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 > Central America trip

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Tripalot

Golden Horseshoe, Ont. Canada

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Posted: 01/06/20 05:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't forget to check into vehicle insurance. You will probably need separate insurance for each country you travel in. We did a trip through Mexico, Guatemala and Belize and the insurance added up just for those 3 countries.


2014 Triple E Regency GT24MB (Murphy Bed) with all the good stuff
towing a 2016 Jeep Cherokee TrailHawk
Berkley, the amazing camping cat missed dearly (1996-2012)

moisheh

North America

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Posted: 01/07/20 06:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Coachman is not one the better units. I think it is made by Forest River. Just another slapped together unite. There are a few mfrs. That produce quality
Join one the class c forums for more info. Stsy away from the well known names. They are toothpicks on wheels. Bad roads will destroy the cheap units. Be prepared to pay for quality. Have a great trip!!

navegator

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Posted: 01/07/20 11:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a Coachmen the one with the Dalmatian dog on the logo from 2001 and it is as good as new, the last post is advice for Coachman a different RV all together.

I will recommend taking a small car behind the RV, do not use a big SUV or a Jeep or a pickup truck more like a Kia that can be towed 4 down, this will come in handy since driving in a big RV into some of the old colonial towns and cities will be impossible, Guanajuato is one example another good item to have is a tote to empty the waste tanks, specially in countries further South.

Make a loose itinerary in order to be able to visit some of the museums and archeological sites, the ground floor of the museum of Anthropology in Mexico City takes about one day to see everything, the little one will not want to see it all, the car will come in handy when you have to go shopping or in an emergency and it allows you to be flexible with time spent visiting, as an example you are in Oaxaca and decide to visit the archeological site of Monte Alban, you take the tour bus up the mountain and one of you has a mild bout of Moctezumas revenge, with the car you can go back to the RV and not have to suffer waiting for the tour bus to go down to the city and then take a taxi, in the long run paying for taxis will be expensive.

Do not skimp on insurance for the RV, yes all you need is liability but that will not cover any medical issue that you might encounter, whether it is in Mexico or further South.

Travel advice, DO NOT travel at night in any country plan your routes so that you start in the morning and are at a camp ground by about 16:30 or later, that will give the small ones some time to play, and remember that you need to go slower than what you are used to in the States a good speed for roads is between 55mph and 60 mph anything higher is not advisable, and you have to look out for the famous "TOPES" (speed bumps) a favorite of the gringos, all towns have them and many are not marked at all, when coming upon a town slow down to about 25mph if possible, and get a game going with the kids, "TOPE LOOKOUT"

The experience for the kids will be invaluable, it will open their mind to other cultures an people, they probable will learn not only Spanish but maybe a native language, you never know.

When out and about do not let the kids walk bare foot there are some deceases and mushrooms that can be picked up by the bare feet.

Otherwise have a good trip, buen viaje caminantes.

navegator

enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 01/07/20 12:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Going to Central American can be easy or tough. Some areas are very tough and you must be watchful of surroundings. There is much to see. I would make sure you have some sort of communications device and let people know where you are. GPS that has maps for area would be beneficial.
Had issues aroung Chulateca, not much from locals but transientes.
Having been on many of the roads, my biggest concern of an RV is the tires and suspension. Better tire with stronger sidewalls will be of help as there is many potholes in the paved area, especially in the Guatamala, Honduras and San Salvador area.
You may want to invest in upgraded shocks forsame reason.


Bud
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Talleyho69

Playa la Ropa, Zihuatanejo, Mexico

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Posted: 01/07/20 12:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very valid comments. Our Class C was constantly breaking springs, so we had it hem completely rebuilt in the US with a "forever" guarantee. Nope. The spring guys in Mexico are everywhere, extremely knowledgeable and very inexpensive.

Tires? Absolutely get as heavy duty as you can afford.

navegator

San Diego CA.

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Posted: 01/07/20 12:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The problem in Mexico are the topes and the pavement arround the potholes, and of course driving to fast to react in time to avoid them, as for tires get 7 new tires and look at the date of manufacture, it is stamped on the side wall, year and week, some shops may have tiers that are years old, but they look brand new says the sales person! Bilsteen shock absorvers are recomended as are good quality tiers, not Cchineese junk! GOODYEAR

Also take a serpenteen belt for your engine and the correct tool to change it, fuel filters and air filters, I have a Racor water separator and it came in handy in Quintana Roo, the fuel was contaminated with water they just baptized the fuel a little not much just trying to decarbonize the pistons and valves, have a good 2 ton botle jack and tools for changing the tire and a toke wrench and a small jack stand for safety.

navegator

Reisender

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Posted: 01/07/20 01:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Everything navegator said. In addition, go thru the motions of changing a tire, changing a belt, strapping up a hanging exhaust systym etc. Have tools. A ryobi 18 volt impact gun is your friend.

Speaking the language is a huge advantage but I get the impression you have that covered. If you are the only person that speaks it expect to be busy. As they say

En la tierra de los ciegos el tuerto es rey.

moisheh

North America

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Posted: 01/07/20 01:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I made a spelling error. There is no Coachman. The unit owned by Navigator was made by a totally different company
Coachmen is now nade by Forest River.I stand by comments on quality.
Moisheh

navegator

San Diego CA.

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Posted: 01/07/20 03:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When we purchased our unit I sat on the couch and grabed the overhead storage unit and lifted my entiere body weight of the coutch a good 220 pounds, that proved to me what the unit was well constructed, there was only one other unit that passed that test wife did not like it, nedless to say when the overhead compartments started to move on other units without me moving it was goodby time.

I was not aware that they were sold to another manufacturer, I have encountered the name of Coachman on some units in our travels, I do not know what the manufacturer is or was.

On the question of the fuel filter, take the correct tools to replace it,some items that I will recomend are couple of vice grips, one for pinching hoses and the other needle nose, duct tape and gorila tape, also take a couple rolls of the tape for repairing the awning and a coule of straps if it uses them, cut some carpet pieces that fit the longest bin and take a shovel, carpert to place under a spining tire and the shovel to dig out, a couple of heavy duty straps to get pulled out of the mudhole and two cresent wrenches, screw drivers and electricians tape and very recomended and a must 3 pairs of plastic hand cuffs for the kids.

Take a 100 foot extention cord and one adapter, some places do not have the third ground prong so you need one adapter, a good power as in volage conditioner is highlly recomended, get a good machete that is allowed, remember no fire arms of any kind a small spool of mechanics wire is good to have, take a Brita water filter jug and always drink from bottles that you open not the server, kids water bottle or mineral water adults same or beer unless it is a good recomended establisment, no cocktails or fancy mixed drinks easy to tamper.

Take along some boards, sometimes you need to park on soft soil and the RV might sink, the wood will distribute the wheight a little better, take raincoats and umbrellas, Panama can be very, very soggy.

Am I being to harsh? Just pasing along some knowledge from more than 65 years of traveling from the USA to Panama, from a joung age to a wise old Viking.

navegator

enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 01/07/20 03:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On the subject of power, get a fair to good quality multi-meter. Verify power before you connect your rig. When in doubt, use the genset!

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