Working on the Road - What you Need to Know

How to get the most out of working on the road

The year 2020 witnessed a significant shift in the workplace with the widespread adoption of remote work. Today, it is evident that remote work, commonly known as "work-from-home," is here to stay. Even as offices reopen, employers are increasingly embracing flexibility in work schedules by offering remote and hybrid work options to accommodate the growing demand for flexibility.

Working remotely has proven to be a logical choice. Numerous studies have demonstrated that individuals who work from home are more productive. Remote work removes the need for daily commutes and facilitates more efficient group meetings with reduced time wastage. It has revolutionised the traditional office setup and redefined the concept of working smarter, not harder.

While there is no established guide on working remotely from an RV, it is worth noting that many RV enthusiasts have fearlessly and successfully transitioned to living and working on the road. It's not just entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals who have embraced this lifestyle; employees with regular 9 to 5 jobs are also setting up their offices in RVs. A prime example is Lindsay and her husband from Lanes Less Travelled, who are remote workers themselves. This couple, along with their family, has been travelling for nearly two years and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

Why RVs Are Becoming the New Office

The concept of working from an RV is not new, but it is gaining increasing popularity. Advancements in RV technology and accessories have made it feasible for digital nomads to settle in remote locations while staying connected. Full-time and part-time RVers have discovered ways to secure jobs that offer the flexibility to work and travel simultaneously. With a reliable internet connection, it is now possible to work from the road or even from the comfort of your own backyard.

See how to get the most of living off grid in your motorhome.

Equipping Your RV Office

Similar to a traditional home office, your RV office requires specific tools to enhance your productivity. It is advisable to invest in a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones, which can prove invaluable in blocking out unexpected noises from your campsite, such as construction or traffic. Opting for headphones with a built-in microphone will ensure smoother Zoom calls.

While a laptop is typically a standard component of any remote work setup, having an additional monitor can enhance multitasking capabilities. Portable and compact monitors are readily available and can make a significant difference in maintaining an organised digital workspace.

When working remotely, it's important to invest in the appropriate tools for your job. In the case of Lindsay Lane, a DSLR camera and photo-editing software are vital for her work as a blogger and influencer.

campervan working on the road

One of the most crucial considerations for remote workers in an RV is ensuring a reliable internet connection. While Starlink internet holds promise for RVers, it is not yet widely available. Instead, it is recommended to have a cell phone booster and Wi-Fi system installed onboard your RV. Having a hotspot device is vital for situations where the internet falls short of expectations. In such instances, using a cellular connection as a hotspot becomes necessary to complete your work. For larger uploads and downloads, seeking out a nearby coffee shop or library can ensure these tasks are accomplished swiftly.

How To Work On the Road In An RV Remote

While working from the road may not always match the glamorous portrayal often seen on social media, finding a work-travel balance is key to making life as a digital nomad more manageable. Each work situation is unique, but acquiring knowledge about remote work and RV travel beforehand can smoothen the transition from the office to life on the road. It may not be entirely smooth sailing, but understanding the secrets of working remotely while travelling in an RV will certainly make the journey a bit smoother.

Why not check out our tips on driving your campervan during autumn?

Create Comfy Office Space Inside Your RV

While the idea of attending Zoom meetings from a beach or working amidst pine trees overlooking a serene mountain lake may sound appealing, it is not always practical. Factors like sun glare, insects, and unpredictable weather can make working outdoors for extended periods challenging. Fortunately, there are useful tips to help you create a comfortable workspace inside your RV.

• Decorate your RV with items and colours that bring you joy, creating a relaxing environment inside.

• Orient your workspace to face the outdoors. If you cannot go outside, at least you can enjoy the view.

• Be mindful of lighting sources in your RV and adjust your workspace to minimise glare.

• Elevate your laptop or consider investing in an external monitor to prevent strain from prolonged hunching over a small screen.

• Use a wireless Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

• Avoid working from the bed for the sake of your physical well-being.

Travel Slowly

In terms of travel, it's important to adopt a slower pace. If you stick to a traditional 9-to-5, Monday-to-Friday schedule, you'll likely find yourself moving the RV to new campsites on weekends, which can be exhausting and detract from your leisure time. 

Instead, consider slowing down and staying in one location for at least two weeks. This gives you ample time to acclimate, explore the local area, and enjoy downtime. Remember that RVing as a full-timer isn't a race. Find your personal "sweet spot" for how often you want to move your RV. For example, the Lanes prefer relocating every two weeks, while others, like myself, may choose to stay in one place for a month at a time. This allows for a deeper immersion in the local culture, cuisine, and attractions without feeling rushed.

Pro Tip: Something to keep in mind is that camp ground rates tend to decrease the longer you stay. Opting for monthly rates often provides the best value for your money. In fact, it is not uncommon for the cost of staying for an entire month to be cheaper than a two-week stay in the same campground.

Set Realistic Work and Travel Expectations

Finding a balance between work, leisure, and travel can be challenging, especially for those new to RVing. Working excessively long hours without structure goes against the very reasons why you embarked on this journey in the first place. The key to successfully working remotely while travelling lies in setting realistic expectations for both work and travel.

Allocate specific days for travel. Regardless of the duration, most experienced RVers will attest to the exhausting nature of travel days.

Plan to conclude your driving before late afternoon. Arriving at a new destination after dark can be extremely challenging for RVers, as parking and setting up in unfamiliar surroundings at night often leads to frustration.

Avoid expecting to have a productive workday after driving for several hours. For most people, attempting to work immediately after a long drive proves to be ineffective.

Schedule dedicated workdays, even if they fall on weekends.

Factor in time during travel days for RV setup or breakdown. Consider gas stops and allow time for tank dumping or filling.

Extend your stay in one location. If you work while on the road, it becomes easier to fully enjoy new areas when you stay in one place for a longer duration. Take the time to explore and appreciate the places you visit, creating memorable experiences along the way.

Include time in your schedule for sightseeing, hiking, and other outdoor activities. Some RVers find that if they don't schedule their free time, it often gets overlooked.

Set aside flexible time in your work or travel days to accommodate unexpected events such as mechanical issues or illnesses.

Think of Your Office View

The remote work revolution has opened up possibilities to work from virtually anywhere. It's important to envision your ideal office view and plan ahead to avoid last-minute scrambling for your next destination. Take the time to plan months in advance, which will alleviate stress about future locations and ensure reliable internet connectivity.

campervan views

Consider factors such as weather and the activities you enjoy during your downtime. If you're passionate about snow sports, a winterized RV designed as a base camp can enable you to pursue this hobby when you're off work. On the other hand, if you are planning to go paddling, kayaking, or surfing, kayaking, look for an RV with sufficient storage for your equipment. If you prefer working outdoors, prioritise an itinerary that follows favourable weather patterns, allowing you to chase the changing seasons.

Maybe you want to make your campervan office using a used camper. Check out our used campervan buying guide.

Expect Some Hiccups

Expecting unexpected challenges is part of both RV living and traditional residential living. Working on the road comes with its own set of obstacles, such as intermittent internet access, noisy construction, inclement weather, or the need to adjust itineraries. Embrace these hurdles and go with the flow, reminding yourself that your office is mobile and adaptable.

If you want to learn if working on the road is for you why not rent a campervan in Ireland from Rambling Rover Campervans?