Xscapers, an RV lifestyle group of the Escapees RV Club, hosted its 4th Annual Bash in the desert Southwest recently with record attendance. Organizers reported that 280 RVs and 512 people checked-in for the week-long event that took place at the SARA Park Rodeo Grounds in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
“We would have been bigger but we sold out – we put a limit on it so it would be manageable this year,” said Travis Carr, co-founder of Xscapers and president of Escapees RV Club.
Xscapers is a rapidly growing community within the Escapees RV Club that is geared toward working-aged RVers. Events, called Convergences, are at the heart of this community to provide social activities, educational presentations, and group outdoor adventures. The Annual Bash has grown and taken on a life of its own over the last four years, doubling in size nearly every year since its inception in January 2016 when just 20-30 RVs first attended.
“We put a lot more time and energy into planning and preparation. It’s more formal than our other Xscapers convergences. It’s the biggest one and we go all out; that’s why we call it the Bash,” Carr told RVBUSINESS.COM.
The event was moved this year from the Quartzsite BLM camping areas about 70 miles north to the Rodeo Grounds in Lake Havasu City to accommodate more RVs and utilize the facilities for the full schedule of events planned for the week.
“We do a lot of things you don’t typically find at a traditional rally,” said Carr’s wife, Melanie, who is co-founder of Xscapers and vice president of Escapees RV Club. “There aren’t a lot of RV clubs that are catering specifically to people working on the road — the newer generation of RVers. At our event you find activities like the Margarita Throwdown, we go hiking, there are people biking to lunch everyday. There’s just more active and adventurous mindsets here.”
In addition to the social events like the Margarita Throwdown, the Guacamole Fiesta, Xscapers Olympics and Kickball, educational presentations were held almost daily with a variety of topics including blogging, batteries, Boondocking 101, RVing to Alaska and more. The speakers included several RV social media influencers such as John Sullivan and Peter Knize of The RV Geeks, Heath and Alyssa Padgett, and Kyle and Olivia Brady of Drivin’ & Vibin’, as well as fellow Xscapers who have knowledge to share.
Heath Padgett, host of The RV Entrepreneur podcast and co-founder of Campground Booking, a campground management software system, was a first-time Bash attendee and speaker at this year’s event. “We’ve known Travis and Melanie (Carr) for some time and met so many Xscapers on the road. We’ve really been wanting to attend one of their famous events, so we were honored to come and speak,” Padgett said. “We know how much value they provide to the RV community and they are always giving. The Bash was a fun way to see it all come together.”
By nearly all accounts, the community atmosphere is the biggest reason people come to the Bash. “Everyone who comes to an Xscapers event has decided to live their life in a very intentional way, and I think that immediately gives you a connection with people you meet,’ said Padgett. “You’ve gone on similar journeys and have so much in common, even if you come from completely different backgrounds. The people are what make this event so special.”
Some event sponsors also participated and got to experience this community aspect firsthand. Dometic Corp. and Battle Born Batteries both had teams on-site to interact one-on-one with Xscapers to learn more about challenges and opportunities in customer needs.
“We decided to sponsor the Xscapers Convergence and participate in the event because it’s a great opportunity to for us to get face-to-face with our existing customers, and also to educate people about the advantages of lithium who are not current customers,” Battle Born Batteries Chief Operating Officer Sean Nichols told RVBUSINESS.COM. “The conversations we’ve had here have been very valuable and I think it has been a great experience. This community has embraced Battle Born Batteries as part of their own tribe and we just love being around RVers. Coming down here and being able to have some fun as well as some work, it’s an awesome experience and I’m just happy to have been here.”
In addition to Dometic and Battle Born Batteries, the 2019 Xscapers Annual Bash was sponsored by RV Country, RV Nomads, Harvest Hosts, and FCIS Insurance.