How We Make a Living on the Road
When Brian and I decided to make a drastic change in our lives and live and travel in our RV full time, we knew we could only last so long on our savings. With the sale of our home, all of our household belongings, cars, boat and other toys, we had enough money to get us started and allow us to survive (without working) for about three years.
The plan was, however, to get our Lyf Uninterrupted business off the ground and then seek remote/virtual work after the first year of travel.
Now that it’s been a year, we’re happy to report we’ve found income and can stop worrying about how much longer we can continue on the road before burning up our savings. Quitting our jobs and having no plan for income (other than savings) was a scary place to be, but we had faith. Admittedly, our first year on the road was one of the most relaxing and enjoyable years of our lives. We didn’t worry so much about income as we did where our next stop would be. I imagine it was sort of like a paid sabbatical from work. We committed to learning about the RV lifestyle and working out the bugs and kinks during this time. Our second year on the road rolled around (quite quickly I might add!), and kick started our need to find remote work. Again, we had three years of savings, but never really planned to burn through it.
So what do we do for work that allows us to travel fulltime in our RV and explore this great country? We’ll share what we do along with stories from other RVers from a Wholesale Warranties Blog Post.
LYF Uninterrupted Media, LLC: This is our YouTube business. We started our brand slowly by making YouTube videos and, along the way, grew it into something that provides a very modest income. You get a portion of the advertising revenue generated based on views of your videos. Once you reach a threshold of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time, you become eligible to have ads run on your videos. It was about the 1,000-subscriber point that we began having vendors reach out to us to review and demonstrate their products. This is a cool way of earning some income because you get a free product and potentially some money earned from watch time on your videos.
Human Resources Consulting: This is my HR Consulting business. I spent over 20 years in the HR profession and having my own business was always a dream of mine. The upside of Covid-19 has been the creation of many virtual/remote opportunities and I’ve found work online that I might not have had before. I work part time in order to maintain that freedom we sought when we first hit the road. The only challenge to this work is ensuring we have efficient WIFI. If you’re considering finding remote work, there are many avenues to pursue. I’ve used Flexjobs.com, Ratracerebellion.com, Indeed.com, Workamper.com and Fiverr.com.
Amazon Affiliates: Another way we earn income is through our Amazon Store. This is our Amazon storefront where, even though the prices are the same for you, we earn a small commission from the purchase.
Paid Promotions/Partnerships: Once our channel began to grow, we were contacted by larger companies to become affiliates. The way this worked for us was to either make videos for the company and receive a flat rate or advertise the company’s products or services (sometimes with a discount code) and receive a commission on purchases. This has been a good avenue for us and has funded several of our camping memberships!
Until we reached the 20,000-subscriber mark, we hadn’t really considered a Patreon account; however, this is something we’re considering doing in the near future. We want it to be of value to our Patrons so we’re continuing to explore the best ways to offer this. While all of these are great ways to earn income, one is not necessarily more lucrative than the other. In fact, it’s very important to diversify as these methods can be cyclical or seasonal. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!There are many others ways to find work on the road.
One avenue we’ll likely pursue in the future is work-camping or camp hosting. Our preference is to do this in a park near a beach! If you have any suggestions, let us know! This type of work typically comes with a free pad or site to park your rig, amenities such as sewer, water and electric and sometimes a small weekly stipend. The only reason we haven’t looked into this yet, is we still feel like we have the traveling bug (especially having been sidelined by COVID) and aren’t ready to settle down for a few months in one place. I’m sure you can relate!
So, this is a brief summary of how Brian and I work from the road. Here are some additional ways other Full-Time RVers and even Part Time or Seasonal are making a living on the road! Enjoy!
5 Ways RVers Make Money From the Road
Without retirement on the horizon, full-time RV life may seem like a pipe dream for many. But these ten full-timers are making a living in ways you may not have thought of. The best part? They can do it wherever there is WIFI!
Get inspired to create the life on the road that you’ve always dreamed of! Then leave a comment and tell us what your remote dream job is.
#1 - Remote Cyber Security Engineer & Affiliate Marketer
Jason & Rae Miller – Getaway Couple
Jason works remotely as a Cyber Security Engineer, which is our main source of income. We also have a YouTube channel and a blog to document our travels and share useful tips and tricks related to RV living.
Our social media platforms are additional sources of income for us. We make a portion from ad revenue on the blog and YouTube, the more views on our videos or visits to our website equal more ad revenue.
We also work with companies we love for sponsored content, this mostly involves getting the word out about a new product or service in the RV community.
Another type of income for us is affiliate marketing. After we’ve tested a product or find a company that we trust, we recommend those products and services to our audience and make a small percentage of the sale.
If you’re curious about how much money we make doing all of this, we have monthly income reports on our blog that showcase our income.
Making money through social media platforms can be challenging at first, but if it’s something you’re interested in, it’s worth investing your time into. Just know it’s a lot of work so there has to be passion behind it first and foremost!
Check out Rae & Jason’s monthly income reports here.
#2 - Website Owner & Coder
Josiah & Ashley Mann – RV Inspiration
In 2016 my husband Josiah and I bought an RV to live in full-time so we would have the flexibility to relocate as needed for a business my husband was starting. At the end of 2018, we were finally both running our own businesses and had both achieved the ability to work from wherever we want.
My business is one I never would have started had we not lived in an RV, which is that of a website owner. In 2017 I started RVinspiration.com as a place to share good ideas for organizing, renovating, and decorating RVs.
After about a year of working on it as a full-time job that I wasn’t getting paid for, I was finally able to turn it into a highly profitable business.
I have now started a second blog called TheBloggingAboutBloggingBlog.com where I teach about blogging as a business, and I’m launching a third website soon, called InspiredToDownsize.com, where I’ll share tips for getting rid of clutter and living more simply.
My husband started out his remote career by learning to code through online courses and books. After working for a few years as a freelance web developer, he eventually got a job working for a large marketing agency, and finally, ended up starting his own software company in 2018.
You can read more about Josiah & Ashley’s entrepreneurial journey here.
#3 - Author & Online Teacher
Marc & Julie Bennett – RV Love
We’ve been RVing full-time for over 5 years now, traveling and visiting all 50 states, plus Canada and Mexico – while still working full-time. How we make money from the road has evolved over the years. When we first started RVing, Marc was able to work remotely from our RV as a Project Manager of Operations for his Texas-based employer which funded our lifestyle.
I immediately started creating content for our RVLove blog and YouTube channel. Over the next few years, Marc got promoted a couple of times, ending up as Director of Operations. Meanwhile, RVLove continued to grow, and in early 2017, Marc quit his job so we could both focus on RVLove full time.
We launched RV Success School – the very first online school for wannabe RVers – offering guided courses to help people step by step through the process of buying an RV and transitioning into the lifestyle.
Two years later, RV Success School is still going strong and has helped hundreds of people hit the road and thrive. Then last year, a major publishing house, Adams Media – a division of Simon & Schuster, asked us to write “the bible for the mobile life”.
In November 2018, our book “Living the RV Life – Your Ultimate Guide to Life on the Road” hit bookstores around the country and even Costco! The response has been phenomenal, with the book getting 5-star reviews, and quickly hitting bestseller status. It’s already in its 3rd print run.
Our RVLove community (now over 100,000) has continued to grow and provide additional sources of revenue, through our products, partnerships, and projects. It’s amazing how we’ve been able to combine our skills, talents, and experience with our passion for RVing to be of service to others.
Today, instead of relying on Marc’s job as our sole income, we have multiple streams of income coming in from various sources – all related to the RVLove content we have created. We still work hard – sometimes a lot more than we used to. Yes, it’s a labor of love, but we have a lot more freedom and control over our schedules now, and that’s something we can’t put a price on.
The most rewarding part for us is knowing we’ve inspired and helped a lot of people along the way.
Get a copy of Julie & Marc’s “Living the RV Life” here.
#4 - Photographer & Writer
Emily & Mark Fagan – Roads Less Traveled
When we started traveling full-time, we were 47 and 53 years old, and we were seeking a change from living a conventional workday lifestyle. We figured we’d lease out our house and live on the rental income as well as our nest egg for as long as we could.
We always joked that we’d be greeters at Walmart when we got old and our money ran out. After all our years of travel adventures, we knew we’d be the happiest Walmart greeters ever.
Each of us have always had an interest in photography, and we bought entry-level DSLR Nikon cameras right before we began traveling. Once we were on the road, we suddenly had not only gorgeous scenery to photograph but time to devote to learning the craft as well, and we dove into the world of photography head first.
In the evenings, Mark studied every book and blog he could find about photography while I sat in my recliner next to him and pursued my lifelong interest in writing, describing our adventures in detail first on our own website (Roads Less Traveled) and then for various RVing print magazines.
We also attended two landscape photography workshops so we could learn directly from photographers we admired.
We never set out to become professional photographers, and I never imagined I’d be a regularly published freelance travel writer. But we have now published over 150 feature articles in both RV and sailing magazines (we spent nearly four years sailing the Pacific coast of Mexico), and we’ve published 27 print magazine covers and had several wall calendar covers and monthly calendar photos as well. I also have a bi-monthly column on the back page of Trailer Life Magazine. In every sense, our dreams have come true.
Our income from these ventures is not a living wage, but it is great pocket money and has slowed the pace at which we deplete our nest egg. It also keeps us engaged in lifelong learning and gives us a focus as we travel. We have found that if we go out on a hike and simply carry our cameras with us, looking for photo ops, we see a lot more than if we hiked without them!
For newcomers to the full-time RVing lifestyle who are coming off of a fast-paced conventional lifestyle, we highly recommend that you take the plunge and go have an adventure but also allow yourself some time on the road to get creative and do some soul searching in your new setting to find a way to make money that suits you and your new lifestyle.
We did not start our blog until we had been traveling for over a year, and our first RV magazine article wasn’t published until a few months after that. We needed that period of pure-play to adjust to our new lifestyle, learn how to live it, and change gears and slow down from the frantic pace of our previous lives. Looking back, we have never thought of our photography or writing as “work” or “a job” and still don’t. And we still rely on our rental income each month too.
Check out some of their gorgeous photography on their website here.
#5 - Remote Medical Administrator & Seller of RV Resources
Bryan & Luann Street – Where the Streets Wander
We run an RV lifestyle website, Where the Streets Wander while traveling the country full-time in our RV. We work remotely helping others fulfill their RV dream by providing resources just for RVers.
Those resources include articles about RVing on our website, a travel planner just for RVers, a monthly membership for RVers to help them design their best RV life, and another planner that helps RVers transition to full-time with ease.
Our goal is to encourage people to stop wondering and start wandering!
We developed these resources while traveling and living our RV dream. I (Luann) also managed to take my 9-5 job remotely and love to teach others how they might be able to do it too. I’m a medical practice administrator doing that practices financial work as well as physician credentialing and consulting.
RVing is all mindset and hard work but we believe that when it comes to RVing sooner is better than later, now is the best time and that everyone can have their RV dream!
Get a copy of “The Complete RV Travel Planner” here.
Emily of Roads Less Traveled put the mindset of working while traveling full-time eloquently when she said: “There are many ways to make money on the road, from taking seasonal service positions in popular tourist destinations, to workamping or doing part-time jobs of all kinds in towns across the country.
Lots of people dream of working remotely online from their RV, but there is something to be said for holding a job where you interact with other people in person on a regular basis, whether they are other travelers like you or are locals who live in a town you are visiting”.
Or, you could always start your dream company from your rig. It worked out pretty well Wholesale Warranties owner, Jeff Shelton.
Have you ever held a job while RVing full-time? What was it? Let us know in the comments!