Robert Pearson
Full time in a 31' RV.

The first time I arrived at the LoW compound at Slab City was November 2, 2012. I was racing the clock from San Bernardo not wanting to arrive after sunset. I figured, correctly, that there would be no lights there to guide me. With help from the manager of my Seattle condo building and Google Maps I found the camp just about 10 minutes after sunset. I parked near the Alien Crash Site. I asked a passerby if it was OK to park there and he said I could park anywhere I wanted.


Next day I got up at sunrise and went to my first morning coffee at the fire pit. At the morning fire I said if anyone was driving into town I'd like to ride along. Some folks have cars and I didn't want to fire up the 24 foot RV if I could catch a ride. Ann, our Slabs LOW chapter president, said I could ride with her.  When I got to her 33 foot class A RV I realized she didn't have a car either.  We drove in in her RV.  Made me feel kind of silly but she was going anyway and it was my first ride in a class A RV.

Later I got more comfortable driving my RV though it's still not like driving my Subaru.


If you are a Slab City regular you probably have a regular spot. Even though nobody owns the land there’s a Slab City etiquette that says you keep your spot unless you fail to show up two years in a row. Markers also help.

Some locals stay year round. We leave them alone.


Some areas are abandoned for years becoming ghost camp sites. There is no trash removal at the Slabs except what we do ourselves.


When there’s an RV fire the fire department comes out from Niland but it’s a matter of containment. They never actually save the RV.


The LOW area is pretty clean because we pay a yearly fee to the county allowing us to haul trash to the Niland dump.


The Library was created some years ago and still exists with intermittent maintenance. The pages of most of the books have been effected by the changing weather over the years.


The self contained RV

Dry camping or boondocking means your RV is not hooked up to a source of water or electricity. Of course occasionally you must go somewhere to dump your waste water and pick up more fresh water and propane. And you need a way to keep your batteries charged which means a generator and/or solar power. With solar you can run everything but your air conditioner and microwave.


The Sun Works owned by Solar Mike is located in Slab City. Mike has been installing solar panels on RVs for many years. I had him install a 315 watt solar panel on my RV. It automatically charges the house batteries. I never have to think about my batteries. Even on heavily overcast days I’m charged up by early afternoon.

Slab City may look pretty ugly and inhospitable and during a 95 degree day it can be, especially if you don't like the desert. Evening, night and morning are much better. At night you can sit outside and see the sky as you never could in a city. I don't remember the last time I saw the Milky Way.

Often the loudest sound is a distant dog barking or a train whistle. A main freight line runs near Niland.

The other attraction is the rather large and complex off the grid subculture here which includes restaurants, nightclubs and all sorts of services like water tank setup and delivery.

But the main attraction for me was the Loners on Wheels camp. This winter village has a TV room, kitchen, game room and library all solar and propane. Some LoWs have been full time for years, even decades. Makes for a nice safe community.

At Thanksgiving and Christmas we have 50 to 60 people and that’s down from previous years.

In 2015 several of us moved over to another group called the Travelin Pals which was created by ex LoWs. It turned out to be a much more mellow and relaxed group.


For more on Slab City go to Slab City B or Niland, CA.