The Business of Work Camping: The five things we did wrong – Part 2

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By Sam Suva
Hello and welcome to Part 2 of The Business of Work Camping – The five things we did wrong. Part 1 is available HERE. Please consider these mistakes we have made and I hope they help you in your work camping life. Please read through to the end as this is my final article for RV Travel.

Too much job!
When the job description grows, an experienced work camper can usually take on additional tasks. When the tasks grow into several positions, the job has become too much! Usually it’s activities, reservations, ordering stock for the store and then “Why aren’t the sites filled up?!”! Being the scapegoat for every issue in the park is demeaning but, of course, the work camper is not to blame. That is when it’s time to consider if the compensation is enough for the additional duties.


Lesson? When it is no longer about the lifestyle and the desire to go to work fades to a dread, it’s time to make plans to hit the road. The tasks are the same, so when the owner or manager melts down, it’s them, not us. We cannot control all of those who make a reservation, running out of sparklers, or who attends a function all of the time, because the owner can’t either. Too much job is not about compensation.

Time to leave
When the owner or manager constantly disparages our work, it’s time to leave. We had a situation like that where the owner got in trouble with a small group of campers who were his “friends” and they would be the most-often complained about. When we confronted them, we didn’t know about the “special relationship.” The owner got heat from the campers and began to micro-manage and critique our work. Finally, the demands were not possible to accomplish and we left.

Lesson?  We should have followed the “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me” principle. Once we became aware that the owner was intentionally undermining the rules for his “friends,” we needed to hit the road.

I hope these real life struggles we had help you to make wiser decisions, perhaps head off the stress and hurt we experienced, and bring you peace and calm on your full-time journey.

See you down the road,

Sam

PS. I would like to personally thank Chuck, Diane and the crew at RV Travel for giving a new writer an opportunity to share his experiences in the full-time, work camping field. I admire the hard work and dedication they have displayed here and hope that they receive the support they need to keep bringing timely, industry-specific information to us. Although these work camping articles will no longer be here each week, you can find more posts on living the work camping life, and more, on my blog, LiveCampWORX. And please feel free to email me at samsuvarv@gmail.com for any questions you may have.

Goodbye.

Sam Suva and his wife are work campers. They began work camping more than 10 years ago and have spent a lot of time working as they traveled. We at RVtravel.com wish Sam and Suzi well in their RVing and work camping adventures.

Read previous articles from Sam Suva about Work Camping.

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jillie

All I can say is this. When I retire and the boss man says you have to do this this and this? I say you hired me for this and that is all I am doing. Otherwise I hook up and hit the road jack. Because quite frankly the job I am doing now? Sucks worse then what they expect you to do currently.

Bob Godfrey

Well Sam, I hate to see you go. I have enjoyed learning about your work experiences. I certainly wish you well in your continued RV lifestyle. Your articles will be missed. Thank you.

Samuel White

We decided to try workamping this fall, so we saw an add for a short stint at the Yellowstone Grizzly RV park in West Yellowstone Montana. We have put in 4 of the 5 weeks we committed to and I have to say they have been great. the park has always been kept spotlessly clean and up-to-date so the maintenance as been easy. Management has been fair and easy to work with, employee living conditions are modern and clean. If you want to be near Yellowstone NP give them a try.

19KC69

I guess you could say we were the lucky ones. Our first work camping experience was great, working with the University of Florida. We’ve done 4 total. We worked for the Vermont State Park system and the Washington State Park system. Both of these were great. Our last experience was “ok”. We worked for a mom and pop RV park. We had talked to the manager well in advance and we were promised specific days. When we arrived, we met with the owner who said the manager was no longer working, she had cancer. He wouldn’t give us the days we requested. We should have left. We stayed on and were disappointed that 95% of the sites were residents. This was not a “happy camper” RV park, which is what we wanted. We were basically landlords. Though this experience wasn’t horrible, we now know to ask how many sites are for full time residents. Happy work camping!