Sooner or later, almost every RVer hears about Quartzsite, Arizona. Located 16 miles East of the Colorado River (the California/Arizona border) along I-10, Quartzsite looks almost deserted from March through October. However during the months of November through February, the desert lands surrounding Quartzsite fill with 10's of thousands of RVs of every imaginable size, shape, and price. Driving along I-10 from either direction toward Quartzsite, your eyes almost think it snowed—so many RVs parked all over the place.
Every RVer needs to experience Quartzsite during the annual Quartzsite RV Show—with vendors of just about everything spilling out of many different venues all over town. RV dealers from all over the southwest bring hundreds of RVs (Class C rigs, Class B rigs, Class A motorhomes of all sizes and price ranges, as well as hundreds of fifth-wheel trailers).
One of the main attractions for RVers is the huge tent, filled to capacity both inside and outside, with dealers selling just about any thing or any service related to the RV industry.
During late January, Quartzsite turns into what amounts to a giant flea market—a fascinating experience to find funky things that you can't find anywhere else. For the guys, there are several tool vendors, and, for the gals, there are many interesting craft vendors.
There are many RV parks in and around Quartzsite, but they are usually booked to capacity during January. Most RV folks choose to dry camp on the surrounding open desert or on BLM lands (for a fee).
We prefer to stay in the La Posa North BLM area, where we can park our rig for up to two weeks at a time ($30 fee). We usually park as close as we can get to the Rice Ranch area, across from the big RV tent. There is no such thing as reserving a particular site or area—when you get there, you find a spot that you like, and not already taken by someone else, and set up camp. The BLM land is rather large, so you will have no problem finding a spot—it just might be farther from the activities than you might like.
Your BLM sticker allows you free access to a dump station and to an excellent source of deep-well fresh water. For those of you who can't last a week with yor waste tanks not getting full, roving vendors can pump out your waste tanks or fill your fresh water tank—for a fee, of course. (We usually stay at Quartzsite for a week or 10 days, for the RV America gathering, and we can last the entire time without having to dump or take on fresh water—but you learn techniques to make that possible.)
The RV America group meets every year in Quartzsite, always in about the same location in the La Posa North BLM land—usually for the length of the Quartzsite RV Show, and two or thee days before. The directions, once you get on the BLM land are always the same, and RVA signs/markers are put up at each turn.
For the timid first-time visitor to Quartzsite, we suggest that you stay at one of the huge RV parks in Brenda, Arizona (about 13 miles East of Quartzsite). These parks all have full hookups, showers, and laundry facilities—but Quartzsite is fairly close by.
There are many smaller RV parks in Quartzsite, but they are usually fully booked ahead of time, so don't rely on being able to find a vacancy—but miracles sometimes happen.
Once you have visited Quartzsite in late January (when most of the RV-related activity takes place) you will find that you either love it or you dislike it. For us, after our first Quartzsite experience, we were hooked, and we come back year after year.
Now, though, besides finding all sorts of neat "stocking stuffers" found nowhere else, we meet up each year with friends that we have made in Quartzsite. Our friends come from all over the United States and Canada to get together again for fun and fellowship.
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