Working on the road

When you read the title of this blog, you might think that I have a new job in road construction. However, I’m too old for road construction so I’ll have to use the meaning as “working while on a trip”.

Modern technology has made the concept of working away from the office or away from home a reality for those who wish to do so. Technology has also made it possible for someone to start an Internet business and take it on the road with them. We are no longer tied to having to be in one place to accomplish our tasks. The Internet and email along with the ubiquitous cell phone allows us to be in constant contact no matter where we go. 

I have a few friends who work out of their houses.  We have had many conversations about how easy it is now to take your business on the road, especially if you have a business that does not require your presence in an office and one that relies primarily on verbal or written communications with your clients.  That is really the essence of what I am talking about here.  Being able to take off in the camper and bring your business with you.  The vast majority of campgrounds have some type of wireless Internet now that is broadband in nature.  The old dial up Internet connection would not be suitable for work on the road today because of the size of files that either need to be uploaded or downloaded.  Can you imagine trying to upload a 6 Meg file at 56K speeds?  Surfing the Internet at 56k speeds seems archaic today.  Okay, I know there are still some folks who use dial up and it still works.

Fortunately, I am in the group of folks who have a business that is easily adapted to running out of the camper while on a trip.  Mine, as you might guess, is the website and blog that I maintain.  I have the freedom to travel anywhere I wish in the camper and still be able to maintain my website.  Occasionally I have had problems with inadequate Internet connections but those have been few and far between.  We have also been in some campgrounds where we did not get very good, and sometimes, no cell phone service.  For the most part, I don’t need the cell phone since most of my communication is by email but I do need a reliable Internet connection.

You don’t need a lot of space for your business in a camper, but the more space the better I’m sure.  A laptop computer, like I am using at this moment, and a cell phone would make up the backbone of what you need for your office on wheels.  However, depending on what you do, a combination printer, scanner and fax would be nice.  Many campgrounds have instant on phones so you could have a fax line if needed.  Of course you will need some space for your office supplies but I’m sure each person would be able to figure out how to arrange those things.  If you have the money and are so inclined and have a large enough camper you can get a satellite Internet connection.  I know a lot of folks have this type of Internet, whether they use it for business of not.  The cost of installation for the satellite dish is very high, but I assume you could write it off the old taxes.  Notice that I say assume because I’m not offering tax advice!

Another angle to “working on the road”, would be to become a work camper if you have already retired from another profession.  Thousands of people take the work camper approach to offsetting their expenses while on the road for long periods of time.  It also gives them something to do if they are fulltime campers or just traveling for most of the year.  We have talked with many folks who do the work camper business and really love it.  I think that if and when we decide to be gone for months at a time, work camping might be something that we would enjoy doing.

I suppose there are other ways to make money while on the road if you need to or just want to.  I have noticed that on those glossy info sheets that you get when you check into a campground there is information about making money selling advertisement for that publication.  I’ve often thought about calling just to see what the deal is but haven’t done it yet.  There is a book by the title “Get Paid To Camp“.  It might be worth a look if you are interested in offsetting your expenses of camping.



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