Truck Camper Adventure Rally: Quartzsite, Arizona

truck camper adventure rally

The Truck Camper Adventure Rally in Quartzsite, Arizona was the highlight of our January! We met so many amazing people, starting with Carlos, otherwise known as Truck Camper Compadre. He follows our YouTube channel and saved us a spot at the rally. How cool is that?!? It definitely stated our weekend on a fun vibe! We’ve become fast friends and even got to have lunch with him a couple weeks ago!


The Roadrunner Wash BLM on the outskirts of Quartzsite provided the space for about 250 truck campers to come together for a long weekend of meeting new friends, learning new skills and drinking around the campfire. What more could we ask for our first time at a truck camper rally!

What is a Truck Camper Adventure Rally?

We honestly didn’t know what to expect heading into it. And for a couple of introverts, it was a little overwhelming going from talking with only each other to being around hundreds of people. It was pretty great though. People converged from all over the United States and Canada just to hang together. Being around so many like-minded campers felt great to Steve and I. A little overwhelming, but still great!

Truck Camper Adventure is an emagazine run by Mello Mike and Karen Smith “offering truck camper news, reviews, travel tips, annual rallies and overland caravan trips, and more. We cover all types of truck campers here at Truck Camper Adventure. It doesn’t matter if it’s a slide-in or a chassis-mount, a hard-side or pop-up, if it’s a truck camper and it’s carried on a truck, we cover it.” (From their website)

They’re very well-known in the truck camper world and we’ve learned a ton from reading their articles. They cover so much technical specs as well as fun stuff too. And this year was the third Truck Camper Adventure Rally that they put on. I guess the first one only had around 30 truck campers. Then last year around 100. 2022 brought in almost 250 truck campers. And we’ve already put it on our calendar for 2023 to attend again!

Some of the classes offered

Classes and product demonstrations ran throughout the day from Thursday to Sunday morning. We attended as many as we could. The class topics included cooking in your camper (similar to how we eat as backpackers with one pot meals), tire repair, solar power setups, suspension modifications, boondocking essentials and even full-time truck camper living. We got to be on a panel for that talk, which was fun and awkward. We didn’t know any of the topics before hand, so we ended up trying to give the best answers we could on the fly. Hopefully it was interesting to someone!

There were many more classes but I honestly can’t remember them all. One of my favorites was a knitting class. It was such a heart warming time for me to be surrounded by women. I miss my group of gals back home, so having an hour or so with other camping women was super rewarding for me.

Some of the Fireside Topics

We attended the campfire socials and mostly enjoyed meeting people around us. There was a nightly topic, which in theory, is a good idea. But maybe it was a better idea when the Truck Camper Adventure Rally had 30 attendees. It’s a little harder to keep the group interested as its size grew. But…they did ask interesting questions like what would you want in a perfect truck camper. Or how do you conserve water when boondocking. And it seems like the last night was more about camping stories, like who saw a bear or a bigfoot.

The night chatting about water conservation was my favorite, but maybe not for the intended reasons. A lot of people do the same things as us. Like use paper plates. Wipe out our pans with a paper towel prior to washing. But some people just had outrageous answers for going draconian on water saving. That cracked us up! Seriously. Some of those people are out there in hundred thousand dollar rigs and they’re talking about going a week without a shower. Are you kidding me?! They were trying to one up each other about how much water they can save.

Our new friend Vinnie may have been encouraged by alcohol and the rest of us yahoos egging him on. But when the microphone got around to him, he said he only brushes his teeth every other day to conserve water. We were all laughing so hard. I think it was clear which end of the fire was consuming the most alcohol! Then Vinnie, feeling emboldened by our raucous laughter, said he poops in cat litter! Oh my word. I literally snorted beer right out my nose.

This was not the kind of tips that Mello Mike had in mind as he went around the fire, but the tone felt much too serious for our group of rowdies. Boy, did Vinnie liven it right up!

truck camper adventure rally
Steve and Vinnie

Winning Truck Camper at the Rally

Todd Lemke won the first place for best in show. I don’t think that’s really what it was called, but I’m telling you his is one sweet ride. He gave us a tour and it knocked our socks off. Todd and his family arrived at the BLM sign in area at the same time as we did. So right when we saw them, we knew we were in for a treat of a weekend.

Todd has a 1966 GMC pickup that’s beautiful on its own. He’s finishing a restoration of it and wanted a truck camper to reflect its beauty. So what else did he get but a 2020 Arctic Fox 865. Wait that’s not an old rig! Well then he put a wrap on it for a measly $7000 to make it look retro. It looks super cool, but that’s a heck of a lot of money, to me. Anyway, the truck and camper combo kept people all googly-eyed all weekend long! No wonder it won the first ever competition. All that hard work sure paid off for Todd and his family.

truck camper adventure rally
That Fox looking out the front window is part of the wrap!!!

Best of show for us? New Friends!

I mentioned that we already met back up with Carlos. But we also stayed on Vinnie’s Arizona property (his home is Washington State) where we met back up with Chris from the Truck Camper Adventure Rally too. Guess we all like a free place to stay! Thanks Vinnie.

We also met Dennis and Linda, who follow our Cupcake Chronicles channel. So that was neat to meet them both. If you’re reading this, then send me an email! I’m not sure how to get in touch with you guys.

truck camper adventure rally
Dennis and Linda

I met a couple of women who I’ve begun tentative friendships with via email and text. So that’s a great outcome for me. I’m not super at staying in touch but I sure hope to meet up with them at future rallies. And maybe even just to meet up and camp! We’re talking with Vinnie and Carlos about a caravan to Baja California next winter. Maybe right after next year’s rally. So I’ll let you know what those details are going to look like. You got a truck camper and wanna join us? Let me know!! I guess we don’t have to limit it to truck campers, so any RV’s invited too!

Anyway, I was talking about meeting interesting women and then started talking about Baja. Can you tell I love the sun and the beach? So easily distracted. Janice from Boondocker Camping is a jewel! She and her husband also have an Artic Fox 990, so it was fun to see the different ways people use the same camper. She makes camping so easy with this awesome system for organizing and planning your trip. Go check out her website! I bought one of her notebook kits and am waiting to get to a family member with a printer so I can go crazy printing it out!

We also met Calli and Quintin, along with their dog Charlie. They’re Canadians who are making their way down to Argentina. Currently in Mexico, you can follow them on Instagram @calliandq. I don’t know how to make a link to there…yes, lame…

Calli and Quintin

So yeah, meeting great new friends, getting to look inside other people’s campers and showing off ours, all while learning a bunch of new stuff in workshops made for a very good weekend. And all of that in Arizona’s January sunshine…couldn’t be better! We’re certainly hoping to attend next year’s Truck Camper Adventure Rally and hope you plan on going to some kind of fun get together too!

If you’re interested in watching our video about the rally, click here to go to our YouTube channel.

And click here if you’re interested in reading about our unrelated but super fun road trip through southeast Utah.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. marian Duff

    Hello Steve and Noelle, I wondered were you still travelling and exploring….a lovely surprise when I opened up my email today. Gosh how I would love to be on a similar adventure….even a camping trip? The death work sounds interesting, I have heard about “death cafe’s” and would like to experience one. They are random groups who meet in a Cafe for coffee and cake and talk everything death. Its not all dull and boring but fun too. Now that I am coming up to 70 it seems like the proper time to write down what I do want to happen and not just leave it to chance. Best of Irish Luck with all your travels, work, seeing wonderful places and meeting equally adventurous people along the way… we say in Ireland “May the road rise with you ” Happy Easter.. Marian

    • mcgarveysan

      Hi Marian,
      It’s great to hear from you! I hope you and Patrick are doing well. We have certainly been relaxing for the last month after journeying with Steve’s parents to their next stages. Death is tiresome for those approaching it and those walking alongside! The death cafes you mention sound very interesting to me as well.
      We are back to adventuring and spending time with our children and grandchildren. It does our hearts good. Noelle

  2. Marilyn & Clive

    Always a joy to experience life and fun through your eyes. Glad to know you both are healthy and happy.

    • mcgarveysan

      Thanks friends. I’ve been pretty lazy with the blog but guess I’ll get motivated again. 🤪 it’s always good to hear from you!


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