How to Prepare for an Xscapers Convergence

Members jumping for a group photo at an Xscapers Convergence

Hello there! I’m Kelly, an almost ‘Original Gangster (OG)’ Xscaper. I’ve been to many, many an Xscapers Convergence. In fact, I met my first Xscapers group in January of 2016. Escapees RV Club had just launched Xscapers a few months prior.

 

Fast forward five years, and Xscapers now has tens of thousands of members. As the group grew, more Convergences were created, offering opportunities for members to come together with fellow working-age RVers for fun, community, and education. I have been to many of these events and learned quite a few things along the way.

 

Lucky for you (heh), I’m going to share what I know so you can have the best experience possible at your first (or second, or third!) convergence. 

 

Before we start, let me say this: Your first convergence may feel intimidating. Hey, this is MORE THAN understandable. I’d venture to say it’s even more challenging for those who are solo. And I KNOW HOW IT FEELS. Yes, I arrived at my first Quartzsite gathering alone. It was very uncomfortable as I was pretty shy. But, in the end, I had a ball and made new acquaintances and friends! That said, it’s time to share my invaluable tips so you can have an amazing first convergence.

Preparations To Make Before Your Convergence

Some things won’t go so well if you don’t prepare in advance. Here are some essential things for you to do BEFORE you arrive to have the best possible experience.

  • Rest up! It may not need to be said, but this will be a long, tiring week if you do it right! Before you go, get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated, and cut back on things like sugar and alcohol. You don’t want to be too tired to participate in activities.
  • Plan for the weather. Weather can affect your experience, especially if the Convergence is in the mountains. You may have to pack for cold, snow, rain, and sunny 75+ days, depending on the forecast. Don’t get caught wearing the wrong pants!
  • Read the schedule and pack appropriately. Before you leave, re-read the schedule. Some events call for dressing some ‘part.’ For instance, the Salida convergence happens over July 4th. Bring Independence Day decor to wear! Get festive! 
  • Get involved with the Xscapers FB group. Here is another excellent way to introduce yourself to the group and to make connections before the Convergence. Tell the group some things about yourself. Mention the upcoming Convergence, and whether it’s your first time. Ask questions. Reply to other comments. Get involved in the conversation, and you’ll already have some online friends by the time you arrive!
  • Download the Convergence app. Every Convergence has an app to download. Make sure to click on the ‘introduce yourself’ section at the bottom and tell a little about yourself! There, you can also see who else has introduced themselves, helping you learn more about others at the event.
  • Practice dry camping (if you’ve never done it before). Unless you signed up for a power hook-up, you are dry camping at the event. Meaning, be prepared to dry camp. If you have never done so before, it’s a good idea to practice before you arrive. You don’t want your time at the Xscapers Convergence spent realizing, for example, that your solar won’t sustain your battery for a day.

Schyler shows off her grill made from a truck bed at an Xscapers Convergence.

Making RV Friends & Breaking The Ice

The good news is that I (and many other people) made most of my RV friends through Xscapers and at Convergences. I’ve also brought new people into the group. I have A LOT of friends now, more than I have ever had! 

The bad news is that it didn’t happen because of one Convergence. It happened over 5 years of attending convergences and meeting new people at each one.

That said, don’t expect to find your people right away. It took years for me to find the ones that I TRULY feel a connection with. However, you ARE going to meet people! Meet as many as you can and enjoy each one for who they are. Then, as you meet more and more, you’ll realize who you vibe best with, and you’ll keep in touch with them. 

Here are some tips for making the most friends possible at each convergence.

  • Remember, you all have RVing in common! Hey, if you’re like most people, jumping into a group of total strangers is SCARY. Meeting them requires putting yourself out there. And yes, the small risk of rejection is there. Nobody likes rejection. But here’s the deal. EVERYONE attending has RVing in common! Black tanks, levelers, poop chutes- everyone has an RV story to swap, so it’s easy to start there.
  • Highlight what makes you unique. Many Xscapers have things they’re known for, such as skills, sense of humor, willingness to help, fun gadgets they have and share, etc. (All these are true stories and real people!)
  • Schyler has a towable grill made out of a car rear-end. 
  • Dan installs solar and bends over backward for just about anyone. 
  • Kevin brings a portable hot tub. 
  • Romeo brings speakers and strobe lights that rival any dance club.
  • Brandon and Kerensa make Tiki drinks
  • Becky spins Poi- especially cool with lit poi at night
  • I’d dare to say I am known for making sometimes good, sometimes ok Rice Krispy Treats (RKT’s). 

These things are ‘schticks.’ It is something you do or have that others can enjoy in one form or another. The fun thing is that you can pull anything out of your behind that you want to at a Convergence. I encourage you to be yourself and own it! Here are some sneaky ways to rope people in:

  • Do you make excellent margaritas? Make some and put a sign out announcing taste tests! (You’ll have MORE than enough fast friends with this one!)
  • Have a dog that does fabulous tricks? Bring your trainer skills with you and show off their skills out front of your RV.
  • Love to knit? We have others who love to do that as well. Knit outside of your RV in plain view- someone will probably comment if they knit as well.
  • Beer lover? Bring some of your favorite varieties. Share some with your neighbor. Have a table and offer samples.
  • Play guitar/ukulele/whatever? Play it outside. Bring extra chairs and extra instruments if you have them. I GUARANTEE you’ll find the other musicians among us.
  • Got games? Put your cornhole/horseshoe/frisbee (or insert whatever other) game outside where others can see it and start playing. You might get some opponents.
  • If putting yourself out there first is uncomfortable for you, that’s ok! Instead, look for others who share similar interests and use that to start a conversation.
  • Leave your grumpy pants at home. Yeah, this is not the place where Grumpy McGrumpsters will fit in. We like to have fun. Bring your cheery game, expect to have fun and meet new people, and you’ll do just fine!
  • Ask someone for help with an RV-related thing. Whether you need help with a task, or are just curious for others’ experiences, most ‘old school’ Xscapers are more than happy to help newbies (or oldies!) with things. Even if they can’t help, they may have friends to whom they can refer you. 
  • Be yourself. Gosh, I think this is where Xscapers shines. And isn’t this one a relief? Every Xscaper I know, for the most part, is 100% themselves. Since there is no discrimination, ALL are welcome in their form. People love genuine people. The more yourself you are (given you aren’t a jerk, lol), the more likely you are likable.
  • Jump in! When old friends get together, cliques inevitably form. It may seem to you that EVERYONE already knows each other and you’re the only new person. If you see a bonded group, they likely haven’t seen each other in a while and want to catch up. 

Even so, you are NOT the only new person! Don’t believe your lizard brain, which is telling you that you are. There are plenty of other newbies. Find them. Or, walk up to any ‘clique’ you see and introduce yourself (and TELL them you’re new/don’t know anyone yet). They will likely embrace you with open arms, ESPECIALLY if you’re new.

Attendees gather for a photo during Neon Night at an Xscapers Convergence

What To Expect During The Convergence

  • First up, you’ll meet the Convergence host during the welcome intro. The first afternoon or evening of the event, your host (often our Convergence Director, JP, but may also be a volunteer host) will gather everyone up and ‘splain what to expect, how things work, where things are, etc. This will help you get a feel for things, an orientation of sorts.
  • You’ll get lots of social opportunities. Hopefully, this will be true. It’s up to you. Make time for it, but don’t overdo it. You want to last the whole week!
  • “Quiet Hours” are more like “Quiet-er Hours.” With the exception of the Xscapers Annual Bash, the schedule of activities is designed to accommodate those who need to work during business hours. Because of this, a late afternoon happy hour usually kicks off the day’s festivities, leading to late night dance parties, campfire conversations, etc. Though attendees are expected to be respectful, it also isn’t reasonable to expect total silence after 9 or 10pm. Bring earplugs if you’re a light sleeper and bring your indoor voice if you like to hang out late into the night. Noise will happen.
  • Pace yourself. You don’t have to do everything. Just because there’s a scheduled event doesn’t mean you MUST do it. Trying to keep up will wear you out fast. You pick and choose what you want to do, knowing your own limitations. 
  • Discrimination is not tolerated. Xscapers are expected to respect themselves and others. If you have hardcore issues with X or Y or Z- as in you’re discriminative in any way- Xscapers may not be for you. Xscapers has a solid commitment not to tolerate any discriminating among its members. Therefore, leave it at home, or this event is not for you.
  • There will always be rules. Follow them. We all do. It’s not difficult. The rules are designed to keep the event safe, inclusive, and enjoyable. If you purposefully break them, you’ll likely get the boot (after kindly asking you to comply.) If you don’t comply, well, that’s on you.
  • Alcohol will be consumed. Xscapers is not a party group. You may see some events offer “party people parking,” but this is so that those who enjoy late night socializing can camp near each other without disturbing others. That said, alcohol is often consumed and shared. These are new and old friends getting together, catching up, having fun, and celebrating life. Parties break out. Day drinking happens.
  • If you aren’t willing to put in the effort, you may feel left out. I have covered how to make friends in-depth above. Therefore, if you feel left out, you PROBABLY aren’t putting yourself out there enough. I know that may be a tough pill to swallow, but I’d say this is true in most cases.

So if you’re feeling left out, TRY HARDER! I believe that when people get out of their comfort zone is when the best things happen. Most folks likely feel just the same as you do. Why not start the conversation with “I don’t know anyone here, can I hang out with you guys?”. Who’s going to say no to that? Nobody is. You simply have to go for it.

People are what makes the world go around. People are what keep us going. A convergence is nothing without people. There are going to be wonderful, fun-loving, ‘good people’ RVers there for you to meet. Take advantage of this fact, meet them, put on your outgoing face, and you’ll have a fantastic time!

Attendees show off their 80s apparel during 80s night at an Xscapers Convergence

Conclusion

There you have it. My best ‘secrets’ to having a heck of a time at an Xscapers Convergence! 

Expect to come prepared. Expect to meet new people. Expect to have a ball. Not every connection will be a home run, but each person you meet is a potential friend for life or a way to make another connection.

You’ll get out of it what you put into it. Xscapers has done a fantastic job of creating fun, active, bonding gatherings with great activities in a way that no other RV club ever has. It’s a unique group with some fantastic members. I know many of them. And I likely have Xscapers to thank for that. 

Do you want friends, fun, and community, too? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

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How to Prepare for an Xscapers Convergence 1
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Author

Kelly Beasley

Kelly Beasley co-founded CampAddict.com in 2017, an RVing website educating the beginner and beyond. She was a full-time traveling solo RVer for almost 6 years but just bought a house on 4 acres in Arizona. Kelly has been a diehard Xscaper since early 2016. She’s a Rice Krispy Treat maker, animal lover, dance floor queen, explorer, and entrepreneur. Boondocking is her game and she still RVs about half the year (mostly to go to convergences!).

2 Responses to “How to Prepare for an Xscapers Convergence

  • just got my rv about 6 mos. ago and am a little intimidated to jump in with both feet at a convergence,,, any other older than dirt folks go to these?

    • Hi Suzi!
      RVers of all generations are welcome at Convergences! Keep in mind that the activity schedule is organized around the needs of working RVers, which means there aren’t many things planned during the day on weekdays (or as many fellow attendees to join you if you do something on the fly).
      If the types of activities interest you, but you want more of them during the day, you may enjoy an Escapees Hangout, instead. https://www.escapees.com/community/hangouts/

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