Working Remotely As A Full-Time RVer: Advice From RVing Remote Workers

The idea of full-time RVing before retirement is a dream for many people – but one of the most pressing questions is: how do you make money from the road? 

There are a few hurdles to transitioning to a lifestyle of full-time travel. For many RVer wannabes, making money from the road is their biggest hurdle.

What once seemed like a far-off dream is now a reality for thousands of people. And, as you’ll see in this article, not all of them were in remote positions prior to traveling. In fact: some remote-working RVers created their own jobs – some even with no formal experience or training required. 

Real Life Remote Working Full-Time RVers

Remote work possibilities are almost endless – with options and industries as diverse as location-dependent work. 

We interviewed several remote-working RVers to shed some light on the types of work being done from the road and hopefully give you some ideas on your own remote work journey. 

This is just one part of a 2-part series in remote work profiles – be on the lookout for the next article in June! 

Working Remotely As A Full-Time RVer: Advice From RVing Remote Workers 1
Melissa and Jesse

Melissa Azarva

Full-time RVer since 2018
Working remotely since 2018
Adventure Endeavor on YouTube and IG

What do you do for work?

I’ve been a Project Coordinator in the electrical connector and interconnects industry for the past 2.5 years. Prior to that I worked as a customer account specialist for the same company, so I’ve been there for 5 years. The role was never intended to be a work-from-home position but I transitioned it into a remote role on a temporary basis. 

Why did you start working remotely?

To travel. My office job being rather strict on their non-remote work policy was the biggest thing holding us back from traveling more. I loved all other aspects of the job at the time and didn’t want to give that up, so I began to push for a remote work trial period. 

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

(My job didn’t require any) specialized training. It did require a bachelor’s degree to get hired, though. After college I spoke with a friend who worked for the company about wanting a new job, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so she got me connected with her employer. I started in an entry level customer service role and worked my way up. 

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

Persistence, writing a formal proposal letter to the CEO, and help from a supportive manager. 

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

My biggest challenges were definitely not setting proper boundaries. This translated into overworking myself in an attempt prove to my employer that working remotely while traveling would not negatively impact my contribution to the company. We also moved way too often the first six months on the road, while I was simultaneously figuring out how to work remotely for the first time. All of these things led to massive burnout. I’ve since learned to set clear and realistic boundaries and expectations for myself and my working hours, to slow down the travel schedule, ensure enough downtime to recharge, and get plenty of exercise to combat the stress.

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

Start thinking about the skills and experience you currently have or could build on that you want to apply to a remote job. Search for remote jobs and see which of your skills crossover to possible positions and industries that interest you. Research what it’s actually like to work remotely  and set yourself up for success by following the popular recommendations. Above all, get on Linked In and use it often! Your existing network may have more resources than you realize! 😊

Working Remotely As A Full-Time RVer: Advice From RVing Remote Workers 2

Jay North

Full Time RVer for 3 years 
Working remotely for 5 years

What do you do for work?

Professional Services for a software company. It has always been remote. Previous work is the same software I use now, but I was a client.

Why did you start working remotely?

I don’t like going into work and sitting in a cubicle to do the same work I could do from home sitting in an office. Everything I did in the office I could do at home. 

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

Lots and lots of training. College was useless, it was all software specific training.  

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

Internet and (background) noise. Though with the new stay at home demands, more people are working from home and are more tolerant of the noise. Internet connection is very important, of course, so I have had to change locations to get decent internet.  

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

Be sure you can handle the extra strain to make sure you get your work done. 

Working Remotely As A Full-Time RVer: Advice From RVing Remote Workers 3

Jessica Tookey

Full Time RVing since September 2019
Working Remotely since August 2019
www.jessicatookey.com

What do you do for work?

I’m a full time artist and teacher. I left the brick and mortar school system in 2016 then in August 2019 I was hired to teach at iSucceed, a virtual public high school in Idaho. I taught for 18 years in a traditional school but eventually needed more freedom (plus, as an overachiever, I quickly burnt out trying to do it all). 

Why did you start working remotely?

I do not enjoy having someone else set my schedule. That was originally why I began working full time as an artist. No boss but myself. Then, when I decided I would be traveling for a while, online teaching became a great option to make sure I’d have a consistent check. (I don’t make the best boss 😁) Having a boss again has been a transition but well worth it. 

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

I have a K-12 Art Teaching degree. 

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

Consistent and uninterrupted internet connection. That is a challenge in some locations. I purchased a signal booster but have little “boost” from it. Then, of course, making sure I work regularly when I prefer to explore and go on adventures. I think that is the greatest challenge. I visited 20 states in my first 7 months on the road. 

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

Get yourself organized and create a schedule. In that schedule, be sure that you also give yourself time for things that bring you joy. This life is meant to be full of adventure… if you’re working non-stop, you will burn out. Schedule work, adventures, family time AND self care.  

Working Remotely As A Full-Time RVer: Advice From RVing Remote Workers 4

Andy Shears

Full-time RVing since 2018
Working remotely since 2017
www.resumelezlie.com

What do you do for work?

My partner Lezlie and I run a career services business that aims to help people with career clarity coaching, resume and cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, interview coaching, and job search strategies. Specifically, my job is to help Lezlie with business development, marketing, writing, editing, media production, content creation, and whatever else I can do to help us grow our client base. This position has always been remote. 

Why did you start working remotely?

I started working remotely because my partner (Lezlie) started a remote business in 2015, which gained enough traction for me to quit my job as a high school band director and begin working with her. 

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

I have no idea what I’m doing! My degree is in music education and I was a high school band director for several years before this opportunity came along. Since starting this new position, I have mostly learned new skills from deep internet research and from copying what other successful people do. It’s working well so far! 

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

Logistically, power and internet are our biggest concerns. Work/life balance is up there too. We work a lot and feel like we miss out on opportunities to be adventurous, or socialize. This is mainly why we started going to Xscapers Convergences; it helps force us to not work and go have fun. 

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

Remote work is basically trading one tether for another. You can be tied to an office, or tied to your laptop. The real difference is getting to change your surroundings whenever you want. There are definite trade-offs, and remote work isn’t for everyone, but I don’t think I could ever go back to a location-based position. 

Working Remotely As A Full-Time RVer: Advice From RVing Remote Workers 5

Lisa Brown

Full-time RVer for 6 years
Working remotely for 4 years
www.alwaysonliberty.com


What do you do for work?

Brand ambassador for several companies as well as freelance blogger and writer. 

Why did you start working remotely?

Supplement my husbands’s military pension. More importantly, to keep myself marketable and stay engaged. 

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

No special training. I’ve always enjoyed writing and marketing. An RV manufacturer reached out to me offering their lead blogger opportunity. Since, I’ve worked with RV component manufacturers and other companies by assisting in their marketing goals. 

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

WiFi consistency and work/life balance. 

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

I’d recommend they research all avenues of remote work opportunities. Take lots of courses to strengthen their talents and to stay current with technology. 

Working Remotely As A Full-Time RVer: Advice From RVing Remote Workers 6

Bryan Reid

Full-Time RVer since 2017
Working Remotely since 2017
www.3reidsontheroad.com

 

What do you do for work?

I have been a neurophysiology technologist (mainly doing sleep and EEG testing) since May of 1998.  A week ago I secured a (new) FT position with a different company that will still allow us to remain on the road full-time however I will be traveling to different labs throughout the country training people on new EEG and sleep testing systems. 

Why did you start working remotely?

Prior to my FT remote job I was the manager of a small outpatient testing lab associated with a private neurology practice.  At the same time I worked PRN for another company doing home ambulatory EEG (electroencephalogram) setups, usually testing for seizures.  That company had a FT remote position reviewing the EEGs open and I applied for and got that job. 

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

While there are specific programs for neurodiagnostic technology (NDT) I am among a small percentage that entered the field through my psychology degree.  While in college I focused on physiological and biological psychology. 

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

My biggest challenge is occasionally being in areas with either weak cellular signal or congested cellular towers.  We have multiple cellular plans, a directional antenna, and a booster to help when needed.  The only time we ever had to abandon a location was our first time at Quartzsite in January of 2019.  The towers were so overloaded I could only work either very late at night or very early in the morning, and even then it was difficult so we left. 

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

Try to think about what your current job entails and see if it would be possible to work remotely.  If not, think about any other skills or interests you have and then see what is out there that you could put those talents to use remotely.  There are many online resources for remote work. 

Working Remotely As A Full-Time RVer: Advice From RVing Remote Workers 7

Pete Mac

Full-time RVing for 2 years
Working remotely since early 2019

What do you do for work?

We have done 4 main working gigs so far – the first 3 earn revenue, the last one is a trade-for-site: (1) off-road motorcycle coach; (2) custom-molded ear-plug provider; (3) Amazon Camperforce part-time employee; (4) Work-camping campground Host.

Only #1 occurs in the same location, all the others are work that we can choose WHEN and WHERE to do, while we are still physically able to do so.

All these positions are new to us. 

Why did you start working remotely?

Both of us believe that if you’re still able to work, you should. There will come a time when one is physically unable to work, and the choice to work or not will no longer be an option. Working allows us to have meaning, defer drawing from investments, meet new people, and put fuel in the tank to allow us to travel, rinse & repeat. And unlike the carrier-building phase of life, the CHOICE to work or not is a fantastic luxury that should not be under-appreciated!

Although our careers were both IT-based, we’ve chosen to seek work that generally has a physical component to it as well – we enjoy the outdoors and want to maximize what this new lifestyle has to offer, as well as keeping physically fit where we can.

Finally, being able to choose WHERE to work is another huge benefit of this lifestyle that cannot be underestimated. 

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

Some of what we do arose from contacts we’d made previously over the years, and relied on those contacts understanding our skillsets and experience. The rest has come about from online searches into areas that we were interested in trying out or that suit our itinerary. 

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

Healthcare & High-speed Internet are two common challenges that we faced like everyone else. 

Strangely, our biggest challenge occurred during our first 12 months, which is how long it took to “de-stress” from our previous life. We would sleep lightly, then wake up and worry about what “has to be done” right now, and worry that we were dropping the ball somewhere; it took a long time to feel OK about not having the pressure of those responsibilities.

 

Trusting our new budget was also a leap of faith, but realizing that the level of downsize is entirely in our hands is very liberating.

We’ve also found that we have to make our plans a lot further in advance than when we lived in a house. Trying to plan for family visits as well as committing to work in a particular location, requires planning these events a year or more ahead. Depending on the work, the spontaneity of “working from the road” could be diluted. 

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

Don’t panic.

Inventory your abilities as a person – what can you bring to the table?

Be open to doing something completely different – work might actually be fun!

Expand your horizons – with an RV there is literally nothing in your way!

Do your research; join a like-minded group; ask questions.

Budget your lifestyle and plan your work to pay for it.

Relax, be happy with whatever decision you’ve made, and enjoy the freedom of being able to work on the road. 

Working Remotely As A Full-Time RVer: Advice From RVing Remote Workers 8

Amy Hicks

Full-time RVer since Jan 2019
Working remotely for 5 years
@BohemianHoneybees on IG

What do you do for work?

I am the Assistant Vice President of Technical Operations and Project Management, and have been with my current company for just over 5 years.  

Why did you start working remotely?

(I was maxed out for salary increases) for the year so (my employer) asked me what else he could give me. I answered: “Remote, I want to work remote.” I, along with my now team of 12, all work remotely. Although currently I am the only full time RVer.  

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

Over the years I have gained new knowledge. When I was twenty I went through a supervisor training that gave me my base understanding of large operations. Along the way I worked Helpdesk and technical customer service. Then I went into software. I started again as helpdesk but moved into software testing, then into a Scrum Master role. From there I moved into Product/Program Management. As far as special training, have a broad range of technical knowledge has really helped. The biggest skill I use everyday is actually just listening. 

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

By far good cell reception. I have worked from the truck numerous days to have good reception for important calls. Planning travel for work is semi hard, but mainly because I would rather not travel for work. The (saying) “this meeting could have been an email or video call” rings true. 

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

You have to take steps to transition and be productive. It is really easy to not take work seriously. If I had not worked remotely before going full time I think it would have made the transition that much harder. The first few weeks we had challenges and a learning curve, but I already had an understanding of what it would take to work effectively remotely. I think if I added that to our learning curve we would have crashed hard and possibly not be still traveling. 

As I have brought new people on who haven’t worked remotely, (I’ve taught them to) start a routine and pick two places to work. 

(For me), I get up every weekday, take a shower, start the hot water for coffee, and login.

If we need to be mobile or have bad reception, then it changes to: shower, leave in the truck and pick up coffee, and pick the parking lot (to work in).

I really can concentrate anywhere now if one of those two things happens.

The folks on my team who struggle don’t have a routine and then struggle getting deliverables out. Typically talking with them brings this information out, so I try to help them fix it. 

Working Remotely As A Full-Time RVer: Advice From RVing Remote Workers 9

Camille Attell

Full-time RVer since 2016
Working remotely since 2016
More Than A Wheelin’

What do you do for work?

I am the creator and owner of Remote Work School, where I teach and coach people how to find the right remote work options for them. That could be a traditional job, fully employed with benefits, freelancing, or starting a remote business. This year I’m starting a new program that teaches people how to make money while testing a digital offer like a course, coaching or consulting program, without spending a load of money or wasting any time.  

Why did you start working remotely?

When Bryce and I decided to do the RV life thing, I approached my employer about going remote full-time. They basically said no. Then I suggested a contract role and they said no to that too. It was the answer I needed to finally walk away from an 11 year career there and 20 years in traditional corporate jobs. I found my first remote job on Craigslist in one weekend about 3 months later.

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

I got my start in the 90s helping hundreds of people get off of welfare and back into the workforce. Then spent the next 20 years in corporate training and HR helping people advance in their career, get promotions and raises, and self-advocate in the workplace. I have my masters degree in counseling, as well. When I started RVing I picked up over 10 different freelance jobs—including a contract with Escapees! I combined all these experiences to create Remote Work School to help RVers navigate the unique journey of RV life and remote work. 

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

The biggest challenge is the balance of working and wanting to explore. In a small space there aren’t a lot of lines between work, play, and life. It all blends together and requires more discipline to stay focused. 

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

Always start with your own skills and interests. Don’t let the job market dictate your options. I know that’s hard right now. But most people underestimate what they can do, and if they focus on their own strengths first and look at how they can transfer their skill in new ways, they will see so many more opportunities.

I created a free 4-day email course on how to find remote work even if you don’t think you have the skills, click here to sign up. 

Working Remotely As A Full-Time RVer: Advice From RVing Remote Workers 10

Denise Kakas

Mostly full-time since 2017
Working remotely since 2015
@DSKakas on Instagram


What do you do for work?

I am an SEO/Local Search project manager working for a boutique SEO/PPC company. (SEO is Search Engine Optimization, PPC is Pay Per Click or online advertising). The position has always been remote.

Why did you start working remotely?

I lost my 30 year old career in 2015.  Downturn in the energy business.  I was like a fish out of water.  I was LOST.  I was fortunate that my partner/wife was looking to hire a detail oriented person.  I had NO marketing skills but I did have a willingness to learn. 

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

I spent 30 years on the oil and gas industry (analyzing geologic formations for O&G reservoirs), and when the industry took a downturn (2015) I had to re-tool myself to survive.  My wife owned her own agency, and was looking for a detailed, dependable person to help grow her business.  I learned by being mentored by her, online courses for certification, and going to major conferences, reading good and up to date information, and asking questions. 

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

Making sure we have good internet connectivity, setting my office schedule, and willingness to work and meet deadlines whenever necessary. 

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

What are your hobby and interests? Find the thing(s) that lights you up. Start from there. Ask questions, talk to people on the road, join FaceBook groups, take a Remote working course, etc. You can re-tool yourself at any age or anytime.  Believe in yourself!  Now is the perfect time to work remotely. 

 

Working Remotely As A Full-Time RVer: Advice From RVing Remote Workers 11
Chris and Cherie

Cherie Ve Ard

Full-time traveler since 2007
Working remotely since 1994
Technomadia.com and Mobileinternetinfo.com

 

What do you do for work?

Up until 2013, I was a software developer and running the business with my father. After he passed, my partner and I decided it was time to find our own thing. We consulted on RVillage and Xscapers as ‘launch specialists’, but we also found a question we were getting asked all of the time – how to get internet on the road. Since 2014, running the Mobile Internet Resource Center has been our full time professional pursuit. It’s always been remote, because we designed it that way – and we serve a community of remote workers.  

Why did you start working remotely?

I’ve always had wanderlust and have integrated in a lot of travel since childhood. So working remotely from home and being self-employed has helped to scratch my itch and kept a quality of life I enjoy. From working in PJs, taking beach walks for lunch to having a cat on my lap as I code. Taking it on the road was just a natural progression, and allowed me to dive into full time nomadism.  

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

We started sharing about our travels when we hit the road back in 2007, and many years later noticed we had carved ourselves out a niche in being a resource for mobile internet information. In many ways, all of our past work experience in mobile technology, software, content creation and training helped us be ‘trained’ up to offer our service. It’s a perfect meshing of combining our passions for a nomadic life, technology and helping others achieve their dreams.  

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

Mobile internet access was a big challenge back in the day, and still is. We learned so much in solving our own needs – that we now help others with that challenge.  These days, working from the road has few challenges other than the typical struggle for a work/life/travel balance.  

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

Find something that combines you current skillsets and passions – perhaps in new ways you haven’t thought about yet. When you’re working from always changing amazing locations, you’ll want your work to be something that inspires you enough to actually work and not be out exploring constantly. 

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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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