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Workamping and Work Camping - Live and Work at a Campground

What Is “Workamping?” How Can You Make Money Doing It?

A short form of “work camping,” the term “workamping” refers to a type of camping in the United States involving campers both living and working at a campground. Most workamping arrangements are seasonal – from March/April/May to September/October in northern states or at high altitudes, and during the winter for southern climates, including Florida, Texas and the Southwest – although year-round workamping jobs exist.

RVing and Working at a Campground
The term also encompasses work done off the campsite. If you sleep in an RV at night and you conduct any activity or work in the camp in exchange for anything of value, you are a workamper! However, most work campers allocate their talent and skill to campgrounds, resorts, guest ranches, theme parks, marinas, wildlife preserves, in addition to state, national and regional parks and forests.

Babyboomers RV and Workamp!
According to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, about 1 million Americans live at least part of the year in motor homes or trailers. There’s even Workamper News, a magazine and website that matches RVers with employers. With a lot of baby boomers now in their 50s, more are paying attention to the RV way of life and there’s a percentage of people who wouldn’t be able to afford it unless they supplement their income as they go.

What Can You Do and How Much Can You Make?
Most workampers are in their 50s and 60s, though there are many who are younger or older. Compensation ranges from RV sites to career-level salaries with full benefits. According to Workamper News, positions vary from caretaker to manager, with everything conceivable in between, i.e. activity directors, utility inspectors, musicians, chuckwagon cooks, camp hosts, property/house sitters, golf course attendants, Wild West show actors, field reps, tour guides, and RV delivery drivers.

Get It In Writing!
One of the most important things you can do as a workamper is to get all the details IN WRITING. You can reduce potential problems by asking as many questions as you can, and getting your answers concerning job duties, pay, hours, campsite and perks in writing. Be sure to look carefully when reading the ads … what are they really saying?

Bonuses of Living at a Camp
You will never go without a job if you are a flexible, open-minded person. Typically you’ll find that workamper wages are quite low for campground jobs and a lot of fulltimers go for more conventional employment outside of the RV park. Campground jobs may sound a little tacky, but you should consider the perks: an hourly wage paid for 40 hours a week and a possible bonus at the end of the season, a deeply discounted or free site to park your RV, free propane, cable TV and laundry, and plenty of time to enjoy the local sights.

National Forest and Parks Jobs
Work camping was dominated for several years by volunteer host programs in the National Parks and Forests. While volunteer host jobs are still available, today private companies under special concession contracts run many public campgrounds.

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