How to Make Money While Traveling the Road in an RV
Full-time RV living has been a way of life for many retirees for quite some time. However, more and more young families are taking up this incredible lifestyle.
One of the questions that comes up most when young people are considering full-time RVing is, of course, money related. After all, most people in their 20s and 30s do not have the luxury of a large retirement fund to keep them going. Therefore, these people want to know how in the world other people their age are making money from the road.
The answer to this question will vary greatly depending on who you ask. While some people hit the road because their jobs require it, others manage to find work along the way. Still others have jobs that allow them to telecommute or run businesses that can be managed from anywhere in the world.
Which route you take will depend greatly on what your skills and hobbies are. Clearly, a person who has zero medical training can’t pick up a travel nursing position. Likewise, a person with no design skills shouldn’t go around marketing themselves as a graphic designer.
Therefore, it is important to consider your money-making options just as you would if you weren’t traveling, and decide which ones best suit your skill set and interests.
While there is no way I could possibly list every single job a person could do on the road, I have done my best to compile a fairly comprehensive list of some of the more popular ways to make money while RVing. Use this list as inspiration, but not as a rulebook.
When looking for ways to make money, it is always a good idea to think outside the box and offer services or products that really showcase your talents.
Work camping (Work + Camping)
Work camping is one of the most popular ways to make some spending money while out on the road. Some work camping positions will offer just a site and hook-ups, while others offer an hourly wage in addition to the site.
Workamping jobs can be found at:
- Workamper News (www.workamper.com)
- CoolWorks (www.coolworks.com/jobs-with-rv-spaces)
- Workampingjobs.com (workampingjobs.com/workampingjobs.php)
- Working Couples (www.workingcouples.com/jobs-category/work-campers-campground)
Amazon, Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon), and eBay
Purchasing items at a discount and reselling them online via Amazon or eBay has the potential to make a hardworking person some serious cash. This requires very little skill— just work ethic and the desire to be constantly on the lookout for a good deal.
Learn more about Amazon selling here (services.amazon.com/selling/benefits.htm). Learn more about eBay selling here (pages.ebay.com/re/en-us/sellerinformation/learn-to-sell-online/index.html).
Writing and selling eBooks, selling blog posts, and helping people put together resumés are all great ways to make money if you enjoy putting pen to paper. While doing these sorts of jobs, you can also work on building your own blog up to be an income stream of its own.
eBooks can be sold on Amazon; freelancing jobs can be found on such sites as UpWork (www.upwork.com), People Per Hour (www.peopleperhour.com), and Guru (www.guru.com); and finally, blogging work can be found at BlogMutt (www.blogmutt.com) and Constant Content (www.constant-content.com.)
The ultimate work camping job, Amazon CamperForce pays well, offers workers free sites and utilities, and is seasonal. This means you can work hard for a small part of the year and travel freely the rest of the time.
Learn more about Amazon CamperForce by clicking here.
Nurses will be happy to learn that there is an option for them to travel while still working. Travel nursing requires nurses to sign contracts that keep them in one place for several months before moving to the next place. Therefore, those interested in travel nursing must be okay with slow travel.
Manual labor contract work
Similar to travel nursing, manual labor contract work requires workers to stay in one place for a few months at a time. One popular contract job of this type is pipeline-building. This work pays well and allows travel.
If you are skilled in an area that others may like to learn about, try offering lessons. This could mean using your current campground’s activity center to offer ballet lessons to little kids, or it could mean using YouTube, Skype or Udemy to teach flute lessons online.
You can even make money as an online school tutor or as an English teacher for foreign students. Tutoring jobs can be found on sites such as Chegg (www.chegg.com/tutors/become-a-tutor), Tutor.com (www.tutor.com/apply), and even Indeed (www.indeed.com/q-Online-Tutor-jobs.html) and UpWork (www.upwork.com).
While writing does fall under this category, it also includes some other types of work. Graphic and web designers often have good luck working as freelancers. Photographers, videographers, and editors can also build a business in this way.
Freelance jobs can be found on the following sites:
Sewing or crafting
If you are a crafty person, you might be interested in selling your creations online or at craft fairs and festivals in the places you visit. This works well for those who enjoy sewing, knitting, decoupage, jewelry-making, and a variety of other crafts.
Local craft fair and festivals can be found here (www.festivalnet.com).
Child and pet care
If you plan on being stationary for any amount of time and you like children or pets, you might enjoy child- or pet-care work. Dog walkers are always appreciated in RV communities, and young couples would likely be grateful for a night out now and then.
By building up your reputation in the RV community and gathering some great references, you are more likely to get good business.
Amusement parks, restaurants, and retail establishments all hire seasonal employees at various times throughout the year (depending on their line of business). Take advantage of this by becoming familiar with the schedules of various industries and following the work.
For example, an amusement park may need new employees for the summer season only, while a toy store might be looking for new people to run registers during the busy holiday season.
While sales jobs aren’t for everyone, they do work well for some. When considering selling something, it is important to consider your various options and choose one that you would purchase yourself. After all, it is very hard to sell something you wouldn’t actually buy.
Some of the most popular products out there include:
- Young Living Oils (www.youngliving.com/en_US/opportunity)
- Usborne Books (www.usborne.com/sell-usborne-books/usborne-books-at-home.aspx)
- It Works! (itwraps.com/sell-it-works-wraps)
- Mary Kay (www.marykay.com/en-us/sell-mary-kay)
- LoLaRoe (www.lularoe.com/join-the-movement-page)
- Jamberry (www.jamberry.com/us/en/join)
Slowly but surely, more and more companies are hiring telecommuting employees. There are telecommuting jobs out there for a variety of skillsets. So whether you are an entry-level employee or an advanced graphic designer, you should be able to find a telecommuting job with a bit of searching.
Some of the most popular companies that are offer entry-level telecommuting jobs include:
- Apple (www.apple.com/jobs/us/aha.html)
- Uhaul (jobs.uhaul.com/contact_center.aspx?jobtype=workfromhome)
- Williams Sonoma (click here)
Other telecommuting jobs can be found on sites like Indeed (www.indeed.com/q-Telecommute-jobs.html).
If you can type quickly and without many mistakes, you may find transcription work to be your ticket to travel freedom. Many transcription services will hire people with zero previous experience, and the pay generally pans out to be anywhere from $10 to $30 an hour. Not bad for a job you can do in your pajamas after the kids are in bed.
Some companies that hire beginner transcriptionists include:
- TranscribeMe (www.transcribeme.com)
- Rev (www.rev.com)
- Tigerfish (www.tigerfish.com)
- Quicktate (www.quicktatecom)
Become a consultant or trainer
If you know all there is to know in one specific area, you can help others by becoming a consultant. Whether your passion is fitness, achieving your dreams, or organizing events, your expertise is valuable. Why not brand it and sell it?
For example, Kary Oberbrunner, founder of the Igniting Souls group, trains people to:
- Become career coaches through the Dream Job to Day Job program (www.dayjobtodreamjob.com/dj-coach)
- Help people find a purpose for their lives through the Deeper Path team (www.deeperpathbook.com/deeper-path-team)
- Aid others in building their self-esteem through the Your Secret Name program (www.yoursecretname.com/ysn-team)
You can read about some of Oberbrunner’s current consultants and trainers by visiting www.karyoberbrunner.com/team-members-1.
Whether you choose to invest in real estate or put your money into stocks, income made from investments is wonderful because it is passive, or at least nearly so. If you have enough money to take some risks, and have the time to learn the ropes of investing, this might be just the income stream for you and your family. Just be sure to choose your investments wisely and diversify your portfolio.
Driving your car
Both Uber and Lyft allow drivers to use their own vehicles to make some money. Drivers for these companies simply pick up passengers requiring transportation and take them from point A to point B, and get paid for each and every trip they make.
This is a great way to make some extra money on the weekends or in the evenings after the kids have gone to bed.
Meanwhile, Shipt gives drivers the opportunity to make money picking up and delivering groceries to local residencies. If you enjoy some time shopping with headphones in and don’t mind driving, Shipt may offer an amazing opportunity for you.
As a third option, UberEATS gives vehicle owners the opportunity to act as a food delivery person in your own vehicle. If you are available to work during lunch and dinner hours, this could be the job for you.
Here is where to go to find more info:
Other ways to make money include mystery shopping, taking surveys, and website testing. None of these is likely to be a full-time source of income, and each one would probably only provide supplemental income on its own.
However, every little bit counts, and having multiple streams of income is a great way to ensure financial stability throughout your travels.
Hopefully this list has inspired you to go out and find a way to bring in some money in a way that is both fulfilling and allows you the freedom to travel. Once you figure out how you are going to pay the bills, the only thing left to do is ditch your office job and hit the road!
Chelsea enjoys full time RV living and traveling — and trying new coffee shops wherever she goes — with her husband and 4 year old son. Her other hobbies include riding bikes, singing, dancing, acting, and reading. Her personal blog can be found at gonzalesonthego.wordpress.com