How do you make money while RVing? This is a very important concern for anyone who is of working age and considering the full-time RVing lifestyle. There are two main ways to afford this lifestyle: 1) be independently wealthy or 2) work. For those RVers who are far from being wealthy, we will be exploring the various work opportunities for both temporary on-site and location-independent employment.
This post contains affiliate links. If you make any purchases via these links, we will receive a small commission.
FlexJobs does the dirty work of finding and verifying legitimate professional flexible work opportunities.
Companies listed with FlexJobs offer telecommuting, part-time, flexible-schedule, or freelance contract work. These companies vary from hospitality and web design to education and non-profit. Pay is dependent on job type and level of experience.
Additional information about FlexJobs is available here.
Please note that a subscription fee (ranging from $6.95/month to $49.95/year) is required to view full job descriptions and to apply for jobs.
Amazon offers a yearly, seasonal opportunity specific to RVers. The work has two seasons: Peak Season (lasts from early fall until December 23rd) and Return Season (after Christmas to March).
Along with great pay, Amazon CamperForce provides benefits such as paid campsites, overtime opportunities, shift differentials, and paid completion and referral bonuses.
I have spoken to RVers who have worked for Amazon’s CamperForce. They caution that the work is tough and that you don’t always get to pick your shifts. Some jobs require walking 12+ miles per shift.
However, this could be a great opportunity to work hard for a few months and then take a few months off if you can. I’ve heard most people need a small break after working for Amazon’s CamperForce, especially if they took advantage of overtime and stayed for the entire season.
You can read all about it here: What it’s Like to be an Amazon CamperForce Employee.
Workamping is loosely defined as working at any job while living in an RV.
Workamper News is a website targeting working RVers searching for employment. Jobs range from working at campgrounds and national parks to working concession stands and temporary venues.
Like all job-hunting websites, potential employees are required to sign up. Free and paid memberships are available.
The free membership is pretty basic, but still includes some job listings, webinars, and an online magazine.
The paid membership includes the free subscription plus a print magazine, want ads, training, and other services. The price for the most inclusive membership is only $67 per year (updated January 2021).
Unlike the other opportunities I have listed, workamper.com also includes volunteer positions. Some volunteer opportunities come with perks such as free sites with full hook-ups (water, electric, sewer) or free admission to events or parks.
Independent distributors generally pay an initial sign-up fee and then they are free to sell various company products (member fees and “active” status vary by company).
Distributors decide how much, if any, inventory to keep. Limited or no inventory is possible because independent distributors are given an online store, created and maintained by the company.
Start-up fees for this type of business are usually pretty low. Pay is directly related to the amount of product sold and various bonuses for other activities depending on the company.
If you are thinking this would be hard to take on the road since home parties would be difficult, you are wrong! Some RV parks have clubhouses where you can host a party or do a virtual party.
Many RVers are successfully running businesses as independent distributors.
A word of advice: to succeed in these lines of work, you have to treat them seriously as your personal business. You must be willing to invest serious time and effort and outreach to succeed.
Sell Your Creations
This is one I think gets overlooked too often! Can you sew, embroider, draw, paint, make jewelry, etc.?
These are all things that can be sold.
You will need to keep an inventory unless you can negotiate with an existing business or gallery to display your goods in exchange for a fee.
You can also avoid stocking goods by creating digital artwork you can then sell, apply (to phone cases, t-shirts, or scarves), and ship via an online store such as Redbubble (like our friend Neal’s store and our store!).
If you prefer to keep a small inventory, you can still sell online without creating your own website using an online store such as Etsy (or read about Amazon Handmade). You can also create your online presence and store without using a third party.
Finally, you can sell your unique items at craft shows, markets, or special events.
I think fear keeps a lot of folks from selling their creations.
Here’s the thing though: if you love it and you are passionate, there is someone out there who will also love it and share your passion. They will buy your creation because they can see that love and passion and because they can’t make it themselves!
Online Freelance Work (Upwork)
There are various websites where you can find online freelance work to help you make money while RVing, but I have heard great things about Upwork.
At Upwork, you can create an account and search for freelance opportunities, or employers can find you. The job opportunities are quite diverse.
Pay is negotiated between the employer and the employee.
Can you freelance on your own? Of course, but Upwork has a very large community that can help you connect with employers.
Whether you have experience as a translator or as an engineer, Upwork helps connect you with online opportunities.
There is a fee for using Upwork. It is a sliding fee based on your lifetime billings with each client.
Take Your Current Job on the Road
What do you currently do? Can you take it on the road?
This is what I did. I did it before I even hit the road so I could spend more time with our children.
I told my company I did not want to return from maternity leave and asked if I could help in some other capacity, maybe from home.
To my surprise, they said yes.
If you have been working with a company for a bit and consistently done well, you should consider asking about telecommuting.
Make sure to have a list of the specific activities you can do from home and a detailed plan for how you will maintain connectivity.
Make sure you have consistent internet access and the ability to use web-based meeting platforms, email, and anything else critical to your job.
Want to learn how to find remote work? Check out the FREE Remote Work Masterclass!!
The masterclass was created by my friend and digital nomad Camille Attel. After 20 years in corporate America, she quit her job and started her remote work journey.
The masterclass will help you:
- Create “a simple 4-step framework to help you start your Remote Work search NOW”.
- Learn “why you have more skills than you think (and how to use them online)”.
- “Get the clarity and confidence you need to find the right jobs in the right places”.
Start Your Own Business
If you have succeeded in selling your art or traveling the world, you can help others by sharing how you did it via a blog, YouTube channel, or e-book.
The possibilities are endless for how you can do what you love, share your passions, and earn a living.
I will be creating a separate post that covers this topic in detail. For now, I recommend:
- Get inspiration from Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income Blog.
- Find out how to make money without a typical job. Get this book: “You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth
A lot of people have heard of Etsy, but not many have heard of Amazon Handmade. It is similar to Etsy in that you are creating/crafting an item and selling it online.
Amazon Handmade is hosted on the Amazon platform and they fulfill your orders for you.
The process is as follows:
- If approved, register
- Create a profile
- Set up your shop by listing your creations
- Start Selling
One of the great things about this program is that you can still sell your things in other places – Etsy, craft shows, farmers markets, etc. You do not need an exclusive agreement with Amazon.
Ok, let’s say you aren’t crafty, what can ya do?
Well, let me introduce Mediavine.
Mediavine is an online ad agency, in fact, they are our ad agency here on Exploring the Local Life. They offer a variety of work-from-anywhere positions on their careers page.
Not only do they have remote positions, but they offer the following awesome benefits:
- Company-provided laptop
- Health insurance
- Starting salaries $35k – $40k
This is a great option for those of you who are of working age and are not ready to give up company-sponsored retirement plans or health insurance.
The biggest requirement is that you must have a reliable high-speed internet connection. I spoke with one of their Publisher Support Managers and was told that the internet must support regular video conferencing. So, don’t count on hanging out at the coffee shop down the street to get the internet speeds you need.
Are you a teacher* and want to RV and work? Check out VipKid, a China-based company that hires teachers to teach kids English online.
*or someone with a bachelor’s degree and 1 year of experience working with children
You can pick your hours and you can make $14-22/hr.
VipKid offers 6-month minimum contracts to its teachers. Once the contract term has been completed, it is possible to renew.
Classes are one-on-one, and you may or may not have the same students consistently: “teachers teach any student who books their class.”
There is no mention of benefits (health insurance or 401k), so this is something that may or may not be important to you.
Ok. This is nothing like the other jobs/money-making suggestions I have shared above.
The Sugar Beet Harvest is a seasonal opportunity that is location-dependent. It can run anywhere from 2 weeks to 4 weeks.
There are a few reasons I am recommending this job.
- You can make quite a bit of money during the harvest – the potential for $2,500 in 2 weeks!!
- In addition to the money you make, you get a free campsite. If it is not full hook-up, they have a honey wagon service which is included.
With the Sugar Beet Harvest, you will be working hard. Shifts are 12 hours long and the harvest runs 24/7. This job is not for the faint of heart.
The Sugar Beet Harvest begins in October in Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota.
Wanna learn more about the harvest? Read this first-hand experience of the harvest from Henley’s Happy Trails.
Let’s talk about Patreon.
If you are an artist, musician, or video creator, you can start a Patreon page.
The Patreon platform allows your fans to help support your work directly and perhaps get to know you a little better.
In return for their support, you can grant patrons certain perks depending on their contribution level.
Patreon gives creators a lot of flexibility in setting up Patron levels (the amount of money a Patron contributes).
You can set up the perks and Patron levels (monetary contributions monthly or per creation) any way you like.
Are you a musician? You can:
- Do special live performances for your patrons
- Release singles to patrons first
- Send them singles, etc.
Are you an artist?
- Send your patrons postcards with your artwork
- Share live videos of you working on your art
- Invite them to exclusive Patron meetups
Are you a Filmmaker, Videographer, Vlogger?
- Make & release videos/films specifically for your patrons
- Announce upcoming videos/films
- Create live videos for your patrons
Visit our Patreon page and see how we have set ours up. If you think we are pretty amazing and you have learned from us or been inspired, join us as patrons!!
Before you roll your eyes at blogging, hear me out.
Blogging is not a fast moneymaker – the likelihood of making $2,500 in 2 weeks is very, very low – but it may be the right thing for you.
Starting a blog is the easy part, monetizing it is the harder part.
Here are some of the ways to monetize your blog:
- Google Adsense (easy to get started right away, but the percentage received is fairly small)
- Mediavine (need 25K page sessions for approval, the percentage received is fantastic)
Affiliate Sales – this is where you receive a commission for sales made via a link unique to you.
- Amazon – easy to get started right away, various products for varying interests, commissions are low
- CJ Affiliates – allows you to partner “with the world’s most widely recognized brands”
- Other companies/products we are an affiliate for:
- Remote Work School – An online course to help people find remote work
- WeBoost – Cellular signal booster, works for cellular devices and hotspots
- Boondockers Welcome Membership: Annual membership where you get to stay with other RVers on their private property
- Passport America Membership: Campground membership that allows members to receive 50% off campsite fees
Freelance Writing for Other Blogs
- You can get paid to write for others.
- If you already have a blog of your own, you already have some writing samples to share with potential hiring blogs.
- As for rates, some ask you what your rates are (so be prepared) and other sites have set (sometimes non-negotiable rates).
Sell Your Products
- This can be anything you create and sell. Let’s say you do crafting and have a blog associated with it. You can sell some of these items right in your blog.
- Create a course, sell it on the blog!!
- Did you write a book? Again, your blog is a great place to sell your book.
If you are thinking, Jessica, that blogging thing sounds great, but where do I even begin?
I have an answer for ya, read this post from Camille Attell from More than A Wheelin’.
She has some great and simple pointers to get you started.
Bonus – WWOOFing:
OK. This isn’t a Paid Job, but it would help prepare you for labor-intensive paid jobs, such as the Sugar Beet Harvest.
- World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms
- Willing Workers On Organic Farms
- We’re Welcome On Organic Farms
As a WWOOFer, you spend about half of each day helping out on a farm, community, or garden project.
In exchange for your work, you get free room and board.
For RVers, you get a free place to park and free food. You may be boondocking (dry camping) unless the WOOFing location has water/electric/sewer available.
There is an annual fee:
- $40 – for Singles
- $65 – for Joint/Couples
The length of stay varies from farm to farm, but the typical stay is between one and two weeks.
Some WWOOFing stays may be as short as 3 days or as long as 6 months.
For RVers interested in additional reading, I would recommend the book, Getting Started with Remote Work: Start Living Your Dream Life.
“This short ebook will give you an intro to the changing face of unemployment and the need for an astonishing number of remote and freelance workers, and will teach you how to start working remotely to live the life of your dreams.”
Something we have also learned along the way is that keeping costs down is a huge help! Find out how we have been able to keep our costs down in our “How to RV on the Cheap” post!!
Keep in mind that this is not an all-inclusive list of jobs you can do on the road.
If you are already full-timing, how do you make money while RVing? Let us know what you think.