When you have the option to change your office view whenever you want, things can look pretty glamorous on the surface. Dig a little deeper though and you’ll discover that running a mobile RV business from the road does present some challenges.
Here are some things we’ve discovered after nine years of full-timing and earning a living from the road.
Our clients determine where we travel
Our full-timing lifestyle seems freewheeling but if want our business to succeed, our client’s needs must be placed ahead of our own desires. For example, last year I got paid to attend a conference that required me to fly out of Las Vegas International Airport.
With great reluctance—and gratitude for the work—we uprooted our rig from a beautiful remote Nevada campsite and moved to Sin City for a week. Thankfully, when it was all over we headed to the hills again.
Working in solar-powered sync with the sun
Running a mobile RV business that’s powered by the sun means making the most of daylight hours. Late work nights just aren’t practical when you do business from a solar-powered RV.
Although we enjoy sleeping in and working late into the night when we’re hooked up to utilities, all that changes the minute we unplug. When we’re off-the-grid, we get up with the sun and work as productively as possible before it gets dark.
Sure, we could run our generator after dark, but we don’t enjoy the racket and know that any nearby campers probably feel the same way.
Reliable internet is a must
Without the Internet, we couldn’t earn a living on the road. This is why it’s critical for us to have reliable connectivity wherever we travel. When we choose where to visit next, the last thing we ever want to think about is whether or not we’ll have Internet or phone access.
That’s why our RV DataSat 840 mobile satellite Internet system is well worth the investment. Working as a full-time RVer already has enough challenges yet with Internet access (that also allows us to make phone calls) this is one huge consideration that’s off our shoulders, any place we travel. Without reliable Internet connectivity, business suffers.
Inventory is a burden
Carrying business inventory just isn’t practical from a 27-foot fifth wheel. On many occasions, we’ve had to turn down potentially lucrative opportunities because we just didn’t have room to stock inventory. On the plus side, the lack of storage space forces us to proactively find vendors that will drop-ship items directly to our customers.
Being a location-independent-entrepreneur has a few other minor disadvantages that normal business owners don’t experience. For example, we don’t have the “hometown advantage” that we did while living in our former town of Eureka, California.
When we were living in one spot it was much easier to build business alliances, establish our reputation, and even secure funding from local banks when we needed it. Once we took our business on the road, we said goodbye to the many advantages that geo-centric business communities offer.
Can a mobile RV business work for you?
Despite the select drawbacks of running a solar-powered RV business, the benefits certainly outweigh the drawbacks for many working full-timers like us.
Although living and working on the road requires a little more ingenuity than other entrepreneurial pursuits, if you have the self-starter gene and want to give it a try, you probably have what it takes to make this lifestyle work for you too.
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.