TMI - because you can never have too much information

 



Motorhome enthusiasts strike gold at the Total Motorhome Ireland get-together at Goosey Island in Sneem, Co Kerry

It’s the weekend and welcome back to Vanhalla where we are delighted to present the first in a series of guest blog posts. On this occasion we feature a most informative piece from Jim McCormick, one of the driving forces behind the hugely successful Total Motorhome Ireland (TMI) group.

Just like TLC, you can never have too much information and TMI is certainly a valuable resource for motorhome enthusiasts, whether seasoned campaigners or newcomers to the scene. It’s one of the groups I’m glad to be a member of myself and I certainly found it greatly helpful and still do in terms of informed insights and feedback from its membership.

With over 90 motorhome friendly pubs and more than 130 campsites on its books, numerous maps, points of interest details and a most commendable ‘Leave No Trace’ ethos, TMI is top notch for motorhome and campervan enthusiasts.

Over to Jim McCormick to explain:

Total Motorhome Ireland, or as the members call it, TMI. TMI, the acronym for too much information, and maybe a good description of the Facebook Group, Total Motorhome Ireland. 

TMI was created in November 2016, by a long time Motorhomer, who embraced the surge in Facebook groups as a means of communicating information to and from other motorhomers. He designed its instantly recognisable logo, and set out the basis for the group. By March 2017, the group had grown in numbers and I was asked to come on board and assist him in the running of it. By May, he had asked me to take over the day to day running of TMI, and thus began my term as an Administrator on TMI.

Since then TMI has been a labour of love. As a group we’ve grown to almost 8,000 members, with a similar ethos as the admin team.



Sharing information on campsites, places to visit, motorhome friendly pubs throughout Ireland; the buying and selling of motorhomes; helping out new motorhome owners, and the list goes on. One of our achievements was signing up to ‘Leave no Trace Ireland’, something we’ve always been in favour of on TMI. 

From March last year Ireland, along with the rest of the world, has been in lockdown. Our travels around Ireland have been non-existent, and we’ve worked hard in TMI to help do what we can to keep the members spirits up, albeit without tales of our travels. But this last year has also given me the opportunity to tweak our website, and along with the admin team’s help, we’ve improved our free members map of places-of-interest (POI’s) in Ireland, streamlined our membership and made some new contacts for when we’re free to roam this wonderful country of ours. 

Although there are multitudes of Irish motorhome groups on Facebook, and other social media platforms, every group has something different to offer its membership. That’s one of the reasons why you’ll see the same people on lots of different groups. Each group has its own ethos, its own rules and its own way of running things, and it seems to satisfy the needs of the members of each forum.

Much of the information regarding motorhoming in Ireland is free to access on the internet, scattered across a numerous sources and sites. While it is extensive, it was never really centralised in one place. We set out to fix that as much as we possibly could, via our website, www.totalmotorhomeirelandmaps.com .

No membership fee

I mentioned earlier that our website has gone through a complete overhaul, a whole new design and navigation menu, all dedicated to make it as user-friendly as possible. It has over 90 motorhome friendly pubs and over 130 campsites all listed by county, with contact and website details included; insurance companies for motorhomes, sales & services, TMI’s recommended spots, latest news updates, the members maps & TMI members discounts, all for free, no membership fees now or never.


Enjoying a line-dancing session at Drumcoura, the social side of TMI.

Our website is funded by the sticker sales through the year, and even though many think we charge all our advertisers, nothing could be further from the truth. Our advertisers offer discounts or free-to-enter competitions to our members in return for free advertising, and we endeavour to ensure that any deals we have are exclusive to TMI. 

Our detailed maps have been built up over the years, using the information from our members, and POI submissions by members on our website. Not every suggestion makes it onto the TMI map, as everyone is checked and examined, via the google earth/street view app, to ensure a few things including, can the road handle a standard motorhome; are there private residents that may be inconvenienced by motorhomes parking nearby; are there any conservation restrictions? If I and another Admin don’t agree whether it should go on the map, it doesn’t go on. Like our group membership, it’s not the quantity, it’s the quality. Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better.


A bird's eye view of one of the TMI gatherings in Goosey Island in Sneem.

What do I get out of being an admin of the group? I get the pleasure of seeing the members assist each other, whether by information, technical help, or even on occasion, getting in their car and going to help a fellow member that has broken down at the roadside in the middle of nowhere. That to me is a community of friends, a community of likeminded people, who think of others. That alone makes the bad days worthwhile. 

Favourite spots

Finally, the reason why we’re in a Facebook group like TMI, is we all like to travel and tour this wonderful country of ours, North and South, and we all have our favourite spots.

No road trip for Deirdre and myself would be complete, if I didn’t include Meath Eco Park in Co. Meath, then onto Co. Wexford and Alice’s in Kilmore Quay. Off to Co. Cork to Colman in Eyeries Motorhome Park, and then a short hop, skip and a jump to Seán in Goosey Island Co. Kerry. Thinking about going homeward bound, we’d head up the west coast to Clifden Eco campsite in Galway; Tom Malone's Pub and Motorhome Aire, in Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare.  A wee stop in Lough Arrow, Co. Sligo with Cath and John, and finally up to Donegal to Spierstown. A couple of days in between each of those stops, to soak up the scenery and enjoy Ireland, what more could anyone ask for, apart from good friends and a good MPG for the motorhome?


An aerial view of the resplendent Clifden Eco Camping. (Photo courtesy Pat Nevin)

Jim McCormick, Admin, Total Motorhome Ireland.

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