The Problem With the Bog, and The "Ranger" is Checking Out, (Leaving...)

Submitted: Monday, Jul 11, 2005 at 21:37
ThreadID: 122100 Views:3845 Replies:6 FollowUps:3
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All the Good People that sell our vans, and all the good bits, all the wonderful stuff and travel logs and positive comments and exchanges are on the “Private Forum”… That “Private Forum” is only open to current Bushtracker Owners, and those already Ordered and on the Schedule Board… That is where most of the Positive Goodness of the BOG is…

The Public Forum however, is open to just anyone… And unfortunately there are people here that are only present to reinforce any perceived negative or rumour they can find or invent, because they have ulterior motives against Bushtracker. According to the private email I get, some have a history of this behaviour. They are only on the Bog for sabotage reasons, to support any negative they can find to disrupt and tear down the goodness that could come from this Site. The real Bushtracker Owners do not bother to engage them, saying: “I can’t be bothered getting into a slinging match with them”… So, it has fallen to the “Lone Ranger” to stand up against their Negative Agenda…. Well, if I am not here, and do not read the BOG as the way it was in years gone by, it will be up to the real Bushtracker Owners to stand up and be counted…

My only regret is not getting the other couple of hundred Tips on board, as I thought it could be of help…

There were only about a half dozen that ruin the Site, but some deserve special recognition for their efforts.. Our Special Thanks to CobraDave, with your continual Negative beat, I am told you are signed up for a Kedron Rally, one could only hope (from what I hear from other Boggers) that you would sell your 1998 Bushtracker and join the opposition instead of lurking here always trying to tear us down… And thanks to McTracker, always ready to support any Negative comments.. I don’t really care, but it will be good not to have to read and answer your negative reinforcement... We just do not want to battle like this.. I will no longer read this Site, so you undermining negative stirrers will no longer get my attention or bait me up… This is a problem for us on the Bog… And once it is Posted, usually after hours, we have to address it…
For the rest of you that miss out, I am sorry, but they have ruined it for all… I now walk, for all the reasons we were not here in the first place. We do not endorse this Public Forum.

For anyone that is interested: I have several hundred articles written on any number of subjects, born of forty years of doing this… Anything from current equipment, lifestyle, vehicles, travel mode, venues, technical manuals, really just about anything to do with this great Bushtracker Lifestyle… And just for request at our Website, I am happy to send them out. They are free for the asking. I only got about 50 of them on here in the eight months I lasted…

To all my fellow Boggers, you will have to answer the clowns on your own now, if you wish… The “Lone Ranger” will no longer be on patrol here… Your “Private Forum” is a wonderful place of good positive exchange. If you do not want to be bothered to patrol the “Public Forum”, you can always make it an exclusive club and just eliminate it altogether. Otherwise it gives a platform to those that want to tear down Bushtracker because they cannot afford the product, or have contacts with the opposition, or just thrive on meanness and stirring… But it has proved to be too big of a job for the “Lone Ranger”. I am just not as good as the Statue outside of Austin for the Texas Rangers, that has the plaque underneath reading “One Riot, One Ranger”…. I am 150 years too late, not that good, never was, and so I check out… I will go back to travel with my Quarter Horse instead of getting mired in the bog

In the exact words of the “Lone Ranger”: Vaya Con Dios, (Go with God) an Old Mexican Blessing….

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Reply By: Kiwi1 - Monday, Jul 11, 2005 at 23:21

Monday, Jul 11, 2005 at 23:21
Oops.

I logged on today with the intention of posting my thoughts about the site and ran into the Lone Ranger's piece.

What I was going to say may be still relevant so, rather than start a new topic, here goes.

I'm one of BT's long-term followers (about 3-4 years). Originally lured in by the nature of the previous forum, I found myself becoming moderately active with questions and appreciative of the helpful responses and good humour of BOG members. For a prospective buyer, the site was a goldmine of information and, no doubt, still is. The very few negative comments were always overwhelmed by the positive responses of the bulk of the contributors and it was never difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff.

While personal circumstances have long delayed moving to aquisition of a BT, I never doubted that this was the way I would go. They appeared to be great vans and the BT community sounded like my sort of people. So I just kept on absorbing the wealth of information and the atmosphere of the site while BT's quotation languished in the drawer.

Since the move to a more closed-shop site, I've found myself dropping by less often. Apart from SG's posts, nothing much seems to hold my interest. The old atmosphere has gone and the current state of affairs is probably a logical result of this site being treated as a poor relation of the secret one. It's a bit of a shame because I don't doubt that many of those who are now behind the closed door are probably there at least in part because of the influence that the old site had on them. Think about that.

Without really thinking about it, I've found myself taking more interest in alternatives. The differences between BT and a couple of others no longer seem so clear-cut. It just comes down to a few mechanical and design alternatives now that the aura is no longer there, if you follow my thinking.

While not wishing to knock Steve, he's not a PR man and his tone of "our order book is full, so I don't need to bother" is not helpful despite being provoked. With full members choosing to remain largely unseen and unheard behind the locked door, we, the great unwashed, tend to get a skewed view of what we can only guess might be the reality.

I suspect that we are all the poorer for it.

Michael

AnswerID: 566719

Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Tuesday, Jul 12, 2005 at 10:59

Tuesday, Jul 12, 2005 at 10:59
It's a pity Steve - but I respect your decision. I think the Public Forum will be poorer place without your exceIlent technical and research articles and 'different writing style' Ha! - many of which helped us very considerably in the planning stages. We had not towed or been in a van since swaying around Swaziland in a hired van in 1971 - we were that green.

You tell it like it is - warts and all without any 'spin' or PR gloss and maybe some people don't agree or don't like your style. Well so be it, you can't please all the people all the time and if we were all the same what a boring old world it would be. I usually respect difference - not knock it.

I for one will continue to enjoy your contributions on the Private Forum - which is not some sort of secret society but a forum for sharing views and info with other owners for which we pay an annual fee that enables this site to operate. Maybe we should rename it as the 'Owners Forum'

As an example of this info sharing I have just posted a six page article, full of detailed local knowledge for Boggers visiting the East Kimberley. This seems to have been well recieved and some requested that I post it on the Public Forum.

I am reticient to do this ....... some of these places are well off the tourist route and are pretty special to us. - I have an expectancy that fellow boggers will treat these places with respect. They are just a part of our accumulated discovery over the last twenty four years in this wonderful area.

Regards

Grumblebum and the Dragon

AnswerID: 566720

Reply By: Kiwi1 - Tuesday, Jul 12, 2005 at 21:12

Tuesday, Jul 12, 2005 at 21:12
The silence is deafening. Almost 200 viewings of this thread and no comment from behind the door apart from G&D above.

I guess G&D have reinforced my point. Knowing that their pages of travel information have been placed on the private forum does nothing to prod me along the path to BT ownership. Rather, I feel even further alienated.

I see that Angie presides over the group. We had the occasional light-hearted exchanges on the old forum (I was Kiwi at the time). If you're out there somewhere, Angie, you might care to reflect on your early participation in the group, long before you ordered your BT, and how that experience is now denied to others.

Michael
AnswerID: 566721

Follow Up By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Wednesday, Jul 13, 2005 at 04:17

Wednesday, Jul 13, 2005 at 04:17
Micheal,
Sorry to hear that my post may have made you feel further alienated, I can assure you that was not the purpose.

If you have any issues or querries you need answers for to help you down the decision making path then post them and I am sure you will get good responses. I also made a point of touring all five local parks at the weekend - endevouring to speak to as many owners of all makes of off-road vans as I could. I think this is about the best feedback that you can get - straight from the horses mouth with the ability to ask lots of ancillary questions . I also got heaps of help from the public forum - and after I had placed an order the private forum as well.

Regarding travel information..... our usual method to open detailed regional maps - plan a route will plenty of time for diversions and then 'fly the plan' Some times roads or more likely tracks are washed away, changed or just not there - but thats OK - just choof-off in a likely looking new direction. Having lat and long or UTM grid referencing on the maps for the GPS is a great help once you are on (or off!) the track. Local pubs are also good, but sometimes expensive, sources of local information.

With regard to posting 'local knowledge' on the public forum.... I am reticent as I have said before. Many locals here in the east Kimberley and I am sure in other places, don't advertise their 'special areas or fishing spots' for the simple reason that they have been either fished-out or littered or both. Basically all the information is on the map - just go and explore it.

All I did was provide a 'short-cut' for other BT owners and I guess that is part of the 'right of passage' that TripnTaps posted about.

If you own a BT you can travel almost any place any other good Off-road vehicle (of similiar size/weight) and trailer combo will go - and do it in comfort and with confidence that bits will not be falling off

Enjoy your journey.

Cheers Grumblebum.

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FollowupID: 844761

Reply By: TripnTaps - Tuesday, Jul 12, 2005 at 22:26

Tuesday, Jul 12, 2005 at 22:26
Well it is a great shame to lose BTi - Steve Gibbs - imput here. So much experience both regarding his product 'our' Bushtracker caravans and other life experiences is a valuable resource. Everyone has something we can learn from someone else and tolerance for peoples percieved differences seems to be in short supply these days.

Some may not like the way Steve says what he says.... but it should be what he says that is relevant to those that want the information ... not how it is said!
It would be a very difficult position to be in - dammed if he expresses his opinion and dammed if he doesn't say anything and let the wrong perspective be adopted by those who may be none the wiser.

I also see Kiwis point about the forums - open and private - and to an extent he is right. The enthusiasm that I experienced on the MSN group forum when we were in planning stage was terrific. I enjoyed the humour and banter that went with that... others found that annoying but everything was there for all to see and again those that didnt like it could choose to read or leave! One element of the original site which is missing on the new one is the participants ability to delete their own message ... its a function that gave a contributor some control - the written word can be very unforgiving and may be another factor why there are less posts on the open site for often in the old site someone was mulling something over - rather than making a factual statement.

Something else that Kiwi would not be privvy to not being on the private forum is how the dynamics change once the BT has arrived.
The site is used mostly by those in the planning stage... ideas, plans, changes or maintenance issues usually related to lack of experience servicing a particular part or feature.
Recently we have had some fantastic contributions about travels and places to go - Boggers own experience to the fore... great. We had this before on the open forum... but a lot of people move on... and the anticipation of their big investment and the reality of once it arrives - being able to escape to wherever whenever circumstances or time permits is their choice ... no longer a dream or a plan. And some people have been there and done that - sold their van - done the big trip - whatever - have taken on other responsibilites or interests.... who knows.....

Also, you have to keep mindful that not all BT owners are members of the Bushtracker Owners Group but those of us that do participate have made friends and help one another if we can. Other clubs and groups have similar - the CMCA have a public and private forum online that can only by accessed by members and the motorhome group Swagman have their own newsletter for current and past owners or their motorhome.

Its not so much being denied Kiwi (Michael) but a right of passage and I am sorry you feel you are missing out on what you previously experienced ... but nothing stays the same... and as people move on, are busy or otherwize occupied. This forum will also change and new people will come and ask all the same questions that we asked when we first contemplated constructing our van - and a few of us that are still around and enjoy the forum will hopefully be gracious enough to spend the time and assist.

And Michael and others contemplating your choice of van.... dont think too long... just do it...

Ciao,
Helen
AnswerID: 566722

Follow Up By: Rockgoc - Wednesday, Jul 13, 2005 at 22:55

Wednesday, Jul 13, 2005 at 22:55
Very wise words and a well put together message Helen. My silence has been due to not knowing HOW to say what Helen has just said!
One more thing I would like to add. "You will always find a serpent in the garden of Eden...." guess we had ours and they buggered it up for the rest of us....hope they are really satisfied with what they have achieved, and remember that what goes around comes around.
Jan O & Easy
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FollowupID: 844762

Reply By: TRAVLN - Thursday, Jul 14, 2005 at 05:50

Thursday, Jul 14, 2005 at 05:50
I am another visitor who is considering the purchase of a BT, and I think it is a great shame that The Lone Ranger has made the decision to leave the site. I too have noticed the very negative views of a small minority - thanks very much to those of you who contributed to this decision!!!

Steve, for what it is worth, I think that there are a great number more people who appreciate your input (perhaps without your knowledge) than those who strive to continually knock you and the BT. Well done for putting up[ with the @#$% for so long.

AnswerID: 566723

Reply By: Bushtracker Buck & Babe - Thursday, Jul 14, 2005 at 19:37

Thursday, Jul 14, 2005 at 19:37
Kiwi, fancy you remembering little Angie. Yes, we had some good times on the old MSN forum and we have had some good times here too. And both sites have been helpful to those who have not been sure which way to jump in relation to purchasing a BT. For us, once we had seen a BT nothing else would do. I said recently during a time of very inclement weather here on KI that I was so glad we had made the decision to purchase a BT and I stand by that.

For what it is worth (and again these are only my own thoughts, not really as Madam President although they may get a little tinged), I too think it is a sad decision that Steve has made to leave the group. In the past, I have encouraged him to focus on the 99% of those who are pro-BT, pro-Steve and pro-correct information from the source, and not the 1% who seem to have their own agenda. The recent posting discussion about the value of sponsors being on the forum I thought had convinced Steve once and for all about the value of his input and at the time he was obviously delighted to see the support for both he and BT being on the forum. I guess something got in the way and clouded that response for you Steve (maybe tiredness, maybe pressure, maybe frustration about the 1%) but I would encourage you to re-think your decision not to post here. The tips are invaluable and who knows, may have the ability to save lives, and for those who have a problem with Steve's style of posting - get over it!! At the very least Steve, if you are serious about the seeing the value of the tips you have been posting, you can still feel free to send the tips to a member of the committee and we will see they get posted in the Sponsors section.

As for feeling unsupported in your battles Steve, I would challenge that and I would like to think that members and committee alike have supported both you and BT when it is appropriate. Now I use that term, because as I have said before the committee is damned if we do and damned if we don't. We can't win. Where is the line drawn between allowing a forum that was set up to inform people about ownership of a BT where perhaps warts and all comment is permitted so that people can make up their own mind, and on the other hand people feeling muzzled and unable to post any form of criticism because of being wary of upsetting a sponsor? See the dilemma? Perhaps the old forum was more jovial because of the personalities there, but this forum was set up with the assent of the members of the old forum as needing to move to the next level. Well, we have that next level, but at what cost?

My final comment is about the partition of the site to public forum and private forum. This site runs because of finances. Now, one of the reasons the private forum existed was to delineate between those who had made the decision to purchase the BT and as a way of them discussing issues and other things after that purchase. Issues such as any after sales problems (because we didn't want to unduly anyone's thinking either way about the purchase of a BT) which thankfully are few and far between due to the great after-sales service of the BT organisation (and Ivan and I have been recent recipients of that quality service and attitude to their customers and are constantly amazed at their generosity), then there's the travel tips which unfortunately we do want to keep to ourselves (there is plenty of other information sites out there to attract people to the lifestyle including BT's own website) and finally the relationship building between owners who are a breed unto themselves as proven many a time. There is something special about belonging to this group and it is not for everyone.

Now, in order to fund this site, we invited members to join with a subscription fee, but then what gain is there for their subscription dollar if they can access all the same information on the public forum. No, the decision was made to give them something for their investment and that is behind the private forum door and I would not like to see that change. A girl has gotta have some secrets and whilst I agree to perhaps the name change to Owners group, there are some benefits to being an owner that should not be shared with those who are either testing the water, in the forum to create trouble or just interested bystanders. So sorry Steve, I don't agree about that one. Hope we don't fall out over this posting either.

I guess now is as good a time as any to announce that I will not be standing for re-election to the Committee at the AGM. Other things are getting in the way far too much e.g. work!!!! and new hobbies and interests for me to take a more active role. We have welcomed 3 lovely new members to the Committee (Paul Swift, Rob Caldwell and David Walker) and I thank them for taking up the baton so this long-serving member of both forums can retire and think about other things. I have appreciated every support given by existing Committee members (Peter, Brian and Keith) after I fell into this role by default and I would assure the members and Committee of the BOG of my continued support.

You are all welcome around our campfire any time.

Angie

AnswerID: 566724

Follow Up By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Saturday, Jul 16, 2005 at 09:22

Saturday, Jul 16, 2005 at 09:22
Good post Angie and thanks for your past efforts which, if it is anything like past Committees I have been involved in, is time consuming and sometimes just plain hard work.

Regards

John and Jean
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FollowupID: 844763

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