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Family Boondocking in Quartzsite
Posted On 02/22/2011 03:37:35 by RVParking_com

Since several of you have requested RV destination posts that are written with the family in mind, today we bring you a post about family RVing in Quartzsite by Erin Provost, a mother of three who blogs at Provost Recess. We have many blog posts to come including another post in the RVing with Kids series about the National Parks Jr. Ranger program, reviews of the new Eddie Bauer Airstream from four RV bloggers with Airstreams, a post about RVing in Hot Springs Arkansas and more. Since we've added an RSS feed button to the blog, so it will be easier to keep track of the great things to come.

When the price to park on 500 square feet of asphalt starts rivaling a perfectly decent hotel room it gives one pause. After all, with an RV we bring everything we need with us.


To us, one of the great joys of RVing is boondocking. A free place to park is a welcome perk. (Think great justification for a dinner out sometime.) So, it is no surprise that we love Quartzsite, Arizona: arguably the boondocking capital of the world.

We have not visited during the main season, we prefer the off-season lack of crowd thing, but if you like flea markets Quartzsite’s reputation is unsurpassed.

There are different areas with different options. Knowing how long you will be staying and what amenities you will need can help you choose what works best for you. We have always been passing through and have planned to be completely self sufficient allowing for more seclusion. Therefore, we have always opted for the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land.

Our last visit we did have a hard time finding a place to dump when we were leaving town. In retrospect, we might opt for paying a $40 fee to one of the gated parks which would give us access to their dump for up to two weeks and still used the BLM camping area.

There are 5 BLM areas; we use the Roadrunner area which is on the 95, 5 miles south of Quartzsite at mile marker 99. It is on the west side of the 95.

When you pull off you enter a web of primitive roads, I uses the term road loosely here, that go in all directions. It can be daunting, at first, and I recommend arriving before sunset. Something we failed to do on our first visit. It turns out my husband finds it easier to avoid cactus, yucca, rocks and deep ruts when he can see.


Deciding where to park is a big decision. One certainly doesn’t want to park on top of another camper, but people’s space bubbles are all unique. Our loose rule of thumb is we want to be far enough away that we could leave our curtains open and not be observed. We don’t actually do this, but we like to know we could. No one wants to be on the wrong side of a fish bowl.

We find a place to park, not too close to any neighbors, and before we cool the engine the kids are out the door, running in a large circle hooting and hollering. Why? Because they can, and really, how often does this opportunity present itself anymore? Nobody is pulling into a KOA and behaving like this…. well, we certainly don’t allow it so the kids relish this opportunity!

jamie bobby outside

Quartzsite is back to camping basics. Our perfect evening proceeds with dinner, a desert sunset (providing you have followed my prior advice,) a campfire (with your favorite associated activities,) and star-gazing (though not pitch black, compared to any city the stargazing is breathtaking. Our kids now understand why our galaxy is called the Milky Way.)

Board games, good books, long conversations, baking, long intricate games of pretend, there are so many ways to spend time when there is no where to rush off to. These make for the kinds of evenings memories are made of.


Fresh desert air and quiet cool nights make for good sound sleeping which in turn allows for my favorite aspect of Quartzsite; the desert sunrise. My daughter may rival me as the family’s biggest fan and the budding photographer and her trusty assistant were brave enough to be out in robes to capture the magnificent spectacle. Even my sleep-loving husband couldn’t resist the kids’ enthusiasm and braved the morning chill to get their pictures. After I provided the hats, mittens, and warm pumpkin tea of course.

q bobby cactus

I kindly volunteered to stay with our sleepyhead little one (you know, under the down comforter) and take my view from the window. She joined me eventually.

You can get your magic in so many ways and we found a little piece in Quartzsite.

Erin Provost is a wife and mommy to three. After living at the same address for 6 years, longer than she has ever lived at any single address her entire life, she decided it was time for a break, a recess if you will. As gypsies do attract, her crazy husband and kids completely agreed.  They sold everything, fixed up a 1975 Newell and set off. You can follow their adventure at www.provostrecess.blogspot.com.

Tags: Quartzsite Boondocking


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