Show Me the Money!
by Todd and Elizabeth Neuens.
People often ask my husband how he could convince his wife to pull up the stakes and live full-time in an RV. The funny thing is that it was the other way around! I was the one who was binge-watching full-time RV YouTube channels, texting him screenshots of RV floor plans, and begging him to go to RV dealerships "just to look."
When we had serious conversations about traveling full-time, the biggest obstacle we faced was figuring out how we would earn the funds to cover our traveling budget.
Working Remotely on the Road
Something that has drastically shifted because of the Pandemic is an unprecedented opportunity to work remotely. The ability to work from anywhere has given many Americans the flexibility to retain their career and income while traveling full-time.
According to a survey from Dec. 2. 2021 at RVShare.com:
- 76% of employed travelers had the option to work remotely in 2021, and, of those, 59% chose to work remotely during at least some of their leisure trips.
- According to an internal RVshare customer survey, 38% of people surveyed said they now have more opportunities to work remotely than pre-pandemic.[²]
This is a tremendous advantage for those that can take their jobs "on the go," but what about the rest of us?
Building Relationships & Networking
Before RVing full-time, Todd and I owned a small business in an industry that did not have the option to work remotely. But we are resourceful and open to taking advantage of whatever opportunity comes our way to earn or save money.
As we prepared for our "life on the road," we used social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and RVillage to explore other options for creating income while we traveled.
We joined Full-time RV group pages and forums and began to build relationships with other Full-time RVers. We found a whole new community that was open and willing to share income opportunities all over the US. It was on these platforms that we first heard about work camping.
What is Workamping?
The term "work camping" describes working while living in your RV. It can include any activity that involves the exchange of labor for money, campsite hookups, or other amenities associated with camping.
The term working was created and patented by Workamper News in 1987:
"Workampers are adventuresome individuals, couples, and families who have chosen a wonderful lifestyle that combines any kind of part-time or full-time work with camping. If you work as an employee, operate a business, or donate your time as a volunteer, and you sleep in an RV, you are a 'workamper' ".
How to Find Workamping Jobs
The website, Workamper.com is an online resource that provides information about temporary or seasonal employment opportunities. The best part about this site is that it is an employment resource, especially for RVers.
Last fall, Todd and I spent a month work-camping in North Dakota harvesting sugar beets. I worked in the "Weight House," weighing the trucks into the yard full of beets from the farm and weighing them out after they dumped their load.
Todd worked the tractor, shoveling up stray beets and mud, so the work area was clean and safe for the other workers. We not only earned money, but the program also paid for our RV park fees! It was an UNBEETable experience!
This summer, we will be "Camp Hosting" in a State Park in South Dakota. Camp Hosting is a popular employment opportunity for Full-timers as well. Usually, this involves committing to a 3-5 month stay at a national, state, or private campground.
As the host, we will be responsible for taking reservations, greeting guests, some maintenance, and other duties associated with the particular site. We will earn a small income, but our RV fees will also be included, so our out-of-pocket expenses for that will be covered.
Many Camp Host positions are posted on social media, such as Facebook. However, you can also find opportunities by contacting parks and campgrounds in areas you might be interested in visiting in the future. Most positions are filled a year in advance, so be sure and plan ahead.
While finding these opportunities helps us pay for our travel, Todd and I have found the beauty in work-camping goes way beyond that. We continue to discover new places we never thought we would visit, make new friends, and build relationships with coworkers and campers worldwide.