What Is The Best Skoolie Meetup Event?
Skoolie meetup events are like a combination of family reunion, Woodstock, and camping. We have been to several over the last few years and look forward to each event.
We started out going to the United Tiny House Festival in Florida when we were just starting to think about going tiny. After that event, we were hooked and knew we wanted a skoolie.
Since then we have been involved in Tiny House Expos, swarms, and other social gatherings all across the country.
Each one is different and unique in its own rights.
We have not been to all of the events we want to experience and be a part of, but we will eventually make them all we are sure of.
What Is A Skoolie Festival?
A skoolie festival is simply a gathering of nomads in one location. It doesn’t really matter if you are living and traveling in a skoolie, van, RV, Coach, SUV, or any other type of tiny house conversion for nomadic living.
All are welcome and the diversity is what makes these gatherings so special. People from all walks of life and backgrounds merge and gather because of their one main commonality.
Nomadic living and adventures are what pull us together from all four corners of the country.
In fact, at the last skoolie gathering we attended, Skoolie Swarm 2022, there were people from at least five different countries. This is a very special community of people.
Each skoolie event is unique with its own energy, personality, and people. Some are not for all, but all of them have something to offer everyone.
Let’s take a look at a few of the skoolie meet-ups around the country we are familiar with. There are many more worthy of mentioning, but for time's sake, we will only review a few of them.
Where is Skooliepalooza?
Skooliepalooza is likely the most popular and the more iconic original skoolie or nomadic gathering in the United States.
It’s an annual event held somewhere in the Arizona desert each year sometime around January or February. The first skooliepalooza was held in 2017 in the Arizona desert of Quartzite.
For the first time in five years, the organizers of Skoolipalooza changed the venue from just outside of Quartzite, Arizona to just over the border in Big River, California.
Well, California is much different than Arizona and authorities quickly shut it down due to a lack of having an event permit.
The event relocated back to a location near Quartzite. A caravan of skoolies, vans, box trucks, RVs, and other vehicles 500 strong made their way back to Arizona to finish out the event.
Skooliepalooza is said to be a little less family-friendly and more of a laid-back, free-flow adult-themed skoolie gathering.
All the same, it is an experience every nomad should experience at least once.
Where Is The Skoolie U.P. Event?
The Skoolie UP is a skoolie meetup held annually in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The first annual event was held in August 2021 and was a huge success!
The event is held in a campground right off of Michigan Lake. Plenty of room for rigs with generators separated from solar-powered rigs. Full hook-up sites are also available. It has water as well as a dump station.
Skoolie UP skoolie meetup is a family-friendly event and is well organized by Jennifer and Frank Walenski.
We had so much fun at this event and made some new lifelong friends!
We are already signed up and registered for the 2nd Annual Skoolie UP coming up in August. If you are looking to attend a great skoolie meetup, this is the one you want to go to!
What Is The Vanlife Pride Meetup?
Vanlife Pride meetup is not just for vans and it is not just for the LGBTQ community. It is primarily for the LGBTQ community, but if you are chill and accepting of all lifestyles, choices, and identities, then you are welcome.
This is a very laid-back and fun gathering for LGBTQ nomads and like-minded people.
The first annual LGBTQ vanlife and skoolie meetup was held in January 2022 near Quartzite, Arizona. This is a no-cost event and informal gathering.
If you are LGBTQ and open to those choices, you should join this group for a fun and laid-back three nights of off-grid dispersed camping.
What is Black Nomads Hang Out?
Black Nomads Hang Out is a community event for nomadic people of color. Yes, we all have color, but this event is specifically for the black community and black nomads.
Black Nomads was founded and created in 2019 by Kadedra. Black Nomads has several events throughout the year. This is a great skoolie meetup for black nomads.
What Is The Skoolie Swarm?
The Skoolie Swarm is the lovechild of Travis and Michelle Mattson. Starting in 2018, this is an annual event held in North/Central Florida sometime during February.
The last two Skoolie Swarm meetups have been held at the Trinity Christian Camp & Resort in Melrose, Florida.
The group's motto is “Widen the Circle”. It is full of diversity and many walks of life. The event is full of family-friendly activities such as kids v adults kickball, pie-eating contests, potlucks, and bonfires throughout the week and campground.
There are Christian evangelical services held on Sunday mornings and all potlucks are began with a Christian prayer.
This event has grown to almost 300 nomadic vehicles since its first small skoolie meet-up five years ago.
Where Is the United Tiny House Festival?
The United Tiny House Festival is an expo of sorts started by John and Finn Kernohan. They have put on hundreds of events since they created the United Tiny House in 2015.
They are a non-profit with proceeds from their events going to local charities. To date, they have donated over $715 thousand dollars.
This is not a skoolie meetup per se, but it has become an annual event for skoolie nomads to gather, meet, socialize, and showcase their tiny house on wheels.
What Is A Vanlife Meetup?
A vanlife meetup is the same thing as a skoolie meetup. While skoolie nomads consider van lifers a part of the community, most van lifers do not consider skoolie life a part of their community.
The vanlife community tends to be a tad bit exclusive. Not all of them mind you, but the overall consensus of vanlifers is they are their own brand and do not consider skoolies a part of their brand.
There are tons of vanlife meetups around the country throughout the year. You can check out our Nomadic Events Calendar here and see if there is an event near you.
Wrap Up To What Is the Best Skoolie Meetup Event?
The best skoolie meetup event is the next event or next event closest to you. They are all great events! You are likely to run into many of the same people at all of the events.
If you are an introvert or an extrovert, it doesn’t matter. Get out and get involved in this amazing skoolie nomad community. You are likely to meet some of your newest best friends out there.
We are so glad we have become involved and allowed ourselves to become a part of this community.
At the next skoolie meetup, we would love to meet and connect with you!