Located along the western border of Arizona, just 18 miles from the Colorado River, you will find the quaint town of Quartzsite, AZ. This town has become known as the RV boondocking capital of the world.
It is in Quartzsite, AZ that more than a million RV enthusiasts congregate. Mainly in January and February, when Quartzsite hosts the nation’s largest gem and mineral show and several swap meets.
Besides being the host of the largest gem there are many other things Quartzsite, AZ offers RVers. Let’s discuss!
The Basics of Quartzsite, AZ
The region is a mecca for RVers looking for a temperate place to ride out winter. The climate is pleasant from November through March, drawing a large crowd. The daily temperatures ranging from the mid-40s to mid-60s and the humidity rate hovers around 10%. It’s no wonder that campers flock to this desert oasis.
The town is perfectly positioned to swell with visitors. It is in a relatively flat basin between mountain ranges with miles and miles of arid land that await boondockers. Many of the usual town services are not affected by this growth, because RVers provide their own power, either by solar setup or generator.
The 3,800 locals welcome a million outsiders each winter. Most make their living from the tourist trade, so catering to their needs and wants is big business. If you choose to come during “high season,” you’ll find a variety of gatherings. For example, swap meets, several gems and mineral exhibitions, and a large RV show tent.
New and used recreational vehicles can be bought and sold here, along with all of their accouterments. It’s a veritable RV party for a couple of months, and the entire town joins in the celebration.
Why Do RVers Love Quartzsite, AZ?
Now that you have the gist of what this little desert town has to offer, why visit? Of course, every RVer has his or her own opinion as to why Quartzsite, AZ is such a magnet for boondockers. Here’s a few of the most common:
An Abundance of Free Camping in Quartzsite, AZ
Because there is so much BLM (Bureau of Land Management) property available, there is absolutely no reason any RVer should be paying for a campsite. Just pull in, setup, and you’re good to go for up to 14 days at the same campsite.
Most scattered campsites do not have any facilities though. So you will need to bring your own water and have a self-contained camping unit with a toilet. Be sure you’re ready to boondock if you choose this option.
LTVA Land (Long Term Boondocking)
Also run by the Bureau of Land Management, the LTVA lands allow boondocking within their perimeters for up to 7 months straight! You can enjoy this land from September 15 through April 15 with the purchase of a long term permit at $180.
There are vault toilets and water spigots placed throughout this area. As well as a dump station and even a dance ramada in La Posa LTVA in Quartzsite.
The Quartzsite, AZ RV Show
RV vendors and suppliers realized the benefit of having so many boondockers in one place at the same time. Eventually, a huge RV show sprung up in Quartzsite, AZ.
These days anyone who is selling something that is RV-related will be represented there in January. If you are in need of accessories, parts, or an RV, you will find it at the Quartzsite RV Show.
RV Community Camaraderie
With so many people in the same place, it was inevitable that smaller groups with common interests have been formed. You can branch off and camp in an area with other Escapers or RTR campers, along with dozens of other groups. In fact, many plan their yearly get-togethers for Quartzsite, where they schedule speakers, concerts, trainings, hikes, dinners and more.
Will You Visit Quartzsite, AZ?
You may want to give Quartzsite, AZ a try, especially if your rig is set up for boondocking. It’s a great place to enjoy the peace and quiet of the desert, make new camp friends, and learn more about the RV lifestyle.
However, it’s not for everyone. If you enjoy high-end RV resorts or need a swimming pool to feel like you’ve been vacationing, Quartzsite might not be for you. You may want to motor on over to California and plug-in there instead!
However, if sitting under the Milky Way on a clear night or hearing the wind whisper along a desert wash is more your speed, Quartzsite might be right for you. Check out this gathering place of happy boondockers on your next winter camping adventure.