Outdoor Connection

Traveling RV Mechanics


More from Outdoor Living Newsletter April Outdoor Living Newsletter
 
Man working on RV
RV mechanical skills are important - if you want to get anywhere

"I was born with it, with magic fingers". Phil Botnick is no stranger to RVs. Nor are his fingers.

Botnick began his training in mechanics as the tender age of 12. Today those fingers, while a bit more wrinkled, still have a magical touch.

Botnick is a travelling RV mechanic, and to some, a lifesaver. Originally from New Jersey, Mr. Botnick, with his wife Ann, bought and managed a campground and RV service center in North Carolina for years. While managing their campground the couple attended local RV rallies and realized there was a pressing need for mobile RV mechanics. When the recession hit Ann and Phil made what may have been the biggest decision of their life - they sold their campground and took to the road - fulltime.

With their familiarity of the RV culture and the RV mechanical skills they had honed at their RV service center, the couple decided to take their business on the road, much to the appreciation of fellow RV rally goers. Says Phil, "We try to be an ambulance at the rallies for people. All of a sudden people come over with problems. 'My refrigerator's broken, my system has crashed'. Their problems are basically emergencies. When we get to the rallies there is usually a lull in business, and before you know it we're doing the emergencies". The couple's mechanical service quite literally has saved boondockers who didn't have anywhere else to turn. "If I don't come to their rescue they would be stranded". And for the Botnick's, helping people is what it's all about, "It's good because you save them. They thank you. And that's one of the most rewarding aspects of the job".

The job, however, is not without its quirks. "When we had our service center in North Carolina we went to pickup an RV from the owner's home. Turns out the owner had made a trip with his wife to Washington 10 years prior, and the unit hadn't moved since that trip. What they failed to tell me was that they had left all of the food from their trip in the unit. When I entered the unit there was water leaks, snakes, bugs, and whatever was cooking on the engine.

We had to drive this unit 20 miles to our facility. The tires had cracks so deep you could put quarters in them. When we sold the unit the guy who came to buy it took it for a road test at 70 mph. Then he comes back and he says I'm taking it. He was excited. He told me, "now I can get away from my wife".

Today, the Botnick's are still on the road, attending RV rallies, and saving fellow RVers. The help has come full circle. As the couple has met and helped so many people they have become a fixture in the RV rally community. Now, former customers host Phil and Ann at their homes, treat them to dinners, and recount stories of life on the road.

Copyright ©2012 Camping Road Trip, LLC

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1 comment(s) so far...

Howdy Botnicks,
Your choice of occupation is certainly a needed commodity. Mobile RV Repair units are the most asked for service my customers request. And, yes, when they get the job done, it is lifesaving as you say. I don't know how your lifestyle fits into your work...do you stay in one park or move around, etc. I can really see a benefit to having a resident repair person who could assist my customers at Hidden Valley RV Park as well as handling mobile calls. I would be willing to work out a mutually beneficial deal on rent if you are interested in living near San Antonio, Texas. Our busy season is in the winter (Oct-April) but we stay fairly busy all year. If you thinks that's a possibility please email us at info@hiddenvalleyrv.

By HiddenValley on 4/29/2012 5:48:49 PM
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