Boondocking to Panama and back - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-14-2018, 07:11 AM   #1
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Name: John Michael
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Boondocking to Panama and back

This couple built their rig and left for a year or more to Panama. Fun Video.
I especially liked their book recommendation, Don't Go There. It's Not Safe. You'll Die.

They also have tips on Overlanding apps and how to handle bribe seeking cops. I don't think I will be following their route anytime soon.

Click here to watch their video.
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Old 01-14-2018, 08:53 AM   #2
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There is so much to see in USA and Canada. I don't see me making this trip any time soon.
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Old 01-14-2018, 09:38 AM   #3
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That trip makes our jaunt to Lo De Marcos look like going to the corner store!
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:25 AM   #4
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Boon docking Central America?

Having driven an 18' Ford box van and towing an International Scout back in 1986 from Michigan to Belize...for a 1-year project. No boon docking and we hoteled it along the way this sounds iffy at best.

Much depends on one's ability to adapt to varied cultures and have a sound base in Spanish language skills.

And just be brazen!

As we were entering the outskirts of Veracruz I stopped at Pemex for fuel. We had been stopped at a stoped sign on a smaller side road for nearly 5 minutes when a break in traffic on the main highway appeared and I slowly pulled out to proceed south.

Almost immediately a Mexcian policeman pulled us over and attempted to give me a ticket AKA ask for a bribe, for Ahem NOT stopping a the same stop sign we were waiting at.

We had a fair amount of Belizean curretncy which he did not want and asked for my wallet for drivers license etc. With only limited US $ he extracted about $50. I impulsively reached over and snatched the money away from his hand along with my wallet and told him I needed that to buy more gasoline in Mexico to continue south!

He seemed shocked at first then smiled and apologized and told us to follow him for a not well-known by-pass of Veracruz that would save some 20 miles and maybe an hour of travel. It seems he decided we were not typical Gringo tourists simply traipsing the countryside. This was after a short discussion of why we were going to Belize. "To study and protect birds" was our reply.

I trusted him and all went well and once we rejoined the main highway leading to BZE he waved and drove off.

As an aside after the Escapes safety course I am appalled by how overloaded we really were for this old Ford!

And our 1-year project was very dangerous ... as we stayed for 25+ years :-)


Let the adventure continue!

Cheers
Bat Dude
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Old 01-14-2018, 01:17 PM   #5
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I wasn't able to go anywhere with that link and I would certainly be interested in duplicating that trip.
Life is made of adventures. We can stay under our safe rock or go exploring. Before pointing a finger at other countries and their customs, perhaps we should consider what ours looks like to others with the killings and robberies that take place at home. We have been sold a package of fear and have bought into it !
Put your fears and prejudices aside and load your trailer...and travel that road that leads to.....well, go find out where it leads. Let adventure lead you !

I'm a frequent traveler in Mexico and have yet to meet a 'bad' person, in or out of uniform. I know 2 words of Spanish "Thank you" and "Beer". Their culture is different than ours, not wrong or bad!
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Old 01-14-2018, 01:37 PM   #6
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Just got the link to download...it seems they have some sponsors. If only we could all be so lucky.
Another aside and I'll go away.
In a country where the salary of a Policeman is terrible, he is forced to look elsewhere to feed his family. We 'tip' the waitress, the Pemex attendant if he does our windshield, and just about everyone else. Is it unreasonable to do the same for law enforcement?? It's not our way of doing things, it's theirs, and we are guests in their country !
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Old 01-14-2018, 03:39 PM   #7
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Without its failed criminal justice system Mexico would be absolutely crowded with RVers and other tourists from the US. The money they would spend would add up to $billions per month. Corruption is expensive.
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:26 PM   #8
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If you enjoy this kind of thing you would enjoy the Kombi Life youtube channel. This guy drove a VW Kombi from Chili to Alaska. His adventures would have stopped me in my tracks many times over, but he's made of hardier stuff than I.
https://www.youtube.com/user/kombilife
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:42 PM   #9
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There is no way in hell that I would make this trip.
Worked in Panama severL times and the procedure is to put a $20 bill in your passport. The cop asks for the passport and retrieves that 20 faster than you can blink an eye. Even becore you get to Panama your life and equipment will be in peril.
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Old 01-16-2018, 08:07 AM   #10
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south america

we had an evangelist at our church one time who had driven from equador to Missouri. his car was a mess I don't know how he made it that was years ago and the thought terrified me then!

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Old 01-16-2018, 08:11 AM   #11
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mike we have traveled all over Europe been there 4 times and never a bad experience we tent out by the way. even though we spoke different languages for the most part if they could speak English they loved to show off. we could be on a subway and ask if anyone spoke English and hands would shoot up. Amazing!


but in saying that the mexico and beyond thing a little unsettling to me!


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Old 01-16-2018, 09:09 AM   #12
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My wife & I and 3 dogs drove from U.S. to Costa Rica a little over a year ago. Zero problems. No bribes even hinted at by officials in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, or Costa Rica. We didn't hit Belize or El Salvador. We went through a dozen or so check points by either local police or military. Every single official was polite and friendly and professional. It is my belief that only the bad news is normally reported; thousands travel these roads every month and only a small percentage have problems.
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Old 01-16-2018, 09:27 AM   #13
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We are in Lo De Marcos as I write this so first hand experience.
I have been RVing in Mexico every year since 1968. In the early days with my parents who introduced me to RVing in our 31’ Airstream.
My experiences then along with my wife and I since 1988 to present are the same experience.
Never once had any scary or uncomfortable moment with police.
Have never had any problems with any Mexicans at all.
Have never seen any violence or drug activity in the areas we researched to travel to.
We don’t like border cities. ANY border cities!
We are aware of our surroundings everywhere we go. Canada, US and Mexico.
We don’t go out at night. No matter where we are.
We are more “on edge and nervous” in Canada and US. Especially with road rage and public displays of “anger”. We don’t feel the same way here.
I would never risk our safety, Heath and well being “for an experience”.
This is just our opinion and experience.
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Old 01-16-2018, 09:31 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
There is so much to see in USA and Canada. I don't see me making this trip any time soon.
Could be a North Carolina thing Bill; I'm with you. After several trips, we still haven't made it west of AZ/UT/WY/MT when camping. Just keep finding too much to see/do on our travels here in the US. I did spend a good bit of time in Mexico as a young buck sergeant stationed at Ft Huachuca but, other than crossing over to Boquillas when we're in Big Bend, have no real desire to go back.

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