Rigs of the RTR

I spent a week at the 2017 Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (RTR). The RTR is a gathering of people living nomadic lifestyles. It lasts 13 days and has been happening each year in January near Quartzsite Arizona since 2010. There were, by my own very loose estimation, about 750 different vehicles present at the RTR while I was there. Some there the entire time, some that stopped for just a day or two.

While there, I started a fun little project I’m calling “Rigs of the RTR”. It’s pictures of various mobile dwellings. I’ll share nearly 50 of them here. I wasn’t trying to shoot every vehicle, but rather to capture a good representation of what was there, and to shoot some of the more interesting rigs.

While there are some people here and there who were ~forced into this lifestyle through financial struggles, for the most part, each rig below represents a person (or two) who chose adventure, who set off boldly to pursue a better life. These are people with open minds and curious souls. They aren’t all full of bravery and bravado though. If you want this kind of lifestyle but have fears or reservations, I present these rigs as evidence of people who [i]used to[/i] have same exact reservations.

Rigs of the RTR

 

Rigs of the RTR

 

Rigs of the RTR

 

Rigs of the RTR

 

Rigs of the RTR

 

Rigs of the RTR

 

Rigs of the RTR

 

Rigs of the RTR

 

Rigs of the RTR

 

Rigs of the RTR

 

Rigs of the RTR

 

Rigs of the RTR

 

Rigs of the RTR

 

Rigs of the RTR

 

Rigs of the RTR

 

Rigs of the RTR

 

Rigs of the RTR

 

Rigs of the RTR

 

Rigs of the RTR

 

Rigs of the RTR

 

Rigs of the RTR

 

Rigs of the RTR

 

Rigs of the RTR

 

Rigs of the RTR

 

rubber tramp rendezvous RTR2017 Rigs of the RTR

 

Rigs of the RTR

 

rubber tramp rendezvous RTR2017 Rigs of the RTR

 

rubber tramp rendezvous RTR2017 Rigs of the RTR

 

rubber tramp rendezvous RTR2017 Rigs of the RTR

 

rubber tramp rendezvous RTR2017 Rigs of the RTR

 

rubber tramp rendezvous RTR2017 Rigs of the RTR

 

rubber tramp rendezvous RTR2017 Rigs of the RTR

 

rubber tramp rendezvous RTR2017 Rigs of the RTR

 

rubber tramp rendezvous RTR2017 Rigs of the RTR

 

rubber tramp rendezvous RTR2017 Rigs of the RTR

 

rubber tramp rendezvous RTR2017 Rigs of the RTR

 

rubber tramp rendezvous RTR2017 Rigs of the RTR

 

rubber tramp rendezvous RTR2017 Rigs of the RTR

 

rubber tramp rendezvous RTR2017 Rigs of the RTR

 

rubber tramp rendezvous RTR2017 Rigs of the RTR

 

rubber tramp rendezvous RTR2017 Rigs of the RTR

 

rubber tramp rendezvous RTR2017 Rigs of the RTR

 

rubber tramp rendezvous RTR2017 Rigs of the RTR

 

rubber tramp rendezvous RTR2017 Rigs of the RTR

 

rubber tramp rendezvous RTR2017 Rigs of the RTR

 

rubber tramp rendezvous RTR2017 Rigs of the RTR

 

rubber tramp rendezvous RTR2017 Rigs of the RTR

 

rubber tramp rendezvous RTR2017 Rigs of the RTR

 

Thanks for looking. And thank you for Dreaming.

 

 

Comments

    Is the title pic of a converted ice cream truck!?

    Great pics! Thanks for posting this! Maybe one day I’ll make it down there (full disclosure: I’d also have to become a nomad first 🙂

    I don’t think it was an ice cream truck. There are remnants of an old sign on the side of it, that, as far as I can tell says “FRUDLANI (and another word maybe?) and then “Service [and a phone number]”

    Thank you. You’ll be very welcome there

    Wow, some of those rigs are stunning! And so are the sunsets, I’m jealous. Thanks for sharing and taking the time, these were very helpful in planning my next stage.

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    Great collection of ways to find passion. Thanks for sharing! Pets and owners sometimes look similar. I would love to see the owners of these rigs posing with their prize. What a life.

    Hi Travis,

    Thanks for sharing about the RTR and photos of the different rigs. Great site.
    Wishing you Happy Travels in 2017.

    David Michael

    This looks like it was a great opportunity to hear the vast range of stories, experiences and the “whys” of this lifestyle.
    Adventurers?
    Society Escapists?
    Financial Independence seekers?
    Just on hard times?
    No matter how you slice it , I think I would like to swing by in 2018 to learn more from most likely great people…well, the hiking and MTB riding would probably be pretty nice too.

    Thanks for sharing

    Hi Chris. There were a lot of quite ‘normal’ people, and also some very interesting ones. I wasn’t especially social at the RTR, but I was lucky enough to find and spend time with 3 guys who have absolutely fascinating life stories. I’ll probably make a post soon about the RTR, with a little summary of some of the highlights of their lives (just some that I heard and remembered, which were surely only a part of their actual experiences)

    Wow. You make me want to be a better photographer. (Apologies to Jack Nicholson) I think Randy needs to buy a framed print of his rig from you.

    I also like how you point out that there are lots of ‘normal’ people at the RTR. This was my third straight RTR, and I’ve definitely noticed a trend towards normalcy over the last three events. Who knows – perhaps this lifestyle will be mainstream in a decade? (Hope not – I kind of like the solitude!)

    Great pictures and what amazing colors of the sky in the background! Good stuff, wishing you all the best on your travels.

    Tina

    Very good pictures!!! Went last year, but was unable to make it this year. This makes me even more determined to go back next year, thank you!

    Beautiful photos, vans and sunsets alike. I’ve been a follower/wanna be of this group for a long time. about 10 years, I think. Just couldn’t figure out how to unchain from main stream work life.

    But now I’m a year from retirement and bought a camper van and getting it ready to roll!

    can’t wait to see your smiling face out there!

    Oh, wonderful! I was in your exact position a year and a half ago. I think your future self will be very thankful for what you’re working on now. 😀 😀

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