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RTR

Rachele, an RTRs Volunteer

Rachele, Saturday, and Andrea, a fellow volunteer

Like many first-time RTR attendees, Rachele discovered the RTRs while searching the internet for the solution to a problem – where to buy an inexpensive but reliable car for her younger son. What she found instead was a YouTube video on the Cheap RV Living channel featuring Suanne Carlson living in her Prius. The concept was new to Rachele but intriguing so she gave her car to her son and bought a 20+-year-old Toyota Sienna with a good motor and transmission. After getting work done on the car to make it safe and dependable Rachele was ready for her first RTRs.

In Rachele’s own words:

“I came to the WRTR/RTR with no expectations except, helping in any way needed, the organization that had helped put the skip back in my step.


I set a goal for myself after my son’s (Rachele’s older son) last cancer treatment, to start living life now and stop waiting for tomorrow! Goal 1, after I got my van running was to volunteer for the fabulous organization that gave me the encouragement to start living again, not just surviving for tomorrow.


I arrived at the volunteer camp so nervous I parked a wash away as to not disturb anyone. I showed up my first morning nervous as hell not knowing a soul. Spent the days with amazing people, bonded together by the joy of building community.  I found myself quite emotional leaving with tears of joy because I felt as if I found my tribe!!!”

Thank you Rachele for volunteering and helping make life better for all of the attendees!

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The 2022 Online RTR

The 2021 online RTR was so popular the HOWA staff decided to offer online classes in 2022 for everyone who could not attend the in-person RTRs. 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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2021 Online RTR & WRTR

Like so many other events during the coronavirus pandemic, the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous and the Women’s Rubber Tramp Rendezvous could not be held in person this year. But as nomads we are resourceful and the RTRs were switched over to a completely online format with live presentations by knowledgeable nomads covering topics such as camp etiquette, solar power, and boondocking.  The presentations consist of a class followed by a question and answer period. All sessions are posted on the HOWA YouTube channel for viewing at a later date.

Thank you to the HOWA staff, HOWA volunteers, and the nomads who shared their expertise with the community.  We appreciate all of the work and dedication that went into making the 2021 RTRs a success!

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A Huge Thank You to all of the WRTR and RTR Volunteers

The WRTR and RTR could not happen without the team of volunteers who gladly contribute their time to keep everything running smoothly. Volunteers help with assembling the shade canopies; manning the tables for name buttons, tee shirts, first aid, media, free pile, and information; directing traffic; presenting seminars; providing entertainment; and doing the final break-down and cleanup.

The job comes with a few perks – parking close to the action and a barbecue lunch on the last day – prepared and served by volunteers! If you would like to volunteer fill out the form HERE.

We are all hoping that it will be safe to have large gatherings next year and the tradition of the RTR and the WRTR will continue in January of 2021!

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The 10th Annual RTR!

When Bob Wells started the RTR in 2011 no one dreamed that it would become so large so fast. From a gathering of fewer than 50 people, the RTR attendance swelled to many thousands in 2019 and outgrew the site at Scadden Wash, east of Quartzsite, Arizona, where it had been held for years. After months of searching for a different location with little success, Suanne Carlson, HOWA executive director who took over the management of the RTR and WRTR in July 2019, and her team of assistants developed a new plan- the RTR would be held at the  La Paz County Fairgrounds and attendees would camp on BLM public land.While this wasn’t a perfect solution, because the part of the fun of the RTRs is camping in a large group, everything worked very well. New nomads and nomads-to-be attended the seminars then camped for the night with HOWA Caravans. Nomads who had attended RTRs in previous years gathered with friends at camping areas scattered across the desert. Most had no need to attend the seminars but they still enjoyed the spirit of the RTR gathering.

The fairground’s stage and bleachers made a good setting for the seminars. Smaller break-out sessions were held in an open area of the fairgrounds. Booths were set up for HOWA information, name buttons, tee shirts sales, first aid, media passes, free pile donations, and information on the Nomad Chapter of DBSA. LectricBikes, a HOWA supporter, brought several electric bikes for RTR attendees to test ride. A talent show and nomad game show added to the fun.

Planning for the 2021 RTR and WRTR  is difficult because of the uncertainty surrounding the safety of large gatherings due to coronavirus. If it’s safe we hope to see all of you at the RTR and/or the WRTR in 2021!

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