Quartzsite, Arizona

Shortly after getting my first camper I started hearing about Quartzsite, a small town on the Arizona-California border where RV’ers spend the winter. I wasn’t sure why they came to Quartzsite so I asked Bing AI:

Hi, this is Bing. I found some information about why RVers go to Quartzsite Arizona every winter. Quartzsite is a simple desert town that attracts thousands of RVers who want to escape the cold weather, socialize, boondock and shop. Quartzsite also hosts many events and shows during January and February that cater to RVers. Some of the benefits of wintering in Quartzsite are affordability, freedom and community.

Hundreds of thousands of campers, a huge RV show, vendor shows, ralleys, dozens of RV parks, and more than a million visitors each winter show up looking for affordability freedom and community, at least as described by Bing AI.

Around here there are thousands of acres of BLM managed desert open to dispersed camping – you drive off the road into the desert, pick a spot and camp. No roads, no facilities, no designated sites, and very few rules.

We’re boondocking on BLM land just outside of town. Found a spot near enough to pavement and fairly flat. It’s within sight of a few other campers and Interstate 10. But with the “Magic Eraser” feature that just showed up on my Google Pixel, I can swipe my finger and distractions get erased from my photos. Magically. 

But not in real life, unfortunately.

On the way here we stopped at a couple of wildlife refuges, both of which were dry as a bone and nearly lifeless. At one (Buffalo Lake in Texas) I saw this sign:

There was no water within a miles of the sign. But if there ever would be, don’t touch it.

Interesting things are happening since the pandemic. Many, many more people are recreational camping and full-time RV’ing. Working-age people are working from ‘home’, where home is an RV or trailer with a hotspot or StarLink. Employees are job-jumping – looking for better work environments & more pay – and are far more willing to tell employers to go pound sand. Certainly not the first time that a pandemic or a new technology sent out shockwaves that affected societies.

My first brush with a family that full-time camped was about seven years ago when we ran into a couple with kids at a New Mexico State Park, while road-tripping out west over Christmas. The Dad owned an auto parts store that ‘ran itself’. Mom home-schooled the kids in the RV as they traveled the country. At that same park on the same day we met a guy that ran a small software company while traveling the country in a converted cargo van. Have computer, will travel.

Nice life, if you can figure out how to make it happen.

As an aside, the recent artificial intelligence advances also have the potential to be quite disruptive. It’ll be interesting to see how and where AI impacts our daily lives – beyond just erasing campers from pictures and writing trivial paragraphs for blog posts.






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