RTR Update: Join The Tribe!

Homer demands that I take him for a walk every morning and night (and he is the boss!) so we do it every day. At the RTR a group joins in and walks with us. I took this picture yesterday in the nice evening light.

The RTR is winding down and it has been another huge success. So many people having such a wonderful time!! It’s very easy to say that everybody is having a great time, but it really is true. There are many new people here who are exploring the mobile life for the very first time. One common thing they all say is that they came here unsure of what they would find. Would they be safe, or would they be so afraid that they would have to give up? Everything seemed so new and strange; what challenges would come up and could they handle them? Would the tent blow over? Would it be so cold they would have to give up? Their families, children and friends had thought they had lost their minds and continually urged them not to go: “You are going out to the desert to camp with total strangers, you will be murdered in your sleep…or worse!!” But the most common fear is loneliness, after all we are social animals, we intuitively want to part of a pack or a tribe. It’s one thing to give up your entire old life and start over a new completely foreign one, it is entirely different to do it alone and against the advice of everyone you love..

We have four RoadTreks in camp this year but this is the newest and nicest. It is gorgeous inside and out.

So they came here and they were so relieved to find they were not alone. They were among a new family and new friends and forming life-long bonds. It is a marvelous thing to watch and be part of and I truly humbled to have played a small part in making it happen.

What about you? Has your time come? Are you ready to start over a new life but the many unanswered questions and fear paralyze you? I urge you to follow in the footsteps of the many brave men and women who are gathered here and follow your hearts. Use your head and make plan, but be determined to be happy. Don’t settle for a mediocre, monotonous, drab life of barely getting by. Be Happy! There will always be a tribe here waiting for you here, so you don’t have to face the challenge alone. See you soon!

I didn’t have time to write much again this post, so here are more pictures from the RTR:

This older Toyota Chinook looks like it has been restored perfectly. This year we have two of them. They get 22 mpg and are very comfortable inside.

A beautiful but hard to find Ford high-top cargo van named Hulk. It makes an incredible home!

A gorgeous Airstream trailer males an incredible home.

This was a good year for Astro minivans at the RTR, there are three of them here now. And what isn’t to love, decent mpg, reliable and extreme stealth. This one has 280 watts of solar on the roof and a luggage rack for more cargo.

This box truck gives a huge amount of space and outstanding stealth. With a diesel engine it get okay mpg.










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

29 comments on “RTR Update: Join The Tribe!
  1. Avatar John Lamb says:

    Definitely a varied assortment of rigs! I wanted to be there with you this year, but had to start earlier than expected back to work….maybe I will make it out to see you next year…..the STEALTH camper needs to make a road trip!

  2. Avatar Brian Howard says:

    Wow Bob. Looks like a really good turn out. I’m gelous. Getting cold here in upstate New York again but we had a nice January thaw. Looks like the nights have been cold there too. Keep on keeping on. Your friend, Brian

    • Bob Bob says:

      Brian, I saw where New York was warmer than we were here. But that is a very unusual and it has warmed up here to nearly perfect weather. It’s now in the low-70s in the day and mid-40s at night. The sun feels warm and wonderful and we have to worry about sunburns! Given the choice of New York winter or a Arizona winter, there is no debate.

  3. Avatar Calvin R says:

    Thank you for this post and for the RTRs. You are right; humans are a social animal. We need others like us, and that can be difficult for those of us who are not “mainstream.” I also appreciate the variety of vehicles in the pictures.


  4. Avatar Abbe says:

    Bob — what a great RTR you guys had — I’m so envious! ๐Ÿ™‚

    There have been so many delays in getting my house sold during the last few weeks, I couldn’t attend this time. But I’m hoping to officially be on the road about 8 weeks from now. So I’ll contact you, or follow your website, to see where you’re hanging out at that time. I will definitely stop by to visit.

    You’re an inspiration to others. Have a great rest of your RTR.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Kitty with the terrible housing market I’m sure you feel grateful to have sold it at all! Hang in their, hopefully it will be over soon. I expect quite a few of those here now to stay with me for awhile so you will have a community waiting here for you when you finally get on the road. Looking forward to seeing you then!!

  5. Avatar Kim says:

    Love the rig photos. Especially the first one – LOL! (Actually, I think the Chinook is my favorite).

    Your last two posts help define this experience. I faced no resistance from the folks back home, but found that it is difficult to describe what this gathering is about. Thanks for doing that.
    Kim recently posted…Coatless in ArizonaMy Profile

  6. Avatar Pennie says:

    Bob, you are truly an amazing person. You do so much to help others. It’s been a wonderful experience for my husband and I and to be honest my husband was not sure about the boon docking. Now he is talking about our next adventure when we are finished in Ajo. Having the option to join you at any time is such a great help to others who are just not sure and are starting out. your kinda of like a security blanket. we’d like to thank you for all that you have done to help us and getting the chance to talk to others who have been doing it for years has been amazing. We’ve learned so much. It’s been an amazing experience and we look forward to attending more RTR in the future
    Pennie recently posted…The Big Tent!My Profile

    • Bob Bob says:

      Pennie, it was my pleasure to get to meet you both. I am delighted to have helped you in some small way find the joy of spending time in God’s great creation by boondocking. Since I am planning on getting to Ajo soon hopefully we will get together then, if you aren’t too busy.

      Hmmmmmm, security blanket, never thought of myself that way, more of a Teddy Bear!

  7. Avatar CAE says:

    What’s the temperature like when you take the daily walks?

    • Bob Bob says:

      CAE, we had a about 10 days of extremely unusually cold weather. Many mornings it would be 18-20 degrees in the morning and even though the sun was up by 8:30 when we walked it was still well below freezing. At night when we walked it was about 45 degrees when we started walking and as soon as the sun went below the horizon it dropped quickly. It was really cold for the desert!!! Thank god that is over and it has finally warmed up again. Now it is perfect weather! Bob

  8. Avatar Izaak Diggs says:

    Love the Chinook; that would be my ideal but they’re really hard to find.

    See you in ’14…

    • Bob Bob says:

      Me too Izaak! They get about 22 mpg and are really neat inside–very comfortable. But, even with the legendary Toyota reliability they are very hard to find. I wish you luck on finding the rig of your dreams!

  9. Avatar TexCyn says:

    Thanks for posting all this. I’d love to make it sometime! Looks like lots of fun & looks like the weather has finally taken a turn for the warmer blood types. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Bob Bob says:

      I hope you can Cyn, it really is a great time. So many amazing people getting to know each other, making friends and sharing a common lifestyle can’t be anything but a great time!

  10. Avatar Ryan says:

    Thanks for hosting the RTR, it was a pleasure to meet you. I still owe you a list of great spots up on the Mogollon Rim. Thanks again!

    • Bob Bob says:

      Ryan I am so glad you stopped by, and also very sorry I didn’t get to spend more time visiting with you. It’s a mixed blessing that the RTR has become so popular; I am delighted so many people are being helped but it also means I am so busy I don’t get to know them one-on-one. I hope we get a chance to meet again soon!

  11. Found you through Kim’s blog. These are great pics and a great show of the variety available – wonderful for us dreamers that hope to join you guys one day. Thanks for sharing!

    • Bob Bob says:

      Hi Debra, and welcome. Kim has been here for about a week and it has been wonderful to get to know her. I also really like her blog.

      Hope to meet you out here some day! Let me know if there is anything I can do to make your dreams come true!

  12. Avatar Dan says:

    Bob thanks for the tips on coming to the RTR. I had a great time hanging out with the tribe, everybody’s warmth made the little bit of cold weather better. Hope to join you guys in the summer (in a van). If anyone finds themselves going through Kentucky in the Lexington/Georgetown area you can dock in my driveway. Just let me know you’re coming so I don’t wander off somewhere myself and miss ya. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Bob Bob says:

      Randy it was great to meet you, I’m just sorry it was at a time when I was so busy. Next time we have to spend more time together!

      It’s very kind of you offer your driveway. I encourage any one in the the area to stop by and say hello and get a safe place to spend the night.

      Hope to see you again this summer!

  13. Avatar cozygirl says:

    Hope to make it next winter….we take off this year. Just downloaded your Kindle book. Hubbie figuring out solar right now…me the domicile, insurance, banking, etc. Not sure who got the best deal on that one :O) Great info here Bob…hope we meet you one day!

  14. Avatar Jana says:

    I really wish I could have made it… my co-pilot (dog) sidetracked me with liver disease. He and I may have another year together, and if we do WE will see y’all next year.

    In the mean time, I am loving reading various blog entries and looking at the pictures. Thank you so much for sharing all this with us.

    Peace, Love and Tribal Dancing!

    • Bob Bob says:

      Bodhi, the next year should be very precious to you, spend every second you can with your beloved co-pilot. As I watch my Homer get older just the thought of losing him can upset me and bring me to tears. I am hoping to see you both next year, if not sooner!

      Tribal dancing, I like that!! Have to put that on the schedule for 2014!

  15. Avatar ROBIN ARMOUR says:

    A true 17 year old with 78 years experience. I wish I had gone full-time in my motor home the day after graduation from high school. It took half a century to learn how to really enjoy life !
    Long story short: Retired Air Force jet pilot, ham radio for 67 years, do keyboard, Labrador Retriever rescue and Shriner. Love the southwest and west. You can have the rest of the planet.
    I’m glad I found your site.
    I survived the Mayan Apocalypse 12/21/12 . . .

    • Bob Bob says:

      Robin, glad you are here!! Looking forward to your insights!

      And thank you for your service, we all owe you a huge debt of gratitude. I’m sure that for you the phrase “Freedom isn’t free” carries some deep and powerful meanings.

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