Apache Camper Blog

  • Published on Jul 25, 2015
    Careers in the RV Industry - Service technician

    Every so often, I am sure that our customers wonder where all the RV technicians are.  The answer is not a simple one but one that challenges our industry daily.  RV technicians come from all walks of life – retired military, fresh out of high school, or even someone who likes to tinker on campers and want to learn more. 

    There are no school programs in our area offering training as an RV technician, so every technician starts as what the military calls OJT or on the job training.  It never ceases to amaze me the amount of knowledge that these silent heroes of the RV industry amass.  They learn electrical, plumbing, carpentry, basic automotive, appliance repair, and now with the technology advances being made, they are even becoming knowledgeable about satellite systems, and high end components. There is a major shortage of RV technicians, but as they grow with a dealership, they tend to specialize in one area - whether it is satellites, heating and air, or body work, there is an interest for everyone.

    No two days in an RV dealership are the same.  You never know what will show up at the door sometimes.  People who are on the road on the vacation that they planned on for a year with a suddenly dead air conditioner or refrigerator, or simply a leak.  Our technicians will hop on it as soon as possible and try to get enough done to get them to the next destination so that they don’t miss too much of their vacation time.  Our technicians give advice over the phone, they patiently explain step by step something that the customer is trying to remember from their demonstration, or someone trying out a new procedure like winterizing.

    Technicians will see metal repair, leaking faucets, and wheel bearing re-packs.  They will counsel a customer about maintenance issues that should be addressed.  All their training is from hands on experience with the RV’s that come through our shop.  These units will be anything from a vintage trailer to a brand new high end motorhome.  It is an exciting area of the dealership and one that no dealership can survive without.

    Once a technician has been on board, and if they show interest, there are on-line courses that they can take if they are sponsored through a dealership as well as more intense hands-on training courses at the factories.  The learning never stops.

    One technician once shared with me that this industry was the best thing that ever happened to him.  Every day is a challenge, but when that customer comes up to him with heartfelt thanks for taking care of their problem, the challenges melt away. 

    If you are thinking about changing career paths, or are just simply weary of working at a dead end position to pay the bills, if you love camping and the people who camp – this is definitely a field that you need to explore.  Sometimes a little risk pays off in big rewards.  Working for a family owned dealership also has its’ perks.  You become an extended part of the family – there is really no other work environment quite like it. 

    I will explore other career opportunities in the RV industry as time goes on.  You would be surprised at how diverse each dealership really is.

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