Quartzsite, AZ

Quartzsite, AZ

I’ve spent the past 10 days here in Quartzsite, AZ,
participating in the the yearly “Rubber Tramp Rendezvous” boondocking event.
I wasn’t quite sure how I would do “roughing it”, but overall things went very well.
Not having consistent cell service has been the only real issue, otherwise I am adjusting to propane, a porta potty and showering every couple of days.

In the summer, Quartzsite is a sleepy desert town with a population of around 3,500 residents.
During the winter months however it is filled with up to 1,000,000 people and their RV’s/vehicles.
During the past 10 days I’ve spent boondocking/exploring the town, I haven’t seen a single fixed structure home.

Free Campsite/ BLM Land

Trailers, rv parks and boondocking BLM land, act at home to most all tenants and residents. To someone who has never experienced life on the road or “full timing”, it is a whole new world. 

And yet filled with so many amazing, adventurous people.

Coming in from HWY 10
The "schoolie's" of RTR

The town consists of nearly 40 RV park, a dozen restaurants and is famous for its two-month-long- gem and mineral show every January and February. It is estimated that 2,000 vendors come to Quartzsite every year, to sell their rocks, gems, minerals, and fossils in this open air flea market.

If your in a camper van like me, stop by the Main Street Eatery; that is, if its morning or early afternoon. The restaurant closes daily at 1:30 pm, but is as “small town” an experience as you can get. With its folding chairs, plastic table clothes, carpeted floor and lack of any overhead music, I can only describe the experience as “real life”.
That being said, the food is good, and when its connected to the ever busy Main Street Laundromat and Showers, you can hardly say no to the convenience.
Be forewarned, the showers are $8.00/ per 20 minutes. And in a town overrun with boondockers, there might be a wait.  

Another big attraction is the Readers Oasis Bookstore, which is notoriously known for its “naked bookstore owner”; Paul Winer. Paul has spent past several decades turning his shop into an offbeat tourist attraction, based off his supply of used books, his frequent enthusiastic renditions on the bookstores own piano, and the fact that he wears nothing but (as the locals tall it), a strategically placed sock.

On the contrary, during our visit he was also wearing a sweater and socks with his sandals. I suppose we must allow for some leeway during the cold winter month.

Paul is actual an incredibly nice man, and if your into off-beat attractions, this one should be on your list.

All in all, Quartzsite is a very fun and unique town, and to anyone considering “life on the road” or wanting to connect with other travelers; Quartzsite is the place to be!

The Rubber Tramp Rendezvous happens every year during the second week of January. Mark you calendar for next year’s event!

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