So you want a little of the good life?
If you want to know how to make money while living in an RV, we’ve got the goods! Here’s a primer to all your options for making money on the road, from being an online fitness coach to Pinterest consultant. It’s the 21st century – take advantage of it!
And like I said, all these are tested strategies. Inspiration for this article was from How 25 RVers Make Money While Living On the Road at RVInspiration.com. You can read how 25 real full-time RVers make money while they travel!
Also known as remote working, telecommuting is simply working from home! Many businesses, especially post-COVID, allow (or encourage) people to work from home.
With a reliable internet connection, you can perform data entry, submit proposals, contact customers, reach out to vendors, and conduct general business online. The advent of shared cloud drives makes working from home easier than ever! Just wear pants while on Zoom, please. You never know.
If you want to clock in digitally, you’ll need a reliable internet connection. And no, you don’t want to base your career on the free campground WiFi! You’ll likely need a dedicated MiFi device with an unlimited data plan (at least 10GB per month) or a satellite internet system. Check out SkyRom and Verizon for the best options. Plans are sold monthly and annually.
Plan on working from a laptop. Desktop computers don’t fit in many RV office nooks. Plus, you can always take your laptop to a library and work from there!
2. FREELANCE FOR GIGS
If you’re an artsy or techie type of person, you’ll find lots of freelance work on communities such as Upwork, Fiverr, and specialty job boards.
As a freelancer, you’re self-employed as an independent contractor. You work with other parties on a per-project basis. Once you’re done, you move on!
Freelance ideas include:
- Fitness trainer
- Travel agent
- Photo editing
- Video editing
- Data entry
- CAD designer
- SEO consultant
- Voice over artist
- Website or code developer
- Social media manager
- Site virtual assistant
- Software engineer
If you plan to freelance while RVing, best to get started now! Even if you’re proficient in your chosen skill, it can 6+ months to establish a reputation and land a good set of high-paying clients.
Of all the solutions in this article, freelancing has the highest earning potential, but also the highest risk. A good freelancer can make $100,000 a year! But it takes grit: long nights, early mornings, a winning smile, and a good brain.
3. TEACH ONLINE
If you were good at school and can teach others to do the same, you can be an online teacher or tutorial!
STEM subjects like math and science are always in high demand. So is English and writing. If you want to join with an established service, consider the following:
- Chegg Tutors
Or you can launch your own online courses on platforms like:
Short for work-camping, workamping is the art of mooching for money! In exchange for a place to call home, you work for the owner of a campground.
Rarely is workamping a formal agreement. The campground simply charges you a reduced fee (or nothing!) in exchange for your assistance, off the books.
Simply inquire ahead of time about the possibility. List your skills, your desired length of stay, and how much time you can contribute to their projects. Don’t try to drive a hard bargain! – they’re doing YOU the favor, not vice versa.
Skills in demand include:
- Cleaning and organization
- Cooking and food prep
Workamping is true “sweat equity.” The work is usually manual labor. You can find boatloads of job opportunities at Workampernews.com. Sign up for a free trial (plans starting at $19.95 a year) to search a nationwide directory for temporary jobs specifically for RVers! For instance, you can apply to be a seasonal mechanic at U.S. National Parks.
Be aware that campgrounds are bound by rules and regulations, thanks to both insurance policies and state and federal regulations. Just because you can wire a 30-amp power pedestal at home doesn’t mean you’ll be allowed to do the same at a campsite!
P.S. A specialty version of workamping is being a campground host – literally paid to camp! If you’re a seasonal traveler who plans to stay in one area for at least 90 days, then consider being a camp host. It’s not usually a well-paying gig (equivalent hourly wage is often less than minimum wage), but if you’re looking for free rent and relaxed work, you won’t find better!
5. SEASONAL WORK
If you like the idea of workamping but can’t find opportunities at the local campground, why not ask around?
Many businesses, particularly in the farm and agriculture sectors, hire seasonal workers. Harvest-time requires all hands on deck! You can check Picking USA to see what jobs may be available in your area. Another great agriculture opportunity is WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms).
If you’re looking for jobs in the oil and gas industry, which tend to pay well but demand long hours, Indeed.com is a great place to start. Most of these jobs are concentrated along the Gulf Coast and the Dakotas.
Amazon CamperForce is a popular choice for many full-time RVers. It’s essentially seasonal warehouse and transportation employment. CamperForce offers jobs in warehouses, grocery stores, and buildings with forklifts and other equipment. Read more about Amazon CamperForce here.
Another option is a long-term volunteership. At the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Sanctuary, for instance, committed volunteers (more than three months) are given free room and board! You have to love wolves, though. But similar opportunities except at many outdoor non-profit organizations.
Other opportunities include:
- Theme parks
- Swimming pools
- Carnivals and circuses
- Local fairs and festivals
- Bartender or server
- Local temp agencies
6. PERSONAL BLOG OR YOUTUBE CHANNEL
Actually, I include this entry on the list in order to potentially DISCOURAGE you from starting a blog!
Yes, with time, expertise, grit and determination, a blog can become a profitable (even VERY profitable) business!
And if you have the ability to share your expert knowledge in a way that is educational and entertaining – plus you’re willing to learn all the ins and outs of the blogosphere – then yes, a blog is an excellent idea.
But if your plan is to become an influencer, that is, to simply create a blog about your adventures while RVing, then I regret to say you’d have better odds as a professional gambler.
Many RV travel blogs exist. Most seem like clones. The competition is fierce! You can only review so many campgrounds. And please, don’t make another “how to winterize your camper” video!
Unless you’re willing to plunge full-steam ahead and post on Instagram five times a day, blog once a day, and upload a new YouTube video every week – plus doing all the crazy adventures you’ll be talking about, as well as learning about ad monetization and affiliate marketing – then find another money-making avenue.
7. MOBILE RV TECHNICIAN
You’ll be doing lots of your own RV repair and maintenance work – why not make a side hustle out of it?
The National RV Training Academy offers a 1-week, 48-hour training course to become a registered RV technician. You’ll learn about RV propane systems, plumbing, electrical, and appliance repair. The course is in-person in the state of Texas. Registration required.
If you’re not able or willing to become a registered technician, you can take the RV Owner Fundamentals Training course online or in person. Learning from the National RV Training Academy is far better than gleaning nuggets of information from blog posts and YouTube channels!
You can sell your services to fellow campers or even set up your own website and call number. Just be prepared to respond to calls at any time of day!
You’ll also need to invest at least several hundred dollars in tools and equipment for repair and diagnostics.
Psst .. are you more artsy than mechanically inclined? Why not become an RV renovator? If you can paint, upholster or tile, you can find someone who will pay you for it! Just look to TheFlippingNomad for inspiration!
Andy Herrick is a blogging nerd, #8 Enneagram, wannabe bread baker, INTJ, RV industry professional, and small business entrepreneur. He can be found hanging out with his lovely wife and family, skiing, cycling, climbing, hiking, and convincing anyone who will listen why dogs aren’t really that great of pets. Also, he runs this website.