Have you ever wondered how campground hosts at your favorite national park got to work there? Do you want to see more the country but are on a limited full-timing budget? If you answered “yes,” then Workamping could be the answer.
According to Workamper News, the first (and in my opinion, best) organization to help full-time RVers find jobs on the road, the definition of “workamping” is:
Workamping includes any activity that involves the exchange of man/woman hours for anything of value. Workampers are adventuresome individuals and couples who have chosen a wonderful lifestyle that combines any kind of part-time or full-time work with RV camping.
Do you need to be retired to be a workamper? Not at all! Workamper says the median age of their members is 53 years young. Obviously, these folks aren’t old enough to draw social security so they are choosing workamping as a way to stretch their budget and stay on the road longer.
When Jim and I realized we wanted to extend our one year road trip to an indefinite amount of time, we talked to camp hosts who happily shared the ins and outs of workamping. When you want something bad enough, shyness goes out the window and all bets are off! Anytime we saw someone working in a RV park or campground we got the scoop from them on the best ways to find good workamping jobs.
The process of diving into workamping looks like this:
- Join Workamper News. Yes, there are other organizations out there that can help you find a workamping job, like the We Love Workamping Facebook group that my husband Jim runs, but even he will tell you that Workamper News has the best connections to good employers who are looking for excellent employees. Not only that, but Workamper News provides educational seminars and all the workamper resume-building tools you need to make yourself look good and find the ideal job.
- Talk to other workampers. If you see someone working in a RV park or campground, go up to the and ask them how they got their job. Most are willing to share what they know about working at that location and how to meet management so you can apply.
- Consider the type of job you want to do. Not all workamping jobs are created equal. Some are in RV parks, some are in circus carnivals and some are on organic farms.
- Know what type of compensation is being offered. Most jobs do not pay. Those that do offer little more than minimum wage. Some jobs only compensate with nice campsites and some will set you up behind a barn but pay with things like organic produce. You need to find out what the employer is offering in exchange for your labor.
The trick to finding your ideal workamping job is to learn all you can about the job before applying. Too many newbie workampers will eagerly accept the first job that comes around, only to be greatly disappointed when the work doesn’t meet their expectations, is too physically demanding or takes too much time out of their schedule.
Don’t burn any bridges, talk to employers as much as possible before applying so that you are both happy with the outcome.
Workamping is a great way to stretch your budget on the road but like any employer-employee agreement, it comes with pros and cons. Check out all the great workamping job resources on the web to learn which jobs seem like a great fit for you, then go for it!
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.