Tag: Workcamping

Tag: Workcamping

  • Workamping: A Day in the Life of...

    Have you ever thought about hitting the road and quitting your full time job? Have you dreamt of early morning fishing on the Thousand Islands in New York and never having to commute to an office? Have you come across short social media videos with someone camping and hiking every day near a national park and wondered how they pulled it off?

    Many folks are doing just this by workamping. 

    Never heard of it? We’ll give you everything you need to know in this blog. 

    A Day in the Life of a Workamper

    Table of Contents
    1. What is workamping?
    2. What is a workamper?
    3. What is a day in the life of a workamper like?
    4. What are the most rewarding aspects of workamping?
    5. What are the biggest challenges for workampers?
    6. How to find workamping opportunities

    What is workamping?

    Workamping (also written as workcamping or work camping) is exactly what you think – work plus camping. It’s a category of job that is usually short-term or seasonal, on-site, and can often be in some of the country’s most beautiful locations.

    For the purposes of this blog, the term workamping simply means living in an RV (or mobile accommodation) while working at an RV park or campground.

    (The term is sometimes used more broadly to describe part time jobs done on the road, but today we’re focusing on the narrowed definition of workamping by living and working at a campground or RV park.)

    Workamping is a phenomenal way to combine your love of a nomadic lifestyle with the need to make actual money, and it’s more common than you’d think. 

    We’ll be honest, it’s not always easy or glamorous, but neither is driving across state lines in a 40’ RV for your first time. But you did it, and you loved it! And the freedom of not having a standard desk job pairs quite nicely with an outdoor lifestyle for people opting in to a minimalist life in favor of exploration and adventure.

    What is a workamper?

    A workamper is a person who is choosing to work at a campsite or RV park instead of a traditional office, and you’d be surprised how diverse the workamping community is.

    They come from various backgrounds and range from retirees to young couples that have young children. 

    Retirees often choose workamping to stay active and supplement their income, while those new to the workforce choose the option in rejection of the standard hustle and grind life.

    Many come from skilled trades like carpentry, electrical work, plumbing, or maintenance, while others often come from hospitality and customer service backgrounds.

    Workampers’ goals are just as diverse as the community, with some planning on remaining workampers long term, and others jump into it as a temporary phase in life to enjoy freedom and adventure before retiring or transitioning into a different lifestyle.

    Regardless of where workampers come from or where they go, what all have in common is the thirst for a more free life as they discover new passions and gain new experiences. It’s not a conventional career path, but if you’ve read this far, you’re probably not a conventional person (we can relate).


    What does a day in the life of a workamper look like?

    The average day can vary widely depending on the employer, location, and specific job duties, so let’s talk about typical scheduling scenarios, responsibilities, and work-life balance.

    First up, what responsibilities might a workamper have?

    Assigned tasks vary from campground maintenance, cleaning cabins or restrooms, landscaping, organizing and putting on community events, checking in guests, answering phone calls and emails, social media management for the employer, office administration, you name it. If something happens at a camp site or at an RV park, it’s something a workamper might be tasked with.

    Work schedules vary, so how does that typically work?

    Schedules are typically set and there are daily hours and days off. The work is sometimes full-time, and sometimes part-time, depending on the employer’s needs.

    It is common for a workamper to work five days a week, but sometimes the arrangement will be working longer shifts for several days in a row, then having consecutive days off.

    Workampers traditionally live on-site and are dedicated for a certain period of time to that site, regardless of responsibilities. Many employers expect that their workampers will attend any social community events and be interactive in the community when possible, even if organizing them is not in the workamper’s purview.

    What are the most rewarding aspects of workamping?

    Personal circumstances are different for every single human, and we all bring different backgrounds and goals to the table, but let’s talk about the aspects of workamping that people absolutely love.

    1. First up is freedom. Freedom and flexibility is why people choose a mobile lifestyle to begin with, and workamping offers just that. Sitting at a desk from 9-5 with a two-hour commute each way is a lifestyle more and more people are walking away from, realizing that watching the sunrise in a gorgeous setting doesn’t have to be restricted to vacation days.

    Workampers can be nomadic, so some employers offer a long-term arrangement, while others know you might be ready to bop over to another site for another experience altogether.

    2. The second most rewarding aspect of workamping is cost savings. Compensation can include a campsite, utilities, as well as pay, which is especially advantageous when looking to minimize costs of living.

    3. Next, let’s talk about camaraderie. Workampers typically choose to join the local community of long-term residents mixed in with vacationers and workampers. Not only are there ample online communities to join, but sites often have community events to take part in, and of course, the Escapees RV Club, a well-known and well-loved RV membership organization that is one of the oldest and largest in the world, providing a comprehensive support network for all RVers.

    4. Quality of life is a tremendous reward for workampers, with ample opportunity to enjoy nature and recreational activities while still getting to be a valued member of society and interact with humans (so we don’t become completely feral). Living a slower pace of life is a huge draw for many, so workamping is becoming a popular option.

    What are the biggest challenges for workampers?

    Workamping is wildly rewarding, but it is not free from challenges. There are four primary difficulties some people may encounter:

    1. Safety and physical demands are the biggest challenge. Many workamping opportunities include physical labor which may sound great, but if done without local knowledge can quickly become unsafe. For example, if you’ve never been in a West Texas desert and you don’t hydrate properly because you don’t feel thirsty, you might be in for a nasty heat stroke. Further, campsites don’t do background checks, so you don’t always know who is enjoying the space with you. Basic safety awareness is recommended for folks new to the lifestyle.

    2. Secondly, much of the work is seasonal and not always promised. It’s not always as stable as a conventional office job, and if a site is not seeing enough visitors, they may choose to end a workamper’s contract. Additionally, the most readily available roles are the temporary or short-term workamper opportunities. That is not to say that a full time or long-term opportunity is impossible to find, it’s just more rare since they are snapped up so quickly today.

    3. Another challenge some have to overcome is potential social isolation. The transient nature of workamping can lead to feelings of isolation in some folks, especially in more remote locations, which can impact social connections. While some sites have social events, and there are ample online communities and offline events (like Xscapers Convergence), that is not always enough for extreme extroverts. Many people travel with a partner and even share workamping responsibilities and shifts, but even that still feels too isolating to some people.

    4. Shifting environments is a challenge for some workampers. Living in a smaller RV necessitates creative space optimizations and resource management, which can be cumbersome to someone who is new to the experience. There is an adjustment period. Further, moving between different RV parks and campgrounds requires adjusting to new environments, new supervisors, and new coworkers. None of this is impossible or a dealbreaker, but something to consider if you don’t like change.


    How to find workamping opportunities

    As you research, there are five primary ways to find workamping opportunities:

    1. Online job boards: There are websites that cater specifically to workamping opportunities and provide job listings and resources. For example, RVer Job Exchange has a feature dedicated specifically to workampers

    2. Campground and RV park websites: If you’ve narrowed down where you want to start workamping geographically, you can start visiting the specific sites’ websites and look for sections like “employment,” “workamping,” or “careers” for info on positions.

    3. Direct contact: Some workampers may take the initiative to directly contact campgrounds or RV parks they are interested in working at, reaching out by phone or email. This approach might not work for larger organizations (they’ll just point you to their website), but can be helpful for small, independent sites that might not even post workamp opportunities anywhere online.

    4. RVing and workamping forums and groups: Whatever your favorite social network, there are niche groups for workampers. For example, there are tons of Facebook Groups, one of the largest being Workampers where employers post open opportunities and individuals post what they are looking for next as they all expand their nomadic networks. One of the best known forums is the Escapees RV Network, and you’ll find great groups on LinkedIn, endless conversations on Twitter if you search the hashtag #workamp or #workamping. You get the gist. 

    5. Networking and word-of-mouth: Networking within the workamping community is hugely beneficial, so attend RVer gatherings and connect with fellow enthusiasts when you can. Build relationships and engage in conversations offline and online, as it makes finding your next opportunity infinitely easier. The community is tight, but welcoming, so join in as soon as possible. 

    Now that you know how workamping functions, the risks and rewards, and how to get going, what are you waiting for? Get started now, friends!

    Continue Reading
  • 38 State Parks for Camp Hosting &...

    Camp Hosting is one of the most famous types of jobs for RVers! 

    Working and living on-site while helping to take care fo the day-to-day operations fo the campground is an important highly sought after position! It also allows you to lower you travel expenses and sometimes brings in a little extra cash to help fuel future trips.

    We’ve compiled a list of 38 state parks where camp hosting and seasonal jobs are plentiful! Use the list below to find opportunities in the state parks you would like to spend time in!

    38 State Parks for Camp Hosting & Seasonal Jobs



















































































    You can download a PDF copy of this list to keep handy for reference by clicking below! 


    Continue Reading
  • 20 Questions to Ask Work Camping Employers

    Work Camping jobs are a little different and by those same standards, interviewing with Work Camping Employers is also a little different than what you might experience in a traditional job interview.

    When you live and work on-site at facilities like campgrounds, as well as state and national parks, you’ll find that there are some things you need to know upfront to make sure your stay is comfortable and the job is as expected.

    20 Questions To Ask Work Camping Employers

    1. What are the required dates for this position?
    2. What are the required job duties of this position?
    3. Do you have any positions for solo workers?
    4. What types of hookups are available?
    5. Can you describe a typical day?
    6. What is the dress code? Are uniforms provided?
    7. Are the employee sites mixed in with daily/monthly guests?
    8. Is cleaning bathrooms part of the job?
    9. Can you provide a written work agreement?
    10. Do you have a schedule already in place?
    11. What days and times are required?
    12. Are there any on-call hours?
    13. Are the same shifts available for couples?
    14. Can we have the same days off?
    15. Do you require a set number of hours in exchange for the site?
    16. Are additional hours, outside those required for the site available for pay?
    17. How many days before and after my employment dates can I occupy the site?
    18. What is the hourly wage you are offering?
    19. Is there a completion bonus?
    20. How many RVers do you hire each year and how many return?


    We recommend you download a copy of these interview questions and keep them close for each interview you complete! 


    Continue Reading
  • Different Types of Workcamping Jobs

    From State & National Parks, which always seem to be hiring the next set of seasonal workers, to big retailers like Amazon who have recently expanded their recruitment program to include several hundred additional positions and alternate locations- it seems employers from coast to coast are catching on to the niche employment pool of RV workers! There is a variety of different types of workcamping jobs for RVers, now.

    Which is great news for you!

    RVers can work seasonally for amusement parks, offering an alternative to traditional workcamping jobs for RVers.

    So just like RVs, jobs for RVers come in all shapes and sizes, meaning there are many different types of workcamping jobs. And right now, RVers have a variety of fields, industries, and ultimately employers to choose from when searching for ways to make money and/or lower their expenses while they travel.

    Many people prefer to stick to seasonal jobs which offer reduced camping fees or a free spot to camp for the peak season, while others find that putting in longer hours at higher pay, for shorter time spans is the best way to take advantage of peak travel season.

    You can decide for yourself which options work best for you, and may even find that switching things up with a little of both is the best way to not only fund your journey but add to the adventure!

    In this article, I’d like to cover 8 popular types of workcamping jobs and provide a few options for you to research and consider.

    Employees in safety gear work in warehouse setting, much as RVers may in this type of workcamping job.

    8 Popular Types of Workcamping Jobs

    • RV Parks & Campgrounds- If you think you might enjoy working where you live, and the flexibility to move around while traveling seasonally, grabbing a job at an RV Park or Campground in the areas where you wish to stay might be the perfect type of workcamping job for you! Many RV Parks & Campgrounds will gladly hire RVers to come for a seasonal role in positions such as reservations, maintenance, and housekeeping. These jobs usually pay a moderate wage and offer either a free or discounted rate for camping.
    • State Parks- Many State Parks offer jobs for seasonal travelers looking to setup shop for a few months in exchange for working onsite. Mostly offering the traditional camp hosting positions where pay, if any, is quite minimal, State Parks are always in need of people to help out in their peak and off peak seasons. State Park systems like Idaho State Parks, California State Parks, and Florida State Parks are just some of the great programs being offered in top travel destinations.
    • National Parks- National Parks like Yellowstone & Grand Canyon, are known for more than being great tourist destinations! They’re also known for offering jobs during the summer for travelers with RVs. Both parks offer retail positions which pay an hourly wage and offer extremely discounted RV camping, among other perks.
    • Warehouse Jobs- Warehouse positions may not be the most fun or entertaining way to make cash while traveling in your RV, but they do offer big benefits like paid camping, higher wages, and the opportunity for overtime. New companies like DigiKey have started to dabble in hiring RVers, which has proved to be very successful for Amazon’s Camperforce program. Make sure to do your research on any warehouse or fulfillment positions before accepting these jobs.
    • Sales & Marketing- If Sales & Marketing are more your style, you’ll be glad to hear that several employers like Kitchen Craft Cookware and AGS offer positions for traveling sales and marketing professionals. So whether you’re interested in demonstrating the newest waterless cookware options or selling advertising space on campground maps for commission, there are also workcamping jobs available where your skill set will be put to great use.
    • Theme Parks- Many theme parks like Adventureland, Darien Lakes, Dollywood, and the Island at Pigeon Forge hire RVers each summer season to help ensure their guests have the best experience possible. Positions in rides, ticketing, food service and more offer RVers the opportunity to work where the fun happens, while getting hourly pay and cheap or free rent.
    • KOA- KOA (Kampgrounds of America) offers its own workcamping program for RVers who are interested in traveling while working inside the same parks system. It’s a big opportunity to learn the ropes on things like a common reservation system and then travel to different parks and build on previous knowledge. KOA also offers travel vouchers to RVers who will be traveling from one park job to another, so the program is definitely worth looking into.
    • Sugar Beets- Last but not least, the Sugar Beet Harvest hires RVers to work in what they call the Unbeetable Experience. The schedule consists of 12 hour days on both day and night shifts, but the big promise is that you only work for 14 days! This seasonal job provides many RVers with the travel funds they need to take the winter off or play more during the summer!
    Field of beets ready for harvesting. The annual sugar beet harvest is another type of workcamping job for RVers.

    As you can see there are many different ways to workcamp.

    You can choose to take jobs at state & national parks or grab a traveling position in sales and marketing that allows for more flexibility in your schedule and the ability to stay in more places for shorter periods of time.

    Don’t forget, KOA offers a private workcamping program that allows RVers to earn travel vouchers when going from park to park for jobs, and multiple theme parks offer seasonal roles to RVers looking for fun places to work outside the camping industry!

    Ultimately, the choice is yours, but the first step is finding the employment opportunities you think you might be interested in and then doing some research on them to see what exactly is being offered. Once you know what the job is and what they are offering vs. expecting in return, you’ll be one step closer to booking your adventures and making money along the way.


    Sharee Collier

    Sharee Collier is the founder of www.LiveCampWork.com – an online website delivering information and resources on jobs for RVers and making money while you travel. She’s the author of the best-selling book, Live Camp Work: Make Money & RV Full-time, the host of the Live Camp Work Podcast, and a full-time RV traveler with her husband and 4 kids.

    Continue Reading
  • What To Know Before Your First Work...

    Wondering what exactly what you need to know before your very first work camping job? I’m  here to help.

    So you’ve read up on #RVlife and now you think you might be interested in traveling full-time. You already have an RV, your affairs are in order, but you’re thinking you might need to pick up a few seasonal jobs along the way.

    You found some information about work camping online and it all seems pretty straight forward, but you’re just not quite sure if you’re really ready to get started.

    Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

    This way you can feel confident in not only lining up your seasonal jobs, but in understanding how the Live Camp Work lifestyle works and how you can be a part of it!

    A common task for workcampers is maintaining the campground, including chopping wood for guests to use.

    What To Know Before You Start Work Camping

    I’ll assume you already know the basics of what work camping is and how it works. I mean let’s be honest, most of that information is right in the name. Since many folks tend to put their own spin on things, let’s just focus on what you need to know before getting started.

    This way, you’ll be prepared to start looking for jobs, know how to handle offers, and understand why getting everything in writing is so important.

    Let’s get started.

    Always Apply Early

    Work camping jobs can be found all throughout the RVer Job Exchange! There are employers hiring for everything from camp hosting positions and volunteer gigs to marketing, sales, and hospitality positions.

    Job posts are published randomly through the year with the highest concentration of available positions posted between November and April. This is prime recruiting season for summer jobs and upcoming opportunities for the next year.

    RV employers are ready to get hiring and recruitment over and done with so they can focus on actually running the business. This is great news for eager RVers. Knowing when to start looking for job openings is about half the battle. And if you can get your application or resume submitted early, you’ll be leaps ahead of the masses!

    When you see a new job listing or receive that extra special job alert (build your job alert here), take a moment to read through it. This is your chance to be the early bird and snag your first work camping job.

    If it seems like something you might be interested in, apply right then. Make sure your resume or application is one of the very first ones they receive, which will increase your chances of having it read and reviewed. If you’re unable to apply right then, save it to your account so you can go back later in the day and apply. But just make sure you get it in as early as possible!

    It's a good idea to do your research before applying for your first workcamping job.

    Plan Ahead, One Season at a Time

    With so many people work camping these days, it’s now more important than ever to make sure you’re keeping your eyes and ears open. Be ready for potential work camping jobs for future seasons. Planning 2-3 seasons ahead is a safe bet that you’ll grab positions in prime locations with the employers you really want to work for. It also helps you line out your travels six months to one year ahead of time. This gives you time to research all the cool places to go and things to see in the surrounding area.

    When planning your jobs, I suggest starting with the summer season which always appears to be the easiest season to grab great jobs. Give yourself an easy win by starting with a fun or well-placed summer job in a location you always dreamed of traveling to- or just where you’d like to spend the summer!

    Once you have your first summer job lined out, and know your exact departure date, you’ll then be able to plan for the fall or winter season backing up to it.

    Leave some time for travel, visiting friends and family, or just head straight over- it’s your choice! But once you have that winter job lined up and know your departure date, you need to start lining up the next summer in this same fashion.

    Negotiate Your Wage and Perks

    You have to ask for what you want. Be prepared to negotiate if it’s not included in the offer the employer presents to you. Negotiation is part of the culture when you are dealing with small campgrounds and small businesses. When you live, camp and work at the same property you want to make sure you start off on the right foot!

    Let’s be honest, not all working RVers will want the same perks and if the compensation doesn’t fit what you’re looking for, it’s your job to see if you can negotiate a common ground. Think of it this way: if you never ask, you’ll never know.

    A word of advice on large campground corporations and high volume employers like Amazon Camperforce & the Sugar Beet Harvest… there just isn’t room for negotiation. They’re programs are set to hire the most people in the shortest amount of time. They don’t negotiate individual deals with each RVer who applies, so save your negotiation efforts for the small operations who want to focus on finding people with your skills and the experience you have to offer.

    Get It All In Writing

    The biggest tip I can give to working RVers just getting started with their first work camping job is to make sure you get the details in writing. Word of mouth just doesn’t cut it!

    You need to make sure the employer sends you a written offer letter or work agreement that you both sign. This should spell out the position you’ve accepted, the number of hours you’ll work, home much you’ll be paid, if your site is free or the exact monthly cost, and if there are any additional compensation, perks, and benefits.

    You’ll also want to clearly define any arrangements to work for the site, honey wagon pumping that may be included for non-full hook-up sites, as well as your agreed upon arrival and departure dates.

    Not having these pertinent details in writing leaves you open to possible misunderstandings and miscommunications. Unfortunately, for a lot of people who make this big mistake, it’s the difference between a negative experience and a positive one.

    Ready to Land Your First Work Camping Job?

    With this information, I hope you can feel more confident in getting started with work camping jobs!

    Like everything that’s new and unknown, it can be a little intimidating and even scary going after the first few jobs you find. Feel confident in lining up your seasonal jobs using the 4 key tips I’ve just covered! If you stick to them, trust me…

    you’re more than halfway to the finish line.

    And if you’re not quite ready to get started, that’s fine too. Just keep soaking up all the information you can get your hands on

    Was this post on Workamping and taxes helpful? Pin it on Pinterest!


    Sharee Collier

    Sharee Collier is the founder of www.LiveCampWork.com – an online website delivering information and resources on jobs for RVers and making money while you travel. She’s the author of the best-selling book, Live Camp Work: Make Money & RV Full-time, the host of the Live Camp Work Podcast, and a full-time RV traveler with her husband and 4 kids.

    Continue Reading
  • Workcamping and Taxes: Tax Implications of Trading...

    Workcamping and Taxes: Tax Implications of Trading Labor for RV Campsites was originally published on www.xscapers.com

    Bartering your labor for free RV camping is a very popular strategy for RVers looking for creative ways to make ends meet while living on the road.

    Websites, various organic communities, and for-profit businesses have sprung up to provide how-to tips and facilitate the matching of “work-campers” with the RV parks and campgrounds offering these bartered opportunities. No doubt about it, the work-camping ecosystem is thriving and growing.

    There’s no surprise that the IRS has carved out a position regarding tax implications for bartered transactions. Accordingly, one of the more frequently asked questions we deal with is “Should RVers claim income and pay taxes on the value of the free campsites that are provided as compensation for their services?

    The IRS doesn’t address the work-camping scenario in specific terms, but we can draw a reasonable conclusion from how they weigh in on the concept of employer-provided housing—also referred to as “Lodging on the business premises” in the IRS regulations. First let’s lay some groundwork and then we’ll return to this concept.

    Taxable Income

    The IRS casts a wide net when defining what is taxable income. I recall my professor’s sage advice in my first college class on federal income taxes. He advised my classmates and me that when dealing with the IRS it is best to assume all income is taxable unless you can find specific guidance (from the IRS) that states otherwise.

    Consistent with my professor’s admonition, the IRS defines business income as follows, “Except as otherwise provided in the Internal Revenue Code, gross income includes all income from whatever source derived.” (1)  For individual taxpayers, the IRS mandates, “You must include in gross income everything you receive in payment for personal services.” (2) 

    Fringe Benefits

    The IRS further states that taxable income includes, “other forms of compensation such as fringe benefits.” (2) Fringe benefits are defined as, “a form of pay for the performance of services…. For example, you provide an employee with a fringe benefit when you allow the employee to use a business vehicle to commute to and from work.” (3) 

    Compensation in the form of a taxable fringe benefit is included on Form W2 (subject to income tax and FICA tax withholding for employer-employee situations) or on Form 1099-MISC for independent contractors (subject to income tax and self-employment tax paid by the contractor).


    The IRS states, “Bartering is an exchange of property or services.” (2)  As a general rule, the IRS requires both parties in a barter arrangement to claim as taxable income the fair market value (FMV) of products and services received.

    Consider, for example, a mechanic who repairs a painter’s truck in exchange for having his shop painted, or a lawyer who provides legal services for a restaurant client in exchange for free meals. IRS rules dictate that such arrangements create taxable income for both parties even though no cash changes hands.

    Having explored how the IRS defines taxable income, fringe benefits and barter transactions, it appears work-camping arrangements constitute a taxable barter. Case closed? Not so fast. 

    Lodging Provided On Business Premises

    Thankfully, the IRS grants an exception to the taxable barter rule that is advantageous for work-campers and thus brings us back to the concept of “Lodging provided on the business premises.” Even though the IRS defines employer-provided lodging as a taxable fringe benefit, it does allow taxpayers to exclude this benefit from taxable income if all three of the following tests are met. (3)

    1. Employer-provided lodging must be furnished on the business premises. In other words, for the work-camper, the campsite must be on-site at the RV park or campground where you are providing services.
    2. Employer-provided lodging must be furnished for the employer’s convenience. The IRS states that there must be “a substantial business reason” why the on-site arrangement is necessary for the employer and “depends on all the facts and circumstances”. A simple written statement that the lodging is furnished for the convenience of the employer is not sufficient, a legitimate business reason must be provided. For example, requiring work-campers to live in the RV park or campground because they must be available at all times of the day or night would satisfy the test. Also, a work-camper is in a better position to serve paying customers because they are “eating their own dog food” so to speak, personally experiencing what it’s like to live on the premises and provide a level of internal quality control.
    3. The employer-provided lodging must be a required condition of employment. For the RVer, living on-site must be a condition to getting the job and being able to effectively perform the job’s duties.

    If any of the above three tests are NOT met, the IRS will consider your “free” campsite to be part of a taxable barter transaction and reportable as income just as if you had received cash. 

    Note also, if the employer allows work-campers to choose to receive cash compensation instead of the free campsite, then the campsite, if chosen, is NOT excluded from taxable income. If a choice is offered, then by definition the employer-provided lodging is no longer a “required condition”. However, if you receive cash in addition to a free campsite (for example, if you work extra hours) you are still allowed to exclude the value of the free campsite from income as long as all three tests are met.

    Workamping and Taxes: Tips and Warnings

    TIP: It is very important to get the employer to put these conditions in writing, so you have proper documentation in case of an IRS audit.   

    FREE TEMPLATE: Email freetemplate@quest-cpa.com and I’ll email you a reply that includes a template (Word doc and PDF versions) of a letter work-campers can use to document the three-pronged test. All you need to do is print and obtain the signature from an authorized representative (manager or owner) of the RV park or campground.  

    BEWARE: If you receive a W2 or 1099 after providing services for what you thought was a tax-free barter arrangement, the IRS will expect you to claim the W2/1099 income on your tax return. If such a situation occurs, contact the employer to correct or cancel the W2/1099 before filing your return, otherwise you’ll be on the hook to pay income tax on the value of the free campsite.

    Good News

    Work-campers can rest assured that there is precedent for legitimately excluding from taxable income the value of free campsites that are traded for labor. However, don’t cut corners and skip the important step of obtaining a signed document from your employer showing the three tests are met. Paper trails are your friend! 


    1. Instructions for Form 1120 (2018), U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return, https://www.irs.gov/instructions/i1120.
    1. IRS Publication 525 (2018), Taxable and Nontaxable Income, https://www.irs.gov/publications/p525.
    1. IRS Publication 15-B (2019), Employer’s Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits, https://www.irs.gov/publications/p15b.

    DISCLAIMER: The information and materials we share in this article are intended for reference only.  As the information is designed solely to provide guidance to the readers, it is not intended to be a substitute for someone seeking personalized professional advice based on specific factual situations.  Therefore, we strongly encourage you to seek the advice of a professional to help you with your specific needs.


    Tim Ewing - Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

    Tim began the full-time RV life in 2014 and works full-time from the road providing profitability and growth advisory services to business owners. Tim is also a CPA who specializes in helping self-employed RVers unload their bookkeeping burdens and avoid IRS headaches. You can reach Tim at timewing@quest-cpa.com or 757-771-2557.

    Was this post on Workamping and taxes helpful? Pin it on Pinterest!

    Continue Reading
  • Finding Seasonal Work From Your RV

    Finding Seasonal Work From Your RV was originally published on www.xscapers.com

    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?

    My wife and I follow the NASCAR circuit working with a major auto brand - here I am showing off a new tow vehicle to a couple of race fans.

    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:

    • EventsBefore 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.

    Work camping at Grand Teton National Park
    • 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.
    Example of brand ambassador opportunity shared in Facebok group. Get paid to demo motorcycles? Heck yes!
    • WorkamperOne 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.

    Did you like this post? Pin it on Pinterest!


    Josh Schukman

    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. 

    Continue Reading