It’s never too late in life to learn something new. I’ve heard that before but had my doubts. Well, I can assure you that it was true for me, at least for the last week. I am happy to say that over the past five days in Zanesville, OH, I successfully completed the second week of training to become a NRVIA Certified RV Inspector. This week is also referred to as Learn by Doing. And learning by doing it certainly was. The majority of the week was spent scouring over RVs and documenting their condition.
So, let me back up a little bit first. As I’ve already documented in prior posts, I attended the five-day RV Tech Training twice this summer, once in Shipshewana, IN and once in Gettysburg, PA. I won’t bore you with those details again, but the posts are available for your reading pleasure it you’re so inclined. The Learn by Doing training is a little bit of different animal. Think of it this way, the RV Tech Training is the knowledge foundation, which is very valuable in many ways. The Learn by Doing training is the mechanics and execution of a complete RV inspection.
So some of you out there may not be completely clear as to what an RV inspection actually is. An excerpt from the NRVIA Standards of Practice will provide you with the technical definition:
2.4 – The Standards apply to a visual inspection of those areas, components and systems that are readily accessible to determine at the time of inspection that they are performing their intended function without regard to life expectancy.
2.5 – The purpose of the RV inspection is to identify visible and operational defects as permitted by the current conditions that in the judgment of the RV Inspector will adversely affect the function or integrity of the items, components and systems of the Recreational Vehicle.
2.6 – RV Inspections performed under the Standards of Practice are basically visual and rely upon the opinion, judgment, education and experience of the RV Inspector and are not intended to be technically exhaustive.
2.7 – RV Inspections shall be performed in a time period sufficient to allow compliance with the provisions of the NRVIA Standards of Practice.
2.8 – RV Inspections performed under the Standards shall not be construed as being a compliance inspection of any code, governmental regulation or manufacturer’s installation instructions or procedures. In the event a law, statute or ordinance prohibits a procedure recommended in the Standards, the RV Inspector is relieved of the obligation to adhere to the prohibited part of the Standards.
2.9 – RV Inspections performed under the Standards are not an expressed, implied warranty or guarantee of adequacy, performance or useful life of any RV, any of its components or systems.
2.10 – Only those items specifically listed on the RV Inspection Report will be included in the RV Inspectors evaluation.
2.11 – The RV Inspector shall report any system or component included in the Standards of Practice which were present at the time of the RV Inspection but were NOT inspected and provide the reason they were not inspected.
The easiest thing, in my opinion, to compare it to is a home inspection. It you’ve ever purchased a home, you most likely have been through the process of a home inspection, which is basically an evaluation of the condition and components of home for the benefit of the lender, and the owner. Same thought process, but instead the process is for an RV.
Betsy and I chose the class being offered in Zanesville, OH because it for our schedule and allowed to spend some time in the Columbus, OH area visiting Betsy’s family. So we settled into Wolfie’s Campground in Zanesville a couple of days early as I looked forward to the class. Our site was right next to my instructors for the week, Bob and Sally Nielsen. I had met Bob and Sally while taking my class in Shipshewana earlier in the summer, so it was nice to catch up with them again.
As I settled in for the five-day class, which started on Wednesday, October 12th, I met the other four participants. Once again it was a good mix of backgrounds. One of my fellow students from Shipshewana, Jim, was in this class also. The other three, Dan, Mike and another Jim, were from Pennsylvania and Indiana. The surprise addition to the class was my one and only Betsy! Yes, Bob and Sally invited Betsy to sit in on the class if she had any plans of being involved when I did an inspection. Betsy thought it would be interesting to be involved, and I thought it would be helpful to have her involved since she’s very observant. And best of all, I had someone to cheat off of for the final exam! (Just kidding, there really isn’t a final exam, but it was definitely awesome having her with me all week!)
The class included risk management, general business procedures, inspection report software and more. There was a large focus on hand-on inspection training, and Bob and Sally guided us through an inspection and showed us how to accomplish a top-quality report for our future clients. The funny part was, as we were learning the basics of the software, Cloud Inspect, it dawned on me that the logic behind the software seemed familiar to me. Then it hit me, all of my years as an Internal Auditor with Verizon and Verizon Wireless were coming back to me. The format and logic in Cloud Inspect was very similar to some of the software packages I had used as an auditor! Funny how some things come back into our lives!
And yes, the whole family got involved. Charlie was made available to Jim and Jim so they could inspect a towable trailer. We are required to complete two full inspections for the class, so it made sense to inspect something different than what you own. Since Jim and Jim both owned motorhomes, Charlie was their subject. Dan, Mike and I inspected Jim D.’s motorhome for our class project. The week went by quickly and before I knew it, we were graduating on Sunday afternoon. Betsy and I got our report from Jim’s motorhome submitted and approved by Sally before graduation on Sunday. As I am typing this post, I am in the process of inspecting our very own Charlie. We know Charlie pretty well, but it’s still good to go over him with some very specific guidelines.
So in conclusion, I first would like to thank my wonderful wife for joining me in this learning experience and small business venture. Second, I want to thank Bob and Sally for sharing their knowledge and experience all week. And last but not least, thanks to Jim, Jim, Mike and Dan for sharing this learning experience with me.
If you decide you would like to take the course, we would love if you would include that you were referred by: Russ Gibbons AMB103. For more info on the course visit, www.rvtechcourse.com.