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Old 01-05-2016, 06:21 AM   #15
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Still not getting a warm & fuzzy about going alone.

To pay $5,000 to tour operator is crazy.

Why can't caravans be put together here on the forum from 2 or 3 crossing points with 6-10 rigs


?
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Old 01-05-2016, 06:55 AM   #16
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Thumbs up Mazatlan

Well now that I am in the park in Mexico maybe I can provide some useful information.
I spent the night before crossing in Green Valley. The is a very large rest area 48 KM north of the border. It was New Years eve and I have a friend who lives in green valley so I parked in the rest area and he came and got me.
When you head south follow the truck crossing to Maricopa. I was there when they opened the gate at 6:00 am. Straight through no problems. There also is a Loves Truck stop just before you turn off I-19 onto the truck route. Gas up. Right now gas is cheaper in US than Mexico.

It is too far to Mazatlan in one day. I had a park located in a small town just of the main Highway 15. I would not advise doing that. Stay on 15. You would be safer to stay in one of the large Pemex truck stops than where I stayed. There are actually several RV parks right on 15 but while the signs are clear, the entrance to the parks is not. It is actually a pretty hard 2 day and I may make more time going back.

The suggestion was I stay on Cuota, toll road. I did and the tolls ran about $80. Many of the toll booths have bathrooms and parking but they can be crowded. Most of the way there is a Pemex station every 5-10 miles. There were two stretches where there were non for 40 - 50 miles but they were marked distance to the next services.

It helped that I new where I was going. There are 5 parks on the north edge of Mazatlan. The one I chose is a narrow (one row of spots on each side of a long deep lot) and the owner does not respond to e-mail or phone. He also just drives in 2 times a day to look around and help. Very laid back. Some of the other residents told me how it works. Just come in, pick a spot and set up. Antonio(owner) will be around in the next few days to collect and give you a gate key. Very laid back. I rented for the month of Jan. $428 us in pesos. Most of the campers are Canadians. Only three out of 40 of us from USA, eh?

Its right on the beach, 100 yards. The campers are a community that comes every year with a little turn over.

As far as safety. Felt safe all along. A lot of federal police all along the route. Went through a few security check points but just rolled through. All the police are very helpful. Just don't break the law. of 800 miles of road, 300 was under construction and other 300 should be. Some bad rough roads but take your time and no problems.

Of the 40 or so here in the park they just laugh about the stories of stealing your home and leaving you. Some of these guys been coming 20 years and call it the "Mexican Myth"

Questions just ask.

Here to stay the winter.

Jeff
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Old 01-05-2016, 08:23 AM   #17
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Jeff, Great write up and advise. I travel to Mexico 6-10 times a year and have had no problems. I will be happy to lead a caravan to Cabo for $1000 per rig. It will pay for my expenses.
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Old 01-05-2016, 10:07 AM   #18
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Getting in to Mexico is hassle free. The problem from what I have heard is being stopped on the highway by what looks like a police car, only to find out that the "officers" are part of criminal gangs, who will take your vehicle and kidnap you to try and get ransom. I plan to go to Mexico in an RV caravan for safety, but would never go alone. Now that you are there, be very careful with whoever you meet up with.
Good story, but really, I don't think any RVer has ever experienced anything like that in Mexico. Maybe in Canada or the US but I doubt it happened in Mexico.

First rule of planning a trip to Mexico. Get your information from RVers who travel in Mexico. The rest is easy. There are things to be aware of and take precautions, there are also huge cultural differences and things are done differently there. Over all though, its not a big deal. Keep an open mind and have fun. Caravans are not a necessity but can be a lot of fun. Although it is somewhat true that english is spoken by some in the tourist industry, get off the tourist track a bit (the good parts) and english pretty much disappears. Not a show stopper, just don't go in with false impressions.

Enjoy.
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Old 01-05-2016, 10:57 AM   #19
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I think the 'fear' stories are from folks who have never traveled in Mexico. They are passed on and embellished. The above link of kidnappings doesn't even apply to RV tourists. As moisheh stated, crime is everywhere. The 'fear' stories also come up in some Alaska posts - fear of roads, animals and being all alone out there - again, stories by people who have never been there.
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:15 AM   #20
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A good recent article

RVing in Mexico
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:35 AM   #21
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You wanted links?

Live to Tell: Kidnap on Highway 1 - CBS News

Good advice here:

https://www.mexicomike.com/living-in...idnapping.html


FWIW, my sister and her husband were robbed by uniformed Federal Cops in Mexico City about 20 years ago. They asked 2 cops on a main street for directions, and were guided into a blind alley where 2 additional cops waited. They were told to hand over their purse and wallet.

Just my opinion, but I refuse to spend my money in a country with the level of corruption that is so common in Mexico and Central America. This is based on first-hand reports of people I know, not some myths.
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:49 AM   #22
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Y'all can live in fear fed by stories from twenty years ago if you like.

I get current info about travel in Mexico from ex-pats that live there and others that travel there annually.

I won't even have to learn Spanish.

See ya!
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Old 01-05-2016, 12:59 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by bluepill View Post
You wanted links?

Live to Tell: Kidnap on Highway 1 - CBS News

Good advice here:

https://www.mexicomike.com/living-in...idnapping.html


FWIW, my sister and her husband were robbed by uniformed Federal Cops in Mexico City about 20 years ago. They asked 2 cops on a main street for directions, and were guided into a blind alley where 2 additional cops waited. They were told to hand over their purse and wallet.

Just my opinion, but I refuse to spend my money in a country with the level of corruption that is so common in Mexico and Central America. This is based on first-hand reports of people I know, not some myths.
Like I said. I recommend you get your information from people who travel there and not from those who have a story about something that may or may not have happened 20 years ago.

We meet lots of people in Europe who think we are nuts to travel in an RV in the USA because of all gun the violence and the fact that almost three percent of the US population is in jail or prison. We tell them its actually a pretty nice place to travel and they should consider renting an RV and try it out. Lots to see and do and nice folks abound. Many just roll their eyes and say "Yah, that'll happen"
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:27 PM   #24
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Acapulco was not "overrun by criminal gangs" when we were there two years ago - there was one incident, and no tourists were harmed. The same with the 'one' surfer who made wild claims about being in a shoot out - other surfers accused him of lying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeRoi2 View Post
Mexico is on the US State Department travel advisory list for crime. In Southern California much fewer Californians go south to once popular beach towns south of Tijuana. Too much crime. Surfers that used to think they were safe camping on the beach in groups were everywhere. Now, no one would even think of camping on the beach. 2 years ago the resort city of Alcapulco was over run by criminal gangs. So many places to visit, why take the chance.
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:36 PM   #25
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Violent crime is up 26% in Southern California this year; a good deal of it gang related. I can't wait to leave Palm Springs later this month for relative safety in Mexico.
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Old 01-06-2016, 12:03 AM   #26
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Violent crime is up 26% in Southern California this year; a good deal of it gang related. I can't wait to leave Palm Springs later this month for relative safety in Mexico.
I admire the adventurous spirit of all you guys Rv'ing in Mexico but I don't see it the way you guys do. Best of luck to all crossing the border. Life is a crap shoot no matter where you travel. Be safe and stay thirsty my friends!
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:37 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by amosnandy View Post
Well now that I am in the park in Mexico maybe I can provide some useful information.l
I spent the night before crossing in Green Valley. The is a very large rest area 48 KM north of the border. It was New Years eve and I have a friend who lives in green valley so I parked in the rest area and he came and got me.
When you head south follow the truck crossing to Maricopa. I was there when they opened the gate at 6:00 am. Straight through no problems. There also is a Loves Truck stop just before you turn off I-19 onto the truck route. Gas up. Right now gas is cheaper in US than Mexico.



It is too far to Mazatlan in one day. I had a park located in a small town just of the main Highway 15. I would not advise doing that. Stay on 15. You would be safer to stay in one of the large Pemex truck stops than where I stayed. There are actually several RV parks right on 15 but while the signs are clear, the entrance to the parks is not. It is actually a pretty hard 2 day and I may make more time going back.

The suggestion was I stay on Cuota, toll road. I did and the tolls ran about $80. Many of the toll booths have bathrooms and parking but they can be crowded. Most of the way there is a Pemex station every 5-10 miles. There were two stretches where there were non for 40 - 50 miles but they were marked distance to the next services.

It helped that I new where I was going. There are 5 parks on the north edge of Mazatlan. The one I chose is a narrow (one row of spots on each side of a long deep lot) and the owner does not respond to e-mail or phone. He also just drives in 2 times a day to look around and help. Very laid back. Some of the other residents told me how it works. Just come in, pick a spot and set up. Antonio(owner) will be around in the next few days to collect and give you a gate key. Very laid back. I rented for the month of Jan. $428 us in pesos. Most of the campers are Canadians. Only three out of 40 of us from USA, eh?

Its right on the beach, 100 yards. The campers are a community that comes every year with a little turn over.

As far as safety. Felt safe all along. A lot of federal police all along the route. Went through a few security check points but just rolled through. All the police are very helpful. Just don't break the law. of 800 miles of road, 300 was under construction and other 300 should be. Some bad rough roads but take your time and no problems.

Of the 40 or so here in the park they just laugh about the stories of stealing your home and leaving you. Some of these guys been coming 20 years and call it the "Mexican Myth"

Questions just ask.

Here to stay the winter.

Jeff
Just wanted to say ATTA BOY!
Not being captivated by fear, thinking for yourself and doing some accual research.

Now your being rewarded with a great rv experience.
Love it!
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Old 01-07-2016, 11:26 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluepill View Post
You wanted links?

Good advice here:

https://www.mexicomike.com/living-in...idnapping.html


FWIW, my sister and her husband were robbed by uniformed Federal Cops in Mexico City about 20 years ago. They asked 2 cops on a main street for directions, and were guided into a blind alley where 2 additional cops waited. They were told to hand over their purse and wallet.

Just my opinion, but I refuse to spend my money in a country with the level of corruption that is so common in Mexico and Central America. This is based on first-hand reports of people I know, not some myths.
According to Mexico Mike, we all should leave the states and move to Mexico for safety - who's buying that?
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