words: Troy Sicotte, photos: Gene Pascua
Editor’s note: This article originally ran in the q4_2019 issue of quattro Magazine. If you would like to subscribe to quattro Magazine, join Audi Club here.
- Event: Camp allroad V
- Dates: July 26-28, 2019
- Location: Lake Tahoe, CA
- Organizers: Casey & Kamila Triplett, Rory Keeney
- Sponsors: Thule, AZ Euros, FCP Euro, Mountain Hardwear, Avant Werks, Audi Club North America Golden Gate & Sierra Chapters, 034Motorsport, PHP Specialist, Tire Wear Co, Meguires, Art Fair Global Productions, Forge Motorsport
The Avant body style is arguably the most coveted type in Audi’s modern era, perhaps exceeding the mighty R8 and legendary ur quattro. Though many pine for the forbidden fruit that is a long-roofed S4, RS 4 or RS 6, the allroad holds a special place as it’s satiated US enthusiasts by being the only Avant in this market for years, and also a versatile wagon platform in which to make an Avant of your own. The allroad versions of the C5 A6 and later, B8.5 and B9 A4 allowed drivers to do amazing things with modification ranging from overlanding to use on track with modifications.
Launched in 2014 as an event, Camp allroad began as a Facebook group to celebrate the community that had major love for Audi Avants. It grew rather quickly, to have over 121,000 followers on Instagram. This garnered the attention of Audi of America. In 2015, Audi introduced the B9 A4 allroad at the event, capping it off with an amazing TV commercial shoot of dozens of Audi wagons ascending the 14,000 feet of Pikes Peak.
Now in its fifth year, the team at Camp allroad decided to mix things up and go West. This was the first time it was held on the West Coast and there was no better spot than Lake Tahoe to capture the spirit of the West’s vast mountain ranges, lakes and rivers.
Though announced rather late, there were 80 attendees in 45 cars, of which, about 40% were Camp allroad alumni. These die-hard Audi aficionados travelled from nine different states, including Hawaii.
Holding the event in Lake Tahoe put it in close proximity to two key entities in the allroad world: Avant Werks, a well-known Audi-centric shop in Truckee, CA and Audi Club Sierra Chapter Board Member Rory Keeney. Keeney states, “Since most of the attendees were from out of the area, I wanted to show them what the Sierra region has to offer…especially for driving terrain and scenery. I was able to observe people’s favorite parts so I could integrate them into future ACNA events. We definitely picked up some new Audi Club members in the process.”
Event co-founder, Casey Triplett, stated, “The event schedule was very similar to past years with three full days of never-ending fun and car talk. Rory’s local expertise made the events so much fun!”
Keeping dozens of travelers engaged for three days was no small task, so Keeney leveraged local businesses that had ties to the Audi community.
Day one began with a welcome night hosted at the Hangar Taproom & Bottle Shop, a true Lake Tahoe outdoor venue owned by a fellow Audi enthusiast. Attendees picked up their registration packets containing swag, decals and event tee-shirt.
Come day two, a “quattros & coffee” show and shine event was held at the world famous Heavenly Village ski resort. This was also made possible by a local Audi-owner who manages the complex. The show and shine displayed long-roofs imagined in so many ways, from a stock C5 allroad to a lifted “overland” A4 allroad capable of rock climbing. Perhaps most impressive was not one but three C5 RS 6 Avant with manual transmissions. The C5 RS 6 was never imported into North America and it was never made with a manual transmission anywhere. These three owners, Keeney being one of them, built these amazing conversions based on C5 S6 Avants and utilized donor car drivetrains from American spec RS 6 sedans but with manual 6-speed transmission swaps. It was a sight to behold! It was also great to see visits from several members of Audi Gruppe Silicon Valley who drove up to join the fun at the show and shine.
That night, Avant Werks owner, Drew Sanders, donated his parking lot and facility for an amazing pig-roast dinner followed by a raffle prize giveaway.
In classic Camp allroad fashion, the last day wrapped up with a Sunday morning group drive. Rory Keeny helped plan a route through Northern California’s historic Gold Country to Virginia City with lots of windy roads and incredible views.
We hear there are big plans for Camp allroad 2020, especially now that there are more Audi Avants confirmed for US consumers.
For more information on Camp allroad, check out www.campallroad.com