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Old 11-07-2008, 02:00 PM   #1
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Spare parts?

We are heading to Mexico and Belize in January. Being a worrywart, I am busy making lists. I figure there must be someone out there that can recommend a list of don't leave home without these spare parts we should take along for our Safari.

Of course any suggestions for other things we shouldn't forget are also very welcome.

Pat
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:18 PM   #2
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Go into Guatemala and see Tikal. You've got a fresh coach, should be fine. I'd get one
of those testers to make sure you're plugged-in correctly. Have your mechanic check all
the hoses and belts on the TV. What a great cruise! Good luck.
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:36 PM   #3
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I'd think in terms of things you can't function without that won't be available in the local economy and you can't work around.

I think of a water pump (or maybe rebuild kit), converter or (battery charger).
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Old 11-07-2008, 04:30 PM   #4
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I sure don't know anything about the parts - but I would really like to learn of your trip - where going, details. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 11-07-2008, 04:40 PM   #5
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A machine gun if you run into an drug gangs. I wish I were kidding, but the Mexican/US border area can be dangerous and there are places south of Mexico, DF, that would make me nervous—Chiapas for one. Nogales appears to be a place to avoid. On the other hand, friends of mine have been to Chiapas, Puerto Vallarta area, and the Baja without any problems.

I'd love to tour Mexico, but have avoided it, partly because I don't want to put my wife in the slightest bit of danger. Maybe I'm overreacting to what I've read.

Gene
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Old 11-07-2008, 05:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
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A machine gun if you run into an drug gangs. I wish I were kidding, but the Mexican/US border area can be dangerous and there are places south of Mexico, DF, that would make me nervous—Chiapas for one. Nogales appears to be a place to avoid. On the other hand, friends of mine have been to Chiapas, Puerto Vallarta area, and the Baja without any problems.

I'd love to tour Mexico, but have avoided it, partly because I don't want to put my wife in the slightest bit of danger. Maybe I'm overreacting to what I've read.

Gene
My wife and I are San Diego natives and have travelled extensively through Mexico, oftentimes on vacation. We have also visited orphanages and have built homes for the homeless there with my Rotary Club. My Rotary Club has worked with Thousand Smiles for years, performing free cleft palate surgeries and other surgeries on children with facial birth defects.
This year we have cancelled all trips to Mexico because of the random murders and kidnappings that occur on both sides of the border every single week. We cannot get volunteers nor can we get surgeons to travel through the Mexican border.
You really should educate yourselves on just how bad things are in and around Tijuana. Read the San Diego newspaper articles like this: http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2008/10/23/backpage/z9e09e45eaff70552882574eb0075bfe1.txt
Please be careful…
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Old 11-08-2008, 09:58 AM   #7
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Thanks for your concern

I appreciate your concern. We are traveling with 10 other rigs and will be entering/departing Mexico at McAllen, TX. I am a bit of a chicken, so like the idea of traveling with a wagon train.

Pat
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Old 11-29-2008, 08:19 PM   #8
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The question is spare parts not violence. Don't let those who have never been and who are too scared to go scare you from taking a great trip.
I have traveled in all but two Mexican states in various R.V.'s.
There are no r.v. parts available for sale but often you can trade or barter with fellow r.v.ers for what you need.
I endorse the idea of a spare water pump or at least a pump head. I had a pump go in Mazatlan. Spare pipe fittings are a good idea. I had a full water tank let go inside the coach due to a rough road but was able to fix it with a hose clamp. I carry lots of those. Thereafter I ran with the tank empty. Ditto with the holding tanks. I carry extra knife valves for gray and black because I don't want that kind of trouble.
Extra long hoses and electric lines are a good idea because often hookups are in odd places.
If you want t.v. south of the border take an oversize dish or lots of coax cable and splitters to mooch a signal from those who have one.
My Airstream has fragile door and closet fittings so I take extras. I take plastic wood and toothpicks to make the fittings stick when the screw threads strip. I tape all the kitchen and bathroom doors and cabinets closed with duct tape so they don't pop open.
You will hear lots of bull about violence against gringos, but stories about rough roads are generally true.
I endorse the idea of an electric tester. Mine gives the voltage (typically high), indicates the polarity and indicates whether or not there is a ground. In remote areas often something is not right. My r.v.'s have not minded high voltage so I ignore that. If there is no ground (the older fixtures are only two prong), I make one by wiring the adapter with an clip to attach to a water pipe or a piece of rebar hammered in the ground. Polarity is corrected by reversing the adapter.
I carry a spare wheel bearing, but have never needed it.
I have had suspension trouble (none in the Airstream) but rely on the local shade tree mechanics (taller mechanicos) to fix it.
I have had lots of tire trouble with ST tires and hot weather so take a good spare, preferably two if you have room. Flats are no problem, they can be fixed almost for free at a shade tree tire repair place which are everywhere. Auto tires are widely available and carry a load almost suffiicient for a small Airstream.
Please post about about your trip.
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Old 11-29-2008, 08:43 PM   #9
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10 rigs or not, speaking from the perspective of Houston, I will NOT be taking my family on any trips to Mexico any time soon. The simple fact is that the violence down there is completely out of control. Many who might reside in the U.S. now but came from there originally might disagree, but I'm sorry, the news here speaks for itself on a daily basis. There is a major war going in Mexico right now between the drug lords and those who are attempting to take back government and restore law and order. It is a dangerous place. Beautiful, but dangerous.

I'm sorry if this offends anyone but I don't think I can in good conscience avoid commenting on this. I would sure not like to hear about a convoy of people being hurt, robbed, or kidnapped down there, and then remember reading this, and wishing I had said something. So there, I said something. If you do go, God bless you and best of luck to you.
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Old 11-30-2008, 05:16 AM   #10
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for what it is worth, many major USA cities have close to a murder per day. Those murders are generally not random. They usually involve drug dealers or a drug deal. Some things are universal.

Don't avoid Chiapas, it is the second most beautiful state in Mexico. The issues there was between the federallies and the indigenous peasants. They will both welcome you like long lost families. Do not avoid Oaxaca either. It is extremely beautiful there and there is a great deal to see and do. The conflicts there are over and life has returned to normal in Oaxaca, if someone says "Mescal?" say "sí dos para mí" Do not worry and stay away from the drug runners and dealers. I do recommend you keep some $20 dollar bills folded neatly in your front pocket. You are sure to run a red light. They often look green, but the police know that it is red. Paying the fine on the spot is a lot easier than going to the station where more eyes(and hands) saw the light as red. The Mexicans are a friendly people, and they will show you how wonderful their country is. Enjoy yourself.
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Old 11-30-2008, 06:04 AM   #11
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You have gotten lots of good suggestions. I would also take extra certified copies of your birth certificates and keep them in a place away from your passports.
We pulled our AS to Belize in 1986. We had spent a couple of months in Mexico and decided to drive down to Belize City. Big mistake. At that time, what was listed in our campground guide as an RV park turned out to be a wrecking yard. I truly hope things down there have changed, because when we were there it was a very dangerous place.
If you can stay away from Belize City you should be fine. The people out in the country are friendly and helpful much like rural Mexico. While English is the official language of Belize, don't expect to be able to understand everything being said. They have their own accent that makes English sound like a foreign language.
Good luck, I hope you have a great trip.
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Furzwo View Post
don't leave home without
Pat
Pat,
Don't leave home without book marking the Out-of-Doors Mart's website. Or write down our phone number just in case you don't have internet. We ship overseas and other countries via the mail, and don't have any enormous crating fees. If you have a problem let us know.

Dan
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Old 11-30-2008, 10:13 AM   #13
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There is an indispensible book by Dwight and Terri Church called r.ving in Mexico available on Amazon.com which lists the campgrounds and more importantly directions to them. Often campgrounds are not on major highways and may take some searching to find.
You will get lost as signage is not what it should be. We try to stay calm and hire a taxi to take us there if we can't puzzle it out.
Many Pemex stations are open 24 hours and you can boondock there with the truckers if a campground is not available. Noisy and dirty, yes but safe enough.
I don't want to highjack this thread by talking about violence but the facts are that the narcos and the government are in a fight. They are targeting each other and nearly all of the people getting killed or injured are one or the other. Innocent bystanders including American tourists are occasionally involved in the crossfire particularly in Sinaloa and larger border towns such as Tijuana and Juarez but this is rare and not reason enough to cancel a trip.
Mexicans are by nature passive, violence such as road rage is rare. Private handgun ownership is forbidden, ownership is rare (except for the narcos and police) and posession thereof is punished. This means two things: do not bring a firearm into Mexico, if caught you will spend time in jail and you chance of getting stuck up by a punk with a pistol is nonexistent.
I would go on your trip, not be fearful, use common sense and post frequently about what you see and do.
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:05 AM   #14
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Thanks for your input

Thank you to all for your input. We have lists made, boxes and bags of stuff ready to go in the AS and back of the truck.

For all of you who are staying away from Mexico and other "dangerous" places, keep us in your prayers. My husband and I have traveled to over 60 countries, most 3rd world, and many were places we were told not to visit. So far, the worst that has happened was being pickpocketed in Luxor, Egypt and ripped off by a cab driver in Istanbul. Everywhere else, we seem to be alert enough to stay out of trouble or reverse course before trouble begins.

I am planning to set up a blog at our website. Will get back with the address when it is ready to go.

Pat
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