A Day in the Life of a Camphost

What do you guys have to do as camphosts?

We’ve written about some of our previous camphosting experiences but I thought I’d walk you through my work day today.

Holiday!

It’s the Saturday of the Memorial Day Weekend. The park went from having a dozen rigs in it to 60-70 almost overnight. It now feels like a true campground with:

  • Kids running around playing soccer
  • Lots of people on bikes
  • Campfires going
  • People cooking outdoors

I’ve Been Away

I worked with Miranda in the ice cream shop last night, but otherwise I haven’t done my “normal” work for 4 days. I’m not quite sure what I’m walking into. There were uncompleted tasks that probably still aren’t done and I’m sure there are new ones waiting.

The Crew

We are one of 7 camphost rigs and there is some additional housecleaning staff in the park.  The schedule is rotational so on our days off other hosts are picking up the slack.

This park splits along gender lines - the guys work outside doing maintenance work and the gals are inside the office & store, taking reservations and interacting with campers.

I’m fine with that - I made it clear coming in that I was looking for off-screen, physical and outdoor work. I get enough computer time.

My Day in Photos

The day starts with punching in. We owe 15 hours each to cover our campsite and then get paid hourly for anything past that.

The day starts with punching in. We owe 15 hours each to cover our campsite and then get paid hourly for anything past that.

First up is restocking the store with firewood. It's brought in by an outside vendor and kept locked up due to theft concerns.

First up is restocking the store with firewood. It's brought in by an outside vendor and kept locked up due to theft concerns.

Then it's loading up ice at the ice maker and carrying it around and inside to the pop machine. Today it took 2 trips.

Then it's loading up ice at the ice maker and carrying it around and inside to the pop machine. Today it took 2 trips.

Then off to the deck to open up the umbrellas.

Then off to the deck to open up the umbrellas.

It is a nice view!

It is a nice view!

I showed enough mechanical / fix-it skills to end up with the shop as my main domain. I like it clean and orderly so my first task will be to straighten it up, put stuff away, and blow it out.

I showed enough mechanical / fix-it skills to end up with the shop as my main domain. I like it clean and orderly so my first task will be to straighten it up, put stuff away, and blow it out.

Got called away from the shop to carry pool furniture over and set it up. The pool opens today (after some crazy hard work from other camphosts).

Got called away from the shop to carry pool furniture over and set it up. The pool opens today (after some crazy hard work from other camphosts).

Had to fix the base of the pool umbrella.

Had to fix the base of the pool umbrella.

We rescued this lawnmower with parts from another, got it running and put a new blade on. Now the pull start rope broke so I need to restring it (my 3rd recoil rebuild so far here). 1 hour job ends up taking 3 because some bolts didn't want to come out. I ended up drilling them out and putting parts of it back together with zip ties - but it works again. I caved and started using my tools - normally I prefer to use the campground's tools but I got tired of spending half my day looking for them.

We rescued this lawnmower with parts from another, got it running and put a new blade on. Now the pull start rope broke so I need to restring it (my 3rd recoil rebuild so far here). 1 hour job ends up taking 3 because some bolts didn't want to come out. I ended up drilling them out and putting parts of it back together with zip ties - but it works again. I caved and started using my tools - normally I prefer to use the campground's tools but I got tired of spending half my day looking for them.

Stored away with the other lawn mower we salvaged - that one took a new carburetor to get going.

Stored away with the other lawn mower we salvaged - that one took a new carburetor to get going.

It's 2:00 PM now and my normal shift is done, but today I am also

It's 2:00 PM now and my normal shift is done, but today I am also "on call". I have a radio and might get called back to restock or deliver firewood, or try and help campers with other issues. This is the first time I have been on-call with lots of people in the park so I'm not 100% clear on what my duties will involve.

My break didn't last long. I got radioed in to help this rig back in.

My break didn't last long. I got radioed in to help this rig back in.

Then I got called to go to my least favorite place to attend to.

Then I got called to go to my least favorite place to attend to.

My homage to the best Instagram Hashtag ever. Although for me there was no waiting in aisle 2, because someone already had (and let's just say this kid missed the pool).

My homage to the best Instagram Hashtag ever. Although for me there was no waiting in aisle 2, because someone already had (and let's just say this kid missed the pool).

But I rewarded myself by cashing in on the

But I rewarded myself by cashing in on the "one free ice cream for camp hosts" offer and got a waffle bowl sundae from Miranda. (Yes, I washed my hands first).

Called out again - the store had run out of firewood so I had to restock the bin.

Called out again - the store had run out of firewood so I had to restock the bin.

One of the cabin renters was coming in late so I opened it up and got the heat going for them.

One of the cabin renters was coming in late so I opened it up and got the heat going for them.

And once again, the store ran out of firewood.

And once again, the store ran out of firewood.

Firewood delivery too - off to bring three bundles to a tenter site.

Firewood delivery too - off to bring three bundles to a tenter site.

MsBoyink had my phone for the previous photo so I missed the most unexpected event of the day. I was invited to sit down for steak, potatos, and a beer with a camper. They also sent me away with some tasty grilled chicken.

MsBoyink had my phone for the previous photo so I missed the most unexpected event of the day. I was invited to sit down for steak, potatos, and a beer with a camper. They also sent me away with some tasty grilled chicken.

This campground shows outdoor movies at night and it was my job to get that started at 8:00

This campground shows outdoor movies at night and it was my job to get that started at 8:00

The ice cream shop closes at 8:00 and it was Miranda's first day of running it solo. I asked if she wanted help closing and cleaning up and she said YES PLEASE!

The ice cream shop closes at 8:00 and it was Miranda's first day of running it solo. I asked if she wanted help closing and cleaning up and she said YES PLEASE!

But Wait, There’s More!

It got too dark for photos, but when the movie ended I went over to shut everything down and turn the lights off.

There’s been some talk of the on-call host making a 10:00PM round on the golf cart to make sure people observe the park quiet hours. I didn’t get a direct request to do that, but MsBoyink and I walked around after shutting down the movie to see if any groups looked like they were going to be a problem.

None did so it was back home, a quick shower, and fall into bed.

A Quiet Night

Thankfully no one called for emergency after-hours assistance so I got a full night of sleep.

Not a Typical Day

I should make it clear - this day was not a typical day. It’s a holiday weekend and I had a normal shift plus the on-call shift.

I do think the on-call portion of the day (from 2:00 - 10:00) should be split up between two people as this turned into a 13 hour day with not much down time.

The upside is the length of this day will easily bump me over the required hours for the week so at least there’s a paycheck in it.

What Did Your Day Look Like?

What did your Saturday involve?

Related

MsBoyink has posted about her typical camphosting day, you can read about the other workcamping experiences we’ve had and peruse our resources for finding camphosting gigs.

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13 Comments A Day in the Life of a Camphost

  1. Picture of KerensaKerensaMay 29, 2016

    I like the homage to Marlene although that sounds horrible.

  2. Picture of Toni BrightToni BrightMay 29, 2016

    Great post. This gives prospective full-timers a good idea on how to work and cut their RVing costs.
    If you would like to post it on our website we would be very welcome to that.
    Toni and Sally Bright
    thebrightwayrvrs.com

  3. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael BoyinkMay 29, 2016

    Hi Toni -

    Glad you enjoyed!

    Feel free to link to this post (and add some commentary if you wish) but I’d rather keep the original content here.

    Google can penalize sites for SEO if they see content being duplicated across the web.

  4. Picture of TevisTevisMay 29, 2016

    Thanks Mike! I had been wondering about this.  Great job with pictures and all. Really give me a good idea. One question. Is the 15 hours for each of you or the family all together? How does that work for a single camper?

  5. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael BoyinkMay 29, 2016

    HI Tevis -

    It’s 15 hours for MsBoyink and I. Miranda is a bit of an exception.

    We’ve worked with single campers who put in the same hours but assume you’ll have to negotiate that with the specific campground.

  6. Picture of kay ~ the barefoot minimalistkay ~ the barefoot minimalistMay 31, 2016

    Wow, I’m tired just reading that!  It really is a great option and I definitely would not rule it out.  Thanks for sharing.  Great pictures!

  7. Picture of MarciMarciMay 31, 2016

    Looks pretty good!  Nice that Miranda was able to secure a job for the summer.  Bryce is also working this summer (local boat rental shop owned by the campground owner), and enjoyed his first weekend of a “real” job.  We’re at Silver Lake, MI, so as you know, it was a pretty chaotic weekend, but the weather was great!  Still ironing out work camper responsibilities, as one couple cancelled just a week ago, and replacement won’t be here for another week.  Enjoy your summer—we’re hoping to enjoy ours!

  8. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael BoyinkMay 31, 2016

    @Marci - yep, still figuring things out here too. Some extenuating circumstances going on that are getting in the way of things - hoping it smooths out soon!

  9. Picture of BrendaBrendaJune 02, 2016

    Hey Michael!
    Looks like a great campground! So glad you are in CO and not TX…..we are having sooooooooo much rain! Hope your summer is full of good times. Brenda

  10. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael BoyinkJune 02, 2016

    Hey Brenda -

    Good to hear from you. Yea - we’re glad to be away from all the rain..;)

  11. Picture of DonDonJune 02, 2016

    Looks like quite a weekend! Thanks for sharing and giving some insight into camp hosting.

  12. Picture of ChristineChristineJune 06, 2016

    Which campground is this? It seems to be a slice of paradise! :) Also, what do you use to find work-camp jobs? Any particular website you recommend?

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