Podcast Episodes

In Episode 081, Bryan Carbonnell explains how he makes money fixing and inspecting RVs while traveling

Today we will talk with a man who does RV inspections as well as repairs while he travels between his summer home in Toronto, and his winter home wherever he wants that to be.

Bryan Carbonnell and his wife bought an RV in 2013 when they opted to embrace the full-time RV lifestyle. However, as soon as he bought the unit, he discovered problems with it – lots of problems.

In the process of getting them fixed, he learned about training being offered by the Mobile RV Academy, which was the predecessor to the National RV Training Academy. His goal was to learn more about how RVs worked so that he could better hold manufacturers and repair facilities accountable to the things they said and to the promises they made. He also wanted to learn to fix minor problems by himself.

However, while taking that class, he learned of the opportunity to become an RV inspector and mobile repair technician. By taking one more week of classes, he could become a Level 2 inspector and a NRVTA Certified RV technician so he could fix problems for other RVers, too.

If Bryan had the ability to have his own RV inspected before he bought it, he said he may not have had as many issues with the unit as he did. Now that he has had the training, he doesn’t need to rely on repair centers nearly as much as he used to.

He describes the training he had and how it prepared him to inspect and repair RVs. Although some people can learn by just reading books, Bryan really enjoyed watching videos and getting his hands dirty during the hands-on labs.

In the summer, he does more repairs than inspections. In fact, Bryan said there are only four certified inspectors in all of Canada, but demand is growing as people learn that type of service is available.

However, in the winter, he does more inspections on the road, but still fills in the gaps by doing repairs.

Bryan typically picks an area he wants to visit, and finds a place to call home for several months. Then he markets his ability to do inspections within a certain distance around that area. Just letting people in the campground know that he can repair RVs is often enough to keep the phone ringing.

Bryan explains how he gets the word out to find inspections and repair jobs. He also talks about how much money he can make, and challenges he has faced while running the businesses.

For him, they are ideal businesses to run from an RV. They give him the ability to make money wherever he goes, and the flexibility to spend time wherever he and his family want to travel.

The rules with the National RV Inspectors Association prevent Bryan from fixing problems on RVs that he has inspected because that would be a conflict of interest. Yet, demand for RV repairs combined with the incredible shortage of RV technicians, keeps him more than busy.

He has not had all the advanced training offered by the National RV Training Academy, but he did take enough classes to become an NRVTA Certified RV Technician. Even though he become proficient in RV hydronic systems, and he really can’t do propane repairs in Canada, there is still enough basic work to keep him busy and the money flowing in.

Just doing two inspections a month can bring in $1,400, on average. He can more than double that by completing minor repairs where he can charge $100 per hour. There are very few expenses, like insurance, that are deducted from his monthly income.

He doesn’t have to do a lot of promotion. For the repair business, that often involves investing a Saturday dropping off business cards at local campgrounds and RV dealerships. For the inspection business, he simply updates the location in his profile at the National RV Inspectors Association.

Bryan’s situation is generally more complicated than it would be for other RV technicians and inspectors because he lives and works in both Canada and the United States. Other full-time RVers wouldn’t have those challenges.

Still, Bryan recommends that full-timers who love solving puzzles consider becoming mobile technicians. People who are more detail oriented, will enjoy being an RV inspector. They are both ideal Workamping businesses to operate on the road.

For more information about Bryan and his business, Tech-Reational RV Services, visit www.techreational.com.

You can learn more about becoming an inspector or a mobile RV technician at the National RV Training Academy in Athens, Texas. The academy’s one-week live training or home study course will teach you everything you need to know to fix about 80 percent of the problems people experience with their RVs.

You can also sign up for additional training to become an RV inspector, campground technician or to provide mobile RV service. For more information, visit www.nrvta.com.

Workamper News, a magazine and online publication, connects RVers to full- and part-time jobs around the country.

Whether it is running a business from your RV or working short-term jobs for a variety of employers, Workamper News can give you information to help plan a course to live your own dream and get you on the road faster than you thought possible.

For more information about opportunities to live, work and play in your RV, visit www.workampernews.com.

That’s all we have for this week’s show. Next time, we’ll talk with a full-time RVer who loves the lifestyle and how Workamping makes it all possible.

Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber is a former journalist who covered the recreation vehicle industry since 2009. He started podcasting in 2014 and enjoys interviewing people about ways to live, work and play in their RVs.

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  1. So considering the information gained to be a better buyer and owner can we take the course before buying an rv?

    1. Absolutely, Lucia! The National RV Training Academy course is for everyone. Many graduates went through the course before purchasing their RV to help them be a more confident buyer! The NRVTA offers a home study option (online or USB flash drive in the mail), but if you attend a course in-person they do have cabins and RVs for rent at the Texan RV Park which is on the same property as the Big Red Schoolhouse where the NRVTA has their training.

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