Note – One of the most frequent questions I get is about ways to make money on the road. Here is a blog I wrote with some ideas a few years ago that still applies today.
Several years ago I wrote a book called Work Your Way Across The USA, which is still available in print or as an e-book from Amazon. I’ve also presented seminars on working on the road at RV rallies across the country ever since we started our career as working fulltime RVers.
I’ve always said that there are many ways to make money on the road that are far better than mowing grass or cleaning restrooms in an RV park. Some excellent opportunities can be found in Workamper News, by reading the different Internet forums for RVers, and by talking to your fellow travelers. Here are 10 you may not have thought of:
Gate guard – We know many RVers who are making very good money as gate guards at oil and natural gas wells across the country. The gate guards are positioned at entry gates to wells and drilling sites and are responsible for checking in and out all vehicles coming and going. This is a 24-hour a day job, and usually couples divide the duties and shifts. Most companies who hire gate guards provide a generator, fresh water, and an external waste tank or honey wagon service. Couples can earn $125 a day and up, depending on the company, where their gate is located, and how busy it is. Drawbacks to this job include often being stationed far away from the nearest WalMart or grocery store, and that somebody has to be at the gate at all times so there are no opportunities to go exploring the area together. A couple of popular gate guard blogs are Our RV Adventures and Fork In The Road.
Gas line survey – If you enjoy being outside and like getting a lot of exercise, gas line survey may be just the right opportunity for you. In this job, you are paid to use a sniffer device and follow mapped out routes checking buried gas lines in cities and small towns. The pay can be very good, and many times couples can work together, one walking with the sniffer and the other driving the car with supplies used to mark suspected leaks. Here is a thread on the Escapees forum with lots of information on gas line survey work: Gas Line Survey.
Card dealer – We have met two or three fulltimers who spend part of the season dealing cards at casinos in Laughlin, Las Vegas, and Reno, Nevada. There are schools that will teach you how to deal cards, and though there are a few hoops to jump through to get your dealer’s license, the folks we know who’ve done this enjoy the work and say the tips can be very good.
eBay sales – Your chances of finding a hidden treasure that you can buy at a yard sale for a quarter and sell for a thousand dollars on eBay are pretty slim, but it does happen! I used to sell a lot of things on eBay for a friend of mine who had a natural talent for finding those hidden gems, and he made some serious money at it. However, more money can be made on a steadier basis by opening an eBay store or specializing in one type of product. A lady who was in my class on working on the road at Life on Wheels several years ago has built up a very nice business buying closeout designer clothing in pallet size lots at the end of the season. She has them shipped to her daughter’s house, and lists and runs the auctions from the road, and her daughter/partner handles the shipping duties from her home. The last time we saw them, she and her husband were driving a new diesel pusher that her eBay earnings were paying for.
Dude ranch wrangler – We had a friend who loved horses, and for several seasons worked at a dude ranch in South Dakota as a horse wrangler. The job gave her the opportunity to spend time around horses, meet a lot of nice people, and make money at the same time.
Selling fireworks – Every year Workamper News carries ads for companies looking for people to man firework stands for the Independence Day holiday. We know several fulltimers who do this, and they tell me that while the work is hard, it is not uncommon to make $5,000 or more in a ten day sales period. Similar opportunities are also available selling pumpkins before Thanksgiving and Christmas trees in December.
E-book publishing – The technology that created e-books and e-book readers has revolutionized the publishing industry. While there are a handful of authors who are making a fortune self-publishing their own e-books on sites like Amazon, there are many more who, while not getting rich, are making respectable amounts of money every month. Is there a book inside you?
Editor/proofreader – You don’t have to be a writer to make money in the e-book revolution. The biggest problem that most self published e-books have is poor editing and proofing. And the biggest problem that many of the authors I know have is finding someone to do this chore for them. While there are some companies offering these services to self-published authors, many times their fees are outlandish or they are scams trying to push some sort of get rich quick scheme. Anybody with good English skills and eye for detail could easily make a few hundred bucks a month as an editor/proofreader.
Book cover design – Another opportunity created by the e-book revolution is perfect for anybody with a flair for design and a little bit of graphics knowledge. With any of several relatively inexpensive computer programs, you can create a nice e-book cover in under an hour, and authors are paying anywhere from $25-$100 per cover. Having a digital camera and building up a stock of different types of photos to incorporate into the covers is a big help.
Shooting range attendant – If you like guns and the shooting sports, you might be surprised to find that both public and private shooting ranges across the country often employ RVers to check in shooters, maintain the range, and sometimes serve as safety officers or range masters. Ranges that use RVers usually provide a full hookup site, and pay for all hours worked.
Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an RV camping journal donated by Barbara House. Barbara makes several variations of these, and they all have pages where you can list the date, weather, where you traveled to and from that day, beginning and ending mileage, campground information including amenities at RV sites, a place for a campground rating, room to record activities, people met along the way, reminders of places to see and things to do the next time you’re in the area, and a page for notes for each day. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – You learn a lot about people when they don’t get what they want.