Earlier this summer, the RV Industry Association’s Board of Directors, looking for bold new ways to enrich and extend RV owner satisfaction, approved a unique and comprehensive plan – as well as a multi-million-dollar investment – to create the RV Technical Institute.

The institute, with input and guidance from teams of key industry experts, is envisioned as a central operation from which to create new ways to lower repair event cycle times (RECT), and blueprint an aggressive recruitment campaign to attract new technicians into the RV industry - all steps designed to increase RV owners’ satisfaction.

The institute’s headquarters and training facility will be based in the Elkhart, Ind., area, the heart of the RV industry, and will be built around three key steps. The first is the creation by professional curriculum developers and technical writers of world-class RV technician training, consisting of new and up-to-the-minute digital textbooks, PowerPoint decks, video and other modern teaching tools. Only the best sources will be used to train recruits.

Secondly, the institute will enroll newly recruited techs for a ‘tech boot camp’ where trainees will participate in hands-on training taught by industry experts and instructors from RV component suppliers. And once training at the institute is completed, the new techs will be placed at partnering RV dealerships and service facilities around the US for a hand-up in their field.

And in the third key step, the institute will continue to offer additional training and accreditation for existing RV service technicians. This program is already in use by RVIA’s Technicians in Training program (TnT), but the new plan has an added bonus: not only are the training and accreditation programs to be based in the new Elkhart facility, but the institute will go a step further by establishing a network of regional training partners around the US to deliver the gold standard of its training to existing techs. The TnT program has already won support from the industry’s leading providers who praise it as a way of reducing RECT.

“This initiative is the biggest and most important project of its kind that has ever happened in our industry. For months, we have been working closely with representatives of all our key industry stakeholders, and experts in all phases of creating a brand new facility. The finest teaching tools, enhanced recruitment of new techs and a strong and targeted curriculum will bring positive results to the industry as sales of RVs continue to rise,” said RV Industry Association VP of Strategic Initiatives Matt Wald. “And most importantly, RV owners will reap enhanced customer satisfaction, as access to more regional and well-trained techs will result in lower repair event cycle times. At the RV Industry Association, we are very excited to have taken the leadership role in the creation of the RV Technical Institute.”

The institute will also play a major role next March 13 when it plays host to the second Annual Top Tech Challenge at RVX: The Experience, at the Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center. The competition will pit eight of the very best top techs in the country against one another to see who has the best skills in identifying potential RV service issues. The winner will take home a $10,000 cash prize to be shared by the tech and their dealership. Last year’s “TopTech,” Brandon Galbreath, from Joplin, Ala., will return to defend his crown. A favorite at last year’s convention, the upcoming event promises to be just as crowd-pleasing.

To learn more about the RV Technical Institute, click here.