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Hours for Site

(North Dakota)

Many RV jobs in your listings require 20 hours per week for an RV site. That is equal to 86 hours per month. At 10 dollars an hour, this amounts to 860 dollars for lot rent. I believe this is rather high. There is no park that I know of that is worth that kind of money. I would like other people's feelings about this. Seems a little pricey.

Comments for Hours for Site

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8 or 10 Hours per Week, Max

Many jobs for RVers pay for all hours worked and provide an RV parking site besides. Those positions usually don't stay listed long.

However, some campground owners are simply unreasonable. One this week wanted 48 hours work per week for a site, and the work was cleaning. I declined to post that one.

At the very most, I suggest that an RV site is worth eight to ten hours work per week for minimal duties.

Hours for Site


I have been a property caretaker for almost 5 years now. I can tell you from my personal experiences that the value of living accommodations in the form of compensation for services performed are usually overvalued. I have found this to be true whether the accommodation is an RV hook-up, room in a house, cabin, or apartment. More often than not the duties or labor hour expectations will be much greater than the compensation offered.


Need to Reconsider


$800 for site rent is NOT high in many areas of the country, especially in locations that are seasonal. For example on the New Jersey shore $1,000-$1,500 is not unusual. In the Fla. keys sites go for $3-5,000 during the season. So if you divide those numbers by 20 hrs... well you do the math.

Even if you use your example of $800.00, in order to pay $800, you would have to earn $975 to $1,200 before taxes. So now if you divide $1200 by 80 hours per month, that is more like $15.00 per hour. In the Florida keys it would be equal to more than $50.00 per hour.

Now on the other hand, if you can afford to pay for your own site and not have to work, go for it!

Now if you have good skills, experience, and good references you could also receive pay and FHU site. But that may require working 30-40 hours weekly.

Colleen you state that one employer wanted 48 hours for a free site. Maybe they meant 48 hours per month which is more in line with the going rates.

Remember all workamper deals are negotiable. Ask and you may receive.

Hours for Site

The owner/managers set the work hours required for each workamper at their campground. This year we have found that more owners/managers are wanting more hours without pay and longer term commitments for FHU and maybe small discounts at store. Some campgrounds only require 20 hours total per couple and others require as much as 18 hours for each person (total of 36 hours per couple) a week.

As long as workampers agree to working more hours per week, and for longer commitments without pay, it is setting a precedence for that campground.

In summary, each workamper must negotiate to get FHU, other amenities and/or pay for the hours they want to work. Also, in actuality, you cannot compare the hours that a workamper works for amenities to what an individual makes working for a living. If we were working for a living with benefits, we would be looking for a real job and not workamping!

These Are Our Real Jobs

Anonymous, here's a huge clarification that needs to be made:

Some working RVers ARE working to earn their living. Not only enough to cover day to day living expenses, but also enough to save for retirement. We are not retired. The jobs we do while RVing and traveling are our REAL JOBS.

I think Frank P. is in a different situation. He works to cut his RVing expenses.

And, then, some working RVers do volunteer work for reasons that have nothing to do with finances.

Florida Keys Economics


You worked out on the Florida Keys last season, didn't you? Are prices on most things there that much higher than the national average?

Do wages on the Keys, in general, follow suit? If they do, 10 hours per month for a $400 campground could be equivalent to 10 hours per month for that $4000 campground you mention.

As an aside, I hope you are right that the ad asking for 48 hours work a week is an error. I emailed them and asked, but so far haven't heard anything back.

To Frank P

I think if you look back at most of the Help Wanted ads for workkampers you will find darn few in NJ or the FL Keys. So, therefore, few of the RV parks looking for help are anywhere near those $ you talked about. More like $225.00 per month to $400.00, plus a few amenities. There are some RV parks in CA that are a $1000 a month. And I am sure the people that take those jobs know what they are paying for the site and amenities.

I believe that it goes back to "what benefits the RV park owners."

Not exactely!


We do work for income as well since my retirement has taken a severe hit during this recession. In addition Stacy, my mate, has just obtained her degree during our workamping years and is now looking for a career in the R. V. Outdoor Recreation Industry.

So for now, workamping is our profession.

Although income is important to us, we still volunteer because we like "giving" and those jobs are the most fun. No money but lots of Benne's, freedom, recognition, and lots of experience.

Some volunteering brings up a sore spot for me which I will discuss later in another new form.

We haven't worked in the Keys, but we have visited there often, since my mate Stacy has a son who is a decorated police officer in Key West.

The Keys are expensive since the tourist industry far exceeds all other industries, except for maybe smuggling, LOL. It dosen't appear that all incomes are higher in the Keys, but police start at better than average and of course in the service business earnings are higher because the tips are greater.

As a reminder to Anonymous, hours are negotiable. You need to weigh the pros and cons.

Remember, if you aren't happy at the hours required or they aren't worth the benefits, your house has wheels.

20+ Hours

Hello, it is great to see some others think the same as we have for many years. We have been full time RVer's and work kampers for almost 8 years and found some RV park owners to go as far as to hide what they charge for a site until after we arrive.

This winter season we decided to work for the site only and the park asked for 20 hours, but when I asked what a site rents for I was told they could not tell me as it depends on what kind of site we would rent. Wouldn't you just know when we arrived we where not given any to choose from, as a mater of fact ours was the muddiest and small.

It took a few weeks of looking before I learned that the sites rent for $340.00 per month. This means with electricity, we are being payed at a rate of $4.60. That is just wrong!


$800+ Campsite

I have found that the number of hours expected varies by geographical location, with the tourist areas expecting more hours for FHU than more rural, out of the way areas. In addition, the difficulty of duties are reflected in the number of hours expected.

Sometimes employers are unaware of the value of the campsite, especially if they are new at hiring workampers.

As previously stated by another comment, you can always negotiate the rates before writing off the ad.

Some of my favorites are the ads looking for someone to just be a presence with no other responsibilities. These, of course, are just for FHU.

Good luck.

I Believe You

Larry, I believe you.

Your site might be worth $900 a month, but if you want to hire me, I work for $45 an hour for all phases of construction.

Are you kidding?

mr_Bob, looks to me that you will have a lot of difficulty finding a workamper job!

Get Off Your High Horse

My husband and I have been work camping for four years now and we have never gotten paid nor did we expect to. That was how this whole program started out; it was a way retired r.v. folks could travel the USA and experience the world around us and meet all the great folks doing the same.

Some of the work campers are not always the cream of the crop either. We have known many times they would leave in the middle of the night not telling anyone. We also saw many things that were not nailed down disappear ... toilet paper, etc.

It has been the best four years of our life and we would not trade it for $860.

So get off your high horse and get a life. If it gives you lemons, make lemonade.

michelle levering

RV Site for Work Hours

It seems to me, over the last ten years, that a majority of workamping positions have required more hours to cover the cost of a FHU site. As more boomers have become RVers, the pool of available workampers has increased. Employers are now taking advantage of the enlarged available worker group.

Things will not change as long as organizations accept the employers' advertising and RVers accept the positions.

One of two things can be done to solve the increasing problem. #1 Establish a minimum/maximum hours for site value similar to the minimum wage (difficult to do on a national scale.) #2 Ask all workampers to refuse positions that require an unreasonable amount of hours for a FHU site. Do the math, and let the employers sit for a season without the help they need.

With the cooperation of all, this atrocity can be quickly remedied. Remember, workampers bring maturity, life experiences, and a great work ethic to the table. It is imperative that employers be forced to realize once again what a valuable commodity this mobile workforce is.

It Is Up To Us


It would seem you touched on a subject that there is no true answer to. What comes to mind after reading all that has been posted is that there are many reasons to be a workamper and we all have to make a deal with the owner / manager that best fits our needs. To me, this means none of what has been said is incorrect, there is even reason to leave with out letting anyone know.

As I have said, we have been doing this for eight years. We have not yet left at night, but we did after two days when we where put in a muddy, sloppy, space that had not been used for many years because the owner did not want to use a regular spot that would bring in cash.

It does seem that more and more is being asked of the workampers after they arrive.

We are some of the ones that do not need the money and just do not care to work any more than 24 hours. Understanding that, why would someone 72 years old want to dig a ditch, or move gravel and trim trees? I am in great health and could pass for mid 50's, but why should I have to do things that I did not agree to do?

That is why I ask to have all agreements to be sent by email before we get there, as all workampers should, or you will be hearing from some manager, "Well, I didn't mean just that."

This is a job and / or contract, whether it is for the site only or pay for all hours; whether you need the money or not. So it should be treated as a job by both sides.


It should be fun

Hey John,

You are correct that "no true answer exists". I think that is because we have the right to negotiate and accept or reject the offer.

I'm not to sure about "there is even reason to leave with out letting anyone know", although MOST paying employers like to fall back on the, employed at will, when they want to get rid of a worker.

I can understand why an employer would want to maximize their cash flow as well as increase profits, but it is unconscionable to make a workamper live in a muddy site.

If a workamper feels that they will be asked to do more than what was agreed to or that is acceptable, the parties should have a written understanding. We like asking all our questions and clarify our understandings via Email during the recruiting/ interview process. Then your deal is documented and you have that to fall back on if needed latter.

BUT BE CAREFUL when you do this since it may come back to bite you later.

In any event we have found that in our volunteer jobs we often work more hours than agreed to. WHY? Because we are having fun. When it stops being fun, our attitudes do change.

George says it best when he suggests that you simply divide your expected hours into your perceived value of the site. The result is your hourly rate of wage, after taxes. Remember to add back in any other benies the job offers. Toilet paper is not free.

Employers View

I do agree with some of the posted comments, however, the one that hit the nail on the head was the worker that stated why workamping was started... seniors looking to travel and have some expense covered, mostly work for site and perks.

However, there are employers who push things a bit far by asking for unreasonable tasks to be preformed.

From an employer's side of the table, the workers complaining are the ones that stop working at the drop of a hat and stand around talking to all passerbys. So they must expect to get paid for that!

Our Experience With Working for a Site

After reading the "site for work" stories I felt my story needed to be aired. We have been WK since spring of 2007. Most of our jobs have been fun and educational with decent compensation. We try to find work in Florida every winter so we are near our kids, but paying jobs are nonexistent here.

This winter, we found a job that was 26 hours for site (at minimum wage of $7.25 = $754 for 4 weeks), but after we got here found that 26 hours was just for a W/E site, another $32 a month for sewer.

Workamping is what you make of it, but it is also what the campground owners can make of it. This campground for example is on a beautiful river nestled in a nice, shady oak hammock. The owners are not the hands-on type, so it's up to all the "cheap" labor to keep it going. No rakes, leaf blowers, or anything to work with here. I've been asked if I mind using my tools, to which I replied,"Absolutely not."

From now on we will work for site at non profit campgrounds such as state or national parks.

If you're working for site, take a walk around and count how many sites are full every night to get an idea how rich these guys are getting on free labor.

Research, Research, Research

If you're looking for a good work camper experience, it's up to you to make that happen. If you think a campground owner is going to change work conditions after you've agreed to certain things, DON'T GO THERE. Coleen was right; never, never, never travel across country for a job. Having said that, I must add, unless you have a signed, negotiated contract in hand.

The more research you do on a campground the better you are able to eliminate the bad from the good. There are any number of campground review sites on the net. Do a quick search. Find one or a number of them you like and look up the campground in question. The more reviews the better. Read the reviews from the CAMPERS, not what the owner places there. Chances are, if the reviews are average or negative it's not somewhere you want to be anyway.

Do your homework before you accept any position at a campground. If the owners won't give you the information you want or need, there's probably a reason for that. Either the work for the compensation is excessive; they're gonna work you to death; or any number of negative reasons. Stay away from those.

Almost all campgrounds have a web site now days. Check it out, check the campground review sites, and talk to other work campers. It's best if you stay there, as a regular camper for a few nights, if your location and the location of the campground are close enough to allow it. The more information you gather on a prospective employer, the better armed you'll be to "negotiate" a great work camper position and experience.

A lot of being a work camper is common sense. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, chances are it?s a duck. Those less than honest owners, as with the less than honest work campers, will rise to the surface when all is said and done. Above all, protect yourself.

Work Camping

Been reading all the comments of good verses evil of workcamping. My wife and I have been workcamping since 1999. Have worked for private RV parks to national parks.

But for the last 7 years, we stick with BLM sites an CORPS. We work as camp hosts. We bid for the spots. They pay good. They provide FHU and nice spots for the RV. The first year that we worked for the CORPS we did so as volunteer host; FHU spot, 18-20 week, that job ended up as regular host as the other couple had to leave after 6 wks. due the health problems. So, now we work summers up in the northern states and winter in the south. Been at the north site 5 yrs. and in the south 3 years.

So it depends on what you are wanting. There is pleasant an unpleasant in any job. So smile an the world will smile with you. Good luck an God bless.

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