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Thread: Anyone here know anything about RVs?

  1. #1
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    Anyone here know anything about RVs?

    First, some good news. After a year of illness and barely keeping up with a reduced courseload, I'm back up and about again.

    And now, some bad news: I'm kinda broke.

    To be fair, I'm still living with my parents, and my community college tuition is nearly nil. However, I'd like to be able to afford to leave the house once in a while, and after losing twenty pounds, most of my clothing no longer fits quite properly. In short, I need a job.

    I used to do tech support - primarily for older individuals - to make a bit of money, but in a world where you can replace your PC for less than what it costs to repair it, it's simply not worth the hassle. As a result, I'm hoping to move into a somewhat more lucrative market: A/V equipment. I have a significant familiarity with TV technology and projection equipment, and have spent a great deal of time repairing and building speakers. And while the numerous frat houses offer an excellent potential market for big speakers and bigger screens, I'm wondering if I might also be able to provide services to R/V owners.

    R/V owners are pretty much the polar opposite of frat boys. They're generally older - often retired - and want low-profile electronics with minimal hassle, not big showy things with a million buttons. While conventional A/V contractors and car audio specialists could perhaps serve their needs, the former is generally extremely expensive, while the latter is generally oriented towards young people who think it's a fantastic idea to display their underpants to the world at large. In short, nobody - at least, that I know of - does this kind of thing.

    However, what I know of RVs is pretty much nil. As far as I know, they have a steel skeleton on which a very large number of exterior and interior panels are mounted - and, really, that's about it. If anyone can help me figure out the way in which RVs are assembled or whether I'm just barking up the wrong tree, that would be great.
    Last edited by Joseph Shaul; 10-10-2010 at 12:09 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Joseph,
    Check out http://www.rvnetwork.com/
    That's the forum home of the Escapees RV club. I'm not a member (of the club, I am on the forums though), however the club is all about the fulltime or 'most time' RV lifestyle. There are actually a fair number of tech savvy RV'ers out there ,but hey, if you can find a niche, go for it.
    -Ned

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    I think you may have latched on to something. RV's and Boats are ripe for modifications.

    I've got a cabover camper and am working on modding the tv cabinet to go froma 9" 12 volt VHS tv to fit a 17" 720p dvd tv.

    Requires a bit of work in both the way the shelf works and the electrical connections.

    So you might find that you might have to do both 'mechanical', or hardward related reconstruction (for older models) and electrical configurations.

    Generally, running wires could be pretty annoying and will require removing significant panels and working in tight spaces.

    On the upside, like you said, the folks interested in the types of AV/mods you have in mind should have deep pockets.

    Just be prepared for :
    1) limited ability to run wiring
    2) limited space
    3) the need to get 'creative' with how you mount things. Sometimes the walls and partitions in an RV may not be exactly 'structural'.
    4) Acoustics will be very difficult to manage.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
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    Is there an RV manufacturer near you? If so, see if they have tours. This might give you enough information to know if it is possible. The major problem I see is you will be limited on what you can put where because it will be virtually impossible to run different wiring after the unit is built.
    I worked for a local company from 1990 to 1999 that did mobile audio and phones and security. They hired a guy on the retail end that built competition and custom audio for vehicles. A client he brought to the store was having a Prevost coach built to his specs and wanted our guy to do the A/V system. Flew him to Florida to go over where things would be built in for speakers, what cabling to install where, the whole nine yards. Went back to verify everything before it was too late to change things, then installed his part here in Ft. Worth. I got to walk in and see everything. This was a million dollar plus coach. Looked like something from the TV shows.
    The trick will be to see if after the fact, much can be changed or upgraded. It may be very limiting. If no builders close to you, go poke through a few R/V dealers, even the used ones. Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    I think you may have latched on to something. RV's and Boats are ripe for modifications.
    I'm aware that there's an awful lot of potential headaches, but the main reason I became interested in this is when I saw exactly how horrible the stuff being used in motor homes actually was. For the most part, it's bargain-basement generic brand car stereos and televisions from the sorts of brands that never have a demo model out for viewing because, if there were one, they wouldn't sell.
    Last edited by Joseph Shaul; 10-10-2010 at 05:11 AM.

  6. #6
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    in short assembled cheap sold high, wireless net would probaby need exterior antenna, laptops rule, nicer paks have net cable service, dunno bout your business prospects, laptops are well under $500, one breaks toss and replace.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  7. #7
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    The RV repair Tech certification course is offered at some colleges.
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    in short assembled cheap sold high, wireless net would probaby need exterior antenna, laptops rule, nicer paks have net cable service, dunno bout your business prospects, laptops are well under $500, one breaks toss and replace.
    Hence the main reason I've moved to home entertainment equipment, which is substantially more expensive and has extremely large mark-ups - the retail cost of all the parts needed to build a $2,000 pair of speakers is often under $400.

    Wireless net is generally done in three ways: Satellite, wi-fi, and 3/4G (cell phone equivalent.) While satellite internet is by far the most broadly available, it's also the most expensive and, with recent advances in cell phone technology, the slowest. 3G wireless units can be used in conjunction with a variety of boosters and larger antennas to potentially improve reception a great deal, though they can be a bit pricey. Wi-Fi offers the broadest opportunities for improvement; in conjunction with line of sight, about $100 worth of equipment is all that's required to poach internet from a library or McDonalds up to a mile away.

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