Updated: Mar 1, 2022
What is a workamping job? How much do workampers make? Plus resources for finding the best workamping gigs to pay through your adventures.
The word 'Workamping' may mean different things to different people. Some RVers define it as contractual work you undertake at a campsite in exchange for parking privileges and/or a small salary. Others define any kind of work you undertake while you're out camping as a workamping experience (including starting and running your own business on the road).
No matter how you define the word, workamping is a unique experience that every RVer should indulge in at least once in their lifetime. Let's dive in and see what workamping is all about, how to find workamping jobs, and much more.
What do Workampers do?
Workamping jobs come in all shapes and sizes. The most common jobs you will find at campsites are RV maintenance and repair and campground hosting. Many state, federal, and private campgrounds hire RVing couples to manage park reservations, RV and site repair and maintenance, cleaning and laundry services, firewood sales, groundskeeping, pool maintenance, construction, mowing, and docent services.
Workamping job agreements work like any other contractual work agreement; you enter into a contract with the site owner detailing the nature of work, work hours, compensation, and other formalities. While some workamping jobs do last longer, you would normally find workamping gigs that last a minimum of 4 weeks and a maximum of one year.
How to Find Workcamping Jobs?
There are many online resources that help full-time RVers find workcamping gigs. Workcamper News can help you find workcamping jobs that suit your exact needs. Whether you're traveling solo, as a couple, or as a family, you are sure to find a match. The website also has tons of resume-building resources that can help you land the gig. Workers on Wheels is another great resource for new workampers. Developed by a full-time RV couple, the site has tons of workamper gigs along with tips and tricks on how to land those gigs. If you're looking for seasonal workamper jobs then CoolWorks.com can help you out. It has tons of seasonal gigs ranging from customer service and hospitality to education, administration, and more.
These online resources are a great way to find a workamping opportunity before you plan your RV trip. This way you can choose where to park your RV for long-term camping. Here are some more resources to look for workamping jobs on the go:
How Much Money can you Make Workcamping?
Workamping gigs can bring in varying amounts of money. But is it possible to fund your full-time RV lifestyle through workamping? The short answer is Yes. However, there are a number of factors to consider; how many hours of work can you commit to per week. Most regular workamping jobs require 20 hours of work per week or more. What kinds of jobs are you good at. RV repair and maintenance pays more but requires certain expertise, seasonal sales gigs can get you an income boost but aren't long-term. Do you plan to travel a lot? Most workamping jobs last from 3-6 months, you can find ones that last for up to a year but then you're back on the road looking for a new job.
There are three kinds of job scenarios you might face when it comes to workamping; one is campsight parking and perks against work. In these kinds of jobs, you might not be paid anything (or very little) in cash, while your compensation would be a free parking spot and some perks like discounted propane, free hookups, free laundry, and more. If you're offered such a gig, compare the hourly rate you're being offered to the value of the campsite and other benefits and see if it is a good deal.
Some workamping jobs come with both campsite benefits and a wage. The jobs are normally offered at minimum wage but can go up to $15 per hour based on the time of the year and the location of the campsite. Again, make all decisions based on how much work you need to put in versus how valuable the campsite location is to you. There are certain campsites that offer discounted sites and job-like benefits like health insurance, bonuses, and more. The pay is usually higher for such jobs but you have to pay for the site and other perks, mostly at discounted rates.
Tips for Landing Workcamping Gigs
So you've found the perfect workamping job but don't know how to land it? Here are some useful tips and tricks to help you along the way.
Prepare a Resume
While campsite owners and employers might not ask for a formal resume, sharing one is surely going to give you a leg up against other applicants. Your resume doesn't have to be too formal, just focus on emphasizing relevant skills and experiences that make you the better candidate for the gig. Tweak the resume for each job you're applying to, making it more customized for the job at hand. A resume doesn't just highlight your skills but it also says you are serious about landing the job and will handle the work professionally.
Just like In any other job application, timing is key when applying to workamping jobs, especially the good ones. You might be surprised at the level of competition you might end up facing if you wait too long to apply to a good gig. Apply to new jobs that you want as soon as you see them go up. Start looking for new jobs when you are close to wrapping up your current one, so that you have a new job lined up as soon as you're free.
Widen Your Search
Workamping jobs aren't just limited to jobs you can find at the campground, you can also find multiple other gigs if you broaden your horizon. Here is a list of jobs that you can apply for and still workamp:
Theme Park Worker
Resort/Hospitality/Shop Seasonal Help
Seasonal Salesperson (Christmas trees, Pumpkins, Firewood)
Sugar Beet Harvest Worker
Volunteer Work (Pet Rescue, Fish Hatchery)
Know What the Job Requires
Do your research before applying for a job to find out what exactly it entails. For example, gate guard duty may seem easy but what if you're required to stand at the gate for hours? It is always a good idea to call ahead and ask for details about the job before you commit to anything. Ask about any specific requirements, calculate the distance of the worksite from your trailer, find out if there are any security hazards, and more. You can also look for online reviews of the worksite and ask other campers about their experiences. This will help you be prepared for what you're committing to and limit any surprises.
If you're just starting off, be flexible about the kinds of jobs you take. You might not land a campsite manager or administrative gig that pays more from the get-go. Be prepared to work your way up the ladder. Always ask for a reference letter. State, National, and ACE parks are great places to get references that will help you land your next workamping gig. Know that this kind of lifestyle can take some getting used to, but don't feel pressured to stay in a contract that doesn't benefit you.
The Last Word
Workamping is a great way to finance your RV lifestyle. However, it isn't without its challenges. It is always a good idea to have a supplemental source of income when you first start off workamping so you are free to try out different kinds of gigs and find the one that sticks.