The 2021 Rubber Tramp Rendezvous Goes Virtual With Van Camping

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The 2021 Rubber Tramp Rendezvous Goes Virtual With Van Camping

A gathering that traditionally attracts thousands of nomads to the desert every year has gone virtual due to Coronavirus. 

The Rubber Tramp Rendezvous is not organizing any in-person gatherings in Arizona this year. This is a huge change for the event that has held an annual gathering every year for the past 10 years in the desert southwest.

What is the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous? 

The Rubber Tramp Rendezvous, aka RTR, is traditionally a 2 week event that takes place in the desert in Quartzsite, Arizona. It is a gathering of RVers, van dwellers, car campers, and more who gather together for community and learning. 

Originally founded by van-dweller Bob Wells, this event is now put on by his non-profit organization: Home on Wheels Alliance (HOWA). 

This event is the largest free gathering of nomads in the country. The New York Times calls the RTR “The Real Burning Man”. But, the RTR is much less of a party than it is an educational community building event. As well as a community building event, founder Bob Wells has referred to it as “a boot camp for beginner nomads”. 

The RTR typically features a schedule full of seminars on topics all related to vehicle dwelling, community building, and frugal living. 

Classes and seminars at the RTR include: 

  • Boondocking
  • Workamping
  • Solar Basics and Solar Cooking
  • Maintenance Basics and Build-Outs
  • Stealth Camping
  • And a LOT more. 

A Brief History of the RTR

The RTR started as a very small gathering of nomads in 2011 – 2021 is it’s 10th anniversary. This event exists due to Bob’s desire to provide help and resources for those new to living in cars, vans, and RVs. 

The RTR started as a small gathering and has exploded into the largest free nomadic gathering in the US every winter, attracting thousands of nomads to the desert. 

The 2021 RTR Goes Virtual Due to Coronavirus

Things are different for the 2021 Rubber Tramp Rendezvous, as are most things due to the pandemic. This year the RTR is going online with virtual classes and seminars. This is in hopes of preventing unnecessary spread of the virus to a population of nomads that is made up of many high-risk individuals. 

Along with the change from in-person to virtual, the 2021 Rubber Tramp Rendezvous will be much shorter this year. The regular RTR classes will run for only four days, and a Women’s RTR will run for two days. 

Dates of the 2021 Rubber Tramp Rendezvous

The 2021 Rubber Tramp Rendezvous virtual classes will be held from January 14-20, 2021. The regular RTR classes will run from January 14th to 18th, and the Women’s RTR classes will be held on January 19th and 20th.

Classes Available At the Virtual Rubber Tramp Rendezvous

The virtual classes being held at the RTR for 2021 are:

  • Finding community
  • Camp etiquette
  • Workamping
  • Basic Safety
  • Basic Solar
  • Boondocking
  • Cell and Internet
  • Minimalism
  • Cooking
  • Mail and Residency

2021 WRTR Classes include: 

  • Engine Care
  • Female Hygiene on the Road
  • Women’s Safety 

How To Attend 2021 Virtual RTR Classes

You can watch the classes for free on the Home on Wheels Alliance YouTube channel the day of each class. You can find the class schedule on their website here. 

Is the 2021 RTR Worth Your Time?

If you’re a beginner nomad or considering the leap into RV or vanlife, you will probably be able to glean some really helpful information from some of the RTR virtual classes. 

However, if you’re a seasoned RVer or nomad, most of these virtual seminars may be a bit basic for you. 

The 2021 Women’s RTR will have helpful presentations for topics specific to women nomads – especially solo women. If this is you, definitely have a look at the 2021 WRTR schedule and classes. 

The Rubber Tramp Rendezvous is traditionally more about gathering with like minds, with a side of education. The changes this year are a big blow to those who were hoping to gather and make new friends on the road, but it is a pretty smart move due to the pandemic. 

Although there is no formal in-person gathering this year, the HOWA acknowledges that there will still be people who want to gather together in Quartzsite. They included links to resources on their website for finding community to camp with if you choose to make the trip out there. 

Is the 2021 RTR a Bust? 

We definitely don’t think the 2021 RTR is a bust – it just looks a little different this year. The seminars that are being held are very helpful for those who live the nomadic lifestyle or want to start. It just goes to show that the Home on Wheels Alliance is committed to getting important information out to those who need it – pandemic or not. 

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