b'beginning. Youve got this captive audience,she said. It makes a lot of sense.Beyondprovidingconvenience,campground operators who go into theRV service business also have the ad-vantageofhavingthetrustoftheirguests, which is beneficial so long asthe park and its repair services con-tinue to meet or exceed guest expecta-tions.Today, Ocean Lakes Family Camp-ground is one of the largest and mostdiversified RV resorts in the country,with 310 acres and 3,424 sites, includ-ing 859 pull-through sites. The resorts to reduce the repair event cycle time.sales and service business, now called The institute provides training in 89Ocean Lakes RV Center, currently has differenttasksthrough39differenttwo indoor service bays that are large course modules at its Elkhart facility,enough and tall enough to accommo- which includes 10,000 square feet of of-date any RV, according to Chris Allen, The Fremont, Ind. Jellystone Park at Barton Lake has a complete service center, but also ficeandclassroomspaceand8,000general manager of the sales and serv- utilizes a mobile service.square feet of service bays that enableice center, which sells travel trailers, its students to train with towable andfifth-wheels and toy haulers. setup service for guests who have their businesseshavecaptivecustomers, motorized RVs.When I arrived at the RV center 32 campers in storage and plan to arrive parks that offer these services typically We have seven key course areas, allyears ago, we had three service techni- late and dont want to have to set up cultivate business with other parks in of which are developed by subject ex-cians. We currently have six on board, their RV at night. The center also has a their vicinity, as well as RV owners who perts in the industry, Hemmeler said.he said, reflecting the growth of Ocean 6,000-square-foot store with RV parts, live in the area. TheneedforLakes,theRVindustryandthein- supplies and accessories. For example, Yogi Bears Jellystone greater numbers ofcreased demand for RV repairs. Several other private campgrounds Park Camp-Resort at Barton Lake in properlytrainedEven though Ocean Lakes has a huge across the country are connected with Fremont, Ind., has its own sales and RV service techs isbusiness base of its own, all of its RV RV service facilities, including Beach- service centerBarton Lake RV Sales welldocumented.service technicians are mobile and can woodCampground&Service in which includes one service bay, as well Accordingtothework at any campground in the Myrtle Coatesville, Penn., S & H RV Resort in as a mobile service van. lateststatisticsBeach area. Greenfield, Ind., and Poor Farmers RV Abouthalfoftheservicecenters compiled by RVDA,Allen said RV service availability is a Sales, Service and Campground Inc.in business comes from guests at the Jelly- it takes an averagebig convenience for anyone staying at Fletcher, Ohio. stone Park, while the balance comes of21daysfora Curtis HemmelerOcean Lakes Family Campground. The ButwhilecampgroundsandRV from acoupledozenothercamp- dealer to repair anservicecenteralsoprovidesanRV parks that have RV service and repair grounds in the area, said Dan Sichling, RV, from the time the vehicle is droppedthe Barton Lake RV service manager. offuntilthecustomergetsitback,While many park operators recog- Hemmeler said.nize they could make more money by While there is plenty of business op-providing their own RV repair services, portunity awaiting private park opera-some who ponder the idea are leery of tors who want to provide RV repairs ongetting into the RV service business. service, they still need to have qualifiedWe felt it was very difficult to be in RV service technicians doing the work.top form as both a resort provider and But there are other options for parkan RV service provider, said David J. operators who want to help their cus-King,presidentandCEOofLake tomers with their RV repair and serviceGeorge RV Park in issues.Lake George, N.Y. King, at Lake George RV Park, pre-Anotherchal- screensseveralmobileRVservicelenge,hesaid,is providers to make sure they have properstaffing an RV serv- training and certifications and are com-icecenter,given mitted to provide top-notch service tothe shortage of RV his guests. He also charges them a flatservicetechni- fee of $1,800 per year for permission tocians, which is the perform work for guests staying at hissamechallenge David J. King park. He requires them to pre-publishfacingRVdealers their rates and to respond to guests callsacross the country right now. requestingservicewithinsixhours.The RV Industry Association (RVIA) Kings staff also makes follow-up calls toand the Recreation Vehicle Dealers As- park guests to make sure they are satis-sociation(RVDA) are well aware of this fied with the service they received. issue, which is why RVIA has partnered We set up a contract that they (mo-with GoRVingand RVDA to provide $10 bile RV service techs) have with us,million in grant funding to launch the King said, adding, We dont want aRV Technical Institute, which opened poorserviceexperiencetotainttheits 18,000-square-foot training facility guests experience at the park. Werein Elkhart, Ind., in December. also providing this screening serviceIn addition to providing the RV in- because we see so many requests fordustry with hundreds of newly trained service at the front desk.RV service technicians in the coming While the $1,800 fee may seem like amonths and years, the RV Tech Institute lot for a service tech simply to be ablealso aims to provide training for exist- torespondtoservicecallsatLakeing service technicians who need to im- George RV Park, King said they do soprove their skills. The training is being much business they make that moneymade available to everyone, regardless up quickly. of whether they work at an RV dealer- We have vans in here every day, allship or independent repair shop, or are summer long, he said, adding that sev-self-employed as a mobile RV service eral mobile techs also pay for big ads intechnician. the parks 28-page vacation guide.Theres nothing off the table in terms Some of our mobile techs do com-of who can seek RV service technician plete tear down work, like replacingtraining, said Curtis Hemmeler, who thewholeroofofanRV,hesaid.serves as both executive director of the Many of them would like to expandRV Technical Institute, as well as a senior their businesses, but they dont havevice president of RVIA. Our mission is the techs available to do it. WCM36 -March 2020 Woodalls Campground Management'