Lisa Chaney, Brie Miller, and Renae Monroe are just a few of the recent graduates of the RV Technical Institute’s All-Female Level 1 Certification Program who have their sights set on providing mobile tech services while touring the country.
“I would like to be a more frequent RVer, so I can earn extra money in a campsite by helping other travelers,” said Miller, 42, of St. Louis.
“I want to help support my family on the road and be able to travel more,” said Monroe, 35, the mother of two homeschooled children.
“My husband is retired, and we want to travel, so we’re considering becoming mobile techs,” said Chaney, 50. “I think he’d really enjoy the RVTI class and we can take Level 2 together.”
Helping women like these to become certified RV technicians and to start their own mobile tech businesses is what RV Women’s Alliance’s Jessica Rider does. In her role as managing director of the RV Women’s Alliance, Rider helped to organize the first-of-its-kind program in which 24 women were selected to participate.
“This course gave us the opportunity to identify challenges and to look for ways to enhance how the RV industry serves consumers,” said Rider. “Women know what other women care about when it comes to RVs. They can better explain to another woman how to fix something, what to look out for, or what to put on a checklist when purchasing an RV.”
Miller agreed that women might listen to or understand other women’s concerns more, adding that some female RV owners may not be comfortable with male techs coming into their campers when they’re alone at a campsite.
“I want to show other women what I know so they can feel empowered and not be scared to camp,” said Miller.
“Before this class, I wasn’t competent to mess with anything,” said Monroe. “I feel more confident now and I want to help other women so they don’t have to rely on their husbands or an expensive technicians for something that turns out to be small, like a blown fuse.”
She added with a laugh, “I’m also looking forward to talking to other women about things besides kids and homeschooling.”
Monroe and her husband are also considering getting Level 2 certified and going into business together. Monroe sited the quality and “extreme affordability” of the RVTI program as incentivizing them.
Rider, in addition to her role at the RV Women’s Alliance, is the owner of a mobile RV repair company in St. Louis called PullThroughSites which employs two technicians and is seeking to hire more. She is looking forward to advising the recent RVTI grads on establishing their own businesses.
“They can’t just hang up a sign advertising their services,” said Rider, who specializes in helping RV entrepreneurs get the right systems and processes set up. “There’s a lot more to it, like business licenses and insurance. Plus, each campground brings unique challenges. In order to work on someone else’s property, they need to have the right things in place.”
Rider begins advising RVTI graduates by asking the purpose of their business aspirations. “Is it just for some side money or do they want to build something huge?” she said. It’s important, she believes, that their business purpose aligns with their purpose in life.
“My goal is to help these women see the big picture and all of the pieces that need to come together,” she said. “I see unlimited opportunities for women in every area of the RV industry.”
This appeals to Miller, who said she’s “not looking to get rich” as an RV tech but to supplement her travel budget. She is considering being on-call to a mobile tech company like Rider’s rather than starting her own business.
Based on the number of applications received for the initial program, Rider believes becoming an RV technician will appeal to women as a rewarding career path. “Many answered in their applications that they just want to help other women.”
All of the graduates of the program joined the RV Women’s Alliance and are eager to recruit more women to become skilled at RV repairs.
“I loved meeting all of these women who are involved in the RV industry,” said Monroe. “By reaching out in the campground, we can show that this shouldn’t be a male-dominated field.”