We are really looking forward to finishing up gate guarding in Texas on Sunday. We had considered working until the end of August, but we are ready to have a break before traveling to California! We will spend a few weeks in San Antonio until we head out on the 29th.
After three months of gate guarding, we came up with some pros and cons in case any RVers are considering trying it.
-Good money in a short amount of time. We made over $17,000 for about 11 weeks of work. We did not work all 24 hours a day, but had to physically be on site.
-Easy work mentally. It could be harder for some people physically if you have a busy gate, or you have to open and close a gate every time a worker comes and goes.
-No rent or utilities. The guard company pays for your gas/generator and takes care of water and sewer.
-Warm locations in the winter months.
-You are contract and can work for several guard companies, look for the highest pay and leave when you feel like it/give notice.
-You are not going out spending money. You can save a lot.
-24/7 schedule. No time off unless you find a licensed relief guard.
-Not being able to sleep with your spouse. Having different sleep schedules. We hated this.
-Not getting enough sleep or good sleep. The trucks are noisy, the bells are noisy and we had train tracks and a highway a few feet from our RV. The generator is also very loud. That becomes white noise.
-Bugs, bugs and more bugs. Especially if you are working night shift or early morning before the sun comes out. You will both have to work when it is dark at some point. You will get bit, crawled on and have bugs fly in your hair, face, eyes and ears every day. There are Tarantulas, Tarantula Wasps, Brown Recluse spiders, enormous moths, etc.
-Snakes and scorpions. Be careful.
-The guard sites are usually an afterthought. We have seen pictures of some nice sites, but both of ours were flooded, muddy, sandy and overgrown with weeds and thorny bushes that can scratch your RV. The weeds smelled like cat or dog pee right outside our bedroom window. Lovely.
-Very hot and brutal sun. We knew the summer would be hot. It is 118 in the shade. If you are outside for even 15 minutes, you start to feel faint. You have to wear sun block every day. Your RV ACs will get a workout. I would not even consider doing this without two ACs.
-DUST EVERYWHERE. You will be covered in dust. Your RV will be covered in dust. Everything inside will have dust on it.
-The generator and dust take a toll on your RV. Even with an EMS plugged in our clocks were always running slow or fast. Hopefully the generators did not ruin our electrical system.
-Remote locations. Our first gate was an hour and 1/2 to a Walmart or food shopping. We are also right next to the border and constantly asked if we were armed by workers. We had two young guys knock on our RV door looking for help one day. Border Patrol is always on the ranch looking for people, and when they were first digging the oil wells, the workers found the body of a young girl and several skeletons. Very sad and a little nerve wracking at times.
-You can’t drink the water even with a filter so you need to stock up on water.
-Some truckers want to drive 90mph up the 20mph road. They kick up dust you have to breathe in and nearly have head on collisions with some workers. Some of the workers hate waiting two minutes for the gate to be opened. The ranch owner wanted the gates closed due to cattle and horses, but all they see is a road block. They get agitated and take it out on you. Most are super nice though.
-You have to pay to take the level two security test, get licensed and fingerprinted. It is good for two years.
-Some gates are very busy. A busy day on our second gate would be 100 in/out. I read some gate guards had 750 in/out and not even a 5 minute break!
Well, there you have it! Gate guarding pros and cons. Would we do gate guarding guarding again? Maybe for a month at a time. Three months was too long for us. Some gate guards do this for years at a time though! If you have any questions, just ask in the comments.