Editor’s Note: The following opinion piece was provided by Roger and Onna Lee Ford, veteran RV refrigerator reconditioning experts.
Roger and Onna Lee Ford, owners of Ford RV Refrigeration Training Center in Benton, Ky., have been in the RV refrigerator reconditioning industry since 1984. They service hundreds of refrigerators per year and profit an average of over $100/hour for each refrigerator they recondition while still saving the RV owner money. In an attempt to make this service available to all RV owners across the U.S.A. and other countries, they are educating others in this unique field.
They have written two books on this subject. “The Ford Procedures Manual,” is geared toward reconditioning and “Average Joe’s RV Refrigerator Guide,” is geared toward educating the RV owners and service technicians on properly diagnosing the RV refrigerator. They also provide hands-on training.
The Fords and members from their RV Refrigeration Network (RVRN) Association have been providing seminars to RV owners in order to make them aware that in most cases the RV refrigerator can be successfully and economically repaired . The response from the RVer’ has been phenomenal. When they call the RVRN Home Office looking for this service, they are directed to the RVRN member nearest them. Sometimes only minor repairs are required, but when the cooling unit has a leak, RVRN members are doing an exchange with one of their reconditioned cooling units from their own stock, which means no ordering, provides a quick turnaround time, saves the consumer money and provides them with the “Best” product and warranty in the industry.
Too many RV owners have told the Fords and their RVRN members that they went to an RV service center with a refrigerator problem where they were told to “throw it away and buy a new one.” Fortunately for them, they went to an RVRN member for a second opinion. Approximately 99% of them were repaired and in some cases, it only cost the consumer around $100. Many have stated they feel the RV service center was dishonest with them. However, the Fords believe that presently it is simply a lack of education. Here is a quote from one of the Fords’ former students which backs up this belief. Jason, RVIA master certified technician from Nevada said, “I was amazed at how much I did not know about RV refrigerators. Everything I thought I knew about the operation of the cooling unit was wrong and everybody I had talked to before I took the Ford’s RV training knows all the same wrong information.”
The Fords had hundreds of RV owners fill out a survey at the Affinity Group’s “Rally” in Louisville, Ky., in July, and 100% of those surveyed said they would rather have an RVRN member recondition their refrigerator as opposed to having a new cooling unit installed because they save hundreds of dollars and receive the best warranty. (The Fords even offer a lifetime warranty). The more the RV owners are educated, the more demand there is for this service.
Surprisingly, there are few from the RV industry offering this service. The majority of those getting educated are from HVAC, appliance repair, plumbing, auto mechanics, contractors, RV owners, etc.
These people have realized that the RV industry is letting this service fall through the cracks and they see this as a huge opportunity for them. The refrigerator reconditioning is a huge draw and this leads to other repairs on the RV which means these people are pulling business away from those in the RV industry.
Going Green is a major concern in today’s society. RV refrigerator reconditioning is part of this endeavor because it keeps repairable refrigerators and cooling units out of our landfills. The Fords estimate there are about a million RV refrigerators/cooling units in our landfills today and over 90% of them were repairable. The industry has already given away millions of dollars that could have been taken in on repairs.
RV refrigerator reconditioning is a win/win situation for everyone involved. With the economy the way it is, it’s hard to understand why more of those in the RV industry are not getting on board and are letting others come in and take their profits.
It’s All About Education – It’s Easy When You Know!
For more educational information go to: www.rvrefrigeration.com or call (270) 354-9239.
Roger and Onna Lee Ford, owners and instructors of Ford RV Refrigeration Training Center, will provide monthly classes starting in October at their facility in Benton, Ky.
They stated in a news release, “Learn about the myths and truths in an attempt to decrease the vast amount of repairable refrigerators being dumped in our landfills. We will discuss things you do not know about your RV refrigerator including troubleshooting and repairs that you can do plus how you can save hundreds to thousands of dollars.”
The Fords run the only certified RV refrigerator reconditioning training center in the U.S. They have been in the RV refrigerator industry since 1984 and have written and published two manuals for the RV owner and service tech on this subject, as well as written many articles on RV refrigerators for RV magazines.
“We provided this same seminar at the Affinity Group’s ‘The Rally’ in Louisville, Ky., in July where over 7,000 people attended. The response from the RV owners was phenomenal. It was such a pleasure to educate them and see their excitement when they finally heard the truth about RV refrigerators. This has prompted us to try to educate even more RVer’s and help them save money,” the release stated.
Seminars will be held at the training center in October through May on one Saturday of each month, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m..
For more information, contact the Fords at (270) 354-9239, e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at