Finding Temp/Contract Jobs for RVers

finding-temp-contract-jobs-for-rversWell, this hasn’t exactly been my most thrilling week as a full-time RVer. There’s been an awful lot of job searching going on, and not a whole lot else. So when it came time to write today’s blog post, I figured what better topic than finding temporary jobs for RVers, since hey, it’s been on my mind and I’ve been learning a few things about it.

This isn’t going to be about typical RVer camp hosting type jobs, as those are almost exclusively part-time, and if you’re not getting a retirement check, earning additional income in some other way, or sitting on a big pile of money, that alone won’t cut it. It also isn’t going to be about the somewhat more lucrative seasonal summer opportunities available to RVers working at parks and tourist destinations, because those options aren’t available everywhere and are limited to a specific time of year. I’m talking about regular old temporary and contract employment here, which is a very viable option for RVers but talked about much less.

It’s really not that much different than job searching when you’re sticking to one spot. You still want to keep your resume updated and tailor the resume and cover letter for the specific job you’re applying too. For best results, spend as much time as you can spare for applying to jobs. I’ve been job searching almost exclusively while Julie has been working, which means I’ll have spent about 40 hours by the end of the week on it. I heard somewhere once that if you really want a job, treat the looking for one like a full-time job itself and results will come much sooner.

There are a few key differences though. For starters, since your house is on wheels, the whole of the country becomes a viable place to look for your next job. This is a good thing, but can become overwhelming when you’re suddenly faced with an almost infinite number of job possibilities and no clue where to start.

Pick a city, any city. Well, not any city. Pick one that you’re interested in, that you’ve always wanted to visit for some reason for another. Since you have the flexibility of options, might as well think about where you’d like to travel first. You’ll also want to do a preliminary check of RV parks in the area, to make sure that they exist, are available, and within a price range you can afford. Factor the cost of the site into how much you’ll need to make at your new job.

If you’re starting the job search before traveling to the area, you’ll want to start online. Heck, I’ve done the vast majority of my job searching online anyhow, even now that I am in the area.,, and have been my three go to places, in that order. I also checked state and national government websites though too, I’ve signed up for a few different seasonal jobs through the Forest Service for this summer for instance, which is another thing to consider.

Maybe you haven’t done the kind of work that lends itself to temporary employment before, but chances are jobs you’ve held in the past have given you skills that can be applied to other types of work, things you might not have considered previously. Working with laboratory animals in an outdoor setting for instance gave me the skills and experience needed to apply as a Biological Aid, working with various wildlife programs. It’s not something I would have though of, but I decided to check the website and discovered that it was something I could do.

Don’t rule anything out when you’re getting started, and it doesn’t hurt to apply even if you don’t quite meet the qualifications. If you can create a convincing argument in your cover letter about why you’d be better than other applicants, or if no one else applies who has all the qualifications either, you could still end up on top. The more places you apply to, the better your chances overall.

One problem travelers have that regular folks don’t is the address thing. A lot of job sites these days will let you fill out an application, and then they’ll automatically send similar job opportunities like the ones you’ve already applied to directly to your mail box. How great, this saves some time having to ferret them out. Only problem is, they’ll send them for jobs in your area, meaning wherever your domicile address happens to be. For me this is South Dakota, and I’m certainly not looking for temporary work up there this time of year.

Likewise, every application you send out with your domicile address is going to make the employer wonder what you’re doing so far away from ‘home’, and if you’re just interested in relocating to the area, or what. This is why I always send a cover letter when I can, to explain the situation, and to ease the employer’s fears that I am indeed serious about the job and in the area, as well as to state why I’d be a good candidate.

On my last blog post, a reader asked a good question. What do you do when you can’t find a job for an extended period of time? Well, expand your search. Have a backup city or region that you’d like to work in, just don’t wait until you get so low on funds that you can’t afford the gas to get there. Bonus points if you search ahead of time for regions with RV parks that have lower monthly rates, because if it comes down to this it shouldn’t be about sight-seeing but about staying afloat.

Apply at temp agencies too, any city of significant size will have several. I applied at Kelly Services, an international temp agency with offices is many US cities. I figured this way I can keep using the same one and not have to fill out the application for new temp agencies every time I travel, I’ll give an update at some point to let you all know how it goes.

If this doesn’t turn up anything right away, don’t be afraid to take up part-time work, or a less than ideal job to at least be earning something while you continue searching for something better. Look at Craigslist for wanted ads from people who have odd jobs that they need done. Most cities also have an unemployment office that you can make use of. If you’re really looking for work, you won’t starve. Also as an RVer, a lot of expenses can be modified to fit your budget. Cook more meals inside the RV instead of going out, cut back on sight-seeing and touristy adventures, and take day trips closer to home to save on gas.

Also, have an emergency fund. I’ve talked about the RV emergency fund and it’s importance before. It’s money set aside in case of a medical mishap or if something major were to happen to your RV, but it also covers things like this. I personally have $5,000 in mine, as that is the deductible for my health insurance, but I could also live off of it for a good 3 months without any cutbacks in spending in the event that I just can’t find a job as a last resort, but the chances of it coming to that are almost nil.

And that’s the gist of it. Any more questions about temporary or contract employment for RVers? Fire away in the comments section!

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32 Responses to Finding Temp/Contract Jobs for RVers

  1. travelfables January 18, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    Yay for this post, very handy.
    Have you had any worries about State laws and vehicle registration?
    I have a Florida domicile- I do most of my stuff online with my tiny Florida based business, but sometimes some extra location based-temp dough would be handy at times. I know that some states-like Georgia-have strange laws where you have 30 days to register your vehicle-even for temps. (this could be a hassle). You can always “NOT tell on yourself” if you get pulled over by the Man- I don’t think they have a way to track this, but staying kosher with stupid local laws could be a pain in the kiester.
    travelfables recently posted..prince edward island walk A7My Profile

    • Becky January 19, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

      You’re welcome!

      That’s a pretty handy link there, I hadn’t stumbled across a site that had it put together for all states like that. Yes, staying clear of all the laws can be a pain, and makes some states easier to take temporary work in than others. If you’re going to be a full-time RVer and doing work like this it pays to look at the laws ahead of time.

      I’m currently contacting other folks who’ve taken temporary work in Georgia (since I am looking at Savannah as a possibility) to see how things turned out for them. I’ve only been pulled over once in my life (when the officer read my license plate wrong and thought my plates were registered to a different vehicle) so I do have that in my favor, we’ll see how it goes.

      • Pleinguy January 19, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

        I’d be real careful about taking a GA job of any kind. I heard about a guy that did a work-kamper job there, so GA claimed he was a resident, and wanted taxes and everything else required of a resident. He had to get a lawyer to prove otherwise.
        Pleinguy recently posted..Almost ThereMy Profile

  2. The Good Luck Duck January 18, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

    Good post.

    I’ve been told that national temp agencies are good resources, because they will move your search area when you ask them to.
    The Good Luck Duck recently posted..Saguaro National Park, EastMy Profile

    • Becky January 19, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

      Thanks guys! I’m hoping registering with Kelly Services will turn out well, we’ll see. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. David January 18, 2013 at 8:43 pm #

    I love the way you think and travel, do it while your young because at about 50 reality hits!
    Another good one or so I have been told is Dollywood. Look it up but may be hard to get in to.
    We are starting out March first as having to sell our house and are moving to Nashville, TN. to take a job down there as there is no good paying jobs here in Kankakee, IL. area.
    Have a great time and good luck in your job search’s.

    • Becky January 19, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

      Thanks David, you guys have fun in TN, I’ve driven by Nashville several times but haven’t stopped yet, it’s a pretty area.

  4. FLKamper January 19, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    You may already know this, but I thought I’d pass it on—
    I live in Florida, so that’s the only State I know about for sure. The State of Florida agencies hire OPS (Other Personnel Services) positions, they’re considered ‘temporary’ or ‘seasonal’ positions that do not include and benefits (no leave time and no isurance). The pay ranges from minimum wage in smaller towns and up in the larger towns and for more ‘skilled’ positions. These positions are both full time and part time. During the summer, especially (fewer volunteers and busier season), State Parks hire alot of OPS employees. Alot of the positions are at beach and springs parks or parks with big campgrounds. However, OPS positions are not limited to the parks, most State agencies use OPS.
    Also, most Florida State Parks have volunteer RV sites. These sites are free (water and electric) in exchange for 20 hrs/week of volunteer time (16 week limit).
    Would be nice if you could find a combination of the 2- work OPS to make some money and camp for free as a Volunteer.

    • Becky January 19, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

      Indeed that would be handy Kamper, thanks for the information!

  5. Kim and Jerry Portelli January 20, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    Jerry and I are amazed at all the job possibilities out there for full-time RVers. We will be working April 18th through October 13th at Yellowstone National Park for Xanterra. They run all the lodging, some gift shops and campgrounds in Yellowstone. Yes, it is a typical work camping gig, but we feel honored to spend six months in such an awesome place!

    Can’t wait to hear what you line up for the summer!!
    Kim and Jerry Portelli recently posted..Learning To Relax RV StyleMy Profile

    • Becky January 21, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

      Sounds fun guys. I’m thinking about doing that next year when I’m out West, one of the couples on the same shift as me at Amazon was going to be doing Yellowstone this summer too.

  6. Dedra January 22, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    Have you tried Workamper
    I belong to them, great people.
    I went to their Rendezvous, had a lot of fun.
    I haven’t Workamper yet. Heading to Utah in May, just to explore.
    Great blog!

    • Becky January 23, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

      Nope I have not Dedra, why pay when I can find the work myself at no cost? Workamper news is mostly camp hosting type jobs too, not full-time opportunities that make a living wage. They have some of the seasonal park and tourist attraction stuff too but nothing in the areas I’m looking in. Have a good time in Utah though, and thanks for commenting. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Steve Keithley January 24, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

    Becky: Thanks for your web postings. My bride and I are not quite ready to retire, but it’s always on our minds.

    You might check out the primate research lab at UC Davis (I work next door in Sacramento). It is a very advanced facility and they are looking for experienced staff.

    If you’re not familiar with the area, Davis is a beautiful university town between San Francisco and Sacramento, 2 hours from Lake Tahoe or wine country or the beaches….lots going on without being too busy.

    Good luck with your search.

    • Becky January 26, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

      Heya Steve,

      A bit on the wrong side of the country right now, but I’ll certainly keep it in mind, thanks!

  8. Bruce January 25, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    Have you tried the best online listing for part time jobs? SnagAJob. It lists a number of part time jobs.

    • Becky January 26, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

      Hello Bruce,

      Nope, I’ve been focusing on full time ones, as in full-time hours because anything less won’t earn me enough dough to keep going. I could get more than one part time job, but that takes so much more effort to coordinate.

  9. RV AJ February 28, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    I agree on the full time vs multiple part times. I had 3 part time jobs at one point and I just felt scattered constantly and didnt even put in 40 hours!
    RV AJ recently posted..RV Cooking Utensils Kitchen Ideas: Joseph Joseph NestMy Profile

  10. Terri August 25, 2014 at 4:24 am #

    I had not heard of that website,, so thanks again for the info. I am like you – I will need to have full time hours or at least a few part time jobs to keep afloat. I am registered with, but as a Dreamer, although I may soon activate my free membership as a workamper so I can get cracking on the resume. Good thing is, I have a lot of admin skills in my background (although they may be on the older side now) so temp jobs might be good to come by if needed.

    I was wondering what seasonal job people like you end up doing in those odd-seasons, like, you know, January through April when the jobs are not as plentiful. I am assuming many are available in the warmer climates but probably a lot of people have that same idea. Just have to make yourself stick out, right???

    Thanks for the info on how you explain the situation to people – I was worried about that – not having a residence somewhere close to where I would be applying – I’m sure some employers might scratch their heads and go “huh?”

    I can say one thing- having been on the hiring end in the past, and on a search committee, if I saw a cover letter like yours and explaining a very unique situation, you would stick out in my mind, for sure, even if only for the uniqueness factor. So that’s good!!
    Terri recently posted..I want to do this..wait, no, thatโ€ฆwait, no this!!! (Decisions, decisions)My Profile

    • Becky August 26, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

      You have an advantage then Terri having been on the hiring end, you know what employers are going to be looking for and can tailor your resume and cover letters better than most people.

      My first Jan-April on the road I did exactly what this article said: I ended up working for Lowe’s (the home improvement store) as seasonal help. It wasn’t a job catered for RVers so I paid my rent and utilities on my own but it was a job. Last winter I volunteered down in Florida with the university, just worked 16 hours a week in exchange for my full hookup site. I’d earned enough at Amazon to be able to afford those 3 1/2 months without a paying job, and it was great. There are park jobs that run in the winter but you’re correct, they’re less frequent and competition is stronger. Big Bend down in Texas would have taken me, but their season starts in October when Amazon is starting, so most of those jobs aren’t compatible with working CamperForce.

  11. Abade September 8, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    Thank you so much for a very informative site. also, would you suggest memberships to sites like workamper news and such?

    • Becky September 10, 2014 at 10:54 am #

      I went more into that in my finding jobs at National Parks for RVers posts, but yes, I do have a subscription to Workamper News and have found it helpful Abade. I’m glad you’re finding IO handy, welcome!

  12. josh November 3, 2015 at 8:19 am #

    I know this post is a little old but I just found it. Anyway I am looking at going rv full time but like the replys on here I still need work. So my question is… There are a few different companies out there that you can work for or I think one you are a contractor. What they do is have a list of stores (Lowes, kmart, Walmart even food stores) that they need “reset” or remodeled or a new store put together). Not high paying or anything fancy from the little I have seen so far but its steady and you travel. OK now is the questions. Have you heard of them? Area they any good to work for? Is it worth the time for them? You might not know and that’s fine just thought I’d ask. Thank you for your time and info

    • Becky November 4, 2015 at 7:03 pm #

      Hello Josh,

      I am not personally familiar with those kinds of jobs, but I have a friend who took seasonal work remodeling Ace Hardware stores on and off for a while and he did get pretty good money from it.

      He heard of the opportunity from a friend of his who put in a good word for him, it was a pretty tight knit group and I don’t think his outfit advertised to the public. He’d spend 2-4 months in a metropolitan area and help remodel all the stores in that area (long hours, intense work), then move on to the next region. It went all year round but he didn’t have to work every region, could pick and choose to a degree. I think that opportunity is over now (after all the stores got remodeled) but it did sound like an interesting opportunity. If you find out more you can come back here and share what you learn if you like. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. josh November 4, 2015 at 7:44 pm #

    Thank you for your help. By the way I was in a hurry (@ work) when I asked that question that I did not get to tell you that you have done an awesome job with the information on here. I like that you talked about the temp jobs. This is the 1st and only place I have seen anyone talk about that. I really enjoy your site and because I just found it I still have a lot of reading to do. I will be doing more research on those jobs and let you know. I can put the names the companies I did find so who ever can look at them if you would like. Just have to get to my computer. Thanks again.

    • Becky November 6, 2015 at 8:11 am #

      You’re very welcome Josh and I’m glad that you’re finding IO so helpful. Best of luck to you!

  14. Aimee April 30, 2016 at 9:29 pm #

    Hi Becky! Love you’re posts…very practical! I was wondering how the Kelly Services temp agency worked out? Were they used to full time RVers? If not how do you break it to the temp agency that you are a full time RVer without sounding nuts? ๐Ÿ™‚ Do you know anyone that has been successful getting work as a full time RVer as a clinical research coordinator/research associate?

    • Becky May 1, 2016 at 9:53 am #

      Glad you’re enjoying my blog Aimee!

      I did get two hits with Kelly Services, but that was after I’d accepted the offer at Lowe’s already, it took a while for them to contact me with offers – they may not have had anything I was qualified for at the time I applied but I applied anyway because you never know what’s coming down the pipeline.

      As with anything on your resume that could be construed as a negative by employers, find a way to explain it in a positive light, I did it something like this: “I was presented with the unique opportunity to see the country, and taking temporary jobs is how I afford it, so I’m very motivated to do well…” etc.

      I’m not aware of any full-timer who does either of those things, but it seems like every full-timer does something different so just because it hasn’t been done yet doesn’t mean it can’t.

      Hope this helps, best of luck to you!

      • Aimee May 3, 2016 at 4:59 pm #

        Thanks Becky! Congrats on your new furry friend! I hope you & Piper have many wonderful adventures ahead!

        • Becky May 3, 2016 at 9:10 pm #

          You’re welcome Aimee and thanks!

  15. Josh May 3, 2016 at 7:34 pm #

    So I replyed to you last year and asked about some other jobs. I have not made it to full time yet. Bummer. In 2016 are you finding any jobs still or is the economy getting or is tight and hard to find any?

    Thank you.

    • Becky May 3, 2016 at 9:17 pm #

      Sorry to hear Josh, hopefully you can make the jump to full-timing soon!

      From 2014 on I only worked two seasonal jobs a year because my online income grew to the point where it became practical to do so. I did summers at national parks and falls at Amazon, and those jobs are easy to land. It remains harder to find work in the winter, but certainty not impossible, no different now that it was a couple years ago.

      If I were you in the winter I’d go to the places RVers congregate like Quartzsite in Arizona or South Padre Island in Texas and look for temp work, a lot of my RVing friends go to one of those two places right after Amazon lets out to find work.

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