RV technicians in training appreciate demonstrations and lectures, but hands-on practice is the best way to learn how to perform unit maintenance. Last week, Ron Hoover RV & Marine donated two new 31-foot Flagstaff travel trailers to the National RV Training Academy (NRVTA). The academy will use the units to train RV inspectors and technicians.
The Texas-based RV and marine dealership with 10 locations wanted to contribute to the betterment of the RV industry, Corporate Project Specialist Blake Anthony said.
“We sent technicians to the academy in February,” he said. “With this donation, we can ensure students learn about the most recent equipment produced by the RV industry.”
NRVTA founder Terry Cooper said the gift was “a much-needed contribution to our continuing effort to train technicians and inspectors to better serve people who buy and use recreation vehicles.”
Anthony said Cooper has been a respected colleague and friend of the Hoover organization for some time.
“Terry is a great success story. He had a dream and persevered to follow through,” he explained. “He has done a remarkable job making the American dream come true.”
From an industry perspective, the donation is very timely as there is a critical shortage of trained RV technicians nationwide. Cooper said with more than 400,000 new RVs sold every year, the industry has been unable to train enough service technicians to meet the demand.
“We could train and certify 1,000 technicians today. Like water in the desert, they would be instantly absorbed by dealerships and mobile service centers,” Cooper said.
He noted NRVTA trained 419 students in its first year of operation, including 71 registered and 13 certified technicians.
Tony Clark, vice president of service operations for the dealership, came up with the idea to donate the trailers last year.
“For us, getting training and certification for our staff is important not only to helping our customers, but also in retaining our human resources,” Anthony said. “Our dealership works to keep a career path in front of employees. We always strive to take people to a new level.
“The more training and experience our people get, the more money they make and the more confident they become,” he said. “The better trained they are, the faster they can diagnose and repair RVs. Everyone wins. From Ron Hoover and his sons, Chris and Dustin, the owners have always made a strong commitment to training.”
In addition to the new travel trailers, the dealership also donated a collection of older parts.
“A lot of RV dealerships are okay with giving away product which is old and they don’t want any more,” Clark said, “but how does that help train people to fix the more complicated and sophisticated equipment produced by the industry?”
“When working on old trailers, students can still learn how to check components. But, by giving NRVTA the new trailers, we knew that Terry could train technicians to work with the most modern equipment,” he said. “With power awnings, tongue jacks, hydraulic levelers and slide-outs, solar panels and other upgraded electric components that use high-tech computer systems, technicians need to know how to diagnose and repair all of that, too.”
As a non-profit organization, NRVTA accepts tax-deductible contributions of cash, RVs, parts and equipment. To discuss a donation, call (903) 386-0444 or email [email protected]