Every day more RVers are hitting the road for a permanent full-timing adventure.
My husband and I joined these adventurers in 2007 at the age of 37 and 40 and we haven’t looked back since.
To the uninitiated, it seems like the only way to go full-time RVing before retirement is to win the lotto, but working age full-time RVers know that you don’t have to be rich or have a fat pension to enjoy this lifestyle.
All you need is the will to succeed at creative income generation methods and careful household budgeting to sustain an unpredictable but enjoyable lifestyle.
If you can do these two things, you can say goodbye to long work commutes and hello to your permanent road trip!
In this article you’ll learn basic steps to kick off and support your full-time RVing dream. All of these ideas are explored in much more detail in the book Income, Anywhere! which I co-authored with my husband in response to the many people who’ve asked how we hit the road and stayed on it.
As you review these tips, remember that what works for some people doesn’t work for everyone.
But by making the effort to test your personal boundaries you’ll uncover ways you can be happy making money on the road and you’ll create an above-average, fun lifestyle that many people wish they had the courage to explore before retirement.
Step 1: Free Yourself of Debt
You’re probably thinking “What does debt have to do with earning money on the road?”
The reality is, debt impacts every aspect of any lifestyle, especially when it comes to the amount of income you need to earn in order to keep lenders off your back.
Remember, most people are trapped in jobs they hate because they’re forced to work in order to pay down debt.
They can’t follow their dreams because they’re trapped in debt. If your dream is to hit the road before you retire consider this:
When you don’t owe money, you are free to use your time earning as little or as much money as you need to feel comfortable.
Imagine if you had more time to travel, or to turn your passions into an income source?
Having no debt means that you can!
Sure many many people hit the road with debt, but doing so is contradictory to the freedom of the road. Don’t be fooled into thinking debt is a “tool.”
Debt is not a tool – debt is financial slavery.
Free yourself from financial burdens and experience true freedom on the road: pay your debts off before you go full-time RVing.
Step 2: Generate Income from Your Passion
If you’re looking for a job that you can leave at the office, stop reading now.
Going full-time RVing before retirement probably isn’t for you because the self-employed lifestyle isn’t something you clock into and out of.
If you want to be self-reliant and earn money anywhere, you will eat, breathe and live the entrepreneurial lifestyle.
Although it seems like some people are just born with the entrepreneurial dream, anyone can learn how to break free of the weekly paycheck and experience total self-reliance.
The best place to begin your self-employment pursuits is to pinpoint activities and ideas you feel most passionate about, and learn how to create an income around them.
Your options are only limited by your imagination and your drive to succeed.
Here are a few business ideas that make great income generators on the road:
- Advertising sales
- Dog groomer
- e-Book author / publisher
- Marketing consultant
- Mobile RV / Auto Repair
- Product marketing
- Jewelry designer
- Software developer
- Tax preparer
- Traveling nurse
- Web developer
For more ideas, search the Internet to find work-from-home jobs using these search terms:
- “jobs that allow you to work from anywhere”
- “jobs that can be done from anywhere”
- “jobs that can be done anywhere”
Becoming self-employed reaps many unexpected bonuses.
For example, you may be able to write off certain expenses and take advantage of specific tax deductions available only to entrepreneurs. Many items you purchase that are related to running your business may be applicable toward your annual tax deduction.
This includes not only whatever materials you use, but also office supplies, utilities, rent, and perhaps even some meals and entertainment. For those working from their RV, this means a certain square footage of your mobile headquarters and campground fees (rent) may be deductible.
Nomadic business owners working from their RV should consider George Montgomery’s book Can I Write Off My RV? for more important tax tips.
The technical steps needed to set up and maintain a home-based business are beyond the scope of this article, but my book is filled with tons of resources to help you get started.
Step 3: Add Another Revenue Stream with Workamping
Layoff victims of the Great Recession learned the hard way that relying on a single income stream puts you at financial risk if that income source dries up.
As a full-time RVer you have the ability to protect yourself against this financial catastrophe by adding another income stream to your full-timing repertoire: workamping.
What is Workamping?
Workamping typically involves temporarily working a pre-determined number of hours at a business, campground or RV park in exchange for free or discounted RV parking.
You might even get a small paycheck.
Workamping jobs are located all around the globe and range from campground host to property caretaker. Most do not pay but provide free rent instead. This helps offset a large portion of your living expenses.
Here are examples of popular workamping jobs for RVers:
- Alaska Hospitality Worker
- Amazon Camperforce Worker
- Campground Advertising Sales
- Exposition Vendor
- Oil Field Gate Guard Team
- Property Caretaker
- RV Park Maintenance/Clerk
- Seasonal Hospitality Help
Workamping can seem mysterious at first, but thankfully there are resources that show RVers the ropes.
Work from the road groups like Workamper News and the Workampers and NomadicGigs Facebook Groups have members who are willing to share their experiences. You’ll learn how to communicate with potential employers and how to find desirable jobs.
Don’t be shy. Jump in and get to know these powerful resources for making and saving money while full-time RVing.
Follow Your Bliss
Chances are if you’ve read this far you’re dreaming of living an unconventional life on the road.
By researching what it takes to do so, you’re well on your way to making that dream a reality. As you follow your bliss remember – turning the key and living the dream doesn’t come easy.
Learning how to budget, stay out of debt and discovering ways you can earn a living while traveling all take time and research.
In addition naysayers will give you unwanted advice and shake your confidence. But if your heart is fully committed to hitting the road before you’re too old to really enjoy it, your inner voice is the only one that matters.
As the sage spiritual guru Depak Chopra says,
Do what you love, and you will do it well. Do it well and you will be rewarded, both financially and emotionally.
For more tips about how to hit the road before retirement explore my e-book, Income, Anywhere!