Last Updated on May 22, 2022 by Jessica Lauren Vine
Scroll through any RV living-related website and you’ll find that one of the most popular questions is about working from your RV while traveling. Unless you’re retired or have a magical money tree, you’re going to need to generate an income on the road to sustain this lifestyle. Working from your RV while traveling is possible, but it takes planning and careful attention to detail.
The most important thing to know about working from your RV while traveling is that you need to figure it out before you hit the road. This is not something you do after you buy a rig and start booking campgrounds. It’s imperative that you not only find work but have planned and researched enough to know that it will generate the income you need for life on the road.
There are a lot of aspects of RV living that are “learn as you go” or “figure it out when we get there” but working is not one of them.
Here are some of the most popular questions new RVers have about working from an RV.
Can I Work Remotely from an RV?
That’s the beauty of the RV lifestyle. If you’ve got a computer and internet access, you can work from anywhere. 2020 taught many people that they can do their jobs effectively without commuting into an office. In fact, millions of people learned they could easily work from home—and most loved it.
If you’re currently working from home and thinking about stepping into the RV lifestyle, you may need to have conversations with your employer, your team, clients, and customers about the change in your circumstances. Give them a heads up when you know you’re going to be off the grid and factor long hours for travel days into your schedule.
Don’t forget to figure out how to pass time on a long car ride.
Think about Productivity
Another thing to consider is if and how your productivity and availability will change as you embark on RV living. Are you planning to meet the same deadlines, work the same amount of hours, and meet the same goals as you were living from home? Or are you planning on stepping back or decreasing your availability and workload?
If you work for yourself, you have more freedom and flexibility in how to structure your work life. If you’re working for someone else, it’s important to understand what is expected from you before you hit the road. If you work for someone who has a zero policy for late work or missed meetings, it may be hard to balance RV life with these strict guidelines, because as you’ll quickly learn in RV life, things will always take longer than you expect.
Talk with Your Boss or Clients
Have these conversations before making the jump so you have a clear idea of what is expected from you and have a plan in place to help you be successful.
There will be times when remote workers can’t access the internet. When you work remotely, you’ll find challenges keep popping up but you have to figure out ways to get around them.
What do Full-time RVers Do for Remote Work?
There are so many ways to make money while RVing. You could work for yourself, you could offer RV-related services and pick up jobs on the road and do work from your RV site, you could ask your boss if you could do what you’re currently doing as a remote job.
Here are some examples of how RVers make a living on the road:
Work camping is a popular option for people who like to stay in one spot for an extended period of time while you’re full time RVing. Work camping is when you sign up to work for a campground or RV park in exchange for free or discounted site fees and sometimes additional hourly pay. Work camping jobs vary from groundskeepers and office staff to activities coordinators, retail store managers, pool attendants, and housekeepers.
Most basic work campaign opportunities pay around $7.25 – $9.00 per hour, but you can find jobs that require a specific skill set that pays $10-$20 an hour. For people who like to stay active and busy, meet new people, and make a little extra money on the road, campground jobs are a great option.
Freelance work is another popular option for those looking to work from their RV. If you love to write, research companies that are hiring freelance writers to write their blogs, websites, and social media content.
If you’re into web design, offer your freelance services to companies looking to build or improve their websites. Authors are always looking for freelance artists to help them illustrate their books, and large companies rely on freelancers to help with marketing, data entry, email automation, creative writing, and SEO.
The benefit of being a freelance writer is that you have the freedom and flexibility to work on your schedule. You pick the work you want to do, decide on your rate and terms, and have control of your workload which gives you a much more flexible schedule.
Start A Business
If you’re an entrepreneur, you may be able to take your business out on the road. If you do most of your work from a computer and can communicate with clients, employees, and vendors via phone calls or video conferences, you may be able to continue as usual on the road.
If you’ve been dreaming about starting your own business, consider how you could do it living on the road as a telecommuting position.
If you’re creative and artsy, imagine taking your craft on the road. Some RVers make custom wooden signs, others make jewelry, homemade lotions and soaps, handmade clothes, and digital artwork and sell their products on the road.
You could even offer a service, such as personal training, nutritional coaching, dog-walking, RV cleaning, RV organization, or photography.
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RV and Truck Repair
RVs will always need to be repaired. There will always be a valve to replace, a leak to fix, a hole to patch, or a pump to replace.
If you have experience with RV repairs, you could offer your services to fellow campers. If you were a car mechanic “back home” you could start a mobile mechanic business and help travelers get their cars and trucks up and running.
Network to Get RV & Truck Repair Business
RVers will almost always want to give their business to other RVers, so providing this service in this community could be a great option for those looking to work from their RV while traveling.
There are hundreds of questions to ask before setting out on the full-time RV lifestyle, and one of them should definitely be “How can I make money while RVing?” The answer to this question depends on your travel schedule, your skillset, and your lifestyle.
Are you looking to make a little side money to fund fun excursions and sightseeing adventures? Or do you need to make a steady income each month to pay for gas, campsites, utilities, and groceries?
Your expenses in an RV will vary on the age and type of rig you have, how often you travel, and where you travel. Once you know what your expenses will be, you can decide what kind of work you need to do to cover the costs.
Other Ways to Make Money While Traveling in an RV
- Online teaching
- Rent out your sticks and bricks home
- Camp host
- Farm work
- Seasonal retail worker
- Traveling medical professional
- Medical coding
How To Set Up Your RV Workspace
Working RVers have to get creative when it comes to setting up an RV workspace.
Larger rigs (like toy haulers) have the extra space that can be converted into an office, but it may take some creativity to maximize the space in a travel trailer or fifth wheel for work.
The key to an efficient workspace in an RV is being able to set up your space, work, and then shut it down and put it away. In most RVs, workstations are out when in use and then put away.
Other Important Things to Include
- Store a standing desk under your bed and then pull it out when it’s time to get to work.
- Use an existing dresser in the bedroom as a work that as a workstation.
- If you’re living in a motorhome, consider using the driver’s seat for a cozy and sunny office location.
- If you do a lot of video calls, use a backdrop for a more professional look
- If you don’t use your dinette, pull it all out and use that space for a work area
- Step out of the RV completely and set up a clam tent. These luxury tents give space and privacy, will keep the bugs out, and have plenty of room for a comfortable chair and folding table.
Ways I’ve Worked Remotely
There are a lot of ways I’ve worked remotely. I kept changing up the setup until it got to exactly what I needed so I could work remotely without being miserable or feeling like I was going like a snail.
On My Bed
I usually work from my laptop so I just set my workstation up on my bed. By workstation, I mean that I had my laptop on my lap when I was writing articles. This worked, but it was also a little bit uncomfortable since my posture wasn’t the best.
We were living in an 18 foot Wolf Pup at the time and if I wanted to be out of the way of the four kids, that was the best place I could go. I had a little curtain divider up so they wouldn’t try to talk to me.
In My Car
Yes, I know you’re not supposed to run your car for long periods of time, but I did some of that. It was pretty comfortable and no one was going to bother me.
I had to get something to plug into my cigarette lighter where I could plug my computer in before I got a new one because my battery kept dying.
I did see some pretty amazing sights when we were down near Sedona, Arizona. I had to drive to the top of the hill to get internet access and saw some amazing sunrises and hot air balloons going up.
Almost every RV site has a picnic table but some of them aren’t very comfortable and some look a little dodgy.
When I was at campgrounds that had nice picnic tables, I would put a table cloth over them and work outside when it was nice enough. If I need to plug in my computer, I would just put out an extension cord so I would be able to keep power to my computer whenever necessary.
From a Patio Chair
We got these awesome anti-gravity chairs that make it pretty easy to work remotely without having a back and neck ache. We’d up our awning out and I’d go out before everyone woke up in the morning and get some work done.
I did always have my trusty coffee by my side.
In the Clubhouse
Working from the clubhouse at the RV park was pretty nice whenever the internet was good. Keep in mind that you might have some interesting conversations with people that come into the clubhouse.
If you don’t want to chat with people then you can put some headphones on and most people will leave you alone while you’re working remotely.
How To Schedule Work While Traveling In An RV
Just like living in an RV takes intentional planning, so does working in an RV. You will have to schedule your work time around travel days, and factor in time to enjoy the sites and attractions in a new place.
For most RVers, it’s not realistic to get a lot of work done on a travel day—even with a reliable internet connection, so don’t over-schedule yourself on days when you’re moving.
Talk with your family members about the work time that you need so you can schedule uninterrupted time to be productive.
Must-Haves For Working From Your RV
If your job requires email, Zoom calls, or online purchasing/ordering, the most important thing you’ll need to work from home is reliable internet. A quick Google search for the best internet for RV travelers will bring up a million different results.
Some people increase the data on the cell phone plans and use their phones for hot spots. Others purchase a WiFi booster to increase the existing WiFi in the RV, or a Repeater, Extender, or Ranger that helps when you’re too far from the campground’s WiFi and can help extend your reach.
One thing that most seasoned RVers will tell you is not to rely solely on campground WiFi. If the campground internet is down, if your site is too far away from the router, or if the campground simply has slow internet, this could significantly affect your work time.
Use campground WiFi if they have it, but have a backup too.
Other RV Must-Haves for Those Working on the Road
- An organizational system that will help you keep papers, products, and supplies together and out of the way
- A laptop/computer/printer
- Comfortable seating
- A well-lit workspace
- Stand-up desk
- Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.
- Noise-canceling headphones
- Planner or online scheduler
Frequently Asked Questions from RV Remote Workers
Can you make good money working on the road?
Depending on what you do from the road, you can definitely make good money. Keep in mind that’s usually if you have your own business that you know how to build.
Are there a lot of work camping positions available?
Yes, there are a lot of places that do work camping, but they won’t pay very m
How do you work in your RV if you have kids?
You have to let them know what you expect of them
Working from Your RV While Traveling – The Bottom Line
One of the biggest challenges new RVers have is figuring out how to make money on the road. You either have to find a way to do what you do from the road or start a new business venture altogether. Either way, it’s important to take the time to prepare for the switch.
There is a lot to learn when embarking on RV life, and you don’t want the added stress of finding a job or struggling to make ends meet. Being proactive is key in living (and making money) on the road.
See more about RV life on the road with kids on one of my most popular posts.