Preparation time – planning and saving for your dream getaway!
Many RV owners dream about working remotely from the road—as both full-time employees and freelancers. And why not? There are a lot of things to love about the lifestyle, especially the ability to travel freely and setting your own schedule. But like with most non-traditional career paths, there are some unique challenges to navigate.
It’s not for everyone, as many people can attest to after putting their pre-2020 routines to the test this year. I spent the beginning of this year acclimating to the new situation. Some days, I’d get really wild and move from the office to the couch to work. Over time, I noticed that walking from the kitchen to the bathroom a handful of times each day wasn’t exactly keeping me fit, yet somehow I was exhausted at the end of every day. I also realized that my poor social skills, filled with dad jokes and ill-timed observations, were declining rapidly (which was already a pretty low bar). Panic was starting to set in that this quarantine life was really not serving me well.
Along with this lifestyle change, people had to adapt to working remotely in a whole new way, which turned out to be a welcome and much-needed change of pace. Quickly realizing a few things that helped Staying on top of the hundreds of emails each day, over a dozen daily meetings, and 30 employees who needed direction each week. Drinking every day got removed from the list, but there’s zero judgment if you want to personalize your own experience. Here are my top tips for working remotely on the road.
- Plan Your Travel Days
As many RVers quickly learn, a life on the road involves many logistics, especially if you plan to move around from location to location. I highly recommend that you thoroughly read the reviews of any campground before booking. You’ll quickly learn if the atmosphere of the property is one for respectful nature lovers, robust family tourists with dozens of children under the age of four, or weekend partiers who’ve mistaken a national park for their own backyard. The good news is that most people are out and about during the day and not at the campground, regardless of what demographic you get. Another key for planning is timing. I learned that traveling on Saturdays worked the best for me. It gave me the time to get to my destination with no other conflicting priorities. It also provided me a day to relax, set up camp, ensure Wi-Fi is strong, and/or fix something that broke before starting work on Monday.
- Avoid WI-FI Woes
Many campsite apps will detail cell carrier signal strength as well as Wi-Fi options. I’ve stayed at places that claim to have Wi-Fi, only to find out it’s only available in a 10-foot radius from the campground office. (Needless to say, I’ve sat in 100-degree heat 10 feet from a campground office to take important meetings while pretending not to sweat.) Many sites have free Wi-Fi, which often doesn’t allow for video streaming or keep your information secure, so I don’t recommend this for your main work connection. I always opt for purchasing the upgraded and secure Wi-Fi, which can still be spotty at best. Many times, when I’m paying for 10mb/s, I barely get 4mb/s, which is equivalent to the free Wi-Fi’s performance. (If you go to fast.com, you can test your Wi-Fi speed.) I’ve also found that Wi-Fi at sites will sometimes drop multiple times throughout the day and can get pretty spotty during peak traffic hours. If you do run into issues, you’ll typically need to contact the Wi-Fi provider for help, not the campground, as most grounds use a third party and aren’t accountable for the Wi-Fi service. To help work around all of this as best as possible, I’ve found it’s important to have at least three layers of Wi-Fi protection.
- Be Inspired By Your Workplace
Many remote-working RV owners have a permanent indent in the skinny foam of the kitchenette bench from the countless hours they’ve spent hunched over the dinette. While this is an option, it’s not the most functional (or comfortable) for the daily grind. I recommend changing up your office area every few days or so to save your sanity (and your back). After all, you’re traveling to experience new things, so why not be out in your ever-changing environment? When I’m at a beautiful location with space between me and my neighbors, I sit outside at the picnic table. When the outdoors won’t work, I sit in front of one of my RV windows. I made a makeshift office with a plastic fold-out table and bought a beautiful and comfy chair. I’ve enjoyed it so much, I’m building a desk to replace the temporary plastic table. The key is to sit someplace that is ergonomic enough that you don’t have issues from bad posture and that inspires you to take breaks and get up and walk around a bit throughout the day (like in front of a beautiful window — or a mirror that reminds you of those computer-strain bags under your eyes). Nothing motivates change like a mirror reflection on a bad day.
- Maintain A Routine
It’s important to set a healthy routine when you’re on the road. Days start to blur, you’re not sure what hour it is when you wake up in the middle of the night, and sometimes you can’t remember which time zone you’re in. On vacation, this may be a welcomed side effect of relaxation. While working, this can be panic inducing.
- Prioritize Communication
While you want to clearly communicate responsibilities and expectations, you’ll want to limit going into detail about how wonderful your RV week has been. Keep in mind your colleague most likely hasn’t left their living room in months and they’re trying to homeschool algebra to an under-stimulated preteen in between work meetings. Know your audience to avoid a jealous backlash.
As it turns out, working remotely from an RV isn’t a new concept. Although, it has grown in popularity in recent years. Outdoorsy reports that growth can be attributed to technology, which has made it possible for RVers to head to remote locations and still stay connected to their work. All in all ,as long as you have a reliable internet connection, it’s pretty easy to work remotely from an RV.
Written By: Pragati Upadhyay (Internship Trainee )