Gypsies at heart, workampers are adventuresome souls willing to combine their love of RV living with work. Confident that they enjoy the best of both worlds, these seasoned RVers travel across America, exploring the country one job at a time. If you work as an employee or volunteer by day and sleep in an RV by night, you’re a workamper. It’s the hottest growing trend in the RV industry.
Working as they travel to pay living expenses, devotees call workamping an economical way to explore the country. While some employers trade labor for free RV camping, most workamper jobs pay employees an hourly wage, generally minimum wage. Employers often provide free or reduced RV sites and offer attractive perks to lure seasonal workers. Part-time and full-time jobs are available and while some are long-term, most are temporary, lasting a month or more during an area’s tourist season or a company’s busy holiday period.
National and state parks early embraced workampers to staff gift shops, lodges and dining halls during busy tourist seasons. Today, the outdoor hospitality industry continues to be the major employer of RV workampers. Most workers migrate with the seasons, re-parking their RVs once or twice a year to work in resorts, campgrounds, guest ranches, theme parks, marinas, wildlife preserves, parks and forests. The economy has swelled the ranks of workampers, drawing laid-off workers in search of affordable RV housing and the ability to quickly move where jobs become available.
While a fair number of retirees embrace RV workamping to supplement fixed incomes, seniors make up only about half of workampers. The other 50% are singles, couples and families — average age 53 — who enjoy the carefree RV lifestyle. Some are charitable volunteers who find RVing a practical way to travel between Habitat For Humanity build sites. Others are disaster relief volunteers who move wherever they’re needed. The mobile RV lifestyle has also seduced a growing number are artists, crafters, writers, house sitters, utility inspectors and sales reps who live a vagabond lifestyle.
Seasoned workampers recommend buying a used RV to avoid new vehicle depreciation. They also suggest buying a towable 5th wheel trailer instead of a motorhome so the tow vehicle can be used to get around when you reach your location. For more information on workamping online, check out Workamper News, Workers on Wheels and Caretaker Gazette.