Podcast Episodes

In Episode 232, Bryan and Corrina Barlow describe Workamping and full-time living in a truck camper

Today I am speaking with a couple who lived full time in a rather large truck camper while they traveled around the country looking for the ideal place to lay down roots. They found it in Michigan.

Today’s episode is sponsored by Workamper News. If you have more questions than answers when it comes to the Workamping and RVing lifestyle, then don’t worry, Workamper News has your back!

Attend their free, monthly Workamping Q&A webinar to get your questions answered.  Each month, the knowledgeable team behind Workamper.com hosts a free, live webinar where they answer questions submitted by folks, just like you, who are learning about the lifestyle, just getting started, or have been Workamping for a while.

They cover topics like, what kind of Workamping jobs are available, what do these jobs pay, tips for writing your Workamper resume, questions to ask an employer, what type of RV is best to use, how to get your mail as an RVer, and much more.

Register for the next live webinar at workamper.com/answers.  Or listen to detailed answers now by watching recordings of past Q&A webinars on the Workamper News YouTube Channel. Visit youtube.com/workamper and click on the “Q&A on Workamping” playlist for more than 15 different videos.

Photo of Corrina and Bryan Barlow's truck camper
Corrina and Bryan Barlow live fulltime in a Host Industries Mammoth truck camper.

Corrina and Bryan Barlow live in a 28-foot Mammoth brand truck camper manufactured by Host Industries. When they first started out, they had no real destination or plan in mind. They just knew they wanted to see America and experience everything it had to offer.

They spent 10 years planning for the trip by reading articles and researching the RV and Workamping lifestyle. One day, they realized time was passing by and if they were ever going to do some traveling, they had to do it soon. They left two months later.

Unfortunately, the day they sold their house in California and moved into their rig coincided with the time COVID shut everything down, including campgrounds. Bryan looked online and discovered a county park in Washington State that was still looking for camphosts. After one telephone interview, the couple was hired and headed north.

Corrina explained everyone thought COVID would be done in six months, so the job would give them a place to hunker down until everything returned to normal. The assignment proved to be quite challenging from the start. But the couple helped save the day by orchestrating a turnaround for the campground.

In fact, Bryan and Corrina were featured in the local newspaper for their exceptional work on overseeing the campground. After that stint ended, the couple started traveling around the west coast and made their way throughout much of America while driving along secondary roads, not interstates.

They deliberately set a policy that they would not travel more than 300 miles in a day and they’d stop driving by 3 p.m. to give them time to enjoy the area. Being in a truck camper, they had many more opportunities to stay off-road and away from more crowded facilities.

They offered some great advice, such as the need to determine how you want to camp before you venture out. For them, they wanted to enjoy off-road experiences. That opened the door to some pretty spectacular scenic places, but they gave up some luxuries to enjoy them.

When looking for Workamping jobs, Bryan and Corrina sought things that would give them tremendous experiences, not just a free RV site. For example, they spent a month in Albuquerque helping with the annual balloon fiesta.

The couple arrived onsite two weeks before the event began to help organizers set up for the crowds of people expected to watch the balloons. They got to enjoy the fiesta while it was underway, but then stayed for another few weeks to help clean up afterward.

They really like the flexibility their truck camper allows them because they can go places most other rigs would not dare venture in. They can also get into areas that provide up-close encounters with nature. I liked Bryan’s story about being in the camper with the door open when a big bull bison wandered by and started scratching himself on a nearby building. Corrina said she loved being able to camp directly on the lava fields at a volcanic national monument.

The Barlows faced some challenges, such as having difficulty finding dump stations in Maine and much of New England.

The couple did not always have a Workamping job, which required them to control expenses to ensure they could do all the traveling they wanted. Corrina created a spreadsheet to track expenses that would show, down to the dollar, what they were spending on and how much was left in that month’s budget. After all, as Corrina explained, pennies can quickly add up to dollars and she’d rather enjoy a lobster dinner than a cup of coffee.

I wish Bryan and Corrina Barlow the best of luck as they find a new home in Michigan from which they will continue their adventures in America and overseas. People can connect with them through a private Facebook group called Full Time Truck Camper Living.

That’s all I have for this week’s show. Next week I will be interviewing a Workamper who had quite an experience at her first Workamping job. When a bunch of coworkers went tubing in northern Wisconsin one hot day, they encountered a bear in the river. I’ll have that interview on the next episode of The Workamper Show. Thanks for listening!

Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber is a former journalist who covered the recreation vehicle industry since 2009. He started podcasting in 2014 and enjoys interviewing people about ways to live, work and play in their RVs.

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