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Have you ever stayed at an RV park that had employees who worked the campground and, at the end of the day, returned to their RV that’s also parked at a site in the campground?
These people are workampers!
In this article, you’ll learn what workamping is, the benefits of being a workamper, and how to find workamping jobs in 2023.
What is Workamping?
Workamping, also seen as “workcamping” or “work camping”, is when a single or couple team works for a campground or RV resort in trade for a free or discounted campsite, and sometimes additional hourly wages.
Campground workamping jobs range from:
- campground hosts
- office work
- grounds maintenance
- activity directors
- facility maintenance
- And even management positions.
Workampers may clean campsites, take care of pool maintenance, work at a camp store, or perform other various jobs to keep the campground in working order.
Seasonal work could require as little time as a one-month commitment for short-term jobs, as so with some state parks. But most seasonal positions are about 3 to 6 months long for RV workers.
Benefits to Workamping
There are many benefits to workamping. As previously mentioned, the workamper (or work camper) gets a full hookup site in exchange for a certain number of work hours required by the campground.
If you’re working as a couple, the campground will typically allow you to split the necessary hours for the free RV site.
For example, if a campground requires 24 hours a week to “pay” for your site, and there are two of you, you’d each have to work only 12 hours a week to get a free full hookup site!
NOTE: Keep in mind that campgrounds tend to save the best campsites for their paying guests. Often the workampers are placed near the campground maintenance barn, at the front entrance of the campground, or with their long-term sites. So be prepared to forgo the best views or the most spacious of sites to call home during your time as a workamper.
RV Camping on a Budget
In addition to making extra money, workamping helps you save money by staying in one place longer. This can drastically help with reducing your fuel and campsite monthly expenses.
RV BUDGET PLANNING: Use our RV Living Cost Calculator to guide you in estimating your monthly expenses as a full-time RVer.
Career and Resume Building Opportunities
Another benefit to workamping for younger workampers is that you learn various skills to add to your resume. You may plan to enjoy full-time RV life for a few years and then return to the traditional workforce when you put down roots.
Workamping gives you business operations, customer service, facility maintenance, and other experience that you can then use to pursue new and exciting career options in your next chapter of life.
Heck, maybe you decide to make a career out of workamping?! Some campgrounds offer permanent management positions that you can work up to. Imagine being able to live like you’re on vacation until you actually retire?!
Workamping is Short-Term
Perhaps the best part about workamping or seasonal jobs is if you don’t like it, you can move on and try somewhere new in a few months!
There’s no stress over company loyalty or feeling stuck in a job you hate for years just for a paycheck. If you’re not a fan of management, want to see somewhere new, or just plain don’t like it, in a few months, you’ll be back on the road toward your next adventure!
Workamping Part-Time vs. Full-Time
Many campgrounds offer part-time hours in exchange for a site. This could be an excellent option for retired campers who want to keep themselves moving and busy for a few months a year or even for the parent who doesn’t have time for a full-time job on the road.
Some campgrounds also offer full-time work with an hourly wage in addition to your site. This scenario is preferable for those below retirement age who still have bills to pay while enjoying the full-time RV lifestyle.
Most often, the hourly rate is whatever the minimum wage is in that state, but you can negotiate a higher rate based on your previous experience. Just be aware it’s a competitive market for FHU (full hookup) + pay gigs.
Who Can Workamp?
Each campground has its own rules, but most park host or campground job descriptions have requirements such as minimum age, ability to lift a certain amount of pounds, skills, etc.
But don’t think you have to have a certain resume to get a job as a workamper. Remember, camping is a much more laid back environment compared to Corporate America.
Campgrounds don’t need proof of your college degree, and they don’t care if you’ve never worked for a campground or been a camp host before. They care about work ethic, a willingness to help, learn new things, and that you are friendly to their paying guests.
How Do You Find Workamping Jobs?
The workamping job positions are practically endless, so a Google search is a great place to start, but it can be a bit overwhelming. Here are some of the best ways to start narrowing your workamping job search based on jobs available or where or who you want to work for.
A great way to find the best workamping jobs is to join one or several Workamping Facebook groups. There are posts daily advertising a variety of job listings all over the country. There are even specific groups for those looking for workamper jobs that pay! To find these groups search “workamping” on Facebook.
Reach Out Directly
Another option is to find an area you want to spend time, search for nearby campgrounds, and contact them directly. This usually involves sending them an email with your resume and then a follow-up phone call since many campgrounds are “old school” and still prefer a good ol’ fashioned phone conversation.
National Parks and State Parks
National Park Service and State Parks tend to have their own system for workamping that requires you to go directly through them. The majority of state and national parks offer volunteer positions or campground host jobs. These positions are typically in exchange for a campsite in the park.
Kampgrounds of America (KOA) has its own site, Work at KOA, that lists all the positions available for KOA workampers in their campgrounds all over the county.
Other Workamping Websites
A popular search engine for seasonal jobs among the Millennial crowd is Cool Works. You’ll find everything here, from river rafting guides to jobs at ski resorts, jobs with housing, and (of course) workamping positions.
How Hard Is It to Find Workamping Jobs?
There are over 15,000 registered campgrounds in the United States. That requires a pretty big workforce to help maintain and run those campgrounds.
But how hard is it to find a workamping job? It honestly depends on who, what, and where.
- Who is looking for a job.
- What type of job you’re looking for.
- Where you’re looking.
More working age individuals are on the road more than ever. When the pandemic hit, and RVing skyrocketed in popularity, many folks fell in love with the lifestyle and are looking for ways to maintain nomadic living now that their savings is wiped clean.
Work Camping Jobs for Singles (Solo)
The unicorn workamping job is a FHU + Pay for a single person or workamper. These work camping jobs are going to be your hardest to find.
Many dual-income full-time RVers are in a situation where one person has remote employment or runs their own business, and the other left their career behind when they hit the road and need to find a job that’s outside of the camper or computer, so they turn to workamping.
Work Camping Jobs for Couples
Work camping couple jobs are much easier to find. Why? Because campgrounds often prefer couples. Again, why? Easy answer. They get more bang for their buck.
A campground provides a free site for its workampers. So why give up a free campsite for one employee, when you can have two employees on one site?
Workamping Jobs with Salary
Everything is expensive these days, and campgrounds are starting to realize that today’s workforce has more bills to pay than generations prior. Heck, even generations prior have to step back into the workforce part-time to help offset today’s cost of living. So luckily, we’re seeing more and more campgrounds offer a site + pay, even if that pay is minimum wage.
Winter workamping jobs are much harder to find. The campgrounds in the north are closed for the season and the snowbirds flock to the warmer states of California, Texas, Arizona, and Florida.
The best piece of advice we have for winter gigs is to search early and be prepared to compromise. Florida is one of the best places for winter workamping and is the state everyone wants in the summer season. Florida campgrounds have caught on to this and rarely offer paid gigs. Some RV parks even require you to work a summer at their campground before being considered for a coveted winter position.
More campgrounds open = more opportunities. But you’ll still want to begin your search early for those dreamy summer destinations such as Bar Harbor, Glacier or Yellowstone National Park, etc.
Other Workamping Job Opportunities
When hunting for workamping opportunities, don’t be afraid to look into options other than the traditional campground setting.
Workamping is just a seasonal job that includes campground housing. Look into other seasonal gigs such as:
- Sugar beet harvests
- Amazon jobs (Amazon Camperforce was discontinued in 2022, but other seasonal jobs are available)
- Christmas tree lots
- Pumpkin patches
- And more
Some of these gigs are long days, but you walk away with a big chunk of change at the end of the harvest or holiday season. In addition, the company you work with will arrange for a paid site during your time of employment.
When it comes to workamping, remember this: be flexible and give it a try. It’s only for a season!
Want to learn more about how to RV on a budget?
Find more tips for RV living on the cheap, including finding affordable campsites, saving on fuel costs, and more – view our complete guide.
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