Tropic Hut Goes To Quartzsite RV Show

January 22 - February 6, 2011
Quartzsite, Arizona

This was my coolest set-up (and maybe the weirdest show) yet!

How cool is this? I got to set up Tropic Hut right next to my toy hauler RV!
Yes, I often stay in my RV at events, but that usually means being parked well off the grounds. At The Quartzsite RV Show my RV was right on the midway with the Tropic Hut stand actually attached to it.
That's a pretty darned good looking stand, if I do say so myself.
Looking west on the midway.
Looking east on the midway.
One small portion of the giant tent's interior.
Another small fragment of the tent's interior. Several hundred vendors fill this huge tent every year.
During event hours these aisles are packed with people.
Step in the door and I'm home, step out the door and I'm in business!
This was my cozy abode for three weeks.
During slow times I could relax inside while still keeping an eye on the Tropic Hut stand through the side window of the RV.
One down side to this event: the Internet service was really slow! Can't believe they charged for WiFi. It was terrible.
Ahah! Customers out front!
Let's go make that sale!


Interview with a Quartzsite RV Couple

(This is a bit of satire I came up with to describe the peculiar folks I encountered here. Perhaps I shouldn't make fun of Quartzsite RV-ers since, after all, without them there would be no RV Show and no customers for Tropic Hut to sell to. On the other hand, people who spend their winters this way just to get away from cold weather are how to put this nicely not like the rest of us.)

INTERVIEWER: Thank you for allowing me to visit your motor coach.

RV HUSBAND: Ya, you betcha, it's a pleasure to have ya!

RV WIFE: Would you like some iced tea? We have ice today.

INT: You mean there are some days when you don't have ice?

HUSBAND: We turn off the fridge a couple days a week to keep the batteries from running down too fast.

INT: Ah, I see. This motor home is quite impressive. May I ask how much a unit like this costs?

HUSBAND: Sure. The basic coach was around two hundred twenty grand. With the satellite TV system and some other upgrades we wanted it came to right at a quarter million bucks.

INT: My, that's quite an investment.

WIFE: If we could afford it we'd buy a unit for twice that much so we can spend winters away from the cold back home!

HUSBAND: Right! Our neighbors back home in northern Minnesota are digging their cars out of snow every day, and we're spending the winters where it's not cold!

INT: Why did you choose this area near Quartzsite to park you RV for the winter?

HUSBAND: Because it's cheap. A BLM permit is just a hundred eighty bucks for three months.

INT: But you spent a quarter million dollars on your motor home....

WIFE: That doesn't mean we don't want to save money whenever we can!

INT: Quartzsite is a rather amazing place. The permanent population is under four hundred, but in the winter this area swells to over a hundred thousand people, all living in RV's. The town has no movie theaters, no shopping malls, no golf courses, only about a half dozen small restaurants and two very small grocery stores. Do you miss the features that a resort area or larger city would offer?

HUSBAND: Well, sure, Quartzsite is boring as heck, but it's not cold, right Marge?

WIFE: Who needs fun things to do? It's not cold!

INT: The climate here is extremely dry - less than four inches of rain per year. Do you ever find that uncomfortable?

WIFE: Oh my, yes. I go through a bottle of hand lotion every month down here, but it's not cold.

HUSBAND: My problem is with chapped lips because I really don't like smearing waxy stuff on my mouth every night, even though Marge makes me do it. Still, it's not cold!

INT: I've noticed it's also very dusty here, especially since you are parked on a dirt lot completely surrounded by desert.

HUSBAND: Heh heh, ain't that the truth! I wake up every morning with grit in my teeth and nostrils, but ya get used to it. Besides, it isn't cold!

WIFE: I have to wipe dust off the counters every day and I never do quite get used to my hair feeling like straw. But Larry and I always say, 'Dust, schmust, at least it isn't cold!'

INT: Since you are parked on open land out in the desert you don't have access to standard water, sewer and electrical services. Is that inconvenient?

HUSBAND: The pumping company comes out twice a week to drain our gray and black water tanks and fill the fresh water tanks, so it's usually not a problem. 'Course, every now and then we run out of water, right Marge?

WIFE: (laughing) Yes, dear, I do like to take a long shower sometimes and give my hair a really good shampoo to get all the dust out.

HUSBAND: One of the upgrades we bought on this motor coach was an extra large capacity water heater. With the standard water heater there was only enough hot water for about a four minute shower. The bigger water heater lets Marge shower away for almost twelve minutes.

WIFE: So there's plenty of hot water for my long showers. Trouble is sometimes there isn't enough water for my long showers.

HUSBAND: Yep, so sometimes Marge has to finish rinsing off with bottled water...

WIFE: My, is that cold!

HUSBAND: ...and then we have no water till the next day when the service comes out to refill our tank. That's inconvenient, sure, but it beats cold weather!

INT: It occurs to me that, with the amount you have invested in this RV, you could rent a nice beach house every winter for ten years and still be money ahead. Is there a reason you prefer being parked on a dirt lot in the desert?

HUSBAND: A beach house ain't got no wheels! With our RV we're free to go wherever we want.

INT: Don't you spend the entire winter parked at the same place?

WIFE: But we could go some place else any time we wanted. We love that freedom.

HUSBAND: Exactly. Our total living space may be less than the size of our single car garage back home, but for the winter we're road warriors! Free to go anywhere we want!

WIFE: In just a few hours we can pack this place up, pull in the slide-outs, put away the stabilizers, secure the satellite dish, turn off the gas, roll up the awning and hitch up the car, and we're ready to travel!

INT: That kind of freedom must be appealing.

HUSBAND: That's what it's all about - the open road! Well, that and being some place that isn't cold.

WIFE: Being free to spend winters where it isn't cold means we win!

INT: There is one last thing that some might find difficult about spending all winter away from their homes. You must have family and old friends back home. Do you ever miss them while you spend several months here in Arizona?

HUSBAND: Do you have any idea what winter is like in northern Minnesota? It gets down to twenty degrees below zero, sometimes colder. We don't get out in that cold to see family or friends anyway!

WIFE: We do stay home through Christmas some years. Larry usually wants us to come down here in mid November, but I convince him to stay so we can see our grandchildren at Christmas.

HUSBAND: I figure our friends and the kids will still be there in April. Might as well get out of the cold as soon as we can.

WIFE: That's when he reminds me of another thing we like to say, 'Family, schmamily, let's go where it's not cold!'

HUSBAND: Don't you see? We got it all figured out! We spend our winters where it's not cold!


Sure is great being where it isn't cold,
don't you think?