Rubber Tramp Rendezvous Schedule 2017


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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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:

  1. 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”!!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. There will be a Talent Night, so come ready to share your talent!
  6. 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.

The Master at Work creating another masterpiece! Thank you Peter!!

Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about the RTR:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. There are no costs for attending the RTR, everything there is free. We will disperse camp for free on BLM land.
  5. All vehicles are welcom–from a guy on a bike and a tent to a 40 foot diesel pusher–ALL ARE WELCOME.
  6. The roads to camp are dirt and a little bumpy, but it’s still easy to get to, any vehicle can make it.
  7. 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.
  8. There will be no costs to you at all. Nothing will be provided for you. You must be totally self-sustained.
  9. 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:

Attached is a map to our Ehrenberg camp, this is NOT the location of the RTR. For maps to the RTR, go here:

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


Be sure and check out my YouTube Channel here:

Thanks for supporting this site by using these links to Amazon. I’ll make a small percentage on your purchase and it won’t cost you anything, even if you buy something different.



I've been a full-time VanDweller for 12 years and I love it. I hope to never live in a house again!

57 comments on “Rubber Tramp Rendezvous Schedule 2017
  1. Avatar Lucy says:

    Bob, hi ! this comment of mine is VERY loosely related to the subject at hand. I have read somewhere the pass for seniors ‘ America the Beautiful ‘ is going WAY UP & the change is coming very soon.
    Hope RTR goes perfectly & everyone enjoys the gatherings.


    • Bob Bob says:

      Lucy, I generally just discount such extreme rumors or do a google search to prove or disprove it. The internet is full of nonsense and fear-mongering. This is one I wouldn’t give even one seconds thought to.

      • Avatar Lucy says:

        Bob, it’s not fear mongering thing, check RV Sue’s blog ( end of her page ) dated December 5 (6 ? ) 2016.
        The senior pass is going from $10 life-time card to $80 to be renewed yearly.

        My regards, Lucy.

        • Bob Bob says:

          Here is the bill introduced in Congress:

          It says the fee will be raised from $10 to the current price of an annual pass, which right now is $80. However, it says nothing about it being annual and I’m sure that is simply wrong. It’ll continue to be a once in a lifetime thing.

          I’m 100% in favor or this, I’ve always thought the $10 was ridiculous. It’s been $10 since 1935. The Parks need the money!!!!!!!!! I’ve paid the $80 a year for a long time and I’m glad to do it. I’ll be very grateful to pay it one more time in 2017 when I turn 62 and then never pay it again!!!!! As far as I’m concerned, that’s a super deal!

          • Avatar Lucy says:

            Bob, I understand your point that the parks ‘ need the money’,but I also wonder are the parks truly the ones that need the money,or are the private companies managing the parks that ‘ need the money’…private co’s aren’t there to help you or help me, they are there for profit purposes. Am I been paranoid or something ? LOL. My regards. Lucy.

      • Avatar Penny Wickstrom says:

        I just picked up my Senior Pass for $10.00 in May 2017 and was told that YES they are going up to $80.00 in August 2017! The Senior Pass I got is good for life.

    • I didn’t set out to confirm this one, but I came across the story in the RV Travel Newsletter It’s the first item under “Almost Breaking News.” He says the House of Representatives has passed a bill raising the fee from $10 to $80 for a lifetime pass. However, he did not say the Senate had passed the bill or what the odds are of it becoming law.

      • Avatar Lucy says:

        Calvin, I myself read that info. existing on 2 sites ( one is RV Sue, the other scales my memory ). Even though it doesn’t affect me for I live on a B&S, I thought this is outrageous for it’s going up 800 %.It reminds me of SS, they stated there is not cola raise for 2016 because the cost of living is so low ( BS ! ) all the utilities went up, groceries up on a weekly bases, rents & property taxes also up, etc etc. They have the nerve !! It seems like we are paying more & getting less…

  2. Avatar Rob says:

    It’s good to see this posted Bob, I’m looking forward to it!

  3. Avatar Rick says:

    Hi Bob. I just landed in Ehrenberg for the first time and I love it here! Lots of space and very quiet. I’m going to go find the river camping spots you’ve talked about. That too sounds great. Hope to bump in to you and some of the others when you’re here. Rtr sounds like fun . Looking forward to it

    • Bob Bob says:

      Rick, I should be there by Monday or Tuesday the 12th or 13th. Check your odometer when you turn don the road, you need to go down the road at least 6 miles before you start to see campsites.

  4. Avatar joe says:

    Wow a lot of stuff going on have a good down there and sell a lot of your tee shirts when I get up on my savings I will try to buy one have. Fun!

  5. Avatar Cindy says:

    What fun. I will be there in spirit! Cindy

  6. Thank you for this blog post Bob. The saying, “Freedom isn’t free” comes to mind as does the old proverb that reminds us a kite can’t soar if it’s completely untethered. It will be a GREAT RTR! Cody might be miffed by day 11 (LOL), but we all get it. No worries. And what a great schedule! Thanks again for all you do. Always.

  7. Avatar Dreane Swanson says:

    You are downsizing? Would you post a video about that?

    • Avatar Canine says:

      Dreane, that would be an interesting video and/or blog. Making the distinction between what we need and what we want can be remarkably difficult sometimes!

  8. Avatar Andrea kovar says:

    Bob, first year to finally realize 12 year dream come true..Thank YOU for doing all that you do!
    See y’all soon.

  9. Avatar Nelda says:

    That was excellent, Bob. Thanks for making it easy and clear to everyone. We are looking forward to seeing you and we’re packed up ready to go.

  10. Avatar Tina says:

    Hi Bob, so excited can’t wait!!! I’m renting a mini van that is set-up with a bed and kitchen area in back. This way I can test things out but think I still want a cargo van.

    Take care, this event is so helpful!! 🙂


  11. Avatar Tim Thierry says:

    Hi Bob . I was at RTR 1st time last year and loved it and will be back. IM Tim from Detroit and was camp nurse. I will REALLY miss Petes meal get togethers. What do you think if I did a Coney dog night on the first friday with Detroit style coneys and chips for everyone. I could provide plates, coneys dogs, chips ,and condiments so no work involved. I could put a bowl out for donations for a buck a plate to defer some of the cost. I think it would be fun. What do you think????

    • Bob Bob says:

      Tim, that would be amazing! But think it through first. If we have 100 people in line for a Coney Dog, how long before they can all get one? How are you going to cook that many of them all at once?

      I don’t think the first night is a good idea, the first Saturday would be better. What do you think if we ask people to bring desserts, chips, beans, potato salads, buns, plates, dogs, ketchup, relish etc so most of it is taken care of and not on you. It’ll take that long for them to get it and bring it.

      You’ll also need multiple burners, pots and help to have them all going at once and lay everything out. Serving is the big slowdown when feeding 100 people so multiple points to serve from is necessary, that means manpower. It also means many tables, stoves and propane bottles.

      I LOVE the idea!!!!!!!! But, I’ve done this enough to know it takes many people working well together to pull it off. Email me at [email protected]

  12. Avatar Vanholio! says:

    Been seeing lots of folks on other forums and social media talking about going. It’s going to be an EVENT!

  13. Avatar Jim says:

    Can’t wait for this year’s RTR.
    Is anyone interested in a caravan to The Baja after?

  14. I posted this on the Facebook Event also. Hope I’m not spamming you.
    I’ve not been to this event but am told I should. I’d like to do caricatures at the event. Is this encouraged or a good investment? I would set up chairs near my 2000 Chinook Concourse or where appropriate. Thanks!

    • Bob Bob says:

      You have to be careful because one thing the BLM is cracking down on is vendors working from BLM land. Commercial activities require a permit. It’s a fine line between a hobby that makes a little money and a business and there is no way to know how the Rangers will come down in it.

  15. Avatar Angelack says:

    Thanks for all of this Bob. This will be my first RTR and I can’t wait.

  16. Avatar Tim Thierry says:

    Hi Bob. I emailed a reply to u abt coney nite, so let me know if you got it. In addition, Me and Prospector Mike (High Desert Ranger) were parked near you last year and will be there a few days early again. If you need any help settin up, let us know. Cant wait to see everyone again.

  17. Avatar Jordan says:

    What about having a potluck dessert night instead of trying to organize & prepare a dinner for so many people? Just need a bunch of tables. Everyone brings a dessert to share & everyone brings their own plate & utensils. Have the desserts brought there by a certain time, then everyone can partake in the yumminess & hang out together in a sugar stupor. Set-up & clean-up are minimal & no special skills needed – except for dessert preparation. ?
    Just an idea.

  18. Avatar Crocky says:

    Hey Bob, just fyi, there is a typo on the map on your /gatherings page for the RTR that has the GPS coordinates. It should read -114.145942, not 114.145942. I’m sure most people would see that where it’s highlighted in the top left corner, but it confused me for a bit when google maps pointed me to China for the RTR 🙂

  19. Avatar Scott says:

    We will be in Cuba during the RTR in order to get away from our last winter up here in gloomy Upstate NY. We are very interested in maybe using lithium batteries in our rig. Will the lithium battery seminar be videotaped by any chance? For anyone else’s info, Technomedia did a bunch of informative videos about lithium too.

  20. Avatar Shelia todd says:

    I’m coming to quartsite for the rtr this year. I might make it to Erinburg. First time out in my little minivan. I’ve wanted to do this for years, but there was always a reason not to. I think it is called fear. The fear is still there, but I also know it is now or never.
    Hope to make some friends and take in the seminars. Who knows. Maybe I will become a full timer.

    • Avatar Tim Thierry says:

      Shelia, last year was my first and i was a bit fearful too. You have zero to fear. You will have fun , meet nice peeps and learn a lot. Ill see u there. Tim

  21. Avatar Jean says:


    You and other wonderful “Desert Dwellers” have taken away all my excuses for following my dream to live a nomadic life. I am setting the intention to join you all for the RTR in 2018 — can hardly wait!

    This looks like a wonderful event, a real bringing together of community. I will be with you all in spirit and look forward to the posts and videos that may result from this joyful gathering.

  22. Avatar Kris Pedersen says:

    1. What am I missing…..i don’t see an event schedule here?
    2. How do I get an invitation to RTR?

  23. Avatar ReAnn says:

    I’ve been new to research and your YouTube channel, but so far haven’t seen much on kids. What is the reception level to bringing a toddler or toddlers and moms in small suvs. Is it a safe place for that lifestyle? Thinking about taking the plunge–kind of being financially forced to as well. This community camp aspect sounds like an ideal start. Is that the case, Bob? Love your channel!

    • Bob Bob says:

      ReAnn, you will be welcomed! I gotta be honest though and say a single mom with a Toddler will not be easy to go camping for the rest of your life. That’s basically what you will be doing. I’d try going camping in your car and tent to see how that goes. It probably can be done, it just won’t be easy. You will be embraced, but I just don’t know if you can expect much help. Maybe, lots of retired grandmas out here!

  24. Avatar Doug D. says:

    Hi Bob. I’ll be boondocking in my car quite a bit starting in July so I couldn’t make it to this event. I’m looking forward to meeting this group. Where would be a good place to start this Summer?

  25. Avatar Ray says:

    Hi Bob,
    Been awhile since i last commented. Anyway, I can’t seem to find the 2017 schedule. I am going to hit the road next month.

  26. Avatar Marvolene Holloway says:

    When is next rtr?? I am making plans and taking steps to pay off some debts and purchase a van. I plan to be living free by first of spring 2018!!! I living with daughter while paying off debts.

  27. Avatar Monski says:

    Hi Bob. Have you planned the 3018 RTR yet? My friend and I are keen on coming. I’m happy to offer Yoga or Movement as a workshop. I hope to hear from you soon.

  28. Avatar Monski says:

    Hi Again … of course I meant the 2018 RTR!!! OOPS!

    • Avatar Paula M says:

      I plan to attend the 2018 RTR as well…as a new vandweller. So appreciative of all the assistance this community provides.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.