Just got back last night from Kino Bay. A great trip until right at the very end. Here are some details for those of you who want to try this in the future. Use the highway 189 point of entry, you need to turn off of I-19 to the West to get to it, but it is clearly marked. The toll was ~ $8.50 at the first booth.
Mexican highways are about the standard of a two lane country road in terms of smoothness, I towed 60-65mph and seemed to do fine. If a sign says "topes" you better be slowing down or plan on leaving pieces of your rig behind to augment the scenery, they are monster speed bumps. In general they are clearly signed.
There are 3 toll booths between Nogales and Hermosillo, it is possible to skip all three, but a wrong turn can cost you big time. The first is just past the POE at Nogales, the second is at Magdelena. You can drive through Magdelena and if you stay to the left heading South then no problem, but god help you if vear to the right and end up in the small tight cobble stone streets of an old historical Mexican town (Father Kino, a missionary who founded quite a few is buried here).
Plenty of Pemex stations, diesel was about $2.50 and is the same everywhere as the GOV runs the fuel stations.
Shoulders. What shoulders? Pay attention and do not drop a wheel off the side.
I google earthed the toll at Hermosillo and took the Pesqueria exit, pretty slow going and by the time you pop out at major road heading to Hermosillo, take a right and it then joins up with I-15 just before you get to that city. There is a road around Hermosillo, its a two lane mountain road we took on the way back, big trucks were on it and it was not bad, but then driving through Hermosillo was not bad either.
The two lane road from Hermosillo to Kino Bay was just refinished last this last summer, it was the best road of the whole trip, smooth with plenty of room. There is one really huge dip in the road that is only marked by a 60KPH sign with about 50m of warning, all I can say is keep it at 55mph until just past Miguel (Calle Doces by the locals) heading out toward Kino, 65 was good from there on out.
There is not much in Kino, but the main grocery store off the central square goes to Hermosillo every day and if you give them a list you can get whatever you want (like cat litter).
There are probably a hald dozen rv parks in the area. Water pressure is non-existant, the trick is to fill your tank and run off the pump, I added a 1/4 cup of bleach with each fill to keep the nasties out, but the water was fine although it tasted pretty lousy.
Kino Bay RV park: Biggest of the bunch but the spots were tight and the sewer connections were randomly distributed about the ground, you had to try a few before you found a spot that did not put the connection under the tires or in some other lousy spot. This is where we stayed, and if you go to the web page (www.kinobayrv.com) you may get the impression that they are on the beach, fat chance. It is not exactly inconvenient, since the ocean is across the street, but you are either driving to a different area or walking through a restaurant parking lot to get to it. (20$/night)
Islandia: All dirt, tight, but some big rigs were pulled in, right at the edge of Kino Viejo ( old kino) as opposed to Kino Nuevo ( new kino) where all the other parks were. The beach here was great. I'd call ahead to make sure they can accomadate your rig. (15$/night)
La Playa: By far the nicest but also the smallest and right on the beach. Absolutly a must to call ahead. They are not open from the late spring to early fall. Nice might be in the eye of the beholder, Kino bay rv park where we stayed did have wireless internet, large graveled roads, and a good restaurant right across the street. (22$/ night)
Kanuuk Ak: Did not see it.
Saguaro RV park: Small, also not on the beach, seemed like if you had something longer than 30' TT or a larger 5th wheel you should go elsewhere.
No problem driving home until I decided to go back through central nogales as opposed to the 189 POE. RVs WILL NOT FIT at the down town crossing. If you do take a wrong turn, Donald Colosio BLVD is a 4 lane very large industrial street that takes you back to the 189 POE. Well "El gran idiota" himself got all the way to the gate through impossibly small lanes only to have a customs guy walk out and say I better start thinking of alternatives. I looked at the gate and thought I could make it. The customs guys cleared all the barriers and were real helpful. A better driver than I could have with about an inch on each side, I ended up ripping off my lower rock guard and some awning rails since I turned my wheel ever so slightly. I backed up and sat there at the edge of the road thinking of all the brain cells I must have killed over the years to have caused me to try such a ridiculous stunt.
Finally another RV came along, an old guy with a cane who had no idea of the mess he was in. A senior customs guy came out and advised that I ask the Mexican police for assistance, I walked my way through traffic and back up a block and came back to the inspection area on the Mexican side. You know what, they were the most helpful people ever. They blocked all 6 lanes of traffic a block back and pulled open the security gate so that we could turn around and head back through town for the other POE. Maybe this happened before?
Made it to the other gate, took the D. Colosio BLVD mentioned earlier, and US Customs was great at the other gate, did a quick walk through, and apparently the food that you can not take back gets donated to an orphanage on the Mexican side (eggs, meats, certain fruits and vegetables).
This morning I get to go out and see just how expensive an education I got on picked the right entry point. I am guessing 1500
to 2000 in damage.
All in all a very good trip, we'd go back, the weather was great. Did some snorkeling, bring a wet suit with a hood, boots, and gloves, you'll need it. Hermosillo has a super wal-mart, a home depot, 3 major hospitals, basically a monster city with everything you would ever want or need. Watch the speed trap heading to kino just before the airport. Calle Doces has the closest bank, get pesos *before* you get to Kino, because you won't be able to change them there. The BEST casa-de-cambio is your ATM card at a Mexican bank. You get the actual exchange rate and the fee was standard, 1$.