How to Make Money Living in a Van: 33 Ideas for Van or RV Life
Are you looking for ways to make money on the road so you can live a more nomadic lifestyle? You want to travel, but you don’t want to give up your income. It’s hard to believe that people can travel full-time and still make money, but it’s true! There are a lot of different ways to make money while living in a van or RV and still live comfortably.
In this post, I put together a list of ways for you to make money while living in a van or RV. From freelancing to pet sitting, there are plenty of opportunities for you to make money on the road without having to sacrifice your comfort.
Internet-Based Work for Van Life
Find a Remote Job
Since not everyone is comfortable working for themselves or starting their own business (I can’t recommend it enough), you can always look for a remote job! And lucky for us, remote jobs are becoming more and more popular. There are plenty of different kinds of remote jobs out there, but they can get pretty competitive.
Here are some websites that have remote jobs for van life:
The one thing that would make me hesitate about a remote job is that sometimes the internet can be spotty while living on the road. So, make sure to do some research ahead of time or inquire about how you’ll stay connected while traveling and how it will affect your job performance. If you have to be connected on certain days and times, you will need to ensure that you can find a campground or RV parks where you won’t have any internet connection issues.
Offer Services on Fiverr
One of my personal favorite ways to make money while living on the road is by selling services on Fiverr. In fact, it’s about half my income most months! Fiverr is a website where freelancers can offer their services then people can place orders based on your “gig” (your listing).
You can offer anything from graphic design to writing, virtual assistant work, social media management, and so much more. It’s a great way to make money while living in a van because it’s completely location independent and flexible. Plus, you can set your own rates and work as much or as little as you want.
Related posts & videos about Fiverr:
One of the services I offer on Fiverr is freelance writing. As a long time blogger, I have a lot of experience with writing, so I write for other blogs and companies as well for a fee. It’s a great way to make money while living on the road because all you need is your laptop and some internet access.
The great thing about writing blog posts is that most blogs need regular content. So if you do a good job, they’ll likely keep coming back to you for more. Plus, there are plenty of different niches you can write about, so it’s not just limited to travel and van life (although those are definitely popular!). This is one of the most popular freelance jobs for digital nomads.
Not sure how to start Freelance Writing? Skillshare is super affordable and has several freelance writing classes to get you started.
Social Media Manager
Are you a social media guru? Offer your skills as a social media manager for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Some people may need help with their Pinterest strategies, others may need help creating content for Instagram or Facebook. Or maybe they need help figuring out how to use social media for their business in general.
You can offer monthly packages or charge per project! I have Pinterest management clients that I charge monthly recurring via Paypal and I also offer one-off services like Pinterest consultation or account optimization.
A few of my favorite social media resources:
With online business booming, there are plenty of small businesses and entrepreneurs that need help with day-to-day tasks. That’s where virtual assistants come in! As a virtual assistant, you could be helping with tasks like scheduling appointments, managing social media accounts, sending out emails, creating graphics, and so much more.
If you already have some experience with some of the tasks that virtual assistants do, this is a great way to make money while living in a van or RV. Plus, you can set your own rates and work as much or as little as you want. Depending on your lifestyle, you may just need a couple of regular clients to be able to make a good living.
I make money from this blog, and you could too! Being a blogger takes some time to build up, so I wouldn’t say it’s something you should start if you need money soon. But it can be a great income once it’s built up after a year or two.
To make money living in a van with blogging you can monetize your blog through ad networks, sponsored posts and collaborations, affiliate marketing, creating and selling digital products or courses, and so much more. Most of the income will come after you’ve built up an audience and start ranking in google for your niche keywords, so it does take some time and effort. But, being able to make money while living on the road as a blogger is definitely worth it!
Keep in mind you don’t have to start a travel blog just because you’re traveling. You can blog about any topic you’re passionate about, from motherhood to DIY projects or cooking. The possibilities are endless!
One of my favorite blogging courses is Niche Site Academy which I believe only opens for enrollment a few times a year. But here’s a free video series you can sign up for to see if it might be right for you too.
Online Tutor or Teacher
If you love to teach people, whether it’s kids or adults, being an online tutor is a great way to make an income on the road! There are a lot of different ways to offer your services.
One thing I’ve been planning on looking into is teaching classes to kids via Outschool. You can come up with your own classes, schedule, and pricing. Classes don’t have to be your typical school subjects either! I’ve seen everything from private guitars lessons to a Paw Patrols dance party. Plus, since you can create your own schedule, if you’re traveling full time you can always schedule all of your classes on certain days, so you have the rest of the week free to travel and sightsee.
Are you good with grammar and constantly catching spelling errors in books or on websites? You could become a proofreader! There’s always businesses and authors in need of a good proofreader to make sure their work is error-free before publishing.
There are different ways to offer your services, such as through freelance marketplaces like Upwork or Fiverr, or finding clients on your own through social media or networking.
If you already have the skill set to design or develop websites, you can continue to do this while living on the road. There are plenty of businesses and entrepreneurs in need of a well-designed website to show off their products or services. You can offer your services through freelance marketplaces like Upwork or Fiverr, or seek out clients on your own.
User Generated Content
User generated content has been on the rise in recent years, with businesses using it to show off their products or services in a more relatable and authentic way. The best thing about this is that you can create content like an influencer and get paid for it, without needing a large following. Instead, you create content for specific brands and get paid for it so they can post it on their own pages.
There is also an advantage to being a full time traveler and creating user generated content because you’re always in different places and can show off the brand in new and exciting locations.
It wasn’t too long ago that being an influencer wasn’t considered a “real job,” but it’s becoming more and more accepted as a legitimate way to make an income. And the best thing about it is that you can do it while living on the road!
Of course, becoming an influencer does take some time and effort to build up your following, but once you have a solid number of followers in your niche, brands will be more likely to work with you. You can make money through sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, collaborations, and more.
So if you have a passion for sharing your travels or lifestyle on social media, consider turning it into a source of income as an influencer!
There are so many opportunities out there for graphic designers, from creating logos for small businesses to designing graphics for websites and marketing materials. And the best part is that you can offer your services remotely, making it a perfect job for van life.
You can find clients through freelance marketplaces like Upwork or Fiverr, networking, or even just reaching out to local businesses in the places you’re visiting. You can also create digital downloads and sell them on places like Creative Market or Etsy.
Another job that can easily be done remotely is transcription. With the rise of podcasts and video content, there’s an increasing demand for transcriptionists to turn audio into written format.
Fiverr is a great place to start if you want to give it a try and see how you like it. There are also websites like TranscribeMe and Rev that offer transcription jobs so you don’t have to go out and find the work yourself.
Reselling is one of my favorite side hustles! But being a reseller on the road is a little trickier because you don’t have the storage space or a permanent location to sell your items, but it can definitely be done with some planning and creativity.
One way is to focus on smaller items that won’t take up a lot of space in the van, like jewelry or collectibles. Or you can do what I do, and use a fulfillment company that you send your items to so they can store and ship items for you.
Finding items to sell on the road is half the fun! You can source items to sell at thrift stores or garage sales, then resell them online through places like eBay or Poshmark.
My favorite reselling resources:
Sell Handmade Products
If you have a talent for creating handmade items, selling them on the road can be a great way to make some extra income! This could be things like jewelry, artwork, clothing, or even homemade beauty products
There are a variety of places you can sell your products, like through your own website or Etsy, at local markets and events, or even just by word of mouth to friends and fellow travelers.
If you have experience with bookkeeping, or you’re interested in learning, consider offering your services as a virtual bookkeeper. Many small businesses are always in need of help with their finances, and as long as you have a computer and internet access, this job can easily be done while living on the road.
You can find clients through freelance marketplaces or even just reaching out to others online.
Sell Printable or Digital Products
Selling printables or digital products is a great way to make money while living in an RV because it takes up zero space and can be delivered to customers instantly. Plus, you only need to create a product once and it can be sold an unlimited amount of times.
Some ideas for digital products could be things like planners, printable art, how-to guides or ebooks, and even audio files like meditations or music. You can sell these on your own website or through marketplaces like Etsy or Creative Market.
I personally sell a Reseller Dashboard and a few courses, and the income from these has become mostly passive as I link to them in videos or blog posts over time.
If you like shopping, selling on Amazon through their Fulfillment by Amazon program could be a great option for making money. You can shop for items that resell for higher on Amazon and ship them directly to Amazon to handle the storage and shipping for you.
This does require a little bit of upfront investment as you have to purchase the items before selling them, but with strategic sourcing and good research, it can be very profitable.
If you have a specific skill or expertise, consider offering consulting services for other businesses or individuals in your field. This could be anything from social media consulting to business coaching to financial advising.
You can advertise your services through networking or even just by reaching out directly to businesses in the places you’re visiting. And with video chatting and other remote communication tools, it’s easy to do consulting work while living in a van or RV.
Print on Demand
Print on demand is a great way to make passive income while living in an RV because all you have to do is create the design, and the company will handle printing and shipping for you. That means you could essentially create unlimited products with your designs on them and they will only be made once a customer orders them, so there is no buying and holding inventory then waiting for it to sell.
With print on demand, is one of the easiest ways to create your own merchandise. You can put your design on t-shirts, mugs, tote bags, or even phone cases with your designs through various websites and sell them on websites like Etsy or your own website.
One fun way to make a living online while on the road is as a YouTuber! Building an engaged audience and creating entertaining or informative content can lead to sponsorships, affiliate income, and even brand deals. Plus, after a certain point you can earn an income through YouTube ads which can really add up to a good almost passive income once you have a lot of videos up.
Of course, it takes time and dedication to grow a successful YouTube channel, but videos about van life or your travels could be a great way to document your journey while also building a following and making money. If you’re not interested in vlogging about your life, you can also create a channel about a specific interest or hobby and monetize that way.
Online Fitness Instructor
If you have a background in fitness, why not monetize your expertise by becoming an online fitness instructor? This can be done by creating workout programs or classes and selling them to individuals, leading virtual group classes, or even getting sponsorships from fitness brands.
With technology allowing for things like video calls, you can even take on remote personal training clients and work with them from anywhere in the world. Plus, as a fitness instructor, it’s easy to stay active and incorporate that into your daily van life routine.
Online Sex Work
This one may be a bit controversial, so I left it for last. But it’s a legitimate way to make money online, so I wanted to include it. And, believe it or not, you can make a living with online sex work without even showing your face or taking off your clothes if that’s not your thing. Have you ever heard of people making money off foot pictures? Yes, that’s totally a thing and it can pay well.
OnlyFans has become very popular for those who can amass a following and sell memberships to their content. However, there are also other websites that you can use to make money where you don’t have to build an audience from scratch.
Offline Work for Van or RV Life
If you’re certified, there’s always a demand for yoga instructors! You can offer classes in the places you visit, either through a local gym or studio or even just renting out a space or finding a beautiful outdoor location to hold classes. Try calling ahead to yoga studios, or even businesses who want to help improve their employee’s wellness, and see if they need a sub or visiting instructor.
One of the most popular ways to make money while traveling full time is workcamping! This involves finding temporary jobs at campgrounds or RV parks, often in exchange for a free campsite and sometimes a small salary. Jobs range from office work to maintenance and housekeeping, and it’s a great way to save money on your living expenses while still making an income.
The thing to keep in mind with workcamping is that they usually want someone who can stay for a season, so if you want to move every few weeks, or even once a month, it may be hard to find workcamping positions that fit your schedule. But, if you’re open to staying in one place for a little while, it can be a great way to save money (hello, gas is EXPENSIVE!) and make an income.
One of the best websites for this is WorkampingJobs.com where you can either click on “help wanted ads” which you can sort by state. You can even post your info under “work wanted ads” and someone may contact you with the perfect job.
National Park Services
Many National Parks offer temporary jobs, often in the form of being a park ranger or working at gift shops and visitor centers. These jobs can be a great way to explore and live in some of the most beautiful places in the country while also making an income.
How fun would it be to travel the country, working at a different national park every few months? Find out how to apply here.
Seasonal Farm Work
If you’re open to getting your hands dirty, seasonal work on farms can be a great option for making money on the road. From fruit picking to working at farmers markets, there are various opportunities available depending on where and when you travel.
One thing I’ve heard of from a lot of full time RVers is the sugar beet harvest! It usually only lasts for one month (October) pays really well over a short period of time, so if you’re looking to make some quick cash, it may be worth checking out. In fact, this post all about it says you can make as much as $3,700 over a two week period.
Remember craigslist? That’s totally still a thing and can be a great resource for finding temporary jobs wherever you are. From event staffing to odd jobs, there’s often something available if you’re willing to look for it. All you have to do is check in on the jobs and gigs categories in whatever city or town you’re in and see what’s available.
Seasonal Retail Work
Seasonal jobs can be great because they usually only last a few months and then you can move on. While you may not want to take on a permanent retail job, retail jobs can also be great for temporary work, especially during the holiday season. Many national retail chains offer seasonal positions, so if you’re in need of some extra cash for gifts or just want to make some extra income, consider applying at a store near you.
Mobile RV Mechanic
If you have any experience with RV maintenance, you can offer your services on the road. Many RVers are willing to pay for someone to come and fix things so they don’t need to move their RV (aka their home) into a shop. This can be a great way to make an extra income while also helping out your fellow travelers.
Since you’ll likely be staying with other RVers and van lifers, you can advertise your services by putting a magnet or decal on your car so people know you offer RV maintenance and you might be lucky enough to get jobs just from that. You can also try posting on RV forums or Facebook groups, offering your services to anyone who may need them.
Shop for Groceries with Instacart
Instacart can be a great way to make money, though it might not be a full time income unless your expenses are very low. Essentially, you shop for groceries for other people and deliver them to their door. It’s a great way to make extra cash on while making your own hours and can be especially helpful during busy times like holidays or if someone is sick and unable to go grocery shopping themselves.
Deliver Food with UberEats or DoorDash
If your van gets decent gas mileage, or you’re in a more urban area and have a bicycle you can utilize for deliveries, delivering food with UberEats or DoorDash can be a great way to make a side income. Just make sure that if you are using your van, you’re doing the calculations to ensure you’re making money after gas, wear and tear, etc.
House or Pet Sitting
People often need house or pet sitting when they go out of town, and what better way to make some extra cash while also traveling and getting free accommodations? There are websites dedicated to connecting people with house or pet sitting opportunities, so do some research and see how you can offer your services.
You can also try apps like Rover, where you can offer pet sitting and dog walking services. The great thing about Rover is that people will be able to review you, potentially leading to more business and referrals.
Living in a van can be a great way to see the country, but finding a way to fund your adventures can be tricky at first. There are a variety of opportunities available for those who want to live on the road, from short-term gigs to more permanent work. No matter what your skill set or experience is, there’s likely something out there that you can do to make money while traveling. So, if you’re ready to take the plunge into full-time RV living, start by checking out some of these ideas and getting started on your job search!
Loving your site and great information, thank you. The one thing I struggle with most is health insurance – how do you make that work as an independent multi-side hustler on the road? 😉 I can’t seem to figure out a way to make that work for me.