How would you like to get paid to travel around the country? I thought so. Imagine loading the RV and hitting the road for the summer and visiting places you’ve never been and making a few bucks on the side for being there? It sounds pretty good and for many in their fifties sixties and seventies , this is how they spend their retirement. It’s called workamping and it revolves around seasonal jobs at campsites and national and state parks. If you have an RV and are willing to put in some work at the site you end up at, you can benefit a great dealing by being a workamper. There are a couple of different ways to earn your keep in these seasonal jobs. A volunteer camp host is a WorkCamper and a paid camp host is a Workamper. See the difference? The volunteer ‘WorkCamper’ basically trades labor services for a free campsite.
Work in paradise
Thanks to the Fair Labor Standards Act which controls minimum wage restrictions, the majority of the volunteer WorkCamper positions are located at government-run campgrounds. That’s not a bad thing if you’ve done much in the way of RVing because you’ll know that most of the fancy spots are government-run by agencies such as the National Park Service, National Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Corps of Engineers. WorkCampers are also used by charitable organizations at education facilities, kids camps and animal shelters.
As a volunteer WorkCamper you’ll be expected to put in between ten and twenty hours a week and depending on the specific location you could be doing such things as collecting fees from campers, helping campers locate open sites, answer questions, watch for problems and deal with the general operation of the campsite. This means you’ll be parked in a high visibility location and can expect to be stirred from a sound sleep by a camper looking for some kind of assistance, but it may also be an invite to join in a sing-along next to a fire by some very nice campers happy to have you watching over the campground.
You’ll need to be a real people person for this job, and if you like meeting people and doing odd jobs at a campground this could be the best way to spend part of your summer. The paid Workamping job is quite a bit different to the volunteer WorkCamper position. The main difference is that the paid one requires a full forty hours of labor but the really interesting part is that these workamping jobs are usually found at amusement parks, campgrounds, RV resorts, motels/hotels, tourist sites with retail locations, website fulfillment centers and much more. Many workampers are hired for full and part-time sales and management jobs which can lead to a commission earned in addition to the base rate offered.
In addition to the wage earned, workampers typically are provided with RV sites either where they will be working or nearby. The other main difference between volunteer and paid workamping is that the paid jobs are usually with privately-owned campground operators and job duties will be pretty much the same as at the volunteer sites with some additional duties including cleaning washrooms, garbage pick up and light maintenance jobs or repairs.
Work as much as you like
As a workamper you’ll be able to travel to different places in the country and spend some time there working and getting to know the lay of the land. Some workampers work in one place during the summer and another in the winter while others will return to their home in the off-season. There are even those who have sold their home and live full-time in their RV and workamp all year every year visiting different places with each new job. To find out more about workamping or WorkCamping opportunities just enter ‘where to workamp’ in your online search window for a list of locations near you, or visit the national parks web site or any state parks web site.