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Episode 176: How Workamping can help pay for your RV Lifestyle

| Updated Jan 24, 2018

Would you like to do more RV traveling this year but can’t afford it? Then consider workamping, or working for relatively short periods of time in exchange for a place to park your RV and often even for pay.

We’ll talk about that I this episode and get great advice from an experienced workamping couple. We’ll also have lots of workamping resources for you to check out. Plus your questions, comments, RV news and much more.

Click the player below to Listen Now or scroll down through the show note details. When you see a time code hyperlink, you can click it to jump directly to that segment of the podcast.


Show Notes for Episode #176 1/24/18 of Roadtreking – The RV Podcast:

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK [spp-timestamp time=”1:45″]

Episode 176: How Workamping can help pay for your RV Lifestyle 1
Mike and Jennifer were snug and warm inside their RV as they recorded this episode in the middle of a blizzard in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

Mike and Jen are quite literally snowbound as they recorded this episode of the RV podcast, coming to you from the snowy woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where a Lake Superior winter storm has them hunkered down in their Roadtrek until the roads get plowed. You may be surprised to know they’re delighted with the situation! So is Bo, who was made for the snow.

They share their love of winter camping, but admittedly are looking forward to thawing out as they head to Florida in a couple of weeks for some personal appearances at RV shows and a Roadtreking gathering at the Manatee Springs State Park.

This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 19 locations and growing

 JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK [spp-timestamp time=”9:48″]

We, like many RVers, love to travel with our dog. And our dogs sure love exploring new

Episode 176: How Workamping can help pay for your RV Lifestyle 2
The Link AKC dog collar with GPS and a temperature sensor

That’s why the tip we received from a listener named Sue is so appreciated. Sue has a way to have peace of mind that if your pet does takes off, you will be able to easily located hime.

Sue suggests aproduct called Link AKC. It sells for $99 and comes in two sizes, one for small dogs, one for large. It’s a GPS system for your pet.

We’ll put a link to them on Amazon on the show notes for this episode at Roadtreking-dot-cm-slash-176.

And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

I love hearing from you!

For a complete list of all the products, gear and apps mentioned by Mike and Jennifer on their podcast, YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel and here on the blog, go to

Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK [spp-timestamp time=”14:18″]

Monica asks: Please talk about how you keep the flooring clean in your Roadtrek. Thanks.

  • Jennifer uses Clorox wipes to keep ours clean-

Howard e-mails: In your video about using the Reflectix on the window for insulation, can it be used for the windshield, driver and passenger window as well?

  • Mike thinks it would be hard to attach there. We instead use a Sunshield, which is about the same thing and has Hook and loop fasteners to attach to the outside edges. You can get at any camping store or on Amazon at

Barry writes: We have one of the three-way refrigerators that we use almost exclusively on propane. As you probably know they are not always reliable. We would like to be alerted when the temperature in the refrigerator or the freeze strays outside a given range. One we tried recently didn't work and we returned it. Any recommendations from you would be greatly appreciated. Take care and see you out on the road!

  • Mike shares how he has tried three of them and nine work reliably. Batteries die. He has none and is not inclined to try another.

Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV  Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’ RVs with locations St. Louis, Missouri; Las Vegas, Nevada; Kalispell, Montana and now… Colorado Springs, Colorado..

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK [spp-timestamp time=”23:36″]

As everyone is dreaming about their summer plans, where to go and what to explore, one topic we’d like to dig into today is spending that time volunteering. Right now there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of volunteers being sought to serve in federal and state lands throughout the country this summer. And the ideal candidate? An RVer.

Episode 176: How Workamping can help pay for your RV Lifestyle 3
Jim and Rhonda Phipps, with Cricket

These jobs could be serving as campground hosts at a state or national campground, welcoming campers and keeping track of basic maintenance in return for a free spot to camp. But these volunteer jobs could also range from dressing as a cowboy on a historic cattle ranch out west, to selling merchandise in a gift shop, to living in a lighthouse along the coast of beautiful Lake Superior to helping astronomers interpret the sky for Montana visitors.

Right now many federal and state government offices are taking applications for volunteers to work on state or federal land for summer of 2018. Many are specifically seeking RVers – both couples and individuals. While work requirements vary from spot to spot, often the jobs require 32 hours a week volunteer hours for a single person or 24 hours per week for a couple, leaving plenty of time to explore.

Some jobs require a month commitment, some require a season, At least one we found requires a year of service. While these jobs are considered volunteer work, most provide a free campsite, and many of those campsites provide free water, electricity and dumping, for as long as you serve.

But when you talk to people who do this, they will also be quick to say they provide so much more. Yes, free housing does help the budget, but many who take the jobs also say they provide a great deal of satisfaction that comes from giving back and – in a very real and tangible way -helping to strengthen some of this nation’s most unique parks and historic areas.

It could be the adventure of a lifetime. And there are hundreds of volunteer jobs available for RVers. But there are also paid jobs for workampers. A lot of them.

Too many to mention, in fact. But if you want to get a list of them, go to

Right now, to give you an idea of what those paid and unpaid jobs are like, we want to introduce you to some good friends of ours – Jim and Rhonda Phipps. The Phipps have done just about every kind of workamper job you can imagine. And recently, Mike sat them down and asked them to share their experiences.

If you’d like to see a video of the interview, and some photos of their workamping jobs, go to our Video channel at

And to see a short video the Phipps prepared about their job as campground hosts, go to 

And… if you want to see a list of volunteer jobs at national and state parks, keep reading…

For federal volunteer jobs, go to:

This site lists volunteer jobs for: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Parks Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Geological Survey, National Resource Conservation Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Once there you can search and see what volunteer jobs are out there by clicking the state you most want to visit. applications are being taken now for summer jobs. Application deadlines, webpages and phone numbers are also given for each job.

When you find the one that interests you, apply for it online. The page will walk you through the five step application process. When more than one couple applies, the agency will look at who is most qualified.

Here is a link to what you should expect if you want to apply:

Many states also have their own websites to seek campground host volunteers in particular. Here are some links (this list is not comprehensive, just a sampling):








Wyoming: – appPlacement

The interview of the week is brought to you by, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

TRAVELING TECH TIP [spp-timestamp time=”38:27″]

By Steve Van Dinter

Verizon Wireless

Episode 176: How Workamping can help pay for your RV Lifestyle 4
Steve Van Dinter

It’s here…the culmination of months of gridiron action…the Super Bowl.

If your RV is pointed towards Minneapolis, you may want to get into town earlier than Feb 4th.

That’s because starting on Friday, Jan 26 and running through gameday you’ll find Super Bowl Live presented by Verizon.

This is a celebration of all things Minnesota! From great photo opportunities (including one from inside a snow globe), to larger than life ice sculptures, sleigh rides and even cross country skiing and tubing, you’ll find it all in this mile long adventure located near U.S. Bank Stadium.

In addition, if you’re a food lover, come taste some great local fare from food trucks like Butcher Salt, Gastro Truck, MN Nice Cream and more. In fact there’s so much food – more than 100 offerings – you’ll fill up well before you’ve run out of choices!

And once you’ve properly pampered your palette, it’s time to give your other senses a treat by checking out the free live concerts playing on the Verizon Up Stage. There you’ll find Minnesota music legends Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis along with Idina Menzel, Dessa, The Steeles and the Jets and much more.

It’s a fun-filled, action-packed 10 days you won’t want to miss.

You can learn more

And you can stay on top of the action, by following me on Twitter. Just look for @SVANDINTER

I’ll be working to bring you all the sights and sounds from on site and help showcase what’s going on each and every day.

This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

RV SHOWS THIS WEEKEND [spp-timestamp time=”42:12″]

Western New York RV Show
January 19-28Hamburg Fairgrounds Events CenterHamburg, NYQuartzside Sports, Vacation & RV ShowJanuary 20-28Show Grounds LocationQuartzside, AZLouisville Boat, RV & SportshowJanuary 24-28Kentucky Exposition CenterLouisville, KYCincinnati-Dayton RV Show

January 25-28

Dayton Convention Center

Dayton, OH


Fort Myers RV Show

January 25-28

Lee Civic Center

Fort Myers, FL


Greater Kansas RV Show

January 25-28

Century II Expo Hall

Wichita, KS


WBay RV & Camping Expo

January 25-28

Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena & Shopko Hall

Green Bay, WI


East Texas Boat & RV Show

January 26-28

Maude Cobb Activity Center

Longview, TX


Greater Phoenix RV Show

January 26-28

Phoenix Convention Center

Phoenix, AZ


Huntington RV & Boat Show

January 26-27

Big Sandy Superstore Arena

Huntington, WV


Atlanta Camping & RV Show

January 26-28

Atlanta Exposition Center South

Atlanta, GA


Tulsa Boat, Sports & Travel Show

January 29- February 4

Muscogee Creek Nation Center & Expo Square

Tulsa, OK

This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

Please Subscribe and Give Us a Rating and Review!

Many listeners are asking how they can subscribe, review and rate the Roadtreking Podcast on iTunes. With a new podcast like this, those reviews and ratings are really important to be able to show well in the iTunes listings. So if you can, I’d sure appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave me your review.

Here’s how:

How to subscribe, rate and review a podcast

First, open up the iTunes app on your computer or mobile device. Click on Podcasts up on the top
> From the iTunes Podcasts page, use the “Search Store” field up at the top right corner of the page. Type in Mike Wendland or Roadtreking RV Podcast.
> Click on the logo image of the Roadtreking RV Podcast on the search return page
> From there (see photo above), you can…

1) Subscribe

2) Choose and Click on a star (1-5) that reflects your rating. Five stars means you really like it, one star not so much.

3) Leave a written review.

Thanks to all for the kind reviews we’ve received so far. That got us noticed by Apple/iTunes as “New and Noteworthy.” I appreciate every review!

And remember, you can appear in future episodes. Ask a question or voice your comments about RV topics by clicking the Leave Voicemail tab on the right side of this page here at You can then use the microphone on your computer to record your words.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2018-01-24

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

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