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RV Lifestyle Evolves into Mobile Repair Business

June 26, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

about11How many times have you thought about leaving a job, but hesitated out of fear of the unknown – or, simply, an aversion to change?

Sally Bethea doesn’t know that fear. In her career, she’s been a medical librarian, a financial analyst, a sociology professor and – today – the president of a recreational vehicle repair business, according to the San Antonio (Texas) Express.

Her secret? When a job gets stale, Bethea moves on. In her view, life is too short – and working hours are too long – for boredom. Her latest venture, Full Service RV, was born out of the RVing lifestyle she and her husband, Don Crawford, embarked upon almost by chance.

Crawford suspected the U.S. economic downturn was going to be lengthy and, more than a year ago, suggested downsizing to trim the couple’s budget. The plan including selling their Mahncke Park home, but three dogs made it difficult to show the house to prospective buyers.

The solution? Move out of their 2,000-square-foot traditional home and into a home on wheels. The RV residency was supposed to be temporary, but they found themselves enjoying the lifestyle.

“Life is simple when it’s not cluttered with so many ‘things,'” Bethea said. “Moving into the RV required getting rid of a tremendous amount of stuff. But it’s much easier to stay organized when everything you own fits into a closet and a couple of drawers.”

As Bethea settled into the RV, she noticed her that fellow RVers often needed help with repairs – either to the RVs themselves or to the appliances and fixtures within.

“If your RV’s air conditioner goes out in the summer in San Antonio, getting it repaired quickly is a big deal,” Bethea said. “And none of the appliances in an RV are ‘normal’ – you can’t buy standard sizes to replace them. Don has always had great mechanical ability. One day, I said, ‘How would you feel about getting into RV repair?'”

Crawford was keen on the idea and he enrolled in a repair certification program. While Bethea takes care of marketing, accounting, software and maintaining the company’s website, fullservicerv.com, he handles the labor. The company is in its infancy, but the phone is ringing with requests for air-conditioning, awning, plumbing, generator, refrigerator and vehicle breakdown repairs.

She notes on her website, “Now we have an equipped tool trailer, a good software package to keep track of everything, a website you can use to view your own service records, Facebook for a little fun and a commitment to doing the very best job for you we can.”

Bethea, meanwhile, already is looking to the future – and, possibly, another career change. “I’m putting together a 10-year plan,” she said. “Perhaps we’ll be able to sell the business at the end of that period.”

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