Approximately 750,000 Americans live and work out of travel trailers, truck campers or motor homes, says Greg Robus, editor of Workamper News, a 74,000-circulation publication based in Heber Springs, Ark. “Quite a few of our readers are what we call workampreneuers,” Mr. Robus says. “They either take a business that they already have and convert it to a mobile business, or they create a business they can do on the road.”
RV-based entrepreneurs are primarily motivated by the desire to earn a living without being tied either to an address or employer. However, many also earn a good income, says Mr. Robus. “Some people make quite a bit,” he says.
Mobile entrepreneurs who sell products often choose items that are used by other RVers, such as Mr. Dahl’s filters, although Mr. Robus says many also sell handmade products at flea markets and craft fairs. Service enterprises are likewise often RV-focused, such as those run by engine mechanics and refrigeration technicians. Other RVers provide services that might be hard to come by in out-of-the-way RV campgrounds, such as dog grooming.
Increasingly, though, mobile professionals are offering services they can sell to nearby local businesses and consumers. Web-site designers, software developers, writers and publishers are in this category. Mr. Robus, for example, edits his publication from his RV much of the time, using his wireless cellphone to connect to the Internet for editorial and production chores.
Improving electronic communications has helped both high- and low-tech RV entrepreneurs, making it easier for them to stay in touch with customers and suppliers. It’s been particularly helpful for RVers who own businesses in fixed locations that they operate in absentee fashion, says Mr. Robus.