Any full timers ever been to Slab City? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-27-2008, 10:19 PM   #1
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This would be a great place to spend the winter, because the summer in the valley is horrendous, but the winters range in the 70's. The slabs are free to camp and the website tells you the whole story of how they came to be...

http://www.slabcity.org/

I was born and raised in the Imperial Valley and had always heard of Slab City, but never been there. I saw a lot of it in Into the Wild and plan on visiting next winter and go see my hometown friends in El Centro. Just wondering if anyone has been there or if you like the idea of it. NEVER go in the summer as temps are around 115 degrees daily, unless of course you like to roasted alive

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Old 11-28-2008, 02:06 PM   #2
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I believe one has to be self-contained (permanent black/gray tanks) to plunk down for longer than a few days.
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Old 11-28-2008, 07:37 PM   #3
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i used to go there in the 1980's and 70's before salvation MTn was there, no rules, squaters living there. but like pete said they have regulations now.
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:44 AM   #4
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After looking at what little you can on the website, it seems the Quartzite BLM area would be more preferable personally.
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Old 11-29-2008, 02:19 PM   #5
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Last time I checked, one of those areas required full self-containment and the other didn't.


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Old 11-29-2008, 06:06 PM   #6
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Hi Monica. Re: Slab City – We drove thru ‘the Slabs’ once … and once was enuff! Some Canadian snowbirds had told us there was some good camping waaaaaay back, away from the entry area, but we were not comfortable about staying there long-term. Salvation Mountain is interesting and worth a visit, but otherwise, we’ll take Quartzsite over Slab City any day.

Re: We have spent parts of 3 winters in the BLM Long Term Visitor Area south of Quartzsite – specifically La Posa South (see Pete’s photo above). Our Scamp 13 doesn’t have holding tanks. We use a ‘blue boy’ type container for our grey. There is a dump station reserved for this type of container, so we easily dump our grey and porta-pottie when needed. This helps us avoid waiting in the ‘parade of elephants’ at the larger dump stations. A long-term permit costs $180 for seven months (at last check) and includes access to fresh water, use of dumpsters and the sanitary dumps. Of the 4 LTVA’s, only La Posa South has vault toilets available – they are fairly new and nice … I think there are 3 around the area. It would be tough to find a better long-term camping arrangement than this.

In Quartzsite, one can be as busy or as ‘veggie’ as wanted. They have a terrific library (lectures, Chautauqua programs, etc), classes, dances, music jams, Bingo (ugh), hiking, rock hounding, and of course, the flea markets & swap meets. We will stay here in Q until end of March.

Well – that was a lot of hot air … hope you will find some of the info helpful. You will NOT regret the decision to go full-time, so find your FGRV and hit the road! We are having a blast!!! Take care, L ‘n D
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Old 11-29-2008, 06:11 PM   #7
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Me again - forgot to mention my husband was raised in El Centro also, so we know about summers in the desert! I gather you are much younger (NOT yet Geezer status) but did you attend Central Union High School? Just wonderin' - LdB
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:18 PM   #8
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L n D,

I'm curious about something with the Quartzite long-term stay permit, because the wording on the BLM site was a bit confusing. They talked about having to move every 14 days, and then they talked about the long-term permit you mentioned, but it wasn't clear whether -- even with the long-term permit -- you still have to move every 14-days? It seems logical that you wouldn't, but then again, I suppose it could be long term in 14-day segments.

Sounds like you probably know, so thanks for clarifying if you can.

Raya
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:05 PM   #9
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To my understanding, the LTVP allows you to stay put, and the 14 day move is for the short term or non permitted areas.

I have been to the Slabs, didn't stay long, didn't need to.. it's one of those places where the "aura" hits you before you even go in... you can smell humanity at it's strangest, and saddest as well.

It is a place for those that have nowhere else to go, those with an alternate idea of alternate lifestyles, drug addicts, crazy folks, free spirits, yes.. and there is indeed an area WAY to the south where the million dollar Mohos hang out and don't associate with the rest of the "community".

I am sure there are many nice folks in there, but you have to wade through the filth to find the glitz. I most certainly did NOT feel safe in there even in the enclosed car full of big strong men I was with.

Go to QZ, where you have a better choice for shopping etc than Niland, Ca. and where it is no doubt much safer.

I would love to go out there (QZ) for a long time, but until I "get away", it will have to be in short spurts.
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:13 PM   #10
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Thanks, Gina, for the added info.

I got a little bit of your Slab City impression just doing a Google search and reading some of the entries. I like a bit of counterculture and "away from the man" myself, but something about it made me feel like I wouldn't be comfortable there.

QZ sounds neat, and I see there's going to be a gathering there in February. I probably won't be able to make it then, but it sounds fun.

Raya
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:24 PM   #11
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Me again - forgot to mention my husband was raised in El Centro also, so we know about summers in the desert! I gather you are much younger (NOT yet Geezer status) but did you attend Central Union High School? Just wonderin' - LdB
As a matter of fact, I did go to Central, I graduated in 1990.

Thanks for all the advice from everyone. I love the desert and have riden a motorcycle out there during the winter. I think it is beautiful and still plan on coming back through in the winters. I bet QZ is nice, I will just have to go and check it out now won't I!!




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Old 12-01-2008, 11:03 PM   #12
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Hi Raya - Gina is correct about the long-term camping permits. This permit allows you to park anywhere within the boundaries of any LTVA in AZ and SoCal, not just around Quartzsite. One of the few restrictions is you must be at least 15 feet from any other RV ... not a problem in this huge desert, even during the gridlock month of January.

The short-term permit allows for the same camping and access to water, etc. within the LTVA's, but for the limited time. I think the confusion arises from the "14-day" phrase. The short-term permit period is 14 days.

THEN, you have "dispersed camping" on BLM lands which is free, but limited to 14 days in one area, after which time you are s'posed to move at least 25 miles to another campsite. Hope this helps clarify. Wish you could make it to Q in February, too. Take care, L 'n D
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Old 12-02-2008, 01:17 AM   #13
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Aha, now it's even more clear -- thank you!

R.
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:09 PM   #14
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I have been to the Slabs, didn't stay long, didn't need to.. it's one of those places where the "aura" hits you before you even go in... you can smell humanity at it's strangest, and saddest as well.

It is a place for those that have nowhere else to go, those with an alternate idea of alternate lifestyles, drug addicts, crazy folks, free spirits, yes.. [b]and there is indeed an area WAY to the south where the million dollar Mohos hang out and don't associate with the rest of the "community".

I am sure there are many nice folks in there, but you have to wade through the filth to find the glitz. I most certainly did NOT feel safe in there even in the enclosed car full of big strong men I was with.
This is the only Photo from Slab City I have from that trip. I think it is from the area "WAY to the south"

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Last year (2007) Gina and I spent Thanksgiving with friends of mine at their "Tortoise Ranch" in Ocotillo, CA.
Our hosts drove us to Niland to see Slab City.


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