Has anyone on this forum taken on of the South/Central American tours? I am seriously considering one in 2013 and am trying to find ammunition to convince the DW that it would be: 1. safe; 2 fun: and 3 safe. I know we wouold have to buy a smaller rig for the trip, but it seems like it would be worth the effort.
I personally have not, but I know several that have, so I will pass along their reports. I have also traveled extensively through this region, though not in an RV and know the countries and people well.
It is not a trip for the faint of heart. You will see some breath taking sights, meet great people, but be prepared for stops by authorities/locals in Peru and Columbia for no apparent reason. Central America is a road iffy patch, kind of like a box of Chocolates, and the ferrying from Panama to Columbia can either go well or badly.
Once past these areas, Chile is filled with wonderful people, but the roads are at a high elevation and can be daunting if you have fear of heights in several areas. Argentina is wonderful and will probably be the most restful part of the trip which is a nice way to end it unless you loop around and hit Brasil.
Safety, again it is relative. Not the same as driving through Nebraska, but if you are part of a registered convoy – safer. Be prepared for numerous unplanned delays, get all your shots updated and carry several copies of all important documents. Stay with the group.
We currently are retired and live in PaaMul, Q.R. on the "Mexican Riviera". There is a tour group of 19 travel RV's that are doing the Panamerican tour and are currently staying a few days in the park here. They are from all over the world, mostly Europe and Australia. They started I think in Argentina, after having their vehicles freighted over and did the loop of S.A. and going up the western side and then up through the Central Americas and will go all the way up to Alaska. I think they are taking 6 months to complete the tour. Most have sturdy european small motorhomes..some have the aussie "outback" tanks with the big tires and high clearance. They are having the adventure of their lives and loving it.
2009 43" Tiffin Allegro Bus
D6000 MotosatF-1, #1755 Partsman
2008 Ford 4X4 Explorer (Sapo)
Roughing it smoothly!
Check out Steve Novak's current trip to Panama and back. I believe he is currently in Panama and his blog will detail some of the border crossing inefficiencies. nookietravels.blogspot.com Doesn't sound like anything dangerous, just some expensive stops.
The wife and I did 3 winters in Mexico, all with no problems, the last one at yucatantallman.wordpress.com/