<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> First Time RVer Travels to Mexico
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The Top Five Most Common Mistakes Of Newbies RVing Mexico

by David Eidell (04/05)

Hi Tom,
Perhaps this article should go at the "Top Of The List" of the mini-series. It seems as though for one reason or another very important details get diluted when inserted into general information.

Point One

Overachievers. I have met far too many exhausted RVers, trying to recover from too many pyramids, cathedrals, and margaritas in too few days. A fully-packed first trip of say twenty days (in Mexico) duration on the West Coast would take in such destinations as San Carlos, A Copper Canyon train excursion and several days in Mazatlan. Twenty days inland would include the colonial cities of Zacatecas, Morelia and Patzcuaro. A good rule of thumb for measuring driver exertion would be to state that six hours of driving in Mexico is equivalent to ten hours of driving on US Interstate highways.
Point Two

Overload And Over packed I know when I encounter a seasoned RVer --- their wardrobe would fit inside a waste basket size plastic liner sack. Ten pound sacks of flapjack mix, and case loads of canned foods are like hauling a spare anvil, or rock collection --- they invite dangerous and costly tire blowouts and fuel mileage figures that would make a Saudi Prince green with envy, Buried calculators, translation dictionaries, and tire pressure gauges make living and traveling a lot more frustrating.
Point Three

Forget About Using Your Roof Air. Around ninety-nine percent of RV facilities forbid the use of an air conditioner --- popular campgrounds that fill up can barely support the use of your electrical converter, low voltages frequently force refrigerator temperatures to drift up to health hazard levels, and your neighbors can get quite cranky if they find you using your air conditioner when they are obeying park rules. Blame it all on too small a transformer to power the park, and electrical wiring that is far too small to support energy hungry RVs.
Point Four

Bring three or four small table top 120 volt vans. Not only are they invaluable in warm and humid conditions, fans also serve to keep pesky mosquitoes at bay. The absence of a fan is by far the biggest lament that RVers make once they start camping in Mexican RV parks.
Point Five

Don't start comparing, and try not to be judgmental after you first cross the border. Mexico isn't the USA, which itself is not Tibet or even Canada. One of the more amazing and sad sights in Mexico is to people-watch alongside a mostly deserted rural highway and see RV after RV pass by with the front seat occupant's eyeballs glued straight ahead. Now I'm not talking about paying attention to the road, but a physical condition like what happens to a mule when you put "Blinders" on. This is sort of a "Destination Only" mentality in which a traveler thoroughly believes that the only sights worth noting are those in guide books and magazine articles. These unfortunates believe that the only place that is safe to stop at is a "recommended" RV park, and anything in-between "Isn't really real". One of the most pleasant milestones that will eventually occur to a newbie is to have the fortune to land somewhere in the midst of really seasoned travele! rs. The ensuing camaraderie, and encouragements to do something unforeseen and "daring" will really help to break the ice for the new traveler. And it just so happens that the further south you go and more off the beaten "Gringo Trail" you wander, the more likely it will be that you would encounter more enthusiastic seasoned RVers.


And so, now I shall return "home" to a community of barely a hundred souls --- none of whom speak or understand "ingles". I am their resident "gringo" --- an odd fellow no doubt who much prefers the roar of ocean waves to the roar of accordions and squeal of trumpets on the radio. Yes I realize that Mexicans fully believe that people who prefer quiet are either sick or dead, and that bread should be sweet and everything else hotter than the hinges of Hades. I mean who else but a gringo would like corn on the cob without mayonnaise, limon, and chile powder?