If you’re considering the full-time RV lifestyle, work may be one of the most challenging logistical pieces to your puzzle. Of course, it depends on where you are in your life, career, and finances.
Maybe you only want to work part-time to put gas in the tank. Or perhaps you still need to work a full-time gig. Whatever your needs, there are more location-independent jobs now than ever before.
Should I Find Work Before I Go Full-Time?
I’m one of the lucky few who had a remote job before I ever considered full-time RVing. In fact, my boss was the one who inspired me to buy my first RV.
Knowing that I could take my job on the road, and with a boss who supported the idea, it was a quick and easy transition for me. I bought an RV in May and hit the road in June (of 2013).
But I know that for many, the RV dream comes first. And the work situation must be carefully thought out and planned for in advance.
I’ve found that most full-time RVers work in some capacity, even if part-time, seasonal, or as a hobbyist. And that’s a great place to start.
Figure out your finances, and know exactly how much money you need to support a full-time RV lifestyle. Then you can go out and pursue a job that matches your needs.
Being on the road myself for so many years, I’ve met the most fascinating people with the most interesting jobs. So I’m excited to share what some RVers do for work, and hope it helps you on your journey.
For the past three years on the road, I’ve been fully self-employed as a small business owner and freelancer. After having worked for someone else as an employee and now working only for myself, I definitely recommend self-employment as a better match for full-time RVing.
It allows me more flexibility, and I’m a lot less stressed not having to answer to anyone when a drive day goes longer than expected.
Self-employment might not be the right choice for a new traveler who needs the stability of full-time work and income. Especially as a new entrepreneur, the income can be unpredictable.
But if you’ve already been running your own business for some time, it might be a great match for RV living.
In addition to traditional self-employment, there are lots of freelancers on the road. Writers, bloggers, graphic designers, marketers, social media managers, virtual assistants, bookkeepers, accountants, etc.
You don’t have to start a whole business to support yourself on the road. Maybe you just need to write a certain number of articles per month. Or perhaps you need three solid clients as a virtual assistant.
My business is in the travel industry, and there are lots of travel agents who work as contractors for a host agency. The work is typically remote, and the industry celebrates people on the move.
This work in the travel industry is better suited for the RVer who wants to live in RV parks or near major towns, as your clients often require you to be available 24/7.
Some RVers choose seasonal work so they can move around the country, following different types of work. Others may choose seasonal work because they only need to work part of the year to fund their travels.
We’ve had friends work the sugar beet harvest in Minnesota, a Christmas tree farm in Florida, and a pumpkin patch in California. Many seasonal work camping jobs will include your camping site as part of your compensation. And sometimes they offer parking in a really cool location you couldn’t have access to otherwise.
For example, our friends who work the pumpkin patch every year love it because it’s in San Diego, which is notoriously expensive for RV camping.
Then, of course, there’s the obvious opportunity of working at an RV park, campground, National Park, or State Park. Think of anywhere you’d like to visit in your RV anyway, and then search to see if they have any positions available.
Many of these opportunities also come with a place to park your RV.
Telecommute Traditional Jobs
If being your own boss or working seasonally doesn’t sound like a good match for you, you may want to consider a more traditional job that allows for remote work.
Flexjobs.com is a great resource for jobs with telecommuting options, and even LinkedIn now has a “remote” location to select when searching for work. Obviously, it is becoming much more mainstream in the past couple of years.
Customer service is an industry that offers lots of remote work. From answering customer phone calls to responding to emails or chat messages, a virtual customer service is a great option for the full-time RVer.
Information Technology (IT) is another common industry for remote workers. From developers and engineers to software support, you don’t even have to be a “techie” to be successful in this industry. If you’re a great people manager, you may be able to find a management job at a tech company.
So if you want the security of a full-time job with benefits and a 401K, maybe one of these more traditional jobs that allow for telecommuting would be a good match for you.
Especially since the changes in our world due to the pandemic, many companies are more open to remote work, so don’t rule anything out.
Health Care Professionals
Virtual or travel health professionals offer the best of both worlds if you have the credentials. You can have the stability of progressing in your profession, with the flexibility and freedom to travel.
When I used to live primarily at RV parks, I would often meet travel nurses. They would live in their RV to save on living expenses, work two or three well-paying contracts per year, and spend the time in between contracts traveling and enjoying themselves.
This seems like the best of both worlds because it provides some stability and good income, you always know where the next assignment is, but you get to take at least a few months a year off with no work responsibilities.
No other working professional really gets that opportunity, right? With the possible exception of teachers.
Ok, so maybe online teachers don’t get summer vacations, but it was too good a segue to pass up. Online teaching has long been a favorite of world traveling nomads living abroad, and it’s a good fit for full-time RVers too.
Especially for teaching English in foreign countries, a teaching degree may not even be required.
Some say the hours can be rough because you’re typically teaching people on the other side of the world during their school day, which is during your night.
But if you don’t need much sleep, and you want the whole day to explore the places you’re visiting, this could be a great match.
If you’re living an epic life of adventure from your RV, why not blog about it, vlog about it, or share your story in some way?
Everyone says “no one gets rich as a YouTuber” but content creators are the most common type of workers we meet on the road.
Some full-time RVers we’ve met have made a great living as a Youtuber. Others maintain a blog as a side hustle. But if you’re out there capturing great content of your RV adventures anyway, why not get paid for it?
Similar to starting your own business, I wouldn’t recommend counting on content creation to pay your bills right away if you’re new to it. It can take quite some time to grow a brand and an audience enough to provide a full-time equivalent salary.
Still, I think this is a great option for full-time RVers and I love following other full-timers on Instagram and Youtube.
I’ve saved this last section for the most interesting and random jobs I’ve heard about RVers doing. RVers are generally very creative, resourceful, and inventive types, so I’m not at all surprised when I hear about yet another cool job that a fellow RVer does.
My neighbor Jon at an RV park was a “pitchman,” as he called it. He worked at trade shows and events promoting products for a few different brands.
We went to visit him under the big tent in Quartzsite one year, where he demonstrated cutting up vegetables with the knives he was promoting.
He would spend winters in Arizona where I met him, but he had a circuit he worked, out to Oklahoma and back through New Mexico every year. He saw so much of the country in between shows and always had amazing stories to tell from his travels.
I know two couples who both have a band and they travel in their RV, playing shows all around the country. They even play at some RV club events, like the Xscapers convergences.
I’ve met lots of drivers in my time on the road, but the most interesting one was a fuel delivery driver for wildfire helicopters.
He would follow the helicopters in the air with his fuel truck on the ground so that when they needed to refuel, he was nearby for a quick fill-up. He followed the work based on the wildfire season and had his home on wheels to go wherever the fires were.
Are You Ready to Work From the Road?
If you don’t already have a job that can go wherever you go, I know it can feel like a daunting task to find one. But hopefully, this post gave you some ideas about the wide variety of work you could do from the road.
With technological advancements like Starlink for RVs it feels like there’s never been a better time to take your work on the road. So happy trails, and good luck finding work to fuel your adventure.
I can tell you from my own experience that it’s worth the effort. You can do it!
Would you like more resources on this topic?
Check out our Full-Time RV Living page where we link to tons of information on this subject.
Kristen Sargent lives & works from her RV, primarily boondocking off-grid. She owns and operates a women-led travel company, Legit Trips. Kristen loves to explore new places and inspire others to do the same. If she’s not typing away on her laptop, she’s off on an adventure- hiking, biking, or SUP boarding. You can follow her RV adventures @PerpetualMoves and learn more about her travel company at LegitTrips.com.