Road Work: Tips to Make the Most of Your RV Office

For 1 million Americans, an RV isn’t just a weekend escape pod — it’s home. For many of us, it’s also an office on wheels.

For many years, my daily commute involved a sleepy shuffle through the kitchen to a spare bedroom turned office. I now live and work from the road.

When not scribing articles for GearJunkie, I direct an international humanitarian organization in Nepal, all from a fifth-wheel RV. If you feel the itch to travel full-time and take your job with you, I have a few suggestions to ease the transition.

Make a Schedule and Stick to It

Just because you escaped an office and a fixed address, don’t think you ditched the time clock. Nothing kills productivity faster than an unstructured workday.

There’s nothing wrong with a late-morning fly fishing break. In fact, I highly recommend it. But make sure you recoup that time for work.

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This also applies to a well-balanced week. I still honor the weekend as a rest period; it helps me stay focused and stress-free.

If your job allows, pick your own non-work days. I find it easier to locate prime camping spots during the early week and set those days aside for travel and play.

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Know When to Move and When to Stay Put

Long before buying an RV, I had visions of traveling and working — in that order. The more time I spend behind the wheel, the less time I log in front of my laptop, which, for most of us, is the money-maker.

Moving an RV from one location to the next takes considerable time and effort. It’s not just the driving miles, but the hour or so spent breaking down and setting up our RV. I invariably have to stop for fuel, propane, water, food, or all of the above.

A short transition of a few miles is enough to shoot a workday down the tubes. When big work projects are afoot, I try not to move more than once a week — if at all.

If given a choice, my preferred scenario involves an isolated campsite on a riverbank with only squirrels for neighbors. Such places often lack internet, so there are times when a campground saves the day, or at least work productivity. The convenience of unlimited water, free Wi-Fi, and all the electricity I need helps streamline my workflow.

Define Your Workplace

People who work from home, even a home on wheels, know the importance of a dedicated workspace. My wife works from a folding chair under our awning. I work at a kitchen table with noise-canceling headphones. Defined zones help compartmentalize work from recreation.

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Invest in Communication Tools

There’s nothing better than the isolation of a remote campsite, and nothing worse than passing it by because you can’t get cellular service. Staying connected is an unfortunate reality of the mobile professional.

It might be feasible to slip into the woods for a day or two, but you’ll eventually need to communicate with the outside world. That could involve assembling a tool chest of mobile devices, cellular signal boosters, and high-powered antennae.

Travel, Don’t Drift

Some people wander without an agenda. For the working pro on the go, it’s better to have a plan, even a loose one. Knowing where you will be in a week or two helps organize your logistics.

The last thing you want to do is burn 2 days of work trying to find a location to dump holding tanks, resupply propane, or find cell coverage. It might erode some of the spontaneity of RV travel, but your paychecks won’t take the hit.

The Right RV for the Job

Before you commit to a particular RV, you need to honestly evaluate your ability to make it your workplace. For some people, that could be little more than the passenger seat of a van. If you can’t settle in and get the work done, it won’t be long before your RV is in storage.

Do your homework well, and the payoff is liberation from the daily grind. On a good day, I work before sunrise, hit a mountain bike trail, crank out a few laptop hours, cast flies in a river, then squeeze in another work session before sitting under the stars in quiet repose with a glass of whiskey. Would I ever go back to four fixed walls? I don’t think I could.


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