Workamping Jobs are a Perfect Fit for Van Living
If you’re a fan of van life, you know that there’s nothing quite like the feeling of freedom and adventure as you explore all new sights and experiences. When it comes to sustaining your lifestyle, workamping jobs can be a great way to make some extra money while still enjoying the open road.
Here we’ll look at different kinds of available work opportunities that allow you to travel while earning an income. We’ll also show you where to find these workamping opportunities. If van living is your passion, then read on!
What is Workamping?
Workamping is a general term for any job that also includes a campsite as part of the compensation. Most of the time, you camp onsite at the job location. It is a very popular way for van travelers and RVers to earn money while traveling.
Some workamping positions are considered volunteer positions. These jobs are unpaid and are performed in exchange for the campsite (campsite utilities or hookups) and sometimes other amenities such as laundry and propane. Volunteer positions often have fewer job requirements and hours, but each one is different.
Other workamping jobs are paid positions that also include a free or reduced-price campsite as part of the compensation. Some opportunities even pay a bonus for completing the season.
Many workamping positions are seasonal, but some are or can turn into long-term and permanent jobs. Most jobs require at least a 3-month commitment, but we have seen rare volunteer positions for as little of a time commitment as a month. Once, we found a lighthouse volunteer position that was a minimum of one month. What a cool gig that would be!
Many workamper jobs are geared toward couples, while other positions accept either singles or couples. It also never hurts to ask if a place will consider a single workamper even if it is advertised as seeking couples.
RV park workamping positions often favor couples because they prefer to fill both maintenance and office positions while occupying only one campsite. However, there are some places that will take singles, and many non-campground workamping opportunities are available.
Most people automatically think of campground jobs when they hear the term workamping, but as you will see in this article, there are many other unique options perfect for van life. Including positions geared toward those that love the outdoors. Keep reading for many van life job opportunities!
Popular Workamping Jobs for Van Life
There really is a workamping opportunity for any personality of van dweller, single vanlifers, or couples. There is a great deal of variety and flexibility with these types of job positions while also traveling. That is exactly why workamping is a great fit for van living. Check out these great options!
A campground host makes sure campers are taken care of while also sometimes checking to see that everyone is following the rules. The host usually camps onsite and often has a sign on the campsite that lets others know to come to you if anything is needed during their stay. It’s the perfect position for vanlifers that love to meet other campers.
Campground hosts typically sell firewood, check and clean campsites when campers check out, and answer camper questions. Sometimes they also escort campers to their sites and clean bathrooms. Think of the camp host as the greeter and liaison of the campground.
Campground host jobs are sometimes paid but can also be volunteer positions in exchange for a campsite. Some of these positions are in very desirable camping locations such as state park campgrounds, national park campgrounds, and Corps of Engineers campgrounds.
Serving as a camp host in your van can sometimes land you a spot in a popular campground that is almost impossible to get a reservation at. It’s also a great way to save on camping costs. If you are social and enjoy customer service, then this could be the perfect gig for you!
RV Park Jobs
Privately owned RV parks, campgrounds, and RV resorts often hire seasonal staff for all campground operations. These positions are often paid but sometimes can be volunteer jobs in exchange for the campsite and any included amenities.
Typical RV campground jobs include ranger, maintenance, front desk, housekeeping, grounds, store, and restaurant or bar. Many of these jobs can be either seasonal, long-term, or permanent positions.
A campground ranger position often escorts campers to their campsite and makes sure they have what they need. They also often patrol the campground to make sure all rules are being followed and ensure there are no issues. Rangers can also serve as campground hosts in some privately owned campgrounds.
Maintenance positions in campgrounds ensure that all facilities are in working order. This is a great position for a vanlifer that also has some light electrical, plumbing, or carpentry skills. This job serves as the handyman of the campground.
We often see campervan builds that use all of these skills and then some! Van travelers are often naturally handy people, so this could be a great fit.
Campground maintenance jobs are often a mixed bag of job tasks. It can include pool maintenance, painting, bathroom plumbing problems, checking campsite power or cable, painting, yard work, working on air conditioners, rebuilding picnic tables, and just about anything else you can think of! It’s a good job for someone that likes to be challenged constantly. No two days are alike!
A campground groundskeeper keeps the grounds within the campground in top shape. This could include mowing, trimming, light tree trimming, pool cleaning, blowing off sidewalks, tending to flower beds, trimming bushes, and gathering yard waste. Many campgrounds combine this job with maintenance positions, but some larger properties have separate grounds jobs.
Campground housekeepers keep all RV park public spaces clean and ready to use for guests. These positions are often in charge of cleaning the bathrooms, clubhouses, game rooms, exercise rooms, office, store, laundry room, and any rental cabins or rental RVs.
Campground Bar or Restaurant Staff
Many campgrounds also have an onsite restaurant, snack bar, or bar. Some of these are poolside or simply part of the resort. These positions often include cooks, servers, and bartenders. They may include working outside, inside, or both.
RV Office or Store
Workampers that work in an RV campground office are often responsible for check-in, campsite payment, and taking reservations over the phone. They usually have to know or learn the campground reservation computer software and be comfortable operating a cash register.
Often the office staff will also run the store or at least sell firewood and ice to campers. This is usually a fast-paced job that is good for someone that can multitask well. This workamper is often on the phone and computer, reserving campsites while also serving in-person guests at the same time.
For a long-term workamping job, some van dwellers decide to become campground managers. They live onsite and oversee RV park operations. This is a great opportunity for van travelers that have worked a while at campgrounds and want to settle down for a bit.
Farm or Animal Caretaker
Small farms, ranches, animal rescue centers, and tree farms sometimes use workampers to help out around their property or business. This can be an interesting opportunity to camp on private land while also learning new skills or mixing things up a bit. Common job tasks include helping with crop harvest, caring for animals, or groundskeeping.
State Park or National Park Volunteer
Many people think about working in campgrounds at state and national parks, but there are many other park positions that can also include a campsite. Parks also use workampers to give tours, greet guests, work exhibits or museums, sell tickets, and also to run the store. These positions are often volunteer, but sometimes they do provide compensation.
Gate Guards and Storage Facilities
Some private businesses prefer to have someone staying onsite at all times. Two common examples of this are storage facilities and oil fields. For vanlifers that want to earn a little money and aren’t looking for a scenic parking spot, this can be the perfect option.
Oil field gate guards are paid well and a favorite of workampers who are traveling out west. Depending on the position, this may be a dry camping or limited hookups van parking spot.
National Park Concessionaire
Many national parks outsource tours, park activities, gift shops, stores, and restaurants to concessionaires that manage these operations and hire workampers. A big national park concessionaire that hires workampers is Xanterra. Xanterra hires in large national parks such as Yellowstone, Glacier, Zion, Grand Canyon, and Rocky Mountain National Park.
Each year there is a huge hiring event that fills workamping positions in Yellowstone National Park. This could be a great job for those that would rather work inside a store or restaurant than outside at a campground. It’s also the perfect opportunity for outdoor adventure lovers that would like to find a position as a tour or activity guide.
Seasonal Resorts or Seasonal Recreation
Large seasonal resorts sometimes hire workampers to fill positions. Have a favorite outdoor hobby? Seasonal outdoor recreation opportunities are also a perfect workamping job for those outdoor-loving vanlifers. Ski resorts and seasonal instructors such as rafting or other outdoor tours are popular options.
While many offer campsites, these large seasonal resorts sometimes also offer housing as part of the position. This can be a great way to take a little break from van living for a season while also saving money for your RV living lifestyle.
Even More Workamping Jobs
Join Johnny and Tracy from No Acres Homestead, formerly RV S.W.A.T., as they showcase even more opportunities available for workamping. In the video, they highlight the Amazon Camperforce seasonal program, although it should be noted that this program has since been discontinued.
Where to Look for Workamping Opportunities
There are many valuable online resources to look for workamping opportunities. Check out these popular websites for job opportunities on the road!
Happy Vagabonds is a popular website to search for both paid and volunteer workamping positions by state. Campgrounds and businesses can advertise for free on this site which leads to some unique postings that you may not find elsewhere.
Workamper News may be one of the most valuable online resources for both finding and getting workamping jobs. There are both free and paid services on this site. You can search for all sorts of workamping positions by state. There are also many non-campground listings for workamping jobs on this site. This is where we found the 1-month lighthouse volunteer workamping job that I mentioned earlier.
Another reason this site stands out as handy for job searching is the ability to filter for positions that allow single workampers or couples. It also has a paid feature that includes a resume builder for job seekers, the option to create a profile so hiring businesses can find you, and the ability to place a situation wanted ad to show you are available for work.
For paid campground positions, consider working at KOAs, Sun Communities, or Encore/Thousand Trails. These are campground chains that have paid workamping jobs in RV parks across the country. These campground jobs are often available in maintenance, housekeeping, ranger, and office positions.
For vanlifers looking for one-of-a-kind outdoor recreation jobs, check out Cool Jobs and Cool Works. These two sites offer the perfect gigs for the outdoor lover or those that enjoy unusual opportunities. Not all of these positions offer campsites, but it is worth taking a look at these unique opportunities. You can find everything from camp counselor to snowboard instructor jobs on these websites.
Why is Workamping Popular for Van Life?
If you have a flexible personality and enjoy trying new things, then workamping can fit right into your van travels. The commitment is often brief, so you can still explore new locations as you work.
Workamping can provide an income to afford RV living, a cheap or free place to stay, or both. Plus, there are so many different things that workampers do for jobs that there is an opportunity for every traveler’s personality.
Workamping in a van can also work out better and provide more opportunities than other workampers in larger RVs. Vans can fit just about anywhere in campgrounds or on business properties, which can be a huge selling point over an RVer with a larger unit. It’s harder for campgrounds to want to part with their largest campsites to accommodate workampers, so vans have that advantage when job searching.
Now that you have some ideas for how to make money while living in your van, it’s time to hit the road! Workamping is a great way to see beautiful places while still earning an income. And what could be better than getting paid to explore the outdoors? Whatever route you decide to take, there are plenty of opportunities out there for those who want to work and live in their vans!