Based on my first experience, (10 years prior, compared to 2010), the "shine" is gone!...(as is the fun).
IMO big business, greed and city policies have ruined the "free spirit" of the Quartzsite gathering....
A large vender area on the southeast corner of Quartzsite's main cross roads, has been eliminated.... (displaced by a display lot of a RV dealer).
The popular "watering hole/cafe" on that property has been closed and is being used to promote the RV dealer.
The town is talking about eliminating the vender tents and requiring permanent structures, (more taxable real estate?)
"Chalk Art" has been outlawed on all public pavement.
The venders used to came because they knew the RVs would be there.
Now big money seems to be taking over because the RVers come, (and the town of Quartzite wants a piece of it).
Good things only last until someone IMPROVES them!
Boondocking on BLM land near Quartzsite is still great!
However, I much prefer the Slabs, (aka: Slab City) near Niland, CA.
No venders, no laws,... a lot of Free Spirits and a lot of RVers".
There have been changes in "Q" over the years, I recall a few years back they re-did a bunch of things, Moved a lot of venders who had been in the same spot for years and such in order to "Improve" things.. Of course the effect was negative, And there are other changes.
RV dealers have merged, been bought out, or gone bankrupt or otherwise closed and this affects the show, Some folks no longer do what they did and this affects the show. Still, Though the big tent has it's points.. I go there for other reasons. (PEOPLE not goods) and thus I am hoping to get back there again, next year, at last.
Home is where I park it.
Kenwood TS-2000 housed in a 2005 Damon Intruder 377
I just got back from Quartzsite spending Thursday-Sunday on BLM land with my RV group (60+ RV's). Since this was my 5th year in a row to go, I only went to the BIG TENT once as I too think maybe it's lost it's luster. I like the vendor area across the street from the big tent better.
I only bought three items, a pair of gloves for use in connecting the tow and two leather wallets for friends. I always like to people watch too!
Like 'Steelpony5555' said: "Used to be a really nice craft show in our home town but slowly became a show of cheap Chinese junk and miracle devices and stuff to drain black junk from your feet."
It seems the BIG TENT does have less vendors pushing their wares. And what's with the miracle stuff that drains black junk from your feet? I saw that booth, gross!!
Last year there were two leather goods booths, just one this year that I could see. Also, last year there were more bedding booth (sheet sets).... maybe only one this year too.
Anyway, I do enjoy Quartzsite but now not the normal 5 days that I use to stay, three days max for now.
CLAY-- we camped onn Plomosa road last year! And we drove "around the block" thru Bouse. I thought about camping in their RV park as it was next to a pub that advertised $1.50 pounders & hamburgers (my favorite combination). Have you been there?
There are two bars here and I have been in both. One has a taco special one night a week and the other (Somewhere AZ) has live music on Thursday night.
There are four or five RV parks here.
We stay in the Coyote Ridge park close by the Country Diner which is north of the intersection of Plomosa Road and HWY 72 and close to the Road Runner General store.
Not fancy but for $160 per month who cares?
Clay (WA5NMR), Lee (Wife), Katie & Kelli (cats).
Fixed domicile after 1 year of snowbirding and eleven years Full Timing in a 2004 Winnebago Sightseer 35N, Workhorse chassis, Honda Accord toad
We went back to the Big Tent this morning. Not that many people. Even Good Sam did not have a booth promoting membership and selling directories. They did have an agent selling road service and another selling Insurance! The best deal was Lazy Days giving away 2 free night stays and lunch at the Tucson Resort!
I don't know the answer to this, but has the demographics of the attendees changed over the years? Did it always attract a 4 months out of the year boondocking crowd, or at one time did the RV show and market attract the vast majority of the visitors and the long timers a smaller part of the crowd?
The reason for asking is if I was a vendor of anything other than Solar Panels and water saving devices I wouldn't think of a crowd made up primarily of people trying to spend as little as prime customers.
Also, is it possible that the demographics of RVers are changing and 4 month boondocking is becoming less popular? Trends come and go. Maybe longterm boondocking is going the way of disco and leisure suits.
In a word....Yes. We have been going to Q during the RV Big Tent Show for about 10 years now. It used to be fun and we would spend a week or more there doing the tent and fleamarkets but mostly in the desert with a number of friends around the campfire.
Now we continue to go to meet those friends but this year it was only two other couples and we only spend a couple nights there. Every year we say this is the last time for us, but we continue to give it one more chance...just a couple days now, not a week or more.
hershey - albuquerque, nm
Someday Finally Got Here
My wife does all the driving - I just get to hold the steering wheel.
Face Book Group: All About RVing and We Fly RC's
Expedition - Chevy Equinox
My guess is that part of the problem is the economy. If you don't have a job or resources to travel even to a free (or almost free) location then you don't go. If you're a vendor it has to worthwhile to sell your product.
I've seen a few reports on Q and they apparently have some significant city government, etc. issues. They have a very high sales tax.
Loves and Petro seem to get reasonable trucker business all year long. But keep in mind that 17 miles away fuel is more expensive. The most congested fuel station I've every been to is FJ at MM 1 which is always loaded with CA vehicles.