My goodness, how time flies when you’re having fun! It seems like just yesterday that summer was starting and I was off on another summer of travel and adventure. Now the summer is long since over, I’ve driven and camped in snow, and I had a fantastic family Reunion in Medford Oregon. And that can only mean one thing, it’s time for me to be thinking about Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (RTR) 2017!!
With December having crept up on me, I’ve finally gotten around to writing the schedule for Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (RTR) 2017 and I’m publishing it here–it’s at the bottom of this post and I will put it at the bottom of all my blog posts until it starts. When it starts, I will have made copies of it and hand them out. If you’ve ever been to an RTR before, you know this schedule is more of a suggestion than a hard-and-fast rule. The main seminars at 10:00 am usually don’t change, but they can, and have in the past. However, I work hard to lock them in so you can trust the schedule.
The afternoon classes are more subject to change for several reasons. Two examples are the weather might be bad so we postpone it for another day or the person leading it suddenly can’t do it for some reason. If at all possible we try to hold the class anyway, but sometimes we simply can’t and it’s canceled.
Yes, we have rules here, PERIOD!! I’m just like you, I HATE rules and fifty weeks out of the year I try to live as rule-free as I can be, that’s why I am a vandweller! But if we are going to put hundreds of people together in a very small space, there MUST be RULES!
While no one at the RTR has any authority to enforce the rules, you are invited guests in my camp–my invitation is the only reason you will be there. So, I think it’s more than fair for you to honor these rules simply as a courtesy to me. If you are coming to my camp and insist on making my life unpleasant, please don’t come.
I think these are reasonable but I fully understand if you do not, that’s why you are a vandweller–you hate rules!! We think alike in that! Fortunately, it’s a BIG desert, if you simply can’t live with these rules for two weeks, you can easily camp out alone or with others who want their dog to be off-leash, to play loud music, run your generators all night and drive fast through camp. That will be a very fun camp! Then you can come into the main camp as often as you like and join the activities.
Here are my rules:
- BLM rules say dogs must be on a leash, and we expect that rule to be followed. My dog will be on a leash and I’m expecting all other dogs to be on a leash.
- There is a 5 MPH speed limit in camp. Every year we have people who simply will not slow down as they drive through camp. Most just don’t pay attention and it seems like they are going slow enough–but they aren’t. Others insist that it’s their right to drive as fast as they want. The simple fact is because it’s the desert and there is a LOT of dust! Even a “reasonable” speed kicks up a large amount of dust. So everywhere you go you’re kicking dust in the face, bed and food of your fellow camp-mates. Please don’t do that!! We also have children in camp, we don’t want a tragedy. So literally look at your speedometer and drive no more than 5 MPH! Also, don’t drive through the washes and destroy the plant life–RESPECT THE EARTH!
- I go to the desert to enjoy the silence and maybe to listen to my choice of music. I don’t go there to listen to your choice of music! Please, keep your music down to the level no one hears it but you. Bass, in particular, is a problem.
- Quiet Time is from 11:00 pm to 8:00 am, your neighbors around you should be able to sleep during those hours. If they can’t, you are making too much noise no matter what it is.
- We understand the need to run your generators, but before you park clear it with your neighbors and do not run it all day or during quiet hours. If you need to run it at night or most of the day, park further out where you won’t bother people.
- Don’t burn any natural matter you find on the desert ground. It’s illegal and damaging to the Earth. The desert needs every bit of organic matter to decompose and go back into the soil. REVERENCE THE EARTH!
- Pack it in and pack it out by picking up all your trash. If you don’t, I’ll have to. Please don’t come to my camp and leave me a mess.
Fortunately, these things have always gone well in the past. The BLM Rangers have told me that they are always glad to have us because we are well-behaved and not a problem for them. This year we’re adding new rules and I’m expecting them to go well and make everyone’s experience even better than it has ever been before.
Let me tell you a few things about the RTR so you’ll know what you are getting into. Beyond the classes and scheduled events there are some things we do every year:
- We have what I call the “Free Pile.”I set out a tarp and everyone brings out their stuff they are getting rid of for free and puts it on it. It’s one of the most popular things we do! I’m downsizing my rig so I have lots of stuff to put on it this year! There will be some “trash” on it, but there will be many more “treasures”!!
- You can also sell things. Many of us try to make money on the road by offering things for sale or by providing services, so we want to support each other by giving them a chance to offer them to the group. At every seminar we give a few minutes for people to sell excess things or even retail things, and also any services they have to offer.
- Each day we also take the time to announce anyone who needs help with their rig and try to connect them with someone who can help them. There are no promises but I think we have had a high success rate of people leaving with projects taken care of. It’s important that you have a clear understanding if there is to be a payment for the help they offer. Most of the time there isn’t, but something the person is expecting to be paid. Remember, they are trying to support themselves on the road as well and deserve to be paid for their services. The important thing is you have a clear agreement between you before you start so there are no surprises or hurt feelings.
- One of the days we will have an “open house” where everyone goes around to meet, visit and view other people’s rigs. That’s always a good time for all!
- There will be a Talent Night, so come ready to share your talent!
- This year I do not believe we will have any group meals. We’ve grown so large that it takes a professional to pull it off in the desert. The last two years we had a pro-chef actually there who took charge and made some astounding food for us–I will be forever grateful to him for that. Peter, you have my deepest gratitude and admiration for the job you did out of love for the tribe–THANK YOU!! But this year he’s working to support himself on the road so he can’t make it. I’m sorry to say unless someone else steps forward, there won’t be any meals this year.
Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about the RTR:
- Since it is our winter camp, we start gathering in Quartzsite and Ehrenberg in November so you are welcome to join us at any time and stay as long as you want. Some of us are in the area from November to March, so there will almost always be people there then you can camp with.
- It’s a huge desert you can be close to others or far away. You can socialize often or rarely. That’s all up to you.
- The Permit is just a formality, very easy to get and free. Wait until you get here to worry about it. There are “campground hosts” at each of the major camping areas and they will write you a permit. All you will need is your license plate number.
- There are no costs for attending the RTR, everything there is free. We will disperse camp for free on BLM land.
- All vehicles are welcom–from a guy on a bike and a tent to a 40 foot diesel pusher–ALL ARE WELCOME.
- The roads to camp are dirt and a little bumpy, but it’s still easy to get to, any vehicle can make it.
- Come prepared for any weather, from heat and sunburn to cold, windy and rain. I’ve seen the temperatures vary from the 80s and sunshine to 40s and drizzle and rain during the day. At nights it can vary from the 40s to 30s and rarely even down to the Teens at. Most of all, be aware the desert wind can be very bad at times.
- There will be no costs to you at all. Nothing will be provided for you. You must be totally self-sustained.
- Nothing will be provided for you. You must be totally self-sustained.
I’m not there yet but I expect to get to a little town called Ehrenberg which is just 17 miles west of Quartzsite on Tuesday 12-13-2016 and you are welcome to join me. There are others there now if you want to camp with the tribe. We will move from here to the RTR in January. We do that to avoid problems ith the 14 Day stay limit on BLM land.
To find us you should join my forum and ask who is there and where they are, they will give you directions.Find the forum here: http://www.cheaprvliving.com/forums
Attached is a map to our Ehrenberg camp, this is NOT the location of the RTR. For maps to the RTR, go here: http://www.cheaprvliving.com/gatherings/
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