RV Training Program Breaks from Industry Standards

Image of NRVTA Certified RV Technician patch

The National RV Training Academy (NRVTA) changed its certification program to make it less complicated than one adopted this year by the RV industry.

Under the new program, people who complete training can test to become registered, certified or master certified RV technicians. It is the same designation available for years before being abandoned in favor of a multi-level accreditation system.

“We have been training RV technicians since 1999 and feel we have the best program to educate people who want to become professional techs either working for RV dealerships, campgrounds or serving as mobile service technicians, NRVTA President Terry Cooper said.

“We are confident enough in our training ability that we’ve opted to issue our own certifications,” he said. “Our graduates have been working in the field for many years. Their on-the-job performance confirms they are well qualified to diagnose and repair any RV.”

Students who complete the academy’s one-week Basic RV Maintenance course are eligible to test to become NRVTA Registered RV Technicians. Students passing the test will receive a certificate of completion and an NRVTA Registered RV Technician patch.

The NRVTA certification qualifies technicians to perform pre-delivery inspections and basic service work for dealerships and campgrounds. They can also develop their own mobile RV repair businesses.

Students will learn to repair approximately 80 percent of common RV problems. Cooper said the information provided is helpful to people maintaining their own RVs, helping neighbors at a campground or developing an RV service business.

Additional training is offered for those who seek Certified RV Technician credentials. Students completing four additional weeks can take written and hands-on exams to become a NRVTA Certified RV Technician. The advanced training classes cover air conditioners, heat pumps, absorption refrigerators, water heaters, furnaces and RV exteriors. Students who pass these tests receive credentials and an NRVTA Certified RV Technician patch.

The NRVTA also offers a training path for students seeking master certification. Students who go on to complete advanced courses in solar power and generators can test to become a NRVTA Master Certified Technician. However, technicians must gain at least three years of supervised, on-the-job experience as an RV technician before they can practice at the master level. Cooper said this training prepares students to diagnose and repair any RV problems. Qualified students will receive credentials and may wear the patch indicating they are NRVTA Master Certified RV Technicians.

The intensive courses were developed to provide classroom education and hands-on labs. The course teaches how to diagnose a wide-range of RV components, Cooper said.

By providing 10 hours of instruction daily for four to five days, he said, NRVTA gets students in and out of classrooms quickly.

“We closely evaluated the new training standards rolled out by the RV industry and did not see a corresponding benefit for participating in that program because our students were already receiving the level of training to which the industry aspires, but in much less time,” Cooper explained.

Prior to 2018, Cooper conducted classes at locations around the country before opening a fixed facility in Athens, Texas, adjacent to the Texan RV Park. Students can bring an RV and stay in the park while in training. The Big Red School House, as it is known, boasts a 15,000-square-foot building with three classrooms and four service bays.

“Our program is recognized by industry manufacturers and dealerships for providing training technicians really need,” Cooper said. “There are many individuals within our industry who see the importance of having current systems and appliances used within our courses. Through these donations, we are able to ensure we are training on today’s RVs.”

Since October 2018, more than 300 people have completed hands-on training at the NRVTA. Of those students, 186 pursued technician certification, and 98 percent passed the exam to become NRVTA Registered RV Technicians.

Another 48 students continued on into the advanced training program and became NRVTA Certified RV Technicians.

Those students who were not pursuing technician certification were either seeking inspector certification through the National RV Inspectors Association or were RV owners wanting to perform their own repairs. NRVTA also offers an online program for RV owners or those wanting to jump-start their technician/inspector training before they attend Week 1 classes.

“We are proud of what we have accomplished in such a short period of time,” Cooper said. “Because the RV industry is clamoring for trained techs, we are happy for the opportunity to assist the industry by preparing professional technicians to better serve people who buy and own recreation vehicles.”

Continuing Education Expo

The NRVTA is co-hosting an event in April with the National RV Inspectors Association at their facility in Athens. Supplier training will include Spartan Chassis, Truma, Dometic, Aqua-Hot, Lippert Components, MORryde and Blue Ox. The expo will take place from April 17-19. Tickets and registration details can be found here.

For more information about NRVTA training, click here.


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