Camping in Quartzsite, Arizona
Steve and I moved from Victorville to Quartzsite this week, and it feels really good to be here. It has its own unique, distinctive “energy” to it. There is every possible kind of people and rigs here, from huge, expensive RVs to old, beat-up vans that barely make it down the road—even people living in tents. It is mainly older, retired folks in their RVs, but there will be many younger people also. I love the variety; it makes me feel very much at-home. One thing I love to see again is people driving their ATV (four-wheelers) right through town on their way shopping. There aren’t many places where you can get away with that. If you have never been here before, you really owe it to yourself to try it out, it is a great place.
The weather has been perfect: days are in the high 70s and nights in the 50s, and best of all no wind! Today and tomorrow are overcast, but then it will be back to perfect weather. It has been an unusually pleasant spring across the whole desert Southwest. Usually it is much colder than this and I am not complaining at all! I spent last November in Victorville, CA and it was miserably cold and windy, so I am delighted with the pleasant weather.
November is really the pre-season here, most of the vendors tents aren’t set-up yet and there aren’t that many RVers here either. You can camp very close to town without anyone near you at all. Traffic is light and getting around is easy. There aren’t any lines in the few local grocery stores or to get water. Of course that won’t last long; the population and traffic will steadily increase until it peaks in January at the time of the Big Tent RV Show. Then traffic will be horrible and the place will be a zoo with so many people. Oddly enough though, I even like that. And it doesn’t last long, by February the hordes will be gone and it will be a sleepy little town again.
I think the reason that there are so few people here is the mild weather hasn’t pushed the Snowbirds south yet. But they will get here eventually. The weather in Victorville was actually quite good and we debated just staying there till it got cold, but my itchy feet were just overwhelming me and I NEEDED to move. I’m really glad we did! Having the place all to ourselves just makes it that much nicer.
I am on the southeast side of town in the Scanlon Wash area, just a few miles from Main Street. I am posting a map to my camp in the sidebar to the right (that will be a permanent feature) and at the bottom of this post. I am also including a map of the main things in Quartzsite you need to be able to find once you are here. Here is a map of Quartzsite and below that are directions to our camp:
I’ve moved to Quartzsite, AZ. You all have a standing invitation to my camp; come one, come all!! If you are on Interstate 10 From Blythe or Phoneix: take Interstate 10 and get off on Exit 19, turn RIGHT if you are coming from Blythe, LEFT if you are coming from Phoenix. That will dead-end on E. Kuehn Street, turn LEFT, keep going until you hit the roadblock then turn RIGHT onto the dirt road and reset your odometer. Our camp is .45 miles down the road on the RIGHT. From Parker or Yuma on 95, south of town (and the overpass on Interstate 10) is a street light. If you are coming from Parker, turn LEFT onto Kuehn Street, if you are coming from Yuma turn RIGHT onto Kuehn. Keep going until you hit the roadblock then turn RIGHT onto the dirt road and reset your odometer. Our camp is .45 miles down the road on the RIGHT.
Glad you made it. Can’t wait to get there for the RTR! And how nice that the weather is so agreeable for you.
Thanks for posting the helpful directions!
Kim, we may get windstorms here, but they pale in comparison to what you get in the Southeast with Hurricanes and Tornadoes. It’s a great drive from there to here. Other than Texas, it is pretty easy to find free dispersed camping in National Forests. Nothing to do through Texas but bear down and drive! It sounds like you are having a great time in your Roadtrek!
See you in January! Bob
Hey Bob! Thanks to you and Steve for the invitation. Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it down until the RTR, but that’s something at least, and I am really looking forward to it.
I love it that Homer is there pointing the way to the site. I know I’ll be able to find y’all – he never lets me down! ;-D
Kim, Homer does seem to be leading the way to all the RTRs! He is just a camera hog and always knows when I get the camera out and runs right over to get in the shot. That’s okay, he is not only the brains of the outfit, he is the good-looking one too!
Will you be retired by January? I assume you will bring the trailer this time? See you then! Bob
Homer is getting better, as I recall he was pointing the “wrong way” last year. Must have picked up his smarts from Steve.
Sam, I said he is the smart one of the two of us, but he still isn’t all that bright! It isn’t going to be same this year without you, wish you were going to be here! Bob
No, I won’t be retired in January. I’ve still got my house and while I have a house I need a job to afford it! It’s like you say: I can’t afford NOT to be a vandweller! 🙂
Yes, I will be bringing my trailer to the RTR. I haven’t done much to it except clean it, but it will be a wonderfilled little home on wheels. I’m really looking forward to my first night – the adventure begins!
Hi Kathy, I am so glad you are on the blog with us! I didn’t recognize you at first. I’m looking forward to seeing you again at the RTR and seeing your famous trailer in person!
See you there!
Hey Bob New to your blog been on your website for quite sometime. Thanks for keeping them all up, and running there a wealth of information. Well see you at the RTR!
Hi HoboBerg, You aren’t very far away so hopefully we can meet before then. But of course you have to take care of Candy and this is not a very sterile environment. She comes first!! It would break my heart if anything happened to Homer, so take good care of her. See you soon. Bob
Hey Bob, how’s the new van doing? Check the mpg’s yet? Another year I can’t make the RTR, but one day!
Hi Greg, i have filled it up three times now and gotten 14, 17 and 11 mpg. The 14 was with mixed city/freeway driving, 17 was all freeway and the 11 was towing with some hills and wind. It’s really too early to know exactly what is going on, but I’m pretty happy with it so far. The 5.7-350 engine pulls the trailer with no problem and that is pretty good mpg for a bigger motor. It seems to like 65 mph. When it got 14 mpg, I was trying to hold it to 60 mph, and for the 17 mpg I held it to 65 mph. It got 11 mpg towing in CA, where the limit is 55 mpg when towing, so I drove 60 mph. I think if I towed it at 65 the mpg would improve. 60 mph seems to be below its preferred cruising power band. Those are the kind of things you learn over time and experimentation. Bob
I’m curious if the temp remains in the 70’s and nightly 50’s all through the winter months??
I Wish!! No, Cedric, the desert can be surprisingly cold in the winter. It has been an unusually warm fall. If you look at the pictures on the website of the RTR, you’ll see that in many of them people are wearing coats, hats and gloves. When winter storms blow in they bring cold and wind. The lows will be in the 30s and even the high 20s. daytime highs will be in the 50s. It starts to warm up again in February and by March it can be hot already. I generally will leave here in early March when it gets into the low 90s. Bob
I’m looking forward to the RTR and checking out the new location. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. So thankful for you and the VanDweller community. Sure would have been nice to share Thanksgiving dinner with Steve and you … but, headed back to WA to spend that day with PNW family. Hugs to all. Suanne
I’m sorry to have missed you Suanne, but we will see you soon! Bob
What an interesting place.
Why do you think it’s only busy from Jan through Feb?
CAE, the main attraction to Quartzsite is for the Snowbirds to spend their winters. But there is a huge amount of desert around Qzt to camp in, so there are a lot of people around, you just don’t see them and they aren’t all in town at the same time. The population steadily increases until January and the Big Tent RV Show. Then it peaks with a huge number of people camped everywhere in the desert and all of them in town at the same time. After it’s over lot’s of people leave and everything goes back to normal. There are still lots of people in the desert, they just aren’t all in town at once. Bob
Isn’t that Scaddan Wash? Looks like it’s a bit further on from the 2-week BLM parking we were at earlier this year.
I loved all the shopping for beads and gemstones on Quartzite! I visited on Nov. 2011, and I hope to return one day 🙂
Right you are Carol, if you are interested in jewelry making or rocks/gems, Quartzsite is heaven! How about this January!! Bob
I have been following your blog and looking at the different topics for a few months now. I am envious and have begun to plan my escape from the rat race in the near future. I plan on setting up my rig so I can boondock and be away from the daily grind. Thank you for putting this information out there.
Greg, I am so glad to be of some help!! Feel free to ask any questions if I can help.
Solar energy looks like the way to go. I will definitely have some questions about how to put a system together.
Greg, I love my solar panels. Free electricity for the rest of my life, what’s not to live??!!
At the top of the website there are some menu buttons. One of them is “Solar and Wind”. Click on it and check out the pages I’ve written about it first then I can answer all your questions.
we would like to thank you for putting all this great information on your blog. We are about to start our live on the road and have been trying to soak up as much information as we possibly can. Your blog has been the most helpful source for us. Thank you so much for that.
Thom & Natalie
What a very nice comment Thom and Natalie! I appreciate your saying that!
I AM getting ready to go boondocking in an rv in that same area as you are I am looking for all the info I can find on this I am a first timer I enjoyed your blog very much thank you for the info
Richard, I’d encourage you to join my forum and post that question there. You will be flooded with great ideas and tips!!
Go to my website and you will see a row of menu buttons, one of them is for the Forum. Go there and join and post this question.
If you email me I’ll answer all your questions, (email@example.com) but there you will get a lot more variety, plus, you will make new friends on the forum.
I’ll be in Quartzsite in late November, and my camp is always open to you!
Thanks for the new map. Leaving northern Me. by end of this month. Would like to be in your neck of the woods for Thanksgiving. Then to Cal. for Christmas, back for RTR. I’ve been lunking, and learned much.
If i remember quartzite was in in the az news in 2012 for something to do about the police, don’t remember what.
Douglas, for such a tiny place Quartzsite is a really big mess. Yes, they have been in the news for all kinds of strange shenanigans.