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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Life At The RTR

My first few days at the RTR has exceeded my expectations and I am glad I got to experience it this year.

I will not be posting daily as life at the RTR is neither exciting, nor boring, but at another level it's routine & consuming of time if you wish.  Since it's my first time here i am interested in absorbing what I can from the experience.

Each day a large number of the some 100 or so attendees get up and do their own thing.  

Larry, who I met the first day works every day so he is up in his trailer working every morning at 6:00.

I start work next week as I am teaching a college online course again this year.

Twilight has arrived.  I hang out in my Prius until 7:00.  HDR, who enjoys prospecting and will be glad to show you his equipment, is next to me and sleeps outside on a cot.  

Most days are in the 50's and low in the 30's.  Some days clouds and others sunny. 

When the sun comes up it warms fast and when the sun goes down it cools fast. Such is the desert.

The wind come up by 10:30 creating a chill that takes away the heat of the some still low in the sky.  By noon the sun is stronger and warmer.  The forecast has the weather warming into the 60's mext week.

People come and go. They go to town to  get parts and work on their vehicles or have them worked on.  Some have to move on and others come and join.  

Sue, who I met during my first morning walk was leaving for an interview in Havasu City, as she works as she moves and not being retirement age needs to make money to enjoy her travels.  The interview is for a part time job so she will look for another once she gets settled.

There is a walking group that meet at 8:30 to walk about 1 hour.  Half hour out and half hour back.  I joined as I haven't been hiking yet. There are the fast walkers and the slower walkers.  I'm in the fast group.

The demographics for the RTR is racially mixed and also mixed as it relates to sexual orientation.  The diversity is great this way but also from a socioeconomic perspective.  The group is one even though some have more sustainable income than others.

There are some couples but many here are solo and there are about as many solo men as there are woman.  Some have left significant others and family behind and some are recently single again.  There is a mother with her disabled son and a couple of children who travel with parents.

At 10:00 Bob Wells, the informal/formal leader of the RTR, meets the gathering.

He has announcements and covers the RTR schedule.  I'm participating This Wednesday in the small vehicle seminar with David, who full-times in his Prius, John who lived in his Prius until he got a Class C and now towed the Prius, Suanne, the leader of the Prius Vandwellers having traveled more than others over the years. (We didn't make it on the published schedule below)

Here is the RTR schedule from the website.  A good reference for more details about the RTR.

Bob then moves on to aligning people that need help with people that are willing to help.  I have tried to help two people and may cover them in another blog. One guy needed distilled water for his battery and a woman who had a gallon offered to help.

Then people get to offer things for sale or free. There is a free/exchange pile that is constantly changing (above), but at the morning announcements one man offered a guitar for $20 provided it was going to be used.  There was a large interest with people willing to bid the price up.  The seller didn't care about the money as much as finding a good home.

After the announcements it is time for the morning seminar.  This one seminar was about gadgets.  Above is a picture of this rubber putty that can have many purposes.  There are lots to learn and ideas to share.  Another day there is ideas on cooking using charcoal, butane, propane, and solar and people bring their products to the table for show and tell.

At 2:00 there is another seminar that covers other topics of interest.

Every evening there is a central campfire where socializing occurs.  Many go in for the night and others brave the cool temperatures.  There are some socislizing at individual vehicles.

Like the end of the parade where the street sweeper comes by to clean up, we Vandwellers must also clean up

We must carry in and carry out and leave no trace.  We all have our ways of dealing with human waste, but Bob puts up a potty tent where you bag your own and dispose of it correctly.

As I started out saying the RTR has been a good adventure for me and I get to put faces of the people that post on the groups blog.  It's a community like any other but of like mindedness regarding Vandwelling.



  1. Brent, I really enjoyed the small vehicle seminar. I am inspired by the Prius dwelling. Thanks for sharing your rig with us.

    1. Blaize,

      It was good to meet you in person having found your blog that follow.

      For me using the Prius as my vehicle is an exercise in doing everything small & I am always glad to share.

      Safe travels