Over the years, Larry Webb enjoyed vacationing in one recreational vehicle or another. Unfortunately, repairs were often needed, and it was difficult for him to obtain quick and reliable service. “I was tired of taking them to Houston to get them repaired,” Larry says. “More times than not, the repairs were not done, and I had to go back.”
Larry’s aggravation eventually became so great that he began to think about opening his own RV repair business. He confirmed that there was no other such business in the Huntsville area and, over the next several months, sought advice from the owner of an RV company in another area. Then, Larry contacted the Sam Houston State University Small Business Development Center, which helped him prepare a business plan. About four and a half years ago, his work came to fruition and he opened Huntsville RV Repair and Supply.
Larry soon discovered that his new customers were just as frustrated with RV service issues as he had been, and he resolved from the start to provide the timely and conscientious service he had always wanted to find for his own RVs. “That’s what we are all about,” he says. “Customer service is our mission. A lot of people come back to my business because they know that they can, nine times out of ten, talk to the owner instead of a service writer or someone who may not care as much as they should about the business.”
The business has exceeded Larry’s expectations. “I didn’t know a repair center was needed so badly in this area,” he says. “That was my big wake-up call. There were no repair centers within about 60 miles to the north, east or west.” He responded by stocking items for general RV maintenance, as well as commonly-needed parts for RV appliances. He also began offering hitches, sanitation supplies, and a variety of accessories, including outdoor lighting, clocks, and indoor-outdoor rugs. Customers, Larry says, are usually impressed by the inventory at Huntsville RV Repair. “They say, ‘Wow, I didn’t know you had all this. I have been going to Conroe,’” he says. Furthermore, most special orders arrive within 24 hours.
Larry has also found other ways to provide service to RV owners. While some customers live in the local area, many more are out-of-towners who stay in several RV parks in and around Huntsville. “I have regular customers from as far away as Canada,” Larry says. “They do business with me every year when they come into town.” Such customers often discover that if their RVs are hooked up and in use, it’s highly inconvenient for them to bring them to a repair shop for service. So, Huntsville RV Repair provides a mobile RV repair service within a radius of about 50 miles. Larry also learned that there is a need to provide RV transport. Some people live in their RVs for long stretches—sometimes full time—but do not own a truck to move them from place to place. Huntsville RV Repair can move RVs for such customers. The company even provides consignment sales of RVs.
Maintenance and Preventive Maintenance
Just like homeowners, RV owners need to maintain and repair their roofs, appliances, air conditioning, heating, water heaters, and other components. Many customers have learned that if they drop off their RVs at Huntsville RV Repair at the first of the week, repairs and maintenance can usually be completed in time for the weekend. “The only thing that keeps me from delivering a unit back to a customer on time is delay getting parts from a manufacturer,” Larry says.
“Larry is real quick about getting on things and fixing them,” says Mark Robinson, owner of Robinson and Sons Construction Services. He has taken his 2016 fifth-wheel travel trailer to Huntsville RV Repair to add custom details, as well as for repairs. “He’ll go that extra step that other places won’t,” Mark says. “I have told a couple of my friends, ‘He’s local, he gets right on it and he has done really good work for me.’”
Unfortunately, Larry says, customers frequently find malfunctioning RV components at inopportune times. “So many RVers wait until the night before they leave to test all their appliances, and then they’re in panic mode when they call me,” Larry says. To prevent that all-to-common scenario from happening, Larry suggests that customers bring RVs to the shop once a year—preferably about two weeks before scheduled trips—for maintenance inspections. Not only will such inspections put RVers’ minds at ease, but they can also spot the need for minor repairs before they become major. Roof repairs, which are often needed on RVs, are a good example. “You can spend $600 to $700 to reseal a roof,” Larry says, “or you can let it go and spend $8,000 to replace the roof.”
Mike Weaver, the company’s service technician, has a background in auto repair and is certified to repair all RV appliances. He services all makes and models of RVs (including fifth-wheel and bumper-pull campers, truck campers, and class A and class C motor homes) and provides warranty work as well. In addition, Huntsville RV Repair is the certified Texas service representative for Cirrus truck campers.
In keeping with the company’s dedication to customer service, Larry and Mike stand behind repairs. “We are only human,” Larry says. “I always tell the customer if they get home and something is not right, we will make it right. All they have to do is call.”
Because his business performs repairs on so many different types of RVs, customers often ask Larry for advice before they purchase RVs. Other customers take a different route to the vacations of their dreams. Huntsville RV Repair can convert cargo vans and cargo trailers into RVs, with as few or as many frills as customers want. Some customers want nothing more than electricity and air conditioning, while others elect to have completely self-sustaining units. Larry thinks conversions are such a good idea, he plans to convert a cargo trailer for his own use in the future.
Huntsville RV Repair is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m., and by appointment on other days. For more information, contact the company’s website at huntsvillervrepairandsupply.com.
223 State Highway 75 N
Huntsville, TX 77320-3171