Motorhome business has storied past - Morgan Hill Times: Community

Motorhome business has storied past

Local shop has served high-profile clients including Clint Eastwood, James Brolin and Hank Williams Jr.

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Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2013 1:41 pm

The vehicle yard at Recreation Vehicle Services, located at 10900 Monterey Road, is filled with recreational vehicles and motorhomes of all kinds in need of varying repairs.

But to business owner James Black, 79, the property is filled with a whole lot more: his memories.

From mounting a tracking satellite on the roof of a recreational vehicle for the National Aeronautical and Space Administration; to rewiring the inside of a gang task force van for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Black – along with wife, Jackie, and stepson/head technician, Mark – can meet any customer request from the simplest tune-up to brake work and chassis repairs.

“I like a challenge,” said Black, who opened for business in 1976 as a Food Machinery Corporation servicing headquarters. Black had previously worked for several years for FMC, which manufactured, among many other things, it own line of motorhomes.

Black’s wife of 41 years has been by his side every step of the way.

“It gets interesting sometimes,” admits Jackie, who has taken on the secretarial role for RVS from the very beginning. “It takes a special relationship to work together for this many years.”

Over the decades, the customer list has included big screen actors such as Clint Eastwood and James Brolin, country western singer Hank WIlliams Jr., and former CBS journalist Charles Kuralt.

“I’ve gotten some strange requests,” said Black, who lived in Morgan Hill for more than 20 years before moving down to Monterey, where he now commutes from. “But I always deliver what the customer wants.”

Black’s RVS business services all brands of motorhomes, trailers, campers, horse trailers, toy haulers and fifth wheels.

“Our mission is to provide the best quality work, best price and peace of mind for the RV community,” reads the message on www.rvsrepair.com. “We are a bumper-to-bumper, full-service facility with the promise to treat each vehicle as if it were our own.”

The couple has logged more than 100,000 miles in their own motorhomes over the years, taking about four trips annually across the United States.

The local business, which sees customers from up and down the state who are passing through the area, is an authorized Oman generator dealer/installer and has in-house RV supplies such as hoses, side mirrors, propane gas and batteries.

“It’s mostly locals now,” said Jackie of RVS clientele these days.

And that’s just fine for the happy couple, who greets everyone who stops in with a friendly smile.

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