My RV Resource likes to do things a little differently. We love sharing details about our VIP members!
We’re proud to introduce Carol and Jim Jackson with RV Inspection Specialists, LLC.
Tell us a little about your situation while running your RV business.
We live full-time in a suburb of Lancaster, PA., and that is also our hub for our business. We have lived in the area for 3 years, and previously we lived closer to Philadelphia. We love this area and the diversity of the seasons it brings.
Do you live in an RV full-time?
We are not currently full-timers and live in a stick and brick home. We have been traveling in our RV’s together for nearly 20 years now. We started in a small class C and worked up to a class A motorhome.
What inspired you to start your own RV business?
Carol was working for a large home improvement company and missed being able to travel more extensively. Carol has a degree in entrepreneurship and automotive technology and was looking for the opportunity to open her own repair shop or consulting business when she stumbled upon an advertisement for learning how to become an RV inspector. The more research she did, the more she knew that that was the right fit for her. Carol and her husband Jim had already been RV owners for over 10 years at that time and were familiar with most of the RV systems.
What RV services or RV products do you offer?
We offer RV pre-purchase inspections, RV orientations, and RV mobile services. Carol specializes in plumbing, appliance, AquaHot, and electrical repair but is equipped to fix almost anything in an RV.
What is your background and how did you develop the skills to start your business?
Carol attended Vo-technical school when she was just out of high school and studied automobile technology. That began her 15+ year career working in Ford dealerships, where she worked her way up from being the PDI technician to a master certified technician.
Towards the end of that 15-year career, Carol thought she had found another career calling to design and manage construction projects that she did for nearly a decade, but she found that she missed repairing things. With her automotive and construction knowledge, Carol’s technical skills gave her the right skills to become an RV technician.
What has been your business’s proudest moment?
Every happy client is a proud moment. We have met and been able to serve so many wonderful people in the years that we have been doing this. I get the greatest sense of achievement when I hear a potentially new client tell me that so and so told me that we had to reach out to you to help us. We love our clients and we love the referrals.
What has been your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge was the initial year in business and navigating all of the legalities of setting up a business and establishing all of the business partners from accounting, legal, parts distributors and the like.
Describe your typical work day.
In my world, there really isn’t a typical workday. We schedule either an inspection day or a service day. An inspection day consists of one appointment because an NRVIA inspection will take at least 5 hours to complete in addition to the travel time and the report writing time. We use a digital software that cuts down on the reporting time but there is always some minor editing and proofreading necessary before the final report is sent.
If we are scheduling a repair day, I could easily have 4-6 appointments that day depending on where they are and what the scope of work is. I do a lot of Aquahot service and repair so I like to keep those together on the same day if possible.
Tell us something interesting/fun about your business.
Everyday is a fun day for me and it is never repetitive or boring. I love to fix things and the more challenging the repair, the more fun it is for me. I also love being a woman in this field. It gives me the opportunity to teach and inspire other women that they can do it too.
If you could go back to the beginning knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently?
I would have wanted to get started on this path sooner. I was afraid to step out on my own and that fear kept me from realizing this dream for too long.
What’s your best advice for someone who wants to start his/her own RV business?
Do it. Don’t second guess yourself and just go do it.
Any other comments or advice you'd like to share?
For all of the women out there wanting to become an inspector or technician- you can do it!
If you’re an RV service provider, make sure you sign up for a company listing on My RV Resource, where we nurture a community of RVers and RV-related small business owners.
If you’re an RVer, become a member today so you can use advanced filters to find RV service providers all across the US (and even a few in Canada).
We’d also appreciate it if you would suggest companies that should be added to our directory and share reviews directly on the company’s listing page! It’ll help everyone in the long run.