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The 2022 Online RTR

The 2021 online RTR was so popular that it was continued in 2022. Questions were answered in the chat during the classes so be sure to check the chat, and the comments below each video, for additional information. All online sessions are posted on the HOWA YouTube channel and can be watched at any time.

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2022 Rubber Tramp Rendezvous Jan 14-23

The return of the RTRs! After reviewing the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccines and the rate of infections in the Quartzsite area, the staff and trustees of HOWA determined that the 2022 RTRs could be held safely. The RTRs are held completely outdoors which allows proper social distancing and lessens any chance of infection. All attendees were cautioned to follow CDC guidelines.

The venue for the 2020 RTRs, La Paz Fairgrounds, was excellent but the lack of close dispersed camping meant long drives for people who wanted to attend the seminars. For the 2022 RTRs Suanne Carlson, HOWA’s Executive Director, persuaded the Quartzsite officials to rent the town park to HOWA. The location of the park in the center of the town surrounded by BLM land within easy driving, biking, and even walking distance meant many more people could attend the seminars. Over the ten days of the RTRs hundreds of people gathered on the grass of the baseball field to listen to seminars on solar power, work camping, safety, vehicle maintenance and other subjects of interest to new and experienced nomads.

 Popular features such as the button table, the bulletin boards, the free tables, and the plywood van were joined by “Flat Bob”and a crafts area located at the first aid station plus an opportunity to buy sweepstakes tickets and win Bob’s van . A generous donor supplied funds to buy warm blankets, hats, and socks to be distributed to any attendee who couldn’t afford to buy them. On the final two days of the RTR attendees were invited to show off their vehicles at an open house event. Wonderful entertainment was provided by the Status Crowes  and the Gong Gypsy.

None of this would have been possible without the help of the HOWA volunteers. Due to the hard work and cooperation of many people the RTRs were a huge success. Any concern that the Quartzsite officials had about renting the park for the event vanished when they saw how professionally the volunteers handled their duties and how much support the attendees gave and received over the ten days of the RTRs. HOWA has been invited to come back next year! Thank you volunteers and attendees! Hope to see all of you at the Quartzsite town park for the 2023 RTRs!

 

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Emergency Repairs

As of December 2021 the HOWA Emergency Fund has distributed over $44,000 to 112 nomads! Thank you to all who donated and helped make this program so successful! To keep the Emergency Fund going please donate HERE.

Here is an example of how your donations help fellow nomads:

Dear HOWA core group, contributors and members.
Some of you know me, my first official year out. I started in a high milage car knowing none. I had come to see how these people live on minimal incomes. I live on $500. per month and needed to know how to make it. I quickly made friends with others once linked up with the Women’s Carovan and on to my first WRTR and RTR! What a winter! I met so many beautiful people and had fun! My health had gotten so poor so suddenly that I’d given up on life, never mind actually having fun!I’ve been coming back to life (after 2 years in bed) these last couple years. I’m getting stronger in every way! I LOVE the freedom this lifestyle has to offer! I can do as I need, when I need and take part at my pace. More and more I am increasingly healthier! I even put a little money aside and bought a van. Then, tiny step by tiny step I am building out my van. Unfortunately, I have also had a series of functional/mechanical issues I’ve had to fix recently. I’ve really hit a low and revisiting if I can make it or not and cold weather right around the corner. Then you all said you would help me with my latest mechanical issue …. the engine issue… the one that made me think I couldn’t make it! Because of your foresight and kind hearts creating such an organization and making funds available to people like me I feel like someone actually does care about me! It’s a huge boost!!!! I got the job I had wanted because I have transportation. My physical limitations are many so I hated to see this “perfect match” go away. Because of your prompt help with my transportation, I am now working and stretching my abilities even further.
Thank you for ALL you do for so many of us out here doing the best we can to rebuild our lives!!!! You provide an invaluable service that stretches far beyond money. Thank you for finding ME worthy of help!”

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We Care Pahrump, Nevada November 2021

  In January 2021 HOWA was the recipient of a $3,000 Community Grant from Walmart. Thank you Walmart! In keeping with the requirements that the grant money be distributed to nomads in need in the Pahrump area, a We Care event was held in the spring of 2021. $1000 was distributed leaving a $2000 surplus for another event in the fall of the year. Since this coincideded with the start of the fall caravans the event became mobile and event volunteers traveled to five caravan locations and distributed 52 $100 grants. In all $5,200 was distributed – the $2000 plus $3,200 from generous donors. Thank you donors!

A few of the grateful recipients.

all photos by Bobbie Stice

A huge thank you to the HOWA stuff and volunteers, Phyllis, Grey, Christy, Lisa, Suanne, and Bobbie

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The Caravans are Back!

photo by Sarah Meg Hart

New nomads are often timid about camping alone especially if they have little experience. To fill the need for companionship and support, Bob Wells, the president of HOWA and founder of Cheap RV Living started the caravans in October 2018. Watch Bob’s Video HERE. Early in 2019 HOWA became the sponsor of the caravans. Caravans continued through 2019 and into early 2020 when the outbreak of coronavirus made in-person gatherings too risky. A wonderful solution was found by holding virtual caravans – the first on March 30, 2020. The virtual caravans have been a huge success but now that coronavirus vaccines have proven to be very effective in cutting the chances of contracting the virus, in-person caravans have started again! HOWA strongly recommends that all attendees follow the CDC guidelines to stay safe and healthy.

photo by Sarah Meg Hart

Caravans are open to everyone – new nomads, experienced nomads, full-time nomads, and part-time nomads. All types of rigs are welcome. Typically caravan groups camp on public land for 14 days, then move to camp at another place for 14 days, and so forth. Camping is free and no amenities are provided. For more information click HERE.

Due to the popularity of virtual caravans, they will continue, so if you can not go to an in-person caravan, attend a virtual caravan where you can chat and make friends with like-minded people. Click HERE.

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Items Needed for a Minivan Home

Minivans are a good choice for full-time living or weekend getaways. They are one of the most economical cars to buy, get good gas mileage, are easy to park and drive, have some degree of stealth for staying in populated areas, and once the seats are removed they are roomy enough to make a comfortable living space.

 A simple build requires few skills and can be accomplished easily and quickly. Consider removing the passenger seat or turning it around to face the living area if more room is needed once the rear seats are removed. Start with the basic necessities of bedding, food, water, and cooking equipment. Storage units keep supplies and clothing organized. A source of power will be needed for charging cell phones and other devices. Depending on the climate a small heater or fan could be a necessity.  Many of the things you already own may be perfect for a build so sort through your possessions before buying anything new. Keep everything simple. An overcrowded home will not be comfortable on rainy and cold days when you’ll be spending time inside.

The Homes on Wheels team has compiled a list that they consult when outfitting a simple minivan build for a new recipient. All of these items are not used in every minivan home but the list is a good starting point for anyone considering making their own minivan home. The list is now available to everyone! Click HERE to see it.

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