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Open Roads Forum  >  RVing in Mexico and South America

 > Leaving a Truck Camper in Mexico

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vantexan

Amarillo, TX

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Posted: 08/22/11 07:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks Moisheh and Playaboy for very good info. I think I'll import it into Guatemala where annual tag is about $12 and no insurance is required. Then come into Mexico on RV permit with Mexican insurance. If that'll allow me to leave by plane for holidays sounds like my best bet to control costs. Thanks!

vantexan

Amarillo, TX

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Posted: 08/22/11 07:49am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Doing a Google search I've already found a couple of sites that state a 10 year permit is only for motorhomes or converted vans. Pickups with slide-in campers aren't eligible. David Eidell wrote that slide-ins are "supposedly" not eligible. I think I'll try to find a small Class C, maybe an older Toyota motorhome. Thanks anyways, didn't know about 10 year permit, that's the way to go.

topazguns

Gardnerville, Topaz Lake, Nevada/San Felipe,Baja

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Posted: 08/22/11 10:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 5th wheel parked permanently in Baja. Up on blocks. I have an FM3, and the trailer and lot with storage building have a full Mexican Homeowners Insurance policy on it for about $200 a year premium.


George & Ann
Boone the wonder dog (Wonder if he'll stay home or chase rabbits)
Topaz Lake, NV/San Felipe, Baja Norte
04 Dodge 2500 Diesel with Lance Cabover Camper

Snow River TC

BC Canada summer / Jalisco, Mexico winter

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Posted: 08/22/11 11:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am sending off a detailed email to Banjercito in fluent Spanish along with a picture of a truck & camper to try & get a definitive answer on just what the rules are concerning Truck Campers. I will explain that in some US & Canadian jurisdictions they are licensed, and in some they are bundled under the truck license. I will pass on their response. This is the one RV type that seems to be a very grey area.

Snow River TC

BC Canada summer / Jalisco, Mexico winter

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Posted: 08/22/11 08:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think you could do it. I have a Truck camper & they never even register it or ask about it, they are only interested in the truck. The camper does not have a separate license. They have never asked for the VIN or anything like that. Mind you I cross at Nogales where the Banercito cannot see you parked. Maybe I should be giving them some papers for the camper as well, but apart from a sales receipt I have no registration for it.

They see it when I cross back, but just look at the VIN on the cargo trailer & truck & never ask about the camper. That is 3 years so far.

I wonder what would happen if it was stolen in Mexico?

playaboy

riviera maya

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Posted: 08/22/11 08:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a pickup with a slide-in camper and have a 10 year permit. It can be done, this is Mexico where the laws are fluid. Then you have a truck to drive around when not carrying the camper.

silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 08/22/11 12:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

The truck camper is a Capri, which will cost me about $6000 new


If I could just jump in here for a second (not related to import/export):

We are truck camper people. And, I couldn't help but synthesize from your plans, that you are heading to Mexico before your retirement benefits kick in, and you want to be extremely frugal. My observations and suggestions are the following:

-living in Mexico is far and a way more expensive than living in Guatemala (a country you mention on several occasions);
-having a camper in Mexico implies renting a campsite, and even a cheap campsite will run you ~$200 to ~$300 a month, and you're stuck living in campgrounds forever;
-bringing any vehicle into Mexico, if on a very tight budget like the one I think you are, or, will be on, will tax you even more-- not to mention the import/or temporary cash you'll have to levy bringing these goodies into Mexico, not to mention the fuel costs;
-the camper you plan on buying "new" for $6000 dollars would be a big outlay that you may never recover, putting a probable huge dent in your cash-flow.

so,

-why not simply sell everything including your huge pick-up, and use that what would have been gone $6000 as capital + pick-up cash and whatever savings you have, and seek a ride into deep Mexico with the puppy (say, Oaxaca, where there is a huge expatriate community);

-seek out a reasonable apartment in Oaxaca: say, in the $200 a month range-- what it would have cost you for a crowded campsite out in the relentless blazing sun probably without air conditioner!

-for a few pennies, travel Mexico by bus renting weekly or monthly as you go as cheaply as possible in Mexico;

-eventually, find your way to Guatemala, and settle in a nice comfortable town (sat, one of the towns around Atitlan, or Xela, or Antigua, or Coban, where lots of other expats live) for peanuts, renting a nice place in the cooler mountains.

a) if you feel the need to return to Mexico (you probably won't!), travel the same way back, or:

b) stay in Guatemala in a comfortable town, get yourself set-up in a nice cheap home rental with extraordinary view (cheaper than a sweltering hot coastal campground in Mexico by a country mile), and travel to Honduras or Belize (for peanuts by bus) every 6 months to zero-out your tourist card, then return to Guatemala to the comfort of your own rental home, then:

c) when you need to fly back to the States (say, Texas), take a cheap bus to La Ceiba, Honduras, book a cheap (return) flight from the island of Roatan (a short cruise from lively, incredibly cheap expat La Ceiba) directly to Houston, visit with your relatives, and return to Roatan, then La Ceiba, then back to Guatemala. Leave your dog with one of the thousands of expats in Roatan to care for whilst you're gone. If you're a little lucky, you may be able to strike a deal with one of the hundreds/thousands of expat home owners on Roatan that needs their half-million dollar villa with built-in pool & jacuzzi cared for & maintained for 6-months in exchange for room-and-board and a base salary. The English newspaper in Honduras is: Honduras This Week. Good place to make contacts with other expats.

Concluding:

why in the devil would you EVER want to drag around a massive pick-up truck & camper (or, maintain a camper year-round in a country with hellacious storms that could destroy it in minutes, when you're not around) that are constant money sucking vacuums (read: a psychological, physical and monetary boat anchor)?

If you really *need* to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while down there, just borrow a car or truck from a friend (you'll certainly get to know dozens of good people down there, many who would lend you their vehicle for a short jaunt or 2).

Just my frank observations from someone who has lived (and, worked) in Central America & Mexico & Venezuela & Trinidad for many years.

* I had an acquaintance who traveled by bus, friend's rides and local combi transports with her huge dog(!) for 2 years, from Mexico to Panama, and back; very doable

Good luck!
Silver-

* This post was edited 08/22/11 12:28pm by silversand *


Silver
2004 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 6.0L Ext/LB Tow Package 4L80E Michelin AT2s| Outfitter Caribou

vantexan

Amarillo, TX

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Posted: 08/22/11 03:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do I detect a little sarcasm Silversand? When did a F-150/Capri become a huge truck and camper? Oaxaca has amenities that Lake Atitlan and Antigua don't. Nice places no doubt, but I don't think my costs will go up too bad. Cheaper to stay in one place, and there's a park outside Oaxaca that charges $240 a month all inclusive including wi-fi. I can connect from Oaxaca to Houston on a cheap airline, Vivaaerobus. Several sources say Oaxaca has the best English language bookstore in Mexico, as well as the well stocked English lending library. Oaxaca has multiplex theaters too, as well as many cheap restaurants, foodstalls, and markets. Beautiful city too. Just has more of what I want. I'll have a pension at 55 of $1100 a month, and enough savings to get by fine in 2 years. Not destitute, just trying to be careful. You know Guatemala and Honduras get smacked by hurricanes too, and as Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua are CA-4 nations you can't renew a tourist card going from one of them to another, but would have to fly out or go to Mexico or Belize from Guatemala. I don't have your on the ground experience, but I am doing the research and asking questions. And after much reading I'm pretty sure Oaxaca is where I want to be. YMMV.

* This post was edited 08/22/11 03:13pm by vantexan *

vantexan

Amarillo, TX

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Posted: 08/22/11 03:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Snow River TC wrote:

OK, I had my Columbian friend phone and talk direct with someone in the know at Banjercito. Here are the rules for Truck Campers:

If the camper is separately licensed you need to present the registration.

If it is not, you need to present the original sales receipt with the serial number of the unit. (If used & you don't have one I suggest you make up a fake using a friend and get it notarized - how will they know the difference?) It will then be added to the truck permit. I have been doing it wrong for 3 years by not mentioning the camper on the truck.


Thanks for doing that!

Snow River TC

BC Canada summer / Jalisco, Mexico winter

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Posted: 08/22/11 12:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK, I had my Columbian friend phone and talk direct with someone in the know at Banjercito. Here are the rules for Truck Campers:

If the camper is separately licensed you need to present the registration.

If it is not, you need to present the original sales receipt with the serial number of the unit. (If used & you don't have one I suggest you make up a fake using a friend and get it notarized - how will they know the difference?) It will then be added to the truck permit. I have been doing it wrong for 3 years by not mentioning the camper on the truck.

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