By Terri Nighswonger
With some nine million RVs on the road and even more expected in the near future, the need for RV mobile technicians is growing by leaps and bounds. Unfortunately, the supply of techs has yet to meet the demand.
Josh Gonzalez, vice president of operations for RV Force in Winter Haven, Florida, said owner Mark Gorrie started the business in 2018 because he had trouble finding service as he traveled across the country in his RV. Add to that, it was difficult to find a mobile tech who would deal with warranty issues. This sparked the idea of a mobile RV tech business.
“We got started in Texas and our plan was to spread throughout Texas. We quickly realized that finding qualified techs and honest techs was going to be a problem,” Gonzalez said.
The company also planned to take the business to Florida and Arizona.
“We got lucky and actually found a solid tech,” Gonzalez said. “He had worked at Camping World and came on board with us and he brought a couple more techs. They have been on board with us since then. We had to shut down the Texas operation because we couldn’t find technicians.”
The business plans for Arizona have been put on hold as well.
Currently the business has three mobile technicians in central Florida and an 18,000 sq. ft. service facility in Winter Haven.
“There’s really an issue with certified technicians in general, not even mobile ones,” Gonzalez said. “Someone that goes to a technical training school that doesn’t have any other experience…there’s no way they can start off on their own. We have hired some techs that have done that and quickly found out they need more experience.”
Gonzalez said there are plenty of training options, including a school in Clearwater, Florida.
“There are training options. I just don’t know how realistic they are for a lot of people. Even after the training, most of those guys need to go to a shop somewhere and work before they can go off on their own and be ready to be put into a van.”
Gonzalez said from his experience it is a national issue and finding a solution won’t be simple.
The future of someone who wants to get in the mobile tech business is bright, but Gonzalez said it’s a very different environment from the shop. “We had a couple of techs who came on board and they didn’t like that they had to drive three or four hours a day and they wanted to go back to the shop.”
For the RVer who is out there on the road, Gonzalez recommends finding a licensed and insured company.
“While there are techs out there that are very good that are not certified (one of our best techs is not certified) I would still recommend to find one that is,” he said. “The true answer to this question is that good trustworthy mobile RV techs/companies are rare and very hard to find.”
Training to be a certified RV technician can cost around $6,000. A certified tech can make between $25-$35 an hour.
Don’t miss Part 2 next week to learn about training and certification opportunities for those who would like to become a mobile RV tech.