By Sam Suva
Do you want the skinny on the day-to-day life of a work camper? Come spend a day with me in maintenance. Let’s go!
6:00 a.m. – The cell phone alarm signals the start of another day.
7:00 a.m. – Breakfast and coffee, dishes stowed.
7:45 a.m. – Out for work, a quick ride through the campground. I look for any new campers on sites as well as trash on the ground.
8:00 a.m. – Meet with the staff. We all meet at the recreation hall or office and we have a list of duties either to complete or to get new every work day.
8:20 a.m. – Work! Today I start with cleaning the pool. The net gets the leaves off the top and the vacuum gets the sand off the bottom. A quick test of the water lets me know we are within safe measurements for sanitation. I will look through the bathrooms and around the pool area for trash and general cleanliness.
9:30 a.m. – Weed trimming around the camper sites. Some campgrounds will maintain the campsites as well as public areas by cutting and weed trimming the grass. I go to the maintenance shop and choose a weed trimmer, taking mixed gas and string with me. PPE, Personal Protection Equipment, is absolutely necessary: safety glasses, ear plugs, high visibility vest and gloves. I need to be careful not to run the weed trimmer too fast or it throws rocks, causing dents and even broken windows in campers.
11:30 a.m. – Back to the shop to put up the weed trimmer and then to the office to look for work orders. I see a request for campfire wood and there is a leaky faucet on site 96. I will deliver the wood and then it’s time for lunch.
12:30 p.m. – Lunch is over and I am heading to site 96 to fix the leaky faucet. It turns out to be a washer on the camper hose is bad. I replace the washer and the leak is “fixed.”
12:45 p.m. – We are adding sites to the campground and I need to order electrical boxes for the camper hook up. A call to the local electrical supply house and the new pedestals are on their way.
1:20 p.m. – I take the front-end-loading tractor behind the shop and pressure wash it. It gleams like a shiny… uhm… green dime?
2:20 p.m. – The sign at the intersection showing campers how to get to the park has a light out. There is a new 500-watt halogen bulb in the shop. The campground truck is old but reliable – it gets me to the sign for the repair and then back.
3:00 p.m. – The store needs more soda. The soda is stored in a small utility building. A few crates later and the soda is restocked.
4:00 p.m. – A call over the radio: The office needs a code put in the gate controller for a new camper. It is a simple process to program in the new code.
4:30 p.m. – Back to the office for any emergencies, a chat with the manager about the day’s work, and I am off.
The camper in me smiles at the campers as they make preparations for a cool, quiet evening around the campfire and on the golf cart trails. I stop to chat with friends as they tell me about their day, week or month since I have last seen them. We make plans for a cookout on a Tuesday. Why Tuesday? Because we’re work camping.
Please feel free to share your experiences in the comments below or contact me at samsuvarv(at)gmail.com .
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.