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As with most internet trends, the reality of the real world is often left out, and #vanlife is no exception. None of the endless van life accounts out there bother to explain how people can afford to live this way. How do these digital nomads make money? How much does this stuff cost? These questions are so rarely answered that the main takeaway seems to be that only the independently wealthy can live the van life. But that isn’t exactly true. So, what are the most common jobs for people who work remotely while living the camper van life? 

Camper Van Parked On Bureau of Land Management Property is a briliant look into what it's like to work remote and live the van life
Camper Van Parked On Bureau of Land Management Property Josh Brasted/Getty Images

How do people live the van life?  

The easiest way would just be being born to a rich family. If you have tried that and it didn’t work, then you’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way, by having a job. Obviously, not just any old job will work for folks trying to live the nomad life. 

These most common work remote jobs are getting more normal than ever before. These remote jobs used to be a bit rarer before COVID. These days, many more jobs have gone remote, but a few are more conducive to the van life than others. 

Writing is the most common work remote job

rent a camper van in New York City instead of owning one like these campers did.
RVs parked next to a river | Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

According to Trail and Summit, freelance writers are among the most common work remote jobs that can actually provide a living while living the van life. Writing is a tough way to make a living (I should know), but it is one of the more flexible jobs out there. If you can find a niche that you can work in, it is a bounty of resources that allows for freedom, travel, and adventure. 

Many full-time staff writer jobs have gone fully remote since the pandemic making the job pool much wider. So, if you live in Alabama and want a writing job from your favorite publication in NYC, that has become easier than ever.

Photography/videography can be a great way to support the van life

Photographers tend to have more opportunities than many other jobs to spread out and live and work remotely. There are so many types of photography jobs that even require so much travel that a remote employee with a camper van might even be seen as a boon to certain companies. 

Like all creative fields, photography and videography require a lot of time, skill, and luck to make a decent living off of the craft. That said, many photojournalists and documentarians choose a remote lifestyle because it actually can help with the jobs.

Graphic Design is in demand and a common work remote job

Like writing, graphic design is another common work remote job that was often done in an office setting, before the pandemic. These kinds of jobs have seen a massive uptick in remote working. As the camper van market continues to grow, the types of vans are growing and changing, too. 

Many companies like Airstream and Winnebago are making killer camper vans and fifth-wheel trailers that are made specifically to be mobile offices for creatives who want to take their work on the road. These campers come with secondary monitors and various video chat interfaces that make working from the camper even more convenient than working from the house. 

Editing is a strong move toward the van life

RV Boondocking On Lake
RV Boondocking On Lake | Dukas/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Many creative professions require an editor. This is a bountiful remote work job that can provide a lot of work if you have the skills and network to do it. Writers, photographers, videographers, and on and on all benefit from having an editor who isn’t the artist themselves. 

Freelance editors, or as they are sometimes known, Editors-at-large, can easily take their work to the far corners of the earth and continue to do their job as the jobs come in. 

Teaching is one of the most common work remote jobs

As virtual learning is slowly stepping from its infancy to the beginnings of toddling, there are many remote work positions in the education field. Teaching English to non-English speakers is a great and simple way to land a remote job supporting the van life. 

Tutoring and teaching lessons on how to learn a skill is also a simple way to get a remote job without starting a new long-term career. These are one of the simplest ways to get remote work and get out in your camper van. 

Don’t forget to make sure you have reliable internet to work remote

The key to all of these jobs is a consistent and reliable internet connection. There are multiple ways to set up internet in a camper van, even out in the wilderness. There are also some tips and tricks on where to get wifi from free public wifi providers if work is more intermittent. 

So, you don’t have to have a trust fund to hit the road; you can have a regular job and live the digital nomad life.


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