Sunday, August 12, 2012

Workamping---NOT for everyone!

I've talked about workamping before, but it amazes me how many people have no idea what it is! If you live in an RV---regardless of type---and work then you are considered a workamper!! That definition may be a little broad, but thats basically it. I guess you don't have to be working at a campground to fit into that definition..... --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My first workamping experience was in New Mexico for a retail company that had C-stores along I-10 and I-40. They supplied a full hook up site and a 40 hour workweek plus a check. When I was off, I was free to do whatever I wanted. It was a pretty sweet deal, and I enjoyed myself immensely! It was never meant to be a long term gig, and I only stayed 4 months before heading further west. New Mexico is the "Land of Enchantment" and it was a beautiful state! Especially for a guy that came from the midwest and was used to seeing cornfields everywhere, instead of deserts and mountain vistas! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It was in New Mexico that I met my first vandweller. An older person living off a pension/SSI, literally sleeping in a Ford Econoline cargo van. Their champagne tastes always exceeded their beer money income, and before the next check arrived was always broke!! We will call this vandweller Earlene, a woman in her late 60s, with all sorts of allergy problems, who could not tolerate cig smoke, or dogs, or anyone that did not live the way she thought they should. Fast forward to January of 2012.....Earlene decided she wanted to get a workamping job as a campground host, likely thinking she would get paid for doing nothing, other than being a "prescence"......we ALL know people like her!! They want a handout, NOT a hand up!! So Earlene gets a camp host job in a remote area of a western state, and what happens?? She finds out that she actually has to do some work!! And she gets on her blog and cries and complains to her followers that the wilderness area she is in has herds of cows that roam thru her campground and poop all over the place, including the picnic tables she has to keep clean.....and that some campers are breaking rules faster than she can enforce them...and many campers have dogs---oh no!!! I wonder, did Earlene think that it was going to be peaches and cream all the time? Did she do ANY research about the company that she was working for, or the location she was going to, BEFORE making a committment? Very doubtful......and now she is on her blog telling people that they should think twice before becoming a camp host....well, DUH Earlene!! Do some research next time! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Before I would accept ANY workamping job, I would research and get as much info as possible about the opportunity. Make it clear my duties, and even more clear my pay and perks if any! Get a FIRM arrival/departure date!! And if possible, get it all IN WRITING!! WORKAMPING OPPORTUNITIES ARE PLENTIFUL EVERY SPRING, IN EVERY AREA OF THE COUNTRY! Have retail experience?? There are jobs in gift shops at attractions, some even pay commission on sales! Have hotel experience? Many national parks have lodging operations where you can get a front office job. Like to cook? Want to put your green thumb to work doing landscaping? Want to be a tour guide? There are workamping jobs for those skills too!! Want to go to Dollywood and hang out for the summer? They hire lots and lots of workampers!! An amusement park in the heartland? AdventureLand in Iowa will fill the bill! Always wanted to see the black hills, or the Grand Canyon? Want to see Crazy Horse Memorial before you die?? Theres workamping jobs there too! But do your research FIRST!!


  1. Wow you must feel strongly about this... you forgot to separate your paragraphs!

    I haven't workcamped yet but the research I've done has unveiled the other side of the issue. Some (many?) places want workcampers to do a lot of work for very little or no pay, claiming that the free site and hook-ups are enough.

    You have to find balance. Calculate the cost of the site (if that's provided) as part of your pay plus what they expect you to do and then determine if it's worth your time and effort.

    1. Hmmmmmmm.......apparently the word RESEARCH does not show up in the online blog version????? I know I used it at least 4 times!! RESEARCH is the key to a mutually happy workamping experience! Yes, there ARE some that want you to trade your time working for site only, BUT---there are MANY others that throw the site in free or at greatly reduced prices! And yes, I do feel strongly about it!! And, this -----------------------------------------------------------------------is my paragraph break--------------------