We began looking at RVs online and joining Facebook groups during the summer of 2018. As a result, we began seeing ads for Workamper Rendezvous – a conference for RVers and those who want to be.
Before these ads we’d never heard of workamping and had no idea what it is. Initial research seemed to indicate that it was the idea of living and working from your RV. This was exactly what we wanted to do. Looking at the conference it looked like it would cover a lot of RV Newbie material that could be helpful to us. So, since we like roadtrips we decided to take a week and head over to Heber Springs, Arkansas and see what Workamper Rendezvous was all about.
The event runs for five days and covers quite a variety of topics. We learned a lot. Yes, we likely could have learned most of it on our own through lots of research, but sometimes it’s nice to be fed from a firehose.
1 . There’s no wrong way to RV
One idea that was repeated over and over (like many times a day) throughout the event was the idea of understanding your WHY. Why do you want to live this lifestyle? It’s not about your why being right or wrong, just a matter of understanding your reasons as knowing your reasons will help guide you on your journey.
To be honest by
Thursday Tuesday we were tired of the question. But, it was fun to hear the responses and see that we are all unique. It doesn’t matter, why you want to live the RV lifestyle, what matters is that there is no wrong reason.
2 . The perfect rig doesn’t exist.
Everyone has an idea of their perfect rig. We look at hundreds before we buy and think we’ve got it figured out. But, rarely does anyone find that there isn’t something they would change.
We have taken this advice to heart as we’ve continued our search. As a result we made two decisions about our first purchase. First, we would not buy new. Second, we expect that we’ll probably want to change to a different rig within two years, as we learn what works and what doesn’t work.
Even as we’ve searched, our wants and needs have changed. When we first began we were sure we were going to look for a toy hauler so that we could use that space as our office. However, over the course of the year since we began we’ve adjusted our lifestyle and have now decided we’d prefer to just have our office space merged with the living space.
Give us another year, and that will probably change again. Just check out our buying journey to see just how many times our plan has changed.
3 . The importance of getting an inspection
Your RV is going to be your home, and your wouldn’t buy a home without a home inspection (well, some would – but as an ex Realtor I certainly wouldn’t nor would I recommend it).
The National RV Inspectors Association trains and certifies RV inspectors across the country. As a buyer, you can use their website to find a certified inspector in your area (or in the area where the RV happens to be). There are only a few hundred inspectors certified through the NRVIA so it may be tough to find an inspector in some areas. But, some of the inspectors do travel as well.
I’ve even read since attending that it’s not a bad idea to get an inspection on new units as many things are often missed during pre-delivery inspections. An inspection by a qualified third-party professional could make the difference in leaving with an RV in full working order vs getting 100 miles down the road to discover that your refrigerator doesn’t work.
4 . Cooking is different in an RV
Thanks to a session aptly entitled “MY RV Kitchen” we learned a lot about the differences in RV kitchens. From basics like understanding how a microwave / convection oven combo works, to the benefits of an induction cooktop.
We also learned several key tips on how to keep your RV fridge cool.
– Keep your RV level
– put a fan inside your fridge to help air circulate
– avoid putting large items (that might block airflow) on the top near the cooling element
– put a thermometer in the fridge to help keep an eye on the temperature
5 . The difference between a workamper and an RV entrepreneur
There is a lot of overlap between a workamper and an RV entrepreneur but we came away from the Workamper Rendezvous with the strong feeling that they are not the same.
The definition given for a workamper is an “adventurous individual, couple, or family who has chosen a wonderful lifestyle that combines ANY kind of part-time or full-time work with RV camping.”
However, the feeling we got from attending the event is that workamping is much more about working in exchange for a camping site (and sometimes money as well), going where the work is. Most workampers work at RV parks, theme parks, state parks, or companies that require seasonal workers (like Amazon).
If you want to learn more about workamping, take a look at Workamper News, they are the primary source for finding workamper jobs across the country.
An RV Entrepreneur is someone who has a business that they own and run from their RV. There were definitely people at the Workamper Rendezvous who fall into this segment, but most of them were presenting.
While the idea of workamping has its appeal and may be something we try at some point. At this point, we fit more in the RV entrepreneur bucket. We will be carrying existing businesses with us and/or starting new ones.
There were a lot more things we learned at Workamper Rendezvous and if you are new to the RV lifestyle or curious about the idea of workamping and how you can potentially get paid to spend time in places you want to go, it’s definitely worth checking out.
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