“Wait, you work remotely…from your RV? How!?” That is a question that I’ve gotten so much since starting my full-time RV life that I decided I would finally write a blog post on it and answer everyone’s burning questions! I’ll be writing this in Question & Answer style, and try to hit all the questions i’ve been asked! If you have additional questions, please comment or email me directly and I’ll update the blog with more info!
What do you do for work/how do you work remotely?
I am not retired, or independently wealthy. I am just a digital nomad millennial (along with my husband who also works from the road). I am very lucky in the fact that i’ve actually worked full-time remotely for the last 5 years for a virtual design company. I am a creative marketer and interior designer, so for me it wasn’t about going remote, but going part-time. I worked 40+ hours a week prior to RVing, but once I started mapping out travels and realizing I could not work full time and actually experience the amazing places I was visiting, I worked out a schedule with my company. I now work part time from the road (15/20 hours weekly) and have a very flexible schedule. I can’t even express my gratitude that this is possible, but it works wonderfully for me.
Not a lot changed in the way I work – I have my laptop and a good pair of headphones and that’s about all I need for my job. My husband who is a technology engineer works part time as well (obviously remotely!). He has two laptops, a mouse and keyboard and a more robust setup since he deals with technology. However, at the end of his work day, everything he uses gets folded up and put away in a backpack that is stored away and out of site. In a small space, even if you need a lot of equipment, it’s necessary and very possible to put it all away.
My company is based out of the west coast, and my husbands is east coast, so we adjust our work schedules as we travel, but it hasn’t been an issue and it actually makes it kind of fun! So don’t let this hold if time zones are a worry.
How do you do it? I would get distracted.
After I explain how I work remotely, many times this is the next question. Without a doubt, many people believe they just can’t do it – they can’t work in a small spot, or they would get distracted by the changing scenery. I’ll tell you this – if you want to RV full time (or even part time) it takes a lot of determination and dedication. It’s not something that just falls into your lap – so already if you’re able to do that, then you WILL be able to focus on work. I only work part time, so I actually like the break from being outside, hiking, RV maintenance, etc. I like sitting there for a little, working on a task that I genuinely enjoy. Plus – work just tastes sweeter when you can look up and see a beautiful view!
If you truly get distracted and need peace and quiet (my husband talks to clients all day, and needs silence while he is on the phone) then that is possible too. My motorhome isn’t that big – it’s 32′. There is a dining table to work at, a sofa, and we turned our bunkhouse into a standing office space which is my favorite. During the day, we’ve discovered that campgrounds are pretty quiet, and within the RV noise has never been an issue. If I have a meeting and my husband has a call, then one of us either sits outside or goes into the bedroom and shuts the door. Pretty simple! Where there is a will, there is a way. Plus, if I didn’t get my work done, then I wouldn’t be able to afford this amazing life – that’s motivation enough for me!
How do you get internet?
This is the jackpot baby! Internet. We all need it, and somehow even in 2021, reliable internet is hard to get in a lot of places. We researched this for hours and hours on end before we even started RVing. Having a spotty connection was not an option for us since our livelihood depended on it. There is SO SO SO much information out there about internet when RVing, however the solutions we found were very expensive and felt duct-taped together so to speak. We kept digging for answers and we found a solution that has worked for us 100% of the time so far.
Cell Phone Hotspot
Cell phone carriers are notorious for false advertising – unlimited data? Yeah right. We had unlimited data with Verizon, but after so many GB’s a month were used, the data was so slow that you couldn’t even send an email on your phone. After realizing we couldn’t go with a traditional ‘unlimited plan’, my husband found the jackpot (I almost don’t want to advertise it because it’s actually too good to be true, but it is) with Visible. Visible uses Verizon’s cell towers, so the connection is reliable and pretty much everywhere in the US, however it’s not Verizon. It’s its own provider…and it’s $40 a month for unlimited data. No tethering, no cap. So even after we have used nearly 50 GB after 3 weeks of work, the signal never gets slower or weaker – and there are no extra charges.
We bought a phone from Visible, which was roughly $300, and that phone is used solely as our hotspot. Subsequently, this allows us to always have the ‘wifi’ on in our RV and keep our security cameras running the entire time we are away without having to worry about going over data limits or having to leave our personal cell behind.
You can try Visible yourself here – and you can thank me later!
Hotspot booster (aka travel router)
At your sticks and bricks, your cable company would provide you a router which extends your wifi through your home, and allows you to connect your tablet and phone and xbox, etc. (Also I am NOT a techie, so this is all in simple terms, forgive me for butchering anything here) If you’re in an RV, you won’t have grounded cable/wifi (unless you’re in a fancy RV resort perhaps) so you will need a hotspot for ‘wifi’. A cell phone is the hotspot, however you can’t connect several things to one hotspot.
We bought a Nano Travel Router that plugs right into the wall (has an AC adapter) and can even be powered by a power-bank. This travel router allows my husband and I to stream music, both work and have our cellphones connected to the wifi, all simultaneously. It also is 2.4g and 5g capable so both old and new devices can connect – which is very important! It’s pretty fantastic!
***One last amazing thing – if you’re at a campground and they have free wifi (you know, the kind that is NEVER strong) you can use the Nano Travel Router to extend the network to your RV and strengthen the signal. Win-win.
Budget Friendly Cell-phone signal booster
So if you are wayyyyy out there and only have one bar of signal, you might start to panic. Like I did the first week we traveled. I needed to work and we had a signal, but it was weak and not enough to do my video calls for work. We bought a cell-phone signal booster which just looks like a cell-phone case that magically boosts your signal. I know – this is a very technologically advanced answer! However, for example it will take our 1 bar signal and boost it to 3, which can make a world of difference.
Three three things, Visible wireless service, TP Link Nano Travel Router, and WiBoost Cell Holster are all budget friendly, and a trio that ensures you will have what you need to work remotely!
What do you do for work?
I’m ending with this question, because I know there are so many out there who desperately want a nomadic life, but need a remote income. I’ll tell you this – it’s not as easy as getting a desk or in-person job, but it’s possible, and becoming more popular.
Almost any skill can be done in a remote job setting, you just need to get creative in how you search and foster those skills. Many RVers are entrepreneurs and run their own business, which for me is the dream, but if you are just looking for a simple job to get by and focus your time and energy on the adventure of RVing, it’s possible too!
Here are the links to everything I talked about for your convenience!
(nothing here is sponsored, but they are affiliate links which help support my income on the road)
- TP-Link AC750 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router
- weBoost Drive Sleek
- Visible Mobile (try with my code to get the first month for $5!)