Probably the most often asked question that we get is, how do you make money while fulltime rving?? In this blog we will explain the many ways that we have used to make money while we have been on the road. Everything that we will discuss in this post will be based on our real life experiences while rving and not things that we have been told by others.
Of course the first and easiest way to make money is to do workamping. A lot of rv parks and campgrounds all across the country use what are called workampers. Depending on the campground there are different ways that this works. Probably the main way this works is that the rv’er trades a certain amount of hours of work in the park in exchange for what is usually a full hookup site for their rv. This usually includes electric, water, sewer and most cases internet service. If someone is not looking for pay this works fine, but, many of the parks will set a certain amount of hours for the site and anything over that amount of hours will be paid. The amount paid varies from park to park. Of all of the places we have workamped we have done it for as little as no pay, only a full hookup site up to one park that we were at we received a full hookup site, $15 an hour for all hours worked, and 3 full meals in the onsite restaurant and a free drink in the evenings in the onsite bar. So, there are all types of places for a person to work and get paid.
In one of the parks we were in, a full hookup site only for hours worked, I made pretty good money washing and waxing rv’s. This park was in Arizona and for the winter there were lots of snowbirds that would want their rv’s cleaned up before they left to go back north to home. At the time going rate for an rv was around $3.00 a foot, but did not include washing the roof. Also, the rv park required $20 for the water that would be used washing each rv. So pretty much it would average about $100 each for a 40 ft rv. It would take about 5 to 6 hours from start to finish. Not terrible pay for a day, and there was no lack of customers either.
One of the parks we were in was also a mobile home community for people that were 55 and older. Lots of mobile homes. I am lucky in that I can build or repair anything, so, I found lots of people that needed things repaired on their homes. Water leaks, cabinet door adjustments, broken locks, toilet and sink problems and anything that an older person would have a problem with. Also, if you know how to paint a person can stay busy in a park like this just doing painting for people. There was someone that was always wanting a room painted and sometimes they wanted the whole inside redone. Good money doing that.
When we were in Arizona we found out that a lot of the mobile home parks owned a lot of the homes in the park and either rented them out or sold them on contract. When a renter or buyer moved out they needed people to clean out the homes and do any repairs they needed. I got with a couple of the parks and started doing that, mostly the cleaning out part. The pay for cleaning them out was not real big but the benefit was that anything they left in the house I could keep or take to the trash. Lots of good things were left in the houses, everything from hot tubs, furniture, dishes and clothes. Anything I did not want I just had to take to the dumpsters and anything else I could keep or sell. People will buy almost anything on Craigslist and when it has been given to you anything you get out of it is profit.
Another way we made money was while we were in Montana in Glacier National Park. I carried a camera with me everywhere and took lots of pictures. I had someone tell me that a magazine called the Montana magazine would buy pictures from people of things they needed for their magazine. I got in touch with them and signed up to receive a monthly list of pictures they would need for the next months magazine. It would be a list that wanted things like old barns, waterfalls or animals in the wild. I would take pictures, load them on a cd and send it to them for review. They would look at all of the pictures that everyone had submitted and pick the ones they thought were best and send a check for each of my pictures they used. Not high dollars but about $50 a picture. Easy money as it was a hobby that I enjoyed doing. I also would print a lot of my pictures and frame them in a wooden frame. There was a store in town there that was sort of like a flea market that had lots of picture frames really cheap. I bought a couple dozen rustic wooden frames for $2.00 each and framed the pictures. I then took them to many of the gift shops in town outside of Glacier and put them on consignment in the stores. Many of the gift shops liked them so well that they did not even charge me anything to display them and sell them. All of the pictures were sold for $35.00, not as much as the magazine paid but still good profit.
After we left Glacier we went back to Arizona and did workamping there. This was a job that I worked the front desk for a full hookup site, no pay involved. The rv park had a community building that they would hold like little flea markets and craft shows in on the weekends. My wife learned how to make wind spinners using crystal glass beads. She began making them and selling them in the craft show. Other people also had wind spinners but hers were special in that she only used real crystal glass beads and no plastic ones. Hers were a little higher priced but they were a much better quality than the others and sold well. Also, if you know how to do something like this you can have classes to teach people how to do it and charge per person to teach it. The way my wife would do it is to provide everything a person would need to make one and teach them how and charge a fee for teaching. An excellent way to make money as many rvers want to learn a hobby that will make them money.
At the same time I had found a vinyl plotter that I was working with and began making vinyl stickers for people to put on their rv’s. I also made a few signs for people with their names and home states that they put in front of their rv spot. To this day I still make the vinyl stickers and signs and sell them. It is a great hobby and they do sell pretty good once people find out about them. The vinyl machine and the vinyl fit in one of the underneath compartments of the motorhome just fine.
Another time when we were in Apache Junction, Az I checked into something called Secret Shopper. Turns out it was a legitimate way to make some money. When I signed up with them I had to take a short course on what was expected from me and how it worked. They would send me a list of jobs they needed done and I would pick out the ones I wanted and let them know. Then they would send me the paperwork that I had to fill out after I did the job. The job entitled going to wherever the job was and going into business, usually inspecting the store and buying something and asking a question about something. Then after I left I filled out the paperwork telling them my experience in the store, how clean it was, how friendly they were and if they helped me when I had a question. I would enclose the receipt with the paperwork and send it to them and then they would send me a check reimbursing me for what I bought and whatever the pay for the job was. In the paperwork they would send before the job it would tell me how much I could spend to be reimbursed on. It was ok but I did maybe 20 jobs and quit, seems like it took more time than it was worth.
The final way to make money is one that we are doing now. It is called Affiliate marketing. The way it works is a person starts a website doing or writing about something that interest them. On the site you put links to different things that relate to your interest that will take someone to the affiliates website. When someone goes to that site using your link and buys something then you are paid a commission on what they buy. When we first started looking into this I found so many scam websites that said they would teach me how to do this but they turned out to be nothing but con artist wanting me to pay them outrageous amounts of money to learn. I kept looking until I found one site that said they would teach us for free and even give us a website for free. We joined it and am so glad we did as it is now making us a monthly income. We are not getting rich, yet, but the longer we do it the better it is getting. The site we joined actually is free to learn how and did provide a free website. They do offer a lot more training for a monthly fee and we have upgraded to the paid membership but we are making more each month now than the monthly membership. It is not required to upgrade at all and a person can learn everything they need to make money.
Click on this link to go there, no cost to look or join. WEALTHY AFFILIATE
We hope this blog will help anyone who is wanting to know how to make money on the road. It has worked for us for 12 years. We have now partially settled down and will only be on the road probably 5 or 6 months out of the year. We still do the windspinners, vinyl cutting and definitely the Affiliate marketing. Good luck everyone,
Jim n Karan