Workamping: Your answer to income while traveling
One of the biggest mind hurdles for people who are contemplating traveling full time (with or without kids) is how they can make money while traveling. This also happens to be one of the most interesting topics for people who are just interested in reading about people traveling fulltime!
The big picture is actually quite simple!
Regardless of how much you’ve saved to start the adventure- you will likely need or want to supplement income while on the road. You can do this easily with a little creativity, a lot of flexibility, and an adventurous spirit with a nomadic career in Workamping.
What is Workamping?
Workamping, according to Workamper.com, includes any activity that involves the exchange of man/woman hours for anything of value. They also define a workamper® as adventuresome individuals, couples and families who have chosen a wonderful lifestyle that combines ANY kind of part-time or full-time work with RV camping.
Yep! It’s that easy! If you working and receiving anything of value in exchange for your labor (campsite, utilities, laundry allowance, free access)… you’re a Workamping Workamper®!
What kind of jobs are available?
Jobs are endless, especially since you can work for yourself! Campground jobs are extremely popular, so if you are willing to do your homework, you can find a full spectrum of companies offering jobs to RVers in areas from Maintenance & Housekeeping to Park Rangers & Customer Service. This will range from State & National Parks to Private and franchise campgrounds. Another popular choice is big business super giant Amazon.com.
What is the easiest way to find a job?
Workamper.com is the best resource available for jobs from companies seeking RVers. You will need to buy a membership to access this information- but once you have it, you’ll use it daily to keep up to date with who’s hiring across the country. They also send out Hotline Ads- these quick emails come straight to your inbox daily, and contain each new job that was entered into their database!!!
How does it really work?
While every Workamping job will be drastically different, there are a few common traits that we have experienced:
- Specific employment period (Ex. Memorial Day-Labor Day), with specific job title, description, and pay rate.
- Negotiate if you are required to work a certain number of hours, pay a reduced amount for your site, or if your site will be provided totally free of charge.
- You’ll work your pre-arranged position and enjoy perks like using park amenities, free Wi-Fi, the same days of as your spouse, and more.
Working for a FREE RV Site
So you’ve found the perfect location for your next Workamping position and are ready to send over your resume. You read through the ad, which states you’ll be working near Yellowstone National Park! They’re looking for Campground Hosts as well as Maintenance, which is perfect for you and your husband/wife. You’ll work 25 hours a week, combined, for the site. All other hours at $7.25.
Before you go any further- you may want to reread that advertisement…
“Work 25 hours per week, combined, for site. All others paid at $7.25”.
What does that really mean? How much are you really paying to live on site? Is this a good deal for you or for the employer? It’s time to break out your pen, paper, and your handy dandy calculator!
Okay, You’ll work 25 hours per week for your site:
This means every week. You and your husband/wife will collectively need to work 25 hours minimum to pay for your site. The ad doesn’t specify how the 25 hours will be split. So, make a note to ask about this when you speak with the employer.
Think about this for a minute- If the site charges $350 per month for long-term guests. That means by working 25 hours per week to pay for your site, with 4 weeks in a month, your work is being valued at $3.50 per hour!
Some people will argue that when living onsite, it is acceptable to value the exchange of labor at a lesser rate. I’m not one of those people! Last time I checked the Federal minimum wage was $7.25- but if you feel comfortable working for less than half of that… go right ahead.
Next, All other hours paid at $7.25:
Once you have met the 25-hour requirement to pay for your site, any additional hours you work, will be paid at $7.25. The ad didn’t specify that additional hours were guaranteed or how many to expect if any. So make a note to ask the employer how many hours each of you should expect to work on a weekly basis. They may not have a guaranteed number- but they should be able to give you a close estimate.
Think about this for a minute- If the employer says they will pay you $7.25 per hour all hours over the first 25- then why not calculate the number of hours needed to pay for the site at the same rate?
If that were the case, you would only need to work 12(ish) hours per week to pay for your site (which in my opinion is much more reasonable). Requiring 25 hours each week- if calculated at $7.25 would mean you’re paying $725 for the same monthly site other guests are paying just $350 for. Gosh! I hope that includes electric, propane, laundry, store discount, a meal allowance and free amenities…
Seems to me- that you are being undervalued!
My Workamping Tips
Send your resume by email or fax. Wait 1-2 days then give the employer a direct phone call. Introduce yourself and let them know you sent your resume and hoped they had time to review it. Try to move forward with setting up an interview where you can discuss and go over the details of the position.
Negotiate your way to the perfect position!
Employers are advertising jobs that have their best interest in mind. It may or may not be the perfect fit for you. With this in mind try to find easy ways to tweak the position so that its great for you and the employer! Handle these negotitations in your interview and make sure you list them in a clearly worded work agreement!