We full-time RVers love remote work. From virtual gigs with companies to building our own online businesses, the possibilities really are endless for remote working from an RV.
And I totally get why we’re so into remote work. I have a part-time remote gig myself and I love it.
The freedom to set my own hours…
To work from anywhere.
To [sort of] be my own boss.
But what if, along with remote work, you could work at a physical location 3-6 months every year and make the cash you need to fund the journey for the rest of the year?
Would that make you think twice about exclusively pursuing online work?
I know it made me think twice. That’s because I’ve been able to find chunks of seasonal work that might involve a lot of hours in one place, but quickly free me up to enjoy my off months to the fullest.
Meaning I don’t have to have my nose in a computer on my off months.
I get to work with my hands.
And I make good money while doing it.
So, let’s have a chat about seasonal work as an RV’er – what it means, what types of work you can do, and how to find it.
What is seasonal work?
As the name implies, seasonal work is short-term work that revolves around a particular time of year. In this context, season can mean a good weather time of year (e.g. people flock to Montana in the summer but not so much in the winter), it could mean event season (e.g. NASCAR, the MLB, and large concerts generally roll out during specific months of the year), or it could even imply a travel season (e.g. towns near national parks almost always have high and low travel seasons).
By understanding what seasonal work is and when+where it happens, you can ride this wave as you full-time it in your RV.
What kinds of seasonal work can you do?
This list is far from exhaustive, but it’ll give you a bead on some real-life examples of seasonal work you can do whilst RVing around the country:
- Events – Before COVID hit, events with large groups of people gathered around a shared interest (think NASCAR, concerts, conferences, etc.) always had companies wanting to market to attendees in interactive ways. While big events like this likely won’t restart for a bit, there are many smaller local events that are scheduled to happen with smart social distancing.
Additionally, COVID-19 forced many full-time event workers to pursue other lines of work, meaning there are new opportunities for seasonal event work as reopenings occur. Event organizers generally go to great lengths to ensure events are run safely and according to current CDC guidelines. I wrote this Xscapers article that’ll tell you all about this fun industry and how to get into it.
State and County Fairs – It’s no secret that COVID-19 has led to state and county fair cancellations all over the country. But these closures have also inspired new avenues for creativity. Fairs like the 2020 Arizona State Fair, for example, offer guests a drive-thru fair where they can enjoy their favorite fair foods! Creative reopenings like this also generate new opportunities for staff positions helping to ensure the safety and health of attendees.
National Parks – National parks hire shuttle drivers, food workers, tour guides, trail keepers, and much, much more. Many national parks are open year round, but they will still have a busy season where they hire temporary workers.
Cities near national and state parks – Cities like Jackson Hole, Wyoming grow exponentially during the summer months as people flock to see parks like Grand Teton. This means that every business in town, from gift shops to restaurants, will be hiring extra help for the season.
Ranch hand – Horse ranches, cattle ranches, organic farms, orchards, and more are regularly looking for hands to help during high seasons.
Holiday work – Retail businesses are usually slammed from late October to early January as folks buy for the holiday season. One of the best examples of this is Amazon’s Camperforce where Amazon would hire you to help fulfill their influx of holiday orders (and one of the benefits is a camp spot allowance!).
Become a groupie – If you have a band you absolutely love, why not try to follow them on tour and work the show? You could work selling t-shirts, food, or maybe even get in with the stage crew while also listening to music you love.
Work Camping – Generally speaking, work camping involves hosting at an RV park or campground. These opportunities are usually seasonal and offer a free or low cost RV spot in exchange for work. Some of these positions offer additional pay on top of a free RV spot.
Water guiding – If you enjoy water related activities like fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, jet skiing, or sailing, you could find seasonal work as a guide. Any location that’s known for water-based activities will have tour companies that’ll be hungry to hire during the high season.
How do I find seasonal work from my RV?
As with any job, the best place to start is by taking inventory of what you love to do and what you’re awesome at. From there, you should brainstorm ways to turn that into seasonal work.
Into crafts? Search for crafting conventions or a touring craft fair that might need extra workers in a place you want to go.
Love all things RV? RV shows happen all over the country and are usually hiring.
One with nature? National, state, and county parks are always on the hunt for cool people.
Once you’ve figured out where your passions lie, you can get about the business of finding people who’ll pay you for them. Here are some resources for that:
- Coolworks – Find cool jobs in cool places on this well-respected platform.
- Workaway.info – This is a great site for ranch/farm type opportunities, but it also has a huge selection of other wicked cool jobs all over the world.
- Jobs with National Parks Service – All seasonal and full-time opportunities are listed on this site.
- Join Facebook Brand Ambassador groups – Brand Ambassador is the industry term for someone doing promotional work at an event. When an event comes to your area, they’ll likely post openings to a local brand ambassador Facebook group.
- Workamper – One of the best resources for finding jobs at RV parks and campgrounds.
- Network, network, network – Whether you’re wanting to work a sweet concert, get a job in a cool town by a national park, or host at a campsite, you’ll give yourself a huge leg up by getting to know the right people.
Once you zero in on what you want to do and where you want to do it, try to get yourself to that spot and about the business of getting to know who you need to know to get hired.
Thanks to the internet, working and living full-time on the road is easier than ever. But that doesn’t mean the only way to make money on the road is by sitting in front of a computer hooked to spotty campground WiFi. By opening yourself up to seasonal work on the road, you can supplement (or replace) internet-based opportunities while having tons of fun.
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Josh is half of the husband+wife duo behind OutofNorm.al – where their mantra is life, unwasted. Josh and his wife have been galivanting all over the country in an ’88 Airstream for the past 3 years…and counting. They seek out small towns, BLM lands and the next vintage camper they can renovate for their AirBNB glamping business.