Are your RVing aspirations bigger than your budget? Consider becoming a Workamper®. As a “working camper,” you get paid to mix work and recreation while saving a good chunk of change on your campsite and hookup costs.
In this guide from RV Pennywise, we will explain what workamping is, how to get started, and — more importantly — how to make money as a Workamper®. Read on to see how it works.
What is a Workamper®?
The term Workamper® is a merging of the words “worker” and “camper.” A Workamper® is generally anyone who works while living out of a recreational vehicle.
Technically, someone is still considered a Workamper® whether they are camping in a pop-up, van, pick-up camper, or tent, but the system is geared more towards RVers.
Did you know? The term Workamper® was trademarked in 1987, long before the workamping craze took hold in the United States.
You can choose to workamp full- or part-time based mostly on seasonality and your mobility. The real benefit is in the savings. In exchange for your labor, the campsite operator will likely offer a free (or significantly reduced) campsite with full hookup (FHU).
By reducing one of the highest costs of RVing, the savings can be quite attractive.
Yes! You Can Make Money Workamping.
Workamper® pay usually ranges from minimum wage to $12 per hour. But there are other perks.
The earnings you make workamping will only be enough to supplement your RVing lifestyle. It won’t be enough to save for retirement or cover other expenses unless you already have considerable savings going into workamping.
Your Earnings are Taxable
The income you receive through workamping is taxable and reportable. But, where there are taxes, there are deductions, and many of the expenses you incur while workamping are tax-deductible!
To learn more about the tax implications of being a Workamper®, check out the Tax and Legal Strategies for RVers video hosted by Steven Anderson, the founder of the Small Biz RVer School, and Mark J. Kohler, an attorney and CPA.
What Will I Be Doing as a Workamper®?
While our search did reveal chainsaw artist to be one available workamping opportunity, the most common types of workamping jobs include:
- Camp host
- General laborer
- Office assistant
- Retail employee
Workamping isn’t Only for Retirees
Despite the stereotype, workamping is appropriate for RVers of all ages. It might be a good fit for anyone interested in saving and making money RVing.
Workamper® Job Opportunities
There is a multitude of employment resources for RVers. Click through some of the links below to see available workamper® jobs for the upcoming season:
• Amazon CamperForce (Holidays)
• Camp Host Jobs
• Cool Works®
• Cradle of Forestry Interpretive Association
• Happy Vagabonds
• Kampgrounds of America (KOA)
• RV Park Store
• RV Property
• Snowbird RV Trails
• Sugar Beet Harvest (Fall/Winter)
• Workamper® News
• Workers on Wheels
• Working Couples
When to Apply for Workamping Positions
As an RVer, it’s possible to work and travel all year long.
In four-season climates, the best time to apply for a workamping position is during the late fall through early spring.
Apply to year-round RV parks and campgrounds (especially in the south) in late spring through early fall for the coming “snowbird” season.
Fall and winter jobs are available too! Once the holidays roll around, retailers, Amazon distribution hubs, and the Sugar Beet Harvest (a Workamper® favorite) are always looking for a few helping hands. You might also want to check with ski resorts.
Closing Thoughts: Why You Should Consider Workamping
Some RVers workamp for reasons beyond saving and making money. They do it for the experience and adventure. When you work odd jobs, you’re always meeting new people and learning new things.
There’s also a feeling of accomplishment and productivity. It makes rest and recreation all the more fulfilling.
If you’re on the fence about being a Workamper®, experiment with a short-term gig. If it’s not for you, at least you made some memories to add to your RVing scrapbook.
Already a Workamper®? Tell us why you do it and one or two of your favorite workamping moments.