You can definitely hit the road and work as an RV digital nomad, but you need to be prepared for it.
It’s more than just packing up your laptop and working on the beach. The reality is that the beach has wind, sand, water, and bright sunshine…not exactly the best work environment.
So what’s it really like to work on the road and what RV gear do you need to be successful? Well, keep reading. I’m going to tell you!
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Best way to get reliable internet as an RV Digital Nomad is with your own hotspot (phone or other portable hotspots).
A hotspot will allow you to take your internet wherever you need and have access it to it whenever you need it.
It can be very difficult to find unlimited plans. We were able to have both AT&T and Verizon unlimited plans. Neither are currently available. New ones are constantly coming and going. In 2019, we had the “Runs with ToGo Roadlink”. It was unlimited until it wasn’t.
Depending on the work you will be doing, you may or may not need a lot of data.
If you aren’t sure where to start, you might want to pick up a copy of The Mobile Internet Handbook – For U.S. Based RVers, Cruisers & Nomads by clicking here. The book will help you understand mobile internet and how much you really need to be a successful digital nomad.
If you are planning to be in the same campground or RV park for an extended period of time, you can get cable internet as you would in your house, apartment, etc. Not only will it be cheaper, but you will have consistent internet.
Places to find internet:
Free WiFi – coffeehouses, libraries, campgrounds/RV parks
- Reliability varies, but I have had the best luck at libraries.
- Not all coffeehouses have WiFi
- Campgrounds have the least reliable FREE WiFi around.
Paid WiFi at campgrounds
- I have had to rely on paid WiFi a few times.
- It costs about a cup of coffee and can save you from having to scramble to get your work done at another location
- Coworking spaces can provide all the internet you could ever need.
- This is a good environment to network and meet other digital nomads.
- Fees vary, but they are a great space to set up a temporary office as needed.
Get more details on reliable internet in this blog post: How to Get Mail and WiFi When you RV Full Time
Cellular Signal Booster
So, if you have a hotspot, you are getting all your internet via a cellular carrier.
You probably know that sometimes you don’t get a great signal and that could mean an unexpected day off.
So what do you do?
Well, you can get a cellular signal booster. It takes whatever you have and boosts it. We love the WeBoost. It’s easy to connect and use. The only thing to remember is: if you have zero signal, there is nothing to boost. It can only boost what you have. So if you have 1 bar, it can make that 2 bars for you.
Get Organized with a Rocketbook
I am big on notetaking the old fashion way – with pen and paper. However, having an ever-increasing number of notebooks all over a tiny RV is a disaster. After 5 years of working remotely on the road, I have a notebook issue.
I was recently introduced to the Rockebook by Jill Sessa. Let me just tell you, it is incredible!! Unlike every other notebook I have ever owned, it is reusable. So instead of keeping endless notebooks, I can just keep one.
So here’s how the Rocketbook works:
- The Rockebook pages are just like paper, except they have a special coating on them that lets you write on the pages like any other notebook as long as you use a Pilot FriXion pen or marker.
- Let the ink dry for a few seconds to bond with the page.
- Take a photo of the page and upload it to any cloud service you use using the Rocketbook App.
- Once uploaded, wipe clean with a dampened cloth, dry, and you are ready to reuse the page.
Click here to see all the different Rocketbook and see if there is one for you!
Read all About Bussiness on a Kindle
Ok, so you don’t have to have a Kindle to read about your business, whether you are a digital entrepreneur or a remote employee, but since you are nomadic, your space is limited. Keeping a bunch of books is not really an option and borrowing from the library gets complicated.
I started out with regular old books in my tiny RV and quickly realized that it was taking up too much space and adding weight. It just wasn’t practical. So I very recently, like 4 months ago, purchased a Kindle. It changed my life! Not only was I able to donate all those books, but I was able to read very comfortably wherever I was. It was a relief to be able to read mindset books on my tiny reader and be able to take multiple books with me wherever I went.
I know, a Kindle can’t replace the sound of pages turning or the smell of a book, but…I have found it to be very freeing.
Here’s the one that I purchased (and LOVE).
This is kind of a no-brainer, but it’s not just about having electricity. You need to make sure that the devices you use for your RV Digital Nomad life are kept safe no matter what your power sources are.
When directly connected to power, whether you are moochdocking at mom & dad’s or staying in a campground or RV Park, you need to have a surge protector.
The last thing you want to do is to have your $2,000 Mac damaged due to a power spike.
When boondocking, you gotta be able to be connected and have your devices charged.
There are a few ways to get electricity while boondocking:
- Wind Generator
A Decent Work Area
As an RV Digital Nomad, you need to figure out where you will be conducting your work.
Do you need an office?
Unless you have purchased a renovated RV, the likely hood of you finding an RV with an office already in it is very low.
So this means you need to create one yourself.
It can be as simple as using your dining room table to conduct your work or as complicated as removing furniture and putting in a suitable desk, chair, and lighting.
There is no wrong way to set up your space, do what makes you comfortable.
Working outside the home
Maybe working in the RV is the last thing you want.
You can always hit the local coffeehouse, library or coworking space.
If you have kids, you may additional needs regarding where you work. You can find out how I’ve been able to work as an RV Digital Nomad while Roadschooling my kids by clicking here!
Flexibility & Good Attitude
The last things you need to be a successful RV Digital Nomad are to be flexible and to have a good attitude.
Spoiler alert, things don’t always go as planned:
- The perfect spot by the lake doesn’t have internet.
- Campers & Coffee Roasting Co. doesn’t have WiFI and you left your hotspot at home.
- You pull up to the local library right when they are closing down due to a water main break.
So what do you do?
Well, you just gotta take a deep breathe and pull over on the side of the road and do work until your battery runs down. And yes, I am sharing from personal experience here…
If you can’t meet a deadline, make sure to use that precious work time to let your employer or business partner know and then hustle as much as you can until that battery runs out.
How do you work on travel days?
I’m pretty lucky since I am a passenger and am able to work for several hours while driving down the road.
If you are a solo RVer or the driver, keep your driving days short so you can still work on travel days.
Or you can just skip work on travel days.
What do you think? Did we miss anything?