Originally Posted by datrbone8
My concern wouldn't be the economic conditions of the surrounding area but rather the beating it would take on Mexican roads.
Have you been there recently??!
The main roads and highways in Mexico, especially the toll roads are kept in much better condition than the Highways and Freeways in the U.S.A. to the North.
Neighborhood streets in cities may be bad or not exist at all, (they stil have dirt and gravel streets).
As an Industrial/Mechanical/Manufacturing Engineer working for Fortune 50 companies, Early in my career I setup several maquiladoras in Tijuana, Otay, and Mexicali. Besides that, during my high school and college years contributing to the birth of the Papa's and Beer chain, Hussong cantina's restoration, and the development of the fish taco as a big deal!! I have spent a whole lot of time in the Baja peninsula.
As far as taking RVs into Mexico, it's really up to you. Keep in mind the Tijuana is a border town. The deplorable living conditions, (cardboard and plywood shacks), that you see are mostly inhabited for a very short time by people illegally crossing the border. The people that live in the city long term live in actual homes with running water, indoor plumbing, electricity, swamp coolers or air conditioning, and cable television. They purposely do not
display any signs of wealth or creature comfort on the outside to avoid transient thieves and/or corrupt officials.
As far as a Narco-Traffic minion is concerned a U.S.A. citizen in a Volkswagen bus is just as good for a kidnapping or simple sidewalk extortion as a $1,000,000 Prevost owner. However, the thief may assume that the guy in the Prevost is armed to the teeth and has government connections, or else why would he put himself and family in such a precarious position just by being there.
If you enjoy RV travel into Baja, I really would suggest traveling in a convoy with other like-minded travelers, and ONLY during the daylight hours.
Over 25% of Mexico's citizens are Caucasian of Spanish, Basque, German, Italian, French, Belgian, decent and they still run the country, and control all the wealth. They are wealthy beyond your wildest dreams, (unless of course, you are stinking rich too)!
But they blend in, or will purposely look like American tourists, and you won't know you have encountered them, especially if you are acting like a presumptuous "ugly American". So stay safe!