In late 2018 we went to an RV show in San Antonio and learned about professional RV Inspection Services. This is like House Inspections when you buy a house, except of course, it’s RV Inspections for when you buy an RV. The only school in the country where one can learn to be an RV Inspector is the National RV Training Academy (NVRTA), which also has courses in RV Technical Maintenance geared toward RV owners as well as Technical Maintenance for those who want to offer RV Mechanical services.
With my background in Architecture, Mike’s background in Construction, and our combined knowledge and experience with RV’s… RV Inspection seemed somewhat a natural option for us to pursue. AND it seemed (and still seems) that RV Inspection is in demand. In fact 3 months later we met a couple in Florida who were RV inspectors. They had as much work as they wanted. We have been kicking it around ever since.
Ok but when??
But timing or location never seemed quite right. At that time I was already working fulltime, since then we have not been in Texas. It’s a fairly expensive class. We both are concerned about investing in something else and not getting a return. (Can I list the ways we have done that before?). Well, fast forward 3 years. I no longer have full time employment. I spent a year trying to dedicate my growth to day trading in an effort to replace my IBM income. While trading is still a good hobby that slightly better than breaks even, I have to admit it is not supporting me yet. Time to find a new job.
RV Inspector as my new career
The thought of returning to corporate America, especially in light of Covid restrictions, frankly makes my stomach roll… Sometime mid summer at Eagle Nest RV Resort, where we were work camping, we had a couple call up to make a reservation. We were 100% booked July 1 through August 15. Just an hour earlier I had another couple tell me they were going to leave 2 days early. It was the same two days this couple wanted. Cool! I love saying “yes”. I asked them for their information…
Address, (Texas, noted), email… humm something connected in my brain and I asked them if their email was a blog. They replied “No, we are mobile RV Techs.” HUMMM.. I asked if they went to NRVTA, and they confirmed that they had! OK, call me crazy, but ANOTHER Coincidence (Referring to my manifesting blog post here)??! I think not. I told them they would have to come over and let us pick their brain about becoming an RV Inspector. So they did..
It seems there is STILL more demand for Inspections than there are RV inspectors. Covid pushed RV sales through the roof, so demand is even higher. I predict that next year when the impulse buyers decide perhaps it’s not for them, the sales will continue to go up. I looked up the school and discovered that the next RV Inspector class was starting October 25. That is three weeks after our commitment in Montana ended. And nothing had hit home with plans for the winter.
There was still the matter of the cost. In the 2+ years since we were thinking about it, the cost has not remained stagnant either. In fact it is now about twice as expensive as it was when we first thought about it. But the reality is that it is still cheaper than it will be next year. We still are concerned with recouping cost, so I called a few RV inspectors to pick their brains. They all confirmed there would be plenty of work.
The last guy I called said “But you don’t have to both be certified. One of you can take the classes and get certified. The other one can work for the other, just as long as the certified one signs off on the report.” That’s what he and his wife did. Apparently what a lot of couples do. That makes the cost, while still significant, at least not a barrier to entry.
So we did it, enrolled in RV Inspector school
Mike was fully supportive of the idea but a little concerned about the investment. He totally didn’t want to do it for himself but he is happy to work for me. He will likely do most of the exterior stuff, I will likely do most of the interior stuff. We’ll be able to knock an inspection out in half the time. I am 100% confident in his evaluation, so I will comfortably sign off on it. One of us needs to be certified, and I definitely need the education. So I signed up.
Cousins must think alike
The week after I signed up, my aunt texted me and told me that my cousin, Greg (whom I hadn’t seen since high school, with the exception of his fathers funeral), was in the process of buying an RV and had enrolled in the NRVTA for his own knowledge to maintain his own RV. AND it sounded like he was going to be in my class! Amazing!! I contacted him and found out that he was really in class the week before my class. We both decided to extend our stays in Athens one day, and spend the day visiting together. What fun!
Then, as it turns out, our other cousin lives in Houston and has been studying to become a home inspector! Crazy! So he (who also hadn’t seen Greg in 30-40 years) decided to join us on our meet-up day.
Sadly.. Greg’s employer messed with his schedule and he will not be taking the class that week. I only hope he will get there before we LEAVE Texas (mid-February). If so we will have to journey back up to see him.
RV Inspection School Starts today!
Last week I attended the RV Maintenance class which is the prerequisite for the inspection class. It was 5 days of information overload. I learned about the various electrical systems in an RV, propane system, water system, as well as how various appliances work; furnaces, air conditioners, refrigerators, water heaters…. whew. Yep, lots of information.
On the Saturday following the class they give a certification test to become a registered RV Technician. Doing maintenance work had not been a goal of ours, but many people need help with routine maintenance, and we certainly could add this to our bucket of offerings for our business. So, about mid-week we decided I would take the test. The result? I am one of Americas newest Registered RV Technicians! Who expected that!
And of course … Halloween
Because we were here over Halloween weekend, the school hosted a Halloween party. Luckily Mike and I have Pirate Costumes! We placed 3rd in the adult costume contest (which actually tells you how lame most of the other costumes were)…. Unfortunately prizes were one for the first place winner! Ok.. fessing up, somehow I did get all the kids to “band together” to become “Team Pirate”! Arr, arr, arr!
(Sadly no photo!)
Halloween is a fun holiday, and in my mind begins the holiday season (followed by my birthday next week! New age, new me!). We had a lot of fun, but did not get scared.. at least the fear doesn’t compare to the fear, excitement, and anticipation of becoming an RV Inspector!