What is Workamping?
Workamping combines part-time or full-time paid or volunteer work with RV or tent camping. Workampers generally receive compensation in the form of a free campsite, usually with free utilities and potentially additional wages. While year-round Workamping jobs do exist, many Workamping positions are seasonal.
There are many reasons for workamping. For some, workamping keeps them busy and active. For others, it allows them to enjoy the full-time RV lifestyle by supplementing their income with an hourly wage, a free site, and utilities or both. For me, workamping became a way to move to a warmer climate for the winter without straining my budget too much.
You can choose the area or state you’d like to spend time in and find something there. This allows you to enjoy the area and see the sights during your off time. Workamping jobs are for various lengths of time. Some are just a few weeks and some are long-term. Mine is for the winter. When it starts to get too hot, I’m out.
Who Hires Workampers?
Workamping positions can include working at;
- RV resorts
- mobile home communities
- Christmas tree lots
- pumpkin sales lots
- amusement parks
- national parks,
- state parks
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineer locations
- national monuments
- retail stores
- food service
Are All Workamping Jobs For Couples?
Absolutely not. I was concerned about finding workamping as a single but there were many options available for singles. In fact, there are many places that find a single workamper works better for their particular situation.
How Can I Find Workamping Jobs?
When I decided to look for a workamping job, I did some online research and found Workamper.com. What a great site. Not only do they post workamping jobs but they offer memberships that give you access to their library of educational videos, resume builder, and much more. I’m not an affiliate but as a first-timer, I found their membership invaluable.
Will I Need a Resume?
Generally speaking, you will need a resume but it should be geared toward workamping. That was great news for me as I had been out of the workforce for 10 years. My resume includes skills and assets rather than a detailed list of employers and educational credentials.
Additionally, you’ll need to include a photo of yourself, your RV, and your pets. Because the majority of interviewing and hiring is done either virtually or by telephone, it gives your prospective employer a frame of reference.
I’d absolutely recommend the resume builder at Workamper.com.
How Will I Be Paid?
This is a very controversial topic. I’ve seen some pretty harsh arguments break out on Facebook regarding pay vs volunteering, what some call “slave labor” I say, find what works best for you and leave everyone else alone.
No two situations will be the same. Many positions are strictly work in exchange for a site and utilities while some pay an hourly wage.
More and more people are making workamping into a career and demanding wages. I’ve seen job seekers looking for a full hookup site, utilities, and $20 per hour in wages.
I, personally was not looking for a wage. I simply wanted a sunny place to park for the winter in exchange for a fair number of hours each week.
On the flip side, the first offer I had was absolutely weighted in favor of the business. The offer was to work in a large RV resort in Arizona. The compensation was a full hookup site and $100 toward electricity monthly.
They wanted me to work in their box office in October, November, and December for 20+ hours per week but in January the hours increase to 40 or more for the same compensation.
Their justification for this was their busy season is January, February, and March and the rent is much higher. The catch here is the resort pays you a virtual wage which they apply to your site rental. This counts as income. When the rent goes up in January, the number of hours you must work to cover the increase goes up too.
This was a large corporation that owns many RV Resorts. They have staff who actively search for workampers.
My advice, do the math. I wasn’t willing to work 40 or more hours a week for a tiny site in a crowded resort. I’d have been miserable. Someone else may love this opportunity because you have access to the entire resort and all the events during your off hours.
How I Found My First Workamping Job
Over a period of about one month, I had four offers. One was from my resume posted on workamper.com. The others were all from posts on the Facebook Workamper group.
While some of the offers were good, nothing felt exactly right until I found my current position. When I saw the information on Facebook, I called immediately and spoke to the office manager. It felt right. By the next day, we had discussed my role, arrival date, and our dogs, and she had gotten approval from the owner.
I’m so happy with my position here. Everyone has been welcoming and the work is not difficult. Murphy can go to work with me as well. We both like that.
Tips For Workampers
Don’t be afraid to call places you’re interested in workamping. Tell them who you are and what you’re looking for. Be gracious and thank them for their time even if they don’t have anything for you.
Be sure to ask a lot of questions and get things in writing. It doesn’t need to be formal but keeping an email string or text messages for reference is a good idea. Just like anywhere else in life, people make mistakes and there are people who will take advantage of others. If the situation doesn’t feel right or you’re getting conflicting information attempt to clarify and if it isn’t right, you can walk away.
Be honest about your qualifications and needs. You’d be surprised at how flexible people can be when you work with them and let them know what’s important to you.
For my first workamping job I thought I’d just have to take whatever I could get until I gained some experience but that turned out not to be the case. My resume clearly stated I was new to workamping and had no experience with campground computer systems.
Before you take that job, check the place out. Read customer and other workamper reviews, search google maps and look at satellite images. Figure out how far you’ll be from grocery stores, a pharmacy, and other things you’ll need.
Am I Happy With My New Position?
Yes, I’m so glad I held out for something that felt like the right fit. There’s plenty of sun, and great places to walk Murphy, I’m enjoying learning a new job and feel like they are happy to have me here. Bonus points for beautiful sunsets and sunrises, and the perk I love most is a trip through the attached wildlife safari whenever I want.