Fall 2023 BYOV

Recipients Jimmy, Michell, Julie, Suzanne, Christine, and Shannon 

Due to the constraints of HOWA’s  liability insurance, the Bring Your Own Vehicle events were on hold for most of 2023. The good news is we now have insurance that covers the events! However, the insurance does not cover the skilled volunteers who had been installing components in recipient’s vehicles so the recipients at the Fall 2023 BYOV received plug and play portable solar power systems which included 200W of solar panels and a Bluetti EB70S power box.


As each of the recipients unboxed the components, volunteers David Wall and Rachele Adair explained how everything worked.


Having a reliable source of power will be life changing for the recipients!

Suzanne who works from home will not have to worry about how to charge her hotspot and her computer.

Having power to run a refrigerator and computer will give Julie more options.

Michelle’s insulin will stay at a safe temperature now that she has the power to run her refrigerator.

Jimmy can charge his electronic devices without running down his car battery.

Shannon is looking forward to having power for small appliances to make her life easier.

And Christine will be able to keep all of her electronic equipment charged.

Thank you to the recipients, staff, volunteers, and Lectric eBike who made this a successful event!

The generous donation from Lectric eBike has allowed HOWA to purchase additional solar systems. The next BYOV will be held on February 1, 2024. Seventeen nomads will be granted 200 watt solar systems which will include two 100W solar panels for roof mounting, 100Ah lithium battery, charge controller, inverter, 12v fuse block, and all wiring, fuses and hardware. Apply by December 31, 2023 HERE.

Thank you donors! To support HOWA’s programs please click HERE.


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Thank You Donors!

With your generosity, we were able to help 32 nomads in 2023.  Some received $100 Compassion Grants because their requests were beyond the scope of the eFund. Others, who were in danger of losing their homes due to the condition of their vehicles, were approved for transmission repairs, radiator replacements, power steering repairs, and other major repairs. All funding of the repairs is paid directly to the mechanics’ shops. We, at HOWA, and the nomads who are helped are so grateful for the funds that keep the program going. Since the inception of the Emergency Fund in August 2019 we have distributed over $70,000! Please donate HERE.

Below are a few emails that we received from grateful recipients:

“I just received it!! Thank you guys so much !! You are a true blessing!!May y’all your roads be freshly paved, and stars at night be clear!! Namaste my friends”

“Thank you so much for your kind and heartfelt response to my email. It truly means so much to me. I appreciate all that was said and thank you for explaining things to me. It was a truly a beautiful experience reading your email. People haven’t been so nice. Thank you.With love,Tyvonne”
“Just wanted to let you know that I received the money and am so very grateful and thankful. I made it back today and go back to work on Wednesday morning. I had some van trouble right as I got here but a coworkers husband is coming to help me with that issue tomorrow. I really can’t thank you guys enough for all of your help.I’m thankful to be on a team that truly helps individuals in need.”

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“I am so grateful!”

“Hello HOWA family, I was approved for your Emergency Funds Program on 3/6/23 and I would like to tell you my story. I had traveled from Galveston, Tx to spend the winter in one of my favorite places, Quartzsite AZ. I got a job at Pilot Flying J @ Subway which sustained me and River, my Husky, for the winter. I then went to The RV Show and landed a job as a Camp Host with American Land & Leisure. Everything was going perfect as planned, I had made just enough money to carry on and get to my summer job in West Virginia..then van broke down. Oh No!! I am alone out here with my dog and had depleted my emergency fund..with a plan to recover..but broke down before ever leaving Quartzsite (thank goodness). I needed help!! I emailed Tracey @ HOWA and she heard my story and allowed me to apply for the Emergency Fund Assistance Program. I told my story, submitted all required documents/ pics / estimate and waited to hear back. I was stranded, stressed, and was feeling very discouraged..when I received an email. HOWA is going to help you!! I could not believe it..brought tears to my eyes. I want you to know, all of your time, effort and love that you put into released into our community and touches people’s mine…I am so grateful! Thank You HOWA!”   Katherine

Thank you to all who donate! In the first two months of 2023 the Emergency Fund has helped seven nomads in situations just like Katherine’s. Help us continue this important program by donating HERE.

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2023 RTRs Jan 7 – Jan 20

Over 14 days of WRTR and RTR hundreds of attendees enjoyed seminars, demonstrations, live music, open houses, crafts and games, and a screening of Nomadland.  Food trucks, buskers, a sewing station joined the attractions from earlier RTRs such as the free table, bulletin board, and button table. A good time was had by all! Make plans come to the 2024 RTRs and join in the fun!

Yummy stuff from the food trucks      Informative seminars                          Crafts and games

Performances by musicians like The Nomads, Gong Gypsy, Status Crows, and talented buskers.

Open house! A chance to check out everyone’s rigs for ideas and inspiration.

Learn skills and get tips. Charlene Bower, founder of Ladies Offroad Network, leading a seminar at the WRTR.

Sewing station for free repairs and hemming.

Sweepstakes tickets to win a Bluetti solar system, a Lectric ebike or a handmade quilt. Thank you to the donors of the sweepstakes prizes.

Nomadland on the big screen. You may even get to meet some stars!

Thank you to the many volunteers who helped make the RTRs a wonderful event!

The RTRs are always free, however, donations are appreciated and help pay for the rental of the park, stage, portable potties, movie screen, and movie. 

Thank you for your donations!

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HOWA Continues to Serve Despite Inflation

Letter from the Executive Director
Last week HOWA’s Board met to finalize our 2023 budget. The Trustees and I wrestled with the impact of inflation on the growing costs to do HOWA’s work. In addition, we observed that contributions are down as our donors adapt to their own higher costs of living. In response, HOWA is making some changes, and reaching out to you with a special request.
First, I’d like you to know two of HOWA’s important commitments as we ride out this lean time —
  1. HOWA will remain fiscally responsible by not spending more than we have, and
  2. HOWA will continue the work to fulfill our mission to help those on the edge of homelessness within a supportive community.
Measures being implemented in 2023.  HOWA will —
Examples of some of those measures being implemented for the 2023 BYOV Program —
  • Corporate donor, Lectric eBikes, is sponsoring the BYOV Program for $20,000. Thank you!
  • The number of Spring BYOV projects is reduced to 24 to fit within that budget.
  • The Assistant for the Spring BYOV has been converted from a seasonal paid position to a volunteer position with less hours.
I am committed to standing with HOWA though this financially sparse time. Please join me in that commitment as demand for HOWA’s services will certainly become even greater.
Ways you can donate today —
Together we are changing lives, building supportive community, and preventing homelessness one person at a time.
Thank you for your consideration and support.
Suanne Carlson
Executive Director
Homes On Wheels Alliance, Inc.
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Join Our Community!

Many of our programs foster community building and everyone is welcome to join us!


In 2011, Bob Wells, president of Homes On Wheels Alliance, started our oldest program, the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous.  The RTR is held every year in Quartzsite, Arizona and features seminars on topics such as solar power, work camping, safety, vehicle maintenance, and other subjects of interest to new and experienced nomads. The Women’s Rubber Tramp Rendezvous, formed to address the concerns of nomadic women, held it’s first official gathering in Quarzsite, Arizona in 2018. Please join us at the 2024 the RTRs which will be held at the Quartzsite city park from Jan. 11 to Jan. 19!


Realizing that many new nomads are alone and overwhelmed by the challenges of their new lives, Bob Wells started the Caravans in 2019. Caravan sites are marked with a flag and change location every 2 weeks to keep within BLM restrictions on camping time. The goal of the Caravans is to help new nomads form friendships, become comfortable with dispersed camping, and learn from each other, however, all nomads are welcome. Caravans


Virtual Caravans

Presented as Zoom meetings, Virtual Caravans were born during the coronavirus outbreak when in-person RTRs and Caravans could not be safely held. These proved to be very popular and will continue even though it’s now safe to meet in person. The Virtual Caravans give new nomads and people who wish be become nomads another way to make their journey easier as they can meet people in the meetings and then later meet in person. Virtual Caravans


We have four Facebook groups that are geared to towards different aspects of nomadic living – general discussion, finding camping partners, RTR attendees, and WRTR attendees. These groups are moderated to keep the posts helpful and kind and are a wonderful resource for getting advice and sharing your journey. Join Facebook!


Hundreds of people have become successful in their nomadic lives with the support they received from HOWA’s programs. Many then give back by volunteering with HOWA online and in-person.

Your donations keep these valuable programs going!


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