RVers Share the Good and Bad of Workamping

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Close up of an RV campground sign.

RVers find some interesting ways to fund adventures and pay their bills. They’ll harvest beets, protect oil fields, and work seasonally for massive companies during the holidays. However, many plan their travels around workamping.

We recently witnessed a group of RVers discussing the good and bad of this unique type of work. What is it, and is it worth it?

Let’s see!

What Is Workamping?

Workamping is precisely as it sounds; it combines working and camping into a type of employment and lifestyle.

Typically, these are seasonal jobs at campgrounds, RV parks, and other facilities. The individual could serve as a camp host, office administrator, maintenance worker, or in other various positions.

These positions generally trade the individual’s work for a free (or reduced) spot to live in their camper. However, some locations may also offer an hourly wage. When comparing various positions, it’s essential to understand the whole picture for each opportunity. 

Since these are seasonal positions, they can range from weeks to months. But on the other hand, you can find year-round positions if you are okay with staying put.

Do All Campgrounds Offer Workamping?

Unfortunately, while many do, not all campgrounds offer workamping opportunities. Some facilities will hire employees to help manage the campground. These individuals will clock in and out, return to their homes, and return for their next shift.

Additionally, some facilities will contract cleaning and maintenance services. They’ll hire a cleaning crew to clean the restrooms and various facilities. As a result, they don’t need workampers.

Luckily, this is only the case for some campgrounds. Plenty of campgrounds see the benefit of utilizing workampers as camp hosts, maintenance workers, and other positions. If you want to snag one of these positions, it’s certainly possible.

However, it may take effort to seek them out and prove yourself capable of fulfilling the position.

A sign pointing to an office at a campground.

What Do You Do When Workamping?

Workampers serve in a variety of roles at campgrounds. The most common positions are campground host, maintenance, and housekeeping. However, some locations will utilize these workers in customer service, as activity hosts, and to assist with activities.

There are a variety of industries that utilize workamping positions. Aside from campgrounds, you could work security, farming, or serving food.

The specifics for each job will depend on who hires you. However, you must ensure you’re comfortable with the responsibilities before accepting the gig.

Benefits of Workamping

So what are the benefits of workamping? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why so many love these positions. These benefits may convince you to start researching jobs.

Financial Savings

One of the most significant benefits of workamping is the financial savings you can enjoy. Individuals in these positions often receive free or heavily discounted campsites, saving you well over $1,000 monthly, depending on the location.

With the rising costs of reservation fees across the country, this will likely become an attractive option for more full-time and seasonal travelers.

If you want a way to experience new places on a budget, this is a great place to start. Depending on the role, you may only have to work a few hours each day or on specific days of the week.


Another benefit of workamping is getting to be a part of a community. While not always the case, many of these positions offer opportunities to interact with others.

If you’re at a campground, you’ll get to know many different people. This can be a great way to form new friendships and provide networking opportunities.

You never know when someone you meet in one of these positions could help you in the future. Thanks to social media and the internet, you can stay connected to these individuals and others in the community. 

Fun Environment

Many workamping positions are in fun environments. While it is work, it doesn’t always have to be boring. However, you should note that some positions require a tremendous amount of work in a short time.

Harvesting and other similar positions are fast-paced environments with extended hours. It may not be fun, but you will be paid handsomely for your efforts.

It can be fun to score a position as a camp host, tour guide, or another exciting position. Each day can be a unique opportunity as things are constantly changing.

Does it mean every day will be full of puppy dogs and rainbows? Absolutely not. However, workamping environments, for the most part, can be delightful.

Location, Location, Location

Many enjoy workamping because of the potential locations. Who wouldn’t want to spend an entire summer in Yellowstone National Park or South Dakota’s Custer State Park? If you can land a workamping position in one of these spots, you can have an incredible experience.

Workamping allows you to be incredibly close to some of the most epic spots in the country. Tourists will pay big bucks to stay in the campground or campsite next to you.

For them, it’s vacation, but for you, it’s just another day of workamping.

RVs parked at a campground where RVers workamp in exchange for a free spot.

Disadvantages of Workamping

While there are many things to love about these positions, they’re not perfect. Let’s look at some of the disadvantages you should consider before accepting a position.

Low Pay

Think again if you hope to strike it rich financially in these positions. These gigs typically offer little more than a campsite and the amenities at the site.

As we mentioned earlier, the rewards for these positions aren’t generally in the financial category. If you’re expecting to make six figures, these aren’t likely going to be the positions for you.

Keep in Mind: Are Working RVers Ruining the RV Retirement Dream? Let’s dive in and see!

Enforcing the Rules

These positions often come with some responsibilities and expectations. If you’re at a campground, there’s a good chance you’ll eventually have to enforce the park’s rules. Whether you agree with them or not, it will likely be part of your responsibility.

While most people are happy campers, a few may push the limits and violate rules during their stay. You’ll likely have to step in and say something to ensure everyone has a positive experience.

Some people don’t enjoy enforcing regulations or dealing with conflicts. If that’s you, you may want something other than a workamping position. 

Lack of Job Security

Because many of these jobs are flexible and loose, there can be very little job security.

A simple mistake or misunderstanding could get you dismissed from the position. Since many people travel specifically for these positions, this can put them in a predicament.

Remember that you may not always get along with everyone you work with. It can feel like you’re constantly walking on eggshells to deal with the lack of job security. You don’t want to upset the wrong person and get sent on your way.

Physical Demands

Some positions will require a tremendous amount of physical labor. It can be exhausting whether you’re working in maintenance, harvesting, or various other positions.

If you’re not used to working hard, some positions may not be for you. You should get a detailed list of the responsibilities before agreeing to anything.

Read More: Are you still undecided if workamping is for you? Before you decide, read about these 5 workamping regrets.

Distance from Home

While it’s not always the case, there’s a good chance you’ll have to travel to these positions. Many spots in the northern part of the country will close for the winter.

This means you’ll need another lined up once the leaves change. If this becomes your way of life, you may spend a lot of time away from your friends and family.

An RV being towed by a trailer on the highway in Alaska.

Is Workamping Worth It?

Workamping can be worth it for many people. However, you will lose some of the freedom many enjoy when traveling because you will have responsibilities and obligations.

You must understand the compensation and responsibilities before agreeing to any position. If not, you could find yourself working in a job requiring more of you than anticipated. 

Have you tried, or do you plan to try workamping? What did you think?

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