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RV on Call

The mission of RV on Call is to build community and help make RV life more safe, efficient, and fun.

Serving Raleigh - Durham - Chapel Hill In-person and Online 

RV on Call is a mobile RV services business in the North Carolina Triangle (Raleigh - Durham - Chapel Hill) that supports RVers in person and online. The company launched in March 2022 and offers mobile RV maintenance, inspections, cleaning, and instruction services. In addition to direct in-person services, the company is also aimed at creating a safe and supportive local learning community through a blog, digital products, and member's-only forum. The forum is a place to share RV tips, reviews of local services and campgrounds, and also list RVs and accessories for sale by owner.

The mission of RV on Call is to build community and help make RV life more safe, efficient, and fun. 

Serving a Diverse and Growing Metro Area

RV on Call’s base of operation in Durham, North Carolina, is at the epicenter of strong population growth and abundant RV camping opportunities. The company is led by Pete Sullivan, who for 16 years worked as an urban planner before deciding to launch RV on Call. Pete now holds a day job in IT and decided start a part-time RV business to develop his own RVing knowledge and skills and respond to the area’s growing demand for mobile RV services. 


“The more I studied the local RV market and our physical proximity to great parks, natural areas, and campgrounds, the more it seemed like a good time to give this RV services business a go,” said Sullivan. “This is a part-time nights/weekends operation - I still have my day job and I love what I do professionally. RV on Call is my way of branching into something totally different as a side gig. What I tell people is that I have a full-time passion for this part-time business.” 

North Carolina is the ninth-largest state and had the sixth-largest population gain over the last decade, right behind Texas, Florida, California, Georgia and Washington. The state added 112,000 people between 2020-21, and now clocks in at 10.6 million people. Most of this growth has occurred in just six counties, either in or near RV on Call's service area.

North Carolina is also becoming older and more diverse. The over 65 population is growing by 16 percent, and projections indicate that 41 percent of the NC population will be Black, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, or multiracial by 2030. 

“The RV and camping demographic is changing, and we see this awareness promoted in the Go RVing rebrand, and by organizations like NC-based Black Folks Camp Too,” said Sullivan. 

RV on Call's customers have included young and non-traditional families, first-time RVers, retirees, and people of color. According to Sullivan, “Getting to know local RVers has been a very rewarding aspect of the job. I hope to run into my customers at the campground or the grocery store and strike up an RV chat”.

North Carolina and Triangle Region Has a History of Business Growth and Innovation  

The Triangle region has long been a standout for its strong economic base of manufacturing, technology, biosciences, health care, and academia, along with a highly-educated workforce

“Innovation and evolution is in our DNA, starting with Research Triangle Park (RTP), then tobacco warehouse redevelopment, and now the technology sector. This favorable business climate continues to gain attention.” 

Sullivan thinks this will intersect more with the RV and camping industry over time. 

RV Retailer, a national chain, now operates eight dealers in NC, most recently purchasing Bill Plemmons RV in Raleigh in 2021. In addition, Encore/Thousand Trails, a national membership-based camping club now operates twelve campgrounds across the state. And at least three new coastal campgrounds development projects are also in the works in tourism-heavy Carteret County near Beaufort, Dare County near Manteo, and New Hanover County near Wilmington. “I think these developers see that NC is a bright spot,“ Sullivan said.


From 2020-2021 the rate of population growth declined in 31 of 50 states including DC, and of those, 18 states saw absolute losses in terms of population numbers, according to Brookings. While COVID-19 clearly played a role, growth began to plummet before the pandemic. From 2010 to 2020, the U.S. registered the second-lowest decade growth in its history—a consequence, in large part, of its aging population. 

According to the RV Technicians Association of America North Carolina does not have nearly the same concentration of RV technicians and inspectors as popular RV destinations like Florida or Texas. And while people may not associate North Carolina with RVing in the same way as fast-growing and scenic states like California or Arizona, Pete believes this perception will evolve over time. 

“I think as NC continues to be a sought-after location to live and work its reputation as an RV market will move up in the rankings. We have tech companies like Apple, Google, and Epic Games expanding here, as well as Toyota, Fidelity Investments, and Boom Supersonic. It’s unlikely NC will ever come close to an Indiana-like RV hub, Sullivan said. “But why not expand the presence of east coast RV manufacturing and join NC-based producers like Sylvan SportSpevco, and Golden Gait?” 

Sullivan continued, “Being an east coast state, North Carolina has nowhere near the same acreage of public recreation lands like western states. But we are blessed with lovely weather, fewer natural disasters, relative affordability, and high quality of life. For many RVers with traditional fixed location jobs, striking a balance of where you live and where you recreate is really important.”    

Sullivan added, “My family moved to Durham from Seattle, Washington, in 2014 and we always imagined we would end up back in the Northwest because it is simply gorgeous and we have a community there. But compared to NC, Western Washington is grey, cold, expensive, and congested. We are settled here in Durham. This is now feeling like home. Of course, that's the advantage of RVing. Home can be where you park it.”

NC Camping Opportunities Abound

While it may not boast the scenic grandeur of the West, North Carolina does have a surprisingly well-developed infrastructure for RV camping from the Smokies to the Outer Banks. 

Within Central North Carolina there are 19 private campgrounds according to Camping Carolinas and 17 dealers according to the NC RV Dealers Association. Sullivan continued,  “The infrastructure is here, and yet there is still a lot of demand. When I purchased a Winnebago travel trailer in 2021 I had to go to a private seller in Virginia - none of the local dealers could keep the units we wanted long enough for us to go look at them.” 


“The Triangle is nestled within an outstanding state park system, so not only do you have the combination of high growth and quality of life, good-paying jobs, and a robust RV support industry, you have people living within easy access to prime RV camping opportunities,” Sullivan said. 


The North Carolina state parks system manages 21 parks from Charlotte to Rocky Mount, and utilizes an easy online reservation system through Reserve America. In total, there are more than 2600 vehicle-accessible campsites within a two hour drive of Raleigh - Durham - Chapel Hill, many including water and electrical hook-ups and within close proximity to lakes, rivers, and trails. 


Falls Lake and Jordan Lake reservoirs are within a 30 minute drive of these population centers and under state law they are protected from private development to protect drinking water supplies. Between these two lakes there are eight RV-accessible campgrounds with more than 1300 sites on or adjacent to serene, forested shoreline offering access to swimming, fishing, and boating. 

Sullivan added, “There is lots of concern nationally about the difficulty of securing campsite reservations. RVing is at at all-time high thanks in part to the pandemic spike in RV and camping demand, but the Triangle is a rare exception.The fact that we can head out camping spontaneously during the busy season without a reservation and still find a site is a gift of flexibility I don’t take for granted. It makes the entire camping experience more enjoyable because it doesn’t require you to lock in rigid plans months in advance.”

Supporting RVers and Building Community

RV on Call’s target market is new RVers and working families who might be able to perform basic cleaning or maintenance on their own, but just don’t have the time and need help. Or maybe they rent their RV to others and need help with turn-around and upkeep. Sullivan further describes how his business aims to serve this demographic. 

Many articles on the web cover the full-time RV lifestyle. There is an allure of being on the open road, and it is very impressive that people find ways to make that lifestyle work. People are curious and want to know what it takes to live the nomadic life. 

But I’m also interested in knowing what busy families are doing to make the RV lifestyle work. What are the tips and tricks of the family of dual working parents that have an RV, but also really demanding careers that challenge their ability to pack up and fully unplug for a camping weekend? The details that need to come together to execute a camping weekend - planning, food shopping, and packing beforehand, and the clean-up afterward - they aren’t trivial and keep some folks from camping as much as they would like. You can’t cut corners with an RV or you will compromise safety and/or your rig. RVs offer the convenience of home, but they also require a lot more care and feeding than a tent. You need to have a good system - or soft skills - otherwise it becomes more work and less joy.

RV on Call therefore focuses on both the hard skills and soft skills (specifically one's mindset, routines, and planning habits) so that people can enjoy their rig but also the journey itself. We call it ‘getting more from your RV.’ If I help a customer with a maintenance or cleaning job, I would then like to hear how it went during the camping weekend that I helped them prepare for (if they are so inclined to share). I want customers to feel that they are a part of a supportive community. We are offering a lot of discounts for new and local customers because we want to make it easier for folks to join this community and become active. 


Due to the nature of the part-time business, Sullivan can’t commit to being ‘on call’ in terms of physically driving to someone’s location on short notice, and he routinely refers customers to other local technicians. “RV technicians are in demand, and I am happy to refer a customer to a competitor if my schedule is booked or the work is beyond my capacity. So while I cannot physically be everywhere at once, I am on call in terms of communication. 100% of my customers have gotten a response within 24 hours, and often it’s the same day,” Sullivan said. “The expectation for fast and direct communication and customer service support will only increase as we become accustomed to anywhere/anytime connectivity with our smart phones, and to that end, the RV on Call web site is fully optimized for mobile devices.” 


With the RV on Call forum Sullivan hopes the business will grow beyond direct RV repair and maintenance services and become a gathering place for Triangle-area RVers. There are many existing online RV forums, but few that focus specifically on the Triangle. “The forum can be a place where people offer tips on how to snag the best camping spot at Jordan Lake, where to find live bait on the drive there, and which local RV dealers have the best selection of accessories,” Sullivan said. 


Another goal with the forum is to ensure it remains a safe and supportive space for both new and experienced RVers. It is moderated, and members need to agree to a Code of Conduct with zero tolerance for intimidation or harassment. There are three membership plans that allow for increasing access to forum categories, including for sale by owner listings, as well as digital products like RV tips, local service listings, and service discounts. “By requiring people to register and pay a nominal one-time fee we hope the forum will generate a more positive and productive atmosphere and filters out any trolls,” Sullivan said. “No one should feel like they can’t ask a basic question - we were all new at this at one time.” 


In the future RV on Call plans to expand to social media and offer online booking. “The initial interest has been more than I expected with very little advertising,” Sullivan said. “I’m excited to see where this goes and hope the service helps local RVers find resources and connect with others.”

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