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Can I provide RV Repair work while at parks and on the road?


jp1811
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Greetings all. I work on my own RV and wondering if that is a good way to make money while traveling. What are the common repairs that would need completed? Do the parks allow me to put a sign on the front of my RV? Will others complain about offering that service? Can I utilize blog or some other social avenue to share my location so others can contact me when I am in their area for service? Just trying to make some travel money.

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It's not uncommon to see Rvs with advertising on them inside many campgrounds. As long as you are discreet and don't do mechanical work on the site, you should be ok. (No oil changes, engine work etc). 

Many campgrounds have advertising on their maps when you check in. You'll see local RV service providers advertising their services on these maps.

Like any other business, the challenge will be in getting the word out and securing new business. 

Typical repairs might include plumbing issues, minor electrical issues, etc. At Hershey I had a tech that I found online come out and replace the toilet sprayer, install a new "porch light", and a winterization kit on my water line so I could winterize it more efficiently.

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Welcome to the Escapee forums, jp811!

ToddF has given an answer that fits with my experience as well on the advertising issue. There are many RVers who do some sort of business as they travel and also advertise it on their tow vehicles and occasionally I see advertising on the RV, but not often. Like you, I have worked on my own RV for many years and I made my living in a electronic/mechanical service business for 40 years as well. As a result, there is a great deal of RV work that I might be qualified to do but there are also things on RVs that I have little or no experience with and that could be a problem if I were to advertise as an RV repair business. If you are serious about this, I suggest that you chose one of the RV technician certification programs and go through that so that you can advertise as a certified RV tech.

This forum only allows advertising in the Marketplace section and that type restriction is true of most RV forums, but I really don't think that it would be very effective because you need your advertising targeted to those in the area where you are seeking work. I have known several full-time RVers who had an RV repair business and most of them spend time in the same areas over and over in order to become established in the area and so known in the service business. Another way that some of them acquire business is to attend RV rallies and work there but most rallies charge a vendor fee for you to do that. If you plan to travel pretty much all of the time, I doubt that RV service would provide a very steady income. Most of us prefer to use a service vendor who we can locate later in the event there is some returning problem, but this likely could be done successfully if you are willing to stay in an area long enough to get established. 

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Thanks Kirk & Todd. You have both said things that make sense and were similar to the thoughts I had about the option. I am not really looking for a steady income. Just grabbing some gas cash along the way. I would be looking at simple items, that frankly RV shops charge way too much to finish. In one case I took 6 minutes to do a hot water heater repair with a pair of needle nose pliers. The guy called me 17 months later and had never had another problem with the heater. Previously he had been to 3 separate RV repair shops who had charged him a total of $850 in evaluation and repair fees, but the problem returned. I believe it is disgusting to charge the prices these folks charge just because its an RV and they have people in bad situations. Especially, when they can't fix it correctly. I just like helping people. BTW - I charged the guy nothing to fix it. Have safe travels friends. Thanks for the info.

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The fulltime RVers that do RV repair work that I have encountered, generally return to the same locations. If moving often, I would think that keeping up with local licensing, insurance and other requirements might be an issue. Collecting sales tax, if required, may be an issue. State and local income tax may be yet another issue.

I believe there is a least one member of this forum that has a business doing RV repair work. Hopefully they will chime in.

Edited by trailertraveler
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3 hours ago, jp1811 said:

I just like helping people. BTW - I charged the guy nothing to fix it.

That is something that you share with many of us here. I still enjoy troubleshooting, and do a lot of it, but mostly via the forums or as a volunteer when we are out on the road. The problem with advertising to make some income is that you then need to go work when someone wants you, not just when you feel a desire to do so. Then there are also the issues of taxes and licenses that Trailertraveler has mentioned. As I think back, I guess that I have worked for bater at times as I  can recall accepting an invitation to dinner several times, a quart of homebrew another, and several other such expressions of gratitude, but none that were offered before the work was completed. 

There are paying positions for RV people who agree to stay for a season at an RV park and there are also seasonal jobs that can pay a lot in a short time, like the sugar-beet and potato harvests. There are also jobs selling pumpkins at Halloween and also Christmas trees. I am thinking that you might find something of those types more to fit your needs. 

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19 hours ago, rynosback said:

All depends on the campground. You would just need to ask the management to find out their rules and policies and get permission.

And very few campgrounds are going to let you do work without at least proof of proper insurance. Many will require a minimum of one million dollars in liability insurance. Very expensive. Chuck

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  So I will say some things I have experience with doing the traveling rv repair business.  

 

  1. First thing is to have a good understanding of what you are going to be working on. I went to rv repair school. 10 weeks of training. What I needed most was electrical knowledge. As I was never around anyone that taught me the real basics of 12vdc operation. As in how sensitive it can be. That subject gives great thoughts on what the heck is happening. And that school really did not explain to me what really was happening. When I seen the problems in real life it stuck in my brain a lot better.

  2. So if you start working on things and you have problems with what you are doing, most customers will pickup on it real fast. They will tell other people about there experience. If you accomplish your subject in respectable time things will go good for your customer and they will pass that if on to other people. For the last 10 years I mostly did not have signs on my vehicle . Word of mouth was working.

 3.  Insurance and registering with the states are doable. Some patience may be needed. Insurance May cost twice as much depending on state your home base is. Million dollar policy is doable. That is what I have.done. You can get a short term tax number, just like people at art fairs do. Or tax numbers for long term work.

  I would not recommend any of your competitors to do what you cannot. If there is a problem with that work, you could be responsible. 

 

   4   I normally spent summer or winter at one spot. Much better for volume of work by sitting still. Customers will hopefully send you more work.  Constant moving  every week may limit work. As no customer base to go on.

   That said I have followed NASCAR races and found work lots of work in just the campground I was in.  Talladega speedway at one time had about 35000 rv’s show up for a week. With today’s health issue I have stopped working about 95 percent. So with sports complexes being limited that idea may not work for awhile.

 

5.  Doing something specialized may work also. Fiberglass repair, gelcoat repair and paint touch up was good for me at times. You do want to tell the office what you are doing..

 

There are lots of thinking to do if you attempt this subject..   on thought is to not have all new tools on your tool bag. That can be a clue that you just started the business.   Yep I have seen that.  Anyone that has seen my service vehicle know it has a ton of experienced tools in it.

 

   Vern in a T-shirt 

Edited by Wrknrvr
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17 minutes ago, Wrknrvr said:

5.  Doing something specialized may work also. Fiberglass repair, gelcoat repair and paint touch up was good for me at times. You do want to tell the office what you are doing..

Along this line, get factory training, and they will often direct customers to you. AquaHot is an example here. 

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