By Sam Suva
Yes, we have arrived at the end of our list of work camping perks. Welcome to the finish line! Now you can look forward to a better negotiating position for your next gig! Did you miss Parts 1 through 3? Please look down at the suggested articles and find those on Getting the perks, or use these links: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Let’s continue.
Yep, there are a few places where they still have arcades with redemption games. Kids, grandkids or kids-at-heart enjoy time suspending reality for a test of skill and a shot at prizes! Perhaps a one-time discount, or even a “sweep up the place when you are done with it” for a few rounds of pinball or the pool table could be added to the compensation to sweeten the pot? Keep the tickets and add them up for the grands or redeem them for that special treat or toy. Remember to keep one for the memories.
Will your duties take you away from the campground? If a vehicle that is road worthy (yeah, that is actually something to ask!) is available, could you be added as a driver to the insurance? Otherwise, ask if you will be responsible for fuel in your own vehicle for campground business.
Some places, like gate guarding, do not have access to electricity, water and sewer. Replenishing fresh water, getting “pumped out” and getting fuel for your generator, or provided generator, is good to know before hitting the road. Alternatively, some campgrounds with older wiring can have electrical surges and brown or black outs with overload and break downs. RV Travel’s Mike Sokol has some interesting and alarming reading about campground electric – check him out. Using your generator incurs a cost to you: Have you negotiated for fuel used? We were at a campground that had straight-line winds and knocked power out for 4 days! That was an expensive few days on our generator.
Our family and friends have visited almost every year we have work camped, for a week or so. We love to have them visit, but we like our time with each other as well. Eating, entertaining, going to local attractions and evenings around the campfire are enough for their visits. Is there a discount for rentals for work campers at the campground for family and friends? Having rental access helps the campground look generous and gets folks onsite that may not normally have come! It’s a benefit that should not be overlooked when negotiating for the position.
Splash pads, paddle boats, canoes, bicycles, golf carts for visitors and attractions within the campground or that the campground owns is a big draw for work campers. What access and limitations are there for the amenities? Is there a charge for the work camper? For the family and friends? Getting that information before accepting the position lessens misunderstandings while working.
What if you find the campground that has everything you love? Are there improvements or projects you would like to see completed? Are there stock options or investment opportunities for work campers? Asking for these opportunities can be lucrative to the work camper. Talk to the owner about these possibilities.
Is there an incentive program that is available for work campers? A free cruise? Cash prizes? Free stuff? Some campgrounds have these programs as an incentive for staff. Ask about how you can become a part of that for the camaraderie and possible financial benefit for yourself.
End of season
What is your exit strategy? Do you need time after your contract expires to visit the attractions in the area, or visit with family or friends, or simply need time to pack up and move on? Negotiate for extra days after your contract or you may find you are being handed your hat far sooner than you would like.
Have you found this list helpful in your negotiations? Do you have anything to add to our list? Let us know in the comments below. Enjoy the experience, and as always…
See you down the road,
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. In this new weekly feature, they will share their experiences with you, with an emphasis on how to incorporate work camping into a full time RV lifestyle.