Working remotely is a win-win….. win.
For You –
- You get to work from wherever the wind blows you.
- You get to work whenever the fancy takes you.
- You get to work in whatever environment suits you.
For Company –
- They don’t have to pay the overhead to maintain a station for you.
- Whenever you’re on the clock, you’re actually on the clock, not ‘collaborating’ with your colleagues over a cup or three of coffee.
- Your happiness is directly proportional to the quality of your work.
For Family –
- They get to enjoy your no-longer-commuting-to-the-office time to spend with you.
- The anchor that was your career no longer feels quite so tied-to-one-place.
- Your work/life balance directly impacts the quality of time you spend with them.
But, you knew all of that already.
I think, one of the bigger questions is, how can everyday Jo and Jane Blawgs work remotely, and make it work?
So, I can’t really advise you on what types of jobs you can get that would allow you to work remotely. That’s not really what this blog is about.
Rather, I’m hoping to help you with the more, technical/methodological side of working remotely.
Saying that, there really are LOADS of jobs out there that allow you to work remotely. But the fact of the matter is that once you’ve worked out HOW to do it, the WHAT will simply fall into place.
Here’s one way to work remotely and spend as little as $300/month or more likely in the region of $700/month!
You need 5 things:
- a truck,
- a trailer,
- a hotspot
- and an annual camping membership.
So, how do you make this work?
The concept is quite simple really:
You get a multi-zone annual membership to 1000 Trails and live in a trailer.
Ok, perhaps it’s not as simple as that, so let me explain a few of the minor details.
With a Zone pass with 1000 Trails, you can camp in any one of their sites for up to 14 nights. The catch is that after the 14th night, you have to spend the next 7 nights, somewhere else. NOT in a 1000 trails campsite. Yikes!
The 4 Night Shuffle
This is not sustainable, and neither is it how WE manage to make it work.
Well, this ‘seems’ easy enough. But when you do a bit of research, you’ll discover that 7 nights at an RV park can cost upwards of $500 depending on where you stay.
You see, the 1000 Trails Zone Pass membership allows you to stay UP TO 14 nights.
But if you only stay 4 NIGHTS OR FEWER, you never have any ‘out time’.
You can bounce from 1000 Trails’ site to 1000 Trails site to 1000 Trails site – ALL YEAR LONG.
We call this “The 4 Night Shuffle”.
Now, if you do your research, you’ll see that there just aren’t any sites in the middle of the country… like NONE.
They are all over the East Coast, in Florida, and on the West Coast.
So, if you’d like to live/travel in these regions, then this method might just be the right one for you!
My very loose monthly spend estimates assume an approximate 100 mile drive per every move. Not every site is less than 100 miles away from the next site.
In fact, we often travel close to 200 miles between sites. We are choosing to not just make this remote working thing a way of life.
I am also using it as a means of networking (subtle business marketing) across the country with the added benefit of introducing our family to much of the US.
It all depends on how far you travel between sites:
- are you just popping back and forth between two sites
- or are you trying to take in the entire North and South East Coast?
But, YOU get to make that decision so long as there is space/vacancy at each of the campsites you are moving between.
Also, my estimates are very general.
When it comes to the amount you might have to pay for your preferred travel trailer and pulling vehicle, there are many variables.
If you want a swanky new 5th wheel 2018 travel trailer, you’ll definitely be looking at a much higher repayment, like triple or quadruple.
But, if you can find a small, comfortable, pull-behind travel trailer that is a few years old, you’ll easily be hitting the repayment estimate I came up with. Though you may have to put down some cash upfront depending on who you buy from.
Similarly, if you’re considering that 2018 5th wheel, you’ll need a suitably robust vehicle to pull it with. And I’d be guessing that if you got a 2018 travel trailer, you’ll be looking at a new 2018 F350 too!
Those repayments will likely be again in the region of triple or quadruple the $200/month estimate I came up with.
Yet, if you selected a smaller travel trailer you will likely be able to get a much smaller more reasonably priced towing vehicle.
Size does not actually always correlate to Gross Load Weight, so pay attention to that when you select your trailer. A 2010 F250 or the like should be manageble within the $200/month estimate I came up with (again, mind the variables).
But the concept is the same.
- a comfortable trailer that you’re happy with,
- a strong and reliable towing vehicle (don’t forget to consider distance travelling and the topography of the places you’ll likely want to travel to),
- and a single or multi-zone pass from 1000 Trails
- and as my wife says, “Bob’s your uncle”!
Other Considerations – Cell Phone Coverage
A few further items to consider – not every 1000 Trails campsite is located in an area where strong reliable phone/hotspot service is achievable.
They NEVER have strong enough WiFi provisions on site for you to be able to expect to get anything done work-wise.
Before diving in, it might be worth driving down to the sites you’re considering bouncing between (if this is your chosen method) and checking to see if your carrier has coverage. At the very least you’ll want to call ahead and ask.
I can tell you from experience that T-Mobile has been letting me down across the Mid-West and South East regions. I can’t speak for the other service carriers.
edit- I’ve just spoken with a fellow remote worker who has two phones with different carriers (he uses Verizon and At&t). He has found that when one of these devices doesn’t have service almost always the other does! Sweet!
If you’re not bouncing between two sites, then know that the next place you’re going to might have no coverage. So, enjoy the forced 4 nights of mobile phone freedom and hug more on your loved ones knowing you’ll catch up with work at the next next place… hopefully!
Added Bonus – Utilities are Free
Did I mention that you aren’t having to pay electricity?
Electricity is free. So is water. So is sewer (septic). It’s all free. You no longer have to pay for utilities!
How much are you paying for your living expenses currently?
You probably already have to pay:
- rent ($1200/month?),
- car payment ($150/month?),
- utilities ($180/month?),
- fuel for the commute ($100/month?).
Not knowing your situation in the slightest, I’m guessing that you could be paying in the region of $1750/month.
By dropping that down to even $750 a month, you could take a $1000/month (12k annual) pay-cut and still come out on top.
You’re at least working when you want to, where you want to, in the clothes that you want to, and around the people that you want to. You’re seeing the US (skipping out the middle entirely), following the weather wherever it suits you best, and smiling all the way!
Questions, comments, other methods you’ve found successful for living and working remotely? Please tell me about them because we’re all in this together!
By the way, while it is only a very small perk, it sure would mean a lot to me:
If you DO decide to join 1000 Trails, please use any one of the links in this post so I might get a little thank-you-kick-back and it’s no skin off your nose. Thanks in advance!
Again. Thanks for reading this post and please do let me know if you found it helpful in any way because I really do care.
P.s. – my estimates look like this:
Fuel – $20 every 5 days = 73 (5 days per year) * $20 = $1460/yr / 12 months = $120
1000 trails membership = $750 (1000 trails Multi-Zone Pass & Encore combo) / 12 = $62.50
Trailer – $200/month (7 year repayment)
Truck – $200/month (5 year repayment)
WiFi – Hotspot $100/month
less than $700/month (this includes buying a trailer and a truck to pull it with!)
less that $300/month (if you already own a truck and a trailer!)