Today I will be speaking with an RV technician from Santa Barbara, Calif., who shared a wonderful idea for promoting a new RV repair business by targeting Workampers, or the folks who work as camp hosts at area campgrounds.
A few years ago, during the COVID lockdowns, Tim Lavender and his wife considered selling everything and moving out of California. Then they opted to sell their home and move into an RV instead.
However, when they bought a brand new RV, the couple discovered how much repair work needed to be performed on it. Yet, there was a four-month wait for service at the RV dealership where they bought the unit. The closest mobile RV technician was 60 miles away, and also had a three-week wait.
In response, Tim turned to Google for information on how to fix problems the couple was experiencing. That’s how he stumbled upon information about the National RV Training Academy in Athens, Texas. Ironically, the school was an hour away from their son in Dallas.
So, because he recently retired from a career in the telecom industry, Tim devised a plan to attend the school to learn how to maintain his own RV, then return to California and start a business to address the critical shortage of trained technicians.
His idea to offer discounted repair service to Workampers who had jobs as campground hosts was a brilliant decision. Not only did it give him immediate repair experience and income, but those hosts were in a position to refer Tim to other RVers at the campgrounds.
He simply visited each campground in his market area and delivered a stack of business cards. He discovered pent-up demand for repair services because the campground hosts were not in a position to leave their RVs at a repair center for weeks at a time.
Since starting his business, Tim has enjoyed a steady income all year round. To maintain his profitable venture, he invests $750 to $1,000 per month in Facebook and Google advertising. However, he can recoup a month’s worth of advertising in a single day of service to those customers the marketing attracts.
Tim has learned some valuable lessons through trial and error, such as to never work on a black tank without wearing a face mask. Yuck! He also bought a work van that enables him to stand up in it, which makes it easier for him to find parts and tools.
The couple’s desire to use their RV for travel remains strong. Consequently, Tim is contemplating following RVers along the NASCAR circuit to provide repair services at racing events.
The greatest joy Tim gets from being a mobile RV technician is from seeing the sense of relief in his customers’ faces when he resolves a problem. That means they don’t have to cut a trip short or cancel a needed vacation.
He also enjoys the tremendous flexibility that comes with being his own boss. People can connect with Tim by visiting www.rvtechfinder.com.
Today’s episode is sponsored by the National RV Training Academy in Athens, Texas. The academy’s one-week live training or home study course will teach you everything you need to know to fix about 80 percent of the problems people experience with their RVs.
You can also sign up for additional training to become an RV inspector, campground technician or to provide mobile RV service. For more information, visit www.nrvta.com.
That’s all for this week’s show. Next time, I will be interviewing an RV technician and inspector from Canada who also works as an instructor at the National RV Training Academy. I’ll have that interview on the next episode of RV Tech Talk. Thank you for listening!