panic, make a cup of tea and lets see what we've got in our bag of tricks.

Driving techniques 4x4 and 2x4
Mud, sand, clay and rock, either uphill or down.

Long distance touring
The tips to make it comfortable, cooking, chairs, tents, bedding, toilets, awnings, entertaining the kids. etc.

rclafton 15 Feb 2012 15:22

Grant - come on be real - consensus - us !

OK My proposal would be to leave the current headings as they are to aid searching, otherwise what do you do ith the old posts, no one is going to sort them into new sub sections, also the great number of queries are on the rover / toyota marques so i think they should stay

I think we should recognise that this is an adventure motorcycling site and Grant allows us a little table in the corner to mutter about more than 2 wheels, and alot of the info does overlap between different forms of transport so no need to recreate the GPS stuff etc. Is this the way you intend to continue or do you want to make it more vehicle dependant travel orientated generically, thats a Grant type decision

I would leave the tech forums alone - the other forums tend to cater for 'how do i put a 14 inch lift on my discovery / cruiser / suzuki etc' where as I think we here are a little more carefull and pragmatic

So I would go for new headings as follows :


2 Wheel Drive : Neglected for far too long - how far can you get in a diff locked merc 4x2 or a renault twingo
Over 3.5 Tonnes : space for the big boys or wannabes like my 4.5 tonner
Softroaders / lightweight/pickups : nissans / freelanders / subarus / 4x4 pickups et al
Bush Mechanics i like the idea of
Touring gear : ie the camping kit / fridges / torches / tents / cooking kit / braais etc, again different from the bikes as we carry more
Garages/repair shops you seem to have in hand
Shipping - very different from the motorbike world
Driving techniques
Members rigs : Done on the overlander site, may be of interest
Spares availability : Is this in garages or do we need a seperate space. Where to get a mitsubishi alternator in ulan bator or is the only place to get a 255/100/16 tyre these days in Luton ? This one is interesting and could either be big or ignored. We keep a spreadsheet of compatible parts worldwide for Iveco Dailys - could this be done for other marques

If we split it down too far we may actually risk being too granular so i'm gonna stop now.

Next question , how do we get concensus so Grant can act, ive included my own ideas plus other peoples , i think the softroader one could be interesting to watch with the prices falling

Grant Johnson 15 Feb 2012 19:48

I'm TRYING to be real... I DID say SOME consensus... ;) maybe not much but I'll take what I can get! :) And yes I DO know you guys! :rofl:

I see two options thus far - twobob and rich both have ideas - I think Rich has taken twobobs ideas and added/tweaked. Let's hear some opinions on them. I confess I like where Rich has gone with the list, but my opinion here doesn't count for much, it's what you guys want / need.

"too granular" - yes this can be an issue. I have tended to wait till a forum is getting significant traffic before splitting it up - not sure if that's the right way to go, but there's nothing worse than a forum with three posts!

Moving threads is a BIG job for a moderator, AND is an issue with bookmarks and links form other sites and google, so the less we move stuff the better. We can leave a permanent redirect where needed, so we don't have the issue but hundreds of redirects sucks too.

"Bush Mechanics" - we have this on the mc side, "Bodgers Forum" so sure.

Makes some sense to replicate the Repair Forums section from the mc side here too. I think. there is a small argument that ANY shop could be useful if needed in really remote areas.

Grant Johnson 15 Feb 2012 19:49

A few more thoughts and ideas on forums/names and I'll post a poll where you can make multiple choices :)

twobob 16 Feb 2012 01:02

The list 2.0 (a work in progress)

2x4, & Softroaders
Lightweight/pickups, nissans / freelanders / subarus / 4x4 pickups

Under 3.5 Tonnes
landrovers, landcruisers, nissans etc. (under sub-headings ?)

Over 3.5 Tonnes
Unimogs. Iveco, Okas etc. the big stuff (under sub-headings ?)

Touring Gear
Roof racks,toolkits, air compressors, refrigerators, snatch-straps, winchs, first-aid kits, puncture repair, lift kits, diff locks, snorkels, twin batteries, storage drawers, long range fuel tanks, cargo barriers, water tanks, turbos, jacks.

Bush mechanic
Don't panic, make a cup of tea and lets see what weve got in our bag of tricks.

Driving techniques 4x4 and 2x4
Mud, sand, clay and rock, either uphill or down and tyre/wheel selection

Long distance touring
The tips to make it comfortable, cooking, chairs, bedding, toilets, awnings, entertaining the kids.

Shipping

Repair shops
Truck and bike mechanic list

Members rigs
Post photos here

twenty4seven 16 Feb 2012 07:58

Quote:

Originally Posted by twobob (Post 367569)
The list 2.0 (a work in progress)

................................

:thumbup1:

I like that twobob, missing a travel report section though. Maybe you could think up a "tang line" to encourage more input? Just a few photos and a few lines for each can stimulate a thread of interesting questions and responses. bier

TheWarden 16 Feb 2012 09:10

Quote:

Originally Posted by twobob (Post 367569)
The list 2.0 (a work in progress)

Touring Gear
Roof racks,toolkits, air compressors, refrigerators, snatch-straps, winchs, first-aid kits, puncture repair, lift kits, diff locks, snorkels, twin batteries, storage drawers, long range fuel tanks, cargo barriers, water tanks, turbos, jacks.

Long distance touring
The tips to make it comfortable, cooking, chairs, bedding, toilets, awnings, entertaining the kids.

I like the list suppose my only comment would be are these two too similar? maybe have them as sub forums in a gear section like this

Touring Gear

Vehicle Adapatation
Roof racks,toolkits, air compressors, refrigerators, snatch-straps, winchs, first-aid kits, puncture repair, lift kits, diff locks, snorkels, twin batteries, storage drawers, long range fuel tanks, cargo barriers, water tanks, turbos, jacks.

Home From Home
The tips to make it comfortable, cooking, chairs, bedding, toilets, awnings, entertaining the kids.

twobob 16 Feb 2012 10:08

The list 2.1 (a work in progress)

2x4 & Softroaders
Lightweight/pickups, nissans / freelanders / subarus / 4x4 pickups

Under 3.5 Tonnes
landrovers, landcruisers, nissans etc. (under sub-headings ?)

Over 3.5 Tonnes
Unimogs. Iveco, Okas etc. the big stuff (under sub-headings ?)

Touring Gear
Vehicle Adapatation
Roof racks,toolkits, air compressors, refrigerators, snatch-straps, winchs, first-aid kits, puncture repair, lift kits, diff locks, snorkels, twin batteries, storage drawers, long range fuel tanks, cargo barriers, water tanks, turbos, jacks.
Home From Home
The tips to make it comfortable, cooking, chairs, bedding, toilets, awnings, entertaining the kids.

Bush mechanic
Don't panic, make a cup of tea and lets see what weve got in our bag of tricks.

Driving techniques 4x4 and 2x4
Mud, sand, clay and rock, either uphill or down and tyre/wheel selection

Shipping

Repair shops and spare parts
Truck and bike mechanics/suppliers list

Photos/Tales
Post photos and travel stories here
Don't be shy, show us ya rigs. (alright, this one won't make the cut ;) )


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