2014-01-10 Trip to Quartzsite, Arizona (and becoming a ‘Snowbird’)

2014-01-08_AZQuartzsite-InterstatePics(OnTripHome) (6)
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While surfing the internet a long time ago, I found a website called “Cheap RV Living”. The owner is Bob and he hosts a gathering of people in Quartzsite for the last five years on BLM (Bureau of Land Management “free parking”). His RTR (Rubber-Tramp-Rendevous) is intentionally scheduled at the time of Quartzsite hosting many vendors inside “The Big Tent”. Attendees may find others who enjoy camping and go to the tent for products as well as learn about and apply for camp-hosting jobs. Bob encourages campers to learn from each other and presented several seminars on work-camping, where to park your vehicle (with little or no cost), favorite gadgets, travel to Mexico. Other attendees presented seminars on tire-plugging, lithium batteries, and outdoor cooking.  There wasn’t a scheduled seminar on solar-cooking, but a camper demonstrated how to cook brownies and provided a taste sample. 

When I parked in the lot to attend the “Big Tent” show, I was totally unaware about parking in the desert. When I tried to leave, I got stuck in the sand. I was told that I wasn’t the only one who tried to park near the “Big Tent” and became stuck in the area. Fortunately, for me,  an incoming driver in a Jeep came to my rescue. With his help, and the help of his friend, I was rescued. Thanks for pulling me out of the sand – I forgot to ask their so that I could add it to the story. 

I have to tell that the RTR is known to many who web-surf and that one lady from Chicago didn’t have a van, but wanted to learn about camping in one. So, she rented a U-Haul van and attended in order to learn what she needed to change her lifestyle. I thought that her idea was outstanding!

Another lady, a long-haul trucker, brought her tractor trailer cab and let us look inside.

A vandweller who had modified a Ford Transit for camping showed his rig. There was much discussion about his excellent use of space and great gas consumption.

Bob hosted a chili dinner on Saturday where everyone helps bring food and cook. Any item that can be included with cooking chili is appropriate. A week later on Saturday, Bob hosted a soup dinner with the same idea of including any items that would be appropriate for soup. Both were well-attended and very enjoyable. On another night, a couple who attended the RTR, hosted a baked-potato supper where they cooked the potatoes and others brought toppings. When there wasn’t a ‘food event’, each camper provided his/her own meal. People were warned to bring everything with them that they would need. Note: Quartzsite is expensive.
I was told that the weather during the RTR was the best in the five years. Every day, there was sunshine and mild temperatures. We didn’t have much wind and during each day, there was time to talk to others as well as an opportunity to walk a labyrinth. We viewed inside each others vans, tents, campers, motorhomes and talked about the anything. A really ‘hot’ topic was solar energy. Some people had roof-top panels, and others liked the briefcase, suitcase panels. My van doesn’t have an installed solar-panel because in Georgia, we often have clouds and rain and there is no opportunity to charge batteries. I am seriously considering purchasing a briefcase panel as a result of talking with others about their systems.

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