I’ve been interviewing a number of employers lately, and last week’s podcast focused on tires. So, for the next few weeks, I’ll be talking to some experienced Workampers who will give us a glimpse of their lives on the road.
Johanna D’Aleo has been Workamping for more than four years. When people talk about downsizing to become a full-time RVer, Johanna really took that to heart.
She started by living in a teardrop trailer, then upgraded to a 13-foot travel trailer. Then she moved into a 16-foot trailer and recently traded that in for a 19.5-foot RV. While some folks may find that cozy, Johanna shares the space with her 100-pound dog, Kia.
She learned about Workamping when traveling through Wyoming where she stayed at a campground that did not offer full hookups, except for one site. Johanna inquired how the couple snagged a full-hookup site, and they described their duties as campground hosts. That fall, Johanna had her first position as a campground host in Minnesota.
The idea of staying in one place long enough to really experience the area, and then moving on to a new adventure, is what attracted Johanna to Workamping in the first place.
Many of her jobs have been volunteer positions, but she has worked as an assistant activities director for a rather large campground in Texas. She also enjoys helping out in the office at the campgrounds where she is Workamping.
Johanna describes some of the favorite places she has visited as well as a number of locations that remain on her bucket list of things to do. She’s particularly attracted to scenic places.
The former vice president of administration for a college in New York, the change of pace offered by Workamping suits Johanna just fine. Although she probably doesn’t need to work, doing so does support her travel lifestyle and helps make RVing more affordable.
Johanna shares some insight as to how she finds various Workamping jobs, and how some places have actually sought her out as a prospective Workamper.
Fortunately, Johanna has not experienced any truly difficult challenges on the road. But, one experience watching the pressure drop on one of her tires while traveling down the road really points to the need for a good tire pressure monitoring system.
It alerted her to the problem in time for her to pull into a service center to get the tire fixed before she wound up stranded on the road in some remote area.
Johanna offered great advice to learn as much about your RV as you can, such as where the fuses are and how the water system works. She found a great resource in a Facebook group for Jayco owners, and she can often find answers to other problems online.
She’s found it helpful to look over the reviews offered by other Workampers before agreeing to a position. Like she said, it is possible that someone won’t get along with their manager from time to time. But when a bunch of people mention the same problems, Johanna cautions that it’s a red flag that may require more questions or investigation before accepting a job.
I think the best advice she offered pertained to checking the RV and campsite carefully before you pull out of a campground. And, even though you follow a checklist and think everything is perfect, do another walkaround before leaving just to make sure you haven’t left anything behind, the drawers and cabinets are shut, and the windows are closed.
After a long day of travel, especially if you are towing an RV, you don’t want to get to the destination only to realize you left a window open through the rainstorm, or a bottle of soda you left on the counter fell off, burst and rolled around your RV.
Some things about RVing can only be learned by experience. Yet, it’s possible to learn from the experiences and mistakes of others.
Workamper News offers classes, like the Dreamer’s Journey, to teach people what they need to know about RVing and Workamping before they hit the road. The new Small Biz RVer Course helps people run businesses from their RVs. There is also a Facebook group for Gold, Diamond and Platinum members where they share tips, ask questions and get answers.
The Workamper News magazine and daily hotline emails can help you find the right job in whatever area of the country you’d like to visit. Be sure to check out all the features and benefits of Workamping by visiting www.workamper.com.
This episode is sponsored by the National RV Training Academy in Athens, Texas. The academy’s one-week live training or home study course will teach you everything you need to know to fix about 80 percent of the problems people experience with their RVs.
You can also sign up for additional training to become an RV inspector, campground technician or to provide mobile RV service. For more information, visit www.nrvta.com.