Would we do it again?
More than likely yes. I can’t reiterate enough how good the money is. You will not find winter work that pays quite like Amazon, especially after that significant bump to $15/hour. We both agree that it would be easier now that we know what to expect. And hopefully, we wouldn’t be dealing with so much personal baggage.
Would we go back to the same facility?
This one comes with a few qualifiers.
Leadership – If the same management was in place then I think we would strongly consider heading back to the same facility. I think we built a good rapport with leadership and I feel like we were rewarded for doing a good job. That’s not to say that we wouldn’t be picking the majority of the time, but again now that we know what to expect we can hang.
Type of Facility – This building handles apparel, I enjoy small items that are easy to handle. No one’s going to ask me to move a fridge or a flat screen. There won’t be any spills, and you don’t really have to worry about hazard stickers, etc.
Hours Available – This is one thing that concerns me with CVG1 in particular. All we kept hearing is that year after year at this facility peak was getting smaller and smaller. And there was quite a bit of VTO. So I’m not even sure this facility will be around next season due to the lack of work. This is not something that can be predicted, but I would hope that they would only offer Camperforce in areas that will still provide plenty of OT, as that is where the money is.
Weather – It seems like every Camperforce facility is in a cold weather climate. With a little preparation, you can get your RV to a state that will withstand the cold…to an extent! Since my mom is hanging around for peak returns, I will be able to keep up with her and how the weather is doing. We did ok until December. We froze up one time early on when the temp dropped below average during a cold snap, but we made some alterations to our heat tape, and then we did just fine. I feel like weather is changing all over the place, and it’s just getting colder. But really the only facility that’s available right now that would be any better would most likely be Murfreesboro, TN. And even there it can still get quite cold. So until they set up Camperforce in the middle of Costa Rica, I think it’s a crap shoot.
Campground – This probably plays in a little more when you have kids. I really liked our campground. I felt safe. The kids felt safe. And the facilities were clean and maintained. There were no problems with the water freezing up, and the electric was OK. I can only speak to the campgrounds in Murfreesboro, TN, but they did not appear nearly as nice or convenient for the commute.
I do feel like the Camperforce program as a whole could use some improvement. There is a severe lack of communication. And with a few minor changes, I think they could really offer an outstanding program. It does appear, based on conversations and correspondence, that they are trying to grow the program. Of course, I had my own lengthy email that I sent off with some alterations that would make the experience so much smoother. All in all I value the Camperforce program tremendously. Without it winter work, at least for us, would be very difficult to find due to our current obligations. I highly recommend doing a season, even if just out of curiosity. We met some good people. And it felt good to see through a commitment. And too, I am all about perspective. It might not have been a seedy city in some Central American country, but it sure taught me a lot.