The Workamping Life
When we first bought our RV, we didn't know all of our options for full-time living. We had just recently sold our house along with most of our things, and were ready to hit the road! At the time, our understanding of full-time RVing basically meant full-time travel, but we had NO idea that there were other great options. While RVing looks different for everyone, we've found an option that I believe combines the best of full-time RV life and weekend warrior life. We're talking workamping, people!
If you're anything like we were, then you may have NO IDEA that this incredible opportunity is available. You might also have zero clue what it even is, so let me fill you in!
What is Workamping?
Workamping (yes, with a 'k'), is an opportunity that campgrounds offer to RVers in exchange for free living. This often includes utilities and even wages. Yes, you can get paid to workamp! While specific responsibilities are different for each campground, you are basically there to help out at the campground.
We are currently playing the role of campground host, which means we are responsible for smiling all the time! I'm kidding ... smiling is optional. As campground hosts, we manage the front office by the entrance of the campground, otherwise known as the gatehouse. We are responsible for taking payments, as well as answering emails, phone calls, and any questions a guest may have regarding the campground.
Yes, we also make sure that bathrooms are presentable for guests. HOWEVER, we are not responsible for the actual cleaning of said bathrooms. If a bathroom is dirty, we are to call it in for someone to come and clean it. Periodically, throughout the day, we take the golf cart (yup, we get to drive one of those) to make sure guests are following the rules and guidelines enforced at the park, but most importantly, having fun! At our current campground, we only work weekend shifts once per month.
Now it's time to talk about the perks. First of all, we are currently campground hosting at a park in North Texas that is equipped with 300 acres of luscious lake views, incredible hiking trails, and the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises we have ever seen! As I mentioned earlier, because we are workamping here, we get to stay at the campground for free! Literally, FOR FREE!! 100% free! Did I mention it was free? Cause it's free. The word of the day is...? Okay, you get it.
If that wasn't glorious enough, we also get to partake in the excursions and rental equipment for (you guessed it!) ... free. We're talking kayaking, fishing, kids camps, an inflatable obstacle course on the lake, and ANYTHING else the campground has to offer! I'm sure other campgrounds offer different things, and limit others. But the point is, you basically have the greatest backyard ever and a lot of times, it's yours to use whenever you like.
But after all this free talk, I'm afraid we finally have to talk about money ... YOU CAN GET PAID TO DO THIS! With our agreement, we work once a month on a weekend shift, have incredible conversations with like-minded, inspiring people, get to care for a park that is absolutely beautiful, and get paid to do it. Now, it's not like we can retire off of the compensation, but it DOES buy the groceries (at least for us)! Oh, and might I mention, our campground even throws in a free gym membership which boasts a waterpark for our kids, an adult pool, a sauna, and an entire gym to help you look even more like the greatest workamper in all of existence.
The Best of Both Worlds
I know for a lot of people, they want to see the world, they want to travel, they want to roam in their RV. But, realistically, bouncing around from place to place every other week can feel exhausting at times. As soon as you get to know an area and find your favorite stomping grounds, it's time to pack up and head to the next city or even state! On the other hand, keeping the same home base in a traditional house, and living the weekend warrior life can sometimes limit how far you can actually travel.
The beauty in workamping is that you get to stay for an extended period of time. You really get to know the area (since others are relying on you for directions, etc.), and then months later (for us, an entire year) you can either renew your contract and stay (for free), or you can pack up your things and travel to the next location! The workamping life allows you to go at your own pace. You don't have to worry about availability in extending another week or piling on so many activities to really experience it all. You can take your time and enjoy everything your location has to offer!
How to Find Workamping Gigs
So, how do you find something like this?! There are several websites that post new workamping opportunities on a daily basis. All you really have to do these days is Google "Workamping" and you will find several sites! For us, we fell into it in a more unorthodox way. We picked up the phone, called the number of the park we were staying at, and asked if we could barter our services (we create content) for a few free nights at their park! It just so happened that they were looking for one more family to workamp at a park on the other side of the lake. We had never heard of workamping at the time, but obviously jumped on it and are SO happy we did!
The RV life for us has always been about experiences, learning new things, and saying yes to opportunities! We have met some incredible people, learned a TON about campgrounds, and have been able to find a sense of calmness in our otherwise crazy, busy stage of life!
Now, of course all campgrounds are different. Some offer more than what I mentioned, and others offer less. Some only offer a free site, while others (like ours) offer the free site, plus wages. So, before you enter into an agreement with a campground to workamp, make sure you have done your homework. Know your responsibilities and what your compensation will be. Then, if it looks good to you, go for it!
We started our full-time RV life with zero knowledge of workamping, but now we suggest it to all of our friends as a wonderful way to travel full-time at your own pace.
Have you workamped before? What is your experience?