Working at National Parks for RVers

working-at-national-parks-for-rversThinking about working at a National Park this summer season? You’ve come to the right place. During the past month I’ve applied to several and been interviewed for three different locations, all of which decided to hire me. I’m no expert, but I’m going to share what I learned from the experience here for all of the other people out there who are interested in working at one of America’s treasures.

What It Is and Isn’t

First of all, there are at least two distinct ways to work at a National Park. Several people I’ve talked to since I took the job at the Badlands assume that I’m working for the government, but I’m not. I’m working for Forever Resorts, which is a multinational company which has a contract with the U.S. Government to run the concierge part of Badlands National Park – which includes things like lodging, restaurants, and gift shops. Xanterra, Delaware North Companies, and Aramark are similar companies, they have contracts to work at Yellowstone, Shenandoah, and Lake Powell, but they are corporations, not the government.

If you’re looking to actually work in the park like as trail maintenance, a park guide, or fire crew, you’ll need to go to the official site and look up jobs with the actual National Park Service, but I’ll be writing more about that at a later date.

Back to the concierge jobs, the positions offered from these kinds of companies at these locations are usually not skilled in nature and don’t require a college degree for the most part, they’re things like housekeeping, servers, and cashiers. They do hire for management positions, and there are a few kinds of jobs like cooks and bookkeeping that require some schooling or specialized experience, but the majority of them are entry level and pay an entry level kind of pay.

The reason why these opportunities exist at the big National Parks, especially out West, is because they tend to be in remote locations where there isn’t a large enough local work force to meet the needs. So they reach out to college students from around the country and transients like RVers to come in and work for them during the busy summer months.

Where and When To Find Them

I used, a free website to find these opportunities, but if you’re subscribed to the Workcampers Network site or follow other work camping forums or websites you can likely find them there too. To find them at Cool Works, click on the “Jobs by Category” link near the top of the page. From there, click on “Jobs with RV Spaces” to find the RVing friendly ones. Or you can click here where I’ve done all the work for you.

Most often, the opportunities available are temporary positions but places farther south like Lake Powell are open all year round and their temporary workers have a longer season. While the jobs often start in April and May, it’s a good idea to not follow my example and apply this late. Start filling out applications in January or even December, particularly if you only want to do a very specific kind of job. The earlier you apply, the wider range of job options will be available – especially if you’re a solo RVer like me, since most companies want to have two workers per RV site to get the most for the space.

If you aren’t strictly set on a National Park, that link I gave will list other temporary jobs with RV spots too, like ranches and other tourist attractions which are worth a look. The very first application I sent out for the summer season was to a guest ranch located in the mountains of North Carolina and sounded like it would be great fun. The hiring manager and I got on well and he was all set to hire me, but it turned out he needed someone starting the third week of March, and I wasn’t going to be able to swing that. The point is though, there are a lot of summer job opportunities out there for RVers, so while you might like the idea of a National Park, keep an eye out for other things as well.

Wages and Benefits

This is important, so listen up. All of the National Park jobs I found with third party companies are at or near minimum wage, no matter which company you go with, and since they’re at national parks they can work you up to 46 hours without paying overtime. I interviewed with Aramark at Lake Powell (at Bullfrog Marina, on the north end of the lake), Delaware North at Yellowstone (the branch of Delaware North was actually called Yellowstone General Stores, or YGS), and Forever Resorts (called Cedar Pass Lodge) at the Badlands. At all three locations, I was interviewing for a cashier or general retail job, which I have over five years of experience in.

Aramark was going to pay me the most at $8.60 an hour, Delaware North was $8.00 and hour, and Forever Resorts was $7.25 an hour. If you’ve been following IO for a while, you’ll know then that all three places pay worse than what I got working my last two retail jobs at Best Buy ($9.50/hr) and Lowe’s ($8.88/hr). I’ve already stated that Lowe’s was not a living wage for me, so how the heck does making less per hour at one of these three locations equate to a living wage? And why in the world when money is such an issue would I pick the one that pays the absolute worst per hour? You have to look at the whole picture. By looking at each company’s website and Cool Work’s profile, speaking to the interviewer, and digging around on Goolge Maps I got some other important information:

Lake Powell: $8.60 per hour, RV site $150 per month w/ utilities, employee meals $3.50-$5.50 per meal, laundry is coin operated, Utah is an income tax state, job is 2,124 mi away from Hardeeville

Yellowstone: $8.00 per hour, RV site $60.62 per week w/ utilities, employee meals $60 a week, laundry is coin operated, Wyoming has no state income tax, job is 2,301 mi away

Badlands: $7.25 per hour, RV site $60 per month w/ utilities, employee meals $35 a week, laundry is free, South Dakota has no state income tax, job is 1,691mi away

Now that you have that information, starting to see what I’m getting at? Lets standardize those results and do some math.

Lake Powell:

$8.60 per hour x 160 hours per month = $1,376, times 0.70 to account for 30% taken out for taxes = $963.20 earned per month. It’s all downhill from here: minus $150 per rent, $200 for food ($3.50 x 14 meals a week = $49, that would be $196 for the month if I did the absolute cheapest meals two meals a day, but at $200 per month I can go to town and buy my own food to cook and have enough for breakfast too, so at this location it doesn’t make sense to enroll in the meal plan – an option I have living in my own house vs. the on-site dorms), and $24 for laundry = $589.20


$8.00 x 160 = $1,280 x  0.75 (less taken out for taxes) = $960 – $255 (monthly rent), – $200 (again the meal plan doesn’t save me money, although I’ve now heard from people who’ve stayed at Yellowstone who say the meal plan actually is the cheapest way to go since the grocery stores around the Yellowstone area charge outrageous prices, but I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt here), – $24 (laundry) = $481


$7.25 x 160 = $1,160 x 0.75  = $870 – $60 (monthly rent), – $147 (oh look, this meal plan actually saves me over $50 per month) = $663

Now it becomes clear that the Badlands is financially speaking the best deal even though it’s significantly less per hour, although Lake Powell wasn’t far behind. When you consider that it’s over 400 miles closer to where I am than the next closest job (Utah) it becomes an even better deal, because that’s a good 27 gallons of gas ($92.07 at today’s price in Georgia).

The moral of the story is with any temporary job you’re going to take as a RVer, you need to keep the other variables in mind too, because site cost, utilities, and gas to get to the gig also play an important part in the bottom line.

A lot of potential full-timers are afraid to get on the road because they’re afraid of not being able to earn enough money to support themselves, but if you have a good grasp on what your monthly expenses look like and are diligent about finding all the important information about any work camping gig you are thinking of taking, it’s not hard to do the math for yourself and get an estimate on if the job is worth it.

For instance, at Yellowstone there were employee RV sites that were only $32 a week instead of over $60 (although they didn’t include electric), and at that price Yellowstone would have been a much better job contender. But by the time I applied, there wasn’t room anymore at the cheaper campground (apply early for Yellowstone!). If I hadn’t asked the lady who interviewed me, I would have seen the $32-$70 per week price of RV sites listed on Cool Works and not really known how much I would have been paying for my site.

Of course, that $663 for the Badlands isn’t my bottom line, I have several other monthly expenses, but those won’t change between the three sites so they weren’t important for the calculations. I anticipate that I’ll save a maximum of $200 per month working at the Badlands (possibly more like $150), and if I’d been working at Yellowstone I probably would have only been breaking even on the deal. Compare that to the $700 a month I was saving working at Amazon ($11.00 an hour, spending $0 for site and utilities a month) and one can see why so many people do it despite the uninspiring locations and hard repetitive work. Which brings me to my next point.

While all three of these locations might look depressing from a money standpoint, you didn’t become an RVer (or think about becoming one) because you wanted to be rich. You did because you wanted to get out and see America, and that’s the real benefit here. Every location I interviewed for included free admittance to the park, so while you won’t be rolling in the dough, you should be earning enough to at least break even if you’re careful with your money (if you’re a couple and able to split the RV site cost between two workers it’s a better deal), and on your days off you’ll be right next to an awesome place that you can play in for free. And really, if given the choice I wouldn’t want to work more than 40 hours at these kind of jobs, because not only do you not get overtime, it cuts into exploring time.

The Application Process

Applications for Yellowstone and the Badlands were both an online form that was relatively straight forward to figure out. Note though, that some of them asked if you were traveling in a RV and some did not, so as you’re filling the form out, make a note to yourself to tell the interviewer you are in a RV if it doesn’t go down on the application, so that you get the right accommodations.

Aramark was a little trickier. The Apply Now button from Cool Works takes you to Aramark’s parent job website, which covers all of the National Parks they are at as well as all their other jobs, and there are a lot of them. If you instead go to the Learn More button it takes you to–marinas-az-ut/utah-lake-powell-bullfrog-marina.aspx from which you can click on View Job Postings at the bottom and it’ll take you specifically to Lake Powell jobs. You’ll notice that the location given isn’t Lake Powell, but Bullfrog, UT, the closest city. All of the Aramark park jobs are listed like that, so if you’re wading through the whole list, you’ll probably need to pull up a map program to figure out where exactly they are.

So for Aramark, instead of applying to the location generically, you’re applying to one specific job at that location. That might seem like a pain, but on the plus side the start and end dates are listed right there for each job so it’s easier to pinpoint something that fits with your time range. In the application for that specific job though, it’ll also ask if you’re interested in other openings or even parks, and if you click that box then you don’t need to worry as much about filling out an application for every single job you want to be considered for.

I don’t think any of these three locations asked for a resume on top of the application, probably because the applications were in depth enough to cover all of the information that would usually go on a resume (job history, skills, education) but other locations I applied for did, so it doesn’t hurt to have one made up. Focus the resume (or if you’re just doing an application, list all of the skills on) things that are directly related to the job you want.

Since I was applying for retail jobs, I focused on my retail experience and got really specific about what I did at my previous retail jobs. Read through the description of what the work duties entail for the job you’re looking at, and make sure to hit on every single point in your application and/or resume. I’m a big believer on tailoring a unique resume for every single job applied to.

The Interview Process

It took 10 days for Aramark to get back to me after I submitted the application, Forever Resorts was 8 days. Delaware North was just 4, because I’d e-mailed HR before I submitted my application to make sure they still had spots for solo RVers first, knowing that Yellowstone fills up fast. I heard back from the contact two days after submitting my e-mail, she said yes there was room, and to e-mail her once I had my application in so she could fish it out of the pile to look at it. I filled out my application that day and replied saying it was in. Two days after that I had my interview request.

All three phone interviews were eerily similar despite being three different companies. Aramark was the only one to ask me what I knew about their company (it’s always a good thing to have the “About Us” blurb up on your computer for whatever company you’re phone interviewing for). Other than that, it was a lot of “Why do you feel you’d be a good fit for this position”, “Why do you want to work for us”, “How have you handled an angry customer in the past”, “What would you do if you saw a co-worker doing something unsafe/against company policy”, “What was one mistake you made at a past job, and what did you do about it”.

The questions lasted maybe 10 minutes, and then there was usually 5 to 10 minutes asking you if you had any questions (make sure you let them know that you need a RV site, ask about utilities and site cost, laundry, WiFi availability and reliability, how far the RV site will be from the job, how many hours you’ll work per week, what the uniform looks like and will it be provided, etc.) and telling you a little bit more about the job in detail. In all three instances, I received the offer at the end of the phone interview, along with the wage for those ones that didn’t have the wage right in the job description. All three places were good about giving me a couple days to weigh my options before replying.

After that, it was just a matter of making a decision. I made sure to contact Lake Powell and Yellowstone afterward too even though I didn’t choose them and give them a polite no and let them know that I might be interested next year.

And there you have it. If you have worked at a National Park in the past, please feel free to write about what it was like in the comments below. If you’re looking to work at a National Park, good luck in your job search and let us all know how it goes!

For part 2, click here.

Image courtesy of Adam Baker

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  1. Jim Simonson on June 5, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Good description of workcamping. I did work at Lake Powell in 2002. I was not as analytical as you and learned a hard lesson. Because I also get a pension, Utah got a chance to tax part of my pension income. I’m still glad I worked at Bull Frog as it was an experience I really wanted. It was great but I wouldn’t do it again because of the tax effects.

    • Becky on June 6, 2016 at 9:41 am

      Sorry you learned the hard way Jim but glad you enjoyed your time at Bullfrog, Lake Powell is so pretty.

  2. Terri on October 19, 2014 at 3:29 am

    I am sure you probably do a lot better than you think you do at the spoken interviews. And yes, I have about a year so I am definitely working on alternative ideas already. I’m on the waiting list to take a transcription test with one company, and am going to apply to do legal transcription with another (since I have the legal background, I can do that, which not everyone can.) I’m also applying to do data entry with another online company (it’s legit, I’ve checked.) I type pretty fast, and that way I could do work when I am able to, which would be whenever I could!

    I’m starting to track, and I mean, REALLY track my expenses. I’m pretty good at watching where my money is going, but am going to try to be as diligent as you are, now. If I form the habits now, it’ll be like second nature when on the road. But good idea on pet sitting. 🙂
    Terri recently posted..Little Things for Which I am ThankfulMy Profile

    • Becky on October 19, 2014 at 8:52 pm

      Oooo transcription, great! You should peek at Rae’s old RVing blog – she earns her living with transcription work and did it while RVing for many years (this winter she’s traveling down to Mexico and doing it there). I know from her that legal transcription and foreign language transcription both earn better money than just generalized work, so your legal background should help you a lot here:

      • Terri on November 27, 2015 at 6:34 am

        I just re-read through this post and our comments as I am really seriously thinking about possibly workamping next summer and Amazon next fall. I’m planning now on getting a Class B, I think. And I guess I would have to get a bike or moped or something to get me around if I were parked not super close to the place of employment. I do have a resume, and need to update it with my recent experience.

        When you first started applying, did anyone ask why you wanted to leave where you were – you know, leave the permanent position type of work? And I have references, did you find that they actually checked them?

        I like doing what I am doing currently, for the most part, but I don’t think I can stay in this small town for super long. It’s just too small. I realize that national parks will also probably not be near large towns, but the work would be seasonal, not forever.
        Terri recently posted..Zion National Park’s Pa’Rus TrailMy Profile

        • Becky on November 27, 2015 at 7:29 pm

          Nope, when applying for seasonal work no one ever wanted to know why I left permanent work. When I interviewed to work at Best Buy after leaving my last vet tech job before hitting the road they asked, but then again I applied at Best Buy not telling them I was planning to hit the road, they assumed I wanted a permanent position there.

          I’d say about 50% of the seasonal places I’ve applied to have contacted at least one of my references, only one or two of them have ever contacted all of my references (I usually give three).

          Maybe this is just devil’s advocate but I think it’s worth mentioning, you’re right that most national park jobs are in small towns and while you’re correct that they’re not forever, when I’ve worked at Amazon which granted are usually near larger towns I haven’t had much time off to actually enjoy said large towns because I’m working all the time.

          Just something to think about if you feel like you need regular access to large towns to be happy.

          Either way, I wish you the very best as always. 🙂

  3. Terri on October 17, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    I can tell you must do fabulously in your interviews, Becky. You definitely do your research. I’m sure the employers can tell. I’m working on my resume now, and am glad to hear that a lot of them don’t even need it but just the application. It’s been about 8 years since I interviewed for a job and I’m looking at doing a complete career shift, so it’s a bit scary to think about all of this. But I guess if it doesn’t scare you at least a little, it’s not worth trying, huh? Always good to push the boundaries of what we are comfortable with – that’s how we grow. I just really have to figure out a way to supplement the workamping salary – minimum wage won’t allow me to pay my student loans and everything else, although I plan on being very frugal on the road. My pets cost me about 150-175/month but they are totally worth it. I can’t imagine spending the money in a better way than on them.

    i really like how you plan everything out, to the very last detail when it comes to finances. You inspire me!
    Terri recently posted..Why I Keep On Keeping On: Life is Just Too ShortMy Profile

    • Becky on October 18, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      Killer at written interviews, spoken interviews? I do alright if I prepare ahead of time. I’m much better at expressing myself with the written word than the spoken one. But yes, doing my research ahead of time helps!

      Yes, I have found temp job interviews in general to be much easier than “real” jobs. Worry enough to look a little into the company in case they ask, but it’s not worth losing sleep over. 😉 One thing about having been in the same job for 8 years? It proves that you’re dedicated and not going to flake out – that’s a real concern at seasonal jobs. Play to your strengths. 🙂

      As for the money, you have about a year until you start right? Start thinking about other things you can do on the side to earn a little extra money. For instance, it sounds like you love cats and dogs, how about pet sitting? Just an idea. If you give yourself a week or so to think about it, really think about it, you’ll probably come up with a few possibilities.

      Glad to have inspired you, keep on a trucking!

  4. Steve on June 1, 2013 at 9:40 am

    A little late reading this GREAT post and making a reply … but I wanted to thank you for all of this great information. I’ve bookmarked everything and have Dec/Jan on my whiteboard and in my iPhone to send out applications.

    I have followed your blog since you started your rv search, took a break and now catching up today.

    Truly inspiring for someone like myself that has been “on the fence” trying to make a decision.

    • Becky on June 2, 2013 at 5:16 pm

      Hello Steve,

      Thank you for following along and commenting! I’m happy to hear that my blog proved interesting enough to you that you came back to it after being away. 🙂 Making the decision to start searching for a summer job that early is really a good plan, there’ll be more jobs (and sites to park) available.

      Do you already have your RV picked out then or are you still looking? Safe travels and happy trails!

      • Steve on June 2, 2013 at 6:53 pm

        I have decided to buy a trailer to be towed by an H3. Surprisingly that only tows 4,500 lbs. I have looked at and driven Class A’s, Class C’s and I think to start the SUV/Truck – Trailer combo is best for me. Possibly a Casita, Escape or BigFoot.
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        • Becky on June 4, 2013 at 11:12 am

          I think that sounds like a great plan! Then again, I might be a little biased. 😉 For me that combo worked the best because I knew I’d be needing a separate vehicle to drive to and from the various jobs that I take, and it was a lot cheaper than pulling a vehicle behind a motorhome.

  5. sandy on April 9, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    thank you so much for sharing this information. while we believe we will begin our full time adventure in an unemployed status, we both feel that we want to work again at something and have discussed these types of options. this gives me a great jumping off point when we are ready. best of luck with your new position….fellow Georgian!

    • Becky on April 10, 2013 at 10:16 pm

      Heya Sandy, thanks for commenting and glad you liked it! I’ll be writing more about it of course once I get up there, getting ever closer…

      Good luck on your full-timing plans, I’d love updates as you make progress. 🙂

  6. William on April 8, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Wow, really good write up. I hadn’t thought about weighing the options against each other like this. Thanks for all the detail, so many people just give an over view. This is very helpful.

    This page will go into my book marks for reference. I can see from the post above that it is greatly appreciated.
    William recently posted..Becoming Debt FreeMy Profile

    • Becky on April 9, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      Thanks William and I’m glad you found it helpful. So many people would just see that Lake Powell paid the best per hour and jump on that without looking at the whole picture. For full-timers who have income coming in in other ways through investing, online jobs, a pension, or social security it probably doesn’t matter as much, but for those of us who fund the whole adventure on seasonal jobs it’s very important.

  7. Diane on April 8, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Hey Becky,

    I wanted to share another online resource for full time RVers that you and others may or may not have heard of. It’s called the Caretaker Gazette. They have been publishing for many years and now send out email editions every two months. I just renewed my subscription last night. It’s $29.95 for a year’s subscription, and covers everything from cat-sitting for a private homeowner to being a household manager for an estate.

    It’s a fascinating source of information and ideas and emails are sent out to subscribers in between issues, too. There are many opportunities, like managing campgrounds, where a free site for a camper is part of the deal. The website is

    I think it’s well worth the money and it’s so much fun to read. There are opportunities in Canada and So. America and all around the world. Many opportunities in Australia but that’s too far for US RVers!!


    • Becky on April 9, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      Nope I don’t think I’ve heard of that one before Diane, thanks for sharing. I’ve bookmarked it and I’ll go back and peek at it when I get a little time. I’ll be set through the end of this year looks like as far as jobs go. Thanks for writing in!

  8. Wayne from PA on April 8, 2013 at 11:20 am


    What an awesome analysis of how to decide which job to take. I’m still teaching high school (2 years…just 2 more years!!!) and I teach a course on “Personal Finance”. With your permission, I’d love to use this article in my class. Students don’t always trust the information given by their teacher, and this would help show them the way it should be done.

    Good luck in your job this summer.

    Hope to meet you in a couple of years,


    • Becky on April 9, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      Hello Wayne,

      Sure, go ahead and use it. I’m happy to hear that the stuff I’m writing is proving useful for others. Thank you for asking permission first. 🙂

      Hopefully those two years fly by! Are you already looking at types of RVs and such? The planning stage can be fun in it’s own way if you let it. There’s a kind of excitement to be had in the hunt for your own perfect RV.

      Safe travels and happy trails, I’d love to met you on the road when you get out here!

  9. Diane on April 6, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Hi Becky.

    I’m very impressd by how detailed and exhaustive your analyis of the application process was!

    Just one thing I noticed when you were discussing Wyoming. You said it has an income tax. I lived there back in the 190s and it seems like the state didn’t have an income tax, at least not back then. Could just be my faulty memory!


    • Becky on April 7, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      Nope you are correct Diane there is no income tax for Wyoming. I have changed the article and math to show this, although Yellowstone still works out to be the worst deal money-wise. Thanks for commenting.

  10. Jeff White on April 6, 2013 at 1:14 pm


    I’ve enjoyed your journey – been following your blog since before you officially went fulltime. I do have a quick thought about your calculations regarding food.

    We used to live in Idaho about 2 hours from Yellowstone and have been there many times. There is not an inexpensive grocery store within Yellowstone or anywhere close by. I remember an Albertson’s in Jackson and that is about it. I think you might have a difficult time feeding yourself more inexpensively than the food plan for employees. Groceries in the park are outrageous. This may be true of some of the other national parks as well.

    Blessings and thanks for sharing your adventure.


    • Becky on April 7, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      Jeff, thanks for sharing your experience. I have kept the numbers for the article the same for food costs for yellowstone, but put in a little disclaimer that in reality the food might cost more. Thanks for reading!

  11. Susan Bryza on April 6, 2013 at 11:18 am

    My husband and I will be working at Fishing Bridge in Yellowstone this summer. By the way, Wyoming does NOT have a state income tax. Otherwise, excellent information!

    • Becky on April 7, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      Heya Susan, thanks for pointing that out. I have edited the article and math to reflect that information, Yellowstone still works out to be the worst deal for me (but again, I did apply late and only expensive sites were available – I’m not saying it’s a bad deal for everyone). Have a fun time out there!

  12. Peggy L on April 6, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Becky – a friend forwarded this post to me because I worked at Yellowstone NP last summer for Delaware North. I found my job through and the hiring process was pretty much as you described. Last year I lived in the dorm with the meal plan. The total cost was about $56 a week. However, I only worked 40 hours a week the first week I was there (lots of training). Most weeks I worked in the 32 hour range. That was not a problem for me as I am retired but could have been for someone with different circumstances. Over the summer (May 20-Oct 1) I think I broke even and had a fabulous time. You will make wonderful friends and see all kinds of amazing sights!!!

    I thought my YNP would cure my wanderlust – but NO!!! I am now the proud owner of a Casita Spirit Deluxe and am a full-timer. Not sure what my summer plans will be. I have a big family reunion in Colorado in June that I am not willing to miss. Makes seasonal work a little more difficult.

    Have a fabulous summer!

    • Becky on April 7, 2013 at 5:44 pm

      Hello Peggy, thanks for sharing your experiences! Yellowstone seems like a very popular summer job, I think they might hire more workers than other places.

      I did all of my calculations assuming 40 hours per week because when I talked to all the interviewers it sounded like I should be able to get that, at least once the true summer seasons kicks in. At Yellowstone staying in the dorms was definitely cheaper than the RV parks at least as a solo RVer, and yeah at 32 hours it probably would be a problem money-wise.

      Congratulations on the Casita! Mine is a Spirit Deluxe too – I love to keep the rear dinette as a full-time bed and then the little side dinette is my dining room/office, it works well for me. I also liked that model because it offered the most storage space what with being able to keep things under those side bench seats.

      Whatever you decide to do this summer I hope you have a good time. Having that family reunion may keep you from picking up a summer job but just think, as a full-timer now you’ll be able to have all the comforts of home with you when you head out there for it! Safe travels and happy trails.

  13. Marcia GB on April 6, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Becky, you did a thorough job with your analysis and have made it easy for those who want to workcamp to navigate the maze. You are a treasure!

    • Becky on April 7, 2013 at 5:36 pm

      Thanks Marcia, glad you found it helpful! I hope that by showing an example of how the math works that more potential full-timers try the calculations for themselves and discover how to make the money side of things work.

  14. JohnMonTX on April 5, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Thanks so much for this amazing analysis! The website info was particularly useful. I wonder if you could get solar up and running if you could get away without shore power?

    Thanks again!
    JohnMonTX recently posted..Odds & EndsMy Profile

    • Becky on April 7, 2013 at 5:34 pm

      John – I know at least one Casita owner who boondocks almost exclusively and doesn’t need shore power because they have a good solar setup. It’s certainly possible, but it’s not cheap to buy (a generator that would do the trick would be about $1,000 for a name brand (less noisy) one, adequate solar would be at least twice that) and right now my finances won’t allow it. It’s been a part of my grand plan since I first starting thinking about RVing though and some day it’ll happen.

      I’m glad you found this article helpful though, thanks for commenting!

  15. Kim on April 5, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Great information. I applaud you for contacting the 2 you didn’t choose to let them know. As you know, from an applicant perspective, it’s disheartening when prospective employers don’t keep you informed.
    Kim recently posted..Overnight RV Parking WebsiteMy Profile

    • Becky on April 7, 2013 at 5:30 pm

      Yeah Kim, when I sent out my applications for places down here in Georgia not a single one who didn’t choose me let me know, and that was over 30 places. It would have felt wrong to not let them know.

  16. Mark Sundstrom on April 5, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Hello Becky,

    That’s a great analysis of the wage and cost differences — somebody was paying attention in math class! 🙂 Hard to beat those states that don’t have an income tax…

    Badlands — that’s going to be hot weather, but lots of ways to deal with that, and plenty of things to see in the area, too. I certainly recommend a hike to the top of Harney Peak (highest point in South Dakota), among many others. Places like Devils Tower and Theodore Roosevelt National Park are close by for a day or overnight trip, too.

    If it’s not already on your radar, I recommend checking out Recreation Resource Management (, as they operate a number of campgrounds for various states and federal agencies. I have followed the blog of the owner ( for years and it seems like a good company.

    Hopefully I can stop by and say howdy in August when I’m on my way to Montana. (Not a full-timer but a fellow Casita owner.)

    Best wishes,
    Mark Sundstrom recently posted..Audiobook “Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel”My Profile

    • Becky on April 7, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      Heya Mark!

      Indeed I’ve heard that the Badlands will be hot in the summer, although probably not hotter than Lake Powell would have been and definitely not as humid as South Carolina in the summer. I ran my A/C all last summer and in as small of a space as I have I can keep it quite cold if I want. Plus, my RV park will have a pool, and like at Stoney Crest I plan to make use of it. 🙂

      As it turns out, Wyoming doesn’t have a state income tax either (I redid the math in the post to reflect the correct numbers already) but Yellowstone is still the worst deal money-wise. I’ll definitely be checking out other attractions in the area while I’m working at the Badlands.

      I’ve never heard of that site you mentioned, but it’s been bookmarked now and I’ll peek at it later when I get time.

      And of course, if you’re traveling through the area while I’m still at the Badlands stop in and say hi! (Although give me a warning if you can, it’ll be best if I’m not actually working)

      Safe travels and happy trails!