When you imagine living in an RV, it might seem like an endlessly exciting adventure. Every day you get to meet new people, see unique parts of the country and work from wherever you want. However, living on the road can bring some challenges, especially if you’re trying to maintain a job or career. But you’re not alone.
A 2022 RV Trader survey of 2,191 shoppers found that 30% purchased their RV with the intent of using it as a mobile home and 22% have used their RV as a home office. Among those who work out of their RV, 45% do so for more than 20 weeks out of the year. Another 18% work out of their RV between 11 to 20 weeks, 28% between 3 to 10 weeks, and 10% between 1 to 2 weeks.
Clearly working and traveling don’t have to be competing goals. You just need to find a rhythm that works for you, your business and your schedule. And while everyone’s situation is different, we’ve tried to compile some of the most applicable and useful tips for working from an RV on the road—check them out below!
Plan Travel for Weekends and Post-Business Hours
In a world where being a working digital nomad is becoming more and more acceptable, some companies still expect employees and freelancers to be available during regular business hours.
To avoid being offline during working hours, save your major driving times for weekends and evening hours. That way, you won’t have to worry about potentially losing service along the way and missing an important call. To help layout your route and make the most of your driving time, use a free trip planning app like Roadtrippers. Roadtrippers not only allows you to build and customize a trip, but it also provides useful information about places along the way (does it have WiFi, for example). And for extra long distances, or for times when you know you won’t have service, you can upgrade to Roadtrippers Plus—a paid version of the app that offers added benefits like offline mapping and live traffic updates.
Set Clear Boundaries
Time management becomes even more important when you’re balancing a full-time job and traveling. Even if you’re not tied to certain business hours, be mindful of the time you set aside to work and don’t get distracted.
Try using the Pomodoro technique to stay focused. This strategy has people work for 25 minutes, take a five-minute break and then work for another 25-minute stretch. Even if you want to work for longer stretches of time, it’s always beneficial to take a short 15-minute break every few hours.
Find Time for Self-Care
Life in an RV can be exhilarating, but it also makes it easy to stay in your own bubble. Make time for activities like exercise and meditation, which can help keep your mind clear.
These types of activities—especially when done outside—have been proven to help boost creativity and enhance creative thinking. So if the weather is nice, don’t forget to step outside and breathe for a few minutes. (And boost your Vitamin D levels.)
Build a Community
Solving problems in an office is easy—you can share and discuss with colleagues and come up with a solution in just a few minutes. But this type of brainstorming gets a bit harder when you’re on your own.
If you’re a freelancer or self-employed business owner, find a community of like-minded people to bounce ideas off. You can also try searching various Facebook groups or free public forums such as reddit and TalkFreelance. These online groups are especially useful when you’re faced with urgent IT problems or need advice.
Find Reliable WiFi
One thing that nearly every employee can agree on, regardless of where you work, is the importance of strong, reliable internet. Relying on coffee shops or public libraries might be fine for a while, but you should still have WiFi with you in your RV. After all, a coffee shop might be a fine place to work most of the time, but it isn’t ideal when you need to have a private, one-on-one conversation.
To ensure connectivity, products like Winegard ConnecT 2.0 or Togo Roadlink™ can provide fast, secure hotspots everywhere you go. A lot of cell phone carriers also offer mobile hotspot capabilities or roaming data plans, so you can share your phone’s signal with other devices. Getting a specific WiFi plan for your RV may be an added expense, but it’s worth the peace of mind knowing you won’t drop an important call.
Build a Remote Office
If you’re lucky, all you need to get your work done is reliable WiFi and a laptop. But even remote workers sometimes need services they’re not likely to find in the middle of nowhere––think printing, scanning and faxing.
Try using a compact printer that you can easily store when you don’t need it and won’t pull a lot of power from your RV. You can also download various apps to your smartphone, like the Adobe Scan app, which allows you to scan a printed document and immediately convert it into an image or PDF that you can send digitally. Lastly, helpful websites like HelloSign.com let you sign and fill out documents digitally—an extremely useful tool if you find yourself sending a lot of contracts.