Camp RZR has evolved over the past decade, becoming a hub for fans devoted to embracing OHV recreation. We attended this year to see what it’s all about.
Camp RZR is an annual event organized by Polaris at the Glamis California Sand Dunes. For the uninitiated like me, I learned that this tentpole event attracts thousands of UTV riders, families, friends, and anyone who takes pleasure in shredding sand on two or four wheels.
The weekend affair, running Oct. 28-29 this year, marks the unofficial opening of the season — right on time for desert temps to fall to a comfortable range.
Putting on a full-scale event in the middle of the desert requires a substantial amount of resources and staffing. Nevertheless, Polaris views Camp RZR as a way to give back to the Powersports-dedicated community and those who have supported them.
As a token of appreciation, there’s no charge for entrance, free chilled water, access to demo rides, kids’ activities, nightly concerts, and prize giveaways. Registered guests also get free swag.
Glorious Glamis Sand Dunes
The Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area is considered one of the largest off-highway vehicle locations in the U.S. Glamis Dunes, where the event takes place, stretches over 150,000 acres.
The sheer size of Glamis makes it a dream sandbox for UTV riders. Moreover, the constantly shifting winds of the Imperial Valley build beautiful slopes and bowls for every skill level.
Vendor Village: Activities, Food, Gear, Kids’ Zone
The big weekend of Camp RZR includes activities and entertainment that caters to families and enthusiasts of all ages. Within the Vendor Village, a huge stage is erected for the evening’s concerts by Face to Face and Pennywise. In between sessioning the dunes, there is a central area to recharge, rehydrate, purchase lunch, and scope out some of the ATV and UTV gear and aftermarket add-ons.
The final night caps off with a dazzling fireworks show.
The little ones have a dedicated Kid Zone where they can motor around a mini course, ride the Ferris wheel, or hound mom and dad for ice cream. Tweens can gear up and get a hands-on introduction to driving a UTV years before they get their driver’s license.
Polaris has a demo program to sign up for to test drive an RZR and learn about Ride Command, Polaris’ GPS-based route planning app.
Service With a Smile
A few mechanical failures will happen because of the number of machines roaming the desert. The law of statistics and the naked brutality of the desert can’t be ignored and will strike a toll on hardware.
Polaris set up eight service bays, complete with complimentary parts and service, dedicated to getting RZRs, old and new, back out onto the dunes. It’s not uncommon for the repair crews to service 400-500 UTVs over the weekend.
AAA roadside service doesn’t cover you if something breaks in the desert. Polaris sends a field service team to roam the dunes and assist with minor breakdowns, like replacing a broken belt.
Celebrity Sightings: Casey Currie, Diesel Brothers, Tanner Foust
A few celebrities said they love the sport so much they’d come out for Camp RZR even if they weren’t brand ambassadors. Casey Curry digs the family aspect and sets aside time between his busy race schedule to trek out to Glamis Sand Dunes with his father, brother, and a gaggle of family and friends.
The Diesel Brothers, Heavy D and Diesel Dave, were onsite showing off and field-testing their latest custom build.
World-class rally racer Tanner Foust, a seasoned and accomplished veteran of WRC, took out an RZR Pro R for his first outing on the dunes.
Oldsmobile Hill: The Wild West at Its Wildest
One of the biggest spectacles of the weekend for me was night riding at Oldsmobile Hill, a giant dune located in the center of Glamis Sand Dunes. After sunset, thousands of duners descend on Oldsmobile Hill with their buggies, sand rails, quads, bikes, and trucks.
The incredible number of off-roaders light up the night with multicolored LED lights, neon whips, and fireworks. People gathered to hang out and watch everyone race up and down the hill. I didn’t want to miss it and was grateful for the opportunity to have experienced this spot in full technicolor.
That’s a Wrap: Camp RZR 2022
The OHV community attracts people from all walks of life but shares a common love for the sport and recreation that revolves around activity. It’s nice to see Polaris back this year after the forced hiatus caused by the pandemic.
The support and love that goes into Camp RZR are evident everywhere — not only for their customers but also for everyone who truly enjoys riding. Hopefully, we’ll see you in the dunes next year!