Column: The Colorful, Colossal Quartzite RV Show (3/11/2019)

Story by Woodall's Campground Management


Editor's Note: This column was written by Joe Salas for New Atlas. 

Once every year, a huge congregation of RVs, travel trailers, snowbirds, overlanders, and off-road enthusiasts happen to all converge in the tiny, dusty town of Quartzite, Ariz. Between 750,000 and one million of them, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

I'd heard of the Quartzite RV Show in the past. Before I owned or even thought of owning an RV, somehow it had ended up on my radar. It's that big. Now that I travel full-time in an RV for work, it was a must-do event for myself and my significant other. During the colder winter months, we end up in the southern part of the United States often. It's not that I really consider myself to be a "snowbird," as they're called, it just happens to be that way by coincidence. So, it transpired that in January this year we were in the area, and I'd slated the Quartzite RV Show on my calendar.

This year was the 36th annual event and I was very excited to see the show, meet the locals and take in the sights. Upon arriving in Quartzite, I could immediately see that I would not be disappointed. I'd never seen so many RVs in a single location thousands dotted the landscape as far as I could see into the desert and on the mountain sides.

As busy as the small town of Quartzite was (so small that there is only one stop light on that side of town where the show is centralized), traffic was still flowing. We drove just one mile east from the RV Show, passing numerous vendors, eateries, and RV parks before we found an entrance to hundreds of miles of open Bureau of Land Management land where we were free to camp. Even with so many RVs already camped, it never felt crowded. There's so much available space out there, and the few neighbors that we talked to in our immediate vicinity were all very warm, welcoming, and friendly. They all shared one unique thing in common: they'd been coming to Quartzite every January for 15-plus years.

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