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Lee Dove
July 21, 2023
336 views

Making Money as a Gate Guard. The Ideal Job for Bus Conversion Nomads.

Are you interested in making some decent money for very little work, while living in your bus conversion for a few weeks, months, or even years? Who isn’t…right? Then I have a deal for you.

My wife and I are full-timers.  We travel and live in a 2007 Model 39Z Fleetwood Bounder.  Seven years ago, we were looking for a way to supplement our income so as not to touch our retirement funds, as we may need that later. We stumbled onto Gate Guarding and it has been a great way to earn some extra money each year!

We work in Texas for as little as three to six months a year. Over the past seven years, for a three-month period, the lowest amount of money we have earned is $23,000. We have also earned as much as $84,000 for a six-month stint! But we usually earn about $45,000 for six months, working only in summers and we travel and take the rest of the year off.  And the thing about it is, anybody can do the same.

As a Gate Guard, you check people in and out as they enter private property, usually on an oil lease. As they enter, you record the date and time as well as their names and license plate numbers and the reason for their visit. You read them the safety rules if applicable and send them on their way. When they leave, you check them out.  It is as simple as that.

RV hookups are provided either onsite, or in a local RV park and we usually work long days so there is truly little time to spend our money, so we bank most of it. The money is good, and the work is easy.

We are living on-site this year, so they bring in fuel and water regularly and pump out our black and grey water tanks as needed, so it is a sweet setup. So bottom line, your expenses are nil, which also helps to build up your bank account as you are not staying in other places and paying RV park fees.

Editor’s Note: Working a few months each year is not unusual for Bus Nuts and other RVers. Many work for a few months each year to save money for fuel and other necessities and then enjoy traveling the rest of the year. Many retired people do this to prevent drawing down their retirement.

Sometimes your rig is your guard shack, so you have no commute, except to walk from your RV to the gate as trucks enter and leave. Other times you work out of a guard shack that measures about 5’ x 8’ which has air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter and a porta potty out back. You commute to work at the beginning of your shift from an RV park and go back to your rig when your shift is over.

In the guard shack, there is a table, comfortable chairs, a small refrigerator, and a microwave.  Everything is usually powered by a portable generator that is set up on-site.  This same generator will power your RV and lights around the guard shack 24/7 if you are parked on site.

You may be working at a gate at an oil field, a solar farm, a ranch, a storage yard, or even an exotic animal farm. Or you may be working as a regular security guard at one of many locations. These positions are mostly located throughout Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Colorado, where the oil fields are.

Shifts are 12 hours for singles or 24 hours for couples. You are captive to the job for the duration you agree to, and you can work as long as many months as you want, and bank as much money as you want, if you play your cards right. Then you can leave for however long you desire then to return and do it all over again the following year.

A simple phone call would get you an assignment very quickly the following year if you left on favorable terms the year before.  This may be in a different location, so you will get to see various parts of the area.

These jobs are great for full-time RVers, seeking unique work camping experience, and at the same time, you will be earning decent wages and getting to see parts of the country you have not seen before.

Being a Gate Guard is easy work, but it is not for everyone. If you have the proper mindset and know how many months you want to work and then think about how long you will be off doing whatever after that, Gate Guarding could be for you!

Just know if you choose Texas in the summer as we do, it gets darn hot in the daytime.  If you chose to work the night shift as we are now, then the weather is perfect as it is in the seventies, eighties, and nineties at night. Of course, working in the spring or fall can be nice here as well.


They not only need Guards for summer, but they need people throughout the year as the oil field operations go on year-round. We just choose to work in the summers, as we like spending our winters in Quartzsite, AZ, with friends, but you can choose to work any month you like.  Summer jobs in Texas are the easiest to obtain as many people travel north to cooler climates. Some snowbirds can work these jobs too.

When working at a gate with your RV as your guard house, the guard company provides the space as well as electricity, sewer, and water. So, your camping expenses are fully covered.  You only need to buy your food. In the seven years we have been doing this, we have never touched a penny of our retirement funds and never wanted anything.

A friend of mine recently joined the company and was given a Ford F250 company pickup truck. He was hired to patrol an oil field area at night. He alternates between sitting in one spot to watch for suspicious activity and driving around to look for anything out of the ordinary, such as new tire tracks, or cars and trucks parked where they should not be. If anything looks suspicious, he calls the local sheriff and his contact at the oil field company to report the problem from a distance away, and they come and handle everything.

Anybody can work a Gate Guard job, but there are a few requirements. If you can pass these basic requirements, then you can qualify to be a Guard.

  1. You must have your own Bus Conversion or RV
  2. You must pass a Background Check
  3. You must pass a Drug Screening
  4. You must be able to obtain a Security License, which involves a little bit of studying and then passing a test

For Gate Guard jobs, you must be friendly, willing, and able to open and close gates and check people in and out using either a clipboard and pen or an iPad.  These jobs may also involve being on your feet for extended periods of time and sometimes on dusty dirt roads depending on how busy the gate is.

Some gates may have only a few vehicles in and out all day and others may have up to 1,500. You will never get bored at those gates. However, those busier gates are usually reserved for more experienced Guards.

You also must have a basic knowledge of Excel and Word, or a similar program to draft reports and timesheets, and know how to send and receive emails to turn in your timesheets and any necessary reports.

When you apply for a job, you can ask what locations are available and indicate your preference and what you are interested in doing. If you are not fussy, they can usually put you to work as soon as you arrive at that location. You may not get exactly the position you want, but a good Guard company will try to accommodate your wishes the best they can.

This is a typical setup where you work a gate from the comfort of your RV. Notice the generator and the freshwater tank provided.

After you apply for a Gate Guard position, it takes a few days to complete all the paperwork and get the results back, then it is just a matter of finding out what positions are currently open and driving to the address where you will be working. The entire process can take less than a week if you live in or near a major city.

This is not a hard job compared to some and it provides you with an opportunity to work in various parts of the country and you are on your own once you learn the ropes.  You are your own boss, so you need to be an honest and reliable person.

If this is you, give Maria Lopez a call today at (832) 270-9811 to discuss opportunities available now and money flowing into your bank account before you know it. She will explain everything you need to know to get started and will send you all the paperwork and forms that you need.

For more information about being a Gate Guard, visit Guard1Services.com/.

Article written by Lee Dove

Lee and Roseanna Dove are retired Owner/Operator long haul truckers. They have been full-time since 2015 and have owned four bus conversions over the years: a 1973 MC-7 Combo, a 1963 Flxible, 1976 MC-8, and a 1987 Prevost.

They now spend the summer Gate Guarding the Texas Oilfields. In the Winter months Lee stays booked at Campgrounds/RV resorts mostly in Arizona and, sometimes Florida, playing music for their guests weekly in return for campground fees and electricity. Overall, it's been a great ride for the past eight years.

You can contact Lee via email:

TruckDrivinSonOfaGun@gmail.com

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