Working on the Road: How to Make Money While RVing
In our increasingly-connected world, it’s technically easier than ever to earn a living while traveling. Many of us who work traditional office jobs come to realize that the majority of our tasks are performed in front of a screen, requiring little more than an internet connection and a keyboard — which means they could be completed at home, or elsewhere, just as easily as in our cubicles.
But just because many of us could work remotely doesn’t mean our managers want us to. Whether they’re afraid workers will become distracted in the comfort of their own homes or they’re reluctant to render expensive office infrastructure a redundant, useless cost, many corporate higher-ups are pushing ever more fervently for workers to keep on showing up in person.
But if you’re persistent — and not afraid of making a career change — it’s totally possible to work remotely and find ways to make money while on the road or traveling. In fact, there’s a whole community of digital nomads out there who do just that.
An RV can be an ideal way to lead this remote lifestyle. You have all the flexibility of the open road combined with the comfort of knowing exactly which bed you’ll sleep in each night. You can also keep a decent amount of your stuff with you — as opposed to some international nomads who rely on air travel to spend each month or so in a different country, who may find themselves traveling with little more than a backpack.
If you’re wondering how to make a living while traveling in an RV, the honest answer is that it might take a little bit of creativity and a lot of persistence. But it is totally possible!
Here’s a short guide with a few ideas on how to make money while traveling on the road in an RV.
How to Live on the Road and Make Money
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for an easy way to make money on the road, you might run into some trouble. Just because remote opportunities are available doesn’t mean they’re challenge-free. In fact, that’s important to keep in mind when you start looking for work-on-the-road jobs: If it sounds too good to be true, that’s likely because it is!
Many companies will try to fool you into thinking you can make thousands of dollars performing menial tasks like answering user questions or participating in surveys. And while you can make some extra money to line your pockets with by using those services, they’re unlikely to provide a substantial enough income to live off of.
But there are other ways to travel and make money online that are totally legitimate and fully sustaining. For instance, many freelance writers are fully remote and are able to fulfill their tasks in their own space and on their own time. Although it can be a very competitive market to break into, once you find a few small outlets willing to let you publish so you can collect some clips, it’s possible for your freelance writing work to snowball into an out-and-out career.
If you’re going to be living mobile in an RV, you have the added opportunity to market yourself for travel writing. Many tourism companies, hotel chains, restaurants, and other businesses want talented writers to help advertise their goods and services by writing honestly about their positive experiences. Other creatives find ways to make money with photography while traveling, creating high-quality images that businesses can use for marketing and other purposes.
How to Earn a Living While Traveling
If you’re traveling in an RV full time, the best jobs are independent contracting gigs that allow you to keep in touch with your client base fully remotely — for instance, freelance writing, consulting, or website design.
You can also try to find traditional work roles that are designed specifically for remote workers. these are becoming more and more common as digital startups embrace the liberating and cost-saving benefits of hiring workers who don’t need to be physically present in an office. Many big companies, such as Amazon, are increasingly outsourcing their customer service and technical support jobs to at-home workers, as opposed to bringing everyone together into a call center as they did in years past. These kinds of gigs are especially attractive because they sometimes offer benefits, like healthcare, retirement, and paid vacation time, that independent contractors have to provide for themselves.
If you’re curious about non-domestic or international travel, there are jobs that allow you to travel the world — or even pay you for it specifically. For instance, some brand ambassadors and other company representatives are paid to play the face of the company at different events and gatherings abroad.
Just be aware that there’s no magic place to go where you can simply say, “Pay me to travel!” These jobs are highly sought-after and therefore very competitive, which is why it’s helpful to be scrappy and entrepreneurial and find ways to make money independently, on your own terms.
Make Money While Road Tripping
Along with freelancing and leveraging your personal skills and talents to earn money while living on the road in an RV, you can also look into seasonal positions that are specifically designed with campers and nomads in mind.
For instance, many full-time RVers earn extra money, or even their entire living, by stringing together different work camping, or “workamping,” jobs. This might entail helping new clients check in at a private, resort-style RV campground, or manning a shift at the gift shop checkout counter. Other campers find outdoorsy jobs, helping out as a park ranger or seasonal ski instructor. These positions are generally advertised with a specific range of dates, or an “expiration date,” built in.
Ideas to Make Money on the Road
If you need even more ideas about ways to make money on the road, consider the following options:
- Sell crafts online at a site like Etsy
- Purchase a stable, sticks-and-bricks home and rent it out for lease, or as a vacation rental on a site like Airbnb
- Start a blog, grow an audience, and earn a passive income using affiliate marketing (Caution: This is not a way to get rich quickly, and will take quite some time to set up!)
- Work diligently at your job or independent contracting gig for a set amount of time to save up money for your trip, and quit for a few months specifically to travel
As remote working becomes more popular, there will be new developments and ways to earn money where- and whenever you want to. And don’t forget, you can always check with your current boss to see if she’d let you take your as-is job on the road!