Working While RV Camping

SarasotaFolkFestival2014Working while RV camping is a growing trend these days. Most of us just cannot afford to jump into our RV and travel around the country without having some kind of supplemental income as well as our retirement benefits. And more and more people are selling everything, buying an RV and traveling the road at younger ages. If you don’t have a great retirement plan but would still like to travel you may want to consider starting some kind of business before you go. And for those not old enough to retire you will need to have a steady income to keep traveling.

Establishing a mobile business is a great way to help you pay for your travel expenses, have money to visit parks and other recreational opportunities while paying for your camping, food, phone and internet. Yes, you will need to have a reliable internet connection such as Verizon’s MIFI service in order to keep in touch with customers, checking your bank for payments,etc. It is great to be out in the middle of the woods enjoying nature but to help pay for your adventures you will need a way to communicate.

You can take volunteer assignments in National and State parks and that will help you pay for your campsite, electricity, water and sewer. Some will even allow you access to free washer/dryer service and extra freezer space to store your food. A few National parks even give you a propane stipend or small amount of wages in exchange for working in their park part time. But unless you have a decent and steady retirement income you will have to have a business to pay for everything else. Since most volunteer assignments are only part time you will have plenty of time to run your business and still have time to have fun too.

Some of the most popular businesses for RVers is selling items at craft festivals and flea markets. Luckily in Florida, there are lots of both all year round. The trouble with this kind of business is you will have to make enough to pay for vendors fees to sell your items as well as having enough space to store your merchandise. You will still need to keep good accounting records, pay your sales tax to the state and some counties require that you purchase a business license or pay a business tax to sell within their county even if it is just for one weekend. This will take time to research but, thankfully, most counties have all this information available online.

Another way to earn money is if you have a talent for writing. You will still need to establish yourself with respectable publishing places, magazines and online blogs. You do not have to pay to become a writer for any of the legitimate employers. Of course, a very good way to gain writing assignments is to start your own website and record your adventures starting with the planning stages. More and more people are interested in becoming full-time campers and establishing a following is a great way to get other writing assignments that pay per article. This is not a reliable way to earn money but it has great potential.

We have been making handcrafted items, offer them for sale online and have tried selling them at flea markets. We have found an inexpensive folk festival here in the Sarasota area and will be trying our hand at selling there. The Sarasota Folk Festival is being held at Oscar Scherer State Park this year on March 22nd and 23rd from 10:00am to 6:00pm. We have had to buy one of those commercial 10×10 white canopy tents with sidewalls to participate, which is required at almost all festivals and crafts shows, as well as two long folding tables. We have been researching online to get some ideas about displaying our merchandise and will have to practice putting the tent up and down. If you are in the area we hope you will check it out.

We will also be doing a raffle at our booth at the festival. Part of the proceeds from our sales we are donating the the Help of State Parks (HOSP) fund in Tallahassee, Florida. It is a fund created by the Department of Environmental Protection that oversees our state parks to allow citizens to donate to their favorite parks. Since we have been having such a great time visiting and working in the them this past year we wanted to help.