Go Workamping in Texas: Tens of Thousands of Snowbirds Can’t Be Wrong

Texas is a popular destination for Workampers, especially in winter months.

Blind prickly pear in Big Bend National Park – National Park Service

by Greg Gerber

There are so many job opportunities available to Workampers in the Lone Star State, it is difficult to provide a good summary of them all in one article.

So, in this article, we will focus on Workamping in the Rio Grande valley, or the southern-most point of Texas. It stretches from the border with New Mexico all the way to the Gulf of Mexico near Brownsville. As a general rule, the Rio Grande valley is a temperate climate during winter months, although it can get below freezing for very short periods of time. Generally, winter temperatures are in the mid-70s, but summers can get into triple digits and hurricanes have been known to impact that region.

The Rio Grande River was once a mighty and imposing natural resource. However, over the years, dams and water projects have siphoned off a great deal of its power. Because the river separates the United States from Mexico, it’s pretty to look at, but there aren’t a lot of opportunities for water sports due to the international boundary.

Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park – Wikipedia

The Texas economy is ranked No. 2 in America, right behind California. The big difference is Texas is growing rapidly and attracting businesses and people to the tune of nearly 600,000 in 2021 alone. With an unemployment rate of 4%, jobs are plentiful in the state.

Because Texas has no income tax, nor does it impose a tax on personal estates, it is a popular domicile state for full-time RVers. Registering an RV is relatively easy in Texas because owners pay a flat rate based on the vehicle’s weight, not value. That alone often saves Workampers hundreds of dollars a year.

In 2024, the cost to get license plates varies from $45 annually for travel trailers under 6,000 pounds to $340 for motorhomes weighing up to 40,000 pounds. Many counties impose a fee, too, but that is often less than $12 per year.

Highly-populated counties in Texas often require RV owners to have their motorhomes inspected and pass an annual emissions test in order to be licensed. The same requirement exists for tow vehicles, like pick-up trucks. In the Rio Grande valley, only El Paso requires emissions tests.

The state is home to 59 active military bases. There are more than 110,000 active-duty military members in Texas, and its 1.5 million veterans comprise 6.8% of Texas’ population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. For that reason, Texas is very popular among military retirees due to the easy access to services.

Agriculture is the No. 1 industry in the Rio Grande valley, with citrus fruit being the biggest crop. In fact, Texas is the third largest producer of citrus fruit in the United States, and 70% of the harvest involves grapefruit.

Tourism is another big economic driver in the Rio Grande valley, especially closer to the Gulf of Mexico. Eco-tourism is a big draw as people arrive every year to enjoy birds and butterflies as they, like human snowbirds, find the Texas climate to their liking.

Things To Do in the Rio Grande Valley

El Paso Area

The Rocky Mountains end in downtown El Paso, and visitors can enjoy an expansive view of the city and it’s Mexican neighbor, Juarez, along Scenic Drive. The Woodrow Bean Transmountain Drive along Hwy. 375 also offers spectacular views.

The National Border Patrol Museum features exhibits collected during the history of the agency tasked with protecting America’s borders. It also displays equipment used in surveillance, from helicopters to off-road vehicles.

Display at the National Border Patrol Museum in El Paso – Wikipedia

Although not in Texas, but still along the Rio Grande, a visit to Las Cruces, NM, especially Old Mesilla is worth the trip.

Fort Davis Area

The McDonald Observatory is operated by the University of Texas in Austin. Researchers use five telescopes ranging in size from 0.8 meters to 10 meters wide to peer into the vastness of space. The observatory gives tours daily and hosts evening “star parties” several nights a week.

One of the largest optical telescopes in the world, the 10-meter Hobby-Eberly telescope is located at McDonald Observatory – Wikipedia

Fort Davis is one of the best remaining examples of an authentic U.S. Army fort in the Old West. Established in 1854, the fort is tucked into a canyon and flanked by sheer rock walls on three sides. It protected emigrants, mail coaches and freight wagons traveling through the area.

The Museum of the Big Bend in Alpine is home to the “Trappings of Texas,” which is considered to be the oldest exhibit of contemporary western art and custom cowboy gear in America. Other exhibits showcase natural and human history in the area.

The Lights of Marfa have achieved legend status because people attribute the “dancing lights” to be ghosts or unidentified flying objects.

Big Bend State Park, like the larger national park of the same name, is the largest state park in Texas and offers a taste of the Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem. Visitors like the park for its rafting, backpacking and horseback riding opportunities. Designated as an International Dark Sky Park, it offers stunning views of the nighttime sky.

Del Rio Area

Judge Roy Bean considered himself to be the “Only Law West of the Pecos” where he heard cases in a saloon he owned. People can learn more about the judge and his eccentric rulings by visiting the Jersey Lilly Saloon in Langtry.

More displays about Judge Bean and the Old West can be discovered by walking through the pioneer village at Whitehead Memorial Museum in Del Rio. Displays include a log cabin, schoolhouse, jail and old doctor’s office.

Judge Roy Bean’s Jersey Lilly Saloon and Museum in Langtry – Wikipedia

Laughlin Air Force Base is headquartered in Del Rio. It is the largest pilot training facility in the U.S. Air Force.

Visitors can also walk across the border into Acuña, Mexico. The city has a population of more than 200,000 people, which is almost six times the size of Del Rio.

Brownsville Area

The southern most point of Texas and on the same latitude as Fort Myers, FL, Brownsville is a unique cultural center. Directly across from Matamoros, Mexico, Brownsville is the 18th largest city in Texas and boasts of a population of 186,000 people.

The Sabal Palm Sanctuary is a 557-acre natural preserve and bird sanctuary located along the Rio Grande River, which meanders another 30 miles before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico.

The Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Park preserves the story of a border dispute that sparked the Mexican-American War on May 8, 1846.

Space X, a private American space exploration company which pioneered reusable rockets, maintains a launch facility, tracking station, and starbase for rocket construction near Brownsville.

Located in an old church, the Gelman Stained Glass Museum in McAllen features stunning examples of stained glass rescued from churches around the world. It also has an old-fashioned organ. Located nearby, McAllen Stained Glass operates a gallery and conducts classes to learn how to create beautiful items from glass.

The Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historic Site is the only remaining lighthouse along the Texas coast that is still open to the public. People can climb the 75 steps to reach the top for an impressive view of the coast.

National Recreation Areas

Three large national recreation areas in the Rio Grande valley include:

  • Big Bend National Park – Located along the Rio Grande River, the 800,000-acre park is well known for its imposing cliffs as well as its hot springs. Approximately 450 bird species have been spotted in the park. Despite its size, Big Bend is one of the least-visited national parks welcoming fewer than 400,000 visitors a year.
  • Padre Island National Seashore – Although different from the popular South Padre Island tourist mecca, the national seashore is located on the north side of what is the longest barrier island in the world. Its beach stretches more than 65 miles. It’s a fun park from which to watch sea turtles as they come ashore to lay their eggs, and scamper into the ocean once hatched.
  • Armistad National Recreation Area – The region features a reservoir created by the confluence of the Rio Grande, Devils and Pecos rivers. Although located along the Mexican border, there is enough open waterway on the American side to be popular among tourists. Armistad is a popular stopping point for thousands of migrating monarch butterflies every fall.
A Kemp’s ridley sea turtle laying eggs on Padre Island National Seashore – National Park Service

Workamping Jobs in the Rio Grande Valley

Because of its popularity with tourists, most of the Workamping jobs in the Rio Grande valley are at campgrounds and RV parks. To give you a flavor of the types of jobs that typically exist, here are some for previously-posted positions:

Leisure Communities hires a lot of RVers for its parks and resorts near South Padre Island in Mission, Texas. Both the age-restricted communities of Pleasant Valley Resort and Sleepy Valley Resort sought couples and solos to work 20 to 24 hours per week in exchange for a full-hookup RV site. Workampers also enjoyed free laundry, discounts on events and meals, as well as use of all resort amenities. Advertised jobs include rental coordinator, housekeeper, kitchen help, park hosts and activities assistant.

Alamo Rose RV Resort in Alamo, Texas, sought office help for their gated adult-only community. Duties included filing, answering the phone, collecting rent and making reservations. Workampers needed to put in 24 hours a week in exchange for an RV site with all utilities.

Bentsen RV Park in Mission, Texas, was looking for people to help with general construction and maintenance as well as groundskeepers and housekeepers. Solo Workampers were encouraged to apply. In exchange for a full-hookup RV site with electricity included plus access to all resort amenities, solos needed to work 16 hours per week, and couples needed to put in eight hours each per week.

Aramark Destinations was looking for people to live and work inside Big Bend National Park. The company was looking to fill a variety of roles, including culinary, housekeeping, custodial and food service. The positions were marketed specifically toward adventure seekers of all types who wanted to live among spectacular desert scenery.

The Lost Alaskan RV Park in Alpine, Texas, was looking for couples to work the same days. One person worked in the office answering the phone, taking reservations, checking in customers and performing other office duties. The other person cleaned bathrooms, escorted customers to their site and performed other light maintenance duties. By working two days per week with six off in a row, Workampers received a full-hookup RV site with cable, Wi-Fi, laundry privileges and a bonus at the end of a four-month commitment.

Marathon Motel and RV Park in Marathon, Texas, was seeking energetic people to work full- or part-time as groundskeepers, maintenance staff, front desk helpers, housekeepers and doing light maintenance. All hours were paid and the company boasted its own Sky Park appealing to amateur astronomers.

In April 2023, the Workamper Show podcast featured an interview with a Workamper who recruited others to work at Trophy Gardens RV Resort in Alamo, Texas. The combination RV park and mobile home community featured its own sewing room, woodshop, nine-hole golf course and gymnasium just 15 miles north of Mexico. The resort planned entertainment every weekend and hosted dances on Saturday nights.

Find More Jobs

Those were just a few of the possible Workamping jobs in the Rio Grande Valley. Remember, you can easily connect with the largest quantity and widest variety of Workamping jobs in Texas as a member of Workamper.com.

The Hotline Jobs page lists the most recent help wanted ads. Members can search for jobs matching specific criteria, like whether an RV site is provided, all hours are paid, solos are considered, and the job start date. Workampers can also use the Awesome Applicants Resume Builder to create a resume that entices employers to reach out with job offers.

The Workamping lifestyle allows people to tackle their travel goals while staying in new places for longer periods of time in order to enjoy the food, culture and people while visiting local attractions, too. 

There’s no reason to sit idly when options exist to travel the country to keep your mind and body active. Get started Workamping today and discover exciting, new opportunities waiting around every curve, not just in Texas, but every other state, too.

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