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Old 11-27-2003, 11:13 AM   #1
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Question Baja Bound

Has anyone towed a longer (31 ft.) Airstream down the Baja? We have heard some warnings that the longer units are difficult to get down to the La Paz area due to the danger of being hung up on topes (speed bumps) and vados (sharp dips in the road to accomodate water during the rainy season). Would appreciate any comments.
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Old 11-27-2003, 10:52 PM   #2
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I don't know about the vados, but the topes can't be worse than on the road to Puerto Penasco, and those were no sweat. No worse than speed bumps in the US.

-Don
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Old 12-09-2003, 11:55 AM   #3
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Roads in Baja - help

Thanks, but I would love to hear from anyone who has actually towed down to that area. We were there for six months last winter, but in a truck camper. We have now bought a 31 ft. Sovereign and are having second thoughts. Does anyone have any direct info? Thanks
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Old 12-09-2003, 12:41 PM   #4
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Too many variables to make an intelligent statement.
Tow vehicle, axle condition, tire size, and most importantly, the road conditions change after every storm Baja gets.
Generally, " easy does it" applies here more so than other places.

Look for road reports o sites like this:

http://www.bajaquest.com/roads_01.htm

Good Luck.
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Old 12-17-2003, 10:04 PM   #5
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Driving in Baja

You have driven on Route 1 so you know the challenges, but there is no place like Baja, Towing a 31' can be done, just slowly and carefully, it is a narrow, narrow, road, The semi's and busses can make it a little tight, " The only thing Mexican's do fast is drive." The last time we drove down to Cabo 1992. Diesel power is best, unleaded gas can get short or far between stations. Watch out for vados and topes, potholes and cattle, do not drive at nite, some topes can only be navigated at 3-5 MPH, A great place to visit is Los Frailes on the East Cape, but the dirt road is too much for a trailer, its a day trip out of Cabo, check road conditions before starting out, the bay is absolutely beautiful, and the seafood is worth the trip. I plan on driving down in 2006. Have a Great Trip
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Old 12-21-2003, 09:47 AM   #6
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Need to raise our unit higher.

Well, we have practiced towing over some rougher dirt roads and find that we bottomed out under conditions that are nowhere near as tough as that we will encounter on Baja's highway. We have decided that we will have to buy an off-road styled SOB and reluctantly have put our beautiful Airstream on the market. May have a buyer already who just wants to travel in Canada and the US and mainly will live in the unit while it is stationary. Our hearts are still with Airstreams, though. Does anyone have an alternative solution? Is there a way to raise the body of the trailer? We understand that the axles cannot be flipped. Would love some advice if anyone has gone through the same situation. Thanks.
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Old 12-21-2003, 01:41 PM   #7
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Don't cut yourself short...

I think your Airstream is hardier than you think! Have you seen the Capetown to Cairo films??? They show them being towed through undeveloped areas much more severe than you will find in Baja...the caravaners even cut their own roads through the jungles of Africa. I was amazed the first time I saw them...

Caravan DVD's

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Old 12-22-2003, 02:19 AM   #8
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I agree with Shari. Especially if you're staying on the road for the most part.
Take it easy and you should be fine. I could see difficulties if you have to go very far off the highway on a secondary road that has washouts etc.
The Vadis and Topos should not present any problems if you take your time and look ahead a little.
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Old 12-22-2003, 01:42 PM   #9
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In terms of raising the height. I know three or four folks at Rally's who stated they went one tire size up - it was enough to give them an extra 1.5" clearance and still fit fine in the wheel wells. Perhaps one things to consider, although I am sure it changes all the weight handling / limits mumbo jumbo stuff...
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Old 01-02-2004, 10:09 AM   #10
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We're off!

Well, after spending countless hours kicking the tires of SOBs with special off-road packages, we have decided to stick with the Airstream....at least for this year. We leave in ten days and plan on crossing the border at Nogales into mainland Mexico at the beginning of February. We are having small wheels welding onto the frame just forward of the bumper to help lift that rear end over the topes and away from the vados. When it came right down to decision making, we hated the thought of giving up our "Culvert" after all the work we had put into it. We will keep in touch and tell you all how it goes.
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Old 01-02-2004, 06:54 PM   #11
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wheels

..any chance you might be able to post a pic of your welded-on wheels? I would like to see your setup!

Thanks and Happy New Year!

John.
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Old 01-03-2004, 06:43 AM   #12
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Exclamation Just a thought

Baja Bound
Quote:
We are having small wheels welding onto the frame just forward of the bumper to help lift that rear end over the topes and away from the vados. When it came right down to decision making, we hated the thought of
I'd like to share this warning with you..
Several years back, when I first bought my A/S, I was having a heck of a time backing it uphill into my driveway..Scrapped every time just enough that it was bothering me to no ends.
I thought about doing that very same thing that you're getting ready to do..But, before I carried it out, I called the factory and spoke with Rick March about doing this..I was told that,"This was not a good idea at all, as it puts undue stress on the frame to the point of causing it to bend." After seeing many exposed frames, I can see why now..
Just a heads up..You do what you like...



ciao
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Old 01-03-2004, 10:32 AM   #13
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Oh, Oh..... How did you solve the scraping problem? When we were looking at SOB's we noticed V-shaped bars bolted on at the back which served as protection for the plumbing and thought that the wheels would be a gentler way to manage this. Is there an alternative out there somewhere? Maybe we will have to sell our unit after all.
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Old 01-03-2004, 12:45 PM   #14
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Thumbs up

I traveled down Mexico One ( the BAJA) on Dec. 17, 2003 with my 1995 21' Sovereign, my third trip in the last 4 years. It is smaller than yours, however the rules are the same. The road is the worse shape I have seen it in the last 4 years. A lot of damage from the hurricanes this fall. Most of the damage is south of Santa Rosalia. Almost all of the Vados have damage, some worse than others. JUST drive real slow going through them. The other danger is where some of the road are VERY narrow due to wash outs along the sides of the road making a narrow road even more narrow. Again just drive slow and let the on coming traffic pass you.

Most the worse areas are well marked, believe the warnings.

Last year I caravaned with a fella who had a 1999 31 Excella, he had no problems with the Topes or Vados. I don't think you will either. Just go real slow through and over them.

Side note; I manage to damage my door latch driving down this year. We stopped for a lunch break, I couldn't unlock the door. The dead bolt bent just enough so it would not release. I had to remove the four bolts holding the door on to get inside. The locals were laughing with us silly tourists taking the door off to get inside. Any one know were I can order a new door latch? This happen after dropping into a Vado too fast. Lost a couple of dishs, cups and had a stuff all over the inside, a real mess. Drove a LOT slower through the Vados after that.

Travel safe...
Nick
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