RVer Finds Inspiration with RV Technical Institute Training – RVBusiness – Breaking RV Industry News

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a News & Insights report by the RV Industry Assocation (RVIA).

DeLaine Triplitt is spending her retirement embracing outdoor opportunities. She’s an avid RVer, a small business owner, and a certified service technician through the RV Technical Institute.

Since enrolling in the RV Technical Institute curriculum last April, DeLaine has become a certified Level 2 technician and intends to advance to Master Technician (Level 4). 

The RV Technical Institute’s technician training program is a hands-on, competency-based program designed by Institute staff and subject matter experts. It’s the gold standard when it comes to RV technician training, providing the only industry-backed training curriculum and RV technician certification and career path. 

RVTI recently spoke with DeLaine about her training experience. Explore her story below.

What initially drew you to the RV Technical Institute’s program?

My significant other, Harvey, and I purchased a Thor Motor Coach campervan in July 2023, with the intention of traveling in it regularly. My first trip with it was about 300 miles. One of my next trips, though, was a little over 9,200 miles and I completed it on my own. I have quite an adventuresome spirit! 

I vowed that I was going to learn how to fix any issues on my own. When I reached out to Thor Motor Coach’s on-call service technicians about a problem, I spoke with a fabulous young man who mentioned the RV Technical Institute. He directed me to their website, which I visited, and I also spoke on the phone with the Institute’s Office Manager, Roxane Tharp. 

Within the first two minutes of my conversation with her, I had made my decision to come to the Institute. Since it’s backed by the RV Industry Association and RV Dealers Association, I felt like that was going to be the place where I got the best training, knowledge, support, and a certification that would be recognized across the country. 

Six months in advance, I scheduled a springtime in-person Level 1 course and a Level 2 course. This set me on my next RV trip, which I’m currently still on. I spent seven weeks training in Elkhart, IN, and after I passed both levels, I was feeling strong. I decided I want to become Level 3 and Level 4 certified. I don’t like doing things partway. I stuck around after Level 2 to complete a Lippert training that contributed to my Level 3 course, and I’m looking for more Level 3 trainings. 

Somewhere between my thirties and my fifties, I learned to do things that enhance me as a person. That’s exactly why I’m doing this. These skills help me take care of my campervan and I’ve also been able to help people I’ve encountered at campgrounds. I’m really pleased with my newfound skills and knowledge, and I feel much more secure having this information. I just want to learn more!

What part of the training was most beneficial to you and why?

All of it was beneficial, but an aspect that stood out to me were the stories shared by the instructors. Personally, I feel like I was extremely fortunate because I was exposed to three. Chris Jachim was our Level 1 instructor and Mike Anderson was our Level 2 instructor. We also had a third instructor, Tyson Watkins, who gave us a lesson on generators. Each of them had a different dynamic and that was wonderful to see. 

I think there’s a benefit to learning from different people who have different instruction styles. I also benefitted because each of them brought stories of their own training experiences and learning styles, and that gave me ideas on how to enhance mine. 

It was great to be there in person. And the rest of the Institute’s team was wonderful, too. I’m grateful for the ongoing relationships with the staff because that’s what I want: to meet new people, have positive experiences, and take that forward with me. It’s just the way I am. When I meet people and I care about them, I’m going to care forever. I almost feel like I have a new family in some way. 

I built friendships with some of the students as well. My group had a mix of skill levels and I loved that. There were ladies in my course who had a lot of handyperson skills they used around the house; there were men in my course who were not necessarily involved in the RV industry; and there were men in my course who were already RV technicians who worked for dealerships. 

One of the things that I really appreciated is that, during my training with the RV Technical Institute, I wasn’t treated any differently because I’m a woman. There’s a misconception (among the general public) that RV technicians are only men, and so people don’t expect an RV technician to be an older woman. However, I’m all about breaking stereotypes. Women can learn this information, too!) 

How has the RV Technical Institute helped your career as an RV tech?

Well, I wouldn’t even have considered another career had I not gone to the Institute. I never would have thought of this, and initially, when I signed up to go, I wasn’t thinking of a career. But all those stories that Chris, Mike, and Tyson shared just kept opening more doors of possibility. And I’m a possibilities thinker. I knew I was putting this investment forward. It was fine if my only takeaway was the knowledge to care for myself and the campervan— but I also knew it would be fantastic if I could get even more out of it. I needed to at least put myself out there and try. 

You don’t get anywhere if you don’t take a step forward. Backtracking isn’t anything that’s in my vocabulary. If I’m on a journey, my momentum is all about going forward. That’s what I want to do in my life and my career, so I decided to start stepping through some of these doors of possibility that kept opening.

It was amazing how those in the course with more knowledge shared with those of us who had less knowledge. There are several skills I’ve picked up in training that I’ve been able to use on my own vehicle and I know those skills are going to translate into helping other people as I get the opportunity. I’ve been able to help some people I met at a campground in Nashville, TN, and refer them to the other attendees from my course in case they need more assistance later. 

For example, I was able to repair a camper’s water line and refer her to two fellow attendees who are located in the direction she was heading and who could also help her if needed. I helped another couple with their air conditioner, and I told them to contact me if they needed any more help with their RV because I could get them in touch with people who were trained the same way I was. 

Regardless of whether these campers and I ever reconnect, I feel like I’ve made lasting relationships with them, too, and I believe that’s what we’re supposed to be doing. The idea that we are changing the customer service experience one technician at a time tells me that relationship-building is part of my duty as an RV Technical Institute-certified technician. 

(Fun fact: I’m currently in Nashville to meet my new grandson. He was born on the day that I passed my Level 2 exam, so we have an anniversary to celebrate together!)

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I’m so grateful to the RV Technical Institute for bringing the program together and providing this curriculum so that people like me can come and learn. I’m grateful, too, for the opportunity to go there and meet different people and learn as much as I did. I appreciate, too, that it’s open to everybody at every level, and that everyone can share their expertise and their knowledge.

I also appreciated the opportunity to have a guided tour of Alliance RV during my training. It was eye opening and very helpful to see how they built one of their fifth wheel models. In fact, I was so impressed that I’ve added a fifth wheel and pickup truck to my personal wish list, giving me another goal to work towards. It was wonderful that Mike Anderson was able to arrange a tour for our Level 2 course! The entire course attended, and I believe that I’m safe in saying that each of us learned a great deal and came away quite impressed.

I hope that I get a chance to thank the Institute’s instructors for the knowledge that they’ve shared. I know I’ve still got a lot more to learn and now I have the path in front of me and all of these open doors. I’m motivated to continue my forward momentum!

Since speaking with the RV Technical Institute, DeLaine has launched her own Oregon-based business, American Mobile RV Technician, LLC. She will also be working alongside Harvey this winter as a campground host in New Mexico.

Learn more about the RV Technical Institute. 

Source: https://rvbusiness.com/rver-finds-inspiration-with-rv-technical-institute-training/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rver-finds-inspiration-with-rv-technical-institute-training