RV Ready: The Ins and Outs of Servicing RVs
It’s that beautiful time of year where the ice and snow have finally melted and the sun is shining, ushering in spring. People, frustrated from being cooped up in their houses all winter, are packing up and hitting the open road. Like any responsible vehicle owner, they need to get their oil changed. Unlike the majority of vehicle owners, they are traveling in RVs.
There are three different classes of RVs: Class A, Class B and Class C. Class A motorhomes are the largest of the three. The length of these homes ranges from 26-45 feet (8-4 meters). Class B homes are the camper vans or the van conversions. The usual length of Class B vans is 17-20 feet (5 to 6 meters). Lastly is the Class C — the mini motorhome. Sometimes referred to as a “cab-over” motorhome, their typical length is 22-35 feet (7 to 11 meters).
Deciding which class is easiest to service is a matter of opinion.
“The Class A RVs are easier to service,” said Joe Allderdice, manager of Pro Lube in Great Falls, Montana. “There’s more room and space under the hood, making it easier to move around and get things done.”
Ben Pascar, manager of Light Speed Lube in Anchorage, Alaska, thinks the smaller, the easier.
“Servicing the smaller RVs is definitely easier,” Pascar said. “First of all, the size is more accommodating; it’s easier to get them into the bay and work around them. They’re basically just like a pickup truck or van. I know my guys would rather work on a Class C motorhome than a Toyota Tundra.”
When it comes to actually servicing RVs, size does matters.
“Some RVs can be the size of a semi truck,” said Martin Jacobs, cofounder of LubriMan Corp. in Glen Cove, New York. “Your bays have to be big enough to allow enough room for the RV to fit nicely without being too crowded. If your bays are too small, try setting up a designated area in the parking lot that’s reserved for RVs.”
If you want to acquire more RV business, you’ll have to make your presence known. The drivers of RVs most likely won’t know where to go to get their RV serviced if they’re just passing through town.
“Just putting a sign outside of your shop saying, ‘RVs welcome,’ or, ‘We know how to service RVs,’ is a big plus that will attract people,” Jacobs said.
Though adding RV-friendly signage to your storefront will help attract customers, you should also consider getting involved online to gain notoriety.
“Folks who own and travel in RVs have a pretty tight-knit community, so it’s important to target them directly,” Jacobs said. “Most lube shops get the majority of their business through word-of-mouth, but that doesn’t help you if someone is moving through your town. You need to be somewhat entrenched with that community and follow them on social media sites such as Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.”
Another way to add more RV business to your shop is to build a relationship with the manufacturers of RVs.
“If you can be appealing to the manufacturers of RVs to where they will recommend your shop to their customers, then that will enhance your business tremendously,” Jacobs said.
It’s not just RV manufacturers you can build relationships with; you can reach out to your local RV dealerships, resorts or even popular campsites where RVs are allowed.