The all-industry Recreation Vehicle Service Training Council (RVSTC), which is trying to improve service technicians education, has run into a snag in its plan to provide on-line classes to train RV technicians for certification.
Expected to launch in September, the Internet-based, self-directed instructional series now won’t be ready until sometime in 2007, says Bruce Hopkins, RVIA vice president of standards and education.
“We just had multiple problems,” Hopkins said. “We built all the pieces independently, and then when we put everything together, it just didn’t fit. And we’ve had some problems with the electronics.”
While concerned about the delay, “Being correct is more important than being fast,” Hopkins said.
The RVSTC for five years oversaw the Florida-based Distance Learning Network (DLN) initially developed by the Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) to provide classes via satellite. Last year, RVSTC decided to end its financial support for the DLN in favor of the new program to be developed by Hopkins and his staff.
A prototype was shown to RVSTC members during RVIA Committee Week in June. Meanwhile, the FRVTA has taken over the DLN, using facilities at Lake City (Fla.) Community College and the University of South Florida.
The DLN continues to offer 40 weeks of archived 90-minute video classes that originally were transmitted by satellite that now are available via broadband Internet hookups.
“Everything is up and running,” said Jim Carr, FRVTA education director and an adviser to the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) Education Foundation Inc.’s RV Learning Center. “The only thing that has been changed is that dealerships can have their tech’s take the classes at the dealership’s own pace.”
Carr said he expects more than 200 dealerships to sign up – 37 Florida dealerships and 78 out-of-state dealerships were on board in mid-October. Classes are available free to Florida dealers who are FRVTA members and for $995 to dealerships outside Florida.