border camping

The increasing sophistication of Recreation vehicles has made living full time in a mobile vehicle a viable option for hundreds of thousands of residents. Equipped with self contained water, sewer storage, solar panels, and satellite communications, todays RVs can function completely off the grid, with only occasional treks for refilling the water tank, food supplies and sewer disposal.

Attracted by proximity to cheap pharmacies, clothing and dental service the full time Rvers flock to the Arizona desert where they can live without the burdern of a fixed site or property taxes. These full time Rvers have redefined the ideas of communities, creating instant cities in remote corners of the American desert, transforming our understandings of cites as defined by historical methods.

The border between Mexico and Arizona has become a magnet for the full time Rv’er where thousands of raw acres of federal lands have been converted into parks called Long Term Visitor Areas (LTVA). For around $1 a day campers can purchase a LTVA visitors permit and camp for 14 days in a 28-day period. There are no hook-ups or electricity in the parks but there is generally a water outlet and sewer disposal located at various points. This minimal infrastructure is all that is required for the creation of self evolving cities of several hundred thousand residents. These images capture some of the RV homesteads in southern Arizona.