How To Become An RV Technician
If you’ve tried to get your RV in for service at your RV dealer lately, you’ve probably noticed there is an unusually long wait time. This may be due to the critical shortage of RV technicians right now.
A quick search of Indeed.com revealed that there are 3994 RV technician positions available across the USA as I write this. Dealers and RV repair shops aren’t the only ones feeling the lack of technicians. With RV sales through the roof these days, the demand for RVs seems to be insatiable. RV manufacturers are desperate for technicians to help build and prepare RVs for delivery. If you’ve ever thought about becoming an RV technician, now is a good time.
What does an RV technician do?
If you are handy and enjoy repairing and maintaining the diverse systems that make up an RV, you’d love working as an RV technician. RV technicians know how to inspect, fix, and maintain everything on any RV. They install, repair and maintain interior and exterior components on motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheel trailers, truck campers, tent trailers, and van conversions. An RV technician can install, diagnose, repair, replace, maintain, and modify anything on any RV, including:
- Electrical components
- RV solar power systems
- Propane gas components
- Exterior and interior components
- Painting and decals
- Structural frames and towing systems
A certified technician knows how each system in the RV functions and how the relationships work among the RV’s various systems. This is a job with lots of variety, too! Each day presents a new set of challenges in what the technician will be working on.
Do RV technicians work on motors or drivetrains?
RV technicians don’t work on motors or drivetrains on motorhomes. Some RV repair shops may offer mechanical services, but these are performed by licensed RV mechanics, not RV technicians.
Where do RV technicians work?
Many RV technicians work at RV manufacturing plants, RV dealerships, and independent RV repair shops, and mobile RV technicians work wherever owners of broken RVs need them. There are many opportunities for self employment as a technician, too.
How to become an RV technician
There are companies that will hire RV technicians without certification if you have the right skills, experience, and employment track record. These technicians can gain valuable experience in a job that pays really well. However, as is true with other trades, you’ll be much more employable if you have recognized certification. Industry recognized RV technician certification is available only from the RV Technical Institute.
RV Technician Certification
The Recreational Vehicle Technical Institute offers the only industry-wide RV technician certification. This education and certification program was developed after consultation with industry stakeholders.
There are 4 levels of RV Technician Certification that recognize different levels of proficiency. Each level builds on the foundation of the previous level. Technicians can choose to become generalists or may decide to specialize in one area such as rehabilitating vintage RVs or working on motor coaches. The program covers theory, application, and troubleshooting.
The 4 Levels Of RV Technician Certification
- PDI Technician (Level 1): A pre-delivery inspector (PDI) technician has the skillset to prepare an RV for delivery by inspecting all of its components and ensuring they are operational. The self-paced online training for this level is available through online study programs.
- RV Technician (Level 2): For Level 2 certification, the RV technician needs to demonstrate theoretical knowledge of all the systems and components within an RV and is able to perform basic diagnostics, troubleshooting, and repairs on those systems and components. Students are required to attend in-person classes for 4 weeks.
- RV Technician (Level 3): Level 3 certification requires that a technician has completed the supplier training on speciﬁc types of components. The technician will be able to perform advanced diagnostics, troubleshooting, and repairs on those systems and components. To achieve this level, you must successfully pass Level 1 and 2 written and skill-based (practical) exams. You’ll also need to complete 24-hours of approved hands-on vendor training within five years.
- Master RV Technician (Level 4): Level 4 gives you the title of Master RV Technician. A Master RV Technician has completed all five designated specialties through vendor training programs and is proﬁcient at troubleshooting and repairing of all the major systems and components within an RV.
Where to train
RVTI Classes are held at their location in Elkhart, Indiana. If this is too far from where you are, you may find an RVTI authorized learning partner where you can attend classes near you. Here is a list of RVTI approved training partners where you can complete your certification:
RV Technical Institute Learning Partners
- Bish’s RV
- Bretz RV
- Byerly RV
- C & R Auto Sales
- Campers Inn
- Camping World Technical Institute
- Collier RV Super Center
- General RV
- Grand Design
- Great American RV Superstores
- Greenwood RV Service
- Hilltop Campers
- Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle & Camping Association
- RnR RV Center
- Ron Hoover RV
- RV Country
- RV Retailer
- RV Service Academy
- Wilkins RV
- Windham School District
- Worcester County Sheriff’s Department (MA)
- Indiana Department of Correction
- John A Logan College
- Johnston RV Center
- Keystone RV Center
- La Mesa
- Legacy RV
- Little Dealer, Little Prices
- McClain’s RV
- Meyers RV Supercenter
- Mountaineer RV
- Northeast Tech (OK)
One of the best parts about RVing is engaging with the community of traveling enthusiasts. iRV2 forums allow folks to chat with other RVers online, and get other perspectives on everything RVing, including products, destinations, RV mods, and much more.