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Author Topic: Mexican RVing  (Read 13681 times)

leethehund

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Mexican RVing
« on: November 28, 2007, 10:47:02 AM »
First, we are regular vistors to Mexico. I have scanned the forum and could find no reference to what I beleve are the best guidebooks that you'll find on Mexican RV travel. They are "Travelers Guide to Mexican Camping" and Travelers Guide to Camping Mexico's Baja" both by Mike and Terri Church. You can get them through Amazon.Com. They post addenda on the web so they keep them up to date. These books will answer most of the questions that someone going to Mexico might have.
Hope this is useful!

Lee
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Tom

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2007, 10:57:32 AM »
Thanks Lee. Several folks have previously mentioned the Church's books here.

I'd forgotten about them, so your reminder was timely and I just ordered them.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2007, 11:03:53 AM by Tom »
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Wendy

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2007, 03:38:19 PM »
You headed south, Tom?

Wendy
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Tom

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2007, 03:54:15 PM »
Thinking about it Wendy. We're currently trying to juggle the calendar because we have things going on up here before and after the time we were thinking of going South. We really want to make an Algadones run and also would like to do the Puerto Penasco run from there. But I must admit that this message by Frank had me a little concerned :-\
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Wendy

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2007, 04:15:28 PM »
Scary stuff. Maybe you should just run south to , rather than over , the border and make an Algondones day trip.

Wendy
Death Valley NP
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug

Tom

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2007, 04:22:58 PM »
We'll just let Al lead the way with his arsenal  ;D
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leethehund

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2007, 10:41:28 AM »
The post on the other thread said they stayed on the beach 80 miles south of San Diego. That sounds like San Quintin. That area is known to be a no-no! You don't stop there at night. In fact, that's the only place on the Baja that I know of that's considered dangerous. Parking there would be sort of like parking overnight on a street in Oakland! :-\

Lee
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Tom

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2007, 10:48:43 AM »
Thanks for the clarification Lee.

Quote
Parking there would be sort of like parking overnight on a street in Oakland!

Some years ago friends of ours were driving on the freeway past Oakland when their car broke down. They started to walk to get help when along came a CHP cruiser. The officer told them "if you want to get home alive tonight, get back in your car, lock the doors, and wait until I come back for you". They waited 20 minutes and decided to walk again. Along came another CHP officer who told them the exact same thing.
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Ron

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2007, 10:52:30 AM »
They guy that told me about the group of RVers being robbed was one of the folks that had their RV taken. His was a new Dynasty.  He went on to tell of all the problems they had including with the Mexican insurance and their US insurance.  When he was telling the story he indicated their claim had not been settled and that they had recovered the Dynasty in Mexico but it was a real mess.   Never heard what the final outcome was.  I have heard tell of other problems but this one was told by an unwilling participant.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

zukIzzy

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2007, 12:15:43 PM »
Its becoming a bigger problem than the 100$ shake dowm of the past from the local cops. There are some bad guys targeting what looks like american $ to them. When we race we don't stop in certain areas no matter who is trying to pull you over. Most times if you can get to a public area the fake cops will turn and run. I have stopped racing there due to the risk. If you get further south in Baja it returns to old world Baja. some interesting reading in this thread. Don't know if I should post cross treads but here you go.http://rockbuggysupply.com/rbbs/index.php?topic=1048.0

wayne

Tom

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2007, 01:55:41 PM »
Wayne,

Some scary stories there! Haven't yet looked at a map to see where the events took place.
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zukIzzy

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2007, 03:51:52 PM »
Wayne,

Some scary stories there! Haven't yet looked at a map to see where the events took place.

Between the border and Ensinada has been the worst for me. South of the Ensinada toll booth we have been fine except for the truckers who think it is funny to remove your driver mirror with their trailer and every Burro and cow in Baja seems to sleep on the road.

Local Cop shake downs are not uncommon anywhere in fact they are just part of the cost of the trip. A ticket will be unwarranted and the cost is always what you have in your wallet. I carry $ on me but only $40 at a time in my wallet. No knifes longer then 1" are legal in mexico even pocket knifes. If you carry one keep it in your mess kit as a steak knive. Those of you who plan to arm yourselves, please rethink that. The bad guys will be armed better than you, and the good guys will consider you a bad guy. Usually they only want an easy flash bang highway robery with lots of noise and show to scare you. But if you pull, they will shoot you with no hesitation and no property is worth that.


I can only comment on Baja from TJ to Ensinada. I have heard wonderful stories from other parts of mexico but have never been there. I always wanted to stay at Copper Cyn but probly never will.



Wayne

Whiskyecho

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2007, 12:51:59 PM »
Whatever folks like to do is, of course, "OK" - but - I've been to Mexico twice outside of work (perhaps another 100 times work associated).

I got ripped off the 1st time but was talked into giving 'em another chance - big mistake.

What's the old saying?  Fool me once, shame on you - Fool me twice, shame on me.

I won't give that armpit-of-the-world a third swing.....bill

Ron

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2007, 01:20:23 PM »
Folks do what they feel comfortable with and going to Mexico in our RV is not something I feel comfortable with.  Based of experiences of others and a few of my own in Mexico my personal recommendation is to stay North of the Border. 
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Tom

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2007, 01:50:38 PM »
... that armpit-of-the-world ...

I can think of places in MX and the USA I'd describe that way, and many others in both countries I wouldn't. I can also think of places on this and other continents I've been ripped off, but wouldn't assume everyone "there or here" is out to rip me off. OTOH I keep my hand on my wallet  ;)
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Whiskyecho

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2007, 02:25:12 PM »
I can think of places in MX and the USA I'd describe that way..

Absolutely (as with your Oakland post - #7 - I will avoid that place - as I would E St Louis, for instance) but the thread heading is "Mexican RVing" - hence my post as to how I feel about "south of the border" (which seems to be just about how Ron feels about Mexico - as in his post #13).  This thread is riddled with non-flattering posts about Mexico - #s 6, 8 & 9, and then your reference to "message" by Frank, for instance.

I did qualify my post by saying that for those that enjoy being there - good for them - it's just not my cup of tea.....bill

Tom

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2007, 02:34:45 PM »
Hi Bill,

My point was that I personally wouldn't (try not to) use a broad brush to describe the entire country (MX). Just a different perspective from yours, and doesn't mean either one is more correct than the other.

I was quite looking forward to a trip south of the border; I've been by (our) boat, cruise ship and car, but not by RV (or by air). I've heard lots of good reports from folks who've made the trip by RV, but the recent reports caused me to rethink the timing of our trip, at least until I can gather more information.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2007, 02:36:19 PM by Tom »
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Jeff

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2007, 08:43:52 PM »
As I have said many times our caravan to Mexico last year was one of the highlights of our 30 years of RVing. One of the first lessons learned was that all caravans prepare in advance and then cross the border fairly early in the morning to get as far from the border as possible by mid afternoon and never travel after dark.

We crossed the border at Presidio, TX and spent the first night west of Chihuahua. Our last evening was spent in Ensenada and we were back across the border into California by 1:00PM. The other 40 days of our trip were without incident and many of those days we spent traveling in small groups or alone. Most highways were heavily traveled and the only stops were army checkpoints where we were treated very well. Not one of our group was ever pulled over by local police and most of us had toads or pickups to tour with.

A pickup belonging to one of our group was vandalized while parked in a isolated parking lot in Cabo San Lucas and a couple of Pressure Pro transducers were taken off a pickup one night in a campground of almost exclusively gringos in Los Barrilos on the Baja. These were the only incidents on our trip. The residents of Mexico we met outside the large Gringo enclaves of Mazatlan and Cabo were very friendly and helpful.

If you do not feel comfortable with Mexican travel then you should not go but you will miss a beautiful trip. We would probably never go to Mexico alone but were considering another caravan that Terry and Betty will be taking this winter and will probably do it at a later time. We may go with a group of friends in a couple of years on our own but if we do it will be travel on major highways (Route 1 on the Baja or Route 15 down the mainland coast) during daylight hours to campgrounds we have visited or are recommended by friends.

Luca1369

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2008, 08:15:45 PM »
Sanborn Insurance, google them, have some great guidebooks to Mexico, including mile markers and notes on what to do as well as some of the local history of the areas.  Included are maps, and I love these things!  They have several editions that cover nearly all of Mexico.

Steve
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For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.
I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
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A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
Lao Tsu (570-490 BC)

dakegro

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2008, 09:54:08 PM »
I am a Canadian and we just got back from 3 weeks in the Baja
of Mexico
we drove alone down past ensanada stayed at a beautiful full hookup
campground in Vicente Guerrero spent several days in San Qutiene (sp)
we had our 2 teenage daughters with us and never once did we feel in the slightest
worried or afraid. The Police I had morning coffee with at the restaurant were polite and
very friendly in spite of my poorly inadiquate spanish. our last trip was from San Antonio to Monterrey
in January and we didn't have any problems there except for a small hastle with a Texas border patrol
who said the kids had to have passports and then showed us the pamphlet that said birth certificates were ok
and was then too embassesed to say I guess I was wrong so just said well you have to get them for next time
We all can hardly wait to return to Mexico.


JonahNaz

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2008, 04:39:53 PM »
As a new RV owner, I am full of questions but have been trying to read as many old posts as possible before asking repetative questions.  Here is my scenario:

Recently purchased 2003 Class A.  We are going to travel from Iowa to Phoenix for Christmas, myself, wife and 5 kids (16,13,11,9,6).  My wife's parents and one sister live in the area.  Typically we fly out once a year, but will now drive.

My sister-in-law has access to a beach house in Puerta Penasco, MX (also known as Rocky Point).  They go down often, be we have never been there.  The trip is about 200 miles one way and half of that is in Mexico.  The plan is to stay at the beach house.  Supposedly, this is a tourist area and lots of other RV's there.   My wife and sister would like for all of us to go down for a few days.  While this seems simple, reading this thread has me thinking.

The trip 'seems' like it will be uncomplicated and pass through a small border town away from major population areas.  Also, we would travel with at least one and maybe two cars.  Other than checking the specifics of my insurance policy, what should I consider?
JonahNaz

2003 National Dolphin LX 6355, W22 Chassis

Ron

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2008, 04:46:42 PM »
With the current warnings by the state department and the increase in murder by the drug wars in Mexico there is no way I would even consider crossing into Mexico.  I prefer not to gamble with my life.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

mariekie

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2008, 07:31:09 PM »
JonahNaz,

Here is my take on going to Rocky Point.... We live in Tucson AZ and go to RP regularly with our MH. It is easy and SAFE. From Tucson we travel to the Organ Pipe Cactus NP and stay there over night in their beautiful CG - it is dry camping, but for one night who cares?

What is nice about RP is the fact that it is part of the free zone and does not involve decals and all that paperwork.

As far as CG's are concerned, in RP our favorites are The Reef and Playa Bonita. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.

Mariekie

BritChris

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2008, 10:08:55 PM »
The trip 'seems' like it will be uncomplicated and pass through a small border town away from major population areas.  Also, we would travel with at least one and maybe two cars.  Other than checking the specifics of my insurance policy, what should I consider?

I'm sure you are already aware that each vehicle needs separate Mexican insurance so the fewer vehicles you need to take the cheaper.  We've used Sanborn's at least 4 times and have been well pleased with them. 
We drove to Honduras and back twice in a 37 foot Pace Arrow in the late 1990's.  We've also spent one winter many years ago touring in a motorhome in Mexico.   Driving in Mexico isn't difficult at all if you drive during the daytime, pay careful attention to the conditon of the road and look out for rocks on the roads.   We found many folks RVing, particularly in western Mexico.  Once we got south of Acapulco then it became a bit more sparse and isolated.
Yes, you can expect to pay out small sums of money along the way to police.  Accept it as a way of doing business in Mexico and you get used to it.  We both speak Spanish but I usually handled the border crossings as we found it cheaper!  That's a very sexist comment but I suppose it is OK coming from a woman!  Payout amounts are always negotiable, by the way.  You may also have your vehicle searched fairly thoroughly, particularly if it is a hot day and you are using air conditioning. 
We had some repairs done while in Mexico (get your fiberglass boo-boos taken care of there for a fraction of the stateside price) and were well pleased.  Our only significant problem was when we tore up one tire and tried to get a replacement for our spare  before heading south of Acapulco.  Spent four hours at a Goodyear place and they called all over and we could not replace the tire.    Fortunately we didn't need another spare.
We found it was good to park in small towns in the main squares and the local police were quite happy to let us do that and we felt safe.   Because of the motorhome's size everyone knows where you are and who you are.  It does mean you don't need to worry about break-ins as everyone is watching your vehicle. 
I believe you are only driving 100 miles or so in Mexico; that's nothing.  I wouldn't hesitate to do it.  We were greeted warmly, met some great people and had a wonderful time.
Christine
2007 Allegro Bay
1999 Mazda Miata

JonahNaz

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2008, 09:21:35 AM »
Thanks Mariekie and BritChris,

Since we will be going to RP with someone who frequents there and it is so close to the border, I have fewer concerns than if heading south to Cabo or into the interior.  In the past, we have traveled into Central America via airlines.  We took a trip into Nicaragua from Costa Rica.  We went to Lago de Nicaragua and were socked to see all the RV's camped by the shore.  Most were from California and Texas.  I am not sure I am that brave yet.

We do have friends who live near us who were missionaries to Mexico.  She is a native Mexican.  We have talked about driving to her home some summer.  I think I would be more comfortable traveling with them than alone.

What about border crossing?  My wife and I have current passports, but the kid's passports are expired.  Do we need passports or will birth certificates for the kids suffice?

I think my sister-in-law and family always cross at Lukeville.  I would think that the best option would be to fuel before crossing? - Thoughts?

Also, our coach does not have a spare tire.  I asked the dealer where we bought it and they said that most coaches do not come with spares.  As I understand it, this has something to do with liability since the RV tires are more like truck tires and changing a tire is different.

I would appreciate any advice on that as well.  I would be concerned about getting a flat inside of Mexico and being a long ways from help.
JonahNaz

2003 National Dolphin LX 6355, W22 Chassis

BritChris

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2008, 10:07:19 AM »
I'm not sure about the need for child passports.  You'd be best to check the State dept website for that. 
The tire situation isn't really that bad as far as repairing flats as every small town has a tire repair place and Mexicans are extremely resourceful in fixing things and solving problems.  If they don't have a part that you need they will repair the one you have broken.  On the main highways the Green Angels are there to serve you.  I believe that service is free, or certainly it was.   And you see them not infrequently.
Example of resourcefulness which you would not want to experience but was good dinner conversation later - my husband saw a beach that he wanted to get to and he followed a Coca Cola truck which was going to a restaurant on the beach.  We got down almost to the beach and he decided he didn't want to go after all so he made a U-turn.  We stuck in the sand.  From nowhere someone came with a spade and tried to shovel us out.  That didn't work.  Finally we paid some $ and sat back while the Coca Cola truck driver made a tow bar of barbed wire and made traction for the tires with palm branches.  It worked!
Christine
2007 Allegro Bay
1999 Mazda Miata

Marsha/CA

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2008, 11:06:55 AM »
Besure and check the border crossing requirements.  If my memory is correct, you will have to prove that the kids are yours either with passports and/or birth certificates. 

I'm sure this is a hard decision; but I live in central/southern California and Mexican violence has been in our news very often lately.

If you decide to go,  Mariekie's suggestion of staying at Organ Pipe Cactus National Park is a good one.  That is a beautiful park and one of my favorites.  It's a first come/first serve park, so get there on a weekday, preferably early in the week and early in the day in order to get a spot.  The hiking trails are very nice.  It's a beautiful "Sonoran" desert which is very different from other Southwest deserts.

Marsha~
2017 Heartland Mallard IDM231 Travel Trailer....Small but mighty.

ArdraF

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2008, 12:56:18 PM »
I would definitely verify the children's need of passports.  With the number of children who are abducted I strongly suspect that they will be required.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

mariekie

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2008, 01:19:06 PM »
As far as Passports are concerned - I am sure since you and your wife both have current passports, that birth certificates would suffice for the children. These documents are important to get back into the Sates and watch out for the  US Agricultural Inspection getting back into the States. Sometimes they can be real nasty.

Organdpipe NP is about 5 miles from Lukevile. AND to make use of the Free Zone, that is where you should enter into Mexico for RP. From there it is a straight road thru to RP. As soon as you cross into Mexico from Lukeville you will drive thru a very sleepy little town call Sonoyta. Just follow the signs for Puerto Penasco and watch out for the tope's. (This is cheap effective way to control speed!!) Remember the speed signs are in KM. so DRIVE SLOWLY!!!! and watch out for all the stray dogs. Before you know it you are thru town and your next stop will be RP.  

Before I forget,crossing the border into Mexico, proceed slowly and  they most propbably will just wave you thru. If they stop you they will ask you questions in broken English and they are very friendly. Just be friendly back and you will be okay. This has never happened to us and believe me we go there a lot!!

One more thing; driving thru Senoyta, there may be a stopping point for collection or donation for the Mexican Red Cross. This happens infrequently, it is not the rule. Do not be alarmed and there is no requirement to stop. Just pass slowly thru and give a friendly wave. These people are friendly and believe me totally harmless. I think the keyword for traveling anywhere is NOT to be paranoid and expect the best.

Any more questions?? Feel free to ask. other than that go and have a good time and report your experience.

Good luck..........................Marieke

JonahNaz

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Re: Mexican RVing
« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2008, 12:01:41 PM »
According to the US State Department web site and links to the Homeland Security site, as along as my wife and I have Passports and birth certificates for the kids, we are okay. It appears the rules will change June 1, 2009.

It looks like we are planning to go at this time.  We will depart from Phoenix and travel with two car loads of people.  They own property in RP and we will park next to their condo which is south and east of the marina.

We speak a little Spanish and have been able to get around in other parts of Mexico, Costa Rica and Nicaragua so I am not concerned about that. 

Thanks for all the advice.  We will let you know how is goes.

I am actually more concerned about the 1500 miles we have to go just to get to Phoenix than the trip accross the boarder.  Last night my oldest (16) asked how many miles it was and when I told her she said, "Why are we driving?  Can't we just fly?" :'(

D-16 and they are already asking, "Are we there yet?"  At this rate I think I will ask our large animal vet for some horse tranquilizers and wake them when we hit the NM/AZ border. ;D

JonahNaz

2003 National Dolphin LX 6355, W22 Chassis

 

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