Amazon Season and One Year Nomadiversary

amazon-season-nomadiversaryIt’s getting to be that time of year again. This past weekend the heat wave finally broke in the Badlands and while highs are still in the upper 70’s and low 80’s, the air definitely holds the feel of early fall now.

With the change in season has come an influx in e-mails asking about Amazon’s CamperForce, folks new to IO who weren’t around to read the extensive reports I made last year. For those who are wondering, yes, I am going back to Coffeyville, KS to work at Amazon this fall, although I’ll be a good three weeks later this year since Cedar Pass Lodge doesn’t close until October 15th.

In light of the upcoming season (Winter, Spring, Summer, Amazon?) I’ve gathered all of the posts I wrote last year about CamperForce into one tidy area for the viewing pleasure of all of you who are going this year for the first time, or have been seeing Amazon’s ads plastered all over the places we work campers look for jobs and have been contemplating it.

These are all in chronological order, from beginning to end of season:

If any of you awesome folks are going to be at Coffeyville in the upcoming months, pray do tell! Last year there were a couple RVers I knew from online there and it was nice that not everyone was a stranger. I’m going to be at Big Chief RV right across the road from Amazon, not a scenic park but when your goal is making money it’s nice to not have all that commute time eating up your day.

* * *

On another note, tomorrow marks my one year anniversary as a full-timer! I’d been living in Cas since April 27th of last year, but I didn’t start traveling until September 14th. One year ago tomorrow I hitched Bertha and Cas together and left Stoney Crest Plantation for the last time, my first stop was Indian Springs State Park in GA. It was a crazy day that I’ll never forget. Those of you were weren’t reading IO yet at that time can still go back and relive the magic, because I captured the day on video and it’s up on my Video tab at the top of the site.

And speaking of videos, I’m slowly working on getting more of them up. Being on slow public WiFi and the videos being in HD it’s a process. Once I get the next set put together in a playlist it’ll join the others up on the Video tab and I’ll make an announcement.

Looking back at the past year, I can say that the first 6 months definitely had some rough spots and complications that I hadn’t anticipated. They mostly centered around learning how re-define community and take care of my social needs in this vastly different environment, and realizing that finding paying work camping gigs in the winter is much more challenging and it’s best to start looking early. I occasionally wondered those first 6 months if I’d made a mistake because at times I was unhappy and doubting myself, but I’m glad I stuck with it because the second 6 months things improved significantly.

I guess the moral of the story is this: While we all hope that all of our problems will melt away once we finally hit the road as a full-timer, there is going to be an adjustment period and it might not be pretty. It’s up to you to decide if the hurdles you encounter are worth jumping over, or if your dream should take on a new shape, one that doesn’t involve a RV. There is no right or wrong answer, but for those who are willing to work for their life of freedom on the road, it’s there for the taking.

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At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and travel full-time before retirement, and share stories of my adventures (and misadventures) to inspire future nomads and armchair travelers alike. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.


  1. Bill and Kris Osborne on October 23, 2013 at 1:06 am


    We heard about your blog from John and Kathy Huggins

    We will be at Amazon in Campbellsville, KY Oct. 28-Dec. 23

    This compilation post about Amazon is very informative.

    I’ve added your blog to “Blogs I Follow” on my blog. Each time you post, your blog goes to the top of my list indicating a new post from you.


    Bill Osborne

    • Becky on October 24, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      Hello Bill,

      Glad to hear that it’s helped you. A lot of things are the same between the three CamperForce locations, but there are some differences too. If at some point during your stay at Campbellsville you’d like to comment here about how things are going over there I’d really appreciate it, that way I can update the info I have to make it more accurate for the other locations.

      Enjoy Kentucky! I read that you recently visited Mammoth Caves. I’ve been there twice in my life and really enjoyed it, just the largeness of it is awe inspiring.

      Safe travels and happy trails.

  2. Tina on October 19, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Hi Becky,

    Hope you are enjoying your mini vacation.

    Thought you might want to check out this blog post about the Amazon camp ground you plan on staying out. Just to give you a heads up about what to expect when you get there as they are doubling up people on each site.

    Safe travels to you, looking forward to hearing about your Florida job.


    • Becky on October 19, 2013 at 9:09 pm

      Heya Tina,

      Thanks for the link! I stayed at Big Chief last year and had a site all to myself, this turn of events is troubling… I suppose if it’s real bad I’ll just find somewhere else to stay. I’m really not too far from Coffeyville now, maybe I’ll call Big Chief up tomorrow and if it’s not going to work out pick out a new spot earlier.

      Actually where I am here at Elk City there are pipeline workers staying long term too, I didn’t even know that was possible in state parks. I don’t remember it being an issue last year, must be some new project…

  3. Kristin on October 17, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Hi Becky,
    I’m a little behind in reading blogs and missed your Nomadiversary! Just wanted to say congrats and thanks for a great blog. If you’re ever in Oklahoma and need travel advice, opinions on campgrounds or a place to park let me know! 🙂

    • Becky on October 18, 2013 at 9:47 pm

      Thanks Kristin! Both for the grats and the offer of Oklahoma travel advice. When I leave Coffeyville this winter I’ll probably drop down through Oklahoma, it’ll be my first time there. Hope all is going well in your corner of the world.

  4. Courtney on October 2, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Hey, Becky! I’m out at Coffeyville and I was wondering if you could tell me what to do for getting mail here. I need documents for I-9 that I forgot back in GA, and I can’t figure out where to have my mom send them! Any help would be greatly appreciated 😀
    Courtney recently posted..Trip to KansasMy Profile

    • Becky on October 3, 2013 at 11:30 pm

      I always had stuff mailed to the campground I was at, this seems like standard procedure for every long term campground I’ve stayed in. Just talk to the campground manager and see what they say Courtney. 🙂

  5. Amy on September 16, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Becky, congratulations on your one year anniversary. I am really enjoying your blog and while, I am not an RVer presently, I do truly value the support you offer to someone, like me, who doesn’t live the most conventional life. Onwards . . .

    • Becky on September 17, 2013 at 11:49 pm

      Thanks for commenting Amy and glad you’re finding it valuable. 🙂 Now I have to ask, if you’re living an unconventional life but aren’t RVing, what are you doing?

  6. kristine on September 15, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Hola, I start tomorrow at amazon in kentucky. A year ago it was in planning stage and readibg yoyr blog waiting to hit the road. Its been about 5 months and loving it…dogs love it to. Tomorrow is my neet and great and then orientation tuesday. Thank you for all the info was a huge help. Congrats on one year also.

    • Becky on September 17, 2013 at 11:48 pm

      Cool Kristine! I take it waitressing this summer worked out well for you then? I remember one of your initial fears was the dogs not taking to it, I’m glad that turned out not to be an issue. I hope your experience at Campbellsville is as positive (and full of monies) as mine was at Coffeyville last year. Let us know how it goes! It’s nice to hear from folks at other sites so that I can update my info for it.

  7. Gary & Deb on September 14, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Hello Becky and congrats on your first year anniversary!!!
    Thanks for the update info on Amazon. We are arriving in Coffeyville on 9/21 and start on 9/26. Part of the reason we took this job was from reading your blog!!
    Hope we get a chance to meet you while in Kansas. We retired on 8/1 and are originally from Sioux Falls, so have been following your South Dakota adventure.
    We like to hike and have a Sea Eagle kayak, so maybe a day off we can get out and see the area.
    Gary & Deb

    • Becky on September 15, 2013 at 11:42 am

      Cool! I’m sure we’ll see each other at some point, looking forward to meeting you!

  8. John of Sinbad and I on the Loose on September 14, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I was in Coffeyville last year and totally did not see or know there was an Amazon there. I think it would be interesting if you did a post from the inside and briefly describe how they do things there. One year; it doesn’t seem all that long ago. Good for you.
    John of Sinbad and I on the Loose recently posted..You Know it’s Not a Good DayMy Profile

    • Becky on September 14, 2013 at 11:16 am

      The Amazon is a bit north of town, next to the airport. I can’t talk about how Amazon ticks from the inside, non-disclosure agreement and all that. But my previous posts still should give folks a pretty good idea. 🙂

  9. Kenny on September 14, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Happy anniversary!!! We hope to see you in KS we start Oct 3 and are also staying at Big Chief. It will be our first we could use your help..
    Kenny recently posted..Week One On The RoadMy Profile

    • Becky on September 14, 2013 at 11:11 am

      Thanks Kenny! I should be arriving on the 22nd and will be at orientation on the 24th, by then you guys will have 3 weeks under your belts and be almost pros. 😉 Looking forward to meeting you though, sounds like your RV adventure is starting out well, MO is such a pretty state…

  10. Evelyn B on September 14, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Happy anniversary. We’ll be at Amazon again this year, also at Big Chief. Looking forward to seeing you again.

    • Becky on September 14, 2013 at 11:06 am

      Glad to hear it Evelyn. Looking forward to seeing you too!

  11. Carolyn DeLoach on September 14, 2013 at 7:38 am

    Congratulations on your first year.

    Carolyn DeLoach

    • Becky on September 14, 2013 at 11:05 am

      Thank you.

  12. Mike LeBlanc on September 14, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Well written Becky! I have always said that everything looks romantic from a distance: a prospective job, a house for sale, new town one might be considering, a workamper opportunity. The only way to find out, “really find out”, is to get involved and see how thick the romance is and if you want to make that “relationship” work. You do an excellent job of relating your experiences on that path. Thank you so much; HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

    • Becky on September 14, 2013 at 11:04 am

      Thanks Mike, your analogy is a pretty fitting one. 🙂

  13. Ingrid on September 13, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Thanks for this post. Amazon is something I’ve considered. You really put out some great info for me to think about. Congrats on the one year and wishing you many more happy ones.
    Ingrid recently posted..A CelebrationMy Profile

    • Becky on September 14, 2013 at 11:02 am

      You’re welcome Ingrid. I think Camperforce is the most talked about work camping option out there. Really can’t beat the money and Amazon is always looking to hire more of us RVers since we seem to be more dependable than labor they bring in elsewhere. Thanks for the wishes! Sounds like you’re having a good time in Colorado.

  14. Pleinguy on September 13, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Great to see you made the one year mark in good shape. Hope you have many more. Amazon should be easy for you this year, now that you’ve figured it all out. I drove through Campbellsville KY without realizing that is one of the workamper locations.
    Pleinguy recently posted..Main Street USAMy Profile

    • Becky on September 14, 2013 at 10:55 am

      Yes Plein, one year down, hopefully many more to go. 🙂 This year I get to be the knowledgeable one at Amazon who offers tips to all the newbies, haha.

  15. Kim on September 13, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Happy Anniversary! And many more!
    Kim recently posted..Fall Trip PlanningMy Profile

    • Becky on September 14, 2013 at 10:54 am

      Thanks Kim!

  16. Barak on September 13, 2013 at 7:31 pm


    Congrats on your one year anniversary!

    Always enjoy reading about your adventures.

    Barak recently posted..True Success and Lifelong LearningMy Profile

    • Becky on September 14, 2013 at 10:53 am

      Thanks Barak, glad you’re enjoying them!

  17. Todd on September 13, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    That last one was supposed to say Nomadiversary. Apparently there’s a university for that somewhere.

    • Becky on September 14, 2013 at 10:52 am

      Haha, if only Todd. That would be university I might consider attending.

  18. Todd on September 13, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Happy Nomadiversity!! Enjoy the fall weather & safe travels to Coffeyville.

    • Becky on September 14, 2013 at 10:52 am

      Fall is so great. A/C has been turned off and I can keep my windows open and let the day in. I may or may not be doing a little camping on my way to Coffeyville, hope I’ll have time.

  19. Lee on September 13, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Hi Becky

    I’m glad to hear your set for the fall season at Amazon.

    Speaking of Amazon, I’ve been using your affiliate link and was wondering if you get paid each time I click it and place a order or you get a percentage of my total order?

    Have a great trip to KS.


    • Becky on September 14, 2013 at 10:48 am

      Hello Lee. I actually did my Amazon interview while I was driving across Missouri last spring on my way to the Badlands, in the pouring rain (the one that made 3 of my windows leak) with no safe place to pull over. But when you get called for an interview, you don’t tell them “Hey I’m kinda in the middle of somthing, can I call you back?” 😛 I do think it’s kind of silly that they made me fill out all the paperwork and send in proof of graduation from high school again, I’m still the same person I was last year! Oh well.

      I get a small percentage of every shipped item (items that are just ordered don’t count, items that get returned I lose the money on), the percentage varies depending on what the item is: some have a higher and some have a lower yield. For general items, the rate is 4% of the purchase price to start (so if you buy a $20 item, I get $0.80), but if I get 6 items ordered in a calendar month, the percentage jumps to 6% (so for that $20 item, I now get $1.20). The next jump is half of a percent at 20 items, but I’ve never gotten that high.

      Thank you for using my Amazon link!

  20. Mike B on September 13, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Hi Becky,

    I’ve really enjoyed your blog and following your adventure. The wife and I are about a year away from purchasing our 2nd RV, an upgrade from a popup. We will be more part timers than full timers but will definitely be doing some work camping up north in the summer time ( we live in Texas) to get out of the heat. Congratulations on your one year anniversary!!

    • Becky on September 14, 2013 at 10:35 am

      Thanks Mike for commenting and following along. What kind of RV will you be replacing your popup with?

      • Mike B on September 14, 2013 at 12:32 pm

        We’ve decided on the Rockwood 8329SS travel trailer. We felt the popup was fun with the kids, a little spartan but covered our needs. Now we would like to be able to relax more in the RV and have all the comforts of home.