Truck Camping In Winter

This winter I am indoors, warm and dry. What about next winter? In the back of the truck. With no heat and no insulation.

quartzsite quartzsite for a truck camper

Many full-timers  go to Quartzsite, AZ in January and/or February. This tiny desert town of 3,677 swells to several hundred thousand visitors in rvs, camped very close to each other in big rigs with noisy generators.

Why would I even consider going there?

  1. Warmish temperatures (878′ elevation, “temperature rarely below 34°F “).
  2. Quartzsite is the place to learn from  experts  in living full-time on the road.
  3. This is the place to come if I want anything done to the truck e.g.: new roof, tarp repaired, solar installed, LED lights installed, etc.
  4. Quartzsite has become a mecca to visitors and exhibitors for rocks, gems, mineral specimens and fossils during the town’s famous two-month-long gem show and swap meet every January and February. (I am a neophyte rock hounder. Want to learn to use a metal detector.)
  5. The Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (RTR) is usually in the first two or three weeks in January. On BLM land. For full timers, and people thinking about living full-time in a rv. Sharing info. Social.
  6. Cheap camping fees. There are several LTVAs … long term visitor areas. $180 for 7 months. A short-term permit can be purchased for a 14-day stay for $40. You can change LTVA during your stay for no extra fee.  Vault toilets,water station, trash services. There are ” thirty-three supplemental rules which are used to help manage the campgrounds.” Sounds very different from anything I have experienced, voluntarily.
  7. According to Wikipedia  Quartzsite is the burial place of Hi Jolly (Hadji Ali), an Ottoman citizen of Greek-Syrian parentage, who took part in the experimental US Camel Corps as a camel driver. Quartzsite is also the site of Joanne’s Gum Museum, which is open to the public and features a large collection of gum wrappers from around the world.
  8. Lots of BLM land in the area. (Thanks for the reminder, Robin!)
  9. Something to be experienced?



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6 Responses to Truck Camping In Winter

  1. Robin says:

    I thought if you camped out by the RTR it was BLM land and free. Plus, you get to meet Bob from fame. When I insulated my truck topper this site was very helpful. I’m selling my truck and camper topper and buying a small cargo van to turn into a camper. The truck gas mileage when we went to Alaska was a killer =(


    • Mas Prema says:

      Gas mileage has kept me from Alaska. And I am still having fun discovering the West. Am looking forward to the RTR next year. has been a great inspiration. Will you be publishing your process of truck-to-van?


  2. Marlis says:

    Cool, -catching two flies with one swat! 😃
    Definitely worth checking out, there surely is something to be learned at this place, even if it is that you never have to go back…and of course there are the rocks!


    • Mas Prema says:

      I had an appointment with a guy for this winter in Quartzsite to learn the metal detector. He was going to take me on a gem/gold/rock hunting trip. Hope to catch up with him next year.


  3. Kim Pitman says:

    After Quartzsite maybe cruise on down to Mexico?


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