Dale and Margie Parker describe seven years of Workamping and RVing experiences on Episode 139
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Today I am going to interview a couple from Louisiana who have been RVing since 2004 and have lots of experience Workamping at various jobs throughout North America – even Alaska.
Dale and Margie Parker completed their first RV trip in a pop-up camper when they traveled 6,000 miles along the west coast. That convinced them to upgrade to something a bit sturdier, so they opted for a 40-foot Jayco fifth wheel. They selected a fifth wheel over a motorhome for the ability to park the RV at a campsite and use the tow vehicle to get around without having to tow another car.
They have held a number of jobs over the years, including working at Dollywood amusement park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., doing retail work at Yellowstone National Park, serving as camp hosts at a campground in South Dakota and they even spent some time in Alaska.
Dale really likes jobs serving as a camp host and Margie enjoyed working food service jobs at Dollywood and retail positions at West Yellowstone. They both like the ability to meet people from around the world traveling to popular tourist destinations in America.
The perks offered for Workamping at Dollywood are hard to beat, and Margie explains what she liked most about those.
The Parkers enjoy biking and purchased ebikes to make their excursions a bit easier. They tend to find jobs that allow them to enjoy hiking, biking and fishing.
They faced some challenges on the road, like having two tires blowout on the same trip. They also had a turbo intercooler rupture while going up a big hill in Oregon and it required the state police to block traffic so they could back the RV down the highway. Fortunately Dale is mechanically inclined and said he can usually cobble together a temporary fix to any problem.
One thing they like about RVing is the ability to stay in touch with their four children, eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
The Parkers have been everywhere in America except the northeast, and they are hoping to find a job in that region in 2022. They keep their resumes updated on Workamper.com and that generally brings in several inquiries from prospective employers who see they’re looking for jobs in a specific area of the country.
They offered some great advice about doing research on jobs before accepting a position – and then to make sure everyone understands what’s expected by signing a contract before starting the job. It works to reduce misunderstandings and provide some protection to Workampers in the event conditions change.
Margie said its best to talk to employers honestly upfront before driving a thousand miles to work at a job you’d later find out wasn’t really right for you because it’s too physically demanding or the work hours didn’t offer enough play time to enjoy the area.
For people who are on the fence about Workamping, Dale encouraged them to give it a try for just one season to see if they’d like it or not. He suggests that Workampers maintain what he calls “rigid flexibility” to adopt to unforeseen circumstances, but remain committed to honoring what they agreed to do and hold employers accountable to what they agreed as well.
The Parkers also encouraged people to think about their life situation when considering Workamping jobs. For example, if someone needs more frequent access to doctors and pharmacies, then they don’t want to consider jobs that require driving an hour to get to a clinic. Or, if you are a fan of specific kinds of food, make sure it is readily available in the area where you’ll be Workamping.
I wish Dale and Margie the best of luck as they look for jobs in New England next summer.
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That’s all I have for this week’s show. Next time, I will be speaking with a couple who loves working at amusement parks and enjoys traveling to LSU football games. I’ll have that interview on the next episode of The Workamper Show.