Work Kampers combine vacation lifestyle with jobs

Seasonal jobs like those at Dollywood are a perfect fit for RVers who want to work and camp

It's a life style choice called work kamping. That is camping with a "k."

Some of them are living and working right here in East Tennessee.

"We do like to hike and we're really close to the National Park and Cades Cove is our favorite place," Angie Johnson said.

She and her husband especially enjoy the view from their RV parked in Townsend. But this isn't a weekend vacation for Bobby and Angie Johnson.

"I decided when I turned 50 years old that I wanted to leave my stressful job and do something fun and interesting and we love this area so this is where we ended up," she said.

Bobby said, "When we bought this (RV) before we sold everything, we actually put it at a campground in Florida and went and lived in it for six months to see if we could stand it."

Now they live in their RV in Townsend, far from their former jobs and former house outside Orlando.

"Florida is all ocean and beach and lots of tourism. Not so much in Winter Haven area not so much with tourists but it's just a crazy busy area and we wanted to be here in the mountains because it's just peaceful," Angie said.

Every week they play for four days. Then they work for three days at Dollywood.

"Dollywood is a very good place. We really love working here. We really do," Angie said.

Bobby said, "I am team lead over parking. My job is to make sure I do all the scheduling for parking. I also greet the guests as they get on and off the trams."

Angie said, "I work in valet. I'm assistant team lead over tolls but I actually run the valet department."

Bobby and Angie are Work Kampers. There's a whole community of people who are mostly mostly RV'ers who travel to seasonal jobs and live out of their campers.

They earn spending money at their jobs at Dollywood and have access to Dollywood's employee health clinic and the tourism exchange program with other attractions.

"We get all the shows in Pigeon Forge all the things in Gatlinburg all the zoos all the other amusement parks around we do free," Bobby said.

Any chance they're moving back to a traditional house?

"We really like RV'ing and we really like working here. We love every moment,"Angie said.

"Our motto here is love every moment. I definitely love every moment. How does it compare to the management job you had in Florida? It beats it 500 times over," Bobby said.


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