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About AskTheRVEngineer

Hey, I’m Ross.*

*Actually, I’m not. But as a professional engineer in the RV industry, I use an alias. Not everyone in the business would be thrilled if they knew I was in the bean spillin’ business. I considered naming myself Ross Regis Ronaldo the IV, but I’m too lazy.

Plus, having an alias makes me sound like a Mission-Impossible agent, infiltrating manufacturing plants and dealer parking lots in pursuit of closely guarded industry secrets, and that sounds a lot more badass than “RV blogger, Anon.”

You can read the details of my personal story below (it’s full of gun runners, scantily-clad women, me walking away from fireball explosions, and other typical how-I-became-an-engineer stories).

But if you just want to know why I’m writing this blog, here’s why:

Confession: The RV industry has not kept pace with modern manufacturing.

The industry suffers from lackluster reliability of the supply chain, a chaotic distributed warranty system, insufficient dealer technical training, and a race for the lowest price.

Now, I can’t point the finger at one or two companies. It’s an organic, cyclical problem.

Lots of companies are bucking the trend. They work hard to introduce new technologies and overhaul their supply chains. I work with (and for) some excellent companies who couldn’t be more honest, hardworking and customer-centric.

But when the bulk of the industry is controlled by a dozen companies, progress remains slow. We’re toddlers, not sprinters.

Ultimately, it’s the customers who pay.

How this blog helps you, the RV owner.

♣ You now have direct access to an industry insider! Read my column, my blog posts, join our forum, or send me an email.

♦ Secondly, the purpose of this blog is to demystify some of an RV’s workings. Not sure what the difference is between a converter and an inverter! I have an article for that!

♠ Thirdly, as most of you know, RV mods can become an addiction. This is your home-away-from-home; for some of you full-timers, it’s home, sweet home. This blog has a metric tonne of information about popular mods, how-to’s, and product upgrades.

Now, how did I get into this business?

A long time ago . . .

In a midwestern town far, far away . . .

I built my first RV when I was 17. I saw somebody selling a homemade teardrop camper for nearly $20,000 on eBay, and I said to myself, “I could do that, and pay my college tuition besides!”

So I borrowed my parent’s jigsaw, palm sander and drill, and I got to work. I built the teardrop camper on a 4×8 “Harbor Freight special,” made every mistake in the book, spent $2,500 and sold it for $4,000 (a bit shy of my original target) – and then spent the next 10 years feeling bad for selling the contraption at all.

That was over half a life ago. Today, I work as an engineering manager and RV design engineer at a medium-sized travel trailer manufacturer. I’ve built over a dozen handcrafted campers, designed luxury travel trailers, and worked directly with hundreds of parts distributors and suppliers. I’ve made mistakes – thousands, actually – and have learned something valuable from every single one.

Today, I see a $20,000 camper on eBay, and I know the poor sap probably paid $10,000 just in retail parts. I know the right or wrong screw can make or break a design.

Most of my professional experience is in travel trailers, all sizes. I’ve done some work with fifth-wheels, park model RVs, and slide-in truck campers. Never worked on a motorhome – that’s a whole different beast! (Whole different design code, too.)

Oh, and I’ve designed and built Tiny Homes. And I’ve camped over a thousand days of my life in everything from a bivy sack to a pop-up, from a travel trailer to a motorhome, from mountains to beaches and everything in between. So I walk the talk.

If RV mods and design have you confused -
Or if you just love upgrades and need more!

Seriously, send me an email.

I know I’ve already said that, but I thought you might need to hear it again.

I WILL LITERALLY ANSWER YOUR TECH QUESTION. FOR FREE.*

*There is a catch, of course. I get boat loads of email every day. I’m still training Clone Ross to answer my/his emails correctly, so in the meantime, if you want a GUARANTEED ANSWER to your question …

Just sign up for my email list.

Simple as that.

You can do it right here:

You’ll get an email every 1-2 weeks:

  • Highlighting new RV mod and upgrade products
  • Helpful RV and camping travel tips
  • Stories of successful RV owners like yourself!

And you can unsubscribe any time. There’s a little blue button at the bottom of every email. You’ll hurt my feelings, but I’ll recover with therapy.

Welcome to the AskTheRVEngineer community! I can’t thank you enough.

Sincerely,

Ross, the RV Engineer

Shorthand Blog Disclaimer, Privacy Notice, and $ Note:

As long as I’m throwing around the word “engineer” here, allow me to be 100% honest.

  • This is a blog, my faithful readers. It’s not an attorney’s office or engineering consultancy group. These are my personal opinions, and nothing in this blog should be interpreted as professional or legal advice. Your responsibility and liability remain 100% on your own shoulders.
  • Also, in some states, the term “engineer” is a controlled term. It means someone who has a P.E. license. Like most manufacturing engineers, I don’t have a P.E.

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