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Old 12-26-2004, 02:58 PM   #1
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I started talking about this on another thread about getting ripped off by a service tech in Portland. As a solo woman full-timer, I would really like to know more about the mysterious mechanics of my home. Ginny was kind enough to respond about her experience there and the more I think about it, the better the idea sounds. I would like to hear more from those who have taken the Basic course as to what kind of things you are competent to handle after graduation and if you took the course for your own needs or to be able to also do repairs for others.

Thanks!
Malia
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Old 12-26-2004, 02:58 PM   #2
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I started talking about this on another thread about getting ripped off by a service tech in Portland. As a solo woman full-timer, I would really like to know more about the mysterious mechanics of my home. Ginny was kind enough to respond about her experience there and the more I think about it, the better the idea sounds. I would like to hear more from those who have taken the Basic course as to what kind of things you are competent to handle after graduation and if you took the course for your own needs or to be able to also do repairs for others.

Thanks!
Malia
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Old 12-27-2004, 02:28 AM   #3
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RVSA is a school intended to train the technician for working on the RV industry but many have taken it to be able to just take care of their own needs. It is a substantial investment and can take many hours of studying. The course is 10 weeks or 400 hours. You can visit their web site at www.rvsa.net. Tom and Sam can answer any other questions you may have.
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Old 12-27-2004, 06:40 PM   #4
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Yes, I have been through their web site and emailed to ask about what can be learned just from their Basic RV Repair course, which Ginny said is all they're offering at the time. I could definitely afford that one, but just want to make sure it would give me enough skills to make it worthwhile. This is something I wouldn't be doing until next winter, so I have time to research a bit more. I know it won't be easy, but since I am committed to this lifestyle, I believe it would be a good investment in myself and would contribute to my feeling a bit more confident being on my own.

As always, thanks for your input,
Malia
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Old 12-28-2004, 11:40 AM   #5
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Better get to Home Depot and start buying tools!
p.s. Can I go?
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Old 12-28-2004, 04:46 PM   #6
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I wasn't aware that RVSA had a "basic" course. The only one I've heard of is the one described on their web site, which is quite comprehensive and fully trains (and certifies) the attendee to be qualified RV service technician. As Mike says, it is 400 hours of class time, homework and nearly $6000 plus supplying your own tools.

RVIA has a more modular course and also sells a set of textbooks covering various aspects of RV repairs. The full set of these books, or perhaps a selections of them, might be suitable for familiarizing yourself with RV systems without becoming fully trained to deal with them yourself. See RVIA training texts

RVIA also has some clinics and some home-study courses. See RVIA Distance Learning

ANother appraoch I would highly recommend for someone who wishes to learn a bit about their Rv and its systems is a book by Bob Livingstone called the RV Maintenance & Repair Manual. It is an excellent compendium of practical knowledge and easy-to-follow repair procedures for all sorts of common problems. Purchasing this book might well be the best investment any RVers can make. It is available in many RV stores and severalplaces online, e.g. Amazon.com and the RVers Corner
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Old 12-28-2004, 05:45 PM   #7
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Hi Gary,

Well, according to their current web site: http://www.rvsa.net/about.htm they show two options: Basic RV Repair for $1,190 and Advanced RV Repair for $4,556. They responded to my email about what each course entails and said they would send a catalog by snail mail that will answer all my questions.

I couldn't get to your link "RVIA training texts" - message just said Page Not Available. I'll look at the other RVIA site you referred to in more detail - like I said, I wouldn't be able to do this until next winter. I certainly respect Bob Livingstone, and I know you can learn a lot from books, but I think I would prefer a more hands-on and "show-me" approach to learning this.

Of course, if I thought I could really earn my living repairing RVs for others as I traveled, there would be no hesitation to borrow the funds if necessary to take the full training. But there are lots of questions in my mind about that, so I'm not yet convinced about it from that standpoint.

Like, I know sometimes when people see mobile techs in a campground they call him over to get work done they hadn't gotten around to taking the RV in to a repair shop for. But then I've had a recent bad experience with a mobile tech, so I wonder if people would really want someone working on their RV that didn't have a home base and was a constant traveler as I am. And do I really want to make my living that way? Again, I'll have to learn a bit more before making that decision.

But since I do love this lifestyle so much, there's no doubt in my mind that it would be worth $1,200 to better prepare me to be able to take care of the less major repairs and maintenance myself. My motor home is a 2000 and I know these things will be necessary more and more frequently and the more I can do myself, the more gas money I'll have.

I so appreciate hearing all the feedback available in these forums. I'm kind of a research junkie when I set my sights on something important - like I did when I started fulltiming, I haunted every RV site and bought books by the dozen learning as much as I could beforehand. Again, thanks for everyone's input!
Malia
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Old 01-03-2005, 01:47 PM   #8
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Most of the courses are designed for persons who want to learn a trade and work in the RV repair industry. I took the course from camping world and even passed the RVIA tests. The course is very good for RV electrical both 120V & 12V, propane, furnaces, water heaters, A/C and all the other parts of the house protion of RV's. What you do NOT learn is chassis work for motor homes. (chassis is engine transmission brakes charging systems axles spring ect.) There is some chassis for trailers but not for motor homes. Not sure what other courses are but in 400 hours you can not get into motorhome chassis very deep.
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Old 01-05-2005, 06:04 PM   #9
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Malia,
My apologoes for taking so long to reply. I was busy with the holiday season and forgot to check back on this thread.

I had been told elsewhere that only the full (Advanced) course was actually being offered now (4 classes yearly). But by now you should have the RVSA catalog and the definitive answer concerning availability of the Basic course.

I just tried the RVIA training text link and it works for me, so hopefully it is now OK for you as well.

I could not agree more about the value of hands-on training, but for an amateur just trying to comprehend the basics, a book or two might be sufficient. You have to consider the cost as well as the benefits and $50-$100 worth of books is a heck of a lot less than $1000-$5000 in formal training.

dnd makes a good point about chassis diagnosis and repair. Tires, brakes, engine performance, engine cooling, and (if diesel) air systems are just as likely to need your attention as are refrigerators, batteries and water heaters. Ther eis truly a lot to learn if you want to be self-sufficient.

I admire your willingness to dig in and learn and wish more owners would do so.
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