As I sat down this morning to write this week’s blog, I had a bit of writer’s block. I kept asking myself, what do people want to know? What do they want to read? That’s it! They want the Who, What, Where, How, & Why of Workamping. I’ve pulled a few FAQs from our website and have compiled some of them here to help you understand and learn about Workamping!
What is Workamping?
There are a few misconceptions about who Workampers are and what Workamping is. The most common misconceptions are that Workampers are retirees who work in campgrounds, and that Workamping means just trading work for a place to park an RV.
First, not all Workampers are retired. In fact, less than half of all Workampers consider themselves retired. With the median age being 53, it is obvious that the majority of Workampers are not drawing a pension and cannot subsist on rent-free camping alone. Secondly, Workamping includes any activity that involves the exchange of man/woman hours for anything of value.
While you won’t find the word Workamper in Webster’s dictionary, you will find it in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The official definition goes as follows: Workampers are adventuresome individuals and couples who have chosen a wonderful lifestyle that combines any kind of part-time or full-time work with RV camping. “WorkCamper” with a “C”, also our registered trademark and is just another way of spelling this unique term.
The definition says nothing about “retirement” or “campgrounds”. If you eat and sleep in an RV and you conduct any activity in exchange for anything of value, you are a Workamper! While this definition could technically include such wide-ranging occupations as construction workers and race-car drivers, you probably won’t hear Dale Earnhardt, Jr. referred to as a Workamper! When we use the word Workamper, we are realistically referring to people whose activities relate primarily to the outdoor hospitality industry.
Who are Workampers?
Workampers are folks of all ages and from all walks of life who do all kinds of work while traveling in their RVs. (Some employers provide housing for those who do not have an RV.) Some Workampers are part-time RVers and some are full-time RVers. Some volunteer their services for government agencies and non-profit organizations, while the majority work for businesses of all sizes, from small “mom & pop’s” to huge corporations. Many exchange a set number of hours for a site plus hookups and other perks, while others work for hourly wages or salaries. Some work for a combination of site plus wages.
Some Workampers operate their own businesses. Some work part-time and some work full-time. Some work seasonally and some work year-round. Some Workamp primarily for the enjoyment of being active and productive, while others are motivated primarily by the income and benefits. Some look at Workamping as a one-time adventure, while others embrace it as an exciting new lifestyle—either way, they choose from thousands of great jobs in great places!
What is the number one advantage of the Workamper Lifestyle?
Freedom of Place—that is being able to go wherever you want and stay as long as you want because of your Workamper income and perks.
For instance, it takes months to fully explore places like Yellowstone Park, yet due to the high cost of living and campground stay limits, the average visit lasts only a few days. Workampers who spend the entire summer in Yellowstone leave knowing the park as well as the locals! Freedom of Place also means warm winters, cool summers, time with the grandkids, time away from the grandkids and a million other enticing benefits!
What kinds of positions are available?
You name it! The answer to this question changes daily, as new and exciting opportunities come in from all kinds of employers. Some of the more common positions are camp hosts, park managers, activities directors, grounds keepers, maintenance workers, caretakers and site-sitters. We also have calls for artists, musicians, tram and shuttle bus drivers, RV delivery drivers, field reps, cooks, tour guides, park rangers, sales people, RV technicians and utility inspectors. In addition we always have various openings at theme parks, canoe/kayak outfitters, golf courses, motorsports venues, circuses/carnivals, hunting & fishing camps, guest ranches, marinas, museums, gift shops, lodges, ski resorts, wildlife refuges and youth camps. Occasionally, we have calls for actors for wild west shows, tail-gunners for RV caravans, chuckwagon cooks, pumpkin lot and Christmas tree lot managers and a host of other unique positions.
How much do these jobs pay?
Compensation is as varied as the jobs. It can range from exchanges of an RV site or housing—plus utilities for many of the part-time jobs—to competitive salaries plus health insurance, retirement, etc. for full-time career positions. In order to be competitive, employers of temporary or seasonal workers in the outdoor hospitality industry are currently offering compensation packages (wages + benefits) ranging from $8 to $12 per hour. Jobs that include managerial or supervisory responsibilities, or require formal education and/or certification, should pay towards the higher end of this range, or even higher.
Keep in mind that Workamping involves any kind of work performed while residing in an RV. Many Workampers work in jobs unrelated to the outdoor hospitality industry. Some simply choose to continue their current vocation or business while enjoying the Workamper lifestyle. In these situations, you can expect to make at least as much as you are currently earning. In cases where on-site camping is not available, some employers will often assist in finding a parking space, or you may simply be on your own to find a parking spot.