Our First RVW (RVing Women) Rally

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Our first RVW https://www.rvingwomen.org/?gclid=CjwKCAiAzc2tBhA6EiwArv-i6RId-HxmVgW3_Qp1yUFhVihe9ctaVrSclX6m07ChGY8FledlsGQJABoC-xAQAvD_BwE rally was a wonderful experience, full of laughter, information and new friends. RVing Women describes their group as a group for women by women. They are dedicated to sharing information and support to other women RVers. We were there as guests of the group as we had not yet become members. There are many regional chapters in addition to full-timers and solos groups.

The rally was located in Quartzite, AZ during the Big RV Tent show. Prior to the RVW rally, we have been posting some of our journey on the RVW friends and family Facebook page which is a combination of members and non-members. We have developed “Facebook” relationships with many of the women on the page.

We were excited to find the Quartzite rally on the schedule. Jess and I had previously reserved a month stay at an RV resort only an hour away. We decided it was the perfect time to participate in an RVW event for ourselves. The process to sign-up was easy and the cost to register was minimal. After we registered we received our itinerary and directions to the groups boondocking location. In addition, several pages of helpful boondocking tips and information were included.

Welcoming Community

We arrived at the coordinates provided to find a well organized group of women checking people in and helping RV’ers find their preferred camping spots. In a short time, we were registered, set-up and meeting new people. We parked alongside many RV’s with Arizona chapter RVW flags proudly displayed at their sites.

There were Class A, B, and C RV’s of every type, as well as various style travel trailers, and even a few tents. We immediately felt like we belonged and were eager to be of any help we could. Our first event would be a meet and greet and an opportunity to go over schedule updates.

The atmosphere was casual, come as you are and bring your chair and drink of choice. Snacks were provided and all were welcomed to bring snacks to share with the group. This first gathering allowed the new members and guests to introduce themselves to the group spurring many conversations after the official meeting was over.

A quick dinner for Jess and I at our RV and it was time for our first group fire pit. A few foot wide, several foot long rock lined fire pit had been previously created in the primary gathering area. Several fires could be lit simultaneously, allowing many people to comfortably gather around the campfire. There were many group discussions taking place as well as groups of friends catching up with each other telling stories of their more recent travels.

A volunteer maintained the fires and also ensured they were fully extinguished at the end of the night. The massive pile of firewood created as RV Women arrived and donated their bundles to the pile guaranteeing there would be ample fuel for the nightly fires.

Seminars and Education

There were several seminars and educational opportunities throughout the duration of the four-day event. We chose to participate in many of them. There was a large pot cooking class high-lighting seafood and fish boils, as well as an American College of Surgeons Certificate Level course, Stop the Bleed, taught by a Paramedic/Certified Physician’s Assistant. All of the classes were top-notch presentations. Audience participation was both encouraged and appreciated.

As a non-medical professional I appreciated the opportunity to gain more clinical knowledge and earn a certificate. It was not something I would have expected to be doing boondocking in the middle-of-no-where. I learned how to properly apply a tourniquet and when and where they should be used. Jess and I carry a well supplied medical kit when we hike, but we do not have tourniquet. This is an item we are considering adding after this class.

I realized in this brief experience the wealth of knowledge the group collective has. (Yes, I do love my Star Trek) This knowledge and willingness to share is at the heart of the group. We met women from many different professions truck drivers, nurses, military veterans, teachers, factory employees, managers, business owners, journalists, landscapers, judges, engineers and so many more. This openness and ability to learn in a casual judgement free atmosphere is, as VISA would say, priceless.

Something for Everyone

Throughout the rally there were many opportunities to meet new people. It was also common to find small group gatherings around individual RV’s. Many nights after the group fire was shut down smaller groups gathered in individual chapters for more conversation.

There were a couple planned hikes which were adapted to the abilities of the participants as well as daily group dog walks. Some women brought their OHV’s and some towed their Jeeps. There were group and individual rides and exploring opportunities. Others spent time visiting the Big Tent area and shopping at the flea market.

One thing I noticed and appreciated is everyone was welcome to participate and share in group activities as much or as little as they chose. One day we shared a delicious group meal and others we fended for ourselves. It was refreshing being able to, as my daughter often states, “just do you.” Because societal expectations have a knack of getting in the way, this simple statement can be difficult to achieve.

RV Stories

We had the good fortune to participate in many conversations and swap RV stories. I heard a common theme which is also pivotal in my own RV journey. I listened to many people talk of the fond memories they had of their years growing up and camping with family. There were so many different stories of how their paths led them to loving RVing. Some are full-time like ourselves but many still own homes and spend their vacations RVing.

Like Jess and myself, life and responsibilities have a way of coming between us and the things we love to do. It was interesting to hear the stories of how many of these women found their own path back to RVing.

Redlands Truck & RV

Redlands Truck & RV https://www.redlandstruckservice.com sponsored an informative seminar onsite at our group location. The focus of the discussion was tires, vehicle handling, and towing. They also brought several types of RV batteries and miscellaneous RV equipment upgrades which they are certified to install. Redlands is a full service truck & RV repair shop located in Redlands, CA just west of Palm Springs. They offer a full hook-up RV park for their customers to utilize throughout the service process.

I do not know the name of the presenter but he was excellent. A salesman, but absolutely wonderful and knowledgeable. He set the stage for an inclusive hands-on presentation in which he encouraged discussion and made people feel comfortable asking any questions.

They showed up with several employees and were ready to work and provide answers to any questions asked. The groups primary questions concerned tires, solar options, types of batteries, and understanding the percentages and voltages of the many different displays in our RV’s. Specific individual questions a tech would accompany the person to their RV and provide the specific answers to what they were asking. They even climbed under many RV’s to inspect different mechanicals and offer recommendations.


Tires and vehicle handling was another primary topic. Redlands offers a service in which they replace the air in a standard tire with nitrogen. This was a process I was unaware of. Air tire pressure fluctuates because a component of air is moisture. As tires heat up pressures rise, think steam, and this expansion can cause a rough ride, handling problems, and inappropriate tire wear. When temperatures drop, pressures can also drop. Both over inflation and under inflation can lead to poor handling and possible tire failure.

Filling a tire with Nitrogen eliminates this problem. Nitrogen has no moisture. Once a tire is filled with nitrogen there is minimal pressure fluctuation. The tire will perform the same way on a brutal 115 degree day in Phoenix as it will in Fargo at 12 degrees below zero. This stability provides safety and assurance when you are driving down the highway. It also saves time, we verify and adjust our tire pressure if necessary before each trip we take.

I have now learned when there is a green cap on your tire stem it is filled with nitrogen. Also, we have decided when we have any future tire work done we will want to have our own tires filled with Nitrogen. It seems to be an easy way to help mitigate possible tire problems and well worth the expense. Tires are a significant RV cost but not paying proper attention to tires could be a life altering problem.

Celia’s Rainbow Garden

If I had to pick one single event of the weekend which spoke to this organization’s companionship and dedication to its members, it would be this. But first, let us talk about Celia’s Rainbow Garden, a memorial in honor of Celia. Her parents struggled for years to have children. Once they had accepted it was not going to happen they were blessed with the news they were expecting. She was born at 23 1/4 weeks and at the time she was the youngest surviving infant in Canada.

Her family traveled for years around Canada and the US with her father’s work. Five years later they decided to settle in Quartzite. Celia was prone to colds and the dry Quartzite weather was perfect She was a normal kid who loved school and loved to read, spending much of her time in the library. Her mother described her as an optimist and wise beyond her years. She was eight and one half years old when she caught a viral infection and passed away.

Her parents were devastated and the community support they received was overwhelming. Celia’s Rainbow Garden was their way to reciprocate the love they had felt from the community. After getting permission from the town council, a botanical garden was planted in the town park. What started as a small trail has blossomed into a beautiful space maintained by many groups and volunteers. It is an incredible story of which I have only skimmed the surface. I recommend reading the provided link http://www.celiasrainbowgardens.com/Story/.

RVW Memorial

This section of Celia’s Rainbow Garden is dedicated to the “RVing Women who have taken their final journey”. The memorial was created by RVing Women for RVing women. Individual plaques represent members who have passed. This year’s ceremony affixed another eighteen plaques to the memorial.

The RV Women leadership paid tribute to every woman. In many instances a personal friend or family member delivered touching stories about the person’s life, career, and RVing adventures. Rally participants encircled the memorial listening to the stories which had the entire group laughing one minute and searching for a tissue the next. This experience helped me understand the importance and value of groups like RVW.

Many of these women had families full of children and grandchildren, but I can see how this group could become a surrogate family for those who do not. The caring, appreciation, and love was palpable even though many who attended did not personally know those who had passed. This memorial helped me feel what this group is about.

The magazine, seminars, group events, and everything RVing Women has to offer is incredible but, pales in comparison to the compassion and camaraderie the group provides. We appreciated the opportunity to be witness to this ceremony and are excited to join RVW.

Live Simple, Live Happy.

Hiking Memere

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