Jef and I returned home last night after a whirlwind tour of Quartzsite, AZ. It was quite an eye-opening experience―I’d say in the top 5 eye-opening experiences of my life. Don’t ask me what the other four are. I haven’t formally ranked them… but it’s somewhere between attending a Monolithic dome workshop and going to Space Camp.
We arrived rather late in the day and hurried to set up camp before dark. I’d heard that it could get pretty windy out there, so I purchased some extra 10″ tent stakes and Sierra Designs grip clips to help stabilize the tent, but the weather was so nice that we didn’t need them.
There’s a number of things I should have or could have done that night to stay warm, but I think my brain turned to mush that night. I could’ve worn more than one pair of pants to bed. I should’ve gotten the extra blankets out of the car. I should’ve wrapped my head in the scarf I brought. I could’ve put the rain fly down all the way. I should’ve worn my winter socks instead of my summer socks. But I didn’t do any of these things, so I didn’t sleep a wink that night. Oh well, lesson learned.
We went to the RV show the next morning, and I was honestly a bit disappointed. I expected every booth at the show to be somehow related to RVs (crazy idea, huh?) but most of the booths were hawking very un-RV-specific things like garlic graters, salsa choppers, and firearms straining. There were the occasional solar panel and tire pressure monitor booths, but they were few and far between. We left pretty quickly.
On to the meat and potatoes of this post—the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous. We arrived too late for the seminars, but we did get to talk with a number of other Rubber Trampers and that was quite a lot of fun. Everyone was super friendly—they invited us into their homes (vans and RVs) for a tour, answered all our questions, and gave us tons of tips and ideas for how we can convert to a mobile lifestyle. I’ve never seen a group of people help each other in such an enthusiastic fashion. One lady’s bed had collapsed, so people helped build her a new one. Another lady’s bed was too long to fit in her van, so someone was chopping the end off for her. This is a community that I could see myself being a part of.
It was really interesting to see how different people arranged their living spaces. In vans, most people had a bed in the very back with storage underneath. Most had a sink and place to hide the potty. Solar panels were common. There were a lot of homemade solutions, built on a shoestring budget for function and not for beauty. I think it was Dave who said, “It doesn’t look professional, but it works.”
There’s a few different potty solutions, and I’ve already chosen the simplest one for my rig. That is, a 3-gallon bucket with a Luggable Loo seat on top. Plastic bags inside catch waste, and kitty litter absorbs liquid and smells. And then if I can’t get to a trash can, I can just use a bucket with a lid to store all my tidy little waste packets. Too graphic? Perhaps this blog isn’t for you. I asked a couple RTR participants about this method, and I was surprised that no one agreed with me that this is the easiest, simplest solution. And no one seemed to want to get into too much detail about it, either. Perhaps they’d already talked about it to death in seminars, but I suspect that this is somewhat of a taboo subject even among the quirkiest of the quirky. Am I weird for being so open about this subject? Perhaps I am.