Quartzsite, AZ, January, 2022

We have been hearing about the giant RV show and gathering of hundreds of thousands of RVs at the tiny town of Quartzsite Arizona on I10 just east of the California Border for many years. There are quite a few RV parks there for those spending the winter or for many who come with an off-road vehicle to drive in the open desert in the area. Getting one of the limited spaces to park your RV is limited to those who make reservations a long time in advance. The urban legend says that 750,000 of every type of RV show up and just park anywhere they want in the desert, mostly south of Quartzsite. It is true. RVs are parked for miles south of town. The count might not be RVs but campers (people).

RVs Everywhere
The Big Tent and surrounding Flea Market

The focus of this event is anything to do with RVs. The reality is that most of it is just like a giant flea market. Oh sure, there is a very big tent full of RV parts and accessories. And side tents ready to install almost anything you buy. But there were pots and pans for sale, socks and clothing, and lots more to everyone the barkers could get to stop for a second.

Outside the big tent for a few blocks in every direction, there were small shade canopies and bigger tents selling anything from nuts and bolts to shoes to hats to political trash. Susan bought a pair of Bamboo socks from guy from Minnesota. I bought a bag of red licorice from The Licorice Guy. It was really good, didn’t last long. And an eye bolt with a nut for 50¢. He didn’t have any washers. It is mostly the same sellers every year according to those who have been here before. There are some deals to be had but mostly not much different from what you could buy the stuff online. There was one company there that I knew, had 300 amp hr lithium batteries in an 8D size for $1600 each. $70 for shipping. Maybe that doesn’t mean much to someone not thinking about lithium batteries for their RV but it is a very good price for a quality battery. The problem is, that in Quartzsite the sales tax is 10.5% and the online price is $1699 with free shipping. So it was actually cheaper to buy them online, pay MN tax and ship them home and not have to haul them around.

So the big tent was interesting, the endless flea market junk was interesting, we were all done in under 3 hours. Lots of food vendors but we are nothing but an over-priced ice cream cone. There was a Chinese restaurant that was actually in a building that looked like it was there all the time. I was tempted.

We knew that Chris and Elka Lang and Lynn and Marilyn Sickle from Arkansas were there staying at the Quail Hollow RV Park. We went visiting, had supper with them and others they knew, and sat and visited for a while. I had sent Lynn some parts several years ago and they sent us 5 lbs of pecans from their farm. That is a lot of pecans. This time they gave us a big bag of rice also grown on their farm. Rice is their main crop. We have tried it, it is very good rice.

The Foretravel bunch circles the wagons about 8 miles south of town out in the desert like everyone else. Some spend the entire winter there, some a month or more, most a few days to a couple of weeks. This year there were over 40 Foretravels there at different times. We arrived at the end of the show and there were still about 25 Foretravels there.

Foretravels at Quartzsite

We were on the left in this photo taken by someone with a drone. I knew almost everyone there from the Foretravel Forum and met everyone that I did not. That does not mean I remember all their names.

Our friends from California, Richard and Betty, were in the middle of the circle and Chuck and Lynda were further down on the left. Hans and Marjet were there a couple down from us on the left and on the right Jeff and Sandy were at the end. Next to them were Tom and Marion who we met in South Dakota a few years ago. Chuck brought several boxes of grapefruit, a variety of oranges, and a few boxes of tangelos. Fresh fruit was great, Thanks, Chuck.

Hans and Marjet’s friends from LA arrived and parked near them. On most evenings there were as many as three propane gas fire pits going with people gathered around at our end of the Foretravels and a big wood burning fire at the other. The next day it was easy to figure who went where.

It was chilly, no one stayed out too late.

One day was Han’s Birthday. We made a carrot cake for all to share and in honor of Han’s entering into a senior level (mid-70s) of geezerdom we presented him with what all older folks need, a crumb-catching bib.

Marjet Feeds Hans His Birthday Cake

He liked it! He was a good sport. They are pretty nice, truth be told, Susan and I have them too. I used to have a “food shirt”, a t-shirt stained with the memories of meals gone by. This is easier when a messy meal is at hand.

So we went to Quartzsite, saw a bunch of folks we knew, made some new friends, and saw the big tent and the flea market. It was windy and dusty, cold at night, not particularly warm during the day. As far as Bucket List things it got a big ✔️ mark. It is quite likely we will not go again. But as always it was wonderful to see friends from all over.

More Later, Much Love,

Roger and Susan

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