Workamping is _______________. Fill in the blank. The definition of workamping has definitely evolved over the years. Traditionally, workamping only involved working at a campground or RV park in exchange for a place to camp. Check out our Workamping Page for a formal definition about what workamping is now. Or, check out all our workamping posts to see the wide variety of jobs we’ve had over the past 15+ years on the road.
Spoiler Alert: We’ve never once had the typical RV park or campground host type of workamping jobs.
Then again, if you want to know what workamping is not, read my last post explaining how I feel that workamping is not a career.
As I mentioned in that opinion piece, workamping is a way to save on rent while exploring new areas. Since then, another recent post in the Workampers Facebook Group discussed that whole “saving” part. One member boldly disagreed with another who mentioned how, “workamping is a way to save” while traveling. While I do agree, this also depends upon how you define saving. In my opinion, no, workamping is not a way to effectively contribute to any sort of real savings. However, after working wherever we camp for so long now, there is no way we would have built up the retirement savings we have with workamping alone. Though, we have saved plenty of rent by workamping. But I digress…
What Is Workamping, and What Is It Not?
Workamping is a type of work that may require a wide variety of talent. Though, not necessarily all at the same job. Workamping is customer service. Workampers working in the office at a busy RV park or resort may deal with customers in person, or on the phone. All day long.
Workamping is plumbing. Subsequently, I’ve done my fair share of toilet installation and plumbing repairs while workamping during our many summers at Vickers Ranch. Some of those were simple entry-level plumber tasks. On the other hand, some major plumbing and irrigation projects I’ve done would demand high paying wages in the general contractor marketplace. And yes, we were paid for all hours in addition to receiving a free site with full hookups at the ranch. As a result, workamping is also a way to learn new skills.
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Workamping can be farm or ranch work. We’ve done both. And we found all our favorite farm and ranch jobs in Workamper News. As a result, workamping may entail livestock management, or managing the books. Workamping is all too often waste management and refuse disposal too.
In my perfect world, workamping is working from home, wherever we camp. For many nomads, workamping is a warehouse job. That didn’t work out so well for Rene. And now, with the Amazon Camperforce program cancelled, there are other major employers hiring workampers. For others, workamping is restocking stores or resetting retail shelves. It may mean selling Christmas trees, harvesting sugar beets, or pitching product demonstrations at Costco.
At most typical campground maintenance jobs, workamping is weed eating. It’s often lots of weed eating.
For those active in the gig economy, workamping is making money from side hustles with apps like Instacart, Shipt or LaborJack. For many retired folks, workamping is volunteering. More and more workampers are demanding pay for all hours worked. For those, workamping is a real job. As a result, if you’re going to make any sort of real money, workamping is a full-time job. However, that could send us down the rabbit hole discussing full-time RVing vs. living in an RV full-time. Big difference there. But there I go digressing yet again.
Workamping Is What It Is
Above all, workamping is fun. Rather, it can be. In addition, I’d argue that it should be! On the other hand, for some I’m sure, workamping is nothing more than a job. Furthermore, in those cases workamping may be boring, arduous, or downright drudgery. I sure don’t want those workamping jobs.
Then again, I find hard work fulfilling and fun. Finally, workamping is what you make of it. Just don’t make a career out of it. 😉
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