About the National RV Training Academy
About the National RV Training Academy
The 15,000 square-foot Big Red Schoolhouse & Community Center was constructed in 2018 for the dual purpose of teaching people how to maintain and repair RVs, as well as to provide a space for members of the surrounding community to hold events.
With climate controlled RV bays big enough to park multiple RVs in, the NRVTA has the room for all the equipment and tools that students need to get the hands-on training required to learn the systems on today's RVs.
The three large classrooms feature state-of-the-art equipment including projectors and video cameras connected to big screen televisions to ensure you don't miss a thing during class.
Even with all the space inside, we required outside storage for all the RV equipment, appliances and parts we keep on hand for students to take apart and learn with.
The Big Red Schoolhouse & Community Center, home of the NRVTA, is located on the grounds of the Texan RV Park in Athens, Texas.
The park contains 80 RV sites, 6 rental cabins, and 3 small lakes situated on 37 lush, green acres in beautiful East Texas. The Texan RV Park provides a clean, comfortable and convenient place for our students to stay during the week of their class.
Although the training facility is located on the same property as the campground, there are no discounts for camping fees or lodging for NRVTA students.
The NRVTA Team
Course Instructor, Managing Director & Co-Owner
Mr. Cooper is Managing Director of the National RV Training Academy as well as its founder and original teacher. Better-known as the Texas RV Professor, Cooper brings to the table not only his experience from years of teaching RV tech at Texas State Technical College in Waco and intervening years conducting mobile RV Tech courses throughout the country, but also of years managing RV service departments.
Cooper is the heart and soul of the National RV Training Academy. The mission of the school is in fact his own personal mission. His zeal is contagious. Even a brief conversation with this man is inspirational on multiple levels.
The Big Red Schoolhouse and Community Center, the new home base of the NRVTA was Cooper’s vision. His story of how it came to be is inspiring. He does not hesitate to speak of faith and destiny. He does not hesitate to describe this school as his calling.
You might think that lectures on RV systems would run a little dry. But when Cooper speaks, his mastery of the subjects permeates the room. Story after story bring his points home and make them memorable.
Cooper is an exceptional teacher...truly exceptional. But, perhaps even better, is his legacy as a mentor. He has a way of spotting potential in people, calling it out even when they themselves may be unaware. He carefully nurtures, encourages and develops that potential.
The result at NRVTA is a group of faculty members who are not only talented, but also inspired to make a difference. And, to pay his mentorship forward.
With students, Cooper not only teaches the ins-and-outs of RV systems, problem-solving and “purple monkey” episodes, he takes a personal interest in those he serves. In so doing, he models a caring attitude, that frankly is often missing in business and in school. That attitude carries-over in the way graduates conduct their businesses and interact with their clients.
On a more official note, Cooper is a Master Certified RV Technician and a Professional Technical Trainer. He is the recipient of the National Scholastic Achievement Award from RVIA (Recreational Vehicle Industry Association). He is president of the National RV Inspectors Association.
As Managing Director of the Academy, Cooper is responsible for curriculum development and implementation.
Cooper has also been tasked with overseeing the “Train the Trainer” program that develops qualified instructors to not only train at the National RV Training Academy but also go to dealerships, campgrounds, rallies and RV shows to educate others.
He serves as the liaison and technical contact for RV vendors, manufacturers and suppliers that wish to utilize the National RV Training Academy facility to educate their customers and train their technical installers.
Cooper exemplifies leadership through service. He embodies the concepts of bringing intention into physical reality, of trusting that needs will be abundantly met, and of living a purpose-driven life.
Office Administrator & Co-Owner
Evada Cooper is the Office Administrator for the National RV Training Academy - oversees billing, invoicing and acts a Student Advisor. Co-Owner of the Texan RV Park – lives on-site working in the day-to-day operations.
Also known as, “Lady E Cooper”, she provides educational seminars at rallies, RV shows and other venues on ‘RV Kitchens – How does it all work.’ A past restaurant owner of 15 years - a full time RV for over 10 years – married to Terry Cooper – mother of 2 grown daughters - Stephanie and Gina.
“My passion is to help build the RV industry. As a result of living as a solo-RVer at the beginning of my full time experience in 2007, I know the how it feels to not understand how it all works. In the everyday operations at the Academy, it is my pleasure to be play an important part in assisting with student enrollment, providing RV lifestyle training and/or helping with goal setting for a new career. We welcome everyone to come and learn about your RV and perhaps jump in with starting a new career or side business.” - Lady E Cooper
Small Business Mentor, Operations Director & Co-Owner
Steve Anderson has been an entrepreneur most of his life. Over the past twelve plus years he has owned and operated Workamper News. Its mission is to connect the RVer with opportunities to experience America one job at a time. This mission remains strong and has been key in leading him to the development of other industry supporting businesses such as RV Inspection Connection and the National RV Inspectors Association.
Steve provides the administrative and operation expertise for the Texan RV Park which serves as the home of the National RV Training Academy. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Big Red School House & Community Center. This facility will house the courses presented by the National RV Training Academy.
The strength that Steve brings to the table, along with years of experience and his connections with Workampers across America plays a key in the success of this new training endeavor.
Todd & Stephanie Henson
Todd and Stephanie Henson are most commonly known as Two Beards and a Babe for the YouTube channel they launched in March 2018 to feature the renovation of their 1978 Airstream. Along with their kiddos, Todd and Stephanie bring their ‘second beard’ into the channel. Xena, a 2-year-old giant schnauzer. Recently, the Henson’s purchased their new-to-them 2016 Grand Design Momentum 397TH ‘home on the road’.
Although the Henson’s enjoy renovating their Airstream, their main passion is helping RVers and those who dream of RVing. For the past several years the Henson’s have been heavily involved in the creation and successful launch of the National RV Inspectors Association as well as the National RV Training Academy. With over 1,300 satisfied customers who have completed the 5-day RV Basic Maintenance course, the Henson’s have been an active cheerleader for new business owners who are now running successful RV Inspection and RV Service companies from the road as they RV full-time and part-time.
With Todd as an RVIA Certified Technician and Instructor for the NRVTA, and Stephanie as the Director of the NRVIA, the Henson’s bring some inside information to help prospective buyers and current owners better maintain their rig and how to handle common issues all RVers will encounter on the road. Todd and Stephanie are also owners of RV Warranty Connection, an extended warranty provider available to buyers on new or used RVs. Todd and Stephanie are often asked to present seminars on various RV maintenance topics at RV shows and rallies.
As co-owners of Road Life Project LLC, the Henson’s hope to provide the RVing community with a new resource that blends both the excitement of RVing as a way of life as well as the much-needed community aspect to living on the road. “Todd and I have been so blessed by the RV lifestyle. With our relationships we’ve made throughout the past few years, we feel as though we have family everywhere we go. We hope to create that atmosphere for all members of Road Life Project and look forward to adding to our own extended family!”
Howard & Pam Jaros
Howard and Pam Jaros, owners of HMRVI Corporation, have been chosen to lead Level 2 Inspector Training for the National RV Inspectors Association at the National RV Training Academy in Athens, Texas. Howard also conducts the optional business curriculum offered during Week 1 RV Maintenance Training at the Academy.
The Academy is pleased to welcome the Jaros team to the growing faculty. Howard and Pam have been full-time RVers since 2008 and certified inspectors since 2014. They dedicate time away from their thriving RV inspection business to teach the Level 2 RV inspection and business skills several times per year in Athens.
Level 2 inspections are comprehensive reviews of all internal and external systems of any type of recreational vehicle, ranging from little 20’ travel trailers to fifth wheels to 45’ luxury motorhomes. The inspection report includes detailed observations documented with pictures of every system. Systems include the roof with the condition of all openings to the roof and junctions of roof and walls, AC, DC and chassis electrical systems, propane systems (cooktop, furnace, and water heater), plumbing systems (sinks, toilets, showers, fresh water tank, gray and black water tanks, water pump), appliances, doors and windows, and tires as well as the cosmetic condition of flooring, carpets, cabinets, window coverings and furnishings. A higher-level motorhome inspection may also include fluid analysis of the engine.
A knowledgeable buyer consults a Level 2 inspector prior to investing in an RV, particularly if the RV is located far away, and the buyer cannot personally inspect the unit prior to purchase. It is wise practice to have an inspection report for any new as well as pre-owned recreational vehicle in order to catch any quality assurance items missed by the factory. Those issues can then be addressed BEFORE traveling, not 500 miles down the road.
No light-weight when it comes to technical know-how, Howard had a long career as a mechanical engineer. As an owner of multiple rigs, and a full-time RVer himself, Howard also knows how important it is to catch issues before they become big problems.
He is clear, concise and practical (as only an engineer can be) in the hands-on labs for inspecting RVs from roof to tires, and every system in between. As a bonus, he shows students how to organize inspections to efficiently to maximize time, profit and customer satisfaction.
Howard and Pam are also experts at risk-management, an important factor in providing reports for those planning a major financial expenditure.
Having had a number of successful businesses over the years, the Jaros team knows what it takes physically, mentally and technologically to create and implement a successful RV inspection enterprise. In the two weeks of training it takes to become a Level 2 Certified RV Inspector, Howard teaches the multi-faceted business side of RV inspections as well as the in-depth technical side.
Howard exudes the Can-Do attitude that is vital to building a business from the ground up. He is detail-oriented and demonstrates the organizational skills to teach a step-by-step approach to getting it done. He freely shares his experience, having performed a multitude of RV inspections over his 5 years in business, with tips and referrals for the legal, accounting, marketing, insurance, software and risk management aspects of business.
The Jaros team does not sugar-coat the realities of this business, but they are clearly enthusiastic about the career opportunities.
Howard and Pam conduct team inspections, and are strong proponents of joint inspection strategies. Howard focuses on the outside and mechanical aspects, Pam on the inside. NRVTA also recognizes the importance of a spouse understanding all aspects of an RV Inspection business. As such, partners are welcome to audit the course.
As a mobile RV Inspector, Howard also knows the importance of support once one is out in the field as an inspector. Throughout the course, among the hands-on labs, he introduces students to the NRVIA resources including the “Find an Inspector” aspect of the NRVIA.org website. He also advocates continuing education including factory tours and more in-depth classes from individual RV appliance manufacturers.
Whether your interest in RV inspector training is as a part-time means to finance your travels, or as a primary career to support your family’s future, Howard and Pam are your ideal mentors. They know the business inside out, the upsides and downsides, the tips and tricks and time-savers.
If you are thinking of a move into the RV Inspection industry, NRVTA’s Inspector courses at the Training Academy provide an excellent return on your investment of time and dollars.
Leon Booth has joined the faculty of the National RV Training Academy as their hands-on, currently in-the-trenches, “not just book-learning” expert in RV systems repair. The Academy welcomes him from Midland, Texas where he has created a thriving mobile RV repair corporation in just 3 years.
He received his basic RV tech training from NRVTA in 2013, followed by Level 2 Inspector Training, enhanced by decades of experience in repairing and maintaining systems for “bricks-and-sticks” properties, specific vendor-training seminars, and a natural talent for problem-solving. He is a registered technician through RVIA.
Leon grasps the downsides (for customers) and the upsides (for aspiring technicians) of the existing shortage in qualified mobile techs in the RV industry. He is a prime example of one who embraced the upside and the opportunity to fill a glaring need.
Leon’s viewpoint, “While RV systems are actually ever-changing and more complex than ‘bricks-and-sticks’ systems, previous experience with building maintenance is the perfect starting point. There are tremendous income opportunities with a transition from residential and commercial property maintenance to mobile RV maintenance and repair.”
“If you are a repair ‘generalist’ in the housing industry, or a property maintenance manager with experience in multiple systems, or come from a military or rural farm environment where you worked on things yourself, you are a perfect fit for a simple transition into the world of mobile RV repair.”
Leon began his own transition simply repairing RVs in a Midland, Texas campground where he was visiting. He was traveling at the time with no particular intent of making Texas his home. However, his small one-man operation quickly blossomed. It is now a debt-free corporation with 3 repair vehicles and 5 employees, serving the Midland-Odessa area.
As a teacher, Leon excels in practical, hands-on lab training. Because he is currently in the field as a day-to-day technician, he presents technical how-to guidelines with real-life, last-week examples. His classrooms are filled with faulty items that students can see and handle and analyze and understand.
Leon’s patient, step-by-step teaching style emphasizes the practical application of concepts. His pacing allows students to thoroughly understand the concepts of electricity, air conditioning, water heating, and propane systems so that they can problem-solve the issue at hand when something is not working. In class, those concepts are immediately integrated with real-life broken things to be repaired.
As expressed by one of his recent students, “After my classes with Leon, I felt confident and fully-equipped to go out into the field and fix whatever came my way. In fact, I was able to diagnose and repair someone’s water heater the very next day after class. He is a true mentor to students.”
Leon recognizes that the technician, particularly the new technician, needs access to multiple resources in the field. He is generous with information and files and manuals for students to take along as references when classes are over and the real work begins.
Leon instills the value of continuing education such as specialized training with specific vendors and the need to stay abreast of new developments and methods in RV design and manufacturing. He is often the first to bring new appliances to the Academy. However, he is clear on the need for students to know older pieces as well, with a thorough understanding of the what’s, how’s and why’s behind them all.
Leon joins Terry Cooper, the “Texas RV Professor,” in teaching the advanced technician courses at NRVTA in air conditioning, refrigeration, water heaters, furnaces, and exterior systems. His courses are offered multiple times per year at the Athens, Texas campus.
Terry Cooper, also Managing Director of the National RV Training Academy, has this to say about Leon, “ Leon has a unique talent of analyzing a complex system, then communicating it in simple terms that anyone can understand. There are many good technicians out there but Leon stands out in the crowd, not only as a fine technician, but also as a gifted teacher. I knew I wanted him as an instructor at the Academy long before we actually had the school in Athens.”
Leon has walked the path of an employee coming from property management in the housing industry to heading a thriving mobile RV technician corporation and teaching advanced courses at the Academy. His history of having to figure things out in the trenches uniquely positions him to prepare students to confidently launch their own businesses.
He is the perfect technical teacher and coach for you if you are considering launching your own career path as a mobile RV tech.