Most people love the idea of camping. Because of this, there are plenty of sought-after camping gatherings that happen once in a while. One of them is RTR camping.
What Does RTR Mean in Camping?
RTR camping is short for Rubber Tramp Rendezvous. Typically, it’s held in Quartzsite, Arizona. It’s one of the largest gatherings in the US for people who like the nomadic culture.
For the past few years, the gathering has grown in popularity so much that the New York Times called it the “Real Burning Man.” Furthermore, it’s free.
The RTR event is usually held during January, and it lasts for two weeks. It offers plenty of community-building activities and educational seminars that center mostly on nomadic living.
Some of the popular seminars include:
- Burning Van Campfire
- Stealth Parking Seminar
- Boondocking Seminar
- First Aid for Nomads
- Solar Cooking Class
While the RTR event is free, everyone must register before they are officially given access to the campgrounds.
The man behind RTR camping is Bob Wells RTR, a well-known van dweller with 340K+ subscribers on YouTube. Since no single man can manage the entire thing, the Home on Wheels Alliance helps to oversee the entire gathering.
Nevertheless, the attendance and area are so wide that everyone is encouraged to police themselves. If there’s a serious issue, the BLM rangers will have the jurisdiction.
Who is Allowed to Join RTR?
When it comes to RTR camping, everyone is welcome to join so it’s completely different from ADA camping that we have covered before. Even if you don’t practice the nomadic lifestyle, the event welcomes you.
Having said that, most of the attendees share a similar mindset. And, that’s to travel around, be nomadic and be frugal while doing it.
Advantages of RTR Camping
The RTR camping event has plenty to offer, which is the reason why it’s growing in popularity each passing year.
Below are only a few of the notable pros.
The marvelous thing about the RTR event is that it stemmed-up from a genuine person with a cause. It’s not one of those events that’s been primarily created for commercial purposes with little depth.
Bob Wells lives a truly nomadic lifestyle, and he knows the ins and outs of the lifestyle. Bob Wells adopted the nomadic lifestyle due to financial troubles.
What he has learned from his journey, he willingly shares with other people who are interested in living a nomadic life. In other words, he’s a true expert in this lifestyle. Everyone can learn a lot from him.
The upside with so many people with the same mindset is that it’s a lot easier to build a community. The environment is also conducive for sharing resources and knowledge.
The community is also generous and kind. It’s not uncommon to see people helping other people’s solar installation, meals, and others. And of course, there’s plenty of campfire gathering.
The RTR event is free. Charging for it may control the crowd, but Bob Wells thinks it’s a contradiction to the spirit of the RTR camping event.
What You Need to Know
While RTR camping is fun and exciting even to be a part of, there are a few things that you need to know.
Below are a few of the major ones.
Can Get Crowded
This is subjective to how you define the term “crowded.” Nevertheless, the RTR camping event grows exponentially every year.
In the early years, the number was around 200 attendees. Nowadays, it’s common to see 200 rigs being set up just on the first hour of the event’s opening.
According to the New York Times, the attendees for 2018 numbered around 3,000. You can expect it to grow each passing year.
With so many people, the campsites can get loud. So, if camping with another 5,000 people doesn’t seem enjoyable, then this event might not be for you.
As mentioned above, the RTR camping event is held at Quartzsite, Arizona. However, aside from the great event, the place has little to offer. Also, since RTR Quartzsite isn’t a major city or town, there are a few things you need to know.
The town has little to offer when it comes to grocery options so you may need to attach propane to your camping stove in order to cook something. You can get any dry and canned goods like any other place. When it comes to fresh produce and eggs, don’t expect too much.
Mobile coverage is also minimal. While it’s true that you can get signals in most areas, the towers aren’t built to cater to huge crowds connecting to the mobile Internet.
Also, you may want to minimize trash so you don’t attract bugs when camping or bring a huge trash bin as the trash collection system isn’t designed to handle the massive crowd.
You need to manage your time while attending the RTR event properly. Specifically, you’d want to decide whether you want to socialize versus learn.
Furthermore, the event has a lot of seminars going on, so you want to choose the ones that cater to your interest.
As a general rule of thumb, you’d want to focus more on the seminars and learn as much as you can if it’s your first time attending RTR camping. If it’s your second time and so on, then you can dedicate more time to socializing.
Since the event is getting huge, and there aren’t enough human resources to strictly enforce the rules, you will have to do a lot of self-policing.
While most people are respectful enough to follow the rules, there are rare occasions that serious issues might happen. Hence, don’t be alarmed if the gathering doesn’t respond to such problems as quickly as you might want.
The RTR camping event is a gathering that’s getting a lot of traction these past few years. It’s held in Quartzsite, Arizona, and it attracts a lot of people from around the world.
The primary attendees are the people who are fond of the nomadic lifestyle. And yet, everyone is free to join. There are plenty of seminars and social gatherings to enjoy. Furthermore, the event is entirely free.
So, if you want to learn more about the nomadic lifestyle or want to enjoy camping together with a lot of people, then RTR camping is undoubtedly worth a try.
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