We have now owned 3 Big Rig Diesel Motorhomes. Each one of them has come with a big boxes of Motorhome Manuals. We are not talking 4 or 5 manuals, we are talking hundreds of manuals in a large box organized by different sections.
When we got our first coach it was a 2005, our second coach was a 2006 and our current coach is a 2012. I would have thought by this time that Coach manufacturer’s would have moved away from paper manuals and on to Electronic manuals on a CD and/or Website. But it seems that most of them have not. On our trip last month, my friend bought a 2014 Foretravel and he was given even a bigger box of Motorhome manuals (Albeit a much nicer box :)).
With the Limited amount of space we have in our coaches the last thing we wanted to do was carry around these big box of Motorhome manuals. But you sort of have to, because the moment you don’t – you will need them.
So for each coach we started a project of digitizing the manuals. What this means is that we work to acquire copies of all the manuals for the coach in electronic form and preferably PDF (Adobe Format) so that they will resize automagically on different device types.
Finding the Manuals
We start the process by sitting down with the “Big Box” of Manuals and one by one
- Searching on the internet to find the manuals. We can normally find about 90 percent of them on the websites for the manufacturers
- 5% of the manuals we get by calling the manufacturer’s and asking for an electronic copy
- 5% we cannot get online and we take the manuals we have and scan them (See below explanation) in or take pictures with our cell phone.
Pushing them to the Cloud
Once we get the manuals we organize them into a directory on one of our laptops. That directory is tied to a Cloud based storage service that enables/synchronizes the manuals to the “Internet Cloud”. That cloud can then be accessed wherever we need them
- On both my Wife and I’s Laptops
- On our Cell phones (We use Iphones but it works on all of them
- On Tablets (Ipads or other types)
- Share with Friends – others who have the same coaches as we do
All of the files become organized and SEARCHABLE with full text searches across all documents!
There are plenty of other services that can do the same thing (With some different options)
Any of them will work but we like the simplicity of Dropbox.
As you make changes to your coach or find out new information you simply update the directory with the information.
Our Motorhome Manuals Organized in the Cloud
Here are links to read-only versions of all of our manuals
We commonly share these with other coach owners who have similar years and Models.
Scanning them in
One question people ask us a lot is how do you scan in Motorhome Manuals you can’t find?
We do it one of two ways
- We will simply take pics of the pages with our cell phones and them combine them together with Adobe into a single document.
- We use our Scansnap Evernote Edition Scanner to scan in the documents. (Simply the best scanner we have ever had)
A little bit about this Scanner.
- Scans at over 26 Pages per minute full duplex (both sides of the pages at the same time)
- Automatically does Auto Character Recognition on every document
- Loads the documents up into Evernote for stoard
- Auto guesses on what they are and categorizes them for you
- Once up there full text and categorical search on all documents.
Now that we have this – we keep ZERO Bills, Invoices, documents etc. It is quite expensive but well worth every penny