Just because you want a full-time RVing life doesn’t mean you have to be rich and give up work. Living on the road is meant to be an expression of freedom, but you will be still able to make money to live.
Work camping (workamping) is the solution you are looking for. This is a great way for you to enjoy the RV life and still bring in some money.
There are several things you can do for workamping from running a gift shop to being a campground host. Before you jump in, there are a few things to consider to help you settle into the right workamping job.
I have a close friend Kirsty Halliday, who is always finding these interesting jobs that I would never even think of. She’s done all these:
- Amazon CamperForce (stowing in NV, picking in KY)
- Unbeatable Experience (sugar beets harvest in ND)
- Delaware North Yellowstone General Stores, WY (Supervisor at Canyon Village)
- Two Top Snowmobile rentals & tours in West Yellowstone,
- Yukon River Camp in Alaska Housekeeping
- Font Desk at The Queen’s Inn in California near Yosemite.
She just now applied to a lighthouse keeper job in Michigan for next summer.
1. How to get started finding workamping jobs?
Once you have decided to live full-time in the RV, then you look for work. Networking with other RVers is a great way to find jobs, but you can also look online. You can find jobs that are “all hours paid” or others that are hours per week in exchange for being at a site. The second type is more common if you are working as a campsite host. You can look at listings to learn about the requirements and benefits as well as other’s experiences with certain jobs.
2. What are the pros and cons of workamping?
One of the biggest benefits is that you get to work minimal hours in exchange for a site that includes water, electricity, and power. You essentially get to live rent-free. In most cases, you work a minimal amount of hours, and then anything extra will be paid.
The big negative that goes along with this is that you typically have to commit to a whole season.
3. What is workamping like?
Depending on the site, the jobs and hours will vary, but work is usually minimal and you end up with a ton of free time. Jobs can include answering phones, checking people in, taking reservations, cleaning the office, delivering mail, and cleaning laundry rooms and bathrooms. You may also get to cut the grass and do minor landscaping, empty the trash, and do small repair jobs. There will likely be other workampers at the same site so you alternate workdays, often working two days each in shifts. Work hours are usually only 2 or 3 hours each day.
4. What is the best part about workamping?
You get a lot of freedom with workamping, as the work required is minimal. You don’t have to perform 8-hour workdays. You also get to make new friends with other RVers, which helps you learn and share great locations to travel to and helpful traveling tips.
5. How much money can you make workamping?
Workamping is not going to make you rich but you can earn enough to cover travel expenses. On average workamping jobs pay between $10 and $15 per hour, plus you get to stay on-site for free.
6. Can you bring in additional income?
In addition to workamping or instead of, many RVers work online. You can write blogs, publish videos, or maintain websites, to name a few. If you own your home, you can decide to turn it into a rental property while you are RVing to bring in a steady income.
7. Workamping is not for everyone
While anyone can do it, workamping is not for everyone, at any age. If you are prepared to stay on site for a season and are open to new experiences and like thinking outside the box, it is a great idea. However, if you are less flexible and do not typically try new things, workamping is not going to be for you. Working online to bring in some extra money will probably be more your speed.
8. Can you workamp all year?
The quick answer is yes. There are workamping jobs available all year, but you need to plan ahead. Summer jobs are more plentiful so much easier to find. During winter months, and depending on the location, jobs can be a little harder to find. Start looking for winter work in the summer so you can get dates lined up and keep the money coming in. During winter workamping jobs can include house sitting, working in a Christmas tree lot, walking dogs around the site, and fixing/repairing other RVs on site.
Here are some great websites for work camping and remote jobs:
- Work Campers get free RV sites, sometimes pay, and other perks. If you’re a mobile adventurer, try CoolWorks.
- Here are some companies that are looking for people to work remotely
- Then there is Workamping Jobs
- Sometimes a remote customer service job is just what you are looking for.
- America’s Natural and Cultural Resources Volunteer Portal offers opportunities in state parks for free camping, hookups, and sometimes pay.
- KOA also has its own website for work campers.
- There are work camping jobs at campohost.org.
- Then there are Workers on Wheels, where you can find seasonal employment, short-term jobs, and other campground positions.
- Escapees also have a website for job seekers here.
- Part-time work camping couples can have a great time: work a few hours a week in exchange for no rent and other perks like free laundry, wifi, propane, etc. Sometimes you even get a small salary too. Check out workingcouples.com
Workamping is a great idea to keep some money coming in while you live the RV life. There is usually something for everyone, so start looking now and your next stop could be rent-free.