JoDo Chasing Rainbows

Working while on the road – Work camping

When we started out as full time RVers we decided that we would supplement our income by working seasonal jobs. Our main source of income is Donna’s pension from the military. Working allows me to contribute to my Roth IRA since I am below the normal retirement age.

We have worked a few different type of jobs while on the road. We worked at Amazon as part of their Camperforce program in 2018. We were paid for all hours worked and the season we worked our site was paid for completely by Amazon. We worked as Guest Service Agents at Bridge Bay Campground in Yellowstone National Park for summer 2019 and 2020. We were paid for all hours worked but we had to pay a nominal fee for our campsite. We worked as part time as Park Model Cleaners in Mission, TX winter 2020/2021. We worked up to 24 hours per week to offset the cost of the site.

We like working seasonal jobs. It breaks up our routine and allows us to stay in one location longer. We when first started RVing, we stated we would never trade work for a spot. We have become more open to all types of compensation from payment for all hours to trading work for a spot the longer we live in our RV. One benefit of our current job is that we had lots of free time to explore the area. We also had had time to get all our medical appointments completed for the year.

How to find work camping jobs? Good question. Here are some of the resources we have used to find employment opportunities.

When we were trying to figure out which National Park we might want to work, I used the National Park Concessioner page to find out the providers names so that I could find their employment pages more easily. When we were first looking at Yellowstone we needed to know that Xanterra has the contract for lodgings. That helped us figure out who to contact for employment in the campground.

If you are interested in volunteer gigs (RV spot in exchange for work) with Core of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management or other governmental agencies, you can find out about those opportunities at https://www.volunteer.gov/s/.

Some states also have volunteer park host opportunities. Texas has a wonderful program. Here is the link to the page where you can gather more information. I have seen a site very similar for the state of Georgia. Lastly, there are many work camping oriented Facebook groups. I belong to two such groups on Facebook. Both have a wealth of information regarding job opportunities, work camper reviews and position wanted posts.

I have seen more opportunities for work this spring/summer than I have in the past three years we have been full timing. There is so much more to do than work in a campground. You could build trails, count birds, work the gate at a storage unit and more. We like to work in the summer and being a regular nomad in the winter. We have friends who go to one location in the summer and another in the winter. It really is up to you and your financial goals.

Thus far we have had positive work experiences. We will find new opportunities so that we can continue to travel across the United States. In fact, we are now on the road driving to our summer gig at a KOA in Connecticut.

Have you work camped? Do you want to work camp? I would like to hear about your experience.

A Day at South Padre Island

We finally made it to South Padre Island. This was on our list of places to visit while we were in South Texas. It was a great day. We started the day at Sea Turtle Inc. What an amazing place. They are dedicated to rehabilitating and educating the public about sea turtles. I had an amazing connection with a Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle. I think they have the most soulful looking face. They even work with sea turtles with prosthetics. There are two different tank rooms. One near the road and another further down the pier. There is a nominal cost but it was worth the entrance fee to spend some time with sea turtles.

Right next to Sea Turtle Inc. is the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center. Another place with an entrance fee but so worth the cost. Since we came to the Island late in the season some of the birds have started to migrate north. However, we did get to see a Green Heron mating pair sitting on an egg. My pictures are just so so since I was using my cell phone. It was a delight to see.

There is a nature walk that is about 1/2 mile long. Along the way we spied many different species of birds. Before I retired, I rarely gave a bird a second look. Now I have a great appreciation for all the differences we get to see.

We capped off the day with lunch at a seafood restaurant. It was the first time we have been in a restaurant in a year. Donna had fried shrimp and I had shrimp Cesar salad. We enjoyed the meal. It was a outstanding reintroduction into eating out.