Going to Quartzsite: I have often said that I didn’t understand the attraction of going to Quartzsite. Half a million people descend on Quartzsite every January for what has to be the biggest RV event in the country. It seems to me that it wasn’t planned that way, but instead, it just happened, and grew, and grew.
I will say, that I didn’t go out of my way when going to Quartzsite, but it just happened that I was heading that way, with a few extra days between stops. We planned to spend a week in Lake Havasu. When I was there, I was called by the VA for an appointment in Yuma, one week after the Lake Havasu stop. So instead of heading north, the original plan, or east, the second plan, now we are heading south. Halfway between Lake Havasu and Yuma is Quartzsite, and we have extra time.
Our last week was spent at the loudest organized RV gathering I ever expect to attend, called — the Xscapers Annual Bash. RVers are not known to have live Rock bands and what I call the boom-boom truck. On Saturday night we were treated to boom-boom, way past the time we went back to the RV — boom-boom, we went to bed — boom-boom. (You get the idea.) Everyone wanted quiet time in the morning and organized events don’t start until after lunch, I wonder why.
The Xscapers are a much younger RV group and are an offshoot of the Escapees RV club. The Xscapers gather at Lake Havasu fairgrounds for their annual convergence. The annual convergence is the week before the big RV event at Quartzsite. There are smaller convergences, scattered across the west, at other times of the year, which don’t correspond to any other large events.
I was told that the boom-boom truck is only at the annual bash. This Xscapers group consists of working-age RVers, many with children, who typically RV full-time while working from the road. We still qualify as working-age but retired early, so we still can be part of the Xscapers club in that it is more of an attitude than age.
Solar Data Collection
One of the things I did while at the Xscapers Bash, is trying to collect information about how people charge their batteries at the Bash. The Bash is held at a location without any services of any kind, including electricity and we all had to recharge batteries on a daily basis.
The information and results are found in the previous two posts on our website. The first is the invitation to participate and the second is my analysis of the results. For the real meat of the posts make sure to read the comments, which include the raw data on the first post. Battleborn Batteries a sponsor for the Bash was provided with a copy of the data and my observations.
Going to Quartzsite
At the same time as the Xscapers Bash, there is a quieter Escapees group, named the Boomers going to Quartzsite. On our way south, we will join up with them and find a campsite in the desert for a couple of days. All things said, the Boomers group should be fun, and quieter.
While at the Quartzsite RV event every January, we will visit the big tent, in which all expectations will be similar to the vendors at a state fair, with a slight bent towards RVs. lots of people going to Quartzsite is to visit a huge rock show which uses the same venue, prior to the RV show. All the excitement will depart Quartzsite soon and in about a month, summer heat will chase the RVers away, and a few residents will summer over until next winter when it starts all over again.
We departed San Diego on January 8th and drove straight to Yuma in one shot, (a big drive for us). We spent one night on the southeast side of town. After that one-night stay, we then drove north, along Highway 95, through Quartzsite to a campsite north of Parker called River Island. On this leg even thought we drove through Quartzsite we didn’t stop. We weren’t going to Quartzsite on this day.
River Island Arizona State Park
River Island is a delightful Arizona State Park right on the Colorado River, stacked between two large granite mountains (rocks) with the only drawback being the lack of cell service. I fixed the cell phone problem with my booster and put the outside antenna higher than ever. This improved things and we then had partial cell service. We went from zero to usable in terms of data transfer. I can’t make phone calls, however. We liked River Island enough to include it on our trip back to Yuma before going to Quartzsite. River Island was a quiet spot – good for recovery.
Camping at (near) Plomosa Road
Plomosa Road is on the north edge of Quartzsite, quite a long way from town. About three miles east of Highway 95 we saw signs, with arrows pointing to a very large, very flat spot claimed by the Boomers. (A good description of Quartzsite is a very large flat spot – in the desert.) While driving in, we saw some friends, John and Brenda, and knew we were in the right area.
The area the Boomers cover is about one hundred yards wide and about a half-mile long. While we were still at the entrance we were greeted by Mitch who stopped to make sure we knew where we were going and to help if needed. Immediately we were invited to a potluck lunch. I think we will like this place. Tomorrow we will go to the big tent and experience downtown Quartzsite, and meet up with more friends.