Working on the Road While Traveling in Your RV
by Guest Author: Jaimie Hall
Working on the road while traveling in your RV, also known as Work Camping, can add money to your budget— both by earning money and through savings. Often you get a free or low cost RV site plus are parked in one area for several months, thus saving on travel expenses.
Work camping can also add fun and adventure to your travels. Besides camp hosting, there are so many other ways to earn or save money. In addition to RV parks and resorts, RVers work in national and state parks and forests, in tourist areas and amusement parks. Some find short term work at events like NASCAR. Still others operate their own business on the road. While you are working there, you have the chance to get to know and explore an area.
How do you get started Work Camping?
Get information: I recommend a subscription to Workamper News. This publication comes out every two months and has advertisements for hundreds of jobs each issue, plus informative articles. Their online bookstore has a number of books on the subject. Participate in forums on working on the road. Workamper.com has one, as do Escapees, RV.net and RVTravel.
Set goals: Decide what you want out of work camping. Some people want to earn a certain amount of money. Others want to try something new, like work at Disney World. Still others want to be in a certain part of the country to be near relatives or to explore the area.
Prepare your résumé: Prepare a one page résumé, focusing on the skills that a seasonal employer would need. Even without Workamping experience, you have undoubtedly worked with people, dealt with customers, handled money or done maintenance. Include any work experience that applies as well as community work and hobbies. For example, if you have maintained your home, you have used a number of maintenance skills you would need in an RV park.
Find job openings: Besides Workamper News, other sources of potential jobs include Caretaker Gazette and Coolworks.com. Campground directories list potential employers. Temporary agencies have all types of work from general to professional. Specialized directories can help you find venues like fairs or flea markets to sell products. To work in a certain area, check with the Chamber of Commerce or Tourist Bureau for employers. Other RV magazines have want ads in their classified sections. Other Workampers are also good sources of job openings.
Apply to many jobs: The more employers you interview the more you’ll learn about Workamping. It is important to ask a lot of questions since your interview is usually by phone and you may have never seen the location. Besides questions about job duties and compensation, you’ll want to find out about the RV space, what’s in the area, availability of cell and satellite signals, etc. Some employers offer perks such as free or discounted propane, store discounts or tickets to area attractions. If you only apply to one or two jobs and they don’t work out, you’ll be left with nothing. If you apply to 15-20 jobs, you’ll probably end up with two or more job offers.
Followup: Followup is important at each stage of the process. Followup with a phone call or email
To make sure your application or résumé has been received. You may get the opportunity to find out more about the job or the hiring process, plus get a chance to express your interest and to sell yourself.
After the interview, send a thank you note and then keep in touch until a decision is made. Without being a pest, find out when they are taking the next step and then call if you haven’t heard anything by that time.
Once you have a job offer, ask for a written agreement. If the employer does not have one, ask if you can send a letter summarizing what you agreed upon that they will sign off on. Most will agree.
Ask for a letter of recommendation when your assignment is complete.
Jaimie Hall is the author of Support Your RV Lifestyle! An Insider’s Guide to Working on the Road, 2nd ed, as well as several other books and e-books on RVing. See RVHometown.com for more information on working on the road.
Note from Steven & Fran: We offer web space for guest author articles because we believe there is always room for another viewpoint and because we surely don't know everything there is to know about RVs and the RVing lifestyle. in that spirit we invite you to submit your own articles. We're happy to give you credit and provide a link to your website.
You may also want to read: Full Time RVing and Working on the Road