Many people have the dream of living in an RV, traveling the country and seeing it all. But the first question everyone asks is “How are you going to pay for it?”
Answering that question is the primary reason why the annual Workamper Rendezvous exists. This year’s Workamper Rendezvous is set for Oct. 15-19 in Heber Springs, Ark.
For the first time, the conference will expand to five days beginning with an opening boot camp session and a post-conference session on operating a small business. The Rendezvous now stretches nearly a full week.
“We make it so it’s good for people who are just starting out, those who are years in and for seasoned veterans,” said Sharee Collier, operations director for Workamper News, which hosts the rendezvous.
Workamper News President Steve Anderson said many Rendezvous attendees find the event to be a life-changing experience.
“We have had many Rendezvous attendees come in saying they were three to four years out from entering the lifestyle, then after attending the Rendezvous they realize that they could accelerate their plan possibly by years,” Anderson explained.
Collier said the event has grown every year since it started in 2011. There were 215 attendees last year and she’s hoping for 250 this year, which would max out the available space at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Dam Site Recreation Area. Other Rendezvous events will be held at the Heber Springs Community Center.
Attendees who are new to the full-time RV lifestyle will feel right at home at the Rendezvous, Collier said. She expects 50% of attendees to be new full-timers.
The conference starts Monday morning with Workamper Boot Camp, led by Anderson. Monday through Thursday will be filled with seminars and the show wraps up with a job fair on Friday.
There will be a bookstore, networking sessions, social events, small business development sessions, a fundraiser on Wednesday and a barbecue Thursday night. Attendees can learn how to set up a blog and one session will teach people how to get the most out of their smartphones.
“That’s geared toward the non-tech savvy people,” Collier shared.
She said there will also be an RV home show, which gives conference goers a chance to see the modifications full-timers have made to make their RVs more “homey.”
“It’s really beneficial to the newcomers,” Collier stated. Those who are interested in showing their RV as part of the home show can sign up the first two days of the conference.
Terry Cooper, known as “America’s RV expert,” will host a session aimed at dreamers — those who are planning to become full-timers in the future — to teach them how to buy an RV.
Other speakers include Terry’s wife,RV kitchen expert Evada Cooper, Chris and Jim Guld of Geeks on Tour, experienced full-timers Howard and Pam Jaros, attorney Mark J. Kohler, RV inspector Win Semmler and Dana Rose with RV Lifestyle Ambassadors.
Collier said she is also working on getting an RV dealer to set up a display at the Rendezvous.
For this year’s Rendezvous, Collier has eliminated concurrent sessions so couples don’t have to split up to attend sessions. Instead, everyone will be together for each session.
The cost to attend the rendezvous is $197 for general seating and $247 for front row spots. To learn more head to www.workamperevent.com.
This article was written by Woodall’s Campground Management writer Bryan Laviolette.