Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Workamping Scam

So in our vast search for another place to live to find work elsewhere, we have started looking into the world of workamping because everyone across the internet talked it up so much, and in just a short hop and skip into our journey we have found it's a world full of scammers. It's more of a dire need I-need-a-place-to-live-other-than-the-Walmart-parking-lot situation type of thing for us.

Workamping (yes, I spelled it right) involves single persons, usually couples, who are employed by RV parks for office work, housekeeping, and other odd jobs in return for a campsite to park their RV in which usually includes full hook ups (FHU), wifi (most, but not all), laundry coins, propane, and sometimes a discount at their store if they have one on site.

One issue on top of the several others that we ran into while starting our RV living journey in FL was that we are not a 55+ retired couple of snowbirds. It's not stated as a requirement in any posts online searching for workamping couples, but every job I reply to seems either to have a quick "nicely" written decline for our help our help, or they stop writing me back and all after they ask our age.
Discrimination of age much? I'd like to think we fit in quite nicely with the older generation for one, whether they all like us younglings or not. We're not rowdy, or crazy party seekers, and we even bring a great dish to the potluck and don't pig out on everyone else's stuff. But, the next following 'issue' kind of provides why they only seek old couples with nothing else to do and a chunk of change already in their bank.

The next issue was that every work post I seem to cross was either asking for a single workamper (couples can always live there regardless with the one working) to work 80 hours a month, or a couple to work an average of 15-20 hours per week per person. Now to do some math and include everything I mentioned being included in the Workamping description above:

  • Highest cost of a FHU FL RV lot per month I found browsing the Workamping help wanted's: $500 (and there was only one at this price, the rest ranged from $250 - $400, but let's see what happens when the highest price is involved in the math)
  • Average cost of 16 trips to a laundromat per month: $28
  • Average cost of standard 20gal propane RV fill up: $25 (**noted that is an every other month expense but I'll add it to the monthly expense to make the scammers look a wee bit better)
  • Average cost of high speed 15mbps which includes wifi router and home phone, not sharing: $62 (This is just what we're paying now for ours, more than likely the RV sites only offer wifi off their router shared among many other residents, but I'll include it regardless)
All the above = $615 a month

The minimum wage for FL is $8.05 

I'll do the math for a couple that's working;

So 2 people @ 15 hours per week = 120 hours of work for a 30 day period
@ Minimum wage = $966

$615/120 = $5.12 per hour 

So with all this said and done for a couple to start workamping at the average RV park, they will be completely underpaid with no time for another job unless they go work 3rd shift at some fast food restaurant around the corner in order to pay for the rest of the bills like insurance, cell phone, travel gas and your normal etc., like food and such. 

So my conclusion:
Unless you're a retired snowbird with a hardy large pocket of change looking more for something to do rather than stare at a wall and don't care that you're missing out on a couple hundred dollars a month, than workamping for a place to live is the thing for you. I guess also like I stated in my first paragraph, if you don't feel like living in a Walmart parking lot for a time and at the moment that's your only option, this is also for you, unless you're under 55, then they may not take you in... But that's just my experience. 

So this is just my opinion, but I think Mike and I can do a lot better. I doubt we'll ever be back in the Walmart phase, here's knocking on wood, so here's to a great future not having RV parks pay us scrap to work for an overpriced patch of dirt to park our RV on. 

Here's also to hoping I'll find my on the road work niche and will be able to share it with you guys. 

TTFN! <3

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