Not All Workampers are Old, Broke and Destitute

Does Jim look like a decrepit, old workamper who’s down on his luck?

Workamper Jim creates a fireplace mantle for Vickers Ranch.

Sadly, the image of old, broke and destitute full-time RVing workampers is now being promoted all over TV, radio and the Internet.

Workampers are Not Victims

Today, NPR’s “Here and Now” show aired a story about living in RVs and workamping on the road. Jim and I had waited all day for this story with gleeful anticipation. That’s because we took it for granted that an organization like NPR would present a story that covered all of the great aspects of living and working as full-time RVers.

But instead, here’s the story the public was served up in an August 2014 Harper’s Magazine article called “The End of Retirement: When You Can’t Afford to Stop Working.”

The article spotlights photos of crappy old RVs and portrayed full-time RVers as destitute and downtrodden. The author took the workamping concept and twisted it into a nightmare.

Did the author make an effort to dig deeper and talk to the majority of full-time RVers who are living this lifestyle because we choose to? No. Did the author talk to those of us who are not retirement age? Nope. Or did the author make an effort to interview those of us who wouldn’t have life any other way (we’re not that hard to find)? That would be asking way too much.

Journalism is dead.

RIP Journalism

In 1992 when I graduated from college with a journalism degree in hand, a professor in another department said to me, “So, how does it feel to enter a dying field?” He was so right. Real journalism is dead. The article in Harper’s Magazine is proof.

RIP journalism. It was nice knowing you.

Workamping: not a bad way of life!

Meanwhile, here are other venues where her article is discussed. If you disagree as much as we do, I encourage you to comment:

NPR Here and Now: Older Poor Americans and Their Search for Work

Harper’s Blog: The End of Retirement on MSNBC
US News: A Disturbing Look at the New Retirement
MSNBC The Cycle: An Eye Opening Look at Retirement in America



4 thoughts on “Not All Workampers are Old, Broke and Destitute”

  1. Unfortunately, way too many people have seen it. It is amazing how the media either promotes the mega expensive RVers (via the RV shows on TV) or the down and outs as in this article and pictures of broken down derelict RVs more or less permanently hunkered down in a Walmart or broken down Trailer Park when the vast majority of those who RV do it because they enjoy it and they did some planning ahead to allow them to do it.

    • Colleen, I know, you are so right! They never show the vast majority of RVers, it’s all about sensationalism in the media. Too bad for the general public, they’ll never know how great this lifestyle is.

  2. The good news is, no one will see it. NPR and MSNBC have a viewer coverage so low that statistically no one will/hear see it.


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