Are you dreaming of hitting the open road for good, but still need to make money while RVing? If so, you’re not alone, plenty of full-time RVers are earning money from coast-to-coast by workamping in a variety of situations. Some jobs are harder than others but if you need to make a lot of cash in as little time as possible, working the fall sugar beet harvest is one way that many full-time RVers are doing it.
America’s sugar addiction means cash in your pocket when you sign on to a temporary job with agricultural companies like American Crystal Sugar Company, a co-op of about 3,000 sugar beet growers in Minnesota and North Dakota’s Red River Valley. Each year over 1,000 workers get hired to help harvest sugar beets beginning approximately the last week of September. According to the Sugar Beet Harvest website, light industrial positions are available in three areas:
- Helper and Sample Taker: Collects beet samples and assists Pile Operator in cleaning. Helper will also communicate with drivers to ensure safe and accurate unloading of trucks.
- Pile Operator: Maneuvers pile control switches, orchestrates repair work and supervises and assists in the clean up of daily operations.
- Skidsteer Operator: Operates skidsteer. Must be able to lift 50lbs.
Workers can earn as much as $2,600 in just two weeks, but there’s a reason for that:
- Sugar beet harvest work is physically difficult
- You’ll work outdoors during early fall when temperatures can go from a balmy 65 to 25 in the blink of an eye.
- Job shifts are 12-hours long, seven days a week
On the plus side, if you can afford to make the haul to the Red River Valley your campsite will be paid for by the company. Those workers who arrive early enough stand a good chance of enjoying the benefits of full-hookups but anyone who arrives after the flood of incoming workers may be forced to stay in water and electric sites with sewer services attended to twice weekly by a roaming honey pot.
Lots of full-time RVers have written about their sugar beet harvest workamping experiences and one thing their stories share in common is they were all subject to the whims of Mother Nature; since sugar beets can’t be harvested when it’s too hot (they’ll rot in the fields) or too cold (which affects sugar quality), ideal temperatures must be present for people to work. Sometimes that can drag the season out several weeks until the harvest is complete.
If you’re still not discouraged by the sound of this American farming experience, you can learn the ins and outs of sugar beet harvest workamping, watch this Workamper News podcast, “Express Sugar Beet Harvest Jobinar.”
Hurry, employers are starting to hire and most jobs are filled by early May.
Want to hear about other full-time RVing sugar beet harvest workamping experiences? Post a new topic in the iRV2 “Workamping and Volunteering” Discussion Forum today!
Often called “The O.G. of full-time RVing,” Rene Agredano and her husband Jim Nelson hit the road in a fifth wheel trailer in 2007, after their dog Jerry lost a leg to terminal cancer. Sixteen years later they are still traveling and sharing their nomadic adventures at LiveWorkDream. As a self-employed wordsmith, Rene shares her expertise for many RV industry videos, publications such as the Escapees RV Club Magazine, and has authored numerous books, including the Essential RVing Guide to National Parks, and Income Anywhere, a guide to earning money on the road. She has been featured in global media outlets including the PBS documentary “NATURE: Why We Love Cats and Dogs,” The Guardian Sunday Edition, and the Dan Pink book Free Agent Nation.