Join me in Ehrenberg: Winter 2016-2017

Sunset over Blythe, CA in a photo I took from my Ehrenberg camp a few years ago.

For the last 4 years I’ve made Ehrenberg, Arizona my winter camp. And for the last three years I’ve done a post about it in the fall when I return–this year will be no different. After a very busy summer travel season I’ve finally gotten back to my beloved desert! As much as I love spending summer in the mountains and forest, I need to get back to the desert in the winter just as much!

This year I was lucky enough to go to a family reunion at Thanksgiving in Oregon, and I loved being there, but it made getting home much later than usual. This year I am especially glad to be here because the weather was terrible in Oregon in the fall! It rained most of the days I was there and was also cold. In fact, we had to carefully plot our drive home trying to avoid the possibility of getting stuck in a blizzard and still ended up driving in snow several times. I loved Oregon in the summer, but I can’t imagine how anyone lives there through the winter–it’s awful! I’m so glad to be back to the Arizona desert for winter!

One of the reasons I’m doing this post now is to invite you to come camp with me. This is the ideal place to spend your winter so I’m encouraging as many of you as can to join me. With the RTR starting up in just a little over a month it’s a great time to be here. The weather has been very, very good with daytime highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s, it’s very pleasant. It’s sunny with some mild clouds nearly every day but the clouds make for spectacular sunsets! Nearly every night I go out and think, “Oh my, another gorgeous sunset–amazing.

One of the reasons I come here is because there is no BLM enforcement. Even though we are on BLM land we never see BLM Rangers. I know people who spend their entire winter here with no problems. It’s also very close to Quartzsite where the RTR will be. It’s 17 miles from here to Quartzsite so it’s just a quick shot and you’re there for all that it has to offer.

Out for a walk at Ehrenberg.

We’re just three miles from a Flying J truck stop which has a lot to offer nomads. And just across the freeway from it is a mini-mart that is superbly suited for us. They offer …

  • a reasonably priced laundromat,
  • showers for as little as $5 a shower,
  • they have free Wi-Fi,
  • you can dump your tanks and fill with water for $10,
  • or, you can just fill all your water bottles for a dollar,
  • you can use their trash can for free.
  • The mini-mart offers ice and a normal selection of convenience store items.
  • One of the things I like best there is they offer boxes, so every year when I get here I get a box through them. So it’s $8 a month for 3 months totaling $24 (and there’s a setup fee and a second person fee) so I paid a total of $50 which I will split with another person. That’s very cheap for three months. I’m able to order from Amazon and get mail–one of my big problems solved.

My camp from the turn in at mile 2.7 of the main road.

This is not one of the prettiest parts of the desert. It’s mostly flat and rocky but there are mountains around it and they’re very pretty. There’s good walking and that’s something I always look for in a campsite. And there are washes that have a fair amount of green trees in them. So the first people to get here are lucky and can camp under big trees. I was very lucky and got the biggest tree in the area. In fact, I can get a Class C completely under it and be in the shade much of the day.

The one thing I like least here is that it is also an OHV/ATV  area so on weekends and especially long holiday weekends we get a lot of ATVs, motorcycles, dune buggy traffic. That’s unpleasant because they’re noisy, rude, dusty and loud–all things I would rather avoid. But this is such a wonderful camp that we put up with it and gladly so. I’m glad to be here

The laundromat offers free wifi, free trash drop-off, cheap water and showers, and a dump station.

We’re only 7 miles from Blythe, California which has good shopping. It has an Albertson’s grocery store and also a Smart & Final grocery store. Chances are you’ve never heard of it because it’s a California chain that is also in Arizona. But it’s a very good store, it’s a full grocery store and has quite good prices. Just a little more than a Walmart but so close it’s not worth driving to Walmart instead. There’s no Walmart here, the nearest Walmart is in Parker Arizona 40 miles away. But overall the shopping is good it doesn’t cost to much to spend the winter here.

The main reason we’re here is for community! At the moment they’re probably 20 people around me but the desert is so big none of them are too close. There’s another small group down on the Colorado River enjoying that. As we get closer to the RTR more and more people will come in. In fact, there isn’t a day goes by that one or two new people don’t come in. So if you’re looking for friends, community, and tribe (but not too close) this is the perfect place to be!

I want us to establish tribal communities and not just be loners gathered around a small area, so every evening at 5 o’clock we go for a walk as a community and most nights of the week we’re all just blown away by the gorgeous sunset. We’re also enjoying community, and making life-long friendships.

Every so often I also put together little parties,  in fact, we’re having a pizza party this Saturday (December 17, 2016) at 2 p.m  and you are welcome to join us. I need you to email me to tell me if you’re coming ([email protected]) and I’ll make sure there is plenty for you. I don’t ask for donations, I think of it as a thank-you gift to the group. If you insist, I’ll let you pay–but I don’t want you to. So come join us for a pizza party!

A party at Ehrenberg in 2013.

In order to make it as easy as possible for you to find us, I’m including a map. I think it is pretty self-explanatory and most people can find it, but if you can’t just email me and say you’re here and you can’t find me and I’ll come down and get you that day or the next.

I want to offer a special invitation for all you newbies. If this is your first venture into the nomadic life (or you are just in the planning stage) please come and join us. I remember all too well how different and frightening everything was in the beginning. I want to make it as easy for you as possible and I think coming and being in a community is the best possible way to do that. At first, it can be very lonely out here and parking alone in the desert seems fearful and dangerous. But coming to join a group will solve that and you can get your questions answered, and your needs met. So come and join us, learn from us and let us learn from you. Let’s share our lives together and become a true tribal unit–one for all and all for one!

See y’all soon

This is a test to see if I can put captions on this photo. It is only a test!

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I've been a full-time VanDweller since 1995 and I love it. I hope to never live in a house again! Check out Homes On Wheels Alliance (HOWA), our nonprofit that I co-founded. HOWA is dedicated to helping nomads in need.

46 comments on “Join me in Ehrenberg: Winter 2016-2017
  1. Avatar Cindy says:

    Hi Bob, I am in -13 below weather, Duluth, MN! I would love to come! So hoping to break free next year. I so want to meet other travelers like yourself. Boy is it pretty there. Thanks for the pictures. Cindy

    • Avatar Scott (NEXT LIFE) says:

      I am in Iowa and feel exactly how you do! Also, I’m headed your way, in a couple of years Bob, so expect a crazy 48 year old “kid” to show up!

  2. Hey that looks like a good place! I might wander over there in a week or so, and hope I can still claim a spot under a tree! I have to stop off in Yuma & get some Mexican prescription drugs first.

  3. Avatar Walt says:

    Every year when you make this post, I wish I could break away and join you. This year, since I also have my music to keep me going, it is a little easier not to feel those pangs of wanting to get away but not by much. With a wife and an autistic son at home, my need to get away is tempered by my need to be home and help out. The hope that I’ll make it down one of these years helps.

  4. Avatar Rob says:

    I’m going to miss the pizza party this year, too bad, I really enjoyed it last year.

  5. Avatar Rick says:

    Hi everyone: this is my first time camping in ehrenberg and I love it here. Bob came over and said hello. A dog (I think it’s cody) comes over every once in a while to visit for a bit and the people around here are friendly and respectful. There is enough sun to keep the Batts charged up and lots and lots of room to camp. I prefer this place over quartzsite and slab city – my usual camping places when I’m down this way. Looking forward to meeting more of the tribe at the pizza party tomorrow. Thank you SO much, Bob, for the tip off about this place. And for all your work spreading the word about this lifestyle.

  6. Avatar Zman says:

    My son just informed me that the snowfall we got here in Billings Montana broke the record of 1978 LOTS and Lots. I’m telling all my colleagues it’s 70 degrees in AZ.

  7. Avatar jackal says:

    No one who loves nature & wildlife will want to go without camping for a few days near Cibola Lake Rd & Hart Mine Rd
    Google Maps coordinate:

    I usually camp about two miles east of this intersection because Hart Mine Road is a dead-end, so the only other traffic you will see is the occasional camper looking for solitude. Not only that, but the wild burros migrate through this area twice daily.

    Close by, straddling the Colorado River, is a wildlife refuge, where wild horses water up everyday.

    Here are some pictures taken from my camp:

    Cibola is not that far south of Blythe. Find South Neighbors Blvd (California Highway 78), just west of town on I-10. Then head south, being careful not to turn on the highway towards Brawley, proceeding southerly until you cross the Colorado River. Now in Arizona, the highway is named River Road. Continue southerly. Eventually the road becomes Cibola Lake Road, which intersects with Hart Mine Road. In other words, Hart Mine Road is a straight shot from I-10, about 15 miles or so.

  8. Avatar Linda Sand says:

    There is a monthly event here in Minnesota we’ve been attending since January 1990. Today it was cancelled for the first time in all those years–blizzard coming tonight. Wish I was there with you guys this year. I liked the Ehrenburg camp.

  9. Avatar Icimani says:

    Sounds wonderful, i wish i could be there this year. But I’m finishing up a contract here in the northeast that should take me to next fall, plus I’ve decided to upgrade my “Road Home” and will be working on that also. So, barring Death or Dismemberment i will be in the south west next fall and winter. Thanks for all you do Bob.

  10. Avatar JIM PETERSON says:

    We’re still hanging out at The Slabs — I’m actually building an 18′ x 16′ shop which I hope to use in future winters to build storage sheds for sale and make a buck or two. We’re currently waiting for our appointment to get our passcards so we can visit Algodones for some of that cheap dental/optical care we keep hearing about — one guy had his eyes checked *and* new bifocals for $39 total . . . that’s more like it IMHO.
    After that we’ll be in Ehrenberg — still trying to figure out how early we need to go to get one of those better spots on the river. Last year we actually did the big loop (counter-clockwise) but I’m not sure it’s really a road = 4WD *not* option for anyone attempting the loop 🙂 We hope to meet you after the RTR and get to know each other a little better. Thanks for all you do to encourage newbies.

  11. Avatar Ron says:

    I let my bosses know I’ll be gone most of January. Likely I’ll join you before the RTR. Can’t wait. Thanks for all you do Bob.

  12. Avatar Roxy says:

    Bob, I hope to join you and the gang before the RTR…thanks for all you do and for helping me out this past summer. Can’t wait to see old friends and make new ones.

  13. I am here! Not sure exactly WHERE I am, but I’m in the vicinity. I didn’t see your rig. I went about .3 mile after turning at the post (with no streamers) and then turned left onto a teeny side road. I am pretty sure I’m the only ALiner here. And I got a nice tree for shade!

    • Avatar Ssure says:

      Hi Janis: I think I can see your Aliner with it’s solar panel leaned up against it pointed toward the sun. If you look back toward where the sun is around noon you’ll see a group of white vans etc. on the other side of the road near your camp. Bob and some of the others are over there. You’re very close.

  14. Avatar Susan says:

    Hi Bob, I allways enjoy your blog. Started reading it awhile back then quite reading to many blogs for awhile. Now, have picked it up again. I am now looking for my RV . Looking class C about 20 to 22 foot. That is what I had 20 years ago and lived in for 2 years. It suited me fine. But, 20 years ago ! Yikes, I think I have forgotten a lot about RVing. Well, I guess I will learn again. I hope to have one by this spring and to be ready to hit the road by June, July.

    I realy like that fact that you invite people into your tribe of folks and I hope to at some point meet up with you along the road.

    My first summer I realy want to head up into Montana as I never got there before in my previous RV and so much of int intrigues me. But, of course come cooler weather, will have to head back down south.

    Thanks for all your great info and great postings !!

    • Avatar Andrea says:

      Good luck and cheers to you for efforts to hit the road and discover what’s out there.I’m also getting ready to hit the road

  15. Avatar Blars says:

    The flying j’s dump station has been broken for a long time. Does the laundry offer package acceptance for those not renting boxes?

  16. Avatar Rick says:

    Hi Bob: I wanted to say a big Thank You for hosting the pizza party and for the invite. Pizza was great and enjoyed meeting some of the tribe folks.

  17. Avatar Andrea Kovar says:

    Hey, Bob..I’m so excited to be on my way on 12/31 to meet up with you…another thank you for all the work you put into this endeavor!

  18. Avatar Cae says:

    After living in the desert for the past year , I can say that the sunsets are the best I’ve seen anywhere….on a regular basis.

  19. Avatar Roger (Casca777) says:

    Hi Bob, I’m a newbie, in that I haven’t spent a night in my truck yet. Lol
    I will be heading out before the next big storm hits high elevation Colorado.
    See you in Ehrenberg, then Quartzite. I want to spend a few days in
    or near Algodones.

  20. Avatar Judith Dennis says:

    I am concerned my 44 year old son is living in NM. I wondered if you new anyone that has lived or camped in and around Ponderosa, NM, Pueblo, Jemez area. He wants to live up there on free land Federal Gov camps and I do not know about being there all winter. He stayed there sometime ago but not the whole winter. Do you have anyone there you know or may have made contact with, who is doing the same? Please reply He is in a SUV Jimmy and tent and does not like cities at all. Thank you

  21. Avatar Kelly Van Howe says:

    Hello…we…Kelly and Lisa are here since the 20th. We have the Class C that is tan and a blue car. Come by and say hi. Tomorrow whoever is here and would like to come for coffee at 10 you are welcome for “Coffee and Conversation.” Peace and blessings!

  22. Avatar Dennis Soderstrom says:

    Wishing you and all a peaceful and safe Christmas.
    55 degrees in Knoxville, TN on the 23rd of Dec.

  23. Avatar JIM PETERSON says:

    Annie’s Dad(79) had a very mild stroke — spent two nights in the hospital — and is home again = doing well; slight speech impairment which may improve over time — more noticeable if he talks too fast, gets frustrated (which makes it worse :), or is tired. For once, we were the closest family and got here first. So our fifth wheel is on an RV slab beside his house. We’ll stay here in Chino for a short while. Once he settles back into his routine, we’ll roll back to our beloved Slabs. Hope everyone has a good holiday *and* a GREAT RTR. Hope to see you (Bob) back in Ehrenberg at some point — still waiting on our passcards so we can go to Algadones.

  24. Avatar MizJ says:

    Hello Bob & everyone, Bob & I have already communicated & he has welcomed me to come to Ehrenburg & the RTR. I’m a newbie and plan to meet up with you all Fri. or Sat. I camp out of my car. It’s a white 4dr Alero (my work car). If you see me flag me down. I’m pretty good with directions & will try not to get lost. This will be my first experience camping in the desert or BLMs.

    Bob, thank you so much for welcoming me to visit with you all. Happy New Year to ya. See you soon.

  25. Avatar Pattymae625 says:

    it sounds and looks heavenly! I am no way near ready for such an adventure. First have family that I am committed to taking care of and they are not into this kind of freedom. And I hate to admit, but I am a hoarder…getting better, but still have a lot of letting go to do. I have committed to reading your past blogs as an incentive to making the needed changes, so when I am no longer committed to taking care of my loved ones, I’ll be ready to join you all.

  26. Avatar William Barry says:

    Bob been following your site for some time, hoping meet up you one day soon to thank personally for your inspiration, book was very helpful and your story in without bound gave me the kick in butt I needed keep up the great work……..

  27. Avatar Charlie says:

    I wish I could do this. A 65 year old women, living on SS, no camping experience, no mechanical experience, no building experience. I watch your videos and read your articles wishing for some Adventure in my life before I die. I will retire in 4 more months, but there isn’t a pension or savings. I have this house but I’m too scare to sell it. If things didn’t work out what would I do? If I don’t sell there will be no money to leave. This sounds so very pathetic . Fear is a Debilitating disease .

    • Avatar Sylvia says:

      I know exactly how you feel. This post is March 2018 so don’t know if you solved your problem. I too am living on a very small SS,I’m 72 yr. old woman. Have a small savings which is rapidly diminishing due to it costing more to live than my income. I feel this urgency to do something.

    • Avatar Phyllis Prokes says:

      I am 84 female. No experience. I just bought a RV. See u all in desert.

    • Avatar Pat Cummings says:

      Hi Charlie, I’m in the same boat. 70 years old and hoping to sell my house this Fall and head out on the road. I think I can live on my $1100.00 a month SS, but what happens if living on the road doesn’t work out for me ? I will have no house to come back to but I can’t hit the road without the money from the house sale, which actually won’t be that much. I’ll be traveling with my 2 big dogs in a minivan with a tent. So much stuff to get rid of before I hit the road for good. Scared but determined. I’m thinking it would sure be nice to have a jumping off point on this adventure for us old gals. Maybe I should buy a hunk of land and make one…. just a thought..

  28. Avatar Todd says:

    I’m about to head to Sedona for dispersed camping in that area. I plan to be off the grid, so to speak, for most of this year. Saved some money and it’s time to get with it. May go to Flagstaff in the summer and camp in that area, or just stay in the Sedona area and visit all the different dispersed areas and just cycle through them all. I love all of Arizona but particularly the Sedona / Flagstaff areas.

  29. Avatar Scott (NEXT LIFE) says:

    Thank you so much for what you are doing!! When I saw the Christmas video, I cried because we are on the same page. It was so moving for me because I finally found someone who is doing what I have longed to do for SO LONG!! Since I was 13 to be exact. I’m 46 now, so it’s high time to go out and live the life that I want to live, not one that’s been shoved down my throat for so long. Peace

  30. Avatar james in wa says:

    james here hi bob love all u do im working on getting a truck an camper the van is just to small i think? see u all soon i hope??

  31. Avatar Tami Scott says:

    Hi All! I am finally heading your way! I start full time Sept 1, 2017. I’m so excited to start living life. It took me 9 months as I decided on Jan 2017, this is the life I want to live. See you all soon
    Peace Tami

  32. Avatar Vicki Newton says:

    Hi Bob and all Vandwellers,
    I’ve been eagerly following Bob’s videos and blogs and would like to attend the next RTR in 2018, but I can’t find any info on the dates. I assume it will be in January but I’d feel happier if I knew the exact dates as I have a couple of other things coming up the first week in Feb 2018 and don’t want to miss that if I can help it.
    If anyone has the RTR dates for next year, could you please let me know?

    • Avatar Mimi S says:

      Vicki, in case youo have not come across this information as yet,
      Rubber Tramp Rendezvous January 11-21, 2018 in Quartzsite, AZ!
      Happy trails to you!

  33. Bob.I am going to join you and the tribe for Christmas. My first time. So excited. Reading about this for years and I am finally coming. Drove from S.W. Florida and noe.spending the night at flying J in New Mexico
    See you soon

  34. Avatar Bonita says:

    Hope to join you next year…just bought a used TT that needs a little work. It was -17 without the wind chill here this am. ACK!

  35. Avatar Joel BROWN, USN RETIRED. says:


  36. Thx 4 sharing. Appreciate it.

  37. Avatar Phyllis Prokes says:

    84. Yr old female
    “The Oldest Nomad”..newbie starting out from la crosse April.heading for ???. Any suggestions for spring and summer.

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