(mellow music) - Here we are I'm all alone in the desert like I usually am.
Oh wait, there's a thousand people out there!
(people cheer) I'm with a few other people it's the first day of the RTR and you guys having a good time?
We just started.
(people cheer) - Right now we are in Quartzsite, Arizona.
It's a tiny, tiny little town in Arizona, right on the California border.
I host a large gathering here called the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous, the RTR.
It's basically just a gathering of van dwellers - and other RV type people that live nomadically on the road.
- The RTR is the biggest gathering of its kind for vehicle dwellers and nomads yeah.
- The goal with everything we do here is that lives be changed.
I can do a little bit standing up here but you shaking hands and sharing your knowledge and your skill and your compassion.
You can change the world.
My only job is here just to put you together.
That's my only job.
(people cheer) (mellow guitar playing) - [Woman] The RTR is a chance for people to get together and talk.
- There's something about the idea of meeting your tribe.
- We all go different ways during the year but we come back together in a sense of camaraderie and celebration.
- [Man] People are making friends, they're building a community.
So they can have a good life.
(mellow guitar plays) - Everything is built out of garbage.
I mean I have dumpster dived cabinets, countertops.
I bought a few components like the sink I wanted.
But reclaimed wood everywhere.
It was all just recycled stuff.
Some of these materials I had laying at my dad's house.
So it really was very low-cost.
(mellow guitar plays) - I ended up putting an old hutch in here that my mother had left me, and a cedar chest that I made into a pantry.
- That's kind of what I'm looking for is just simple built ideas to you get into right.
- [Woman] Yeah, that's what I tried to stick to was simple.
- You have this box of like this is what you're supposed to do to be happy.
And you have a few people that have looked outside that box to say "is there another way?"
That question right there, I think that's what brings us all here.
- Just a man cave you know?
It's good for me and the two kitties.
I've seen dorm fridges, a lot of people go with dorm fridges, but not a full-sized fridge.
- Yeah I like my ice cream.
- Yeah that would make my day if I could keep ice cream.
(laughing) - It's loaded.
(laughing) What can I say, I like my goodies.
- My bed is seven feet long and it's about 26 inches wide.
Even now with my retirement savings I could afford something larger but home is where I am.
And for me that's my Prius.
- I've got a rig, a 2007 Peterville with an after-market sleeper on it.
This way I can kind of live like an RVer but I can make money pulling a trailer as a trucker so it pays for itself kind of thing.
(banjo strums) - We work most of the year.
We work at restaurants, and bars, and farms and stuff.
And you can really do that wherever you want all over the country.
But we're usually moving towards something whether it be work or finding a nice spot in the desert to hang out.
(laughing) (people cheer) - I feel like we've been traveling, six and a half months, searching for like-minded people.
But when there was an opportunity for us to actually physically come to the RTR, we knew that the community that would be built was going to be worth making the trek here.
We've already had another couple come by last night who had a few kids.
And they were like "kids!"
and our kids went "kids!"
and that's what it's about.
(mellow guitar plays) - I think there was a certain shame attached to it.
I think now people are realizing it's something to be proud of that you're making a different choice to live differently and I just think what do you need?
You need food, you need shelter, you need clothing, you need healthcare, what else do you really need?
- A good bottle of whiskey.
(laughing) (upbeat guitar plays) - What I hope for the RTR is that people come here and make genuine connections.
It's that being alone that's hard in life.
That's the hardest thing any of us do, is to be truly alone.
And you come out here and you don't have to be alone anymore.
That's what we're doing.