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Old 01-03-2008, 08:23 AM   #1
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RV to Panama?

Hi there:

Sometime end of this year, wife & I are going to pull Trailer to Central America where we have two acres in El Valle, Panama

Anyone interested or have experience Rving to Central America?

Thinking about ferry to Yukatan from Tampa, but may go through TX and Mexico

Be great to have company
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:44 AM   #2
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Love to go but not in the cards for a while. If possible keep the forums posted.
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:57 AM   #3
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Dan,

Sounds like a great Adventure. Five years ago a friend and I took a small motorhome from Cincinnati to Belize. It was one of the best times ever. If you have property in Panama I assume you already know how to live on Latin time. We entered Mexico at Farr Texas and traveled down the east coast. The roads for the most part are pretty good but would not recommend driving unless daylight due to road conditions. The year we went Mexico was being pressured to stop the drug flow into the US so we had to undergo 19 roadblock checkpoints on the way. The military was very friendly during the searches and was a great opportunity to talk to them and learn about the local areas. Best advise is to take your time and stop and enjoy the many small towns. Most of our overnight stops were at gated hotels that were able to provide us with a simple 110 outlet to keep things charged. Fees were usually $5 US and many times free if we ate at a family members restaurant. Gas stations are no problem in Mexico, as a matter of fact most have adopted the mini-mart/gas station format similar to here in the US. While I have not taken the RV further South than Belize I have traveled some in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama with no problems. Hope you have a great trip!
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:03 AM   #4
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This sounds like an awesome trip. I'd love to be able to Stream to the Mayan ruins in Copan in Honduras. I eventually may take my Safari to Brazil, depending on how much I'd have to pay in taxes. (If I do, I'll offer space!)

I think a ferry to the Yucatan would be a better start then driving down.

I used to live in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. And on the coast in Trujillo. Central America is such a fun place.
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:17 AM   #5
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Hi dan,
I have no advice to offer you for the trip other than be careful.
I mainly wanted to welcome you as this was your first post.
Good luck in your new job/travels/adventure.
Dave
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:45 AM   #6
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Dan,
We are also planning the same trip, My wife two girls and our dog and an as yet determined airstream. We have a home in Southern Costa Rica and will be building in the highlands of Northern Panama also. Please contact us to talk at length. at surfpapafl@yahoo.com
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:25 PM   #7
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My wife is from Central America and I have been a few times by air. I would really try to do the trip with a few others. Lack of services, banditos, etc. I know some groups hire local guardias for insurance. It is not unheard of that the guardias you hire to protect you are also the banditos that rob you if you try to go it alone. Don't count on the local police either. I was in Guatemala City once staying at a friends house. They had 2 full time guards. A burglar was caught by one of the guards and the police were called. The police response was "what are you calling us for? why didn't you just shoot him and throw the body down the ravine".
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lumatic View Post
my wife is from central america and i have been a few times by air. I would really try to do the trip with a few others. Lack of services, banditos, etc. I know some groups hire local guardias for insurance. It is not unheard of that the guardias you hire to protect you are also the banditos that rob you if you try to go it alone. Don't count on the local police either. I was in guatemala city once staying at a friends house. They had 2 full time guards. A burglar was caught by one of the guards and the police were called. The police response was "what are you calling us for? Why didn't you just shoot him and throw the body down the ravine".
i really like that policeman attitude,that would help get rid of some of the crack heads.
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:03 PM   #9
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Worth thinking about. When are you thinking of going? How long are you staying? Wonder about the insurance in the various countries. There must be a book somewhere. Write more about it.
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Old 10-14-2008, 08:16 PM   #10
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The book "99 days to Panama- an exploration of Central America by motorhome" might be good to read first. It's by Dr. John and Harriet Halkyard, I found mine on Amazon. It sounds like an amazing journey, I wish I could somehow tag along from the Yucatan (the ferry from Tampa to Cancun sounds like a great idea to me, if it's affordable). I have dreamed of doing something like what you are about to do, and will be eager to follow your blog if you do one. Buen viaje y buena suerte!! -tim
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:41 AM   #11
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researching the trip

We are planning on visiting the Grand Canyon before launching across the border. We've driven with our truck down to Monterey Mexico and are familiar with the process. In addition to that we have a truck down in Panama that we regularly have to permit to drive in Costa Rica, border crossing protocol. We have a number of friends in Mexico and will be visiting and staying a few days with those who live in conveniant locations. We are actually relocating to live in our home in Costa Rica and park the yet to be acquired Airstream (had to sell the soveriegn too far gone for the restore and a little heavy) on a lot up in the mountains of Panama and stay there while building our small Organic farm. We anticipate the trip from Destin Fl to southern Costa Rica taking around 3 months, but having lived in and traveled around down there on and off for the last 10 years that should be a very flexible expectation. We are finding an abundance of information about the trip. As mentioned there are people who have the gps #'s of the mom and pop restaraunts the ate at and parked the trailer for the night. I'm fluent in Spanish, and we have neighbors in Costa Rica who did this trip with a pregnant wife who delivered minutes after crossing into Costa Rica from Nicaragua. I don't by any means claim to have it all figured out please feel free to contribute wisdom. Thanks for all input.
Target relocation april 09
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:33 PM   #12
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I am moving to Costa Rica at the end of 2010. I currently have a 1987 Airstream executive coach but am planning to sell it next spring in favor of a trailer. I want to drive down from Canada and am very interested in the ferry option.
Does anyone have any information on the ferry?
I have a few acres in Costa Rica and would love to host a meet once we live there with other Airstream owners, so if you are already there or plan to be, drop me a line. I will keep your information and contact you when it all becomes a reality. we will be living in the north near Fortuna, Volcano Aranel can be seen from the front yard.
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:14 PM   #13
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I traded the AIr Coach on a 29' Excella. I will be installing septic tanks on our land in Northern Costa Rica, already have municipal water conected, no electricity yet. If anyone does make it down there with their Airstream, you are welcome to camp on our land. We are close to volcano Arenal, hot springs,zip lines,zoo,horseback riding etc..If you are planning to go, contact me and I can provide more information.
Does anyone know about the ferry from Florida to Yucatan?
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:46 AM   #14
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The last post here on this topic was about 1 year ago. Hoping that some of you have updated info and answers on cost of the Ferry or anything further to add. I sold my Airstream and now have a 45' Prevost which seems like it may be too large but before I sell it want to find out. This is the starting point of my research. Panama is our destination for living full time hence forth. The RV is not mandatory as my wife has a small cabin in the mountains we can stay in while building a house. I'm more interested in keeping the bus for continued RV'ing there. I found a really good web site on RV'ing in Mexico that I have not read enough of yet but did read that RV parks (in Mexico) have poor electric and often times don't allow using roof top A/C's. But a portable A/C unit that plugs into any 110 outlet works as a solution. A de-humidfier seems to be a strongly suggested option. One made for marine installations would work. I almost bought one for a permanent install prior.

The other option is to trade my 97 Prevost in on a van type RV. I'm not very interested in 5th wheels. A good used Mercedes diesel powered van conversion is around $70k which would net me back at least $50k cash on my bus worth no less than $125k even for dealer trade value.
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