June '16

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64 • RV PRO • JUNE 2016 rv-pro.com T he RV industry's well-docu- mented shortage of technicians – especially well-trained techs – has reached a fever pitch as RV sales increase and those units become increas- ingly more sophisticated. But many dealers don't have the money, time, or manpower to provide techs with opportunities for off- site training. That's why instructor Terry Cooper averages 26,000 miles a year, crisscrossing the country with his 7-year-old Mobile RV Academy. An RVDA/RVIA master certified technician who was an RV tech instructor at Texas State Technical College in Waco, Texas, for several years, Cooper provides on-site training for RV techs at dealerships and also provides training opportunities for RV inspectors and RVers. "There are many times I am brought in by the dealer at the request of the techs or the service managers because they are so overwhelmed," he says. "They can't take care of their customers like they need to do." In the Academy's three-level training program for techs, five days are spent in an apprenticeship program that includes class- room instruction and hands-on experiences in the dealer's shop and on the lot. While Cooper tailors each program to the ser- vice center's specific needs, classes tend to cover RV electrical systems, propane, water system, air conditioners, refrigerators, water heaters and furnaces, and exterior systems. Cooper says that a shop with 10 tech- nicians often only has one or two people Tech Training Goes Mobile Mobile RV Academy brings expertise directly to dealerships. Meanwhile, the company's founder also seeks to train RV inspectors and educate RVers about their units. By Stephanie Patrick PHOTOS BY GUS GUSTOVICH Cooper expresses satisfaction that the techs he instructed at the ExploreUSA store in Mesquite, Texas, picked up the information he was conveying to them. In addition to tech training, Cooper also provides instruction that allows people to become certified RV inspectors and that helps RVers do basic maintenance on their units.

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