If you’re willing to reach beyond your comfort zone and work in a job you’ve never tried before, “workamping” is one of the best ways to offset your campsite expenses while full-time RVing.
During our first year on the road my spouse Jim and I were introduced to the concept of workamping by two younger full-timers who were overseeing a remote campground in Northern Colorado. These two newly retired college professors explained how they were receiving a free campsite in exchange for cleaning up around the campground. For just a few hours each week, these two “workampers” were completely eliminating campground expenses from their budget.
Later in our travels we met other couples just like these professors. That’s when we realized that workamping could help us stay on the road longer by lowering our costs of living. Workampers generously offered lots of advice to help us get started, such as encouraging us to join workamping organizations such as “Workamper News, Inc.,” (https://www.workamper.com) and “Caretaker Gazette” (http://www.caretaker.org).
We followed the advice given by experienced workampers and quickly learned the myriad ways in which full-timers can enjoy free rent in exchange for work. With each new job we explored, we met fun new people and experienced offbeat destinations we might not have considered otherwise.
Workamping jobs you may already be familiar with include positions such as:
RV Park grounds maintenance
National parks gift shop clerk
Seasonal resort help (i.e., office work, handyman)
But more obscure jobs you might not be acquainted with include:
Animal rescue volunteer
Oil field gate guard
Seasonal help with Halloween stores, pumpkin patches and Christmas tree lots
Fish hatchery helper
Workamping jobs will sometimes pay a small salary but more often employers don’t offer money because they’re just looking for a little bit of help each week. But even if a job doesn’t pay, don’t discount it entirely; oftentimes employers will toss in fun perks such as free laundry or use of facilities like hot tubs and golf courses.
When we began our workamping career, we decided to apply for jobs at businesses that we always thought about operating ourselves. For example, we used to have a dream of running a resort, so we sent in our applications to help out at a hot springs resort in New Mexico. That job turned out to be one of the best workamping arrangements we ever had. In exchange for working a schedule of three days on / three days off, we could soak in the hot springs as much as we wanted to during our off-hours. This generous schedule gave us plenty of time to work on our own business endeavors and also enjoy local attractions.
Typical workamping arrangements won’t pay all of your bills, but it will help you offset your living expenses and meet other full-timers who appreciate the lifestyle as much as you do. The best part is, if you don’t like the job you can always turn the key and go elsewhere. If you’re interested in learning more I urge you to explore it as an option.