2018 Women’s RTR, Jan 22-24

(updated 1/27/18)

Wrap-Up with Some Numbers from the 2018 Women’s RTR

  • At the first day’s Orientation, Lisa counted 196 participants.  I had several more women approach me later saying they missed the Orientation.  So, we had 200+ participants over the 3-day event.  This is totally amazing because we promoted the WRTR only twice — me on the forum, and Bob on a video.
  • About 20 pre-event volunteers graciously signed-up to present and manage various functions during the WRTR.   As you’ll see going down this list, most everyone at the WRTR eventually played important roles in mentoring, coaching, encouraging, breaking camp, cleaning up, etc.
  • 5 Mini-Sessions were offered during the first afternoon by experienced vandwellers. Each 20-minute mini-sessions was repeated 3 times so that attendees could go to more than one (1).  After the mini-sessions, we had some dancing.
  • 35 Small-Group Mentoring Slots were filled during the second and last days of the WRTR (2).
  • 2 Panels were offered on the second day, Personal Hygiene in the morning, and Safety in the afternoon.  Three to four women on each of the panels presented their strategies and experiences, then participants asked questions and offered their perspectives.
  • 4 morning and evening networking opportunities with food and drink to share.
  • 4 campfires were enjoyed, morning and evening.  The last evening campfire included roasted marshmallows and a sing-a-long with instruments.
  • 4 Sheets of Needs were collected and will be available for view on a password-protected page.
  • 2 Sheets of Offerings were collected and will be available for view on a password-protected page.

(1) Mini-Sessions included: Alternate Cooking Methods; Cheap Cooking for One; Power Tools; Maps & Apps; Safe Food Storage Without Refrigeration.

(2) Mentoring Sessions included: Solar Cooking; Simple Living Set-Up in a Minivan; Cooking with Steam; Planning for Artists to Travel Together; Event Planning; Reaching Goals and Releasing Stress; Managing Psychiatric Disability on the Road; Income on the Road; Organizing; Headscarfing; Separation Toilet/Potty; Cheap and Nontoxic Cleaning Methods; Practically Free Solar; “If I can do it, you can do it” Open House; Sound Meditation; Navigation without GPS or Phone; Basic First Aid and Field Hygiene; Prius Set-Up and Demo Bathroom; Boondocking; Q & A about Vandweller Lifestyle; Planning for Newbies to Camp Together after WRTR; Beginner’s Luck/Don’t Give Up; Hair Wrapping; Solar/Electricity; Safety Q & A; Budget and Personal Project Planning; Blogging, Affiliate Marketing, and YouTube for Money.

(updated 1/20/18)

Camping/Parking Locations

The Main Camp for the WRTR is the same area as the Main RTR Camp. The Main Camp includes the fire ring and the area taped off for staff, presenters, sound equipment, and meetings. East of the Main Camp is for rigs with men in them (shared with women, Matt our sound guy, Bob, etc.). West of the Main Camp is for women only. The east/west delineator is the large Palo Verde Tree just east of the bulletin board, the approximate middle of the Main Camp.

Camping/Parking for the WRTR is bordered on the north and south by the two roads on either side of the Main Camp.

Disabled parking is just south of the Main Camp.

Organizational Meeting for Volunteers

9am Sunday, Jan. 21 at Suanne’s Camp, south of Main Camp

Schedule for Women’s RTR

Day 1, 22nd

10am, Orientation and Introductions

2pm, Mini Sessions

Day 2, 23rd

10am, Personal Hygiene Panel

2pm, Safety Panel

Day 3, 24th

Coaching Sessions all day

2pm, Closing Meeting, then Break Camp


At dawn’s first light, only the chairs remain from the evening campfire, RTR 2016.  (by Suanne Carlson)

By Suanne Carlson

After hearing feedback at the Women’s Meetings during previous RTRs (Rubber Tramp Rendezvous), and after reading several requests in the forum for a women’s get together, we are offering a Women’s RTR.  So, immediately following the main RTR from January 11th to 21st, continue to camp with other women from the 22nd to 24th.

Bob and I consider the Women’s RTR an extension of the regular RTR.  That is, the Women’s RTR will explore topics of specific interest to women rather than repeating seminars that were covered earlier during the main RTR.  (Here is a link to Bob’s video explaining what will be offered during the main RTR.)

If you are experienced in the vandwelling lifestyle, we want you there.  If you are a newbie, we want you there.  Like the regular RTR, this will be a time to learn, share your experiences, and build community.   If you are a woman, you are welcome regardless of your vehicle or full-/part-time status.

All types of vehicles fit into the vandwelling lifestyle, RTR 2017.      (by Suanne Carlson)


We will have lots of opportunities to get to know and learn from each other informally – morning coffee/tea, and evening potlucks.  Based on comments from the previous years’ Women’s Meetings, this is the most requested addition.

We will have two panel discussions with women role-models from within the vandwelling community.  Note: This is in addition to the two Women’s Meetings during the regular RTR which are scheduled for each of the two Fridays at 2pm.

The two topics of interest that have come up year after year at the RTR’s Women’s Meetings are: 1) Safety, and 2) Personal hygeine (bathroom/shower).  We will cover those issues in-depth.  Neither concern has a one-size-fits-all solution; so, we will have multiple women on those panels present a wide range of perspectives for you to consider for the solution that you consider your best fit.

In conversations with other vandwelling women, additional topics and activities have come up (beyond safety, personal hygiene, and topics covered during the regular RTR).    So, we will have concurrent 20-minute mini-sessions during one of our afternoons together.

Mini-session topics include:  Map reading to find places to camp, Cheap meal planning for one, Safety practices for over-nighting in town, Safe food storage with little or no refrigeration, Using basic power tools.

We will also provide an opportunity for experienced vandwellers to coach and/or mentor those new to the lifestyle:

  • For a couple of hours to:
    • Help you downsize,
    • Give you tips to organize your small space, or
    • Show you how to use your tech devices to find resources and for entertainment.
  • For a week or longer (as agreed)  to:
    • Get you in the flow of finding a place to camp, getting supplies, moving to another camp, etc., or
    • Camp together elsewhere.

Sunset at the 2017 RTR                                                       (by Suanne Carlson)

Following the Women’s RTR, some women may elect to travel together, or camp together elsewhere (as our 14-day limit will have been reached at the RTR location).


The rules for the main RTR hold true throughout the Women’s RTR as well (see Bob’s YouTube video or website). Additionally, to create a safe space where women may express themselves freely, please no video/audio taping or photos during the Women’s RTR.

Contact (Suanne) by email: [email protected]