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Work campers
Old 04-17-2006, 11:27 AM   #1
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Work campers

In the past month on our RV trip, we met a number of early retirees who supplement their income by work-camping. We met a couple who retired in their late 50s. They didn't have a lot of money, but couldn't take the grind anymore. They are now in their early sixties and have been moving from campground to campground, following the weather, doing various odd jobs in commercial campgrounds. Shortly after we left they were headed north, eventually to Alaska for their next job.

They were hired in Study Butte to weed-wack, mow, and be friendly with the other campers. He ended up digging plants in the desert for the owner's Dallas home and digging irrigation ditches for $7 an hour. They were glad to be leaving.

Also met a number of ERs who were fulltime rvers, like Audrey. Everyone was friendly and easy to talk to, but we stayed away from talking religion, politics, or gold.

The most interesting person we met was an 83 year old guy who after his wife died a few years before, started buying motorcycles--from dirt bikes to cruisers, and riding all over Texas. Tough old bird.




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Re: Work campers
Old 04-17-2006, 11:58 AM   #2
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Re: Work campers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha

The most interesting person we met was an 83 year old guy who after his wife died a few years before, started buying motorcycles--from dirt bikes to cruisers, and riding all over Texas.* *Tough old bird
Was he the guy sitting next to the boot on the picnic table?
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Re: Work campers
Old 04-17-2006, 12:18 PM   #3
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Re: Work campers

Workkamping would probably never be our thing, because we don't like spending extended time in commercial RV parks and the kinds of tasks workkampers have to do are not very appealing. *If things are tight - it's a godsend. *But if you can afford to pay rent, then not having to do such tasks is really nice!

But, we would consider volunteering at a state or national park for a free site. *This is because not only can you stay at the park for months with full hookups (otherwise there is a 14 day limit with partial hookups), but you have access to a huge wonderful outdoors. There are a wide variety of opportunities, and not all even require dealing with campers if that's something you'd rather avoid. *

Texas State Parks have "bird hosts" at certain times of the year where your responsibilities are to maintain bird feeding stations, answer questions from birders, and lead an occasional bird hike. *We are well qualified to do that. *I have read of someone volunteering at Custer State Park whose job it was to walk the trails on their work days and report on trail maintenance needs. *Sounds good to me!!!

The National Wildlife Refuge System uses volunteers for free sites. *That's the ONLY way one gets to camp on NWR property. *In this case the volunteer is assisting the rangers - property maintenance, biological surveys, etc....

Experienced volunteers know how to spell out exactly what they prefer to do and what the are not willing to do. *Places using volunteers work hard to fit the job to the volunteer.

For us taking a position like this would mean that not only would we be helping out in conserving natural areas that we care about, but that we would have access to photography and video of nature and wildlife on the property and an opportunity to observe the wildlife and seasons over a several month interval. *Pretty enticing. *As soon as we are ready to "slow down" a little, we will look into this. *Heck, maybe we'd get so lucky as to have a reserve tell us - go out photographing/videotaping during volunteer hours and make us prints/movies of our area. *We'd be tickled pink!

Audrey

P.S. Yes - we really enjoy living among the RV community - laid back, having fun. *Everyone is friendly. *Since you always talk about travel, none of the "stickier" subjects seem to come up (except the price of fuel!?!?!).
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Re: Work campers
Old 04-17-2006, 01:09 PM   #4
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Re: Work campers

Not one person mention what SWR they were taking.

We like the national parks and state parks. I like the idea of volunteering in return for a free site. Bird hikes and trail walking sound about perfect.

So where are you these days? Any pictures?

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Re: Work campers
Old 04-17-2006, 01:16 PM   #5
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Re: Work campers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Not one person mention what SWR they were taking.
No wonder. All the anal retentive, SWR-obsessive, nutjob engineer ERs and ER wannabees are either still working or sitting in front of a computer posting on this forum.

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Re: Work campers
Old 04-17-2006, 01:21 PM   #6
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Re: Work campers

My stepdad does a kind of Work Camping, they have a place in FL and come up here from April to October and work in the camp ground. They can stay rent free and even earn a little extra income.
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Re: Work campers
Old 04-17-2006, 03:11 PM   #7
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Re: Work campers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Not one person mention what SWR they were taking.
LOL! I get the impression that a lot of retired fulltimers and snowbirds live mostly on pensions/social security. Not too many seem to be SWR savvy, and they seem to rely on financial planners to help them out.

You just have to read some of the fulltimer web forum discussions on investing/finances - not very sophisticated. I'm sure it represents the general public (as opposed to people who have figured out how to RE).

The amazing thing is most fulltimers seem to get by on $2000 to $2500 a month (assuming their RVs are paid for). That's a pretty low cost of living!

Audrey

P.S. Check your PMs
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