Often exclusively (and incorrectly) associated with retirees, RVing has become increasingly popular with those still in the workforce. Thanks to the growing number of remote employment opportunities, it’s no longer necessary for workers to tether themselves to one place in particular.
And thus begs the question: Can wanderlust and employment co-exist?
We think so. If you want to travel and bring in an income to fuel your adventures, full-time RVing can be the answer. Here are five steps to getting started.
Ask Your Employer
An estimated 50% of employees hold jobs that can be done remotely. Is yours one of them? Before you ask your boss if you can start working from the road, ask yourself the following questions:
How often do you have meetings in person? If you rarely have meetings, or have a system in place where meetings can be conducted remotely (i.e. a video conference service like GoToMeeting), this is a sign that your job can be done from anywhere.
Do you already make your own schedule? Flexibility is key in facilitating remote work. While it’s not impossible to work remotely if you have a strict 9-5 schedule, the ability to create your own schedule will make remote work much easier.
Does your workplace already have employees who work remotely? This is a sure sign that your employer is open to allowing employees to telecommute.
Is there limited parking/desk space at your office? If there’s something logistical about your office that would be positively affected by having one less person physically there, this is worth bringing up to your boss.
When asking to transition into working remotely as a full-time RVer, present your boss with a concrete idea of how this will work and how it will benefit the company. You can suggest working remotely on a temporary basis (a few days a week) to try it out before committing to the full-time RV life.
If you’re even considering working remotely as a full-time RVer, you already know that internet is essential. And not just internet, but reliable, high-speed internet. You shouldn’t count on getting it from RV parks, where internet is often very slow or not available at all. Instead, plan on using either cellular data, wifi or satellite.
The most reliable option is cellular data. This means using your phone as a hotspot or having a mifi hotspot, which is basically like a router that uses cellular data. You will need unlimited data for this. Your next option is wifi, which means counting on the aforementioned spotty campground wifi and supplementing it by seeking out public wifi hotspots. This is less ideal for remote workers, and is better used as a backup option for those times when cell coverage isn’t there. Your last option is satellite internet, which you can get from a provider such as HughesNet. This is basically a satellite dish that you set up. Satellite internet is a good option for full-time RVers who boondock often or for those who will be camped in the same place for months at a time (you’ll have to reposition the satellite everywhere you go, so minimizing that can really help with workflow).
Get a Little Urban
Full-time RVing and working remotely is easier when you compromise on location. For example, instead of camping inside a national park where cell service/internet are unavailable, consider camping in a town outside of that same national park, where you’ll have cell service and the option to get into nature when you’re off the clock.
Don’t be afraid to occasionally camp in or near a city. Yes, that might mean camping in a Walmart parking lot or at an urban RV park (which honestly look a lot like Walmart parking lots half the time). A city will give you access to coffee shops and libraries with wifi, along with other resources that help you work remotely, such as businesses where you can scan, print, mail and fax documents if need be.
Consider Campground Hosting
Even full-time RVers crave stability in small doses. If you’d like to stick to a schedule and guarantee that you’ll always be connected to your chosen internet option, campground hosting can be a great way to do that. Campground hosting jobs typically don’t pay, but they do provide you with a free place to stay in exchange for performing host duties, which usually include helping fellow RVers check in, answering questions and keeping an eye on things.
This is also an awesome way to save money. If you’re only able to work remotely part-time or freelance, campground hosting can help you stick to a budget.
Count on RV Bloggers
There are a lot of RV bloggers (and we mean a lot). They can offer you many tips and tricks on working remotely, and they can also offer you a sense of community. If you’re missing the camaraderie of your office or just the company of your friends and family, the RV blogging community can give you that. You don’t have to be a writer, a photographer or a social media maven to get in on it. Many RV bloggers create blogs, Facebook pages or Instagram accounts in order to connect with each other—not to gain fans or fame. Consider creating a simple WordPress page (or SquareSpace site if you’re willing to shell out a little cash) or just make a social media account or two that’s specific to you/your partner and your full-time RV life. This will allow you to join a network of people who help each other figure out common RV dilemmas and share in the traveling lifestyle. You might even find people to work remotely with if you end up in the same place at the same time. This can also be a great networking opportunity for those looking to find additional remote jobs.
And remember, RVing full-time doesn’t mean you can’t go home every once in a while—even if your definition of home may change now and again. If you do, you can always count on StorageFront to help you find a safe, affordable place to store your RV anywhere in the country.