Today we’re answering one of the most commonly asked questions among full time RVers: “how do you make money and RV?” … AKA … “How do you afford this lifestyle?”
While there are infinite ways to make money from the road, today we’re talking about how we do it. We’d love to learn about the ways you make money on the road, too! Please share in the comments section.
Watch The Video
Before We Talk About Income
Let’s talk about frugality. For us, income is only half of the equation; the other half is budgeting. During our first two years on the road we tracked every expense, every day. This practice really helped us understand how to better control the flow of money
AND, we’re always on the lookout for scenic boondocking sites. With the help of Free Campsites & Campendium, we’ve gotten our camping expenses down to (almost) zero.
#1 – Etsy
Our longest running source of mobile income is our Etsy shop. For those of you who don’t know, Etsy is an online shopping platform that allows users to create their own store to sell craft or vintage items.
Our shop, The Wooden Earth, sells antique maps & prints (ranging from 1700s to 1960s). We’re able to easily travel with the Etsy shop because our products are all pieces of paper. We can safely stack and organize up to 3000 prints.
Etsy does come with its ups and downs. The monthly income fluctuates greatly and our current trend is showing buyers leaving the Etsy marketplace. However, it continues to be our most consistent stream of revenue.
#2 – Affiliate Links
Whenever we say, “we make money from our blog,” we’re essentially talking about affiliate link income. Affiliate Link Income is money we earn for directing traffic to external sites and converting sales. Amazon is our largest source of affiliate income. We receive an average of 6.5% per sale that comes from a Drivin’ & Vibin’ link.
While the percentage seems small, Affiliate Sales are quickly becoming our main source of monthly income. We’re humbled by everyone that uses our link – it really does make a big difference.
#3 – YouTube Ads
This is pretty self explanatory. We create a video, upload it to YouTube, enable monetization, and YouTube places an ad at the beginning of the video. We make very, very little from YouTube ads considering the amount of energy put in.
During our first year we made about $10/month… now were able to keep the truck fueled up with our YouTube income! It’s not big bucks, but it definitely helps.
#4 – Our Album
Earlier this year we wrote & recorded our debut album, Among the Giants. We were able to get this project off the ground thanks to our community contributions on Kickstarter. Now the album available on all major online music retailers & streaming services.
When the album dropped we had two months of solid sales, but as the months go by, our sales become more sparse.
#5 – Drivin’ & Vibin’ Shirts
T-shirts are a fun way to make a few bucks and its easier than ever to create your own shirts to sell online, one shirt at a time. We use SunFrog to produce our shirts. They print the shirts on demand for each purchase and give us 43% of the sale. That’s a pretty great percentage compared to many other companies providing the same service.
Our Tee sales aren’t strong, but its fun and doesn’t take much time!
Hometown Stops & Savings
Every year we return to our hometown for a few months to catch up with family & friends. This is a great opportunity for us to make a few bucks. Olivia can work a some days at her old job and I can schedule a few weekly gigs.
These home town trips help us restock the savings account.
Lastly, its important to note, for the entire year before hitting the road we saved every penny we could. We worked overtime and second jobs. This was all for peace-of-mind… so once we finally hit the road we’d know we were prepared.
Tell Us Your Income Sources!
We’d love to know what you do for income while RVing! Feel free to share your mobile income ideas and experiences in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading our blog! Our mission is to live minimally & deliberately as we explore the earth and it’s many communities. Help support our mission by shopping through our Amazon Link, visiting our Etsy shop, or better still, listening to our new album!
We use affiliate links on this website – meaning, if you buy something through a link on this article, you’ll receive the normal price and we’ll receive a small percentage of the purchase. We only recommend products we consider quality (and, more than likely, use ourselves).