You might imagine setting off on an epic year-long road trip only to discover your funds running low quicker than you had hoped. It happens to the best of us as life on the road is not always super cheap. You’ve got to pay for your fuel, food, activities and a campground or parking each night (unless you’re stealth camping but this isn’t always possible).
Now imagine being able to make money on the road and meet new like-minded people doing it! That’s where workamping comes into it.
What is workamping?
Workamping is a term coined to describe someone who lives and works on the road. A lot of people have different definitions for it but it’s basically where you stay in an area for a few months and work in exchange for a free spot at an RV park or cash. Sometimes you can even get both! You can work either part-time or full-time and still be considered a workamper.
What kind of jobs are available?
The most common type of job for a workamper is working on an RV site or campground. They sometimes work at reception, checking guests in and out and answering the phone. Sometimes they work on maintenance or cleaning/laundry too.
In exchange for their work they might get the RV site free or sometimes people get paid per hour in cash. A good contract would be a mixture of both where say the first 15 hours you work in the week pays for your site and then any extra hours are paid in cash.
Other jobs that workampers do include theme park workers, tour guides, park rangers, working at golf courses, hunting and fishing camps, museums, gift shops and carnivals. And that’s just to name a few!
Most of the jobs associated with workamping are outdoor jobs but if you’re working for your old company remotely or freelancing online whilst living in your van you would also be classed as a workamper. Similarly, it doesn’t need to be a paying job to class yourself as a workamper. Some people choose to volunteer while they’re on the road.
Why would I choose to workamp?
Workamping is a great way to make some extra cash on the road or get your site for free so you can travel for longer. The jobs can be in some beautiful places that you would want to visit anyway so why not work for a few hours a week and stay for free?
You might want to stay and explore a certain area but can’t afford the campground so you offer to work there instead. For example, Yellowstone National Park would take months to explore fully but usually, people can’t afford to stay this long so they just stay for a few days. Can you imagine how much you could explore if you were staying for free for, say, a month?
Another reason people choose to workamp is because of how social it can be. Life on the road, especially as a solo van dweller, can get pretty lonely. There’s no better way to combat this then working in a campground where you’re going to get to talk to dozens of like minded people everyday.
How much does it pay?
The short answer would be…not much. Look, you’re not going to get yourself onto the Forbes billionaires list by workamping. BUT you can make a little extra cash that’ll help towards your travels. In general the jobs associated with workamping would pay minimum wage or a little more.
You can expect to make anywhere between $7 and $12 depending on the job. If you’re getting a free site and work out how many hours you have to work for it you can see which ends up giving you the better deal.
How do I find workamping jobs?
So, you’ve decided this could be the way forward for you. Now you just need to know how to go about getting yourself one of these nifty jobs. Here’s a list of some awesome resources to check out:
• Workamper News (requires a subscription)
• Camp Host
• Cool Works
There’s a few resources to get you started. Once you start staying at different campgrounds and talking to people there will also be opportunities that come through word of mouth too.
What is Amazon Camperforce?
Amazon Camperforce is a cool workamping opportunity offered to RV’ers in the run up to the holidays. Workers are required to help with picking, packing, stowing and receiving. The season usually starts around October and runs until just before Christmas but some sites have hours in the new year too.
Amazon Camperforce is currently available in:
• Phoenix, AZ
• Hebron, KY
• Lexington, KY
• Shepardsville, KY
• Campbellsville, KY
• Murfreesboro, TN
• Chattanooga, TN
Amazon pays for your campsite nearby up to $550 a month. You get an hourly wage, an assignment completion bonus, medical cover after 90 days, overtime pay and some other cool benefits.
Take a look at this family’s experience workamping with Amazon. If you want some more information on Amazon Camperforce and what it entail then take a look at the official website too.
If you have nothing planned for the run up to the holidays this could be an excellent way to make some extra cash. It seems to pay well, the campgrounds are nice and not too far out and there’s a bunch of benefits you don’t usually find with other workamping opportunities.
Hopefully you understand a bit better what workamping is and why people choose to do it. If you think this could be a good fit for your travel style then you should definitely sign yourself up to as many free sites with workamping opportunities posted and maybe even consider a paid subscription to Workamper News. Be proactive and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Good luck, workamper!
Advice From A Veteran Workamper – How To Find Workamping Jobs