Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Work Camping: making money & getting started!

During my travels, I've run into many folks who are interested in giving RV life a whirl. This blog entry is devoted to answering several questions about getting started and making money while you live on the road.

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If you're thinking about embarking on the adventure of RV life or if you're ready to take the plunge, here are a few suggestions and tips that should help you as you begin your journey into the great unknown:

A big question in the mind of many is, "How do I make $ while living on the road?"

Job suggestions:

1. If you have a skill, work as self employed.
Examples: freelance graphic design, web design, any internet based service or business, consulting, government contracting, (licensed) therapeutic massage, professional travel nurse, mobile deejay, artist, vendor at a flea market, work at carnivals or fairs, work for concessionaires at national parks, bartender, waitress, security, part time seasonal park ranger, river/outdoor guide, instruction such as fishing, hunting, dance, painting...there are many skills that can be used to make $$ and live the full or part time RV life. It's never too late to learn a new skill!

2. Work a part time job at WalMart, Home Depot, Lowes, KMart, etc. At the very least you'll make $7 - $10 an hour at 25 - 40 hours per week. That's enough money to either pay bills and expenses or save for a "treat". Some people work camp and also work part time. Others work 25 - 30 hours per week at a paying job and pay for their site outright. It's up to you.

3. Find a job in a location where you'd like to be, take the job and go there with your rig. Live in an RV resort or campground and enjoy a simple and fun way of living!

As for what it takes to get going and to live on the road:
You don't need a ton of money. I see good quality used trailers out there starting at $3,000.00 - $5,000.00 and then prices go up depending on what you want. There are always great deals on RVs to be found on Craigslist.org. That's where I found my pick up truck when I had a trailer and my motor coach when I decided to drive my home!

If you decide to buy a travel trailer and a tow vehicle:
Be sure to speak with the service dept. NOT the sales dept. before making a purchase. You need to have enough power in the engine to comfortably tow a trailer. Plus, you MUST have the correct gear ratio in the differential. For instance, with the 2007 Ford F150 "there should be a big * beside that 10.5K tow rating. An '07 F-150 brochure, states that figure is only available on the 4x2 regular cab with the HD payload rating. That vehicle has an 8100 GVW, which really makes it a 3/4-ton truck. All other '07 F-150s, including others with the HD payload option, are rated to tow 9500 pounds or less, depending on configuration."

Configuration meaning: size of engine and rear differential ratio combined to perform at max towing capability.

Don't listen to your salesman...talk to the service department FIRST to find out exactly what you'll need to get the job done or you'll find your tow vehicle struggling up inclines straining to pull your trailer. You can severely damage your tow vehicle this way!

If you decide to buy a motor home:
Talk to both diesel and gas owners. Both types of vehicles have advantages and disadvantages. There are many topics here in this forum discussing the pros and cons of both.

Bottom line...be sure you get a rig which suits your purpose. If you tow, you'll need an engine powerful enough to get you up inclines without straining and killing your motorized home on wheels.

Questions to consider:
Will you be towing?
What will you tow...a car, a boat, a motorcycle, a car and a motorcycle?
Will you flat tow or dolly tow?

Again, you'll find many topics and threads on several forums addressing these issues.

Forums:
Forums are an incredible resource! You'll find a wide variety of topics on everything you've ever wanted to know and haven't thought of when it comes to the RV lifestyle. Check out Workamper.com Trailerlife.com, RVAmerica.com, Good Sam Club, Escapees (SKP), and FMCA to gain valuable info and knowledge.

Camping:
Buy a tent and go camping at state, county and regional parks and while there, just walk up to folks with travel trailers, 5th wheels, and motor homes...ask them questions. You'll be surprised at how friendly we are and we're ALWAYS willing to share info. We LOVE recruiting folks into the RV life! It's wonderful!

Other great ways to find info:
Go to RV rallies and shows, google any RV topic for info. Subscribe to Workamper News Magazine for articles and information. Workamper News has a really great online bookstore!

Suggested reads:
The Complete Idiot's Guide to RVing
Complete Guide to Fulltiming
The RV Handbook

Join Groups:
Good Sams Club (IMHO they are the best!)
Escapees
RVing Women
Family Motor Coach Association

Places to visit on the web (See the links posted to your right on this blog page):
* Workcamper News :: RV Jobs and Camping Jobs (Obviously you found this one!)
* Campgrounds and camping reservations :: Reserve America
* Camping World :: RV parts, accessories, & other items
* FMCA :: The club for motorhome enthusiasts
* Fun Roads :: RV parts, accessories, travel ideas
* Good Sam Club :: RV Owners Organization
* KOA :: Kampgrounds of America
* RV Links :: RV links and info
* RV Resources.com :: Dealers, rentals, insurance & more
* RV.com :: Product reviews, events, resources, recipes
* Trailer Life :: America's #1 RV Magazine

Good luck to you as you head for the open road!

Happy trails!
~Barb

3 comments:

softech said...

Interesting… I might try some of this on my blog, too. It’s quite interesting how you sometimes stop being innovative and just go for an accepted solution without actually trying to improve it… you make a couple of good points.

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angel said...

Great post… Great info on bounce rates… I’ll have to write an entry about the same topic some day soon… Bounce rates can tell you alot…
I tend to look at the bounce rate and then look at the keywords that brought people to the site. Does the page answer the keyword question? If No then there is some work to do on that or a new more focused post.


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angel said...

Great post… Great info on bounce rates… I’ll have to write an entry about the same topic some day soon… Bounce rates can tell you alot…
I tend to look at the bounce rate and then look at the keywords that brought people to the site. Does the page answer the keyword question? If No then there is some work to do on that or a new more focused post.


part time money making ideas