The best kept RV secret is Mexico. The country contains about 450 Campgrounds suitable for RV’s, many up to US/Canada standards, with full hookups, Wi-Fi & poolsÂ The vast majority of RV visitors are Canadian rather than American. The US government & media have done a very good job of scaring people. The fact of the matter is that nearly all violence in Mexico is targeted, and RV’ers are really under very little more threat than they are in the US or Canada. In fact I know of no RV’er ever murdered in Mexico. Your chance of being a victim of property crime is, of course, a bit higher. If you stick to the toll highways which are up to US interstate standards, avoid travel at night, and Boondocking, you will probably wonder why you never took your RV down there before.
For those who are understandably nervous, the best option is to travel with others the first time. There are a few options for that, an organized caravan, a caravan organized by an RV Park (try Googling La Penita or Celestino Resort), or a matching service like www.mexicotravelbuddies.com . You will need to purchase the “Mexico Camping” book by Mike & Terri Church and a good Mexico road map. I recommend Guia Roji. Garmin’s North American maps now include Mexico and they are quite good.
Your North American insurance is not valid in Mexico and you will need to purchase Mexican insurance. Be prepared to pay about $100 for each $10,000 insured. Some insurance companies will rebate you for the time spent in Mexico or you can consider cancelling your normal insurance for the time you are there. Unless you are only traveling in Baja or northern Sonora you will also require a vehicle permit. This is usually obtained at an immigration control point south of the border and the process can be a bit daunting the first time. Try www.mexicorvforums.com/border.html for a full description of the process.
RV parts are scarce in Mexico & I recommend carrying at least an extra sewer hose, a $40 water pump and most importantly a power protection device. These can obtained at Camping world. Mexican power can be unreliable and your electronics (Like your fridge board) can be at risk as a result unless you have protection.
I have now spent 4 seasons in Mexico & I love it. It has spoilt me for snowbirding anywhere in the US SW.
Paul Beddows is a writer & past president of the North American Truck Camper Owners Association (NATCOA).