Traveling the countryside and living the dream? Yup, we know just how you feel. There’s just something about the call of nature, the “pull” that takes us out of our cubicles and off our couches to get out there and explore more. To see more, to be more.
And of course, we need to earn more. It’s not all sunsets and Hot Tubs.
So how do you do it? How do you make money and earn a living while on the road in an RV?
First, let’s split the pack in half. There are ways to “work at jobs” or the dollar-for-hour ways to earn $$$. And then there is building a business (online or off) to earn money around the clock. And the earning potential for both are rather different.
I personally prefer a mix of the both. I build online businesses, income streams, or “passive income” while also working several contract jobs for others. This way I can continue to invest in the business, feed my family, and remain location independent. #winning
If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.
– Mr. Warren Buffet (Net worth of +87B)
One last caveat before we jump into the big list of ideas to earn a living. These are NOT ways to save money while you spend it. Saving a few percent using apps or coupons is a different topic. An important one, but not included here. These are ideas for you on how to make money on the road and actually put it in your own pocket.
Ideas to Earn Money Working Jobs: Remote Work, Seasonal Work, and Onsite Work.
Freelance – Sites like Upwork make freelancing easy to connect with companies that need your skills. You are going to need some skills however, so list out what you are good at and what you enjoy doing and look for an intersection of the two.
Writing – Getting paid to write has never been easier. I don’t consider myself a professional level writer, but here I am doing it. Which means that there are plenty of others that need writers like you to do it for them as they just don’t want to. As I am writing this, I’m paying a contractor on HireWriters.com to write an article that I need for another website that I don’t have any knowledge in. He does, so I am paying him to write it.
Consulting Service – You don’t need an MBA or to be hired in at McKinsey and Co. to run a consulting service. You do need clients to pay your for your time and your preference on attracting those clients is how you setup your lead-gen system. Or setup a profile on Clarity.fm and get paid by the minute for your advice.
There are many different industries inside the consulting space. Dating, Business, Life Coaching, Health, Wealth Planning, Marketing, Sales, and more.
Seasonal Work – Head out to areas that have crops coming into season and you’ll be able to find where is hiring fast. Think oranges in the south, apples in the midwest, and weed in California.
Telecommute – Probably the most talked about option to go location independent online. Working for the company that is currently paying you for your time is an option if the work you are doing can be completed off-site. If not, you’re out of luck on this one. If so, talking your boss into it will be a lot of fun. Here are a few pointers on how to do it, successfully.
Workcamper – A phrased most likely coined by the first person to pitch a campground to get paid to help out. Taking out the trash, cleaning restrooms, or oiling up the ladies at the pool. Go ahead and see if you can help out where you are staying in exchange for your hookups and tiny slip of land. And check Workamper.com and others to see about planning ahead and scheduling your next destination where you know that you can make a deal.
In addition, HarvestHosts connects campers with Wineries, Farms, Breweries, and other unique locations that you can park your rig at. Annual fees are less than $100/yr to connect with over 700 amazing locations spread across the US.
Sales: RV Insurance – You most likely know more about your RV (at least after a few years) than anyone just getting started. What will break, how much it’s going to cost – and what happens when you get in an accident. Why not help others out with deciding on which insurance plan to choose? No one likes a pushy salesman, not even car salesmen. So don’t start your pitch during a game of bags with your neighbors.
Do connect with others during networking events, brunches, and other gatherings that are meant to get everyone together for this sort of thing. Don’t see one on the schedule? Pitch the owner to put a lunch together in exchange for your expertise.
Book-Keeping – I confess, I hate keeping my books in order so I pay someone else to do it. Someone that I don’t meet in person, or even know where they do their thing at. Which makes this a great gig for a detail oriented person that can stay organized and keep the numbers in order. Find gigs at other cleric-type work at Flexjobs.com or Shiftgig
Uber XL – Everyone has probably heard of a little company called Uber by now. They are the largest ride-sharing company that doesn’t own a fleet of vehicles. If you can haul up to 6 people in your SUV or other vehicle, you can join the UberXL side and drive groups of people around.
Dog Sitter – What a wonderful gig for someone that loves dogs. I know I do! And with millions of animal lovers that need someone to watch their little 4-legged friends at times, you can help out and make a few dollar bills. The Rover App makes this job easy to connect with families that need their dog’s watched in different areas.
Secret Shopping – Like shopping or Love shopping? Stores always need to get a look from the inside on how their employees are treating their customers. While you might not make as much as the Undercover Boss, you can still make some money while doing what you like to do. Check SecretShopper for more info.
Data Entry Clerk – AI still hasn’t dominated this industry yet. Companies are always in need of people – human beings – to manually enter all sorts of data that cannot be read by a machine. Head to Snagajob to browse jobs for this.
Virtual Assistant – You can find an assistant to do just about anything. And anything that needs to be done online, you can be a virtual assistant for someone else’s business. Jobs are at Remote.co
Amazon Camperforce – Yup, Amazon hires Campers to work in their distribution centers. The hours are long and intense, but they’ll cover your camping costs. You’ll need to plan ahead as most of their DC’s staff up full-time positions. Check out Amazon Camperforce for opportunities.
Proofread/ Edit books – Got a good eye for grammar? (Don’t send me emails about mine, I know) You can go ahead and get work proofreading and editing books for other writers that need to polish up their work. These 25 companies hire home-based or remote working proofreaders and editors.
Work on Fiverr – Fiverr started out as a place to get things done for $5. Lately, it seem like the cost of the gigs are a bit more than that. Would be difficult to change the name of the website to “fifteenrr” or “twentyrr.” You can post your gigs for virtually all kinds of work from voice-overs, product reviews, graphic design, and a host of others.
Transcription Service – Turn audio in text while traveling the countryside. Just login to one of many services and start transcribing the audio/video they provide and you are done. Money in the bank, gas in the tank. Check out Transcribeme
Test Websites – User Testing. The functionality of companies websites are important to them. And we live in a time where in-house focus groups and over-the-shoulder watching you use it in person isn’t necessary. At UserTesting.com – you can get paid to speak your thoughts about you own experience with them.
Manage AirBNB Properties – Not all jobs require you to be in front of a computer in your RV. Managing AirBnB properties for people that are not in the area can make you some traveling money. There are a bunch of services that you can get hired for this, or buy a few and travel back and forth managing them along the way.
Work at National Parks – Parks need your help keeping them clean and improving trails and such. Most parks run on very limited staff and smaller donation money and hours from their communities. Step in and help out.
Sell Plasma – Give a google on “sell plasma near me” at your next stop. While you can’t do this everyday, you can on busy days or “in between-jobs.”
Task Rabbit – Good at putting together Ikea furniture or wiring up the surround sound system. Good for you. Not everyone has a son-in-law that they can make do this sort of one-off chores when they are around for Xmas. TaskRabbit connects people that can do these sorts of things with the people that need them done.
Trim Marijuana in CA – Got a green thumb? These crops are always in season if you head way out west. I’m not telling you to load up the RV and head to states were it is legal to sell, you know – cause I can’t. Just sayin. The Cannabizteam has work for you (and they don’t even cary around machine guns).
Yoga Instructor – Have a passion for bending and stretching your body in ways most campers haven’t seen in years? You might find yourself teaching Yoga at your next stop. Of course the local gyms always love a good guest instructor too, and you can teach one-to-one online. Check out YogaTrade.
Pet Sitting – One of the easiest ways to make some money, just taking care of someones else’s dog, cat, or pot-belly pig. This job skill level doesn’t pay a whole lot, but you can multi-task on other things while you are doing it. Check out Rover to find people that need their pet watched.
Deliver Packages – Hop on you bike and get some exercise delivery packages for Amazon Flex or Doordash. You don’t have to deliver them by bicycle – I just can’t help to think of a hippie with a man-bun on a bike when I write about package delivery opportunities to make money.
Deliver Pets – You can ship chickens in the mail, but you can’t ship a Boxer? People need their pets transported from location A to location B. And if your trip matches up, why not take on a pet transportation gig or tow? Check out Uship or Roadie
Massage Therapy – Hang a sign out front and see what happens? You may need to give out a few freebies to the campground manager and the locals to get them talking. Once they start though, they just can’t stop.
RV Technician – When your RV breaks down who do you call? I know most people think of the dealer that they purchased it first, and then the local mechanic second. How about calling you instead? Good service repair techs are hard to come by, so be a good one and get your card on the boards of everywhere you stay. Offer free checkups for a few people to get the referral engine moving in your favor.
Professional Organizer – Yes, you read that right. The are people that do not want to organize their own closets, basements, or any other cluttered space that has gotten out of hand. You mobile is no different, and you can get paid to organize peoples RV’s.
Email Marketing Consultant – Split test and optimize companies backend email campaigns for profit. Get your first few clients results and post your gig on Upwork to attract more. Here is more on how to get started.
Customer Service – A little smooth talking and a comfy set of headphones can get your started and making some money as a customer service representative for companies that outsource this. Remote.co is your place to find some work.
Telemarketing – If you have a gift of gab (talking to whomever all the time), then you might have found your calling as a telemarketer. Jobs range from booking appointments to debt collection. Find jobs at Upwork
Community Moderator – Business owners that outsource their social media need good help when it comes to moderating Forums or FB groups. Join in on the conversation and be helpful. Show your passion for whichever topic that you are in a group to learn more about and you could land yourself a gig as a community moderator.
Social Media Expert – And by expert, I mean someone that knows the channel better than others. The language, the rules, and the secrets to getting visibility in a crowded atmosphere. If you have personally used a platform like Pinterest, Instagram, or LinkedIn for more than 1 year – you are most likely an expert at it. Package up your skillset and make some money with it.
Temp Work for Agency – Have a Google on “Temp Agency in CITY/STATE” and call or email the top 3. You’ll be in the door that week, and have a list of opportunities of local business that need temporary help. These are usually un-skilled labor, so don’t expect to start off at +$20/hr here. However, leveraging an agency that makes it their job to find companies that need help is an easy way to find work quickly. If you plan ahead, you’ll know what area you will be in and for how long so you can get a jump start on this one before getting to the area.
Inbox Dollars – Shopping, taking surveys, and watching videos online can earn you some cash using InboxDollars. Brands and companies need feedback, and this is how they get it – from you.
Tutoring – Helping children learn new skills or get caught up to their peers can almost make you feel like not taking any money for it. Almost. Here are 10 companies that you can work for Tutoring online from anywhere.
Sell Cannabis in Legal States or Canada – Good at sales? Well here is an industry that good use your skills. Do your homework and know the laws of the states that you operate in. That is all.
House Sitter or Caretaker – Be House-Sitter for a friend, family member, or a TrustedHouseSitters. Rent out your RV to another couple on RVshare at the same time and go drive some Uber Miles. You’ll be counting money all the way to your next vacation destination.
Online Poker – You’ve got an internet connection and know how to play? Start hustling the digital tables and stack some chips. Just don’t loose the food budget doing it.
Modeling – This word always gets a bad rap out of the gate. Did you know that 85% of all models have never been on an actual runway? Me neither, I just made that up. Fashion Models are what most people think about first. But the majority models are needed for product photo shoots, extras, lifestyle photography, or from home and don’t need to be put through some beauty contest in front of a panel of judges.
Surveys – Taking Online Surveys won’t make you a full months worth of campground fees, but it can supplement other income streams well. Companies want and need your opinion and will pay you for your time to get it. See Swagbucks
Productized Services – When you are in the service industry doing dollar for hour work there isn’t much wiggle room to expand beyond that unless you just want to work more hours. The last few years online have emerged a trend called a “productized service.” Simply put, turning your services into products and selling them that way. It bridges the gap between traditional per-hour services and the end-result someone really wants.
Examples: Copywriters sell by the page. Email Marketers sell by the email. Writers sell by the Article. Or packages that contain multiples of these. Here’s a big list of ideas.The main benefits to this is that the client gets to see what the deliverable is, and that you can hire a team to do the work that you are selling.
Ways to Earn Money Passively by Building a Business: Affiliate, Investing, and Rentals.
Sponsorships. – Having companies “sponsor” sounds kind of like a dream come true right? I know I have always thought that it was for movie stars and actors. But as we move into the Native Advertising world, more and more companies need to keep an edge to stay out front. This means looking for creative ways to keep their name if front of their target consumer.
How do you and I get Sponsored then? Show companies and brands exactly how you can get them in front of their target customer. Simple right? Use previous work like videos and articles to show them your influence.
Another way is to be able to show real-world data that you have an audience (like a FB group or blog) and simply put up a Contact Us for Advertising Page. Let companies looking for placements find you, and you decide who is worth working with and who doesn’t match your values. Brands worth working with have small teams of people looking for opportunities like these.
Affiliate Marketing – One of my favorite ways to build multiple income streams right here. While the barrier to entry is low, the competition is high. Basically, recommending product and services to other people in exchange for a commission of the sale. Simple model, but tough to implement without being scammy. Magiclinks is a beginner friendly platform to get started here.
Have a competitive edge when entering into this business and only recommend products/services to others that you are confident about. If you wouldn’t recommend stuff to your mom, then don’t do it to other people that you may have just met.
Online Courses – Putting together a course on a specific topic that you know a lot about is a great way to earn money for traveling. It’s a lot of work up front and not everyone has skills or passions that others are willing to pay for. Chances are that you do, and you are passionate about those hobbies. Write them in your free time and make money while you drive to your next site. Check out Skillshare, Teachable and Udemy for courses ideas and inspiration and start putting together your own.
Books – KDP or Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon is a great tool to publish books on topics that you enjoy writing about. Fiction, Non-fiction, or any topic that you want to write on can be made into a book and sold. The upfront cost is very low and you don’t need a traditional publisher to get started.
Invest in Real Estate – Buying rental properties like single-family homes and apartment buildings will bring you in a nice income if setup right. Many a millionaire has been made through the power of real estate. But this is now and we like to get started with all that upfront work and cost. Enter Fundrise. You can help others with all the front-loaded work by investing in their projects and build a portfolio of assets all over the country.
Sell your stuff on Letgo – When you are heading out in an RV, chances are you’ll be slimming down on all that “stuff” you thought you needed at some point down to the essentials. Sell it on Letgo and turn it back into the gas money to get you moving again. For ongoing income, you can turn this into a “productized service” and offer to sell other peoples stuff for them in exchange for a percentage of the sale. Or find great deals on stuff and sell it in person. Both work well.
Rent out Your Camper for a night on RVshare – Rent out my camper? Where am I going to stay then huh? Here’s the thing, you’re not really going to be in your trailer for 365 days out of the year are you? You stay with family, with friends, or at the cottage. You book a cruise and fly to other places that you can’t get to on 4 wheels. I know you do. Why not pay for those “extra fun trips” by letting someone else stay in your home on wheels for the weekend or longer. RVshare is the AirBnB for RV’s and Campers. Speaking of which, go stay in an AirBnB in some exotic location for once. You know you have earned it.
Rent out your Car or Truck – Planning on staying in one stop for a while? If your setup is a Truck & Trailer, you can rent out your vehicle on a peer-to-peer app Getaround. Or tow around a small car with your gigantic school bus RV and rent that one out when you don’t need it. Check with your accountant for the massive tax savings possibilities doing this too.
Photography – Selling photos online is another very crowded space that you can jump into. I’d recommend specializing the types of photos that you are taking and make a little spot for yourself to be known. You’re traveling the country-side and taking pictures anyways though. Just get better at it and sell your work. Checkout the FOAP app
Start a Website – There are a lot of ways to get a website online in a matter of an afternoon. Monetizing that website also has a lot of categories in it and so much opportunity it hard to pick where to start. Go have a google on it.
Sell on FBA -Fulfillment by Amazon is a business that can be operated from anywhere making it a good fit for the RV family on the move. Create or white-label a product and let Amazon handle the distribution, customer service, and order fulfillment for you. Arbitraging is another low-cost upfront way of getting your feet wet in this space. Check out TheSellingFamily for more on this topic.
Amazon Merch – The next time you and your friends are sitting around getting drunk at the campfire, start to take down some ideas for your own T-shirt Designs. Print-on-Demand (POD) is a popular way to create designs for T-shirts and sell them online without buying them in bulk. They are printed after someone makes a purchase one at a time. It has gotten so popular in the last several years that Amazon created their own program called Merch. Expect it to expand beyond just T-shirts to other apparel and swag in the near future.
Flip on Ebay – Buy and sell stuff for a profit on Ebay – or offer to sell other peoples things that don’t want to take the time to do it themselves. I’ve seen physical brick-and-mortar locations that do this as a full business and there is no reason that you can’t do it while traveling too. You can send the stuff your purchase to a 3rd-party logistics company (3PL) to pack and ship it out for you, or partner with someone with a receiving address.
Be a Youtuber – Interesting, funny, or helpful? Head over to Youtube and start your own channel. You don’t need a professional setup or even a pretty smile to get started creating video content. It does take a lot of bandwidth, so be sure to not to max out your data package and upload in areas that support it. Here’s how to Start a Youtube Channel.
Sell on Etsy or Amazon Handmade – I’m not crafty, but I know plenty who are. Selling handmade goods on Etsy (or now Amazon Handmade) to others that share your passion for Horses, Motorcycles, All Things Shiny, and whatever else you can come up with is easy to make some money at. Look for a combination of what you like to make, and what others are already buying/selling and jump on it.
Rent your House Out – Before you sell it all and hit the road, you might consider keeping your house and renting it out on AirBnB. Some locations in high demand areas can ring in 5 times the mortgage cost. You can find someone to manage it for you or travel back and forth to other properties you buy along the road.
Be a Travel Blogger – Going to exotic destinations with bikinis and margarita’s? You don’t have to to be a travel blogger. What you do need is a place online to collect your experiences like a website and be able to write about the places that you have been to in a way that others find interesting. That’s it really, but this is also a crowded business model as the barrier to entry is rather low.
Start a Drop-shipping Store – Sell stuff directly from the manufacturer and not hold any inventory with this business. You’ll need a storefront (typically Shopify) and a relationship with a manufacturer that will let you see their goods for them, and they will ship them. Here’s how to setup a Dropshipping business.
Be an Instagram Influencer – Just like modeling, you don’t need to have abs of steel or a cute butt. You need to be open, creative, and willing to live most of your life online in a way that your audience finds interesting. Partnering with brands and companies that will pay you to reach that audience is how you make this into a profitable business model. Check Influence.co for ideas on how to get started.
Patreon – When all else fails, just ask people to give you money (just kidding). Artists and creative types like to stay in their zone of genius and not on the business side of the equation. For this, Patreon has made it easy for their audiences to donate or subscribe to that content for a monthly retainer. You can do the same.
Paid FB Groups – Facebook recently allowed closed groups to become paid memberships. If you have an audience that would pay you to help them with their problems, simply start a FB Group and charge for entry. There are 100’s of membership platforms online, but everyone is already on Facebook anyways right?
Pinterest Pro – Know your way around the image sharing site Pinterest? I bet you do! With a lot of eyeballs on the content on the platform, business want to leverage the channel to grow. And most business can create some type of visual assets to post on Pinterest, but can they do it well? Offer your expertise in the form of Consulting or Management of their brand on Pinterest for a monthly fee. The CrazyFamilyAdventure does this as one of their multiple income streams that bring in over 6-figures a year while on the road.
Email Marketer – If you are great at persuading others to see your point of view, then a business as an email marketing expert will be a good fit for you. Writing great copy is a requirement, and offering to setup full campaigns for small to midsize business will turn over a nice profit.
Facebook Launchpad – Creators get another business model out of facebook with the use of Launchpad and also another channel online to host your content in addition to youtube. You’ll have to be relatively good with video and need the bandwidth to upload, but this can pay for your gas and your snacks at the next stop.
Kickstarter – Have an idea to make a great product? Crowdfunding is pretty mainstream at this point and a perfectly acceptable method to test out the market for a new product. Or just a better version of an existing product too. What’s also interesting about this is that there are business out there surrounding the entire product-launch model. Designing, marketing, and helping with the actual launch cycle. You can make a nice living supporting others launching their products, or repeatably launching your own. See Kickstarter for a lot of ideas on how to do this.
Podcaster – Talking with other people on a topic that you care about will make you a good fit for a business in podcasting. Sponsors will pay to be in front of your audience that you have grown over time by entertaining, educating, or both. JLD started a podcast by asking 5 simple questions to every guest on his EoFire podcast and grew it to +$100,000/mth. He now teaches others how to do it in every niche out there at PodcastersParadise.
Copywriter – The art and science behind the written word that moves another human being into action. This is the main requirement to be a great copywriter and get paid well to do it for other people. If you can write and get a response to it, you should start your own business in Copywriting.
Summing it up (Pun intended)
Did you keep count on all those ideas on how to make money on the road and earn a living while traveling?
I did – 106.
And I’ll be updating this as the world evolves and new opportunities present themselves to make some $$$$.
Show me the Money.
Feel free to send in your own ways to make some money too – would love to add them here (or there or anywhere!)