By Sam Suva
If you are new here, welcome. If you missed Part 1 of this Technology series, click here.
Technology is an important part of the research and continuation of the journey to full-time RVing and work camping. Here are some more tips to help make your journey a little less bumpy.
Technology helped us contact potential work through websites and classifieds ads. Several email groups offered lists of help wanted ads. Some of these were free, some were limited use based on a fee, and some were immediate membership and pay. I have used the immediate pay and the free sites – the results are about the same. It depends on the economy of the time.
We began during the recession in the late 2000s and early 2010s. We found work through website searches for campgrounds in the area we wanted to be in and simply called them to ask if they needed any help. A word of caution: Campgrounds that need help in midseason can be problematic, so walk away from the first interview and schedule at another location even if it seems like a wonderful place.
Along the way, our generator would not start, and we had a boondocking layover of a few days. Practical technology to the rescue: We used a 450-watt portable inverter to power the television, cell phones and laptops. It certainly came in handy! And an LED flashlight with a strong beam is good for security and for finding that elusive clunk in the night.
Arriving at our work camping job, we again found technology useful. Walkie-talkies, or GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) radios, allowed communication when the cell signal was weak. While the radios have many sub-frequencies, they are not secure, so chatting about general topics helped us be productive. But be cautious: Don’t discuss bank routing numbers or which pillow has the rainy day extra cash.
Business band two-way radios are a great way to communicate in low cell signal service areas. These require a license and are more powerful than GMRS radios. They are also much more secure, although they can be eavesdropped on but with difficulty.
Other things we found on the Internet were public transportation, service centers, do-it-yourself projects and repairs, and shared experiences of those who had come before us. On a computer we used word processors and spreadsheets, graphic design programs and video chat programs. We sent images of property and work progress out of the country to absentee owners. We found special events, area attractions and upcoming events with the ease of technology. We also bank through the internet with online banking websites. Do you remember the “take a picture of your check and then send it to us” advertising hook of some banks? Well, it works.
Some other practical technologies are a DC air compressor, one that works with the 12-volt adapter in the car. It’s great for airing up floating devices, bicycle tires, kick balls, footballs and basket balls.
A drone. OK, I agree. It is an expensive and difficult learning curve, but it is enjoyable. Drone manufacturers have made many advancements in how their drones operate, making flying and controlling a drone much less difficult than its predecessors. I encourage you to get a cheap one to try it out or go all out on an expensive one with all the operating sensors and stretch your wings … or propellers.
Yes, technology is wonderful. The information gained is invaluable and the advancements can make our life more comfortable to be sure. What gadget, website or electronic something have you found especially useful that I missed? Please comment below.
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.