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Hard Finding Workkamping Jobs?

I just retired from thirty five years of teaching special education. We want to travel extensively but not be fulltimers. I read of the workkamping all the time but how hard is it to really get this type of thing to help you with you rv space. This is about the only way we could afford it. Maybe staying out about three to four months at a time. We are looking at used rvs at present but cant make up our mind whether it should be a Class A, C or travel trailer.

God Bless

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Plenty of Workkamping Opportunities


It's easier than you expect. Both government owned and private parks are scrambling for help. And, campgrounds aren't the only options. Consider museums, fish hatcheries, construction sites, and schools, too. Most prefer you stay a month or longer, but you can find situations where a week or two is okay. If you only want/need an RV parking site, your options are wide open. If you wan/need pay for some or all of the hours, there are still plenty of openings, but you may need to compromise more on scheduling or the type of work. Ads are good places to get ideas.

I maintain that the best way to find a position is to actually travel to the area where you want to spend some time. It usually only takes a few days to find something this way. The big benefit is that you can see the facilities and meet the people you'd be working with, as well as just getting a feel for the area, before making any commitment.

For extended stays, a travel trailer is convenient. You can drop the trailer, settle in, and have the tow vehicle to tool around the area. A motorhome is convenient for short stays. I'd definitely suggest buying used so that when you switch types or size you don't take the big loss that you would if you bought new. In RV land, price and quality are NOT synonymous. Whatever rig you choose, watch your cargo carrying capacity -- some are basically overloaded before you add your toothbrush.

Full-time (or extended-time) RVing can be a great way to live!

Do You Just Ask?.


Thanks for answering Coleen. It is just kinda scary but we are looking and making plans.

You said go to the area and ask. Do you mean just go into a camp ground or park and ask the managers?

I read all blogs etc, and have been for about a year now. It seems a lot of listings are in the workamper news mag. Do you have much faith in these type of publications?

Check Out Opportunity Before You Commit


What we like to do is head to a general areas where we think we'd like to spend some time. Find a campground to pay to stay in for a couple days. From there, drive around and get a feel for the community. Have coffee each morning at the local greasy spoon and sit close enough to the morning regulars to overhear them -- a great way to find the pulse of the community.

Drive around and check out some of the other RV parks, look for local museums, scout things out. See if there's something in the area that interests you. Sometimes you can do your scouting before ever registering in an RV park.

When we arrived at Wasilla, AK, we found the Museum of Transportation and Industry. Bob likes history, he likes most anything mechanical, and he particularly likes old tractors and trains. So, it was a natural for us to stop there for the afternoon. We arrived late in the day and they offered to let us overnight in the parking lot. The next day, Bob was looking at exhibits and asking questions of the volunteers. Next thing I know, he's involved in one of the volunteer projects. We were welcomed to spend the night, the week, the summer.... Then, we were asked to work park time for pay, and later both worked there full time, with full pay, and utilities and some benefits. Throughout all of this, we made sure they knew we were full-time RVers and were not interested in permanent positions. We never did get to a campground in the area.

It doesn't always happen that way. But it does happen more often than you might think. But, back to what I was saying....

At the park where you are staying, attend some of the activities, visit with the other workkampers, hang around the office and visit, whatever you can do to make your face familiar and at the same time learn about the park. Doing that will help you decide if you like the general area, and if so, if you might make a good fit with that particular park. If it turns out there are too many kids, or too many old people, or all anyone ever wants to do is fish and talk about fishing and you don't want to have anything to do with fishing, or whatever your personal bias, then move to a different park and see if you like it better there.

Okay, so you've found a park you like. You've paid to stay there a few days. You know some of the folks who work there and run the place. They've seen you around, you've visited. You are no longer a stranger. It's possible you've heard them talking about needing workkampers. Maybe you've seen something that you know needs to be done. Maybe there's a project going on and you've lent a hand for a few minutes. Maybe you participated in talent night or helped out with the ice cream social. What you do depends on what interests you and what's going on at the park. Use those connections as lead-ins to ask if they'd like to have such-and-such done in exchange for an RV site.


Magazines With Work Camping Ads


I don't have much faith at all in print publications (or at least the ads in them) that are monthly or less frequent. For one thing, most positions never get advertised; they are filled via word of mouth.

A print publication receives its ads how many months before it is printed and delivered to you? Three, four, six, maybe more as some employers contract to run an ad for a full year to get the discount rate.

Even if the publication is available on-line, chances are the on-line version is a PDF file of the printed version, so it is just as old.

I subscribed to a couple of the ad magazines and found that many of the same ads appear issue after issue. I can only imagine it is because they have difficulty filling them because the offer is crummy or they have a lot of turnover because workers aren't happy with the situation, or they really don't have an opening, but use the ads to keep a fresh stream of applications coming in -- or simply to advertise their RV park!

I used to think the publications were at least good to give ideas about what kind of work is available, but the positions where you are paid for all hours worked plus get a site are filled by word of mouth and aren't advertised. Looking at the ads you do see, you might get the idea that is is normal for husband and wife to each work 30 or more hours a week for just an RV site, because those may be the positions that have to be advertised over and over and over.

Something to keep in mind is that there are always jobs to fall back on in a pinch. Jobs that you wouldn't want to do for a lifetime, or even for a year, are okay for a few days or a few months. Temp staffing agencies most always need day labor, and they have a surprisingly broad range of needs.

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