Podcast

LCW 1.09: Campground & RV Park Jobs

Season 1 Episode 9 of the Live.Camp.Work. Podcast!

Campground & RV Park Jobs
Typical Camp Jobs & Compensation

In this episode I’m going into the specifics regarding the biggest avenue for Workamping jobs- Campgrounds and RV Parks. I want to take a minute to learn the details of the most popular type of Workamping operation, typical compensation packages and popular positions available…

Knowing the types of campgrounds & RV parks looking to hire Workampers is a must for anyone looking for work while traveling. There are many other types of businesses that hire Workampers too, but if working in a campground excites you, this will help narrow your search when looking for employment. Let’s look at three types and discuss the general idea of each.

Come along for the adventure as I navigate through the world of Workamping with real information, tips & trick, stories from the road, and interviews from Workampers and Employers! You can download the episode or just click and listen online!

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Episode Transcript

Let’s get started with Episode 9: Campground & RV Park Jobs

In this episode I want to take a minute to learn the details of the most popular type of Workamping operation, typical compensation packages and popular positions available… I’m talking about RV parks & campgrounds!

Campground Types

Knowing the types of campgrounds & RV parks looking to hire Workampers is a must for anyone looking for work while traveling. There are many other types of businesses that hire Workampers too, but if working in a campground excites you, this will help narrow your search when looking for employment. Let’s look at three types and discuss the general idea of each.

Multi-Park Corporations:

You’re likely familiar with names like KOA, Equity Lifestyle Properties, Forever Resorts, and Jellystone Park, but others like Sky Valley Resorts and Cal-Am Resorts also fall into the multi-park category. These entities operate campgrounds in multiple states which provides Workampers with a “wherever you want to go next” kind of freedom.

Though some of these resorts may have individual owner-operators, there will still be corporate or franchise rules and regulations to follow.

Typically, working for one of these larger entities will include some paid hours instead of just working in trade for an RV site. Due to the size of some of these parks, many Workampers enjoy creating a community of like-minded co-workers with multiple Workampers being hired at each location and sometimes in the same positions.

Private Parks:

Many jobs are offered by private individuals who own a small business that benefit from hiring Workampers who can relate better to their guests than other local hires. Often with individually- owned or family-run operations, you will become “part of the family” during your season there.

Each owner will have their own unique way of running their business, which you may or may not agree with. Dealing with “small town politics” isn’t for everyone, and you hopefully won’t find it at every park, but if you can learn to work around those situations and maintain a positive attitude, then working for a private owner will open the flood gates with a steady stream of job opportunities.

Government-Run:

Workamping at one of the many government-run parks can offer the ability to see new and exciting parts of the country from an insider’s perspective while being entrenched in the natural beauty of the great outdoors.

Living on-site in these more scenic parks is completely different from a quick weekend road trip, offering more time to explore the surrounding area. With these parks, you often can negotiate shorter-term commitments. This differs from most commercial campgrounds, which prefer you work for an entire summer or winter season.

Government entities post job listings for multiple positions and time frames via volunteer.gov, their own city, county or state’s website, and on the Workamper website.

Examples of these kinds of parks are state parks, county parks, U.S. Army Corps of Engineer campgrounds, and U.S. Forest Service campgrounds. Workampers in these parks are considered “volunteers” since they are most often working a minimal number of hours for an RV site (which may or may not have full hookups). These entities rely on the volunteers to keep the facility open and running, so Workampers often feel a genuine appreciation for their work.

Compensation Packages

Knowing the different types of compensation offered will give you a better idea of which jobs you should apply to. If you know these three main types of compensations, you’ll know how and where to start your negotiations.

Knowing what the offer means beforehand will make sure you understand the work agreement prior to accepting the job.

Work for Site:

Working for your RV site is a great option for someone with an additional stream of income. Many campgrounds offer these arrangements in hopes of finding Workampers who are not relying on a paycheck and come instead for the beautiful scenery or exciting locale, along with a few hours a week of busy work. employers will offer a job in exchange for your site by stating something similar to this: “FHU for 12 hours per week.”

FHU + All Hours Paid:

Probably the most desirable Workamping agreement is one in which the employer will pay you for all hours worked at a specified rate PLUS include an RV site with hookups. An employment ad might say: “FHU provided plus $10.50/hour for all hours worked. 30 hours/week.”

This is a very attractive deal for the Workamper, because all their living expenses would be included, and as a result, these jobs would typically be the first off the market. Make sure to apply early and put your best foot forward. They’ll have many applicants to consider and you will likely have just one chance to pitch yourself!

Combination Package:

In some cases, the employer will agree to pay for all hours but requires you to pay a reduced rate for your site. Or they may require a set number of hours each week to cover the cost of the site and utilities. This compromise is considered a combination package. Either you get paid for all hours and you pay for your site, or you work for the site and get paid for the additional hours. An example of this compensation would be an ad reading: “FHU for 12 hours, all others paid at $9/hour”.

Words of advice: Make sure you have a written agreement that states the actual number of hours you’ll work after the site is “paid for,” or you could end up just working for your site.

Campground Positions

Now you know what kinds of campgrounds and compensation packages are out there, but what jobs tend to be most available?

Popular Workamping positions are just a starting point for your RV travels. Work is available all across the map in just about every job category you can think of but looking at what’s most commonly offered at campgrounds will give you an idea of what to expect for this type of operation in particular.

Campground Host:

Campground hosting is the most iconic Workamping job you can get. It was the original Workamper job and as more and more people entered the lifestyle, more and more employers, including private, state and national campgrounds have started to hire campground hosts for their properties!

The idea of living on-site while welcoming fellow campers, answering questions, escorting, and closing the park gates are some basic job functions and picture perfect for many folks living the RV life. Less strenuous labor requirements, the ability to (usually) work from your site, and the opportunity to return year after year make these positions highly sought after.

Front Desk/Office Staff:

Along with the comforts of working mostly indoors with air conditioning, the job of the front desk staff is quite appealing for those who know their way around the computer. Entering reservations, checking out customers on a POS system, answering phones and assisting with customer questions and requests are the main responsibilities for this position.

Standing on your feet with little movement can be a downside, but based on your property location, this might not be an issue. Many front desk associates have a background in customer service or retail that serves them well for these jobs. But, even a newbie to computer reservations can pick up most park software relatively quickly with the right amount of training and support.

Activity Director:

As the most organized person on the campground staff, the Activity Director has to be well equipped with a Plan A, B & C at all times. Responsible for recreation, events, activities and the overall fun-factor of the property, you have to know your property, plan accordingly, and make sure each activity or event is structured and staffed to ensure guests enjoy themselves.

A typical day can include hours of computer work, researching crafts and creating themed games, as well as training the recreation staff on how to properly conduct the activities and then, of course, actually overseeing the events throughout the property.

Housekeeping:

This is hands-down the hardest Workamping job on most properties. Housekeeping is one of those love-it-or-leave-it positions. If you love what you do and you’re good at it, then you’ll enjoy it. If you don’t, then just leave it alone.

Cleaning cabins, washing laundry, keeping up the bath houses and the main buildings like the office and cafe is hard work. It’s made even harder by the necessity to redo the work throughout the day because the spaces may be heavily utilized.

Maintenance:

This is one of those jobs that no matter how much you do and how many employees are working together, there will always be something else that pops up. The job of property maintenance is never ending.

From sun up to sun down, there are jobs in different areas that will require attention. Some will be more pressing than others, but all will need to be completed ASAP. Typical duties can range from cleaning fire rings, to mowing lawns, to installing electrical in new cabins over the winter. Based on your experience, certifications, level of comfort and expertise, taking a job in property maintenance can mean a lot of different things.

The Reality

Workamping jobs come in all shapes and sizes…just like the adventurous people who apply for them! They are easily customized to meet the needs of the masses, making them perfect for you, your neighbor and your friend down the road.

Now that you know the types of opportunities and popular compensation packages I hope your job search will run smoother by allowing you to negotiate and tailor each job offer to meet your own specific job, compensation and living requirements. It is in your best interest to negotiate each and every agreement with Workamper employers to make sure you are getting the best experience in return for your hard work and dedication.

That’s gonna all for today on the  Live Camp Work Podcast. This was Episode 9 of Season 1 and I hope you’ve enjoyed the information so far! If you have any questions always feel free to send me an email directly to sharee@livecampwork.com or join in the conversation in the live camp work group on facebook!

 

And until next time-

Safe Travels & Many Adventures!

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