Eleven times now this year, a community of full-time RVers have converged on a single location to spend a week or so of socializing, group activities and late-night shenanigans. These are the Xscapers – a sub-club within the Escapees RV Club geared towards younger working nomads. We missed the first ten, but after having multiple people we met on the road suggest we get our act together and join the community, we found our way to Redmond, Oregon, just outside of Bend, for one of our best weeks on the road yet. Little known fact: Vicaribus is the first skoolie to join the club.
We had no idea what to expect when we pulled into the Deschutes County Fairground in Redmond on Sunday. Arriving a bit late, it was pretty easy for us to spot the group circled around a large grassy field like a huge wagon train stopping for the night on the Oregon Trail in the olden days. A couple of folks waved us down, gave us the skinny and left us to decide where we wanted to hunker down for the week. We knew a couple of the rigs there and made our way close to Ane and Tommy from The Dog is Driving in one of the last remaining gaps in the circle, and then quickly made our way over to the main tent for a potluck meet and greet.
This group is geared around folks who work from their rigs while full-timing, so nothing is planned in the morning. I took advantage of this on this first morning and knocked out some work before we joined the gang for a hike over to some nearby lava caves. That night we met back up at the tent for a pizza dinner and spent the rest of the night working our way around the circle doing rig tours. With the 45 or so rigs there, there was a little bit of everything, from big ol’ Class A’s too little ol’ Casitas, and everything in between. It was our first time seeing a lot of what is available out there in the RV world. There were a few other self-built custom setups, and even one rig in the process of being renovated during the convergence, but only one skoolie.
Heather made it out in time on the third day to join the dog walk crew while I got some more work done. That afternoon we caught a ride over to Smith Rock State Park with Margot and James for some more group hiking. Most of the geography around Redmond (at least the bits we could see through the smoke from the nearby forest fires) seemed to be relatively flat and featureless, so needless to say, we were a bit surprised and blown away by this fantastic, gorgeous outlier of a park just 20 minutes down the road. We joined the smaller portion of the group that did the steep climb up to the top of the world-renowned climbing cliffs. It was brutal, but the views were solid. After the hike, we all took over a brewery in town and afterward back at the camp the late night shenanigans started to ramp up a bit with a dance party at the tent.
On Wednesday afternoon we joined J.P., the event organizer, in Doug’s FJ for some offroading at a nearby OHV playground. That FJ was damn impressive with what it could do out there but did eventually get stuck for a while. I finally got in some drone flying and caught some sweet footage of the offroading. We got back to camp just in time to offload some of our junk at a yard-sale of sorts and then I got to help run a kickball game due to my years of experience as the captain of Rico’s Roughnecks back in the day. After the game, there was likely some more night-time shenanigans. It’s hard to remember all of the shenanigans because of all of the shenanigans.
Even though the whole crew was going to float the river in Bend on Saturday, we opted to join a smaller crew on Thursday to test the waters, as it were. We planned to get on the river around 2:00 but actually shoved off around 5:00 and it was COLD. Afterward, we met back in town to catch the end of a Nitro Circus motorcycle stunt show at the same brewery as before and then returned to camp for shenanigans. Sense a pattern? At this point, we were starting to really get to know everybody and feel like part of the crew instead of the newbies.
This morning we actually took the bus just across the street to have the fuel pump replaced around 7:30. While the bus was being worked on, Miles and I hung out around camp while Heather went out and about with some folks doing hiking and various other things. That night we all met at the tent for a potluck style taco dinner, which was followed by some karaoke, trivia, and … shenanigans.
This was the day the whole group went to Bend to float the cold river, and it was quite a site to see. It was all good fun though, and then most of the rest of the evening was spent packing up in preparation for leaving the following morning. Most people did the same and then rallied for the last-night shenanigans.
This was the worst day of the convergence because it was the last day. Most of the morning was spent saying goodbyes and whatnot, and we were honestly a bit sad to go. It was the first time since we had hit the road that we spent an extended amount of time in the same place with the same people, all of whom, were awesome. On our way out of town, we stopped back in Bend to visit the world’s last Blockbuster store. I even tried to use my 20-year-old laminated Blockbuster card. It did not work and do not ask why I still have it.
But seriously, the convergence was a well-organized blast, and we made a ton of friends that we hope to meet up with when our journeys cross paths down the road. In fact, we’ve already hung out with other Xscapers since the convergence, including the first night after we left and the last few nights with Amber from Story Chasing. If you are a full-timer who likes good people and shenanigans, an Xscapers convergence is a must. We will absoutely go to more of them, if we are ever in the right place at the right time – or even remotely close to the right place.
More Photos and a Vicariquickie
To see all of the photos from the convergence, just go to the gallery here.
For the video of some of the daytime shenanigans, just hit play on the Vicariquickie below.
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