A camping of a lifetime - Fiberglass RV

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Old 02-26-2006, 11:03 PM   #1
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So! it has been decided! next year
Had enough of a simple life. I'm 43. have a wife , two kids age 10 and 7, job, house lots of bills to pay. And I'm tired of that, so we decided to take of to central America for a year or two.Our destination is Costa Rica, this is where oures best friends live. Will bee home schooling kids, or rather "egg schooling", if we will decided of staying longer in Mexico, or Honduras, will try to send them to a local school , so they can learn Spanish too, visit interesting places, see how other people live. We would love to rent a room in the house of Mexican, or Honduran family, that also have children.We are so positive about it and so excited, that feel like I'm 23. I would appreciate any info of cool places
to visit, campsites, villages. Just last year we got a 1996 13' Big Foot in excellent condition, this year we imported from Japan a 1990 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado diesel to pull it, so we are all set.We are going to rent our house, and live of the rent money plus the savings.Originaly I was thinking about sailboat, but those things are so expensive and high maintenance that, for now is out of reach. Can't wait for the day that I don't have to go to work, a spend all that time with family

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Old 02-26-2006, 11:10 PM   #2
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good luck and remember dreams do come true...

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Old 02-27-2006, 04:20 AM   #3
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I have friends who made decisions to leave the USA and live elsewhere. So far, none of them have a single regret.
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Old 02-27-2006, 05:03 AM   #4
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If you're not already, please start reading the site linked below. It's packing with great first hand information about Mexico and Central American RVing. Tom Trostel

1980 Bigfoot 17' & 1973 Compact Jr
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Old 02-27-2006, 05:49 AM   #5
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I wish you all the best! Just for future reference, sail boats aren't all that expensive! Latitude 38 is the definitive sailing rag of the west coast of the continent... here's a link to the 25-28' range which are seaworth and eminently liveable... and you can find a well-founded and well-cared for sailboat in that range for WELL under $10k... and a passel of 30 footers in the $20k range!

Latitude 38 Classifieds

Try to keep us posted with updates on your progress! We'd love road updates and photos as you go. My family is headed to Costa Rica in June on an EF educational tour for ten days... I can hardly wait!

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Old 02-27-2006, 06:19 AM   #6
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Inspirational! I love this kind of story. Best of luck to you.
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Old 02-27-2006, 08:48 PM   #7
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So! it has been decided! next year
We are going to rent our house, and live off the rent money plus the savings.

Can't wait for the day that I don't have to go to work, and spend all that time with family
Please be careful about what you wish for.
I feel I should play Devil's Advocate, if only to focus your mind on the daunting task ahead, and have you avoid pitfalls that might ruin your plans.
I am assuming that if you are planning on "living off the rent money" that your house is paid for and you have no mortgage. Being a landlord is a business. Is it one you have experience with? Will you be able to collect rent that is higher than your expenses from a remote location? Have you considered [b]Selling the house so that your assets are more liquid? I have a gazillion questions that I could ask. [b]If you have answers to them, your experience will truly be a joyous one.
Frederick - The Scaleman
1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
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Old 02-27-2006, 09:24 PM   #8
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I am asking a camper friend who visited Costa Rica and almost didn't come back (house be darned!) for info/advice for you.
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Old 02-27-2006, 11:33 PM   #9
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Thanks all for the help and support. Of course I will keep you informed on our journey. We will set up a page where I will regularly write about ours adventures and lots, and lots of pictures. Our best friend moved to Costa Rica a month ago, and there is no way they are coming back. I was always telling my friends that place where we live has one down side: it is one of the best places to live in Canada, and will be hard to move somewhere else. But we are not doing this for the comfort, but the life style. We still looking at option of selling the house and buying that sailboat, but for now we'll just enjoy our time and the trailer. Maybe this will be good enough for us, so we won't need the boat, and we'll keep on going all the way to Peru.
But this is just the plan for now, that's why we may not bee selling the house yet.
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Old 02-28-2006, 07:42 PM   #10
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Here's some advice/info from my camper friend who recently visited Costa Rica.

First, she's envious. Second, she says she didn;t notice a lot of camping spots, but they weren't camping in Costa Rica (flew in).


"... I guess we had expected to see a bunch of lovely Latin Westfalias, or something, toodlying around the country from one fab spot to another... but no. I don't think we saw even one camper (vehicle) the whole time we were there. Mind you, a lot of the roads are really horrible, so that might have something to do with it.

"Not that I'd discourage the guy and his family! [...] I bet their friends in C.R. will know of some places they can "roost", despite those places not being evident to us.

"Sigh... I sure have been missing Costa Rica. You wouldn't believe how often I think of it. Hubby keeps sayin' we should sell the house and move down there, but I really don't think that would be "doable" right now (nor practical, either). I do dream about retiring there, though.

"On our holiday there, we visited six places. Three of 'em really captured my heart...

"Tortuguero, on the Caribbean coast, was stunning (but if any places in Costa Rica don't have places to camp, I suspect T. would be on the list; it's only reachable by boat or plane). It's a jungle out there, literally. Oh the birdies and the critters! Oh the incredible rain forest! Oh, oh, oh!

"La Fortuna is a wonderful, friendly town, and it's at the foot of Mt. Arenal, which is a very active volcano, and a real site to see and hear. There are some incredible hot springs there. (Although, when I recently "Googled" the hot springs, to see if I could find some new pictures of them, I learned that some (non Costa Rican) authority or another is actually recommending that tourists stay away from the immediate hot spring area now. Apparently Arenal is due for another Big One -- it has little ones just about each and every day -- and the springs are right in it's path. Even when we were there, there were signs up all over the place, warning people of the danger, and pointing to the quickest ways to Get The Hell Out of there.)

"And Tamarindo, on the Pacific coast, was another favourite of mine. We liked it 'cause it was a sort of "bustling" tourist town, with tons of young foreign surfers in residence, and therefore tons of great little bars and eateries. Well, maybe not tons, but more than enough. (A couple of 'em don't even have doors on the front of their establishments - I mean, they don't even have front walls -- because they never, ever close.) And while that sort of thing might not suit the family in question, there are other beaches just like Tamarindo, but without all the tourism, "just up the road". So what I mean to say, is that that particular part of the Pacific coast, "around" Tamarindo, is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

Boy, that family's gonna have a great time! "


That's her experience, hope it helps!
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Old 03-02-2006, 09:55 PM   #11
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Thanks Charlynn!!!!!!!
Our best friends move there a few weeks ago, and they just love it.
We get e-mails from them almost every day, about every day's life.Long time ago I lived in Spain for a while, and that was the best time I ever had.
And camping: we can camp almost anywhere, here , in British Columbia we hardly ever camp on the camp grounds .We can pull our 13' Big Foot in the most remote places of the province, and in 10 years of camping, we never camped on the campground that had hookups.What I'm thinking about is , when in Mexico , or Honduras go to the remote village and ask the poorest family that has kids, if we can live with them for a while ( for a good fee of course).I think that would be a good education for our children , that they would never forget.
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Old 03-19-2006, 08:31 PM   #12
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You ROCK!java script:emoticon('', 'smid_5')

GO for it!

Your kids may whine when they start to miss school and friends, but just keep going, they’ll thank you later. Think of all the experiences your family will have now that never would have happened in "Hometown USA". You can always come back. I wish we could travel for just the whole summer, but having parents to take care of kind of puts a leash on you. We do plan of taking an "Epic Summer Vacation” for about 2 or so weeks, but that's about as long as we can last away from "Hometown USA".

And now some sayings that my dear Dad used all the time....
Let's make like a tree and leaf. (leave)
I’ll start the car. You lock the door.
And the best one to get a kid in the car fast..
I’m walking out the door, whoever is in the car when it starts gets to go with me!

My father in law always said “I think I’ll ease on over to – insert some fun place to go – care to go with me?

Wichita Falls, Texas
2 kids, 2 cats and dog and a husband... Not necessarily in that order.
98 Scamp
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Old 03-26-2006, 05:17 PM   #13
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Have a great time! You will find each Central American country unique and none of them are like Mexico. (We lived in Honduras and in Guatemala for a couple of years, have traveled in the rest of Central America except Panama)

I suggest that you buy the book, 99 Days to Panama -- it will give you some ideas about where you might camp in Central America. There are VERY few actual campgrounds and RV parks are even rarer. However, there are quite a few resonable motels with gated and armed parking lots. (A good idea---we did have a truck stolen in Guatemala)

A FEW places we really enjoyed.
Panajachel the town by Lake Atilan---really beautiful
Market at Chichicastenego
Antiqua----(lots of gringos there)
Tikal, and I understand the road is now paved. There is a camp on that road at Poptun
Also really like the town of Flores near Tikal
Costa Rica
Several places already mentioned, plus the beach town of Samara---not real touristy
Well, Honduras is the poorest, and the facilities reflect that poverty. Your idea of finding the poorest people in the village---well, I will post a scaned picture below of what you might find. I took the picture from the window of the school where we taught.
Copan, both the ruins and the town are great
Depending on the condition of the roads after all the hurricances, the North
Coast Cities are nice----Beware of robbery on the beaches especailly in Tela and
at night. Check with the hotel people first. La Ceiba is great, and Trujillo was my
There are lots of other places I could mention, and would be happy to share any other information.

One thing that you can find along the way are several bilingual schools that are not too expensive --- not the big American Schools, which are very expensive, and without getting too political, in Honduras and Guatemala, those schools cater to an elite that is something else---Oh, in the bilingual school in the backwaters where we taught, there were a few teachers from the US who had their children with them. Even though it was a school with no copy machines, no videos, used books from the states, and a few computers that qualified as antiques, when the children returned to the states, they were right up there with their classmates.

Have a great experience. I could share a lot more of the good and the bad, but that is for you to experience. Please, however, do be more aware and careful in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. While I would not hesitate to travel there again, those countries are not as safe as is Mexico.

Oh, when we quit two well paying jobs to accept a teaching job in the outback of Honduras where we earned $250.00 a month each, our friends were sure we had lost our minds---they were wrong, they were two of the best years of our lives.

Happy Travels

View out the window of our school in Honduras
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