<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> RVers Making Money "on the road".
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Topic: Making Money on the Road

Presenters: Joe & Vicki Kieva ( see website)

Threshold Issues: Making money to RV? Or RVing to make money? How much time do you want to devote to the working part? Do you want to work full time or part time? If part time, what seasons of the year are you willing to work? Where and in what environment? What is it you want to do?

A wide variety of reasons. All the way from making money as a primary source of income to simply supplementing your income or getting a free place to stay. As a practical matter there are more jobs for RVers than there are RVers that want jobs.

Some businesses are easily adopted to RVing, such as selling RV products at RV shows and rallies. Others are very difficult, such as manufacturing.

A fact of life is it's easier to generate money staying in one place than moving around. And of course you won't make any MORE money just because you're "on the road".

Choice: You can either work for others, or work for yourself.

If you're "employed", you're likely to have benefits and a regular paycheck. If you're working for yourself, you're the boss. You can choose the type of work, your hours, etc; but the bad news is it takes time and money to set up a business, setting up the marketing and logistical elements. You're also dealing with taxes and permits, often legal and accounting issues, and generally a lot of paperwork that you wouldn't have to deal with if you worked for others.

If your objective is just to reduce travel expenses.......

A campground host job may be just the ticket. Talk to one next time you're in a park. They usually sign on for a season, such as three summer months. Their duties vary from fairly light to fairly heavy duties. In most cases volunteer campground hosts are more like greeters, and purveyors of information. Usually it's around 20 hours per week. Exception is Corps of Engineers which assigns jobs through a bidding program. Check in Workcamper News.

Many other opportunities are non-campground specific, such as Lighthouse volunteers, where a full amenity RV hookup at the site is provided.

If you want not only the free site, but some spending money, try private RV parks. Most are seasonal, and need added help during the "high season". Here you'll not only have a free site, but also 20 hours per week compensated at an hourly rate. Usually free laundry privileges, campground store discounts, etc are also included. RVers are highly desired for these positions because they "understand" the questions and interests of campground guests.

These types of jobs are in great number in seasonal areas -- again not just IN the RV parks and campgrounds, but in all the service businesses that need to add staff during the high season. Campgrounds hire couples to manage, and training is available.

RVer couples are always in demand. They typically have a good work ethic, are trained, are dependable, and don't have housing problems.

Temporary jobs are now much easier to find. Wherever you may choose to stay, check with temporary agencies for limited time job openings. It's no longer just secretarial jobs that are needed. Now it's across the board including accountants, medical service workers, managers, etc. Many temp agencies are nationwide which further facilitates getting a job at the next place down the road.

Seasonal jobs: In the fall people sell pumpkins. The RV on the lot provides security, and can help sell pumpkins. Then clear out the pumpkins and bring the Christmas trees onto the same lot -- same job. Christmas season always brings short term jobs; and shortly after the first of the year H&R Block wants you to help fill out tax forms.

RV specific jobs: Next time you check in at an RV park, look at the map the park gives you to find your site. Someone has come into that park, stayed a week or two for free, and spent a couple of weeks selling advertising -- which is of course on the back of the map. This is one job that gets easier and easier each year, as in future years it's simply renewing. Look in the campground directories. Where there are ratings, someone needs to do the ratings, and sell the advertising for the directories (for which they receive a commission). Good Sam Club has "Sambassadors", compensated by Good Sam to represent the Club, lead tours, give presentations, etc.

KOA's offer a specific opportunity, since they're franchised all over the country. If you get a job there, and learn their computer system, you'll find it much easier to get a job at another KOA in a different location -- because you know their system and don't require any training.

If you end up sending a product, what about inventory? How are you going to get your product "to market"?

Quartzsite is the biggest flea market in the world. You can make apple pies there and sell them out of your kitchen window. And there are thousands of trade shows and home shows where you can sell your product from a booth. But watch the business expenses here, because booth space can be very expensive.

Some kinds of existing businesses can be "taken on the road" -- especially because of electronic communications. There are lots and lots of books on "home based businesses". But virtually all of these can be taken on the road. If you're not an RVer yet, consider starting the business while you're still at home -- and then take it on the road when you begin RVing.

Converting a hobby offers a special opportunity. Ever pulled into an RV park and seen an RVer making a cute product, and selling them to everyone around? Others may specialize in doing portraits....they'll sit under the awning doing their work, and attract customers from RVers wandering around the park. Some folks create ornaments, jewelry, or whatever, and sell to local botiques. Even "pet sitting" within an RV park can be lucrative.

The secret: "Multiple Sources of Income". You may have retirement income, rental (of your home) income, campground host free site, and perhaps another occasional job or two. No one of these may be terribly lucrative, but the aggregate of all these smaller sources of income adds up to a healthy income. There's also "protection" since if any one of these sources of income goes away, it's not a disaster. These folks have "diversified" their income sources.