Once every year, a huge congregation of RVs, travel trailers, snowbirds, overlanders, and off-road enthusiasts happen to all converge in the tiny, dusty town of Quartzite, Arizona. Between 750,000 and 1 million of them, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
I'd heard of the Quartzite RV Show in the past. Before I owned or even thought of owning an RV, somehow it had ended up on my radar. It's that big. Now that I travel full-time in an RV for work, it was a must-do event for myself and my significant other. During the colder winter months, we end up in the southern part of the United States often. It's not that I really consider myself to be a "snowbird," as they're called, it just happens to be that way by coincidence. So it transpired that in January this year we were in the area, and I'd slated the Quartzite RV Show on my calendar.
This year was the 36th annual event and I was very excited to see the show, meet the locals and take in the sights. Upon arriving in Quartzite, I could immediately see that I would not be disappointed. I'd never seen so many RVs in a single location – thousands dotted the landscape as far as I could see into the desert and on the mountain sides.
As busy as the small town of Quartzite was (so small that there is only one stop light on that side of town where the show is centralized), traffic was still flowing. We drove just one mile east from the RV Show, passing numerous vendors, eateries, and RV parks before we found an entrance to hundreds of miles of open BLM land where we were free to camp. Even with so many RVs already camped, it never felt crowded. There's so much available space out there, and the few neighbors that we talked to in our immediate vicinity were all very warm, welcoming, and friendly. They all shared one unique thing in common: they'd been coming to Quartzite every January for 15+ years.
The Quartzite RV Show usually runs for about nine days and admission to the show is free. The first thing we did was set out for the flea markets. There were hundreds upon hundreds of booths set up in the flea market area. Everything you can imagine and even things you didn't even know existed were available for purchase. Most of which was RV oriented, some of which I'm not even sure of. It took us a day and a half to cover them all.
The latter half of day two and most of day three was spent under and around "the tent." The tent is the heart of the Quartzite RV Show. There are roughly 400 vendors under and just outside of it. Everything from Bloody Mary mix to generators to adopting Sugar Gliders was available under the tent, generally with prices lower than your typical retail stores as well. We found several great deals ... on stuff we didn't really need.
Outside of the tent was a huge selection of new and used RVs and travel trailers. Most of them were used units available for sale...and the prices were extremely competitive. If you're in the market for buying new or used, the Quartzite RV Show had some of the best prices I've seen for RVs anywhere in America.
Our final day in Quartzite was spent with a friend of mine whom I'd met some years ago at a motorcycle event. He's from Alaska, but like many other snowbirds, owned property just four miles outside of town and had a lot of off-road toys to play with. He offered up a Polaris RZR side by side for us to explore the surrounding areas and see what Quartzite has to offer for the off-road enthusiasts. There are hundreds of miles of trails for riding in the surrounding mountains. Our outing took us to Dripping Springs, a site famous for Native American petroglyphs, and we also came across many old stone buildings, mines, and other beautiful vistas.
All in all, the Quartzite RV Show is something to be seen and experienced if you can make the trip – it's definitely more than just an RV show.
Get a feel for what it's like to visit this colossal camping event in our Quartzite RV Show photo gallery.
More information: Quartzite RV Show
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