Taking Your RV South Of The Border? Four Things To Know Before You Buy


If you're planning to buy a recreational vehicle (RV) and take it to Mexico, either for a jaunt or to set up your retirement base, there are a few things you should know first. Being armed with information about life south of the border may just influence what kind of RV you purchase and how you outfit it for your journey. Here are four tips to help you when you head to your dealer.

Think about the width of roads and highways.

Mexico is a third world country, and much of the nation is still under-funded when it comes to its highways and byways. Even the border crossing stations aren't always as built up as the traffic demands.

Take a good look at a map of the route you're planning to take, and check out any videos on YouTube or other sources. You may find long sections with narrow, two-lane highways and switchback roads. Think, therefore, about buying a narrower RV with bump-outs instead of a wider unit. The smaller unit will make negotiating serpentine asphalt easier. Also, mirror extenders are a good idea, as is a back-up camera, in case you have to unexpectedly reverse direction or maneuver out of a tight parking spot.

Know that Mexico still has many isolated areas.

Mexico still has many isolated areas with long stretches between civilization. If your RV breaks down, you could be stuck waiting for help and then waiting days for parts to arrive.

Its a wise idea to carry extra parts with you, such as

  • tires
  • tire changing gear
  • fluids
  • lubricants and oils
  • hoses and hose claps
  • belts

It's also a good idea to grab an extra gas can or two, in case you find yourself a long way from a Pemex station, usually the only source of fuel throughout the country.

Prepare for a wide range of weather conditions.

While many people only think of breezy tropical beaches when they picture Mexico, much of the country, from the coast to the mountains, is much colder or much hotter than what you might expect. Make sure your RV is outfitted with the appropriate sources of heating, ventilation, or air conditioning that you need for where you're headed.

Think about elements like insulating window treatments, cross-breeze ventilation, roof fans, and screen doors that can double as storm doors. Also, make sure you have enough storage for two seasons of clothing if necessary.

Don't forget about good old H2O.

Water throughout much of Mexico is a scarcity, and you may wind up paying dearly for it. First, make sure you have adequate storage for both drinking and other water, and give thought to ways you can recycle water from, say, your sink to your toilet. Think twice about things like dishwashers and clothes washers, as it may be more economical to wash your dishes in the sink and take your clothing to a full-service laundromat, a common, affordable luxury in Mexico.

Mexico can be a wonderful place to visit or to spend your golden years. Do your research before you buy an RV, and you'll be set up for the trip of a lifetime.


10 May 2016

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