One silver lining that 2020 brought was that it freed up a lot of people to work from a flexible location. And as RVing also picked up steam, coupling the two makes for a solid combination. You can basically explore the world while working. And what better place to go to than the US? America is an exceptionally RV-friendly country that not only boasts a large number of RV parks and campgrounds, but many of them are also great destinations for RV enthusiasts who also work remotely, as they provide access to electricity and internet.
But taking your job on the go is not so simple. Armed with the right tools and with a solid plan of attack, you can turn your RVing adventure into a success. To make the most of your next RVing stint while working remotely, we’ve put together a list of tips below:
- 1 1. Get access to reliable Wi-Fi
- 2 2. Make sure you can power your RV
- 3 3. Set up a dedicated RV office space
- 4 4. Get the right work gear
- 5 5. Use time management tools
- 6 6. Adapt your routine based on location
- 7 7. Take your time traveling
- 8 8. Plan for the unexpected
1. Get access to reliable Wi-Fi
Remote work is helped tremendously by access to the internet – so making sure you have that wherever your RV trips take you is essential. A lot of campgrounds have internet access, but some don’t. Having a plan B in place for your Wi-Fi connection is a must. You can get a cellular data plan that covers all parts of the country you intend to visit. You can also get a cell signal booster or Wi-Fi booster that can be placed inside your RV or on the roof. If all else fails, you can turn to public networks from libraries, coffee shops and others but keep in mind you might not be able to take calls or simply carry out your workday as usual from one of these places.
2. Make sure you can power your RV
Once the issue of internet access is resolved, figuring out the source for your electricity is essential for powering your laptop and your RV. Here are some ways you can get your electricity on the road:
Campsites with electrical hookups
If you’re staying at a campsite offering electrical hookup, all your devices can charge with no headaches. However, campsites offering this amenity tend to be a little more expensive (about $100/night).
You can have your own energy when you buy a generator – they’re portable and accessible when you need to plug in your devices. The downside is they can be costly and also a little noisy when recharging.
If you can buy an RV that’s retrofitted with solar panels or you can install them yourself – you’ve got yourself energy independence! The panels sit on the roof of your RV, catch the sunlight and help to provide electrical power to all of your devices. Besides the purchase, solar energy is free, requires no maintenance, and there are no unpleasant byproducts of it (smell- or noise-related).
3. Set up a dedicated RV office space
The remote work experience so far tells us that when working from home you need a separate space to call your office away from the office. A similar arrangement is also necessary when you work from your RV. In this setting, your “office” could be the dinette, a sofa or a campsite picnic table. If you’re working from inside your RV, choose a spot near the window where you can enjoy the view – it’s part of the reason you’re on the road, right?
You need this separate space where your family members or partner won’t disturb you while you work. If it’s inside your RV, you will have to take it down and put it away daily, but it will make your work more efficient because it creates a routine.
4. Get the right work gear
Taking your job on the road and working remotely from your RV means you will need things for work. Here’s a list of work equipment to help you work:
- Comfortable chair
Nothing truly beats the comfort of an office chair, but RVs are not built to accommodate a lot of items so bringing one might be a logistical challenge. In addition, most RV chairs are not comfortable to sit in for hours. To make the best of it, you can simply add back support pillows to use on the existing seating scheme. This will probably help you be much more comfortable.
- Extra monitor
Besides your laptop, using an extra monitor is a must in a remote work setting to help you better manage your projects. Go for slim monitors that can be easily put away when the workday is over. Moreover, get raisers so you can save table space.
Whether you enjoy listening to music while you work or need to take calls to make sure you sound okay to your coworkers when you’re working inside your RV – it reduces any echoes from the environment. Additionally, if you’re traveling with your family, headphones help to reduce the noise.
- Wireless ergonomic keyboard and mouse
If you’re using your computer for work, you might find a wireless ergonomic keyboard and mouse a huge help. It will alleviate the stress on your hands and joints – who would want to get carpal tunnel anyway?
- File organizers
Living in a small space such as an RV and being organized can be challenging, but file organizers can assist you. You can keep tax forms, mail, bills and other similar items in their own place. Additionally, keep all work-related items in a cabinet where you can easily find them when you need them.
5. Use time management tools
To help best manage your work time on the road, you can turn to time management tools. For instance, RescueTime is a great planner app that assists you in balancing work and relaxation. For work management, Toggl, MindNode or Trello are great online task managers. A paper planner is also great for keeping track of your activity and tasks.
6. Adapt your routine based on location
When you’re working from an office, there’s a specific routine to your day. You can replicate that cadence when you’re RVing – set a schedule and stick to it. It doesn’t only help you offer the comfort of a set routine but also helps you better enjoy the rest of your day. You’re on the road to enjoy the perks of the location you’re in. That’s why working around your location is key. If you’re staying at a campground in Texas in summer, you can get up early and go for a hike before it gets too hot. Or perhaps you’re working from Massachusetts in the fall – you can work early in the morning and go kayaking in the afternoon when it warms up.
Alternating regions and climates throughout the year means your RV is packed with all kinds of sports gear. For the times when you’re not using some of them, self storage can help. Placing sports gear you aren’t using in storage can help you better manage your RV space and avoid cluttering it. For instance, while you’re in Texas, you can put your golf clubs in a Houston self storage unit.
7. Take your time traveling
To fully enjoy a location while you work a 9-5 job, you should stay in each location for some time. Spend at least two weeks in each place to sample the local cuisine, get to know the local culture and explore the outdoors. Besides, moving less often is less stressful for you, which means that your weekends – when most people move – are also calmer. Additionally, campsites tend to offer better deals for longer stays.
8. Plan for the unexpected
Whether you live in your home or your new home on the road, life is full of surprises. You can expect the occasional hiccup – whether the electricity is down, your internet connectivity is temporarily suspended or your campsite neighbors are noisy. With your office on wheels, anything is possible. To counteract any work delays for your team, let everyone know you’re on the road and also as soon as possible when you’ve hit a snag.