This blog post is about work camping which is what we plan to do while we are exploring America. The picture immediately below has nothing to do with work camping but is a recent picture we took of Dora, Roy, myself and our granddaughter Madisyn.
Work camping is described as anyone who has chosen to work either part-time or full-time while living in an RV of some sort. In my case, the plan is to work part-time for 2-6 months at a time in one area while exploring the cities and country sides around there in our free time. We’ll then move on to another location and either not work or work camp there. We originally planned to go west when we start traveling. We’ve now decided that the part of the country we want to see first is north to northeast from Louisiana. I’m kind of hoping for a nice long stay in the Tennessee area first, but we’ll see where work, etc. takes us when the time comes.
Owners of campgrounds, state and national parks and other businesses will hire RV owners to work for them for a few hours each week in exchange for full hookups at their campground and some pay an hourly rate for any hours worked over the exchange. Some want full-time workers and/or just pay wages (no full hook up exchange). I’m opting for the part-time work with full hook up exchange. I’m not ready to just stop working totally and the part-time work in different places around the USA is very appealing to me. Plus, saving on campground fees will help us afford the traveling we want to do!
Places like Disneyworld, Disneyland, Dollywood and other theme parks are big employers of work campers and even give free admission to their parks as part of your hiring package. I definitely hope to do that at each of those locations some time along the way.
Work campers do a variety of jobs including office work, taking reservations, food service, manning a visitor’s center, interior and exterior maintenance, grass mowing /lawn care, tour guides, gift shop sales, cleaning cabins, cleaning fish and pretty much whatever is needed. I’ve signed up for a website where employers list their open positions. It’s at www.workampers.com if you’d like to read more about them. They teach you everything you could ever want to know about work/camping which they call “Workamping”. Some of the teaching is free and some you pay a little for. The annual membership fee is around $40 which gives you access to a lot of things as well as their bi-monthly publication Workamper News where employer list their employment opportunities.
One of their features is providing a place to create and host your work camping Awesome Applicant resume on the web. They have a course, which they charge for, that teaches you how to have the absolute best resume, but I’m cheap and chose to do it myself. We’ll see how successful I am when I start applying. You show what your earliest start date is, the states you are willing to work in and what job responsibilities you want to do, include pictures of yourself and your RV and post it on the Workampers website. One of the sections is where you sell yourself and tell all about your skills and about yourself personally. Normally weed pulling, plant tending and party planning aren’t skills I’d put on my work resume but it sure is on this one! They have hundreds of employers who check the database and will contact you if they like what they see! You can also apply by responding to any of the positions posted, by state, in the Workamper News magazine which comes on-line and on paper. It may sound like it but I’m not trying to sell anyone on going with them. They are just the only company that I know does this and they seem quite successful.
There aren’t a lot of face to face interviews so phone interviews and pictures are all the employer has to go on. They can send the applicant a link to their website and answer any questions the applicant has over the phone. My application states that I’ll be available by July 1st (Please somebody buy our house!) which seems a ways off but these employers have to make sure their places are staffed way ahead of time so that’s the way it works!
Roy will be continuing his computer repair service at each campground we stop on our travels. People who live full-time in RVs don’t usually have access to a computer repairman and most everyone in an RV has a computer. We believe he’ll be able to have a good business doing this on just a part-time basis. He will also be considered a work camper even though he will be self employed. Work camping in all of its forms has made the full-time RV life affordable for many more people than you’d think.
Lots of people have said they wish they could be doing what we are and probably most of them could. If you list all your current expenses and see what would be eliminated by living in an RV (electricity, property taxes, trash pick up, water bill, some reduction in TV and internet) and how much you could sell your house for and all your stuff for to pay off all your debts you’d be surprised how doable full-time RVing can be. While I’ve talked often about what a lot of work selling everything has been I wouldn’t trade it for the freedom it will give us from being tied down to “things” and being able to travel the USA and experience new cultures and all that makes America the wonderful country that it is!