Bad work camping jobs exist. Some campground jobs are overall negative experiences. While it would be nice to be able to tell you all campground jobs are great and all campground owners are wonderful to work for, that simply isn’t the case.
Consider these warning signs:
1. The campground advertises for work campers in national workamping magazines, issue after issue after issue.
2. The campground does not check proof of citizenship, identification, or other work eligibility as regulations require.
3. The campground does not require work campers to fill out a W4 form for with holdings.
4. The campground requires a written contract.
5. The campground requires a written job application.
6. The campground insists on a formal job description.
7. The campground owner or manager is desperate for work campers.
8. The person doing the hiring cannot or will not answer the prospective work camper’s questions.
9. Prior to arriving on the job, the work camper did not receive the paperwork (job descriptions, employee handbook, copies of agreements, park brochures, and contracts) he was promised.
10. The work camper drove many miles across the country for the sole purpose of camp job.
These are not absolutes, of course. But after hearing about the negative work camping experiences of many RVers, these are the things that stand out.
If you stop and think about it, some of these are just common sense.
Why would a campground continuously need to run an ad looking for help? Is it a huge park, with many short-term work camper positions, so it is practical that there would be frequent need for new hires? Is it because – for whatever reasons – they have a high work camper turnover? Is it because they are looking for campers willing to barter a site for a full-time job, something many see as unreasonable?
What paperwork does the campground require and why? Does it require all the paperwork employers are legally obligated to generate? If not, why not?
If they require additional paperwork, does it protect the camper or the campground? Do you want a contract that locks you into a specified length of employment?
If you spend a lot of time and money to travel many miles just for a job, what happens if the job isn’t what you thought it would be? What if the park is different than the brochure depicts it? What if the job duties are different from what you agreed to? What if the work hours are different from what you were promised? What if you simply don’t like the campground, the people, or the area? If you spent a lot of money to get there – will you have enough money to move somewhere else?
Some signs of bad work camping jobs are less obvious. It may seem logical that parks providing clear job descriptions and wanting everything in writing would make better employers. But, our experience does not show that to be the true.