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Old 05-09-2012, 10:29 PM   #15
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In 2010 we went to Rosarito for about 6 weeks, drove there from Central Coast California, we rented a condo just south of Rosarito(prior to owning a MH)so I can't tell you how it would be in a MH.

We had a great time and never felt unsafe. We drove to Ensenada 3 or 4 times, even drove at night. Do stay on the toll road, it's not that costly and it's a much better road. Once you cross the border you go right to the coast so you kinda skirt TJ.

The military check points are a little intimidating at first but I believe they are only on the south bound side. Be prepared for a search at every check point due to the MH, we were never search in our SUV.

Fuel is less expensive, remember to tip the attendant and they are all government owned so the price should be the same at each station.

Anything imported from the US is expensive due to duty. Take your own coffee & creamer as it's more there. Try to take your own paper products. Grocery shopping is challenging at first, converting dollars to pesos, pounds to kilos, just give up a buy what you want and/or need the large stores usually accept dollars or pesos. The fruits and veggies are great, larges mango's I've ever seen. Stop on the road side for fresh made taco's everywhere less than a buck a pc. There's even a Costco in Ensenada.
I can't wait to go back.

Mike, Lora and Bebe
05 Safari Simba 37 PCT, WorkHorse W22, Koni FSD, CrossFire, Rear Trak-Bar, SG2
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:56 PM   #16
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Baja is not on my bucket list, in fact none of Mexico is till they get done with the drug war.

2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:50 AM   #17
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I really have to thank everyone for their input. I'm not sure why there would be such a high incidence of flat tires, but for sure, if I get a flat, I can't change it. I'm dis led, and even if I wasn't, I wouldn't be changing a tire on a 40 ft DP. I can usually fix things, but any mechanical repairs would have to be left to a qualified repair person.

Spool, it sounds like I wont be fling my MH to the peninsula, but I think next year, I will definitely park around Yuma or somewhere in San Diego, and make a trip in the toad for a week or two. We love the keys, and this sounds like it would be something with a little local flavor. Thanks again for all the website info also. If anyone does take a trip there in the future please share your experiences.
40 FT--330HP CAT
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:11 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
Baja is not on my bucket list, in fact none of Mexico is till they get done with the drug war.
And that won't happen till our DEA guys can manage to stamp out US demand and put ALL the illegal drug users in the USA in jail. I'm sure they're making progress. Another 100 years and they'll have it.

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Old 05-10-2012, 10:04 AM   #19
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Location: Auburn, CA, Havasu, AZ & Mulege, BCS
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Just back from Baja on Tuesday.
No reason to let CNN scare you out of Baja; like most stuff in the news, crime in Mexico is painted sensationally and the reality is entirely different than what newsies portray for the sake of ratings. Drug trafficking centers are bad news, but there isn't any reason to stay in Tijuana or Juarez.
I go 4 times a year to the Mulege area, we take the coach once or twice most years. Safety south of Tijuana is way better than in San Diego. First time unless you have some grasp of Espanol, go w/at least one other RV'er who has been before. Vagabundos del Mar cited above (Vags for those in the know) has a great starter caravan that hits Cabo, also a month long trek that takes its time and goes slow to take in the sights, sounds & drama of Baja.
Here are my rules of the road:
1) we usually travel alone, but when convenient we tag along w/one or more others. Never had an issue that we didn't start ourselves (oops, did I say that out loud?).
2) Don't travel at night, cows & burrows on the road along w/the occasional vampire. You wouldn't travel at night in east L.A., right? So don't try it in a foreign country where, regardless of what type of issue might ensue, you would struggle.
3) Travel using ordinary common sense. Don't try to go too far on any one travel day, you can do Baja easily at less than ~300 miles/day. No reason to tire yourself out, or tax the schedule. Stop & smell the rosas.
4) I carry one unmounted spare, and make sure my front tires are in excellent shape. Blowout on the front is trouble no matter what country you are in. You may be as much as an hour from tire service at some points, so carry half a dozen collapsible cones & flares. If you have a flat, you will need one person to hop in the toad & go get a "llantera" to assist w/changing the flat; these guys are everywhere and way happy for the business. I carry a torque multiplier & the 1/2" ratcheting torque wrench to run it for removal & installation of 500ft-lb lug nuts (I don't want the TLAR* method used on my wheels). I wrap the spare in shrink wrap & tie it down on the roof; some carry on in the basement or on a carrier behind the rig. Then enjoy the drive, the scenery is fabulous.
5) The road has been continuously improved over the years. There are now only a few fairly short stretches of really bad pavement, and surprisingly long stretches of wide road where there is no issue on mirrors and trucks. There are some narrow stretches, and this is the single issue w/Baja travel. If you don't feel completely comfortable driving you rig in the States, you may feel unsafe in the narrow stretches. You have to slow down & drive at a speed you feel comfortable in the narrows, and slow way down when a truck is passing you or coming head on; Mexican truckers are experienced driving their highway and they do the same. They are also remarkably courteous. I pass most loaded trucks, but there are a few who pass me. I have to be ready to slow down to allow good safety factor. Only problem I ever encountered driving was a dumb a$$ gringo who couldn't control his 5th wheel, wasn't paying attention when I signaled to pass him, and he nicked my RH mirror. I pulled over, straightened out the mirror, and we were on our way.
6) Take your sense of humor & sense of adventure, same as traveling anywhere else. Take in some folk dance, a pig roast, whale watching in season (some of the best in all the world), sport fishing if you desire, maybe even golf. Learn to habla, there are some great audio programs you can run while driving, and you will easily double your enjoyment of the experience. And you'll really catapult your fun meter forward when you experience the natural indigenous hospitality. Take a walk in the a.m. for exercise and say "Hola, buenos dias," to the passers by or, "hola, buenas tardes," in the afternoon.
7) Military check points are a hoot. Several times the 'inspectors' have been kids doing their weekend service, and they are in wide eyed wonder of RV's. One kid sat slooowly down in the recliner, hands clasped behind his head, and told his buddy, "Mira!" (Look here). He was having fun being a big shot. Another time, a regular enlisted guy came aboard, opened the fridge, pulled out a cold Dos XX, and said, "para mi?" (For me?). I said sure, and he chugged in to two swigs, put the cap back on, and put the empty back in the fridge; inspection over. We laughed all the way back to Tecate.
8) I recommend for RVs crossing both ways at Tecate or Mexicali, not Tijuana, due to the narrow maneuvering at the crossing (Mexicali is the best, Tijuana if you get pulled into secondary is the worst; I can do it in my 37' DP but its a pain. Tecate coming back is a snap.
9) fuel is mostly a non problem these days. however, occasionally there will be a few days when Pemex screws up (might be on purpose) and there is no gas or no diesel (usually one or the other). Vags get reports on road conditions constantly, so join for the $35 annual fee, and call before you get ready to cross. I've only seen travelers pulling up short one time in last dozen years waiting for fuel, but it has happened. Stay tuned in, and you'll know and be able to adjust your schedule and avoid the hassle.
9) Keep some flexibility in your schedule. Stuff happens. Who knows, you may need to lay over a day to nurse a hangover after a fiesta. Its been known to happen. Nothing like that happens in the States, right?

* TLAR- That Looks About Right
Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:49 AM   #20
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If you stay in Yuma, Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco), is not too far. It's on the mainland side of the Sea of Cortez though. The road down there is really nice, you go through Lukeville, AZ to get there. You can camp right on the beach (boondock) for 5 bucks a night or stay in one of the many RV parks there. I go often and have never had a problem!

Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes! C. Jung
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