This week we learn about the 2021 Quartzsite RV Show, scheduled Jan. 16-24. This just may be the biggest RV show in the world, drawing from the estimated 750,000 to 1 million visitors (most in RVs) who flock to the tiny desert town every January.
Our guest on the RV Podcast Interview of the Week is Kimmy King, producer for the 2021 Quartzsite RV Show. Plus we have lots of RV news, tips and travel ideas, including an off the beaten path report from the Burketts.
You can listen to the podcast in the player below. And scroll down this page for shownotes. The question of the week about a 4 season RV is at 19:15 in, while the interview about the 2021 Quartzsite RV show is at 26:09
RV Podcast Show Notes for Episode #310, released Sept. 2, 2020:
WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK
Special Live Feed Friday at 3 PM ET on the 2021 Quartzsite RV Show
We’re having fun doing live stream broadcasts simultaneously on all our platforms. We’ll have our next one coming up this Friday, Sept 4 at 3 PM Eastern Time and our special guest will be Kenny and Kimmy King, the producers of the giant 2021 Quartzsite RV Show.
Kimmy will be our guest in the interview of the week in this episode of the RV Podcast. And in our live video stream Friday, she’ll be joined by her dad, Kenny. This will be a really fun broadcast and you will have an opportunity to ask them questions live. So if every you have had questions about boondocking in Quartzsite, about the biggest RV show in the world (that’s what their event has become) tune in live at 3 PM Friday Sept. 4 on our RV Lifestyle Facebook Group, our RV Lifestyle Facebook Page and our RV Lifestyle YouTune Channel.
Fall Camping Updates
We’ve had some really fun discussions on the blog lately about fall camping. Just this week we have published articles on fall camping in the UP and our five favorite RV destinations around the country to see the fall colors. You can read them and much more at rvlifestyle.com
RV service issues
I have an update on the status of our RV issues. The inverter failure while on battery power that I taked about last week had a very easy solution. It was a blown fuse. The fuse that blew was a 150 amp fuse between the house batteries and the inverter. My service tech at Holland Motor Homes in Holland, MI said the reason why it blew is that someone put the wrong sized fuse in at the factory. It is supposed to have a 250 amp fuse. Not a 150 amp fuse. Problem solved. And my dealer even gave me a spare fuse if it should happen again.
As to the Dometic three-way refrigerator door that keeps falling off there is bad news. The dealer says Dometic told themthere is a 70 day wait time for replacement parts. Since I talked about it on the podcast last week I have heard from several others who have the same problem with the door falling off. One said he grew so impatient with Dometic’s lack of service that he has replaced his fridge with a new one from a different company. We are considering the same thing.
This part of the RV Podcast is brought to you by Camping World – America’s #1 RV Dealer For a 10% discount on purchases over $99, use the discount code RVLIFESTYLE10.
RV PODCAST RV NEWS OF THE WEEK
Wild fires continue to cause havoc in West, California closes 34 state parks, Oregon, Montana, Arizona, Utah and more states affected
Wildfires continued to devastate the West with 1.4 million acres burned, and more than 800 new wildfires between Aug. 15 and 29 in California alone. California closed at least 34 state parks because of fires, many will be closed indefinitely. Historic Little Basin Campground in California's Big Basin State Park was destroyed, with visitors evacuated in a rush last Tuesday just before the flames came through. But California is not alone. An 850-plus acre wildfire is in Yellowstone National Park, just three miles from Old Faithful. Oregon and Colorado are also especially hard hit, but fires are popping up in many western states. If you are camping in an area at risk, be sure to check out this story on emergency apps you should have to stay informed.
Camping up by double digits in many states this summer
Numbers are continuing to come in from state campgrounds throughout the country, showing the number of campers is up over last year by double digits. In North Dakota, a recent story showed North Dakota's 13 state parks saw the number of campers up 28 percent from May, June, and July 2019. Ohio state parks are reporting higher numbers, as is all public land in Wyoming. The reason states are attributing the large numbers to is that more people are turning to camping during these COVID-19 times. For tips on how to navigate camping during a pandemic, click here.
Visitors told to avoid all contact with Virgin River as highly toxic algal bloom continues to pose safety concerns
A toxic algai bloom at Zion National park that we warned you about last month after it killed a Siberian husky puppy is apparently spreading, causing new concerns. Rangers say all visitors – humans and pets – need to avoid all contact with the Virgin River until further notice because the toxin is at extreme levels and has spread to the Narrows section of the river. People need to avoid hiking through the water, which means people should not do the Narrows hike which is one of the most popular Zion hikes as it is down the river between towering canyon walls. And people should especially keep the water far from their eyes or mouths. The algai colonies produce a toxin that impacts the nervous system and can be fatal to children or pets.
An Inn and Campground tied to 127 COVID-19 cases temporarily loses license before state reinstates it last weekend
The Big Moose Inn and Campground in Maine temporarily had its license revoked last week by state officials for violating COVID-19 orders after an outbreak was traced to the facility. The Inn hosted a wedding reception in early August, that has since been linked through contact tracing to 127 COVID-19 cases. Apparently one person at the wedding reception had COVID, which then spread to some of the 65 guests who attended, and those guests in turn spread it more. Maine limits activities like receptions to 50 people, and apparently the Inn and Campground violated other Maine rules like requiring contact tracing information for guests, requiring 6 foot social distancing, and requiring employees to wear masks. While the campground and inn did call and cancel reservations when it did not have a license, after its license was reinstated last weekend, it was back open.
Woman transforms bland camping trailer into bright, inviting living space for $6,000
Mike and I love seeing how people personalize their RVs. We are betting a lot of you like seeing this, too, which is why we wanted to share a story about a woman who purchased a camping trailer for $10,000 and then gave it a complete facelift, putting in another $6,000. The woman swapped out the floor, and transformed the trailer, decorated with a variety of beige and browns, with bright whites and eye-popping colors that made it seem more like a contemporary apartment than trailer. There are many companies out there to help people remodel their RVs, and it made me think of a podcast interview we did recently with Renovation Camp, designed to help you do the work by yourself. To listen to that report, click here and scan down to the Interview of the Week.
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RV QUESTION OF THE WEEK – Is there a real 4 season RV?
This question from Ginger comes via our RV Lifestyle Facebook Group:
”We are looking to purchase a true 4 season RV, any manufacturers that you know of that are true to their advertising?”
We get this question a lot and I like the fact that Ginger specifically asked about RVs that live up to their advertising claims.
Because a lot of them claim they are 4 season, or are “4 season capable,” or have “insulated pipes,” but that is a far cry from a true 4 season vehicle that can camp and operate ints fresh water, black water, and grey water plumbing system in below-freezing weather.
Some can work in the thirties but when the tem[s really drop in the far north, not many can live up to the true 4 season claim.
Our RV Lifestyle group members have really chimed in with the answers.
Greg McHugh says to check out the complete line of Northwood Manufacturing, based om Oregon. Northwood makes a very full line of travel trailers and fifth wheels, in particular, the Arctic Fox brand.
These are true 4 season RVs with heated, enclosed holding tanks and dump valves designed for cold winter climates. The coaches are super-insulated with various residential quality rigid foam, batten, and reflective foil to protect the interior from winter cold and excessive heat in the summer.
Northwood is the only brand that claims to fully be 4 season.
There were other suggestions by readers of other brands that look to be really well insulated but don't claim to be truly 4 season.
Greg also suggests looking at the Bigfoot RV brand of truck and travel trailers, made in Armstrong, BC. Canada
Brandon recommends the Black Series, a rugged Australia brand now available in the U.S.
Matt says “We have a Columbus by Palomino and when it was 15° outside we stayed nice and toasty warm inside.”
Susie says Grand Design has great insulation and kept us warm all winter. No tank/line problems.
Deb says to check out Lance truck campers and trailers.
Again, with the exception of those RVs made by Northwood, the others do not claim to be full 4 season RVs but they do have extremely good insulation and usually perform much better than the competition during cold weather use.
Do you have a question you’d like us to answer or a comment on the things we’re discussing? If so, we invite you to leave us that question or comment on the special voicemail number we have for the podcast – it’s 586-372-6990. If you are driving and can’t write it down right now, just go to the RV Lifestyle travel blog at rvlifestyle.com and scroll down the page. You’ll see that number prominently posted on the blog.
This part of the RV Podcast is brought to you by Battle Born Batteries, maker of quality, safe and reliable lithium batteries that can be installed in just about every RV.
RV INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK – the 2021 Quartzsite RV Show
Our guest in this episode of the RV Podcast is Kimmy King, the producer of the Quartzsite RV Show that takes place every January in the winter boondocking mecca of Quartzsite, Arizona.
And the 2021 Quartzsite RV Show is on! The dates are January 16-24.
According to the Arizona Highway Department, as many as 750,000 to 1,000,000 people, mostly in RV’s, converge every January on this sleepy little desert town, located just 20 miles east of the California border
But in this episode of the RV Podcast, Kimmy shares why this annual dessert gathering belongs on every RVers bucket list, and especially the 2021 Quartzsite RV Show
Here’s a transcript of the interview:
History of the Quartzsite RV Show
Mike Wendland: Kimmy, tell me first about the RV show and how that all came about. How big is this thing?
Kimmy: It's huge. We consider it one of the largest consumer-attended RV shows in the world.
Mike Wendland: Okay.
Kimmy: This little town of Quartzsite goes from being about a population of, I want to say, about 3,000 to being the third populated city outside of Tucson. And we go from the 3,000 that are here to 100s and 1000s of people that just invade this city. And traffic's backed up from the freeway for a mile and a half and you can't go to a grocery store without waiting 25 minutes in line. This little town basically goes from being a hibernation of sleeping to awoken and a full party, so it's pretty amazing.
My dad came to Quartzsite about 45 years ago. His name is Kenny King. He sold RV awnings. He worked for A&E Awning System and he actually was an exhibitor across at Tyson Wells. And one day before I was born he and my mom were on the way home and my dad says, “What if I tossed up a circus tent in the middle of the desert and called it an RV show?” And 37 years later, here we are.
Mike Wendland: Now, when you say, “largest in the world,” help everybody understand what we're talking about. How many people attend that show?
Kimmy: We don't charge to get in or to park. It is free. They park … I mean, there's pictures of miles and miles of RVs that come to this place. We guesstimate over the 37 years that we've had about 100 … We get about 100 to 150,000 people over the nine days that come in and our the doors/show. The tent was almost 70,000 square feet. We had 376 exhibitors inside the tent. We had about 50 exhibitors on our midway around the tent on the outside. And we have 13 active service bays over on our property where you can actually get work done on your RV.
Why so many come to the Quartzsite RV Show
Mike Wendland: Obviously, a big draw is … You have so many people camping out in that BLM Land.
Kimmy: Mm-hmm (affirmative). We do. And then I think a big draw for us is we're unique. We don't have … we're a little bit … We're eclectic. We're a little bit of everything. We have one exclusive RV dealer, RV Country, who has been with us … I want to say my dad said about 15 years. And they have exclusivity on our property as far as selling rolling stock. So, we don't have the numerous amounts of dealers that some other RV shows like the Super Show have, but we have all the unique products that you can put in your RV. We have exhaust systems, we have generators, we have things to hold your spices in your cabinets from flying around. We have all kinds of satellite and dishes that you can put … And solar equipment that you can put on your RVs.
Mike Wendland: And what is so amazing is you can do it right now.
Mike Wendland: Yeah, yeah. That's true.
Mike Wendland: Yeah.
Kimmy: Yeah. And the accessibility of the BLM Land is just … That's our next step up. That is where we're looking for 2021. 2021, for us, is going to be to … With the help of a couple of big names that were on our 2020 show like Dometic that have the elbow grease to help us out, we want to bring in more of that off-roading, side by side vacation sports side of the RV industry where it kind of connects into one, you know?
Mike Wendland: Yeah.
Kimmy: That's where we're going for the 2021 Quartzsite RV Show
Mike Wendland: Help us understand … And what are the dates for 2021?
Kimmy: 2021 is January 16th to the 24th, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, 2021.
Mike Wendland: And now charge to get in?
Kimmy: No charge to get in. It's free. We have them lining up at the gates. There's no charge to park. The BLM Land becomes insane with the amount of vehicles that are just trying to park to get to the show.
Mike Wendland: How much BLM Land is there and how many people camp here?
Kimmy: God, I wish I had a number for you. There was … All we know is there's like 10s of 1000s and they range from the short-term camping to where you can be on the BLM Land for 14 days with no hook-ups to the long-term camping over here in North Posa and over here in the south side. They just come from everywhere. We have people that travel all the way just from Yuma just for the day that end up camping out here. Or people that just find their way to an open spot and drop down and stay for a few days. I wish I had a number on how many invade this, but just by aerial photos that we've done and, like you say, going out into the wash and getting up on those mountains, it goes for miles and miles and miles. You just see white dots everywhere.
Mike Wendland: I've seen estimates of 150,000 people camping-
Mike Wendland: -out here.
Kimmy: I would not be surprised by that at all.
Mike Wendland: Yeah.
Kimmy: I wouldn't be surprised one bit by that number because that's what people want to do. Because the self-sufficiency of camping is becoming so popular now, of being able to sustain on your own as far as power and all that thing, the need for camping with hook-ups at RV parks, I feel like, is kind of diminishing. Because people would rather go out and use their solar panels and use their decomposing toilets and do all those things and be self-sustainable as opposed to camping full hook-ups. But there are RVers that enjoy the full hook-ups, too. We camp exhibitors here, actually. For the event, if you exhibit with us you can camp on our property with full hook-ups. Not the general public, but just for our exhibitors.
Why Quartzsite is so unique
Mike Wendland: Tell me what makes Quartzsite so unique as a place?
Kimmy: Quartzsite is unique because people come and the mixture of people that come to Quartzsite are people that would never, I don't think, mingle in a different environment. Their love for the off-road world, their love for RVs, their love for a good deal is what brings them here. My dad, when I was younger, used to try to explain Quartzsite to me. And I have a hard time explaining it to people unless you've really seen it. I love that we're seeing a push from the younger generation. I love seeing strollers that actually contain children, not dogs, in them now. I love seeing families that come in on fifth wheels and trailers and have their toys.
But what blew me away is the demographic that fits in this side by side off-road world isn't just young folk. We had ATV parking this year for the first time, which was a massive, amazing thing. The ATV parking was full every day. But the demographics that were driving those ATVs where anywhere from 25 to 30 all the way to 75. That is what's so unique about Quartzsite is you bring all these people from different avenues of life and different facets of the RVing, off-road world, and they come here and they just flourish and they love what they find at the Quartzsite RV Show. It's just all the new and upcoming things. If you're somebody that wants to get their name out there in the RVing world and you have a new and upcoming product, our show is the place for you. And if you're a consumer that wants to come find the new and upcoming things, our show is the place for you, as well.
Thinking about going to the 2021 Quartzsite RV Show?
The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country
RV PODCAST OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT
BY TOM & PATTI BURKETT
Did you know the most common town name in the USA is Washington? No surprise, right, that there are eighty-eight of them. Franklin comes in a distant second at forty-two. You might be surprised, though, to know that there are two towns named Fruita, and both have been the subject of off the beaten path reports.
One is Fruita, Utah, a tiny Mormon settlement in the heart of Capitol Reef National Park, and home to some amazing orchards. The other is the subject of today’s report, the much larger (relatively speaking) Fruita, Colorado.
You might end up here if you were visiting the spectacular Colorado National Monument, a landscape of cliffs and canyons that exemplifies the topography of the old west. You might be coming off a day on the twenty-three mile long Rim Rock Drive.
Or maybe you hiked the Serpents Trail, a National Historic Landmark laid out in 1911 and looked over the valley from the trail’s end at Cold Shivers Point. Or maybe you’re on a pilgrimage to see dinosaur sites, and have stopped here for a visit to the notable museum in town.
Whatever the case, you’ll have driven around the traffic circle to look at the bright green t-rex in the city park. Hardly lifelike, it’s been named Grrr-eta by local school kids and is said to be from the Goofy Epoch.
All frivolity aside, though, it’s unlikely you’ll pass through town without seeing the odd statue that sits on the curb at the corner of Aspen & Mulberry Streets. A chicken! Yes, a chicken, but there’s something odd about it. If you’re driving, you’ll circle the block for another look, or pull over and park. This chicken has no head! And therein lies the tale.
Lloyd Olsen went out one Monday morning to kill a chicken. His mother-in-law was coming for dinner, and he’d been given the word that this was an important meal and that she especially enjoyed the chicken neck.
That being so, Lloyd left plenty of neck when chopped the head off a tender young rooster. Leaving its head behind, the bird flopped off the chopping block and ran into the bushes. Try as he might, Lloyd couldn’t find it. The next morning, the rooster was back among the flock, sleeping with is headless neck tucked under his wing.
A week later, with regular eyedropper feedings down its exposed gullet, the rooster seemed healthy enough that his owner packed him into the pickup truck for a trip to the closest university, where the agriculture teachers told Lloyd that he’d missed the bird’s brainstem when he severed the head, so it just kept on cluckin’.
Over the next year and a half, Mike (yep, that’s what they named him) tripled in weight and made a national tour of county and state fairs. Folks across the country paid two bits to see him, as the Olsens took him to New York City, San Diego, Miami, and Atlantic City.
Fruita gained a bit of notoriety as the home of Mike, the Headless Wonder Chicken, and still honors his contributions to civic service with the annual headless chicken festival. Come visit the last weekend in May, and you can take part in the chicken wing or peep eating contest, run the Headless Chicken 5K, or shake your booty in the world’s largest chicken dance.
Even if you miss the festival, there’s plenty of Mike memorabilia at local shops. And just keep looking. You’ll see towns that honor banana slugs, manatees, gila monsters, sand crabs, and armadillos, all out here off the beaten path.
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RV PODCAST Upcoming RV shows and events
With virtually all RV shows and events canceled from spring through the fall, there is cautious optimism in the industry that shows and RV exhibitions will again be happening after the first of the year.
To that end, we have two to report:
The 2021 Florida RV Supershow is on! Dates are January 13-17, 2021 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. Details at https://www.frvta.org/show/florida-rv-supershow
The 2021 Quartzsite RV Show Sports, Vacation Show is on for January 16th-24th. Show organizers say they got the official okay from health officials. Details are available at https://www.quartzsitervshow.com/
All this of course is subject to change should the COVID situation change but as of now, it looks like the RV show season will be starting again after the first of the year. We’ll keep you updated