How to make money living in an RV: 33 ways to support yourself
Living full time in an RV is a dream for many people, but a limiting factor is worrying about how you will support yourself.
However, supporting yourself whilst living full time in an RV is easier than you think – there are more ways to do so than first meets the eye.
In this post, we’ve tried to list as many ways to make money as we can think of – both online and offline.
For some of the ways to make money, all you will need is an RV.
For others, all you will need is an internet connection, a laptop, and some tenacity.
We’ll start first with RV-specific ways to make money and then move on to ways to make money online.
RV-Specific forms of income
1) Be a Mobile Professional
Some jobs really lend themselves to being great mobile professions. Nurses, doctors, hair stylists, dog groomers, RV maintenance, etc. The RV community still needs certain services so if you can offer them up while at an RV park or in a community, this can definitely help you earn a living. Many of these jobs require current experience and/or certifications.
2) Sell at Craft Fairs
Do you make things and want to start selling them wherever you go? Selling at craft fairs is great way to do what you love and get paid for it.
Indiemade details how to get started http://www.indiemade.com/resource/your-first-craft-show-selling-craft-shows-made-easy You can also setup an online store to sell from as well. Many start with Etsy.
We sold cutting boards at a few craft fairs and even had an Etsy site while Jena was still making cutting boards. We stopped because she couldn’t bring the equipment on the road. At least not yet. She might get back into it.
Workamping is the most physical aspect of making money while being fulltime RV’er. It also covers several different kinds of work. Mostly it’s RV Parks looking for a couple to work the campgrounds. Usually one works in the office and the other helps RV’ers to their site. It usually also involves cleaning bathrooms and other areas of the campgrounds. This is my least favorite. Why? Because if I work at an RV park, I’m seriously reducing my earning potential in trade for reduced or free monthly rent. But it works very well for a lot of people. They enjoy the physical labor and meeting new people. http://www.workamper.com/
4) Gate Guarding
This is mostly down in Texas and you cover a gate for employees, visitor, and trucks for an oilfield and provide security for these gates. You have to check everyone in that comes through the gate. If you are lucky, your gate isn’t very busy and you have time to catch up on reading or blogging. This is a couple job and as a couple, you make $125/day or $4,000/32 days. http://ourrvadventures.wordpress.com/gate-guard-info/
5) Gas Line Survey
Found in various parts of the US, you typically drive to the line and walk portions of the pipe to inspect it and make sure there are no leaks or issues with the pipes. They require you to have your own vehicle and you get reimbursed for using it. There is a long thread in one of the RV forums that goes back to 2006 on the job, the hiring process, and what to expect.
6) Sugar Beet Harvest
Sugar beet harvest is up in Montana, Minnesota, and North Dakota. It’s a race to get all the beets harvested and they claim you can earn as much as $2,000 in two weeks per person. There is an online application process and if you are selected, you need to be at your designated area by the last week in September.
7) Fish Cannery
Talk about some hard work, but some great pay at the end of your season. This job is up in Alaska and several people who’ve done it say they can walk away from the summer with $7,000-10,000. http://www.reddit.com/r/alaska/comments/17tspi/summer_jobs_in_cannery/
It’s not for the faint of heart. The increase in money comes from shear hours you put in. Since you are racing against the clock to process the fish before they spoil, you can put in as many hours as you can handle.
The work environment is smelly, long hours of standing, but once you hit over 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week, you start making time and a half. During this time you aren’t doing much else either.
If visiting Alaska is high on your list, this might be a great way to fund your trip.
8) Amazon CamperForce
As a CamperForce, you pick and ship all the items that are purchased on Amazon during in the Winter for the holiday shopping. You earn $10-11.50/hr depending on your location and you can work from Nevada, Kentucky, or Kansas. The season starts sometime in mid October. Be prepared to work as it’s very physical and many RV bloggers who have worked it say it’s the most physical work they have ever done.
You start working 40 hours/week and when things really pick up, you go to mandatory 50+ hours/week. You do get overtime pay and a $1/hr bonus at the end if you stay the whole time. The season ends on December 23rd for everyone so you usually have time to get to your family for Christmas.
9) Selling Christmas Trees
Many tree farms look for people with an RV who can stay onsite for the tree lots and sell from mid November through December. They usually prefer a couple team to handle the customers and moving the trees around. It’s typically 7 days a week for the holiday season. The pay is usually a base amount with commissions, depending on the company. Some bloggers have shared that they know people who make over $3,000 during this time frame.
Your best bet is to search for a Christmas Tree farm and call to see if they have any openings. Some farms like Holiday Hills in San Antonio have their application online http://holidayhillschristmastrees.com/applications/
Jobs you can do with just a phone
10) Customer service
If you are polite, have a great phone voice and etiquette and you enjoy helping people out, this may be the perfect position for you while you enjoy your time on the road.
Regardless of the situation, we require a high level of customer service for every product or service we purchase as customers. This can come in a variety of forms from technical support to after-sales service or basic information lines. Whichever you prefer, there are decent paying options available. Check out the likes of 1800 flowers as a good starting place.
A more outgoing alternative to inbound customer service, telemarketing is suitable for those of an outgoing persuasion who also have a pretty thick skin. There is the possibility of receiving a lot of rejection during the course of this job, but at least you can admire beautiful views from your RV whilst doing so. The earnings can also be boosted a lot if you convert on sales. Try companies such as Brighten to get a foothold.
12) Surveying and research
If you have a curious mind and a passion for learning new things combined with a high attention to detail, conducting surveys and research could be just the thing for you. This type of work could range from collecting and inputting data online to calling customers and surveying their satisfaction with a product or service. Either way, both are convenient ways to earn while you traverse the lands in your RV. Some of the best in the business for survey and research work include Maritz Research.
Jobs you can do online
13) Data entry
For those among us who are gifted with the ability to type fast and process thoughts in a fast and organized manner, data entry jobs can provide the perfect starting point for life on the road. They can be long and laborious from time to time but others find them rather soothing and therapeutic. If you find yourself in the latter group, you definitely should check out Sigtrack as a great resource for data entry positions.
If you are really attentive to detail with fast typing skills and a very keen ear, transcriptions could be for you. It may sound easy but is often quite difficult depending upon the audio quality and content. If you are fed up listening to the sounds of nature during your RV adventures, why not give transcriptions a try. companies like TranscribeMe can help you get started out on the path to becoming a professional traveling transcriber.
15) Virtual assistant
Being a virtual assistant can be one of the most all encompassing positions you will find. This will be very dependent on the clients you are working for. The jobs themselves can also be highly rewarding and possess the opportunity to both increase your own skills and knowledge and build a solid experience platform for future work and career moves. Of the companies operating in this sector, fancy hands stands out as the one with the most user reviews and a good infrastructure for working within.
16) Community moderation
Perhaps you have always fancied yourself as a follower of rules or leader among people. If that is the case, you may wish to continue such a leadership role on your travels. You can do just that from the comfort of your RV. Community moderation is a very popular choice. With so much content and interaction going on all round us on the web and increasing exponentially year on year, companies such as LiveWorld are always on the lookout for aspiring online moderators with no experience required.
17) Micro tasks
Micro Tasks are exactly that. The tasks are very fast and easy to complete and range upward of $0.01 per task with the ability to make sufficiently good pay to keep you on the road for as long as you wish. The most reputable company in this line where you should begin your search is Amazon MTurk.
18) Website Testing
Believe it or not, companies are always on the lookout for willing users to test out new platforms, sites, and other beta projects. These can pay surprisingly well. Some will net you up to $50 for a 20 minute task although the frequency with which tasks are assigned can vary given the number of users. One of the most reputable platforms in this field where users report widely positive experiences is UserTesting.
19) Closed captioning
One of the highest paid remote positions you can obtain which also fits your RV travelling lifestyle is closed captioning. That can be providing live closed captioning or on a project basis. Either way, the pay for such positions, especially on live events is high. That said, the quality of your deliverable is expected to be equally high and it is an understandably pressurized and testing environment. Previous experience is usually preferred. Aberdeen provides some of the highest rates in the business at up to $75 per hour of real-time closed captioning.
Turning your skills into money
20) ESL Tutoring
Nowadays, there is a constant demand for English teachers. This is especially true in countries such as China and Korea. If you have experience as a teacher, or even just a university bachelors degree or TEFL certification, you can get started right away teaching the next generation of kids your native language.
Services such as VIPKid are ideal for this line of work. All you will need is a solid internet connection, reliability and a passion for teaching. The pay can be up to $25/hr depending on your experience and you can usually work as much as you wish.
21) General tutoring
Teaching is not only open to those who wish to be English teachers. Actually, there are a wide variety of opportunities for those with skillsets in other subjects to pass on their knowledge to the next generation. These are even more ideal if you are a certified teacher. Check out sites like UniversityTutor for more information.
There is a constant need for translations between languages. Sure the likes of Google translate are getting better and better, but if you need precise translations, human translators are still the way to go. This will be right up your street if you are fluent in another language. If you seek work independently, you can charge big money, especially for important document translations. If you want a more stable and steady income though, you should give Gengo a try.
23) Language tutoring
With the world becoming smaller and smaller as technology increases, demand is also stimulated for learning non-english languages. The purpose behind these quests are variable. They could be for business, pleasure, or anything in between. Regardless of that fact, again, if you are well equipped with a quality internet connection and good teaching skills, the opportunity exists for you to make money on the moves.
24) Develop online courses
Institutions are definitely not the only places people go to learn these days. Far from it. With independent education platforms popping up everywhere yet still offering quality and insightful knowledge, there has never been a better time to become an educator. Udemy is a perfect example of this. Set up your own courses and curriculum in any field, market them on the platform and watch the student’s role in. You decide your own pricing structure and everything can be easily coordinated without any specific location demands.
25) Editing and proofreading
If you’ve got a keen eye for detail and often find yourself critiquing the work of others, then a future in editing may just be for you. This is another role which only requires possession of a laptop, internet connection and a premium skill level in the chosen language which you will be editing. Pay can be variable but an ideal way to control this is by setting yourself up on fiverr. That way you can reap the rewards of doing a good job through repeat business and also set your own terms.
Online businesses you can do
Online businesses are tough to get started, but once the ball is rolling, they have the potential to be very passive and regular sources of income.
They take a while to set up and get established, but if you’re content is good and you promote it well(either through SEO or social media, or both), you’re on track to succeed.
This is certainly a step on the same path as editing, although it requires a little more self-motivation and creativity. The financial rewards can take a long time to achieve from blogging…if they ever come. Due to that, most bloggers write for their love of the topic. Check out services like WordPress to get you started and consider signing up for affiliate programs such as Amazon to get the money rolling in. You could always write about your travels on the open road.
27) Affiliate Marketing
Leading on from the last post about blogging and employing Amazon Affiliate program to get the money coming in, you could always get more in-depth with affiliate marketing. There are any companies which you can look to for this, though Amazon do offer one of the better programs if you are a blogger.
This site itself is an example of a blog that utilizes the Amazon Affiliate program to earn money.
28) Lead generation
This can entail a long and hard battle, but then again, you are on the road so you can have as much time as you need. The job itself literally entails generating leads for possible sales. This is usually based off some kind of research information to help you identify where to start and compiled by you into easy to read documents such as via Excel. The pay can be relatively low, but the work itself is usually very routine. There are lead generation companies out there, but for a wider selection, we recommend you try freelancing sites such as Upwork.
29) Content writing
Again for those of you with a talent in penmanship, you may want to think about content writing. This can be more financially rewarding than blog-writing and you should be able to see a return on your work in a faster period of time. There are many copy agencies to which you can apply. These include trusted agencies such as RightlyWritten. There are other options available for even starting your own agency, but best to build a quality portfolio of content first and develop from there.
30) Start an online store
Drop-shipping is also a viable business model if you know what you’re doing. To find the right niche, think of things that are otherwise hard to find – even online – and in your drop-shipping model, combine the shopping experience into an easy-to-find system for your customers.
For example, if someone wants Harry Potter costumes for cosplaying, it may be hard to find each individual item of clothing on Aliexpress without digging through pages and pages of search results – but you can do the digging beforehand and present the whole costume as an easy-to-buy kit. You then drop-ship from Aliexpress.
Check out Shopify for how to start an online store.
31) Web development
Moving into the category of more professional skills. Web Development stands out from the crowd here. That has been the case for many years, but the sector keeps growing and evolving. This means a continued necessity for developers. Again we would go back to the freelancing sites like Guru or Freelancer for the best rates here in web-design. That said, many web design positions can be operated on a remote basis. Just make sure you have the tech capabilities on the road.
32) Graphic design
This is a highly competitive area, but if you feel you have the talents to showcase your designs and make a living on the road, go for it! To get the best rates, you will have to establish yourself as high quality. Use somewhere like Behance to host your portfolio so potential customers can see everything with one easy click.
The crown jewel of mobile jobs. If you’ve got the programming skills required, you can make bucket loads of cash regardless of your location. That isn’t to say it’s a walk in the park. It can be notoriously stressful. But, between jobs you can be on the road in your RV, literally anywhere. Working Nomads is a good place to begin looking but cover all your bases with the freelancing sites too. With the crypto sector booming, programmers who have blockchain expertise can command an even higher price in the current market.