Originally Posted by rvbuilder2002
This ever happening in a venue where someone has taken all of Van's plans sheets and publicly posted them without permission and made them accessible by anyone; with Van's having zero control of the content, is rather doubtful.
I have the Paper trail from Vans and DR giving me the OK to do this. If you wish I can send it to you.
My initial attempt was to try to have a "digital support page" living at vans or VAF and run both by support and users like a WIKI. Vans does not want to do this for legal reasons and I think DR has too much on his Plate.
The problem with the way its done now is if a person buys a thumb drive everything is current the day its shipped, but as revisions and SBs are made it gets harder to keep it up to date. So depending on how long your build is you end up spending more time looking for changes as you get to new parts of the plans.
The Most current Files live in a folder at Vans that is copied onto a thumb drive when needed. Why not skip the thumb drive altogether and have everything online accessible. This cost and cash revenue can be an upgrade that builders can pay for, or just be built into the kit cost.
In a perfect system the "factory" info can reside on a non changeable or non delete-able layer and users can add info on a layer above the factory layer. This gives the factory a free user base that proofreads the plans to enable faster and less labor intense support and plans maintenance. Plus some of the easier answers can be generated by users vs. Support. If support answers go straight to where the issue was happening on the plans page then future builders will never have to ask that question because its already living right where it answers their questions. Thereby hopefully completely eliminating the same question from having to be answered over and over.
There can be a digital divide between users and the company with the Layer idea and appropriate verbiage from some lawyer types thrown in to differentiate the two. In effect this is what is going on with Vans and VAF. This concept just moves it to a visual reference so that builders don't have to search every thread on VAF to see if there is an issue at a particular page/step. As that's what I was doing and I don't have enough brain cells to remember to go back to a certain thread two chapters from now. So I went trough every RV14 thread and put it where it makes sense on the plans. This way I can just see what everyone has said as I get to a page. So In effect it takes Vans wonderfully in-depth plans and adds all the great discussions from VAF right where they are needed. By making it a virtual WIKI users are able to add observations or new threads as they see them being made for particular pages instead of just me.
The Only problem right now with Me making this dropbox account is if I get hit by a car tomorrow and am no longer around there is no continuity to keep this alive. VAF can be sold off to a buyer, but a dropbox account can disappear if only one person "Owns it" because no one would know who to contact to take over for me.
I don't want to take any money from Vans or DR. I am trying to go from a text based system to one that upgrades to visual help. If Vans wants cash from users using my dropbox folder Idea I have no issue with forwarding it from users.
I just ordered a thumb drive because Its easier than trying to update my older CD plans I purchased.
As far as vans having control of the content you have a point there. I will try to take the new thumb drive plans and convert the PDF's to read only but be able to have user input on top. That way no nefarious changes can be made to the instructions. I still use my paper build instructions either way because I add construction notes to them and use a Tablet to help with the VAF topics on each page.