Do you dream of buying an RV, traveling the country, and staying at beautiful campsites every night? You don’t have to retire — or wait until you’ve saved enough money to quit your job — to make that happen. Here are five portable businesses that you can operate completely from the road, no matter where you go.
Massage therapist. If you’re a masseur or masseuse, all you really need to practice your craft is a professional table (or chair). Take advance bookings online or via phone in places you’re planning to visit and offer door-to-door service to your clients. Or, for an approach that requires less marketing effort, you can market your services to other RV owners staying at the same campsite: It’s likely that people who’ve been driving all day long will relish an opportunity to stretch out and relax.
Creative services. If you’re a writer, editor, web developer, or graphic designer, you can work with clients based anywhere in the world, as long as you have a reliable internet connection and a laptop computer. Many campsites now offer wireless internet access, and at those that don’t an AirCard and a smartphone with a data plan will help you stay online.
RV-related sales. Selling RV-related gear to your neighbors is an excellent way to make extra money while staying at any RV park. Of course, storing inventory can be an issue, so focus on products that don’t take up much space, such as maps, seat cushions, cell phone antennas, RV park guides, and bumper stickers. Consider creating custom products, too: When Richard Dahl started a custom water-filter business in 2003, he soon began pulling in more than $30,000 a year selling products to fellow RV owners he met at campsites and at trade shows.
RV repairs. If you’ve mastered the art of repairing and maintaining your own RV, why not offer your services to other RV owners? Keep a basic toolkit and a few spare parts on hand, and whenever you park your RV put up a banner that announces your services to fellow campers. You’ll have people knocking on your door before you know it.
Teacher or trainer. If you have specialized knowledge, you can provide private lessons or seminars anywhere, including online. Create a website to market your business and to alert potential customers of your schedule and whereabouts. Set up a few free seminars to help create buzz about your services. If your expertise might appeal to other RV owners, that’s even better. Terry Cooper, owner of the Mobile RV Academy, offers courses in RV maintenance and repair at campsites all over the country and provides online courses for those who can’t make it to an in-person lesson.