Where is the 2019 Rubber Tramp Rendezvous?
Bob Wells has released the dates and location details for the 2019 Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (RTR). If you went to the 2018 RTR, then you already know how to get to the new site. It is basically due south on the same dirt road, a few hundred yards from last year’s base camp.
The Rubber Tramp Rendevous is actually two events. The first event is a women-only meetup. The second is an all-inclusive meet up of men and women, single and married, with or without children. The two events run back to back but are held in different places. The map above is for the “everyone” RTR.
I’ve put some tips below if this is your first time attending the RTR.
The RTR (all are welcome)
When: Jan 9-20 (registration is on the 8th, if you want to come a day early. You can also stay a day past the end, to the 21st)
Where: LTVA “Scadden Wash Area”
Coordinates: 33.649071, -114.145631
The Women’s RTR (women only)
When: Jan 4-8, 2019
Where: Bouse, AZ (exact details when Bob announces it)
What’s This All about?
The Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (a.k.a. The RTR) is a gathering of nomads organized by Bob Wells of CheapRVLiving.com. I first attended the RTR in 2018 and had a great time. I met interesting people that shared my wanderlust and made new friends. I’m not sure I’ve ever attended a gathering of this size (somewhere between 2500-5000 people) where everyone got along so well. I also learned a ton from other people and their vans, cars, RVs, etc. That’s the other thing. Although Bob Wells currently lives in a van, this is not an exclusively van-based gathering. You’ll see people traveling and living in everything from a Toyota Prius to a class A diesel pusher. It also doesn’t matter if you are full-time, part-time, or just thinking about it. Everyone is very accepting and non-judgmental.
10 First Timer Tips for the 2019 RTR
- Count on there being nothing on-site but sand, gravel, and scrub trees. Bob has promised porta-potties and a dumpster this year, but it’s a good idea to plan on bringing in everything you need and taking your refuse out with you. At the last RTR the porta johns worked, but they get a bit gnarly after a couple days use.
- The closest place for supplies at the Rubber Tramp Rendevous is Quartzsite, but food and such is expensive in town. This is because Quartzsite is a winter spot for RV snowbirds. The closest Walmart to the RTR is in Parker, AZ (about an hour away)
- If you’ve never been to the desert for an extended period, it’s DRY. It’s also dusty. Figure 2 gallons of water per day, per person, for drinking and washing. I’d suggest bringing some lip balm to the event, along with your sunscreen. Baby wipes are handy for quick cleanups and to get the dust off your face.
- Last year the temperatures were around 75 during the day and in the 40s at night. A couple days felt hotter, but that’s a good guideline. However, you should probably plan on ten degrees warmer and colder, because it can vary.
- Wind. The wind can be pretty intense in this part of the country. It was mostly calm while I was there in 2018, but plan on a windy day or two. So, wind protection and make sure your awning or tent is secure. I saw a couple of good dust storms traveling through the area and that dust gets everywhere (still wiping it off of things in the Odyssey).
- Make friends! There is a pretty good cross-section of people here and although some people tend to notice those that are different, there are also plenty of people like YOU. Young and old, poor and well-off, hippies and hipsters, liberal and conservative, communist and libertarian, black, white, and everything else you can think of. People unite on common ground (we are all on travelers) and guess what….everyone got along.
- I found that T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon all had good signals in this area, but…there are a LOT of people using limited towers. My Verizon 3G hotspot was almost useless and AT&T data was very slow. It’s similar to what you’d experience at a concert or sporting event. T-Mobile however, was smoking fast. It might be the only place in the country where it is 🙂
- Bring a flashlight or headlamp with you if you go out after dusk. The ground is very rocky and uneven, plus there are culverts to fall in.
- Although there are noise restrictions, someone is going to violate them. You’ve got over 5000 people at the RTR and a few are dirtbags. Rather than get all stressed out over someone’s music, bring some earplugs and/or put a white noise app on your phone. There is a designated “music” area, so if you don’t like non-stop music, umm…don’t camp there.
- Respect space. Try to avoid cutting through people’s campsites. That can be hard to avoid because everyone is packed in tight and sometimes you end up coming out of a culvert in the wrong place, but try. I really didn’t care because it’s public use land, but some of the old farts think they own the dirt and put up cones, etc. I think it’s more common with RV people that are used to campgrounds.
I guess I’d add one more thing. You will probably run into a favorite YouTuber or blogger while at the RTR. I talked to quite a few and found that everyone was up for a conversation. Except for one guy who seemed annoyed and probably was. It’s probably a bit overwhelming to have a bunch of fans constantly interrupting you, so I get it. Understand that it’s probably not YOU, you just hit them at the wrong time. Stop by on another day, but don’t knock on anyone’s door. If they are inside, they need some downtime (or they are pooping, LOL). Except for me. You can bug me anytime the sun is up and I NEVER poop!
If you haven’t made it to the RTR yet, make it a goal for 2019. If you have any first-timer questions, just leave me a comment on Facebook @OdysseyCamper
Hope to see you there!
*I try to keep the information here, current, but check Bob’s YouTube channel for the latest info.