By Keith Ward
Fall is coming on quick, and that means cooling temperatures, changing leaves, and a strange migration throughout the land – not birds going south for the winter, but RVers heading to campgrounds to become part of the seasonal Amazon CamperForce.
Amazon CamperForce is a small army of folks that makes some money working in gigantic Amazon warehouses to handle the demands of Christmas shopping madness. The jobs start in September and October, and end just before Christmas.
For 2020, Amazon CamperForce is offered in eight states, mostly clustered on the West Coast and East Coast, along with Kentucky and Tennessee – all sites near Amazon warehouses.
The job pays at least $15/hour, along with bonuses ($0.50 per hour worked, and $1.00 per hour for overtime worked) once the assignment ends. One RV-specific advantage is that Amazon will also pay your campsite fee, up to $550 per month (you pay any difference if the campsite costs more than that). So the money, when including the fee for the campsite (which Amazon pays directly to the campground), isn’t half-bad for those needing some fast cash.
Amazon CamperForce drawbacks
The downsides? Yeah, there are numerous negatives. One is that the work hours are very long, and the work is monotonous. Workers are on their feet for 10 hours or more, walking up to 12 miles per shift on concrete floors. Get some comfy shoes.
Given the work environment, the risk of injury is not insignificant. The repetitive motions and constant turning, stretching, bending over, and reaching can be hard on anyone’s body, much less the older workers who are the core of the CamperForce army.
You also don’t get to pick the hours you work. Amazon assigns your shifts. If you’re not a morning person and you get stuck on the early shift, you may quickly come to hate the job.
You also have a very limited number of campgrounds to choose from. It’s got to be an Amazon-approved campground if you want them to cover the campground fees.
All this means that if you value your freedom to come and go where and when you like with your RV, think very carefully about signing up for CamperForce work. For those few months, Amazon pretty much owns your life.
It’s also worth noting that Amazon has changed the rules for CamperForce over the years, and they usually result in fewer benefits and perks, according to this report.
Still, if you know what you’re getting into ahead of time and you really, REALLY need a cash infusion, CamperForce may be something to consider. To learn more and apply, go here.
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Keith is a journalist with more than 30 years of writing and editing experience. He was bitten by the RV bug in 2020, and takes delivery of his very own rig in May 2021. In addition to non-fiction, he also writes fiction, including fantasy, thriller, and drama. Find his books at https://www.amazon.com/Keith-Ward/e/B00HU64HAG.