Newbies no longer

Quartzsite, AZ located near the borders of Mexico and California, is one of those experiences every RVer should do at least once. Quartzsite is usually a sleepy little town of about 3,500 people surrounded by lots of desert; however it comes alive in January and February with the yearly migration of RVs coming to take advantage of the Gem and RV shows, the warmer climate, and the cheap/free boondocking.


Some of the many thousands of RVs that showed up to park in the desert near Quartzsite

Mike and I decided we had to try Quartzsite this year so our entire route planning has been focused on arriving here for the RV Show in mid-January. Many RV groups meet at Quartzsite and find patches of land to congregate together. Since Mike is so active with the Tiffin RV Network Forum, we joined up with a group of RVers from the forum when we made it to Q. There were about a dozen Tiffin RVs in the group, including Dave and Diane, bloggers we’ve followed since before we started RVing! David and Brenda from Outside our Bubble even came by and did a flyby with their quadcopter (you can see the Tiffin group at 2:10-2:23 mark).

Everyone in the group was a lot of fun and most had been doing this for a long time so they had lots of great advice. Plus many of them had made some modifications to their rigs, e.g. pull-out cabinets, extra shelves, propane line for outdoor bbq, so we got to gawk inside and outside the coaches to see how we could implement some of those changes to Rover.


Our circle of RVs with the rest of the gang from the Tiffin Forum.

The RV Show started on Saturday and lasts for one week. We skipped Saturday since we heard the crowds are insane and went on Sunday morning. The majority of the show is located inside and around the big Tent. While there were some helpful booths, there seemed to be a lot more “As Seen on TV” type booths: relieve pain lotion, slicer/dicer, handbags, shirts, jewelry, etc.

We did buy a few things at the show. Our major purchase was a Progressive surge and power protection system to prevent electric surges or other power issues from burning out our equipment in Rover. In this case, the price at the show was definitely cheaper than online, that’s one of the advantages of having the internet at our fingertips. We also bought a new mascot: Franken-Rover! The show seemed large but average in quality, and others in the group agreed that the RV show seems to have gone downhill in the last couple of years.



We camped at La Posa South BLM, an 11,000+ acre patch of desert run by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which charges $40 for two weeks of stay of dry camping, i.e. no hookups. There are eight water stations and two dump stations near the entrance. We didn’t have any problems filling with water when we arrived but the line for the dump station had over 10 RVs when we were leaving so we decided to forgo the dump and just carry it with us back to Tucson.

You know you've found Quartzsite when you spot the big "Q".

You know you’ve found Quartzsite when you spot the big “Q”.

Quartzsite really is just one big desert area. There’s a few plants in the dry washes but most of the area is just gravel and small rocks. Poor Opie had some tender paws from walking everywhere. Max spent more of his time laying on the dog bed so his paws escaped the beating. During one of our longer walks, I did put booties on Opie which helped a lot but unfortunately I forgot to get a picture of Opie in his sexy shoes.


A lonely Ocotillo plant near our campsite

I have to say the best part of Quartzsite was the socializing in the evening. All of us brought firewood so we had a nice big bonfire each night and just chatted into the evening. One of the folks said that he could tell whether you were from the east or west coast by the way you built the fire (if they ever saw us build a fire, I think they’d just throw up their hands in disgust, we definitely need more practice). Then there were the Canadians, they had a WHOLE different way of building their fire but it worked really well too.

A Canadian campfire, according to the one set of Canadians we've watched build a campfire.

A Canadian campfire, according to the one set of Canadians we’ve watched build a campfire.

Blueberry moonshine, lemon pie, crumb cake, and marshmallows were shared, making for even more fun. Even though we were one of the newbies, everyone made us feel very welcome. Opie and Max were very popular and Opie took outrageous advantage of that to beg from anyone and everyone.  I think we wouldn’t come back to QZ for the show, but we would come back to hang out with the Tiffin gang and other groups we interact with.


Beautiful sunsets, warm campfires, and great company!


  1. Debbie   •  

    Yep, you’re pros now :-) We’ll probably stop by next year. Congrats on the milestone!

    • Kat   •     Author

      Debbie, I’m not sure you’d call us pros… :) more like enthused novices. We noticed a HUGE Montana rally at Q (I think you can see it on the Bott’s video). If you like lots of company, you could always try to hook up with them to hang out. The socializing is definitely lots of fun.

  2. Tomi   •  

    I have wanted to make a trip to Quartzite ever since first reading about it. You just make me want to experience it even more!
    How long did you stay?
    Can’t wait to see postings on what mods you decide will work with your 36la. I really like the idea of the lp for the grill. Tired hauling the bottles.
    I don’t know if I could get Buddy used to booties. He doesn’t have any/great idea for me to pick some up for him though.
    Great post/update!!
    Happy traveling!

    • Kat   •     Author

      Tomi, we only stayed for 4 nights but if we do it again, we’d probably stay for a little longer. I was surprised that we ended up only needing around 7 gallons of gas to power our generator (no solar) to recharge our batteries. We ran the generator for probably 16 hours total in 5 days. If you have the chance, definitely stop by there. It’s even more fun in a large social group.

      We want to make the LP hose to grill change too. The one we looked at seemed pretty simple, just need to get the right equipment.

      We don’t need the booties for Opie very often. Most the places we’ve stayed are pretty safe from burrs, stickers, and rocks but they do come in handy when we need them. To get Opie used to it, we first let him wear them in the coach and fed him hot dog bits while he had it on. We did that for a few days and it worked out pretty well. He still walks funny for the first 5 minutes he has it on but then it gets better and he’ll wear them the entire time.

  3. Vicki   •  

    Congratulations on reaching the 1-year mark. I love reading your blog and following you guys on your journey. I hope you don’t mind that the layout of my blog is beginning to resemble yours. Please take it as a compliment.

    There is nothing like experiencing adventures first-hand, and I look forward to the day when we can head out west due to the photos and stories you have posted.

    Stay safe, stay happy, keep blogging.

    • Kat   •     Author

      Hi Vicki, thanks! I’m glad you liked the layout enough to use it for your blog. That’s actually very flattering. :) Looks like you went to the Tampa RV show, how did you like it? It was pretty darn overwhelming for us when we went to it last year.

      I’m glad our photos and stories help other RVers. We’re just passing it on since we got so much information from others when we first started too.

      Stay warm and happy. Glad you got out of NY, that storm looks pretty nasty.

  4. Dave & Diane   •  

    It was great meeting you two!!! Looking forward to bumping into you again down the road. We are still camped in Quartzsite, day 15 I think and will probably stay another week.

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