Here are my travel plans for January: I’m going to Quartzsite, Arizona to attend a gathering of RV and van dwellers called the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous. It’s based, on the mountain men gatherings in the 1800’s when the hunters and trappers would come down from the mountains once a year to a city for social time and business deals. The Rendezvous (affectionately called the RTR) has been meeting there since 2010. It was started by Bob Wells, a van dweller for 20+ years, as a way to connect with his friends and pass on his experience to newbies (like me). His website is a wealth of information and philosophy called cheaprvliving.com. If you want more info on the rendezvous you can get it here.
The camp is based just outside Quartzsite in a BLM area. BLM is Bureau of Land Management which is government owned land where you can park your rig for free.
I’m really excited to attend because they have educational lectures on different aspects of van dwelling, social events, and networking sessions. They cover subjects like safety, first aid, health insurance, getting mail on the road, camp cooking, jobs for RV’ers called workamping, solar energy for campers, as well as the philosophy of living this kind of lifestyle. There are social events including crafting, a soup dinner where everyone throws a can of soup into a pot, a chili dinner (same thing), a garage sale, and even a talent show. For networking there are special meetings for solo women travelers.
The RTR coincides with the Quartzsite, AZ RV and camping show which begins when the RTR ends. Quartzsite is an interesting little town that focuses on gems and minerals, since this area is full of mines where prospectors worked. I understand that a lot of people who are interested in jewelry making and gemstone collecting consider it a mecca. The town seems to be built expressly for RVers who spend the winter there (the map shows that half the town is RV campgrounds) since the collectors prefer that mode of transportation. They have a special show every January for gem collectors and because the people show up in RVs the town started an RV show, too. It’s said to be the largest in the world. Last year they estimated there were 750,00 attendees.
So, anyway, I will be there. The RTR is from the 10th to the 22nd. I’ll leave on the 6th, which gives me plenty of driving time. In my next post I’ll tell you a little bit about my set up.