Last month, the family and I traveled out West in our RV for over 3 weeks. We traveled over 5,700 miles, covered 17 States, 4 National parks, and 6 RV parks. Now, let me specify, it wasn’t a vacation… well, at least not all of it. This trip was a mix between work and pleasure. We visited some church planter friends in Wyoming, spoke at an event and shared the stage with NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young, attended the Arizona ARVC conference, visited a college roommate, inspected and stayed at one of our new RV parks acquisitions, and toured a couple more parks that have some potential of becoming future assets. Back home the team completed the interview and hiring process for our new financial controller – welcome to the team Norm! We also closed on our first RV park development project and put the finishing touches on a start-up business plan that I’m excited about. So with that all being said, what is it like to actually work on the road and what are some tips and tricks of making it all work? I’ll start with the obvious, a great team! There’s no possible way to pull off this amount of workload while on the road unless you are part of an exceptional team, but here are some practical tips for remote work and RV travel.
1. Connectivity is critical. At this point, most of us have smartphones with built-in hotspots. My cell phone hotspot is my last choice but with a solid signal you can accomplish routine tasks and emails. However, many of the places we want to visit are remote and there is either weak or little to no cell signal. When this is the case, we have Starlink. Elon nailed it with this product, all you have to have is electricity. Simply plug the router into the outlet and find an area with relatively no obstructions (easy to do out West) and you’ve some of the best internet speeds in the world. Typically I see 40-60 Mb download and 20-40 Mb upload speeds. Of course, many RV parks have free Wi-Fi that you can connect to. We don’t always stay in a park though and often need true remote connectivity as an option. As a customer, I know the importance of great internet and as an owner, we make this a top priority at our parks.
Pro tip: You can turn your Starlink account on and off by the month to save costs when you’re not on the road. Also, if you select the RV package when purchasing Starlink, you are placed at the front of the waiting list and get your system faster even if you are in a “blocked” region.
2. Peace and quiet. It is an obvious statement but to be productive on the road you have to find quiet places to work. This is actually harder than it may seem. You can imagine the noise of 4 kids in a motorhome. This doesn’t exactly make for a great office environment. There is the obvious coffeehouse option but for me, I still find it too noisy and distracting. The worst-case scenario is that I drive somewhere and sit in the truck but let me share some much better options. Many RV parks have business centers or event centers that are generally quiet and unused during the workday. Parks with great Wi-Fi allow you to simply find a peaceful place outside to work. Another option is to plan your work day around the family outings that you have to excuse yourself from. When necessary, Misty will take the kids and go exploring leaving me to turn the RV into the Climb Capital mobile headquarters.
Pro tip: Talk to your spouse and family as far in advance about what days will be “work days” and what days will be “vacation days”. This cuts down on surprises and frustrations.
3. Planning. I’ve found that the most inefficient days are the traveling days. The days where I’m behind the wheel for the majority of the day really limit productivity, but there are still ways to mitigate it. First- scheduling old-school phone calls (the ones without video) and using hands-free headphones still allows me to communicate safely and effectively. Planning travel days on the weekends or holidays also help keep you from getting too far behind since everyone else is generally not working. If you absolutely have to take meetings on travel days, plan ahead and integrate those meetings with meal times and fuel stops. I’ve failed at this a few times but if there’s an appointment that I simply can’t move we try to plan our fuel stops around those meetings so I have my hands and mind free. This allows the kids and dogs to stretch their legs while I take the meeting.
Pro tip: Remember what time zone you are in or will be in!
With these few easy-to-implement tips, you will find that it is possible to work remotely, travel the country, and spend as much time as possible with your loved ones. Your family gets to join you in your work and learn the business as well as see the country and learn while on the road. It’s worth mentioning that as RV park owners and travelers, we have seen firsthand the tremendous growth of this market segment and the need for more parks, more spaces, and more places to plug in while on the road exploring. It makes sense with the number of jobs that are now more remote work friendly that the time is now to buy an RV and hit the open road and experience it for yourself.