Camphosting

Camphosting. What is it? How do you get started? What all do you have to do? Hopefully, by the end of this post we will have answered those questions and more.

When we first had this crazy idea of hitting the road and living in an RV full-time we started looking into different ways of making it possible, including reducing the cost of campground stays and earning money for food and gas. While camphosting is only part of making this dream a reality, it is a huge part of how we do it, and since we get questions about it pretty frequently we wanted to share a little bit about it.

So what exactly is camphosting? Campgrounds and RV parks will hire individuals or couples for a particular length of time as an employee or on a volunteer basis, depending on the type of park, to check in campers, clean campsites, maintain bathrooms, empty trash bins, keep the grounds, cut grass, fix what needs fixing, etc. in exchange for free or low-cost campsites, usually with full hook-ups, and sometimes even a stipend or salary. Because Georgia is our home state, and because we are holding a few consulting contracts in Georgia as well, our first few camphosting jobs have been with the Georgia State Parks system. They have an outstanding website that shows the openings at each park and how long of a time frame they have available. Georgia State Parks only hire camphosts on a volunteer basis, and there is a six month maximum and two month minimum stay. As I type this we are in a two and a half month camphost position for one of the Georgia State Parks.

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Usually there are either campground hosts or maintenance hosts. Campground hosts are typically in charge of taking care of the campers, campsites, and bathrooms, while maintenance hosts are usually tasked with fixing, duct taping, or handling some kind of project around the park. Honestly none of them are stressful positions at all, but they will keep you busy. In our 4 camphosting positions in the past 15 months we have done a bit of both, and we have never had any problems – even with the kids in tow.

Most parks will provide your campsite, water, and electricity for free when hosting, and some will even provide sewer hookups. Private campgrounds vary by what they offer, but with many of them you can earn hourly pay as well. It is certainly not big money or anything, but with a free site and amenities, the extra cash is a welcome bonus.

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This summer we are headed to the coast of Maine for a camphosting position that we found through Workamper.com. This is a site where campers post their resume and location requirements, and campgrounds, RV Parks, etc. post their open positions. At first we were hesitant to pay for access to the website, but we have found so many opportunities and have had heaps of campgrounds contact us based on our resume, so in the end it has been completely worth it. Once you start looking for work camping opportunities you will be surprised at the amount of positions available all over the country.

Camphosting gives us the opportunity to not only travel and see the sites this country has to offer but it allows us to meet some of the phenomenal people that this country – and even the world – has to offer. This is obviously a slow rate of travel, much slower than most, and some people might not want to commit to months at a time in one place if they want to see as much as possible as quickly as possible. On the other hand, it works for us because it helps us keep our traveling costs super low, and it gives us the opportunity to experience the culture of each place, getting to know the locals, enjoying the local hangouts, and soaking in life in a certain area. Also, even if you aren’t full-time traveling and just want to spend a few months in a particular area,  camphosting might also be a good fit for you. There is usually plenty of free time to explore the area. Just remember: don’t overcommit yourself! Camphosting is fun, but it’s also work, so rest days are a must!

Hopefully this gives you a little insight on the camphosting side of our lifestyle. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with us!

2 Comments

  1. Mike and I joked that if all else fails, we’ll look for camp hosting positions in Utah. It really doesn’t seem like a bad gig, considering all the perks. And every camp host we’ve come across has been gracious, kind, and goes out of their way to help. Maybe it’s the customer service side of me, but doing what you love and having the chance to meet new people while getting paid/perks sounds like a lot of fun.

    1. Matthew

      Yeah we are wrapping up here hosting in GA the first part of April to head for a hosting gig on the coast of Maine for the summer starting in mid May and couldn’t be more excited. We found that in situations where we didn’t meet people and connect that we weren’t as happy at the location. Don’t get me wrong the places can be beautiful but the people are as well.

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