Poorly written articles in caravan magazines.

Submitted: Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 09:53
ThreadID: 85706 Views:5583 Replies:9 FollowUps:8
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I'm probably opening a can of worms with this post, but I've had enough of poorly written articles.

Let me give an example, please, if you thing i'm wrong let me know.

'Caravan & motorhome Essential Caravan, caravan tips &techniques #7' Sorry I couldn't find a date but I purchased it a few days ago so I presume it's this months magazine.

The article on 'loading the van' really got up my nose.

It ignores basic OH&S principles, ie holding the edge of a block of wood with thumb and forefinger (no control) instead of using a vice. Using a rusted old hitch to demonstrate a measurement, it looks rusted out and not fit to be on the road. Without any hints my wife looked at the picture and thought old and rusted out.

Who is the article aimed at? I would have thought it might have been a general article,but aimed at the newcomer, but after reading the article and some of the terms used it left me wondering.

Here are a few quotes from the article "The towbar itself should have marked its horizontal and vertical limits" perhaps the writer should have explained what that actually meant so that newcomers did not have to scratch their head.

Another one "This is the weight of the unloaded trailer and caravan (sitting on the Trailer"

The 8 steps taken to cut a piece of timber to weigh your van would confuse a genius let alone the average caravanner.

The pictures that support the article also leave a bit to be desired.

Part Two of the article states that "A WDH will reduce the weight on the towball by around a third. They are not required if your towball weight is within (eighty percent of) the vehicles limits, but ideal for when the towball weight is a little excessive for the tow vehicle, or if the van causes the rear suspension to drop more than 25 mm"

I always got the impression from other articles that a van with a weight above 750kg would benefit from a Weight Distribution System, never a mention of 80%.

On page 34 of the test a finger was pointing at a gadget on the coupling. It wasn't until page 40 that they mentioned the gadget, but no reference to the picture. It was a towing load indicator.

The tyre pressure test.

"We started our test........at 29 to 30 psi,...........When we hit the dirt we lowered the pressure back to 29psi to test the theory that lower pressure causes higher running temperatures that could lead to tyre failure"

They seriously think that the temperature will be significantly higher with a 1 psi pressure drop?

The above are just a few examples of what I think are wrong with the article.

Perhaps I'm getting old and gumpy but I was very disappointed with the quality of the articles

I feel better now.

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Reply By: ross - Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 10:02

Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 10:02
You couldnt dind the date of the magazine,lol. Thats a pet hate of mine when Im at the newsagent.I cant work out which is the latest edition because they either hide the date or dont show it at all.
Presumeably they do this to extend the shelf life of the magazine,but it also makes many free offers,competions and classifieds ads way out of date.
AnswerID: 451631

Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 10:56

Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 10:56
Thought it was just me that couldn,nt find the date.

Even got the good wife to have a look and she couldn't either. LOL
FollowupID: 724258

Follow Up By: ross - Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 21:39

Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 21:39
A lot of them switched over to only showing the edition number in tiny print,usually under the price label.
Because most of these mags are published by 2-3 companies,they are all the same.
FollowupID: 724345

Reply By: Faulic_McVitte - Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 10:50

Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 10:50
'Caravan & Motorhome' is a low quality junk status mag. The incorrect and wrong advice is disgusting. Technically their articles are alarming. Amateurish in the extreme and basically an advertorial. Time they got some competent technical people on board. Luckily found a van and motorhome forum from advice where there are a lot of engineers who know what is right. The local library has C&M and glance through it 5 mins and seldom find information worthwhile.
AnswerID: 451637

Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 11:02

Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 11:02
Think I'll stick to information sources like this forum and other reputable forums for my information.

With regard to the advertorial bit I thought John laws and a few others got into big trouble doing what this magazine does.

FollowupID: 724260

Follow Up By: Crackles - Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 20:16

Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 20:16
Hey Boo. Surely you don't believe all the advice on this reputable forum to be true do you unlike those dodgey magazines ;-) If ever there was an advatorial travel web site this would have to be it.
Cheers Craig.............
FollowupID: 724324

Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 06:40

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 06:40

no I don't but but you can sort the chaff from the wheat because there will normally be several replys.

The advertorials on the site beat the mags by a mile but they are much better. LOL

FollowupID: 724361

Reply By: Lex M (Brisbane) - Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 12:16

Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 12:16
What's new.

I find most caravan/trailer/4WD magazines have poorly written technical articles.

My pet hate is when a article on solar or 12Volt power or whatever
uses "amps per hour".

AnswerID: 451649

Follow Up By: farouk - Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 13:49

Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 13:49
Len you are correct but the majority of solar panel users amongst the caravanners understand what a person says when he describes the usage of power as "amps per hour" ie "how much power does your tellly use an hour" the answer from 99% will be "so and so amps per hour" and strangely everybody understands what he has said even tho it should have been described as you suggest.'does it really matter?
I have a friend who is continually correcting me when I say led light he has to say to me L.E.D. knowing full well I know what it is, perhaps he is trying to tell me how much smarter he is than me!!!.
FollowupID: 724270

Reply By: Racey - Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 13:40

Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 13:40
Let's put them in a pile and burn the B lot of them. :-)


AnswerID: 451656

Reply By: snoopyone - Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 14:09

Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 14:09
Well I used to buy it but it has turned into rubbish.

From the above A WDH does in no way alter ballweight in appreciable amount at all.

It puts a little weight back on the front axle and the vans axle.

By no means anywhere near a third and should not be allowed for anyway.

The ball weight is what it is when hooked up WITHOUT A WDH.

If the ballweight is excessive you should not be towing it or buy a different vehicle. You cant use a WDH to lessen it.

In one issue they were towing a van which had a tare just under the tow vehicles capacity, making its ATM far in excess of legal allowance.

In issue 124 they had an article on Electrics with several photos of things like chargers, isolators and brake controllers.

ALL WERE MIS captioned.

I pointed it out to the editor who said Oh not to worry and repeated it all again in issue 129.

They obviously use people who have no conception of what the are actually doing and in some cases to a newcomer could prove fatal.

The magazine has lost all credibility in my eyes and I would not read it if it was free as so many articles are blatantly wrong or stupid or both..

They are asking on the C& M forum what readers would like to see in the mag so perhaps will refer them here LOL

AnswerID: 451660

Reply By: Ozhumvee - Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 18:23

Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 18:23
It's not just caravan mags, I gave up buying 4wd mags etc years ago due to the constant advertorial and lack of in depth articles.
Until they have had to pay for a 4wd and maintain it and fit it out with accessories PAID for out of their own pocket they've got no idea of the real world.
Most of the good travel article writers have given the game away too resulting in travel articles that concentrate on crapping on about the accessories rather than the area they are in.
Personally I think the current crop of RV type mags should PAY US to pick them up from the newsagent or subscribe.
AnswerID: 451689

Reply By: bibtracker - Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 19:35

Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 19:35
BooBoo, I could not agree more. I retired 18 months ago after nearly 50 years as a journalist. I (used to) buy all the magazines. The poor grammar, pictures with no captions, the typographical errors, the mis-advice and the stupid mistakes (one prominent mag ran an article about the Bungle Bungles being in the NT!) have put me off. I have recently renewed one subscription, only becos I got a good deal on a rechargeable light. And they have the hide to charge $9.95 an issue! At least Ned Kelly worked for his money.
Cheers, Tony
AnswerID: 451703

Reply By: carlsp - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 05:41

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 05:41
Sometimes you feel so alone in the world.

The forum is great in that, you can read articles and know that there are other people that, will open the window and shout " I have had enough and will not put up with it any longer".

Caravan magazines and little more than advertising joke these days. So add my voice to those shouting out the window.

AnswerID: 451744

Reply By: Livin On The Road - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 07:46

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 07:46
We have been on the road for 18 months but as hubby does all technical/practical stuff I couldn't recognise half thr terms referred to.

I am going to take the bait about the comment about spelling and grammar. I would like to preface the following by saying I am 1) typing on an ipad so the infernal automatic spell check keeps 'correcting' things and 2) I am in my late 20s.

The problem with English today is the very flawed experiment they ran when my age group were at school. We only had sight word instruction, and grammar instruction was limited to a rudimentary introduction to the definition of verbs, nouns, adjectives, commas and periods. Spelling was not seen as overly important because of the increasing emergence of spell checkers. Unless a 20-something goes back to actively learn the spelling and grammar that was never taught, or by chance had a teacher who believed in the 'old fashioned' methods, they just don't know it.

I can remember watching Baz Luhman's interpretation of Romeo and Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio at school, but not a single thing about how to structure a piece of writing such as an essay.

End rant.
AnswerID: 451758

Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 08:34

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 08:34

I have three children in their 20's and couldn't agree more.

We think the eldest ( now a senior computer analysis) was brought up by a bunch of chooks, his writing looks like chook scratchings.

Grammar and spelling, well enough said.

I wasn't looking at their grammar, acually I think that was not bad, but there are times when I read something and I know that all the words are english and the grammer is ok, but I just don't understand what they mean, and many of the things I read in their magazine fitted the bill.

FollowupID: 724373

Follow Up By: Kiwi100 - Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 15:55

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 15:55

You are so right. I left school at 15 years of age, now retired. Despite cutting short my education, i never cease to be amazed at the mangling of our language by the current products of the great english experiment. Nice to think that some would go back and attempt to right the wrongs that were done to them.

As for C&M - it is ridiculous (and plain dangerous) for a supposed informed magazine to suggest such rubbish about WDHs reducing ball weight. I cancelled my subscription years ago when that magazine apologised to a van manufacturer for daring to suggest in a previously published "test" that its van might have had a fault or two.

FollowupID: 724414

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