How to Create the Perfect Mobile Office

Feb 25, 2020 | Rigs

How to Create the Perfect Mobile Office

Doesn't matter if you're full-time or part-time, these tips will show you how to work from an RV and make the most of your mobile office.

By Stacey Powers

Photo: Stacey Powers

As a full time RVer who regularly works from the road, there are a few things I’ve found that help make my mobile office much more conducive for getting the job done. Everything from how to organize desk space to balancing indoor and outdoor time to tricks for securing the best WiFi, hopefully the lessons I’ve learned can prove that working from an RV—regardless if you’re full-time or part-time—isn’t as tricky as you might think.

Working at an office in an RV
Photo: Stacey Powers

Find the Corner Office

First and foremost, you need a good view! If you’re lucky to have an office on wheels, then make a point to position yourself so you get the best corner office views. It’s always encouraging to glance up from a computer screen and see a stunning natural view. Which brings me to the next point: Have a designated working area in your RV.

Working inside an RV
Photo: Stacey Powers

If you have the space to establish a special desk area, I highly recommend doing so. Knowing that I wanted something collapsable and that could offer me the opportunity to stand, I spent countless hours researching tables and measuring every surface in Ikea until I found exactly what I was looking for. My current setup allows me to transform my desk back into a lounge area within minutes. So when the weekend rolls around, I can hide the desk and my space becomes a full living area again.

However, if you don’t have the space or ability to make your own desk area, you can still utilize a kitchen table or a counter. I actually love using my counter space as a standing desk for my iPad. It makes multitasking—mostly checking email while making coffee—a total breeze.

Space in an RV organized as an office
Photo: Stacey Powers

The Great Outdoors

On those days when the weather is just right, an added bonus to being on the road is the ability to take your office outside. Not only do you get access to fresh air, but you also have your surroundings to be inspired by! Regardless of your work or profession, being outside has proven to help stimulate productivity and creativity. And while Mother Nature sometimes has a mind of her own—the sun’s glare makes your computer screen hard to see or the wind is howling so loud you can’t hear the phone call—I’ve found it’s still worth it to take a break and step outside, even just a few minutes.

A woman working outside of her RV
Photo: Stacey Powers

Powering and Charging 101

If you’re like me, then you’ve become a big fan of having access to multiple screens at work. And while this might seem like an unnecessary luxury in the limited space of an RV, there are actually some simple hacks in order to achieve the glorious dual-screen workstation. For example, when I have full hookups, I utilize my TV as a larger monitor and my iPad as a supporting screen. But when I’m boondocking and want to save power, I tend to connect my laptop screen and my iPad using programs like Apple Sidecar.

Charging a laptop in an RV
Photo: Stacey Powers

And while having solar panels can really help conserve power, if you don’t happen to have any on your vehicle, I suggest purchasing a portable charging bank—Jackery or Jetsun are both good options. Plus, these banks can be used as a backup power source should something go wrong or the power go out.

Some More Office Tips

When it comes to creating the perfect mobile office, here are some additional things to keep in mind:

  1. Find Your Signal: Depending on how much you work, it might be worthwhile to invest in a mobile WiFi or unlimited data plan for your RV. You can also use free apps like Campendium to read about cell coverage at various camping spots.
  2. A Tidy, Tiny Home: Your RV is likely not as big as a house or office building, so messes and clutter can become very obvious. If you want to maximize your productivity, it’s best to keep your RV clean and organized so you can focus on all of the work that needs to get done.
  3. Back Up Your Backup: Being in constant motion can be rough on tech devices—they can move around, get dirty, or even get lost. It’s worth it to have all important information and documents backed up on a cloud-based storage service, such as Dropbox or Google Drive. 
  4. Noise: Earplugs or noise cancelling headphones can be a real game-changer if you need to concentrate and there are other people around.
  5. Have a Plan: Good service isn’t always guaranteed, so it’s important to try and plan out both your driving time and your stops around important work and deadlines. Have a big client call in the morning? Try not to take it from the road, where service can be spotty and the call might drop. Need to meet a critical deadline? Have a coffee shop or restaurant nearby in case your WiFi cuts out and your email won’t send.
Working inside an RV
Photo: Stacey Powers

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Stacey Powers

Stacey lives in her RV full-time.