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Old 05-25-2006, 08:08 AM   #1
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2003 22' International CCD
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Central America, anyone?

My name is Casey and I'm a new member obviously. I originally bought my International CCD 2003 because I have a cleanliness "thing" and my husband is more comfortable with dirt and mess, so I let him have the house and moved into my shiny new aluminum palace. I keep it ever so clean, and with all that metal inside and out, it's pure pleasure. No carpet, no allergies!

We love Costa Rica and have traveled there often, but now I really want to take my Airstream down for a three-month stay. I've read books and Web sites about traveling by car through Central America, but can't find an Airstreamer who has done it RECENTLY. Things are changing there so rapidly that old sites just don't help.

So if anyone has any info, please reply.
Thanks!
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Old 05-25-2006, 09:23 AM   #2
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bad roads

hi- We were just down there for a few weeks in march, traveled all over by public bus and I would have to say that while it indeed would be great to have your A/S down there to live in, especially by one of their beautiful beaches or up by Arenal, The thought of actually pulling a trailer on those terrible roads, never mind getting down there, would dissuade me. At least until president Arias starts putting some money back into road repair and modernization. This may be why we did not see one single travel trailer!! With all the cheap cabinas everywhere, the effort involved in getting your coach down there would not seem to be worth it- and do they even have trailer parks, with hook-ups?? It does not seem to be part of their culture, or economy. I would be interested to hear more about this though, from those who have done it. Anyone??? -tim
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Old 05-25-2006, 12:42 PM   #3
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Its on my list of places to camp-

I'm looking at going there, but your unit is newer than what I would take there. I'm thinking more like a late 50's early 60's FC or TW in a dull finish- maybe an acid wash. I'm used to places where you don't want to stand out so much- and a fully polished trailer is a sure way to get attention. Plain wheels and a dull trailer- sounds like a poor boy operation to me and it won't attract as many thieves.

You'd be best to find one that was an International- or equip it with self contained capabilities. I think a double batteried, well tanked, possibly solar paneled unit would work out well.

I also like the leaf springs for rough roads- I have no trouble in buying shocks if I need them- they're usually available, or can be shipped easier than an entire torque flex axle.

My concern also is "getting there" and I'd probably find a roll on ship that takes deck cargo. I prefer to avoid the probable shootout I'll encounter in Mexico- hell, I have to deal with them in Cal enough- better I ferry the rig down there and take it from a closer point. Maybe even southern Mex- its mostly the border thats got the tension. I know there are car plants in Mexico that ship roll on to the US, which means that they have a very empty ship going home.

My idea was also a low profile pickup with a cap on the back- probably a 4X4 Ford 7.3 PS from 95-97. They're reliable enough- take the 5 speed, a crew cab SRW and it should have no trouble. Keep the generator and an extra fuel tank in the bed- locked up in a cargo box- maybe some extra water tankage there.

I have no idea about the electric there, but if its 220, there are step up and step down converters available that handle Hz as well. A 5kw system is no bigger than a standard battery charger, and will handle your AC on start up as well as run your lights and microwave without popping a fuse.

If you go, remember there are a lot of thieves, they aren't usually violent, but if you park it somewhere, have it watched or risk losing everything inside and worth a quarter. People who make less than 100 bucks a month are not selective about what they rob and how much work it is-

I'll get there sooner or later, with my chosen Airstream, and hope to see others there- let us know how your planning goes and what you experience along the way...
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Old 05-25-2006, 01:16 PM   #4
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I've done some research on this and have concluded that as of now you cann't get there from here unless you have a full company of US Marines as escort. Even then it wouldn't be pretty. There is afterall a revolution going on in some provinces. Hope this changes when everyone stops supporting the drug traffic. Would love to Caravan to the end of the continent
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:50 PM   #5
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I am planing to go with an Airstream trailer at the end of 2010, we have land near Volcano Aranel, lots of room to park. There are places to park in Costa Rica that are on private land, regular camp sites but not serviced, you would be able to top up with water though. Electricity is 110/220 volts.
Google camping on the google.cr site, you will get some results.
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Old 06-15-2009, 10:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Over59 View Post
I've done some research on this and have concluded that as of now you cann't get there from here unless you have a full company of US Marines as escort. Even then it wouldn't be pretty. There is afterall a revolution going on in some provinces. Hope this changes when everyone stops supporting the drug traffic. Would love to Caravan to the end of the continent
I would have to agree with Over59. This Is not a safe place to travel off the beaten path. Its one thing to visit, but to drive would be a hole different thing. If someone wants what you have they will kill ya for It!!!

We had 4 monster trucks go down last year to do shows!! In the first week we lost over $20,000.00 worth of stuff out of the 2 haulers at check points. What are you going to do they have gun's. They took whatever they wanted!!! The promoter had to hire 5 SUV's with armed guards to escort the group for the rest of the tourer!!!
Just my two bits!!! DIMMER
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Old 06-16-2009, 09:23 AM   #7
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Thanks for everyone who posted to this question. Since the original post, I've spent more and more time in Costa Rica (without a trailer), and have determined to retire there. We bought 100 acres of titled jungle land in the very southwestern tip (Pacific). There is no way to drive the Airstream down through Mexico, Guatamala, and Honduras because of the takeover by the drug cartels. But Costa Rica is still a paradise, if you have patience and a easy-going attitude, and respect for their customs and priorities. We have been stolen from, but have learned to be more careful. Most people steal because they have nothing and no way to earn money. Make friends, make connections, learn Spanish and treat people like you want to be treated, and they will accept you and protect you. The Airstream will have to be sold (I already have a buyer) because as many of you said, the roads are unspeakably bad. Now, I like it that way --keeps the riff-raff out. I'll miss my International VERY MUCH. We bought and licensed a 4-wheel drive with big tires instead.

Everything Millionairestream said is right on. Thank you! Lots of good info there. Ship it, and make sure it doesn't gleam in the sun and attract attention.

I was surprised that Dimmer had such a bad experience in Costa Rica, but I guess it depends on the region. Nobody has guns in our little village except the cops, and they probably don't load them. Our only worry now is Mexican and Columbian gangs discovering this little spot and staking claim. That's what's happening now in Guatamala.

Over59, you are right. But I hope you are someday able to caravan to the tip of South America. What an achievement that would be.

tphan, thanks for the tip on cheap cabinas. We are now renting a clean, modernized 4-bedroom house on the Pacific Coast for $250/month. Can't beat that.
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Old 06-16-2009, 01:00 PM   #8
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The bad experience was In Mexico.
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:05 PM   #9
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Yes, the Pan American highway runs all the way down there. Some spots are a little rough but you could make it.
The thing is the crime and corruption down there is just terible.
On the crime side there a narco terrorist, communist and just plain crooks. Any of them would be happy to rob and/or kill you. Don't forget about the kidnapping problem. Some people have been held for years.
On the corruption side, you will be forced to bribe government officials all the way there and all the way back. It will not mean a thing that your papers are in order. They all want their cut.
I have worked in this this area on and off for the last thirty years.
I'll go, but you have to pay me and cover the cost of bribes.
You have to wait for the right time politically to make a trip like this. Now is not the time.
PS - Wally Byam put together a trip to Egypt in the 1950's. I don't think that would be possible today either. See if you can find some pics of this event. There is one picture of a bunch of Airstreams parked near the Great Pyramid that is just great.
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:36 PM   #10
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I am still planning to go to Costa Rica at the end of 2010. I would be interested in anyone who wants to join, make a caravan so it is safer. I have enough land for anyone who wants to camp there with a view of Volcano Areanel. Email me if your interested.
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:02 PM   #11
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Forced to delay my trip by one year, now looking at late fall 2011. Our place is available for camping if anyone does make the trip, water only, no elct. or dumping till I move there. the view is spectacular and you can get to hot springs or zip lines in 1/2 hour. 1Km out of a sleepy, small village. Get in touch if you are palnning to be in the volcano areanel area.
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