It has been three years since we have recorded an RV Tech Talk podcast episode. Everything sort of came to a halt in March 2020 when COVID shut down in-person training, campgrounds we shuttered, and confusion reigned throughout the world.
Yet, ironically, more RVs were built and sold that year than ever before. When campgrounds reopened, people flocked to the RV lifestyle and demand for recreation vehicles went through the roof. That created an even greater need for RV technicians and RV inspectors – and demand for those services has not subsided.
The National RV Training Academy decided to relaunch this podcast in hopes of building awareness of opportunities available to consumers to get RVs evaluated by certified RV inspectors before buying them, and fixed by certified RV technicians – including mobile service technicians – whenever a problem occurs.
NRVTA also wanted people to be aware of opportunities to make money by providing valuable inspection and repair services. So I will usually be interviewing a technician or an RV inspector every week going forward.
This week, however, I am interviewing the two women at the helm of the trade associations representing RV technicians and RV inspectors. Renee Wynsma is the director of administration for the National RV Inspectors Association as well as the RV Technician Association of America. Gilda Mitchell is the director of member benefits for both associations.
As we relaunch the podcast, I asked them to come on the show to explain what has changed since 2020 and how the associations are working to help RV consumers as well as their member inspectors and technicians.
As director of administration for the associations, Renee helped facilitate the RVTAA rollout and handles administrative responsibilities for both groups. She also acts as a point-of-contract for members, potential members and consumers.
As director of membership, Gilda is responsible for developing, implementing, and evaluating membership strategies for NRVIA and RVTAA. She also oversees member engagement and working with industry connections to build a strong membership culture.
It’s helpful that Renee and her husband have both completed training at NRVTA and have worked as inspectors and technicians. It really gives her credibility to lead both associations.
Although getting an RV remains on Gilda’s to-do list, she is instrumental in working with association members who serve on advisory groups guiding the associations’ future. The fact Gilda and Renee can tap into the knowledge and experience provided by advisory group members ensures that the associations will be serving the needs of consumers, inspectors and technicians for years to come.
Both women noted how the RV industry has been booming in recent years. With 1,200 new RVs being built every day and 2,000 used RVs sold every day, demand for RV inspection services is incredibly strong. Consumers and even some lenders are realizing the value of having an RV professionally inspected before purchase in order to make informed decisions about the vehicle’s condition.
The RV Industry Association continues to report there are 11 million RV owning households in America. Yet, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are only 17,000 active RV technicians working in this country. That’s just one technician for every 650 RVs on the road today.
If there is one thing common to all RVs, regardless of brand, it’s that they shake, rattle and roll as they rumble down the highway. As a result, things break frequently. Add in annual maintenance just to keep RVs running smoothly, and demand for knowledgeable RV service technicians has been high for years with no relief in sight.
So, I’m thankful to Renee Wynsma and Gilda Mitchell for describing ways the National RV Inspectors Association and RV Technician Association of America are working to make life easier for RV buyers, RV owners and the RV industry in general.
For information about National RV Training Academy programs for individuals looking to become an RV technician, RV inspector or educated RV owner, visit www.nrvta.com, email [email protected] or call (903) 386-0444 to speak with a student advisor.
That’s all I have for this week’s podcast. Next week, I will be interviewing a man who, after retiring and buying an RV, realized he needed training on how to use and maintain it. During classes at the National RV Training Academy, he learned about an opportunity to start a business inspecting RVs. He jumped at the opportunity and enjoys a successful business today. I’ll have that interview on the next episode of RV Tech Talk. Thanks for listening.