NRVTA Home Study Course or Attend the School?

As the number of RVs on the road grows, so does the need for RV techs. To avoid the time lost waiting for your RV to get repaired, take the NRVTA Home Study Course.

It’s a great way to get the knowledge you need about your RV and common repairs that you can do yourself.

If you find your interest peaked with the NRTVA home study course, you can move on to join the National RV Training Academy in Athens, Texas, for a more in-depth training program.

All in-person courses utilize a combination of classroom and hands-on labs, so you learn everything you need to know to be a certified RV technician or inspector.

What Is the NRVTA?

The NRVTA was founded by a group of RVers who were inspired to make a difference in the RV industry. Terry Cooper, who led this group, had a dream of improving the educational experience and supporting the increasing demand for qualified RV technicians. Cooper is the Managing Director of the NRVTA, as well as its founder and original teacher.

In 2017, the Big Red Schoolhouse and Community Center opened its doors as the new home base of the NRVTA. The center is a 20,000-square-foot facility with five large classrooms and open training facility.

The NRVTA offers training for RV dealership service technicians. They also train those who want to become professional RV mobile service technicians and RV inspectors.

RV owners who want to learn the ins and outs of their motorhome or travel trailer can sign up for the NRVTA’s Educated RV Owner program.

What Is the NRVTA Home Study Course?

What Is the NRVTA Home Study Course

The NRVTA Home Study Course allows students to learn in the comfort of their home or RV at their own pace. Students choose either to receive materials on a PC or Mac-compatible USB drive or access an online home study course.

Master Educator Todd “The Beard” Hanson instructs the course. The NRVTA Home Study Course gives you the same information you would learn from the Educated RV Owners Course, but without the lab time.

You’ll learn how all of your RV’s systems operate. According to the course description, students will also learn how to repair about 80% of the most common RV problems.

What Is the NRVTA School?

What Is the NRVTA School

The NRVTA was started in 2013 by Mr. Terry Cooper. After teaching RV technician classes in Texas and around the country, he started the National RV Training Academy.

In 2017, the program moved to the Big Red Schoolhouse and Community Center. As the Managing Director, Cooper and his staff teach students through class lectures, hands-on training, and other coursework. Once complete, students earn a certification in their desired field.

The school has nearby RV sites and other places to stay while taking classes, including rental cabins, RV sites, and tiny homes.

Athens, Texas, is about an hour southeast of the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and about an hour from Tyler, Texas.

What Do You Learn in the NRVTA Home Study Course?

What Do You Learn in the NRVTA Home Study Course

In the NRVTA Home Study Course, students learn about the following:

  • RV Appliances
  • RV Electrical Systems
  • RV Propane Systems
  • RV Water Systems

The flash drive includes all the video content, printed workbooks, and handouts. You’ll also receive an NRVTA screwdriver.

The online version has PDF files that let you print the workbooks and handouts.

The training videos are broken down into 15-20 minute segments that are easy to follow.

The course includes the function and troubleshooting of several most common brands of appliances and components installed in all motorhomes and travel trailers.

Who Is the NRVTA Home Study Course For? 

The NRVTA Home Study Course is for private RV owners who want to learn how to fix many issues that can happen in an RV.

If you’re considering attending the Texas NRVTA Campus for the RV inspector or technician certification programs, the NRVTA Home Study Course doesn’t give your credits towards those curriculums.

Some may see this home course as a way to “test the waters” to see if this line of work is for them. It’s best to contact the Admissions team at the Academy first to see what they advise.

What Do You Learn in the NRVTA School: 3 Programs

What Do You Learn in the NRVTA School

Depending on the course of study chosen, students learn everything there is to know about an RV and its systems.

1. Educated RV Owners

RV owners can take three classes focusing on subjects overlooked by many RV dealers and other RV sellers. Students will come away knowing how to repair over 80% of common RV repair problems and install upgrade equipment. The 3 Classes are:

  • RV Fundamentals Training (More thorough than the Home Course)
  • Generators
  • Solar

2. RV Service Technician

Students can earn credits towards becoming certified RV service technicians at different levels. Each level dives deeper into the various RV service levels.

  • Registered RV Service Technician- 1 week
  • Advanced RV Service Technician- 5 weeks
  • Master RV Service Technician- 2 Weeks

3. RV Inspector

The RV inspector program is 3 weeks long. It prepares students in the fundamentals, principles of RV Inspection, and Advanced RV Inspection techniques.

Who Is the NRVTA School For?

The NRVTA school is for RV dealer service techs, mobile RV tech professionals, RV inspectors, and RV owners.

Pros of Taking the NRVTA Home Study Course

Pros of Taking the NRVTA Home Study Course

Of course, one of the most positive things about the NRVTA Home Study Course is it can be done in the comfort of your home. You don’t have to go to Texas and attend in person.

Also, the home study course sometimes called “tech in a box” contains actual classes recorded at the NRVTA School.

Those that purchase the flash drive will receive not only all the videos preloaded but also the various workbooks and handouts. Online participants will have access to the course videos. PDF versions of the workbooks and handouts are printable via a link.

Either way, you’ll know how RV systems work, the unique differences between the major component brands, and how to repair most common RV repair problems.

Cons of Taking the NRVTA Home Study Course

The home study course is not as in-depth as if you were attending NRVTA class. Since you can’t be taught in a skills lab, interact with the instructors, or complete graded classwork, you’ll only receive a certificate of completion.

If you want to learn the knowledge for your own sake, that’s how the home study course fits best.

Pros of Attending the NRVTA School

One of the biggest positives of attending the NRVTA School is that students get hands-on teaching. You’ll have instructors in the classroom and labs where you can get down and dirty repairing RV components.

Putting your hands on the repair may help you retain the information. The Educated RV Owner Course is a bit more thorough. Yet you are studying at their pace for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. (yes, there’s a lunch break and some breaks in between).

Cons of Attending the NRVTA School

Cons of Attending the NRVTA School

Attending the NRVTA School is a must if someone wants to become a certified technician or inspector. But it costs thousands of dollars for the RV Inspector courses’ tuition, registration, books, and supplies.

You’ll have to talk to the Admissions Team at the NRVTA, but the cost of the Educated RV Owners course has a higher cost in time and money. Also, like the technician and inspector courses, you must come prepared with a full set of required tools.

With the NRVTA Home Study Course, take it at your pace, and get the tools you need at your pace.

So, Is the NRVTA Home Study Course or NRVTA School Better? 

Is the NRVTA Home Study Course of the NRVTA School better? Well, it’s all up to what you want out of it. You might begin with the home study course and find out if you have an aptitude for RV repair and a desire to do more.

If you feel that The NRVTA Home Study Course is right for you, head to and use the “RVBLOGGER” discount code to receive 10% off the online or flash drive program.

Related Reading:

17 Essential RV Spare Parts to Carry

About the Author:

Terri Nighswonger and her husband Todd have been RVing and work camping for five years with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Newton, and their Minnie Australian Shepherd, Remi.

They originate from the Midwest but plan to enjoy the West for a few years, wintering in Arizona and summering wherever the road may lead. Writing is Terri’s passion, but she also loves hiking, kayaking, walking her dogs, and anything she can do outdoors.