Truck Campers Invade Quartzsite Arizona

The invasion
The truck camper invasion

Charlotte and I were fortunate enough to be on hand when of 400 plus truck campers invade Quartzsite this past February. The truck camper rally has been on our bucket list for several years now and we finally got to add that check mark.  The event organized by Mello Mike from Truck Camper Adventures attracted truck camper owners from all over North America and beyond. If you’re into truck campers or thinking about a truck camper you have to check out Mello Mike’s site www.truckcamperadventures.com   Mello Mike and his crew did a fantastic job of keeping one of the largest, if not largest ever, off grid truck camper gatherings running smoothly, very entertaining as well as informative over the 4-5 days we spent off grid in the desert.

Organizer Mello Mike photographing the sunset, our proudly Canadian camper in the way.
Organizer Mello Mike photographing the sunset, our proudly Canadian camper in the way.
On all sides a sea of truck campers all makes and sizes.
On all sides a sea of truck campers all makes and sizes.
The desert off grid what a great place to host this event. Lots of room and great people.
The desert off grid what a great place to host this event. Lots of room and great people.
Yes pinch ourselves we ar at the Rally and this is Arizona.
Yes pinch ourselves we are at the Rally and this is Arizona.
Mello Mike and his partner  as well as crew put in a lot of time and effort to make all welcome and a great overall event.
Mello Mike and his partner as well as crew put in a lot of time and effort to make all welcome and a great overall event.
Seminars and  a trade show geared to the truck camping lifestyle were well attended and provided lots of information.
Seminars and trade shows geared to the truck camping lifestyle were well attended and provided lots of information.

It was amazing to see all the different makes, models and sizes of truck campers arriving; coming from Saskatchewan in Canada truck campers are few and far between. Those of us gathered shared a common passion for the versatility of a truck camper mounted on a 4×4 that allows us to go just about anywhere the big units cannot and park in small spaces. The slide in also allows the truck to pull boats, horse trailers, cargo trailers and as we discovered in Arizona a side by side off road vehicles. Some units even pulled Jeeps another favourite vehicle in the desert.

Our neighbour another Canadian from Quebec.
Our neighbour another Canadian from Quebec.
Not all were 2024 models
Not all were 2024 models
Some were big.
Some were big.
And very big.
And very big.
An Alaskan.
An Alaskan, hard side pop up. Some images taken on my phone and not up to quality.
Hard side pop up a Rossmonster.
Hard side pop up a Rossmonster.
Some with lots of solar.
Some with lots of solar.
Flatbed campers
Flatbed campers
And the 4 Wheel Camper group.
And the 4 Wheel Camper group.

Charlotte and I met people with massive rigs and those with smaller rigs, some fixed, and some with pop up tops and those with one to 4 slide outs on big 450 and 550 trucks. Our crowd was made up of many who live full time and travel in their camper, those who just travel during the summer or winter months, and some serious off road off grid campers. The information we gathered here cannot be found in any book or on line and we just sucked it all in. The willingness of those living and travelling in what some may consider a small space to share their knowledge and experience was overwhelming and we thank them all for that. Many do not know that many truck campers can cost the same or more than a lot of the big class A motor coaches with some of the Earth Roamers truck campers in the million range.

Many suppliers were on site with information and products for the RV lifestyle.
Many suppliers were on site with information and products for the RV lifestyle.
And some good old country music added to the desert atmosphere.
And some good old country music added to the desert atmosphere.
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The best part of our gathering was it did not matter what year, model or price range your camper was, we were more than welcome and accepted….after all we are all living the same dream in our small homes on wheels. We were from all nationalities, not all grey hairs as there were some young bucks with the big Kodiak 4×4 truck campers with military grade tires, and those in between.  The classes on Lithium, solar, full time RVing, first aid, camper and truck weight ratings, Harvest Host camping, photography, off grid camping and more that I cannot remember, were extremely welcome for us nomads in training. We thank the suppliers who helped put on the event for their displays and assistance.  Evenings of fire pits, a good old country and western music entertainer and food topped off the event.

For us it was not only a chance to learn more but enjoyed the open and friendly people we met sharing travel and life experiences, the good and the not so good of life on the road. Thanks to Mello Mike and his crew we felt right at home in the middle of the Arizona desert with close to 800 strangers, a lot now friends. A big bonus for me is I got to check out some campers we do not see north of the border. The Four Wheel Pop Ups, the Rossmonster hard side pop up and one of my favourite that we do not see  in Canada the Alaskan hard side pop up. Thanks to all who opened their home on wheels for us to see and get to know more about the features of these RV’s.  From the massive to some homemade campers that made you question why one laid out 50 grand and some even more. The simple freedom and lifestyle is what it is all about, was the message from many we took away with us.

Mello Mike from Truck Camper Adventure is planning the 2025 gathering; will we be there, well we do not plan our lives that far in advance but if all goes well and it’s meant to be YOU BET! Not sure he can keep the prices but we felt the $50 per camper was a real good deal even if that translated to $70 Canadian. Yes our dollar sucked but it was our decision to go. Ya can’t take it with you. I priced out another gathering which we will not be attending at close to $300 US, so thanks for keeping it real and affordable.

As one has probably already gathered I am a truck camper guy and Charlotte and I, over the years, have owned many RV’s from fifth wheel to bumper pulls and we keep coming back to our truck campers for freedom and simplicity. Which camper was the best…well they all were. We park it and we are at home even on a driveway, so here are a few photos I have dug up over the years, and yes Charlotte and I have hardly aged a bit must be that nomadic lifestyle….

"Big Blue"
“Big Blue”
Our Rodeo rig many miles in this one.
Our Rodeo rig many miles in this one.
Our Kodiak one of the better campers we owned. Spent a lot of time at trail rides and rodeos.
Our Kodiak one of the better campers we owned. Spent a lot of time at trail rides and rodeos.
Our overloaded 2500 Dodge with a 12 foot Vangaurd.
Our overloaded 2500 Dodge with a 12 foot Vangaurd.
Our Adventure truck camper.
Our Adventurer lake truck camper.
Our Adventure on the old Dodge dually.
Our Artic Fox on the old Dodge dually.
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Last but not least our Northern Lite, at todays prices probably our last. After all these it’s no wonder I have no money, but each of the campers have given us many memories, much more important than cash.

Our travels into the desert for two months, our thoughts, what we learned boondocking off grid and the folks we met. The lifestyle is not exclusive to truck campers only, there are good folks in all sorts of rigs we found out…  That coming in a future blog, the beauty of being so far behind posting is I get to relive it all over again. Hope you enjoyed the images and your comments are very welcome.

“Your journey is not the same as mine, and my journey is not yours, but if we meet on a certain path, may we encourage each other”.  –Unknown- 

Be kind, stay safe and we hope to see you down the road.

Gerry and Charlotte: Nomads in training.

Facebook: Gerry Popplewell

2 thoughts on “Truck Campers Invade Quartzsite Arizona”

  1. Hi Gerry and Charlotte, it was great meeting you both at the Rally! I noticed in the photo of the Wheelin’ Wendes rig (the one with a mega Solar setup), you also got the front end of our rig as we were parked right next to them. Hope to run into you again sometime during our and your travels.
    Cheers, Bruce and Suzanne Gallant

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