Full-Time RVers Working From The Road: Advice From RVing Remote Workers

Do you dream of full-time RVing before retirement? Are you confused about how to find remote work, or how so many people are making money from the road? 

This article features advice from experienced remote workers who are also full-time RVers. You will learn about the challenges of working from the road, how some RVers convinced their employers to let them go remote, and tips for getting started. 

Working Remotely as a Full-Time RVer

As you will learn here, working remotely as a full-time RVer is not without it’s challenges, the most common being reliable internet! 

But if you do your research and take advice from the RVing community, you will find that the the challenges of working from the road are worth the rewarding lifestyle. 

This article is part 2 of a 2-part series of advice from remote working full-time RVers. Be sure to check out part 1 here. 

Full-Time RVers Working From The Road: Advice From RVing Remote Workers 1
Live Work Dream HQ

Jim Nelson

Full-time RVer since 2007
Working remotely for 13 years
https://liveworkdream.com

What do you do for work?

My wife Rene Agredano is a writer and makes jewelry from our mobile studio. I am a graphic designer and build websites. Together we manage the Tripawds pet amputation support community, and publish books including the new “Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now”. We have done this remotely since our first year on the road. Prior to that we operated our own global marketing firm from a remote small town.

Why did you start working remotely?

We sold our business and our home after our dog Jerry lostleg to cancer. We planned for a one-year sabbatical. He loved life on three legs for two years. That journey helped us find our purpose and future direction.

How did you get started with what you're currently doing for work?

I spent my previous life in marketing communications, and have always been rather technically savvy. Once we found our new niche, we turned our passion into a full-time labor of love. 

What are the biggest challenges you've faced when it comes to working remotely?

Balancing life and work is difficult when your work is your life. 

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start working remotely or find remote work?

Develop multiple revenue streams to support your lifestyle. Determine your Why. Find your purpose. Know your limitations. Understand your audience. And capitalize on your capabilities.  

Full-Time RVers Working From The Road: Advice From RVing Remote Workers 2

Kelly Beasley

Full-time RVer for 5 years
Working remotely for 5 years
www.campaddict.com

What do you do for work?

I lost the remote job I had when I hit the road, so I had to get another one. Hated it. When the idea came about, I jumped at the opportunity to start a company with my friend Marshall so I could work for myself. We started it (www.campaddict.com) around January of 2017.  

Why did you start working remotely?

I found that I COULD do this lifestyle with my rental income and my part time job that could transfer to a remote job. That’s all it took. I became single, and figured I had already done ‘everything else’.  

How did you get started with what you're currently doing for work?

I only had RVing experience, I was the more creative one, and I could write. I didn’t have any skills when it came to making money from a website. Marshall and I balance each other out with each of our skill sets. 

What are the biggest challenges you've faced when it comes to working remotely?

Balancing work time with play time or other. There’s not boss watching you, so you have to be self-motivating. Working for yourself IS motivating in itself, but there are times when it’s still a struggle, especially when the money is coming in and you can just sit back. But long-term, that won’t work. So you have to keep at it. 

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start working remotely or find remote work?

I’m not really sure. It’s challenging. But it’s SO rewarding to work for yourself. You can always build your own empire instead of working for someone else. It’s a TON of work, but you can make it happen if you have the will.  

Full-Time RVers Working From The Road: Advice From RVing Remote Workers 3
George and Dino Miranda

George Miranda

Full-time RVer for 2 years
Working remotely for 8 years
Instagram @RVdaloca

What do you do for work?

I’m in software sales & marketing. I’ve only been doing that for 5 of the 8 years I’ve been remote. Before that, I was an on-site consultant that traveled wherever the work was. Understandably, it didn’t matter where I was based for that job. 

Why did you start working remotely?

I’m in the software industry, where competition for workers is fierce and remote work is plentiful. I didn’t intentionally aim to work remotely, I just happened to find the job I wanted and it was remote. I’ve been a remote worker ever since (that was 4 jobs ago). 

How did you get started with what you're currently doing for work?

I was an in-office software engineer for many years. I rarely traveled for work and I almost never worked from home. But one day I decided I wanted a different trajectory. I went into B2B sales to sell tools to people doing the job I used to do. B2B vendors have different requirements and needs than traditional consumer businesses. Having a lot of experience as the target demographic being sold to, many opportunities opened for me that would have otherwise required a lot of specialized training. There’s a lot of value in knowing your audience. 

What are the biggest challenges you've faced when it comes to working remotely?

I was a remote worker for 6 years before going full-time on the road. But even with that prior experience, I had a very difficult time convincing my employer that I could do my job just as well while being a nomad. Even in remote-friendly companies, there’s a mental leap that some folks just can’t make when it comes to living and working situations they’re unaccustomed to. Whenever anything would go wrong (my signal cuts out, someone knocks on my door, my dog starts barking, etc), even if those are things that happen to any remote worker working from a sticks & bricks, I’d get snide comments about my atypical lifestyle. Those hiccups weren’t seen as normal remote work occurrences. People associate RV’s with vacations. It took a lot of time to establish a track record of reliability, that wasn’t ever needed when I was in a sticks & bricks.

In the last year, I’ve worked pretty hard at making it look like I’m in a “normal” sticks & bricks home when I take video calls. Switching to a new job, people are surprised when I reveal that I’m working from the road. IMO, it’s better to reveal as little about your living situation as possible, establish a track record of reliability, and THEN disclose details about your living arrangement if you want to avoid working twice as hard to get half the professional credibility. 

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start working remotely or find remote work?

OVER-COMMUNICATE. When you work with a remote team, the core thing to remember is that you’re switching to a model of communication as documentation. The messages you send via chat apps (like Slack), the notes you take in a meeting (yes, they should all be documented), the decisions that are made–everything should happen in a digital medium that allows it to be shared asynchronously with the rest of your team. That’s a hard concept for folks who have always worked on-site to wrap their minds around. The casual conversations you’re used to having must be more formalized. Maintaining communication channels and over communicating (vs. under communicating) should be top priorities.

For anyone in a senior leadership role, working remotely can be especially challenging. If your leadership team is also not remote (i.e. if there’s a center of gravity around a physical location) and if they do not already have a culture of distributed communication established, it’s very easy for you to be left out of critical decisions and for your input to become an afterthought. My advice to you is: work for a company who’s leadership team is also remote. Otherwise, plan on spending at least 30-50% of your time on-site. (If you wanted to do that, you wouldn’t have started full-timing in an RV, would you?) There are plenty of distributed companies that fit this bill!

Also for anyone new to remote work, check out some of the better crash-course intros to remote work. Zapier, for example, has a good one

Dino Miranda

Full-time RVer for 2 years
Working remotely for 8 years
Instagram @RVdaloca

What do you do for work?

I’m a Sr. Executive Assistant and have been doing that (+ Marketing and events) for almost 20 years in the corporate world. I’ve been remote for 3 years with 3 different companies (first was perm, others were/are contract). I think tech companies are more adaptable to this type of remote work (EA work) than most. Ever advancing technology has allowed me (and many others) to begin working remotely (I don’t think I could have done his job 5-10 years ago remotely). 

Why did you start working remotely?

My husband has worked remotely for over 8 years. We decided that OR was too cold in the winter, and TX was too hot in the summer and we didn’t want to move again, so… my husband said, well, if you can work remotely we can live wherever we want whenever we want. So that led us to the RV life and here we are! 

How did you get started with what you're currently doing for work?

Well that’s a story that goes back to the 90’s lol. I’m a career EA, so my specialized training is mostly experience. There are many entry level virtual assistant jobs where you just need good communication skills (written/verbal), data entry/computer skills. 

How did you convince your employer to let you go remote?

Trust. It’s all about trust. My employer trusted that I knew what I was doing, was capable of doing it from anywhere and that I could be in the office whenever they needed me to be (I did fly into the office about every 8 weeks for 3-5 days, and my company paid all the expenses. I have this same arrangement with my current company even though I am a contractor).

The company I worked for when I first started already had remote workers (about 25%). I had an exceptionally open minded/awesome boss who let me gradually go remote. I actually told him our plan to go full time RV and said that if he was not amicable to me being remote, I would have to find another job. Luckily they valued me enough that they allowed it.  

What are the biggest challenges you've faced when it comes to working remotely?

Internet stability! HAHA.  We have 4 phones, on 2 different plans. Never rely on park WiFi. Always have a back up plan. Always know where you can go if those devices fail (coffee shop, etc). 

The other challenge is 2 people working in close proximity (ahem), both on zoom calls, both who talk really loudly 😉 Sometimes one of us can go outside (depending on weather, if the RV lawn guy is coming thru while you’re on a call, etc). We have great communication and  run thru our schedules every morning so we know what to expect and if one of us needs to be in another room.

Also, due to the fact that we both work, we only travel on the weekends. Be mindful of planning driving days when you work full time. 

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start working remotely or find remote work?

Do something you love and/or are good at doing. Be sure you’re the kind of person who can separate your work/personal times and be clear of distractions (kids/pets/the desire to go see all the things in the magical place you are in during work hours) ;-). Schedule enough time in your location so that you have the evenings/weekends to explore (read: don’t hop locations every week- stay at least 2 weeks so you have the time to explore). Decide if you want full or part time. If you want to work for yourself and set your own hours (do you have he discipline to do this?) or for someone else (full time employee or contractor).

Have a dedicated spot in your RV where you can work. We all work from the couch *sometimes*, but that should not be the default. 

Full-Time RVers Working From The Road: Advice From RVing Remote Workers 4
Rob Bibber

Rob Bibber

Full-time RVer for 4 years
Working remotely for 4 years
Software Engineer for 21 years

What do you do for work?

Software engineer for 21 years. There has been a little remote work here and there throughout my career but not 100% until I went full time.  

Why did you start working remotely?

So I could travel full time, be location independent, and not limited to where I could live based solely on the jobs I could get.  

How did you get started with what you're currently doing for work?

Started computer programming in high school but was just a hobby back then. After 4 years in the Marines I went back to the family business of lobster fishing but within a few years I decided to use the G.I. Bill and go to college. I took the college courses I needed and went to work.  

What are the biggest challenges you've faced when it comes to working remotely?

Internet access for sure but I’ve worked through most of the issues and now have a system that works well most of the time. Still tied to that cell signal though… 

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start working remotely or find remote work?

It is definitely possible to do for a lot of people and is becoming more and more accepted by employers. For me, it was relatively easy because I can do my job just as well remote as I can from an office (better in fact because I have fewer distractions). Just find what you want to do and find a way to make it work.  

Full-Time RVers Working From The Road: Advice From RVing Remote Workers 5
Julie Gant

Julie Gant

Full Time RVing for 2 years
Working remotely for 12 years
https://wanderinggants.com

What do you do for work?

Administrative and office management type work. 

Why did you start working remotely?

I started working remotely to avoid a horrible commute. I switched jobs after about six years and had to go back into an office. When we moved into the RV, that job was supposed to become remote; but they rescinded the option after 3 months on the road. (Not because of any problems with my work. My boss was very happy with the situation. It’s a long story, but essentially HR didn’t think it would work because I would be working out of multiple states.) Since then, I’ve been doing freelance VA work. 

How did you get started with what you're currently doing for work?

I had an early and long background in customer service, then consulting and project management. Those two combined to create someone who is very good at managing offices/businesses and helping management keep on track. 

How did you convince your employer to let you work remotely?

Initially, it was transitioned to remote work. I didn’t have to convince my boss, but we did have to convince his boss, the regional director, a VP, and the Head of HR (this is a very large national corporation with multiple offices in almost every state.) I created a list of all my job functions and explained how I’d be able to do them from home. If I couldn’t do something from home (like sorting physical mail or shipping supplies to people), I explained how I could still manage that while someone else did the physical work. For example, I ordered supplies for office and remote workers. I could easily still order for remote workers with no change in the process and my boss just took a video of the supply room every two weeks so I could see what was needed.  

What are the biggest challenges you've faced when it comes to working remotely?

The biggest challenge working remotely is people forgetting you are part of the team/company. Even with chat and Zoom meetings, you can easily be left out of spontaneous conversations that happen in the office. Working from the road is challenging because people think you can’t guarantee good Internet if you’re moving around a lot.  

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start working remotely or find remote work?

Try to make your current job remote first (if you like it.) This way, you’ll already have teamwork and bonding that comes from being in the office together. Create that task list like I did and explain how you can do everything (or most everything) remotely. If you can’t do it remotely, explain how someone else could do the part that you can’t. If you’re starting fresh, try networking with friends, FlexJobs, Virtual Vocations, Indeed, etc. There is also Camille Atell’s Remote Work 101 course and FB group. 

Full-Time RVers Working From The Road: Advice From RVing Remote Workers 6
Wendy Warden

Wendy Warden

Full-time RVer since 2019
Working remotely since 2019 

What do you do for work?

I am a grant writer. I am a social worker by training. I did grant writing years ago as part of my administrative responsibilities. This position has never been remote for the agency I work for. This is a first!   

Why did you start working remotely?

My husband is retirement age, I am not.  I need to keep working and investing in retirement.  And I really was not ready to quit. 

How did you get started with what you're currently doing for work?

Master’s Degree in Social Work, 30+ years of experience, I volunteered to cover for the grant writer when a crisis happened with the previous “me”.  Then it became a real paying job, with a six month contract.  That worked well and I am a full-fledged team member now!!! 

What are the biggest challenges you've faced when it comes to working remotely?

Dependable internet connection when I am on deadline.   

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start working remotely or find remote work?

Work your existing network of professionals!   

Full-Time RVers Working From The Road: Advice From RVing Remote Workers 7
Paige and Jake Wood

Jake Wood

Full-Time RVing for just over 1 year
Working remotely for 4 years
@RVcoders on Instagram

What do you do for work?

Software engineering. I’ve been doing it professionally for 7 years, but have been programming most of my life. My current job has always been remote. 

Why did you start working remotely?

Local software jobs didn’t pay well. It was a better deal to work remotely for a company based in the Bay Area.  

How did you get started with what you're currently doing for work?

My dad was a programmer, so he taught me lots. I also have a degree in computer science. Many companies require a degree, some will accept self-taught people with lots of experience, and a few will accept “boot camp” graduate.  

What are the biggest challenges you've faced when it comes to working remotely?

Reliable internet connectivity. 

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start working remotely or find remote work?

First, start gathering metrics. You need to establish a baseline for what you accomplish while “in office”. Then, approach your management about a “trial” for working from home. Continue to gather your metrics to prove you are as efficient (or hopefully more so) at home. The metrics will vary by industry. It could be emails answered, tasks completed, etc.  

Full-Time RVers Working From The Road: Advice From RVing Remote Workers 8
Janiece Smith

Janiece Smith

Full-time RVing for 2 years
Working remotely since 2016
The Roaming PJs on Facebook

What do you do for work?

I’m a certified teacher and have taught in the traditional classroom since 1998. I transitioned full-time online in 2012 and then full-time remote online in 2016. I have to keep up my certifications because I teach high school. My husband is a mobile gas survey tech with a company that sends him to different places for different projects. So he isn’t remote in the sense of working on the home (camper), he works wherever we travel. Workamping jobs have also allowed us to travel and to go and see different places but now that he’s a full-time tech and he goes where they need him to go (it still gets us away from the heat in the summer and the cold in the winter) .

Why did you start working remotely?

I’m a teacher and learned about online education many years ago. I first started part-time tutoring and such and then obtained my master’s degree online. After that I searched for a 100% remote teaching job and it took many years to finally find it. Now they are more common. My husband went to on the road work so we can travel full-time.  

How did you get started with what you're currently doing for work?

(What I do) requires a college degree and certifications. You have to be a certified teacher in at least one state; I’ve added multiple states over the years.  

What are the biggest challenges you've faced when it comes to working remotely?

Internet for sure!  I have a pre-paid Verizon jet pack and got it while it was still an unlimited plan so I’ve been doing great with that. Before that I would use all my high speed data 1/2 way through the month. We also have to make sure we stay in areas where there is good Verizon service. My husband’s job the biggest challenge is not knowing where we will be sent next, that can be exciting too but it makes me nervous when I don’t know when and where we move to. 

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start working remotely or find remote work?

Do your research. First find out if it’s possible to do the job you are doing remotely and if so don’t give up on it. If you find it’s not possible, try searching for things you find interesting and go for that passion. It may take some time, you may have to work your way up to 100% remote so be realistic on your time frame of hitting the road. We planned it out 3 + years before we were really able to do it. Also, try workamping if you want to hit the road earlier but have a back up plan in case it doesn’t fit your budget. If possible, see if there is a campground or some place close by your home that needs some help and try it out before hitting the road. Finally, be aware of scams, there are a lot of online working scams so do your homework!  

Be sure to check out our previous article, Working Remotely as a Full-Time RVer. This article features more advice from remote working full-time RVers.

Full-Time RVers Working From The Road: Advice From RVing Remote Workers 9

Author

Carrie Fay

Carrie has been on and off the road for the past 3 years, experiencing travel as a full-time RVer and most recently trying out the van life. 

With a passion for the nomadic lifestyle and all things marketing related, Carrie is the Social Media and Marketing Coordinator for Escapees RV Club. 

When she’s not geeking out on Social Media or befriending the local cats, you can find Carrie at her website: Making Money and Traveling – where her love of travel and obsession with location-independence meet.

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