Xscapers, a lifestyle group of the Escapees RV Club aimed at younger RVers, held a “Convergence” for its members during the recent Quartzsite Sports, Vacation and RV Show, a nine-day event that draws as many as 150,000 consumers to southwest Arizona.
The rally during the Quartzsite Show is one of several the group hosts each year offering a shorter, more informal gathering for members — and would-be members — than the weeklong Escapade event. During a “Convergence,” Xscaper campers experience a more relaxed pace of educational seminars and activities that still allows plenty of time for fitting in work and family time.
This was the second year in a row for a “Convergence” at Quartzsite, which was attended by Travis and Melanie Carr, co-founders of the Xscapers and the current president and vice president, respectively, of the Escapees.
On their way back to their Texas home, Melanie Carr took time to answer a few questions from RVBUSINESS.com.
RVB: How was the Convergence?
Carr: “It was incredible! We were blown away by the amount of people that came out to join us. Since the event was two weeks long, there were people who stayed for part and some who stayed for all. At one point when we took a count there were around 70 rigs parked with us. I feel like I say this all the time, but I’m always so amazed by our community and the unique RVers we meet on the road.”
RVB: What all took place?
Carr: “There were many scheduled and many impromptu activities that took place over the two weeks. We started by hosting a welcome discussion to give a brief history of Escapees and Xscapers and the next day we did an introductory discussion where attendees explained how they earn income on the road. Then, there were nightly campfires, educational discussions (many of which were contributed by members of the community), potlucks, excursions such as hiking and trips to the desert bar, scavenger hunts and margarita competitions.”
RVB: What kind of participation did you get?
Carr: “A big part of Xscapers events is that we try to keep them as conducive to the lifestyle of a working RVer as possible. This means trying to keep the activities in the evenings, even though that proved to be challenging at this event since a lot of people wanted to chip in and contribute knowledge to the community. We also pride ourselves in taking a “participate in as much or as little as you’d like” approach. There were times though, where we counted around 100 people at one activity, like the potluck. It was awesome to see so many people come out and participate in everything.”
RVB: How was the Quartzsite show?
“Crowded! This is a huge gathering place for snowbirds so it’s always fun to see that many RVers in one place. We also have an Escapees/Xscapers booth there every year and it’s one of our most successful shows. The staff enjoys meeting new RVers and reconnecting with old ones.”
RVB: What struck you about that event?
Carr: “I found the feedback we were getting from our members very interesting. It seems that the majority of our attendees were disappointed by the lack of RV-relevant products at the big tent. While people may walk away with a few cool gadgets, attendees are expecting some new things they haven’t seen before since it’s such a large show. I think one of the biggest draws about Quartzsite to the younger demographic is the potential to seek out solar vendors. There are a few different options in town and some of our attendees were even having them installed at our camp.”