Van Open House at the RTR

One of the final activities of the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous is two open houses for people to show off their homes on wheels to the world. Yesterday afternoon was the one for vans and minivans. I cleaned up my van and brought it to show off to the world, particularly its unique angle iron Erector set construction.

Officially, the open house ran from 12 to 2. I showed up early, around 11, and got parked for the open house (as opposed to standard parking) immediately. People started checking out my van pretty much as soon as I opened the doors.

I rarely leave the back of my van open. It’s my bathroom, litter box, and dirty laundry, and 99.9% of the time people don’t want to see that. But in a situation like this, that’s exactly what people want to see! Plus, since they asked me to park nose-in, the open doors were a clear invitation to come and check out my van.

Which they did. Endlessly. I didn’t get to take much video or many pictures during the open house (of my van or anyone else’s) because I had a nearly non-stop stream of people stopping by, taking a look, asking me questions, and exchanging life stories. A few YouTubers even stuck their cameras inside (with my full permission), from small channels I’ve never heard of but will now look up, to a couple whose names rang a bell, to Brian from CheapRVLiving. I’ll have to watch and see if I turn up in any of their videos. Talk about coming around full circle — it was this channel that introduced me to van life in the first place!

People seemed to REALLY like this build, from the construction techniques to the layout to the aesthetics (such as they are). It’s my normal, but seeing how much other people like it has given me a new appreciation for what we created here. (Thanks, Trisha. I gave you credit for the design and build where it was due.)

Naturally, Lister was the real star of the show. There were lots of dogs wandering around (all well behaved, on leashes), but cat lovers rejoiced at the sight of Lister. I let him wander around on a shortened tether, long enough to explore a little, but too short to let him into the path of traffic. I don’t think he’s ever gotten so much attention from so many people in his life. He was loving it, all the way until he didn’t! For the first time ever, he actually got tired from all the people and attention. This is how he spent the last hour I was there, just sacked out in his safe space on top of the fridge.

I stuck around until about 3, once again an hour beyond the official times. I didn’t mind. As long as people kept stopping by, I stayed to meet them. It’s why I was there. After things finally slowed down and people started to leave (the unexpected rain had a lot to do with that), so did I. In fact, I realized Lister had the right idea. I was peopled out. I returned to camp, set up my internet once again, and was a hermit in my van the rest of the day. The rain didn’t exactly encourage me to be out and about, which was fine. I caught up on YouTube videos and binged a few more episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which I never got into before but it’s a hole in my nerd knowledge that I’m working on filling — particularly while I have fast and truly unlimited internet.

It was a good time. I’m glad so many people got ideas and enjoyment from my home. I handed out more spam cards (business cards with all my links and social media on them) than I ever have before, which is great. If anyone reading this is here because you followed those links, hello, welcome, and thanks for coming!

Any plans I had to do this at Skooliepalooza this week have been canceled — rather like Skooliepalooza itself. Not long after people started showing up, rangers broke up the party because the organizers never bothered to get permits for the gathering! Crazy. I’m hearing that people are loosely gathering in Ehrenburg instead, but I don’t know that I want to even bother. Besides, Quartzfest is going on just a few miles down the road from me, and I just got into the loop to help with tomorrow’s ham radio license exam session. I think I’ll stick around here and check that out instead.

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