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Old 09-17-2020, 03:18 PM   #1
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Son is interested in being an RV tech

My son a couple of years ago went to a vo-tech and got his certification in carpentry.


He worked for a company that makes crown moldings for a bit over a year, but the shop was pretty abusive and he left for a call center job which he hates.


I told him about the dearth of RV techs and mentioned that it might be a good fit as he loves puzzles and troubleshooting things, is really smart and a quick learner as well as a hard worker (he did go to trade school).


I watched the "State of RVing" that the head of NIRVC put out in April and I couldn't agree more that RVing is a growth industry.


How can I help my son to explore getting into this field?


If anything, I know everyone would like service to take less time and that requires more techs.


Any ideas?
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Old 09-17-2020, 03:25 PM   #2
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Sure. Google "RV Technician Training".

Lots of results
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Old 09-17-2020, 04:26 PM   #3
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Well, yeah, I'm doing that, too, but we all know that there are other paths.


Often, people on this forum have valuable information that give one the real scoop.


I can google tons of things about RVing, but often times, it's only in talking to the people on the inside... the actual RVers, folks working at RV dealerships and/or repair shops that one can get a fuller picture.


Are there RV training schools/classes? Of this I have no doubt. Are they worth it? I have no idea and their advertising isn't gonna tell me "hey, spend $2,000 to learn some basic stuff which will mean nothing when you go out on a job interview".


I think we've all experienced that in one way or another and I was hoping to leverage the collective knowledge and wisdom of these forums to best help my son maybe have a career instead of meaningless and often soul-crushing retail level jobs.


That said, I'm thankful for any input on this important matter (important to me, anyway =) )
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Old 09-17-2020, 05:14 PM   #4
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IMO most Rv problems are solved by studying the owners manuals and service manuals; then using plain old common sense in conjunction with the said manuals.
There are two different fields of being a good RV technician, knowing how to diagnose and fix appliances, and the same for 12V house wiring. For a beginning, have your son get on a computer, go to bryantrv.com and begin downloading manuals, by mfgr., to study. It may be possible for him to speak with a local RV shop service manager and obtain non-working appliances to practice with, as nothing beats hands-on training.
That said, I suspect there is little chance of him being hired by a repair shop with no prior work experience or past work history, unless it be an entry level job of cleaning up after technicians have completed their work, or like an apprentice in the shop.

I wish you and him well in this endeavor, initiative and work ethic are scarce in young people today, or so it seems. FWIW, there is a mobile RV technician on the escapees.com forums who asks questions about difficult problems he faces, and generally receives good advice.

Chassis problems are an entirely different field, and there are established chassis/drive-train shops already in place to handle that work.
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Old 09-17-2020, 05:27 PM   #5
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First, your son should subscribe to AZ Expert's Youtube channel. He has a ton of interesting and informative videos on RV repair.

Secondly, after watching a number of AZ Expert's videos, your son should try contacting AZ Expert via his email address (under the About tab on his Youtube channel) and see if he's willing to give your son some advice. That way your son can introduce himself as a subscriber and fan of the videos.

As with any trade, getting an entry level job in the field is the best way to start. I'd do this before shelling out any money for a tech school. As you may know, the tech school industry is rife with rip-offs.
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Old 09-17-2020, 05:31 PM   #6
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Interesting--suspect there is opportunities here but some are better than others. Certified auto mechanics [IMHO] have a much more creditable career path than RV techs....Most RV issues can be divided between chassis and house. Most chassis issues are handled by commercial truck shops like Ford, Cummins, Freightliner, Allison, etc. House issues tend to be more generic--in many ways akin to a handy-man for residential housing--fiberglass body work and painting being the exceptions. Accordingly, the technical level and salaries for RV Techs probably isn't that good--think Camping World. This may not be the case for Rv dealerships or large private repair centers--though I tend to think so. Wishing your son good luck.....
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Old 09-17-2020, 05:40 PM   #7
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I've heard good reports on this one. It gives certification at different levels. Certification would definitely help getting a job.

https://www.rvia.org/rv-technical-institute
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Old 09-17-2020, 05:44 PM   #8
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It turns out that we live VERY close to RVSA in Palmetto, FL, which is one of the three schools that comes up first in the google search.



Does anyone have any experience with them or with an RVSA certified Master Technician?


I should be able to use my VA benefits Ch 35 for my son, but have to check into that.


I'm not so much trying to worry about the money, but more so wanting to make sure any certification is valuable and worth it.


And yeah, I know my son. He'd never apply to Camping World because his integrity wouldn't allow him to do some of the shenanigans that I keep hearing goes on there. I may not have taught my kids much, but they all have an overriding belief in working hard and having integrity.


Anyway, so many professions are going away due to AI and automation, but I think smart, resourceful RV techs are gonna be in demand for many, many years.
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Old 09-17-2020, 05:47 PM   #9
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If your son develops a thorough knowledge of AC and DC circuits and wiring of audio/video systems he would have a unique skill.
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Old 09-17-2020, 06:01 PM   #10
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Big bucks

Not a bad choice. Spend 3 or 4 years learning the trade then open his own shop. Dealers are charging $150 per/hour.
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Old 09-17-2020, 06:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo19Irv View Post
Not a bad choice. Spend 3 or 4 years learning the trade then open his own shop. Dealers are charging $150 per/hour.

Yep.


At the very least, a good tech can work in any state in the country which is nice.



And I know he'll be good. He's a more than a bit of a perfectionist, so he works his butt off to make sure things are just right and hates it when things are off even by a little bit (very much like me, come to think of it).
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Old 09-17-2020, 06:08 PM   #12
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We sent our son to an automotive school when he got out of high school.
I think that was about 15 to 22k for the training.
He started at the bottom at a chevy dealership .Took him 3 dealerships and 7 years to land union job working on busses.

Not sure what the potential is for an RV tech.
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Old 09-17-2020, 06:14 PM   #13
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Something to think about. Buy an old RV, it really doesn't matter what kind and tinker with the systems, water, electrical, tanks, furnace, water heater, refrigerator slides, anything that can break. Figure out how the house (the living quarters) is put together. Once you have done that the other brands of those appliances are pretty much the same maybe they just go about it in a little different fashion. Then maybe check into a school. I know what you mean about certifications but it's better than nothing. Maybe check with a local RV shop and see what they are looking for. These animals really aren't that tough it's just different but in many ways similar to a sticks and bricks house. One other thing to think about is instead of a shop get a step van and be a mobile tech. You won't have the overhead of the shop and you can get a service call fee just for showing up. Think plumber and electrician. At $100 to $150 an hour it doesn't take 40 hours a week to make a good living. Good luck.
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Old 09-17-2020, 07:33 PM   #14
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Problem is experience, but if he can figure out a way to build up some l believe a HONEST good mobile tech would be in high demand for a long time. Possibly getting a older RV. Doing some repairs and flipping it?

Wish him the best. Nothing wrong with a blue collar carrier
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