All About Workamping to Enjoy the RV Life – RVE #307

The definition of “workamping” has evolved over the years. Traditionally, the arrangement included working at an RV park or campground in exchange for a place to camp. Technically, if you’re working remotely wherever you camp, you now might consider yourself a workamper. But what are the different types of workamping jobs are available now? Are there short term gigs, and what kind of compensation is available? Where do you find workamping jobs, and what does a workamper resume look like?

Jim sits down with Workamper News executive director Jody Anderson Duquette to discuss these questions, and more. Like, what seasonal opportunities are there? And, is workamping a career? Tune in as we bust some common myths about workamping too. Spoiler alert: Yes, there are jobs that include housing, and workamping is not just for retired couples.

All About Workamping

with Jody Anderson Duquette from Workamper News

Your Host: Jim Nelson


Workamper News

Facebook Workampers Group

16+ Years of Workamping Experince

Listen to The RV Entrepreneur Episode #307

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all about workamping

The RV Entrepreneur #307 Full Episode Transcript:

All About Workamping with Jody Anderson Duquette from Workamper News

RV Life: Welcome to the RV Entrepreneur podcast. The weekly show for Nomads, Work campers, RV ers and entrepreneurs looking to earn a living or build a business while enjoying the RV LIFEstyle. This week’s host is Jim Nelson. Let’s settle in and enjoy the RV Entrepreneur podcast brought to you by RV LIFE. This episode is sponsored by wholesale warranties.

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Jim: Hey there, Jim here with RV LIFE and you are listening to the RV Entrepreneur podcast, the show for and by entrepreneurs and other working nomads Loving the RV Life. You know, Renee and I first started full time living back in 2007. We planned and budgeted for a year on the road, but that turned into two. And before we knew it, we were burning through our savings. Around that time we discovered workamping. We were excited to find out how we could work at some pretty cool places in exchange for a place to camp. Since then we’ve had all sorts of fun gigs, but we’ve never had the typical RV resort or campground job. You can see all the different types of jobs we have enjoyed over the years at Now, you may be asking, hey, Jim, where do you find all these jobs? Well, we found all our favorite workamping jobs in work, camper news. I think it really is the go to source for work campers And I recently sat down with executive director Jodi Anderson Duquette to talk all about workamping. We discuss how the traditional definition of workamping has evolved over the years. We cover the typical work, camper duties and compensation and reveal quite a few less typical workamping arrangements. Spoiler alert if you’re working, while you can’t consider yourself a work camper, we also bust a few myths about what workamping is not work. Camper news has been around since 1987, but Jodi’s father took over in 2005, and now she is following in her dad’s entrepreneurial footsteps as she and her husband, Luke, continue to grow the online portal and entire workamping community. You know, speaking of community, did I mention that I run the Work Campers Facebook group that’s now has more than 114,000 members? Oh yeah. We go down that rabbit hole too. So without further ado, let’s talk workamping. Jodi, thanks for joining us. It’s good to see you again.

Jody: Oh, thanks, Jim. It’s always a pleasure to connect with you and talk about our awesome lifestyle that we get to live and love part.

Jim: A big part of that lifestyle since we first met long ago has been the workamping thing. I manage a, you know, big workamping group and I consider work camper news kind of the go to source for all information and and getting jobs and posting jobs. But before we go there, I’d like to ask all my guests these two simple questions. And it’s a really quick Q&A, kind of like a lightning round. So when did you first start RVing or where did you discover the RV LIFE and what’s that look like now?

Jody: Yeah, absolutely. So my husband and I officially became our viewers in 2013. We acquired our own in 2013. We had kind of rented and dabbled a little bit before then. But even as a youngster was not an RV for I didn’t even know how to spell RV until my family got involved with work. Camper News So in 2013, we acquired a fifth wheel and just really fell in love with that. And once you get an RV and you also still have a house, sometimes you’re just like, Why do I have two houses? So we came upon that, decided a full time for a while. So we full timed for about 4 or 5 years, but have since got out of it and we are now just part time RVers. We do a handful of trips a year. We’re pretty involved with the business. It’s a little harder to get away than it used to be. So we’ve had the big fifth wheel. Then we went shorter to a Class C and now we’ve gone even shorter to a 27 foot travel trailer. So we’re perpetually getting smaller, but it’s great. We love it.

Jim: So I understand you’re following in your parents footsteps entrepreneur wise, but what do you think it takes to be an entrepreneur?

Jody: Yeah, and that’s a very interesting question. And I think there are, you know, similarities that a lot of entrepreneurs have, but also, you know, some differences. I think you can make it work with a lot of different personality types and traits, but as an entrepreneur, you just you’re kind of in it 24 over seven. You know, with the typical 9 to 5, you go to work, get the job done, and then you can check out. But as an entrepreneur, I feel like your brain is just in it all the time. You’re brushing your teeth thinking about, Oh, I should do this marketing campaign. You know, you’re mowing the grass and you’re like, Oh gosh, customer support something or other, you know, or, Oh, this website could do this thing, and that might bring in more income. And de de, de, de, de, de de. So it’s like it’s just a never ending, constant goings on, talking in your mind, you know, all the time. So if you are someone who just wants to do some work, check out and not have to think about it, you know, business ownership maybe wouldn’t be the right, you know, comfort zone for. You to be in.

Jim: So I can totally relate.

Jody: Take some dedication.

Jim: So let’s start from square one here with the whole we discovered we’re camping years ago and then we discovered work camper news and that’s where we found our first job and our best job since.

Jody: But yeah, that.

Jim: Was a long time ago. What do you consider the traditional definition of workamping, and how has that evolved over the years?

Jody: Sure. Well, workamping as defined by the creators of the term. The original creators of work Camper News is doing any kind of part time or full time work while living in an RV. So, you know, ever since I’ve been in this workamping community, which has been since about 2005, 2006, to me, that includes running a business on the road or working a seasonal job or working a long term job or working for someone, but in your RV. You know, so to me, it’s always encompassed all of these possibilities. But I know that the community itself doesn’t always go with that definition, and that’s okay.

Jim: Sure, it has evolved as I’ve seen it. Like when we were first introduced, it meant working in exchange for a place to camp, and those were the first couple types of jobs we’ve had. But in the past decade or so, you know, with the growth of gig apps and side hustles and like, for instance, us starting to do our own business, I agree. It’s like working wherever you camp, no matter what that work may be. So let’s talk about the different kind of opportunities that are available to work campers. What kind of advertisers do you get in work? Camper News.

Jody: Yeah. So the most, you know, classic workamping gig is working in a campground or RV park. That’s certainly what comes to mind for most folks when they’re thinking about or hearing about this workamping thing. So that’s going to be the majority or just other entities in the outdoor hospitality industry, whether it’s, you know, retail operations and tourist towns, tour companies can even expand into amusement parks, places like that. But it really runs the gamut. We see all kinds of interesting things, you know, coming through. So I hope people can dig into what really is out there, not limit themselves to just looking at one resource because there is such a wide variety of things for people to get into.

Jim: I bet every arvier out there has, you know, had a guide take them to their site or been parking in a remote campground where a host came around. So those are the traditional type. Talk about the like the the duties of those people. They’ve often been presented as like his and hers, but now they’re more like indoor and outdoor. So what are those traditional type of jobs at parks and resorts?

Jody: Yeah, for sure. And it’s going to depend on the resort. You know, you guys have all been to them. One campground barely has an office, Right? You know, maybe there’s no bathhouse or anything. So it’s really just someone kind of on site security, keeping an eye on things, dealing with check ins, some questions, etcetera, to these resorts that are basically small cities, you know, especially a lot of 55 plus lifestyle resorts where they have a bajillion activities and events and restaurants and all of that on site. So for folks to be like, Oh, I want to be a camp host like that could mean a lot of different things. You might, you know, just be working in an office. But that office could be phones, online reservations and computer work, potentially store sales as well. And if you’re working outside, it might be a little bit of light maintenance or you’re building buildings and painting things and, you know, managing pools and oh, my gosh, like it’s just I don’t know, just think about any resort or campground that you’ve been to and just all the different stuff that’s there. And understand it all has to be managed and maintained and improved and just constant dealing with customers and stuff. So every duty involved with all of that is what you could potentially do as a work camper at a campground and.

Jim: Then some, right? You mentioned activities, so they need activities. Directors. We’ve seen the food service jobs from, you know, making the pizzas to running a restaurant or a bar. We’ve met a couple entertainers on the road who are entertaining in exchange for their spots. So let’s talk about like that sort of compensation part traditionally has always been like, oh, you got a free site for where you want to work. And now there’s it seems like almost a majority of work campers demand to get paid. So. Right. How does compensation usually work or does it totally depend?

Jody: Yeah, you’re right in that we’ve seen kind of the scales tip a little bit where it used to be more just working in trade for an RV site to now we’re seeing it’s. More like 80% of the job listings that we’re seeing are providing at least some hours paid or all hours paid wages typically in addition to on site. But yeah, it’s up to the work camper to determine like what their budgetary needs are and then to find those opportunities that match that. But if you are someone who’s like, I, you know, I need to have all hours paid and have my site provided to me, so I’m saving a little bit there. There are definitely opportunities like that as well as salaried positions or commissions earning positions. But if you are someone who is like you are running a business on the road, so you kind of have some other residual income from other activities that you’re doing, so you don’t necessarily need to earn more income, but having that site cost savings just working maybe ten, 15, 20 hours a week to have that site not be coming out of your pocket all the time, you know, then you’re getting into the volunteer realm and and stuff like that. And oftentimes, you know, we’ve heard volunteers do feel a little more appreciated at the positions that they’re taking. It’s typically going to be, you know, government run operations, maybe nonprofits. Et cetera. And, you know, volunteers there are just more appreciated because those entities couldn’t operate without that volunteer staff. So there’s really, you know, even our viewers who are running businesses on the road technically are work camp, are running that business. But you could also be the, quote, traditional work camper, too, and maybe do one of these trade out jobs just to save a little money.

Jim: You said a lot there that I can totally relate to because case in point, our favorite job has been at a ranch and all hours were paid. But because we know the people that have been going back for years, our hours can be very flexible. They understand that we need to have our time at home with our dog and or our business. And you said it’s kind of up to the work camper And that’s one thing I tend to get on people in the group who kind of bash other people who will work in exchange for a site only because it is up to the work camper to determine what’s fair. And what a lot of people don’t factor in is all the perks. Yes. You know, and the most important perk to me is how bad do you want to be at that location? Yes, we’ve worked jobs that didn’t pay simply because we wanted to spend the summer in that area. So what kind of perks often might be offered to work campers in addition just to a site or getting paid?

Jody: Yeah. Awesome. I’m glad you asked that question because actually we posed that question once in our Facebook group and got a lot of really good, great replies. So I was looking at that list earlier because I knew we were going to talk about it. So some of the things that folks have really enjoyed is like at this one location, this gal, they built a fence around her pad so her dog could be let outside and then they built a deck the next summer because the dog got older and had trouble getting out of the RV. So, I mean, that’s a very unique one. But that’s that’s pretty cool. But some of the kind of more typical, especially in like the campground RV park realm or like tour companies and stuff is use of amenities. So if you are at like one of those big resorts that has, you know, the mini golf and the basket weaving and the, you know, parties every weekend and special, you know, events and stuff, oftentimes you get to participate just as you would a regular guest, assuming you’re not working the event or activity. So just participating in that kind of stuff or use of like rental kayaks, rental boats, maybe there’s like ATVs or like there’s a, you know, the horse riding or something like that on site.

Jody: So use of, of fun, stuff like that. There’s also oftentimes laundry, either discounted use of the laundry machines or sometimes there are laundry machines available just for the work campers to use. Sometimes there’s even like a kitchen environment or a whole little, you know, living room break room, clubhouse area just for the workers. And that can be pretty cool. Internet service is another one. And again, whether that’s actually a value to someone kind of theory, but I do think some campgrounds are stepping up their game a little bit since that’s such a high priority item even for guest campers now. But even just free stuff like free golf for the summer, if maybe there’s a golf course on site. Others have said homegrown maple syrup, fresh eggs from the chickens on the property, sailboats available to be taken out. This someone else said two orders of a full rack of ribs and trimmings every Sunday night from the on site restaurant. So, you know, it’s it’s really going to vary.

Jim: Those are the. Perks that I’ve ever seen. Like at this ranch, we’ve kind of become family. But even our first year, twice a week, there was a full on meal. Sure, I had to flip burgers, but I got to eat a potluck meal with fresh burgers. And then another part of the week we’d drive up the mountain and everyone would throw a steak on the fire. Sure had to. Oh, darn. I had to drive a jeep up a mountain and build a fire and then have a party with a bunch of people. So those perks are on top of things like, you know, they might get free propane or laundry, like you said. Yeah.

Jody: And that’s really the intangible, like the biggest intangible benefit, Jim, is those relationships that you’re building. I mean, that’s what we hear primarily from Work campers is a lot of the reason they do this is because of the people they get to meet and get to know and become lifelong friends with.

Jim: Sometimes I agree 100%, and too often I see newer campers who discover workamping because they they need the money, which is totally fine. They get down on the fact and they start doing the math and they say the site cost this much a month. And then you don’t realize that you’re also getting all these other perks. So, you know, even if it’s just the site, guess what? That’s compensation. And you have to deduct that from your math before you go. Say it’s, oh, it’s only $2 an hour. Right. But speaking of hours, you know, for Renee and I, hours are important. So scheduling is important. We work and run a business from the road. But for the longest time, there’s been this misconception that we’re camping is for retired couples. So how can working age nomads benefit from being work campers?

Jody: Yeah, I mean, don’t really have an answer that differentiates it honestly. I think if you can set yourself up well financially, this lifestyle can totally work for you. There are folks that transition into RV that have debts, some of them transition and don’t. I don’t think you necessarily have to have residual income from Social Security or pensions or whatever. Don’t don’t think that’s a must have for living this lifestyle. Again, it just comes back to what we talked about. You just you need to know what your monthly budget is, live within that monthly budget. You know, if you’re going to set it, stick with it, and then find those opportunities that are match from it. I mean, we see compensations varying anywhere. Like you said, once we do the math factoring in, if there is a site provided and stuff, some of that stuff it’s hard to assign a dollar value to once we’re thinking about laundry, propane, et cetera, because it’s going to depend on usage, blah, blah blah blah, blah. So it might be hard to get that really exact, but it’s going to be anywhere from, you know, minimum wage up to $30 an hour. And if you do go somewhere that provides you with a seasoned end bonus or maybe you’re earning commissions, you know, selling those Christmas trees or campground map advertising, etcetera, I mean, there are some opportunities where, you know, especially the the campground map advertiser companies and it’s more than just the ads and the campground maps. But they have they say they have work campers earning six figures a year, you know, working that opportunity. So I do think it’s feasible for folks of any age to get into this workamping lifestyle. It’s all just a matter of opening up your mind to all of the opportunities that are out there, not just winnowing down to I’m going to work in a campground.

Jim: Right? And you mentioned kind of these opportunities to actually earn a fair amount of money, like the seasonal jobs, like a beet harvest. You know, that’s a lot of hard work in a very short period of time or selling Christmas trees. People can walk away with thousands of dollars in a very short period. But I got a lot of flack in the Work Campers group a while back because I mentioned that we’re camping wasn’t a career. Sure, it’s kind of a semantics thing, but I view like workamping as the the mode or the method towards something. Whereas a RV resort management would be the career path. So sure, you know, what do you think of workamping as a career or not? Can someone earn enough to support their lifestyle, save for the future and advance their position along in the industry while we’re camping in a traditional sense? Because you did mention, you know, resort managers.

Jody: Yes. Yeah, I think so. I think though work campers when they’re, you know, at least first getting started in the lifestyle they get into the lifestyle because they want to move around and they want to see stuff. So in that regard, doing all that movement traditionally doesn’t equate to getting with a company and moving up in the ranks. I think there is definitely some room for that in workamping, especially if you were to connect with like a concessionaire company, like a Vista Rec or American Land and Leisure or maybe like a Delaware North or a. Entera. They operate in multiple locations around the country and they have varying positions within their operations. And so we’ve known where campers that start out as the, you know, grunt work camper, just doing the hourly job, working in the store at Yellowstone General Stores. But then maybe a couple summers go by, then they’re a supervisor, a couple more summers go by then maybe they’re actually now part of the team recruiting other work campers. So I do think there’s room for a work camper to really get involved with a specific entity that utilizes work campers and move up into different positions with that company. Do think there’s a lot of that? No, but it’s definitely out there.

Jim: But for any workamping job, it’s important not to burn those bridges. And if you know if it’s coming to an end, you want to leave that amicably. Hopefully leave with some, you know, good reviews. Because case in point, Renee and I have been working camping more or less for 16 years, but never had the traditional RV resort type job. We worked at one RV resort where we were kind of a special teams and the owner came by once a week and said, This is your project for the week. If you finish it in one day, you’re done. Otherwise, you know, work two days and you get the rest of the week off. Oddly enough, he showed up one day and said, I don’t own this place anymore. Thanks, you’ve been great. Contact me any time. And he had five RV parks and you know we’re tight. And if we ever want to work at any one of those parks, we know we can get in there and have. It’s all about building those relationships with the employers. But when it comes to, you know, getting those jobs, let’s talk about resumes for a minute, because I know the benefit of having a good work camper resume and you guys have a great tool for building a resume online that. Thank you. The employers see like this little pool of the best work campers out there. But how does the like a work camper, a resume differ from someone who is applying for a job and, you know, doing an employment resume? We get new work campers in the group who want to list everything on their resume from their colleges and their career. Right. What do you want to put on a work camper? Resume to get a workamping job, right?

Jody: Yeah, I do think folks can take a step back and, you know, try to keep it more like a page or two instead of maybe the the four pages and think mostly because like we talked about a lot of typical workamping jobs are, you know, entry level type positions. You’re going to be trained on the job. It’s not going to require a lot of specialty experience. Et cetera. So really what I recommend that work campers focus on is what their skills and abilities are. Not so much I worked this job from this time period. Okay, that’s great that you did that. What are the skills that you acquired that would apply to the types of jobs that you are interested in doing in the future? And even what did you do in in your home life and your community life and, you know, with your kids like a stay at home mom even has tons of skills, you know, from managing schedules, managing a household. Maybe she was, you know, part of the PTA and was the secretary and handled money. And, you know, so you can think about all these different things you’ve done in your life and just what skills those have given you. And that’s what you should put the most focus on. Because when an employer is looking at your resume, they’re going, What’s in it for me? You know, what am I going to get out of this person? How is this person going to make my operation better and my life easier? And oftentimes the businesses that are recruiting work campers don’t have an HR person or an HR department whose only time is spent talking to people and looking through resumes.

Jody: Oftentimes it’s an owner manager who has 80,000 other things to do, and they need to get through these things a little bit quicker to get some communication going and try to get people hired. So being a little more succinct and focusing on those skills and what you bring to the table I think is kind of most important and trying not to overwhelm them. I know there are a lot of professional people that are transitioning into the lifestyle. I’ve been a CEO. I’ve worked for Fortune 500 companies. I built this thing from the ground up and managed a thousand people. And if I’m a business owner and I’m looking at someone’s resume and I’m like, Oh, this person might think that they think they can run their business better than me, right? So I might not I’d be a little hesitant to contact that person. Like I’m sure they’d have some good suggestions and stuff for you, but would I be overwhelmed with all of that? So if you are someone who has a lot of accolades and, you know, did all that kind of stuff, that’s super awesome. But again, what skills did that give you that applied to cleaning bathrooms? Rooms and shower houses or working in a visitor centre, handing out brochures and telling people where the bathroom is, you know?

Jim: No kidding. You mentioned communication and I think that’s like one of the number one skill. You can present a work camp or employer, you know, Are you able to communicate? Will you are you able to follow directions and not think something is below you? If not, you don’t want that working in your job. Just don’t take jobs where you clean bathrooms if that’s if you think that may be below you. So we talked about a lot there. And what I see is some people join our work camper group and they say, got anything in Georgia or, you know, hey, I’m looking for work in Virginia or I’m new to this. Where can I get a job? It’s like to be able to communicate where you want to work, but more importantly, what you have to offer the employer, I think is most important.

Jody: Yeah, absolutely. And I think where campers that do take a little bit of time to evaluate where do I want to go, what types of jobs am I willing to do or not willing to do, like the folks that are taking the time to kind of iron that out are in essence, more professional work campers to the employer, You know, and but there are all types of employers out there. You know, an employer might see somebody who says, oh, I want to work in Georgia. And they’re like, Great, awesome. I’ll hire this guy and that’s fine. But, you know, it just depends on what kind of employer do you want to work for? Do you want to work for the good old boy who takes anybody that fogs a mirror? Or do you want to work for an entity that has some systems in place and prefers you know that you follow them and stuff like that. So it takes effort. Like you can’t just be like, okay, I’m in my somebody give me a job. Like they don’t just fall out of the sky.

Jim: It helps to provide some initiative. And one thing I’ve noticed is in the Work Camper Group, there’s there’s been people who have been putting together some real nice resumes, photos of themselves, photo of the rig, and just the kind of skills we were talking about, you know, initiative and that sort of thing. And I tend to see those get posted and we don’t hear from them again for a long time. The people who say looking for something in Georgia tend to post every week. So I’m doing the math there and seeing employers going after those people and those people with the nice resumes aren’t coming back until they want their next job. So tell me a little bit about the Awesome Applicant resume tool. Yeah, there’s plenty of ways to go and build your resume on right Canva or whatever and show some pictures. But what is that tool, the awesome applicant? What does that do for both the employer and the work?

Jody: Camper Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Those splashy resumes are a great introduction to utilize in some different ways. But with the awesome Hopkins resume database that work when a work camper member fills out and creates their resume in that database, it then can become available to employers who are searching said resume database. And there are employers out there who never advertise their jobs. All they do is go into our resume database like the person at Vickers Ranch did, and find all of their work campers that way. So it allows, you know, the work camper to have employers coming to them. And it’s one of the things that a work camper should do if they are wanting to try to open themselves up to the most opportunities that are out there. Because like I said, there are some employers you will never see them advertising. And with our easy to fill out, you just you fill in the blanks. It’s not, oh my gosh, what am I supposed to put on this this thing? I haven’t written a resume in 20 years. What am I supposed to do? You know, fill in the blanks and click save. It’s really pretty simple. And eventually, as we’re working on revamping and enhancing the tools and services that we provide, eventually we will be able to programmatically get into, you know, matching the work campers with the job listings more easily. So you input some stuff on your resume. We’re seeing, you know, job listings coming in. This job listing matches all these points on your resume. And we can more quickly say, hey, we think this opportunity is going to be right for you. So that’s where we’re leading with our services. We’re not there yet, but we’re we’re going to get there.

Jim: Cool. And I can attest that it is indeed awesome because you can add a little video in there. You can add a photo and you can save it and shoot that off to some other employer that might not be in the database. But speaking of photos and videos, I’ve seen flak sometimes from also from people who say or who are kind of opposed to the fact that employers want to see a photo of them or a photo of the rig. Personally, it’s no different than being in interviewed in person. And in that case, they would see you. But why do employers want to see a photo of the rig or. Are the people.

Jody: Yeah. Like I said, we’ve. We’ve heard that too. It’s illegal for them to ask for photos. And I’m like, Well, I’ve been through all, you know, the information and read the websites and stuff and didn’t see anywhere where it said they couldn’t. It’s recommended that they don’t, but it doesn’t say that they can’t. So if a work camper doesn’t want to provide photos with, you know, a resume or some initial communications or whatever, then that work camper should be prepared to at least do a webinar or FaceTime, Skype, whatever, call with that employer or be required to visit them in person to do an interview, which doesn’t work out most of the time because typically you’re not within the same vicinity. So especially if it’s going to be, you know, a position where someone where the work camper is going to be interacting a lot with the public and with customers and stuff. Like they just need to see that, you know, you are a real human and will be able to communicate and talk well with others. And, you know, yeah.

Jim: It just comes back to the communication and, you know, having nothing to hide and, you know, yeah, you want to work out with your employer, so you don’t want to have any surprises when you get there. Right?

Jody: Exactly. And that that’s your right when talking about with the RVs as well. You know, there are some parks that are like motorhome only or something like that. And it’s like, well, if you have a travel trailer like sorry, that means you’re not going to be able to work out there because technically it’s a motorhome only resort. That’s how they choose to have their business. And so that’s what it is. So and you don’t want to waste your time communicating with an employer that’s not providing what would work best for you. So it is, you know, just another way for both parties to make a further connection to So each party can best say, this will be good, this won’t be good kind of thing.

Jim: And hit the ground running when you get there. You definitely don’t want surprises when you show up across the country to take a job, which we’ve seen because some parks banned certain dog breeds or are 55 and over. So let’s talk about families on the road. I’m seeing a lot more families out there traveling. Might need a workamping job. Do you know what challenges families looking for work, camping, jobs might have or what opportunities might exist for them?

Jody: Sure. Probably just mostly. You know, my impression is that mostly just finding the right environment that they’re going to be comfortable in and it’s going to depend on the family. Then, you know, we know as as we’ve seen some families communicate that they tend to go to work for entities that are like the jelly stones, the Kayla’s, where they know other kids are going to be around and will have kids to play with. But some families, maybe they’re a little more like introverted or like happy just being together. And so they would be fine working for like a concessionaire for the US Forest Service and being in a remote campground in the forest where, yes, there’s day use campers coming and going, but typically those folks are just hiking, fishing, whatever. It’s not a Yeah, we’re going to play in a water park place and having remote with your just you and your kids out there at this campground like maybe that is best for you. So again, it’s just coming back to that. Who are we? What are we looking for with this lifestyle? How do we want to spend our time? What kind of environments are we comfortable in, not comfortable in? And just finding that and scheduling probably is a big factor for families, especially if the kids are, you know, under 12 or 13 and, you know, can’t really be left on their own comfortably. So finding that alternating schedule for parents where somebody’s always going to be home with the kids. So that’s just an instance where that work. Camping family needs to make sure, you know, during that interview process or whatever and especially in, you know, getting a work agreement, laying out that schedule and doing what they can to make sure they can stick with that schedule.

Jim: That’s really important, too, is the scheduling. And oftentimes maybe only one of the parents can work. It all comes down. My common response is every job is different, you know, So just got to work with the employer and tell them your needs. But if one of the parents works or has to stay at home, or the growing number of van dwellers and solos out there, even tent campers out there, what kind of a do you know of any like less traditional gigs? You know, traditionally it’s always a couple, you know, camper, always. You know, the employer always wants a couple. And we could talk about that. That’s simply just you get two people for one site. But let’s talk about that and or solos. Why? Why do they always want a couple and what opportunities are there for solos?

Jody: Yeah. So what we see with the job listings coming through our system is 75 to 80% of the employers that are advertising say they consider solos. So I think when folks are utilizing other. There resources that are out there that are maybe a little more limited as far as the type of opportunities being posted? It does feel a little more like, oh, my gosh, it’s just couples. What the hey. And if you are looking at that RV park campground business type, then their product is that site. So like you said, if they can get two workers and they’re only losing one site out of their rental pool, then that’s a better value for the employer. So as a as a solo or maybe a family with only one person wanting to take the workamping job, you know, looking at opportunities outside of that traditional RV park campground that’s going to provide you with more options. And as far as going back to like if you are in maybe a more specialty RV, whether you’re, you know, tent camping or maybe a pop up or something like that, something that’s a little less like hard sided. And, you know, you can’t necessarily handle every type of weather and wildlife and stuff. So there are about 10 to 12% of opportunities offering housing. So if you are, you know, well, I’d really like to be in the national park for the summer. Well, you can, but you might need to stay in like the dormitory style housing, which is fine unless you have pets. So, you know, so there’s always like, yeah, this sounds good. And then like one more factor comes in and you’re like, Ah, you know, So yeah, it is just a matter of kind of doing the research.

Jim: And I know Yellowstone often hires, they have some dormitory situations where they’ll provide housing and I know some of the warehouse jobs. I think Digikey will actually put people up in hotels during the key season. But if you’re traveling with multiple pets, that often doesn’t fly very well. So it’s just a matter of communicating again with what you have and and who you’re about to work with.

Jody: Yeah. And if the employer is one like, you know, like we were talking about where, you know, the campsite isn’t their product, like that’s going to give you more flexibility typically on the type of that you have, and especially if it’s somewhere nicer, like immediately start thinking about like. Bowlin Travel centers, you know, they have travel centers all throughout Arizona, New Mexico, and they’ve created little RV parks at each of the travel centers. And it’s just there behind the travel centers. It’s not, you know, on display or whatever. So and the weather there is typically not going to be like super cold. Super might be pretty hot, but, you know, you can typically kind of manage things a little better. So, yeah, I know I can’t say exactly like these are jobs for Tenters, these are jobs for vans, you know? Yeah. And I hate.

Jim: To, you know, it’s not a judging thing when you have a class, a resort where there’s a paper on the stoop every morning and a manicured lawn, they might not welcome schoolies or painted schoolies, all like the Partridge Family. But jobs exist for these people and they’re out there. If you just keep looking and, you know, turn it down and move on, if it’s not right for you. But can you think of any other myths about workamping that we haven’t talked about yet? Is there any kind of things that misconceptions or myths?

Jody: Yeah, we’ve done pretty good covering quite a few bases.

Jim: We talked about it. You know, it’s not just for couples, it’s not just for retired people. You can get paid. It’s not just for trade. So we might have covered all bases there. If you can’t think of anything that’s screaming at us right now.

Jody: Maybe one thing guess is just that it is still work, right?

Jim: It’s not just camping, right?

Jody: It’s not just riding around on a golf cart with a drink in your hand and the campground saying hi to people like mean. Maybe there’s like one position out there in the whole country, but the majority of them are not that, you know, these employers are relying on the work campers to come in and do the job and fulfill it. And I guess it’s just good for folks to understand that there are pickles on both sides. There are employers out there that are not great people and maybe are out to take advantage of others, including work campers. But there are also work campers that are out there who are looking to take advantage of employers and steal and leave in the middle of the night and take multiple jobs, but only go to one of them, not even contact the other employers that thought they had hired them. You know, So just remembering that this lifestyle is based on people. And so you’re going to have good experiences and bad experiences because of the variety of personalities and people that are out there. So I hope that even, you know, folks, you can do a lot to learn as much information as you can to hopefully encounter a positive experience for yourself. But if it does go negatively, hopefully that doesn’t sully you forever. You know, people can do what they want. If they want to just bounce out of the lifestyle, totally get it, that’s fine.

Jody: But you know, try not to let the negatives weigh you down too much and think just moving forward with a positive attitude and working at it. And that’s something to guess for work campers to consider, especially folks who maybe have more of a quote unquote, unique situation, whether they have a fun that’s not the traditional or they’re looking for a paid gig specifically in a certain area. Like you have to be working at this job finding process all the time. So there’s no specific time when summer sees an employer start advertising. There’s no specific time when the paid winter jobs in Florida are going to be advertised for you to go after them. Like it’s all the time, constantly. Like right now we have jobs starting right away. We have jobs starting this fall winter. We have jobs being advertised for 2024 into 2027. So it is just a constant process. So if you have your resume out there in the database constantly keeping it updated, you are, you know, using the job listing tools that are out there constantly checking those and looking at them like it’s just ongoing. And so the more proactive you are in that process, the more likely you are to encounter those opportunities that will be a better match for you.

Jim: I think you just answered my final question. I was going to ask, you know, what’s the best way to go about finding the right job for me? So let’s, you know, phrase that in a way, answer it in a way that what about for the person brand new to it? What’s the first steps for someone to go rather than, you know, post in some Facebook group looking for work in Georgia? You know, where do you get started?

Jody: Sure. First things first. Like you like we talked about is is sitting down and looking at who you are, what you want to do, what your needs and wants are.

Jim: And where you want to go.

Jody: Exactly. Yes. And how long you want to be there. There are some short term jobs like 1 or 2 months. The majority are going to be more like three to 6 or 8 months. If you want to find somewhere to be year round and never leave, that’s cool. You know, some folks end up finding two jobs that they like, that they do every year. They just bounce back and forth and that’s cool. So kind of have an idea of how often you want to be moving around. So once you kind of have a general idea of those things, then when you’re looking at the job listings that are out there and ideally you’re becoming a member at work So that way you have access to the most robust search filters to look through job listings and you’re also getting those daily emails with the full, complete ad text sent right to your inbox. So that way you’re staying abreast of all those opportunities coming out there. So once you’re digging in and seeing the different stuff and some employers are really great at providing information in their help wanted ad, you know, their little introduction of themselves and some of them are really bad at it. So you really you may have to spend some time communicating with an employer. So those next steps is reaching out to that employer, trying to make a good first impression with them, but also making sure that you are given enough of that employer’s time to get all of your questions answered.

Jody: Sure. And if you have no idea what questions to ask, we have resources to help you with that because that that can be overwhelming, too. Well, I know I’m supposed to know stuff, but what am I supposed to know? You know, that that’s pretty intimidating and some stuff you don’t know what’s important to you until you’ve done a couple experiences and get to know things and better understand. Oh, I know for sure. I want to ask about this or that to make sure it’s right for you. And so, yeah, going through that communication process with the employer and then hopefully they are willing to give you a work agreement or something where you’re laying out everything that you agreed to, the expectations, start dates, duties, schedule, compensation, any special things that were talked about, You know, yes, I agree that Judy can sit at a stool, you know, behind the desk or, you know, Sally can always have Sundays off, like make sure all of that stuff is in writing and and stay in communication with the employer, especially if it’s, you know, quite a few months before you’re going to that job, staying in communication with them. And yeah, just trying your hardest.

Jim: Jody, you’ve made my job very easy here. I was going to say, Hey, why don’t we talk about contracts and the importance of that. And we really just discussed, you know, the importance of having a work agreement, the contract per se, it’s worth what paper it’s written on in an email, but it is an agreement so that you can say, Hey, I was told I could have this lunch break to care for my cats. Yes. If it doesn’t work out for you, you you know. Yes. Go amenable ways.

Jody: Right.

Jim: I know how that goes. What’s next at work? Camper News. I know you guys have been working hard behind the scenes on some big improvements and new features. What are people going to see in the future?

Jody: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. We’re we’re getting excited. This will be version four of work So the resume builder is going to be all new. It has it’s broken out even more into some different sections and the ability you know multiple people can be on a resume. So even if you’re a family with a couple teenagers, you know, we can get all of your data on that one resume. It’s going to have like a nicer skills section and you’re going to be able to use your resume to advertise yourself for multiple seasons at one time. So if you’re like, Oh, I’m going to want to do this, you know, for this period of time in this location. But in the winter, you know, I only want a three month gig in Florida and maybe I don’t need pay for that one. So I’m going to input that data here. And then, you know, in 2025, I want to do this so you can be using your resume to work for you for multiple seasons to come, because we know a lot of work campers like to plan ahead. But as far as the job listings go, we’re going to have the ability to save the job listings. And when you have them in your saved section, you can create your own categories to then organize the job listings into those categories. And with each save job listing, you’ll have a little section, a little note section.

Jody: So. So you can go in and be like contacted employer on this date or did the interview or never contact this employer because it’s not for me, you know, and just some different notes and stuff. So those are a few of the work camper tools that I’m most excited about. Like we try to build kind of what we would want to use and how robust and nice looking that we would want it to be. So, you know, that’s, that’s what we’re trying to give our members is just a good user experience and the most robust tools and like I said, just always constantly thinking about like how we can expand this in the future. I know we’ve been around for over 35 years, but we’re still just a small business with five of us here, so we’re not quite like the indeed yet, but we do want to get there eventually. So that’s where we’re going and just, you know, constantly trying to, you know, get our name out there and let our campers and employers know that we’re out there to help. We’re an actual service, you know, with people you can call and talk to. We’re not just hobbyists. You know, we take this seriously and plan to be here for the long run. So we’re not just going to get bored with our website and take it down one day or let it get stale.

Jim: So well, that really shows with the resources you have to offer and the vast archives and all that. So where’s the best place for people to find work? Camper News. And how can they try some of these tools?

Speaker5: Sure. Yeah.

Jody: Thanks Jim We’re is our online home our work camper and we spell it w-o-r-k Why the original creators didn’t keep that C in there. I don’t know that’s just what they did so we’re camper is our trademark but yeah so we’re you can join the site right now we have a free 30 day trial of our popular level of membership that does has the resume builder and the job listings. If you do want to go ahead and jump into that yearly membership, hop over to for a code that gives you a couple of bonus months if you’re ready to dive into that yearly membership. And it’s really a pretty minimal cost overall. You don’t have to pay to find a job. We do provide all of our job listings at no cost, but it will be on a delayed basis and it’ll be the same way with the new version of the website too. So yeah, we have job listings that are coming out each weekday. We have featured employers, I do webinars with employers here and there that share about their job listings. We have a weekly podcast called the Work Camper Show. You can subscribe to that in your favorite app or go to work camper. we’ve got lots of online courses, articles in our media library. We publish articles to our gone word blog. So we know that we feel more confident when we, you know, know and understand how to do something. So we are also focused on providing the education to help you guys like, okay, know what to do. I can move forward and you’re more likely to have a positive experience. So that’s why we just have so much educational stuff too. So yeah.

Jim: So I can personally attest to that. We’re going to have links to all of this in the show notes. And Jody, I can’t thank you enough for sharing all this information. Keep up the good work.

Jody: Thank you so much, Jim. Really appreciate you and Renee as well and everything you guys have done for the work, camping and RV LIFEstyle and appreciate you know RV LIFE and RV entrepreneur for having us on and hopefully this you know those of you who are already living the lifestyle and operating businesses like maybe this is a little supplement you can add on to the lifestyle just to make it a little easier on that pocketbook for sure.

Jim: Keep on living the life we love to live. Thanks again.

Jody: Thanks, Jim. Appreciate it.

Jim: Many thanks to Jody for her time and everything they’re doing there at work. Camper News, check it out at work or get complete details and a promo code for a bonus issue and any current promotions at and connect with 100,000 plus other workamping fans and employers in the work campers Facebook group. As always, let us know how we’re doing and what you want to hear about in the RV Entrepreneur Facebook group or at the RV And don’t forget to check out our sister podcast to explore the RV lifestyle with Dan and Patty at

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Jim Nelson