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 How can Full-time RV travelers obtain assignments while traveling?
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Betty Seigman
Apprentice

Orlando, Florida
USA
1 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2004 :  9:46:22 PM  Visit Betty Seigman's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
We are full-time RV motorhome travelers that travel 12 months of the year. Our question....we have a mail drop only.....no permanent address....how can we obtain assignments while traveling?

We have filled out the mystery shoppers information however we are concerned about our zip code location. Since we are all over the place will that affect our assignments? The address given is simply a mail drop. We have the mail forwarded to wherever our current location may be.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Betty Seigman

Cheryl NC
Valued Contributor

Fairview, NC
USA
132 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2004 :  08:17:03 AM  Send Cheryl NC an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I would venture.... a lap top with a cellular modum (learned all about those at a cell shop....) That way you can check your emails for shops. I would call your schedulers and tell them what cities you will be in and when and see if they can book you in advance. Some sites allow you to search different areas....such as the sassy system. It seems like it could be done...you would just need to plan ahead and I am not sure how costly the modum is...you would have to check. Between mapquest and constant site searching I could see it working.....although it may be more time consuming if you are not in one location for very long....

MSPA Gold Certified
Merchandising in the Beautiful Mountains of Western North Carolina!
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.ColleenNYC
Inactive

New York City, NY
USA
1700 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2004 :  08:19:05 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
How wonderfully interesting!!

I am going to buy an RV (and avoid flying..whenever possible). Do you stay in a certain part of the country? Do you have internet access? Cable channels?


Maybe explain to companies..and they will let you use a relatives or friends "physical address" (if material is not time sensitive). Or an account with a Mailbox Ect. (that offers a physical addy...and forwarding).

Once you establish relationships..it will most likely become easier (and you can share your future "travel schedules" with companies).

How fascinating!!
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PamelaS
Valued Contributor

Los Angeles, CA
USA
147 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2004 :  09:02:49 AM  Send PamelaS an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
DirecPC is one of the internet service providers that provides broadband service via satellite. They can install a dish on your RV. Be prepared to back it up with land-based access because connectivity is weather-sensitive.

You're in the right place at the right time. Get a laptop with a Wi-fi card. Get a PDA and or cell phone with internet access. Sign up for PayPal. Using the associated debit card, you can use your funds at ATMs and paypoints that accept debit payments. If you don't already have one, get a digital camera. Buy local maps.

During your travels, note the locations of wi-fi access points like T-Mobile Hotspots and Starbucks.

Shopping Los Angeles and Orange Counties. MSPA Gold Certification: 3qangd
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BlueAbe
Star Contributor

Mid-Central, Ohio
USA
2097 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2004 :  09:20:36 AM  Visit BlueAbe's Homepage  Send BlueAbe an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Flying J offers wireless internet on their property. You can get monthly service for $24.95. My dad is a truck driver, and uses their service all the time while on the road. Flying J is also located across the country, too.

As for doing shops while on the road, you'd have to know the area pretty well, and be good with maps. You would be best at investing in a mapping program on your computer, to imput different cities, to see where they are located. A program that actually keeps everything updated, unlike Microsoft Streets and Maps. (Gotta hate microsoft! arg!)

Gold certified since the beginning. Merchandising, Mystery shopping, & Court Research throughout Mid-Central Ohio.
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Mic
Member

USA
27 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2004 :  09:30:43 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Most public libraries have computers with internet access available to patrons. Additionally, most private campgrounds (not State or COE parks) have either phone lines at certain sites or a phone line available in the lounge, game room or office.

Using SASSIE/APOLLO might be difficult since you have to continually get on-line to search for jobs and check for acceptance emails. You might have better results contacting schedulers with whom you have established a good relationship. Tell them your itinerary and offer to "help out with rotation" in those areas. If you travel with a cell phone, give those schedulers your number so that they can contact you easily.

Good luck!

Mic
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.Jen_in_Colorado
Inactive

Colorado
USA
65 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2004 :  12:01:08 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Also, with so many companies wanting to pay via PayPal, you would receive the reimbursements a bit more timely than the mailed and forwarded payments.

I think you have a wonderful advantage than a shopper who can only cover one particular area.

With some work it could be a lot of fun!

Jen
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KarenSE
Star Contributor

Helen, GA
USA
333 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2004 :  3:24:47 PM  Visit KarenSE's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Betty,
I live in a travel trailer fulltime, but we stay in one place for at least a month at time. Mostly it is because the rates are cheaper at campgrounds if you stay a month, but also because we want to "see" an area for longer than a day or two. A lot of campgrounds are installing wireless internet access. We just had wireless installed here in October. KOA is supposed to have wireless in all of their parks pretty soon.


Right now, my husband and I are working as the managers of an RV resort in south Texas,so we have been here for over a year. But when I travel to my hometown or to see my kids, I check job boards for things to do where I am going.

You would probably do better with MSing is you stay in an area for 1 to 3 months instead of moving every week or so. As suggested, call the schedulers of companies you work for and let them know where you will be headed next. Sign up with as many companies as possible and if they have a self assign board, look ahead to the next area to see it they have anything there. Shop'n Chek and Service Intelligence, Service Evaluation Concepts are three that I know of that have a lot of shops practically everywhere. Most places pay by Paypal or offer a direct deposit option, but even if they pay by check your mail will eventually find you. By the way, we use Bank of America because they are everywhere, so we don't have a problem cashing/depositing checks.

Get a good map program like Street Atlas Road Warrior Edition. It can zoom in pretty close and give pretty good directions to just about anywhere. It doesn't take much room to have a laptop, a printer, and a file box for a little office. I actually took the dining table out of my trailer and put two desks side by side so my husband and I both have room to work/play with our laptops. We never ate at the table anyway. If you would like to see a picture of our remodeled trailer, e-mail me.

Karen the gypsy in Texas

Karen
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SaraZ
Member

Phoenix, AZ
USA
28 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2004 :  5:17:44 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
If only I knew about MS-ing a year ago!. My husband and I have traveled throughout US/Canada/Mexico in an RV for the last year after deciding to take a little time out from corporate life. The chance to visit all the different establishments that get shopped and get paid would have been icing on the cake. Tsch! But better late than never, I love Shopping!

I guess that most of the MS companies base their email notification of jobs on your physical address, for a lot of RVers this is a PO Box or possibly a mail forwarding company. For us it was a conundrum trying to get everything registered at one address, then forwarded to the PO Box, then forwarded to us on the road. We dealt with everything online (excellent Sprint laptop connection) and pre-paid our bills incase we accidentally missed a month (got to watch that credit!).

In hindsight I suppose the fact that we moved every couple of days/maximum of a week in any one place would have been a problem for schedulers in trying to establish a decent relationship. But I have to say if anyone ever has the chance and the planets are aligned to give you the possibility to sell everything and have a moving home across the nation I say go for it!. We have seen nearly all the states, virtually all the National Parks (got to love that National Parks pass!), meet some fantastic people and made a lifetime of experiences for us both to tell our future children and talk about when we’re old and grey sitting on the porch in our rocking chairs.

"Freedom is having no worries"
MSPA Gold Certified
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DonCoffin
Contributor

USA
95 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2004 :  6:31:11 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hi BlueAbe,
I was unsure if you meant you had to pay Flying J or an ISP. Up until now I have relied on library computers, but I often fill my RV at Flying J's. Any more detail would be appreciated.

As for the DirectPC, Pamela, The last time I checked they would not install a send/receive dish on a motor home because you have to get it professionally realigned each time you move. This was due to stiff regulations on transmitting to the satellite. Has this problem been overcome?

Thanks for the info.
Don

Don
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LeonhardtFE
Trainee

Nine Mile Falls, WA
USA
8 Posts

Posted - 03/05/2005 :  9:23:11 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Betty have you tried the MS yet. Did it work. Are there other RV'er out there doing MS. It would be great to get some insight from them as well. We are getting ready to hit the road and have been MS for a couple of month now in one place. All the suggestions were great and gave me good ideas about the schedulers. Thanks everyone!!

Freida Leonhardt
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George Baumann
Apprentice

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2006 :  10:37:52 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hi Betty,

I'm glad to see other fulltimers MSing. We have been fulltimeing 9 years and MSing for over one year.

We use the US Post office's Snowbird program. We have a PO Box in our hometown and left a deposit to cover forwarding cost with the postmaster. When we need our mail we send a fax giving them the campground address where we will be (or General Delivery) and ask for a onetime forwarding. This is much less than any other mail forwarding system I've heard about. The mail is second day packaged and forwarded to us within the postal system.

We have averaged 3-4 shops per week in most cities we've been in. We use only companies that we can self assign, and the company must list jobs by zip codes or city name. Our routine is to spend 2-10 days in any one city then play spin the bottle, give a kiss, and head that direction; so we never know where we will be too far in the future.

When we started we used library computers. Now we have a laptop and use either the campground's wifi or connect using our cellphone. The cellphone system works very well using Quicklink Mobile. This system has a one time cost of under $100 for the software, hardware, and gives you a free ISP (no $20 a month from AOL) but it does take minutes from your plan (mine has unlimited free nights and weekends).

Most companies offer either Pay-pal or a direct deposit program so you can be paid for your shops quickly and without any hassle. We opened a checking account with a free Debit card so we can access the account almost anywhere to check our balance, deposits, and get cash as we need it.

Best of luck
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Ron de Sacramento
Valued Contributor

Sacramento, CA
USA
214 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2006 :  9:46:51 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Here is a site with free Wi-Fi listings in CA:

http://wififreespot.com/ca.html

I think if you go to just the dot com site:

http://wififreespot.com

You might be able to find other states/locations. I use this list quite a bit when I am on the road. At some hotspots, I can log on from my vehicle especially if it is one set up in a municipal zone or state park. A lot of CA libraries offer free Wi-Fi and terminals as well.
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Pat Kohl Sennett
Apprentice

Toledo, OH
USA
4 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2007 :  10:52:14 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Change your Profile info at the MS sites you get assignments from with the most current near-by Post Office zip code; using General Delivery as the street name.

Pat, Traveling the USA
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Pat Kohl Sennett
Apprentice

Toledo, OH
USA
4 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2007 :  11:03:51 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I live and travel full time in our RV (it'll be 5 years this Oct 2007) that we've been on the road. I obtain assignments by accessing the Internet (I use an internet card from Verizon or WiFi); logging on to my favorite Secret Shop companies and either update my profile or choose a local city or zip code to get assignments. I've also used General Delivery (for the street name) and the Zip Code for the closest Post Office we are camped near. This past winter we were constantly on the move in CA, NV, AZ and changed the zip codes several times each month.

Pat, Traveling the USA
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