We’ve moved into a lot in Quartzsite, the same place where we will be part of the Eagles International rally next week. The town of Quartzsite is filled with RV sales lots and vendors of every kind imaginable, some selling RV parts and accessories, others selling dried fruits or other food items. One of my friends who has been here before describes it as living in a flea market, which sounds great to me, but not so good to her!
In the winter, there is a massive influx of RVs of all types and sizes, each one carrying one or more (mostly) seniors and probably a pet or two or three. Supplying the needs of all those people could be big business, but it would also require a good sized population of service industry workers. So, there are a few restaurants, service stations and convenience stores plus a few other permanent stores, but for major services, winter residents drive to Blythe, CA, a few miles down the road.
That’s the feast, the large influx of snowbirds. Wikipedia says that the population swells to over 1 million visitors, although many don’t stay. There are several gem and mineral shows among other things to attract attention.
The famine comes in the summer when temperatures reach 130+ and only the brave or foolhardy come to enjoy the desert. The population dwindles to around 3000. All the temporary vendor stalls close up and, since even the restaurant at which we ate lunch is a portable carport with sides added, I imagine many of them go away entirely.
It’s an interesting place. Out of town in the desert on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land, you can stay free for up to 14 days. Then you can move a minimum of 25 miles away and do the same in another area as I understand it. You can also buy a multi-month permit to stay in the long-term areas for $180. I haven’t checked on monthly rates at the RV parks, but it appears that they might be somewhat affected by supply and demand, meaning they could be higher than we’ve been used to in New Mexico and Kansas. The one we are in has a limited amount of sites with full hookups and they are currently full. Dry camping, with no electricity, water or sewer, costs about $7 per night. This park is generator friendly, allowing you to use your RV generator from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Since we’re spoiled to such amenities as a refrigerator, microwave, computers and TVs, and total electric heat, we depend on the generator to charge the batteries to keep us going overnight. With night time temperatures dipping into the 30s, we’ve been glad for a down-alternative comforter since the batteries alone won’t run the heater (or an air conditioner in the summer). You can see why we prefer staying in RV parks! Today’s temperature was in the high 70s, so tonight won’t be as cool and we’ll appreciate that. And it’s not likely that I’ll be up before the 7 o’clock start time for the generator, anyway.