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Be A Campground Host: What It Is & How to Get Started

Be A Campground Host: What It Is & How to Get Started

If you saw our post on what it means to “workamp“, you already know that being a campground host is among the most commonly available jobs for campers who are looking to work while they travel. It’s also among the most popular because many campgrounds and RV parks will hire couples to fill the position together.

But what do campground hosts actually do and what’s the compensation like?

In this post, we’re going to give you a bird’s eye view into the everyday life of a campground host. We’ll look at the pros, the cons, and the compensation so that you’ll have the information you need to help determine whether or not a camp host gig is right for you.

What Is a Campground Host?

The first thing we should probably note is that campground hosting programs are different from place to place. We’re going to give you general information, but it’s important to keep in mind that hosting jobs will vary depending on where you accept a position.

But all park host positions will have some commonalities, so let’s explore those to give you a general idea of what typical camp hosting duties are like.

Know and Enforce Park Rules and Regulations

Campground hosts (like a paid, RV park manager in a commercial campground) are required to know all of the park’s rules and regulations and will need to be confident in enforcing them.

When other campers complain about late-night noise, for example, it’s the camp host who will have to approach the noise-makers.

Note that if you’re hosting at a campground in a state park, you won’t be expected to know the rules & regulations that apply to the whole state park, just the specific rules of the campground portion.

RVs parked by a pond at night

What are the campground’s quiet hours? Are generators allowed at all? Are dogs allowed off-leash? Is smoking allowed? A campground host needs to know (and enforce) all of the rules & regulations of the campground or RV park.

Check Campers In and Out

When campers arrive at or leave the campground, it’s the job of the camp host to check them in and out. This can be a big part of the job if you’re hosting at a large campground or RV park, or it can be fairly minimal if you’re at a smaller park.

It’s important to remember that campers will check in and out all week, including weekends and holidays. Your schedule will likely include several days a week where you’re off duty, with most campground hosts required to work 30 hours or so per week.

More on the positive and negative aspects of this later!

Light Maintenance

Performing light maintenance is a part of most campground hosts’ duties.

Unless you’re hired because you have a special skill to offer, these duties are usually limited to cleaning bathrooms and laundry areas, collecting garbage, raking sites, shoveling fire pits, and keeping the park looking nice.

Field Problems Related to Electricity, Water, and other Park Amenities

Again, you won’t be expected to repair electricity or city water sources, WiFi, etc. However, the camp host is the person who will likely field complaints and see that the issues are tended to promptly. Sometimes this means finding another site for the camper, if one is available.

The campground host is likely the chief complaint-recipient, and finding solutions to issues that arise will likely be a key part of the job.

Answering Questions

Campground hosts are also the go-to people for questions. Campers will seek you out for questions about the park itself, things to do in the area, rules and regulations, maintenance issues, and even emergencies.

For a close-up look at what a campground host does, here are Rebecca and Sal, a traveling couple who have worked as camp hosts, to take you through a typical day in the life:

What Are the Benefits of Camp Hosting Jobs?

As with any job, there are pros and cons to consider with a campground hosting job.

Always consider your own personality (you know yourself best!) when determining whether these would actually be positives from your perspective. You’ll see what we mean as we go along!

Let’s take a look at the advantages of being a camp host.

Travel/Locations

Being a camp host allows you to pursue your dream of traveling while also working. You can choose the locations you’d most like to visit and then find a camp host position in those areas.

Most campgrounds will ask for a particular commitment – this could be anywhere from 14–30 days to an entire season, but it will vary from park to park, so be sure to understand in advance what will be expected of you in terms of a commitment.

There are some beautiful campgrounds in every state and province, and it’s a perk of the job to be able to travel to your favorite areas and work in some beautiful locations.

Schedule

Some people find the schedule of a campground host to be a benefit, (though some think differently after experiencing it).

The schedule of a campground host can be rigorous in certain ways because every camper looks to the campground host or hosts for every question/problem.

However, the daily schedule can allow for 2-3 hours relatively free every morning between maintenance duties and the time when campers begin to arrive (unless there’s a problem to tend to or a question to answer).

Meeting People

A family of 5 standing outside of their large RV

As a campground host, you’re sure to meet many wonderful people from all over the world.

If you’re a people person being a campground host could be a great job for you! You’ll be meeting new people every day and having the opportunity to connect with campers from all over the world.

(If you’re an introvert, however, you may want to focus your job search elsewhere!)

Perks and Pay

The pay and the perks of a camp host gig can be fairly good, all things considered.

Some hosts report making $15 or more an hour (some far less), but the real perk comes in a free campsite with full hookups for the entire duration of the job! That’s worth a lot in itself.

However, you need to be sure that you know what you’re getting in advance of accepting a position. Some parks offer volunteer opportunities, for example. This may mean you won’t be paid as a camp host, but you’ll receive a free campsite.

Be 100% clear about what you’ll be doing as a camp host and what compensation you’ll receive in exchange for your work.

Couples May Be Able to Work Together

One of the most alluring features of a camp host job is the ability to work as a couple.

In this video, Rebecca and Sal share the pros and cons of camp host gigs from their perspective, and they hold nothing back.

Surely one of the biggest advantages is the fact that they’re able to work together as they travel.

What Are the Disadvantages of Being a Campground Host?

On the other side of the equation, there are a number of “cons” to consider before accepting a position as a camp host.

As with the benefits, some of the “cons” will weigh heavier for some people than for others depending on personalities and duties that are acceptable or not.

Constant Fielding of Problems and Questions

People come to the campground host for everything. This means lots and lots of people time. If you’re an extrovert and hate being alone, this might land in the “pro” category rather than on the “con” side of the equation.

However, no matter how much of a “people person” you may be, it might not be fun to be constantly fielding camper complaints, dealing with late arrivals, and being the go-to person in the campground for absolutely everything.

This brings us to the next disadvantage of a camp hosting gig…

You’re Never Off Duty On Work Days

When you’re working, you’re never off duty. This means that you could get a knock on your RV door at 2 AM and have to run out and deal with a problem.

As the go-to person for everything, you’ll be the person people come to with problems and emergencies no matter what time of day or night they occur.

Your Rig is Your Office

As a campground host, you’ll need to complete lots of paperwork and keep it well organized. You’ll also have to have lots of items on hand for your various duties as a camp host.

This means that you may need to find a place in your rig for items like documents, pens, clipboards, rubber gloves, first aid kits, and other items needed to accommodate campers, check them in and out, and tend to common issues.

A messy desk containing files and papers

Being a campground host will probably mean that you’ll need to find a place in your RV for supplies and paperwork.

It’s a Dirty, Dusty Job

You get dusty and dirty doing some of the daily duties of a campground host.

This makes it likely that you’ll track dust and dirt into your rig as you enter and exit it MANY times throughout the day.

Cleaning Bathrooms Is Not Fun

There’s no getting around it – cleaning bathrooms used by lots and lots of people isn’t fun. In fact, it can be fairly horrible at times.

Plumbing gets clogged, people can leave ridiculous messes behind, and the bathroom-cleaning job can be pretty gross.

This is something to take into consideration before accepting a position as a campground host.

Working Outside Regardless of the Weather

The job of a campground host involves many duties that bring you outdoors. For many, this is a perk, but it could be a negative depending on the weather!

Whether it’s pouring rain, sleeting, snowing, or extremely cold and windy, a campground host will have to be outside.

How to Become a Campground Host

If you’ve weighed the pros and cons and have decided that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages of this job, here are links to a few sources to get you started in your search for a position (be aware that some campgrounds and RV parks will require a background check before hiring):

Have You Worked as a Campground Host?

If you’ve worked as a campground host, we’d love to hear about your experience! Drop us a comment and let us know what the experience was like for you.

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Robert Price

Wednesday 21st of December 2022

Worst damn job in the world. 16-20 hr days are common. You are not a "host" you are a whipping boy. You live with a target on your back. You get screamed at. Inform the owner. He shows up and the complainer is meek as a mouse. Owner charms them. Next day, you're a target again. If complainer doesn't like what owner says complainer expects you to override the owner. Worst f#$%&^g in the world

TheRVgeeks

Wednesday 21st of December 2022

Thank you so much for sharing your experience so frankly, Robert. Sorry to hear it was so bad. Hopefully, other locations have better owners, as we've heard many positive things as well. But obviously, this wasn't one of them!

T M

Wednesday 21st of December 2022

My husband and I were retired Military Family and we were living at the last duty station and decided we were worlds apart with our kids and so we would bond in a class A Motorhome and hit the road we sold our house and 8 acres of land all 3 vehicles! We have never made a better decision in our whole life! We have became so super close we traveled the world for a year and came to a Georgia campground that needed us badly. The girls wanted to stop for a while it was winter and nothing to do so we called and asked if they needed help and they did! So we wanted to volunteer our time of 20 hours a week but we had to get paid they said for insurance purposes so that was a plus for us! Needless to say it’s been a rollercoaster working 40+ hours a week this place was so ran down and so much craziness going on but we love a challenge and decided we could do it and we actually have with my husband’s structure and putting in gates at the office this place has came from run down sketchy to an actual safe family oriented campground! We have had so many issues with the other workers that’s been here for the last 4 years that we’re doing absolutely nothing and getting by with it and still are, they don’t really care much for us because now we have brought light to the issues that were going on all the while but they won’t let them go.. We worked long long hours in the summer and it’s taken a lot from us but we honestly worked day and night to accomplish getting this place safe and cleaned up! With backing of our manager we were able to do so! This place is beautiful it’s right on the lake and just breathtaking campsites. It’s worth it to set back and see what teamwork and compassion truly does when you put your heart and soul into wanting something better and we did! I will say I am very proud of all we have done and I wouldn’t do it again unless there were lots of money involved lol! I’d rather start where a campground is already in good standing and just up keep not do back braking work with a tractor and crush and run etc.. but I wouldn’t change anything because we did this no one but us and we have gotten so many return customers and new customers and ones that came here a couple years ago but wouldn’t come back until they saw reviews of that we took over and changed it and now they feel safe to let their kids ride there bicycles and go to the bathrooms by their selves! So it’s a great feeling when u have a guest show up at your camper with a 100.00 gift card to Amazon to say thank you for all your help! That’s when you know what your doing does make a difference and gives you the drive to keep pushing threw each day!!

TheRVgeeks

Wednesday 21st of December 2022

Thank you so much for sharing the details of your experience! It's first-hand stories like yours that give others a window into the great possibilities.

Lee Bodner

Wednesday 21st of December 2022

My first volunteer job was camp hosting at a state park in Georgia. No complaints. I guess I was lucky to have good colleagues and good customers as cleaning the bathrooms was not an issue. It was winter so let’s see what happens next summer.

TheRVgeeks

Wednesday 21st of December 2022

Thanks for sharing your experience, Lee!

Marshall Putnam

Monday 19th of December 2022

Wow!! I'm a retired individual that enjoys the outdoors wherever I'm at. I've got a little popular camper and kayak. I live in Kansas City, Missouri and would love to here about host positions in my area and/or state for the coming year. Thank you.

TheRVgeeks

Monday 19th of December 2022

That's great, Marshall! If you haven't already seen it, check out our other article to see what other types of workamping jobs you could consider. Then you'll want to Google for workamping jobs in your area (especially check with Missouri State Parks) and also check out websites like Workamper News and WorkampingJobs.com for other available opportunities. Good luck!

Rick Dowling

Sunday 18th of December 2022

Hi guys...great post (as always)...

A couple of points...not all comphosts have to enforce rules and not all have to check folks in and out. Indeed, in our somewhat limited experience the roles of camphosts changes pretty much park to park - often even in the same state park system.

So your point about getting a good understanding in advance (as much as you can without actually doing the job that is) is REALLY a good one. Indeed, we've camphosted with folks that have taken a job for just a couple of weeks (not always an option) just to make sure they would like it enough for a longer gig.

Again, thanks for ALL of the info you guys share!

TheRVgeeks

Sunday 18th of December 2022

Hi Rick! Thanks so much for adding your expertise and experience! Much appreciated.

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