View Full Version : H.O.T.E.L.: Help for folks who need a hand on the road

10-14-2008, 08:37 PM
I have an idea for people who are on the road and need assistance of some kind. This would be only for Heartland owners.

If we could create a list that includes your name, state, and phone number, as well as what type of help you can provide example: directions, fuel, parts, tools, a place to stay, or just for a cup of coffee, also how far you are willing to travel to provide this help. The rules could be simple as the caller who needs help would have to identify them self as a Heartland owner by providing vin number or some other means that we can work out. How many people would be interested in signing up to provide assistance to fellow Heartland owners? This idea comes from the Turbo Diesel Register web site that I also belong to. Every year they update the list adding and deleting names so if you sign up it would be for a year.

Below is some basic rules I suggest to follow.

To the Caller: While the services offered are first and foremost for
emergency situations, there may be the times when you simply need
advice or a break from traveling. Please state whether an emergency
exists or not. And while socializing with other Heartland members can be
a legitimate reason for calling a number in the Heartland Travel Companion
book, it is the callerís responsibility to be sensitive to, and aware of,
the individual limits to that socializing, as presented by the host.

To the Volunteer Host: We suggest that you ask the caller for their
Heartland member number and determine the need. Extending your
services and/or hospitality is at your discretion. It is not possible
for the Heartland Owners Help Line to control the use of the system or to
be responsible for that use. We can only urge that members not
abuse the system in any way.

Thanks for listening to my idea.

10-14-2008, 08:58 PM
Please weigh in on Dave's idea but do not provide any personal data within this thread. If this ideas gets some traction, we'll devise a way to make it work.

Thanks for the idea Dave.


10-14-2008, 09:08 PM
Dave, Great idea to help ease the nerves while traveling! And we would be willling to help if we are in the area as we are soon to be fulltimers. TRAVELER07

10-14-2008, 09:42 PM
Sounds like a great idea, we use to do something similar with a canine rescue club we belonged to and it worked great, we would be interested.

10-14-2008, 10:05 PM
Sounds great, count us in!

10-14-2008, 10:27 PM
Sounds good to me. It could really help in case of emergencies.

10-14-2008, 11:00 PM
I'm up for it, sounds good. Bob:D:D:eek:

10-15-2008, 12:03 AM
Sure!!! Sounds Great

10-15-2008, 05:31 AM
Sounds great. Count us in.We will be glad to provide any service we can provide.

10-15-2008, 08:43 AM
count me in

10-15-2008, 08:54 AM
The Good Sam Club does this also. They even publish a directory. Escapees have a similar thing going on. With Escapees you can even spend the night in a members driveway or yard if necessary. I don't know if FMCA does this or not.

10-15-2008, 09:45 AM
were game count us in we would be glad to assist people

10-15-2008, 10:08 AM
This is a great idea. I am a member of the Goldwing Road Riders Association (GWRRA), and they publish a small booklet each year with the names of people who are willing to help fellow members of GWRRA who are in need of help. It covers every state, city and town all across the United States. It makes traveling across this great country of ours easier knowing that help is just a phone call away when you need it. Beside each listed name is a one letter code as to what service they are prepared to offer, the more codes by each name the more service they offer. When traveling to a new destination or just getting there it is nice knowing that it is just possible that your next new best friend is there to give you the help that you need, or just a refreshing cup of coffee to help get you going again.


10-15-2008, 10:09 AM
Sounds good to me.

We could call it the



I-81 PA Exit 14 (3 miles to the House) Have overnight parking capabilities (30A for now & water). Bunch of restaurants in the area: Cracker Barrel, Applebee's, Red Lobster, TGI Friday's, Red Robin, Fuddrucker's, all with large parking lots. Ford, GM, & Dodge dealerships here as well as private diesel mechanics.

10-15-2008, 10:25 AM
TN - love the acronym.

HOSS - I'd like to see a page of the GW listing. Maybe you can fax it to me? PM me for number.

10-15-2008, 10:33 AM
Count me in (as a provider) - especially since my truck almost left us (camper, wife and two little kids) stranded while coming home this past weekend. Not a good feeling turning the key and the starter just cranks and cranks and cranks and cranks and cranks, etc. Hey, at least i know my batteries are ... were good.

10-15-2008, 11:05 AM
Attached is a jpg image and a pdf file, of the same thing. It is a sample page a threw together based on my sense of what I am hearing on this project. Let me know if I am on track with what the output would look like.

Bear in mind too that this is all "just discussion" at this point. No commitment has yet been made to do this. We're all still talking out loud. It sounds cool though.

I'd like to hear from anyone who has "made the call" to any helpers in programs like this that they are involved in (trucks, Gold Wings etc.). I'd like to know how it worked out.


10-15-2008, 11:23 AM
Sounds good to us. Count us in.

The Wanttobees

10-15-2008, 11:47 AM
As we continue to gather interest in this project, it would be helpful for those weighing in to indicate whether they have in interest in being a provider.

It can likely be assumed that everyone would be interested in being a user of services.

But without providers - this is not a service.

So step right up folks - do we have any service providers?

If you have already weighed in, please click the Edit button at the bottom right of your previous post and edit it to signify your desire to be a provider.

If this gets off the ground, later, all providers will be able to go into their profile to indicate what services they are willing to provide. So no need to give that level of detail now.

Thanks gang and kep the input and discussion going.


10-15-2008, 11:53 AM
Yup, we will be providers as well as potential users of the idea and will better define what we can provide as it evoloves but a first cut says we have a truck, tools, some know how, a coffee pot and etc...

10-15-2008, 11:56 AM
I'll have to ask DH what services he can provide but I can do a cup of coffee! Count us in as users and providers

Forrest Fetherolf
10-15-2008, 11:56 AM
I could do that!


10-15-2008, 12:07 PM

A "cup of coffee" - I love it! I think this HOTEL program can be just as social as it can be technical. Some people love to meet others with things on common while on the road.


If I break down, I want it to be near Henderson/Las Vegas. I'd get a pro to help me out and get to visit two of my favorite peeps. And Bebe and Maggie too!


Soldier On - Heartland Army :)

10-15-2008, 12:33 PM
Jim we can be a provider if we are in the area that we are needed. TRAVELER07

10-15-2008, 04:33 PM
We are just off of I-90 between Ny. and Ohio in Pa. We will help if we can.;) Jon & Patti;)

10-15-2008, 07:26 PM
I would be willing to offer help to a fellow Heartland owner who is in need in my area.

10-15-2008, 07:27 PM
Count us in also

10-16-2008, 07:31 AM
Ready and willing participant here.

10-16-2008, 08:22 AM
Count me in... provider in my area & would use the service when necessary.


10-16-2008, 08:48 AM
We too are interested in this program, however, we are fulltimers and would be mobile most of the year. We could still provide services, i,e, moving another owner's trailer to a safe location with our truck if theirs was inoperable, provide tools and assistance, etc.

Count us in too!!

10-16-2008, 06:08 PM
I'd like to hear from anyone who has "made the call" to any helpers in programs like this that they are involved in (trucks, Gold Wings etc.). I'd like to know how it worked out.


On Oilburners.net it works. While the site caters to all diesels, the largest group of enthusiests are the 83 - 94 7.3 IDI crowd. We also use what we call the B.O.O.B. express (Brotherhood Of Oil Burners) to move large items that are hard or expensive to ship to members by moving it ourselves between members.

That site is a pretty close knit group and most members personally know other members there. Many of the active users have been on the site for years.

I have had another member near me bring over an appropriat sized engine stand and help me pull the 7.3 engine from my 2000 F350. He also helped me rebuild my turbo.

Myself I have driven 400 miles to help another member assemble a short block and install it and get his truck running. He put me up in his camper for the weekend. Another member had picked up his heads and taken them to his machine shop to help him save money after ventilating the lock on his engine and things were not looking good.

Also have moved a transmission for a member on the final leg from Indiana to Georgia as it was on my way when I was delivering a trailer. Tranny had passed hands twice before I got it as it was pushed southeast. It's slow going sometimes but if you ain't in a hurry it works well.

I have personally met members from Georgia to British Columbia and many places in between. Well worth the time and effort to get set up.

10-16-2008, 06:24 PM
You can count me in too

jim rotman
10-16-2008, 07:04 PM
You can count on us also to be a provider and user. We have 30 amp service and water available. A large pole barn that you can pull inside for repairs or whatever also available with concrete floor, air compressor and air tools etc. Great Idea!!

10-16-2008, 09:10 PM
Count me in as a provider. I can provide most all services, and my location on the SE side of Great Smoky Mountain National Park and adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway puts me in a highly traveled area. I can also advise on accessible service and repair facilities, and travel routes thru the mountains.

10-16-2008, 11:54 PM
We'll be providers.

10-17-2008, 06:10 AM
As long as the info is kept private to owners, I wouldn't mind having my phone number listed. If anybody is traveling (and doesn't have access to the internet) and breaks down or has rim/tire failure, etc. I would be more than happy to use my internet to help them find local help. Happened to us last July - fortunately my son was at home and looked up a parts store for us.
As for the hands on help, we don't live near any interstates or any other major highway, so I doubt if anybody would ever be near us, but if they are, we would be glad to help in anyway we can.

10-17-2008, 06:18 PM
Count me in too as a provider.

Garry & Bev
10-19-2008, 11:50 PM
Count us in as providers and users. We have room for rv's, place and tools to work on trucks if need be and of course hospitality.None

Garry & Bev
10-19-2008, 11:52 PM
Geeksrus.......we'll be expecting you for coffee when you pass by our way.;)

10-21-2008, 08:18 PM
WOW!!! What a great post -- count us in as providers and users.. I don't have a shop or much of an area (except for a drive way) to work on a Camper... But I can help with a lot of different things including turning a wrench, changing a tire, offering coffee and of corse a beer:D

10-24-2008, 07:10 AM

I expected some response to my post but not to the extent that has occurred to date, What a great bunch of people.
I am ready to be a provider for the following, no special order.

Coffee always,
Truck repair (in depth Dodge) everything else we can do together
Complete shop heated and cooled with tools and air to change tires,
Parts locater,
Local campground finder,
Towing of trailer if necessary,
A place to park with 50/30 amp hookup (after some shuffling).
and finally after your mind is at ease and you are convinced that everything is going to be ok dinner, a beer or stiff drink.
There even is an apartment to stay in if the trailer is not functioning.

I know that Jim is working on a system so that we can put this in place and be able to help the folks on the road.


10-24-2008, 06:34 PM
Excellent idea. We would be willing to participate.

10-25-2008, 02:18 PM
BMW motorcycle owners have a similar tool available to members of the BMW Motorcycle Owners Group. They publish an annual book. There's is 4x6 inches and about a half inch thick. All the members are listed with a phone number and geographic location. It might say something like 20 miles south of Grand Rapids Mi. It is listed by city of residence. Then each member has a list of alpha letters that identifies what they can provide. Some examples are: C for tent space. B for spare bedroom, K for coffee and conversation, T- tools available and so on. I was a member and listee for 10 years and got only one emergency phone call. It works for them and could also work for this group if enough members will sign up. I suspect that group had 5 - 7,000 members in the US and Canada. No Names are listed and no email addresses. Just a city and phone number with the codes.

Good luck.

10-25-2008, 02:29 PM

After reviewing a few other programs, the track I am on now in terms of data listed will be similar to what you state BMW-MOG does. No name, no email addresses.

State, City, Phone, Services

This will keep personal information released in the public to a minimum (phone number without name), yet, keep the list effective.


10-25-2008, 10:14 PM
I work at least 60 hours a week, but would that be okay.??
to add to list or is there any thing that would require a person to be available.

What about if your on the road ??
used cell numbers or only home city numbers??

11-02-2008, 08:57 PM
Sound good to me, count us in.

11-02-2008, 09:18 PM
I would be happy to help out in the Northern Virginia area.

Trailor towing (limited, have a 3/4 ton, short bed TV)
Rides to get parts,etc

11-07-2008, 09:05 AM
Sounds like a good idea. Would be glad to patricipate.

11-10-2008, 10:29 PM
We are full-time now which limits what we could do, though we do have a truck, the tools we carry, some know-how, all of which could be handy from time to time. I'd have to think a bit about being called for help... we are working on the road and my hours can be wacky (I do global remote technical support). However, an e-mail would always be OK. Or, a forum area where people post their needs and the members cooperate to help out.

If we could help we would, but as with most here I'm sure there are times we might not be able. It's a great idea though - I'll try to remember to watch this thread.

Marine Mike
11-12-2008, 10:04 PM
Be Glad to help... Count us in

11-13-2008, 01:08 AM
Sounds good, can provide mechanical assistance & moral support.


12-07-2008, 03:39 PM
Count us in, Can provide truck, transportation,campground help, and medical referral.

Edd and Janet
12-08-2008, 01:45 PM
Count us in.

01-12-2009, 02:07 PM
#44 post stated that this list would be for members only.

Can you explain a little.

Can only members registered use it.??
Can guests not access most posts and directorys.??
or is it kept to only members that are willing to be put on list??
How would we know who they are.

Thanks for you help on this, as I know it's a new approuch on setting this all up.

01-12-2009, 03:02 PM
#44 post stated that this list would be for members only.

Can you explain a little.

Can only members registered use it.??
Can guests not access most posts and directorys.??
or is it kept to only members that are willing to be put on list??
How would we know who they are.

Thanks for you help on this, as I know it's a new approuch on setting this all up.


I do not see that in post 44. HOTEL is open to all Heartland product owners. Owners helping owners :)

Forum guests have limited access to the forum. Registered users that are logged in have nearly 100% access. Registered users that are logged in and have 2 approved posts under their belt have full forum access.

Only members who have offered services and provided their HOTEL phone number - can get on the list.

If the question is "I am not offering any services - can I still access and use the list?" Yes.


01-15-2009, 12:58 PM
Count us in as well. We're in a suburb of Oklahoma City and fairly close to I-44 and I-35 junction. I can move your 5er, provide a little mechanical help, some directions or a meal, or just say HI.

02-14-2011, 10:13 PM
Is this operating now and has anyone gotten help? I'm curious if it got going and how it was working, is there a directory now?

on edit: OK I found the directory in the sticky. Are people finding help?
Curious as I'd be willing to help when I'm around but not so eager to put a phone number out and field any calls when we are somewhere else (which is often)

02-14-2011, 10:31 PM
Don't know if anyone has used it, but your post reminded me to update the directory. Thanks.

Current directory can be found in this thread (//heartlandowners.org/showthread.php/8061-Current-H.O.T.E.L.-Directory) or click on TOOLS above and select HOTEL.


02-14-2011, 10:40 PM
FWIW - another way to be an intermediary for help would be to have a thread here where people could ask for what they need. I've been helped in other forums this way.
In any case... I am always encouraged by the generosity of people who are simply sure their help is needed and they are not being taken advantage of. Hopefully this tool has allowed people to help and be helped.