RV Technical Institute Graduate Krystal LaMar Embarks On RV Technician Career Path

Mar 28, 2023

Krystal LaMarKrystal LaMar, an RVer and small business owner, is loving the RV technician career path. Now a graduate of the RV Technical Institute’s pilot all women’s class, Krystal and her husband, Michael, first hit the road in 2019 to spend time with their family. “We went RVing with our three children as a way to spend more time with them,” she explained. “We took a season and traveled with them, and we continued to travel through the pandemic.”

Krystal and Michael enjoyed RVing so much that they launched their RV repair and inspection business, American Freedom Mobile Lifestyle, in 2020. “All the shops were closed during the pandemic so we couldn’t get work done on our rig. My husband realized we could probably use some training.” Michael became RV inspection certified (through a different program than the RV Technical Institute), which encouraged them to eventually go on the road as inspectors and, later, technicians.

As pandemic restrictions eased and businesses started reopening, Krystal and Michael decided to make a change. “We wanted to do something together. Inspections were great but he did that himself and I did the office work,” she explained. “We were going two ways and that’s not why we RV.”

Not long after, through Krystal’s connections in the RV industry, she received an email about a scholarship opportunity for the RV Technical Institute’s first all-women’s technician class done in partnership with the RV Women's Alliance. “I went ahead and applied,” Krystal said. “I wasn’t sure about applying at first—up until now, I’d been hands off in this department. I figured they knew all of us would have different backgrounds. Everyone has their own reason to do something like this. For me it was to work with my husband. I was selected for the scholarship, and we changed our summer plans. We went to Elkhart and I took the class, which was fabulous.”

Along with wanting to conduct inspections alongside her husband, Krystal also wanted to know how to repair the RV herself should it be necessary. “I had some issues when my husband was gone on an inspection job. I didn’t know what to do and there were no shops around. Especially when you have your kids with you, you want to make sure everything is okay. And sometimes when we camp there’s no one close. Just knowing that I could make a repair if I really had to, and knowing that I could do it well and have confidence, is a huge help.”

Krystal describes the Institute’s Level 1 course, which focuses on pre-delivery inspection, as surpassing all expectations. “I’d prepared myself for a bunch of instructors teaching us from PowerPoints and books, not understanding that maybe we needed a little more in-depth knowledge. I was concerned about that. But Bill Stewart and Mike Anderson were amazing. They were so patient and respectful.”

“The hands-on in the shop made such a difference, too. Just reading something technical doesn’t make sense for me unless I have something to put my hands to. Having an electric board right there so we could have a basic understanding of electricity before we started using it at a higher level was so helpful. It was so cool to get to work on the RVs in person. I was not expecting to do that much.”

Krystal was equally as impressed with the RV Women’s Alliance, who sponsored the course, and the networking opportunities the class offered. “I was mind-blown,” she said. “They took care of all of the logistics for us— we didn’t have to think about anything besides the class. It was nice to meet high-level people in the industry one-on-one and network with them. Just the fact they were available and willing to come talk to us in person was amazing.”

“We met so many people from the RV industry—I was so surprised at the networking opportunities! It was an incredible week. I met some fabulous ladies. They were so inspiring, every single one of them.”

She notes that completing the course increased both her confidence and Michael’s. “We were able to develop our small business,” she says, adding that Michael was so inspired by the course that he decided to complete Level 1 and Level 2. “He went through the class and then he went to Lippert for additional training. It showed me this was something we really could do together.”

Encouraged by their new knowledge and connections in the RV industry, Krystal and Michael headed to Florida for a season to attend a few significant events in the RV industry. One of these was a Grand Design rally in Florida, where the LaMars were given the opportunity to be a vendor at an American School Counselor Association event. “We provided information for people about RVs, and I was able to help the women RVers and encourage them.”

They also attended the 2023 January RV SuperShow with the Lippert Scouts, a community dedicated to giving campers a place to share with Lippert their reviews and feedback on the RV products they’re using. “We hadn’t known about the Lippert Scouts. We were exposed to the idea of the Lippert Scouts in class, and Lippert’s been very helpful when we have a phone call or an issue. So we camped at the SuperShow for a week and we joined Lippert Scouts and saw how they work. We even discussed setting up a booth there next year and planned strategies for our business. I also planned what I need to do this summer to be prepared for the following year to do those strategies. We were able to meet so many other technicians in the industry and coordinate meets and greets.”

Krystal reflects on how attending both of those events launched their business. “They showed me how much we need mobile technicians. We hadn’t realized that before. Those events opened our eyes.”

Krystal and Michael will soon be hitting the road once again for Indiana, where Krystal will enroll in Level 2. “It’s so interesting to me and I want to learn everything, beyond just the basics. I would like to do more in-depth training where I can make repairs with my husband. What I’ve learned already has been very helpful when I go to a job site with him. It’s nice to have that training and see where our business goes as a husband-and-wife team.”

Learn more about the RV Technical Institute here.