In 2007 Rene Agredano embarked on full-time RVing with her husband and three-legged dog, and never looked back. Through her work as a small business owner, writer, metalsmith, and animal advocate, she loves sharing RV knowledge with other nomads here at Let’s RV, and on her website at LiveWorkDream.
Want to travel by RV but don’t have a ton of cash? You might want to look into work camping for RVers. Here’s ten ways that temporary and seasonal jobs for nomads can help your travel dreams come true.
What is Work Camping?
Whether you stay at campgrounds, RV parks, or boondock on BLM lands, chances are good that you watched work camping in action. Work camping is a term used to describe how people save and make money RVing. Nomads of all ages are doing it. These are folks who want to travel in their RV, but don’t want to wait for retirement age.
My Work Camping Story
I learned about work camping in 2007, when my husband and I took a one year RV trip around the country. A few months into our trip, we knew we wanted to travel for much longer than 365 days. Coincidentally (or not!) we met a nice couple at a forest service campground. They were volunteering as hosts, in exchange for free rent all summer long. “What a sweet gig!” we thought. That’s when they told us about work camping in exchange for rent. They also explained the best way to find work camping jobs that pay.
We jumped into work camping soon after meeting the couple. And we’ve been work camping RVers off and on ever since that day.
Why Work on the Road?
Deciding to work on the road can help with travel costs. Whether you are looking for volunteer or paid work camping jobs for solos, couples, or families with kids, there is a gig out there for anyone who wants to try this arrangement.
Some jobs are seasonal. Others are long-term for a year or more. I’ve seen RVer jobs that only last a few weeks. Some are unpaid volunteer gigs. Others are part-time or full-time employment arrangements.
Work camping job benefits and arrangements are different wherever you take a job.
- Some employers want you to work a certain number of hours in exchange for a free campsite.
- Others pay for all hours you work, but deduct a certain amount of money for your discounted rent.
With the post-pandemic worker shortages plaguing the country, employers are paying the highest hourly wages I’ve seen since we started doing this in 2007.
10 Ways Work Camping Makes Long-Term RV Living Better
If you have the ability to take a work camping job, you can enjoy tons of benefits such as:
- Save money on RV park rent and campsite fees
- Get to know different parts of the country
- Learn new skills that transfer to other jobs
- Meet fun people from all over the country (and the world)
- Explore potential careers or business opportunities
- Get paid to have fun in expensive parts of the country
- Take advantage of work camping perks like free laundry, propane, and guest amenities
- Live in beautiful locations with pricey real estate you can’t afford to buy
- Enjoy the kind of weather you love best
- Knowing there’s an end in sight to a job, so you can take time off and travel again
Paid and unpaid work camper jobs are as different as the organizations looking for help.
- Some RVers work camp as volunteers for non-profit groups like an animal sanctuary.
- Public organizations like city, county, state and national parks often hire volunteer work campers to lend a hand.
- Other RV work campers take well-paying seasonal jobs at RV resorts, or private businesses like Amazon.
Examples of work camping jobs for RVers
Some examples of temporary or permanent RVer jobs include:
- Campground host
- Gift store clerk
- Maintenance helper
- Property caretaker
- Ranch hand
- Guest services
- Retail sales
- Farm worker
- Youth camp leader
- Food services
- Seasonal shipping and warehouse work
Unusual jobs for nomads are also out there too.
Unusual road work jobs I’ve seen in my 15 years of full-time RVing include:
- Winter cabin caretaking in Alaska
- Temporary on-site event helper
- Animal rescue working
- Wildlife fishery volunteer
In this era of working from anywhere, RV work camping jobs don’t have to be a typical employer-employee arrangement.
Basically if you do any kind of work on the road, you are a work camper. For example, a remote worker who clocks in every day with the boss is a work camper. A travel nurse is a work camper too. If you run your own business on the road, you are a work camper too.
My husband and I have done almost all of these kids of jobs. Some are better than others. The best work camping jobs don’t necessarily mean the jobs with the highest hourly wage. Finding ideal road work gigs depends on your personality, and what you want to get out of the arrangement.
Want to Get Started? Here’s How to Work Camp
The internet is full of free and paid resources to get started with road work. There’s no right or wrong way to find these jobs. As for me, I’ll admit that I’m biased toward Workamper News, since that’s how we got started. We are still active members and evangelists, because whenever we want to find a seasonal camping job, that’s where we find them.
But you might be different. Try looking for jobs for RVers through Facebook groups, or just talk to other RVers who do this seasonally or permanently. It’s a fun way to explore this lifestyle and save money while you travel. I highly recommend giving work camping a try.