FOUNDING MEMBER SPOTLIGHT:
WORRY FREE RV SERVICES
Friends! I’m super excited to share our next installment of the Founding Member Spotlight series with you. I cannot express how grateful I am to know each of these members on a personal level. Join me for this week’s edition of “12 questions with…”
— Chris and Debi Magistri, Worry Free RV Services, taking a well deserved break in Cancun, 2019.
I met Chris when we worked together on a disaster relief project in Kinston, NC after Hurricane Florence ravaged the region in 2018. I was performing RV inspections, my hubby Jason was completing onsite RV repairs as a certified RV technician and Chris was transporting all of those RVs in and out of the airport hangar so we could get as many hurricane survivors into their temporary housing as quickly as possible.
I would be lying if I said that project was easy or comfortable. A group of us were subcontracted with FEMA and we arrived the day Hurricane Michael passed over the area in North Carolina after pelting the Florida panhandle and causing major destruction. Luckily we were able to park our RVs in the hangar that night and get it ready for the amazing work we were fortunate to be involved with.
I still talk to most of the people on the disaster team to this day. And Chris Magistri is one of them. BONUS: I got to meet and hang out with his awesome wife Debi when they came to see us at the Tampa Bay RV Super Show in January 2020 – before all this craziness in the world!
Without further ado, let’s talk to Chris…
Small Business Spotlight:
Worry Free RV Services
Tell us a little about your situation while running your RV business.
We currently live full time in beautiful sunny Gulf Shores Alabama close enough to the beach to smell the salt air. Our dream is to eventually return to living on the road full time.
Do you live in an RV full-time?
When I first became certified as an RV inspector, my wife Debi and I lived full time in a 1999 Winnebago Adventurer diesel pusher. We had sold our home and traveled cross country for two amazing years. During our time on the road we fell in love with the RV lifestyle, so becoming a certified inspector was just the first step in a plan to do what I love.
What inspired you to start your own RV business?
Quite honestly, I wanted to love what I did. I love RVs and the RV lifestyle, and I truly love helping people, so it seemed like a really good fit to become an RV Inspector. I later decided to go on and continue my education to become a certified RV technician but the reason stays the same, I love RVs and I love helping people.
What RV services or RV products do you offer?
WorryFree RV Services currently offers onsite RV repair, RV inspection, RV driver training, RV walk thru services, and RV maintenance education.
What is your background and how did you develop the skills to start your business?
The truth is I’m horrible at the business aspect of running a business, just ask my accountant. Where I excel is working with my customers. I always make time to answer all of their questions and try to provide as much information as I can in all of my work.
What has been your business’s proudest moment?
Launching our website was a very proud moment for us and it’s become a great tool we use to draw customers to us and the website has been a great asset to show potential customers what we can do for them. They can see sample inspections, see the services we offer, and contact us, all through our website.
What has been your biggest challenge?
I find the biggest challenge to be learning how to run a business while trying to run a business. I don’t mean the work stuff, that’s the part I enjoy. I mean the tax stuff, the scheduling stuff, finding suppliers and shippers, and service providers I can rely on, but it’s all coming together and it all seems to work out.
Describe your typical work day.
I’ve never had the same work day twice, every day is a new and different experience. Even when I’m inspecting an RV that may be very similar to an RV I’ve already inspected, the setting and circumstances are always different.
I’ve done inspections at the beach surrounded by water and even inside a barn. When it comes to service, every call takes me to a new place to meet new people and I’m constantly learning new ways to provide better service. So typical and routine generally don’t describe my day.
Tell us something interesting/fun about your business.
I get to play with RVs everyday! It’s like being at an RV show, but I get to try everything without a salesman standing over my shoulder. Most of the people I deal with are either on vacation or planning their vacation, which is always fun, but probably the most interesting inspection I have ever completed was on a $300,000 custom motorhome in the owner’s backyard at the end of a private runway, while the owner worked on his airplane.
If you could go back to the beginning knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently?
If I could go back to the beginning, I would have taken bigger steps faster. Getting certified as a mobile tech, building and launching our website, even building a Facebook presence. I would have done all of these things all at the very beginning.
What’s your best advice for someone who wants to start his/her own RV business?
Get trained and get after it!
What a great way to end that interview. I agree wholeheartedly, Chris! There’s nothing stopping you - but you! The RV industry is booming right now, so it’s a great time to take the next step.
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