Interesting topic. Here in Nuevo Leon we recently iniciated the Amber Alert. Calls starting pouring in about missing children. Two cases made national news. In the end, they are teenagers mostly who are dissatisfied with their living conditions at home or who are lured away by boyfriends.
I truly believe that many of the persons on the dissappearance list in Mexico will never be found. They are the ones that ended up mutiliated, burned, decapitated, buried in common graves or dissolved in acid. In other words, they were involved in the drug trade and will never be seen again as their bodies haven't been found or they can never be identified. Many Mexicans have no oficial records in terms dental records that could be used for indentification purposes.
Sad situation but a reality of what drugs have done to the Americas.
"Nearly 3,200 people have been killed in drug-related violence during the first three months of President Enrique Pena Nieto's government, according to Mexican government data." You can live in fantasyland and denialville and that's your business. As I said, I live ON the border, my crewbuddys lost everything in their caravan and will never go back, my daughter's friend went down to party three years ago and has never been seen alive, many thousands have died (many were innocent victims), including in tourists areas like Cancun, Acupulco and others. Anybody with an internet connection can review the incidents and statistics. If you think it's all made up and phony, good for you. Like Israel or some other hotspots, without armed security and an adults-only caravan, we wouldn't ever go. God willing the day will come when it will be safe again, as it was one of our favorite driving vacations and so close by. When you've had to ration you electric due to sabotage, heard the bombs going off as the shrapnel went into the kids legs as they got off the bus, knew families were being slaughtered for asking for more for their crop, etc. you'll understand a little better how narcotraficantes operate. We now have warning signs along the southern border posted by the US gov't, and many booby-trapped areas within our own national forests, including the large one close to us. "It won't happen to us", we all have said that. I cannot say that, and I offer my opinion and warning to you as a border resident.
I was questioning your number of 3200 as to where it applied, to the state of Baja Norte or to the whole Republic. The number sounds good to me. The same as in the U.S., in the first three months of this year 4000 Americans were murdered. So what's the difference? Per capita? Means nothing.
To live here and travel here make all the differences in the world. That is my point. How many Americans have disappeared in the U.S.? Thousands. How many American children have been murdered in the last year just because they were there? We all have our dirty laundry but to each of us it doesn't look so bad. It's that "over there", and believe me, we feel the same about traveling in the U.S.
It's all relative. It is different I guess because Mexico for many is foreign; different language, different laws, different culture. It is this misinformation and misunderstanding I think that leads to these silly conclusions.
It really doesn't seem to matter where you travel anymore, there is risk of terrorism, drug dealers, cartels, yes even on American soil. Sad situation we have gotten ourselves into.
However, I will continue to boondock and travel in Mexico, afterall, it's my home.
As I have said before, this is an international forum. Many Europeans are interested in travel in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and South America. So when there is misinformation, it scares people off.
So let's suppose I start a thread about the dangers of rving in California; murders in 2012 were 1600, car thefts near 50,000 and wackos killing people in theaters, schools, and shopping malls. Sounds correct, but is it fair? Do these things affect rvers in California? Probably not and if so in a very, very small percentage.
We know crime is a problem everywhere, like the 15,000 murders in the U.S. last year not to mention the kidnapping of children and women, murder sprees in public places and the fact that there are almost as many weapons as citizens. Imagine if I have never been to the U.S. and have just read that? No way am I going. Believe me, the U.S. needs tourism, and bad, to shore up its failing economy.
Well, the good thing is, Mexico's economy is doing extremely well but we still don't need people dwelling on the negative, now do we? Especially if we have no proof to back up our claims.
Good luck to you! We live on the border in California and quit crossing over a decade ago. Our Baja 1000 crewfriends lost their rigs, gear and everything but the clothes they were wearing. Over 3200 deaths in 2013 alone, and that's only counting adults. We love Mexico but value our lives more. I was a homeowner in Peru in the late '80s and already know how these folks operate - innocent victims aren't a concern. Living dangerously is not my idea of fun.
I don't want this thread to get closed, but your post interests me. What does the number 3200 represent? State of Baja Norte, all of Mexico? Also the Baja crew that lost their rigs.
You're probably not coming through Nuevo Leon, but we have several excellent state parks with palapas and electric at very reasonable prices. Other states I'm sure have state parks as well such as Chihuahua.
Lots of beach camping opportunities in Veracruz and southern Tamaulipas.
Good Sam, Camping World, Woodalls, what else would draw a person to this forum for the first time if they have GS service and have a complaint? It would be here. Common sense.
Now, if GS can make this customer happy, he may continue to participate in the forum and be a wealth of knowledge.
Negative comments about first time posters only alienates them when we should be welcoming them to the forum and showing them how good it is, not scaring them off.
I have been following this thread since yesterday. Very interesting. For all the bad things people have posted about rving Mexico I am surprised that people need so much protection in the U.S.
Here in Mexico we can own guns (yes, even a foreigner who is a resident) but only for self-defense at home. You have to take a course from the military, pass the test, and have your gun registered and certified by them. I've never felt the need and we always boondock here.
I think I'll stay here. This thread makes rving in the U.S. sound scary.
Nothing against sales people, we can't live without them. That said, I have never had a good experience with an rv salesman. In some cases, the dealer handles too much product and the saleman can't learn it all. OTH, I have rarely walked into an rv dealership to find all the salesmen busy at the same time, in fact never (and I visit dealerships all the time when I am in the U.S.).
So if I were a salesman, instead of moving my gob, I might consider sitting in a new rv with manual in hand and do some reading so that when a customer comes in the salesperson doesn't have to invent answers.
There is nothing more embarrassing than to hear something out of a salesman's mouth that is pure bull hockey, and I know the answer. In fact, in the last few years I have gotten smarter and at the beginning of the conversation I ask some very basic questions. If it looks like he is pulling my leg and doesn't know the product I'll walk.
And if you think this isn't true, I have a video tape of the salesman who attempted to do my PDI on a Trailmanor we bought in 2000. He sold it to me and told me from the beginning "oh it is so easy to open and setup, closing it is even easier. It's truly a piece of engineering". He was right, and his words were very true. However, when I arrived for the PDI they didn't have time to open it. I stood back and watched. I thought he was going to break the damn thing. I finally told him to "stand back" and I'd show him how to do it. What a disappointment. Afterall, all I did was watch a five minute video a couple of times. Same video still appears on Youtube.
What makes these different from AirTabs? Same concept it looks like and people are bragging on this forum how good they are.
As for car designs, the designs they have now are "aerodynamic". They knew about them years ago but release them slowly to keep selling us something. Who's the snake oil salesman?
What local store might have a digital meter?
We're leaving Sunday, too soon to order off eBay.
Camping world carries a little digital volt meter that plugs into a cigarette lighter socket... they work fine, and cost less than $20. Click HERE.
I have that one, works great!
Your crossing experience depends on you & your history. Also remember who has the power of the moment. It sure is not you so don't try to act like you do, you will lose! This is a good rule for any time SOB, NOB, in USA or anywhere. Will keep you out of a lot of trouble.
Scary, isn't it? The term freedom has changed considerably. Now, everyone is suspect. Soon we will all be carrying national ID cards.
For what it's worth, here is a comparison, 2008 Funfinder (Shadow Cruiser) 230DS. After our last trip we noticed the spare, hanging on the back. We added a brace. This is our second rv from Cruiser Rv. Love the layout. For the price, it's pretty good.
For reference, you can see the proper spacing on the bumper.
http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x9/qtla9111/DSC01541.jpg height=450 width=500
Have you cleaned out your gutters? That also makes a huge difference.
I did that two weeks ago when I cleaned the roof. Not a lot of leaves but dirt that had built up. I ran a brush through them and cleaned them well.
It rained the last couple of days and what a difference that made. I will be more vigilant with my gutters in the future.
Americans do not have any constitutional rights at the border. There was a major change in the law after 911 and the formation of Homeland Security.
That doesn't mean they will do anything on a whim. They still have procedures. But, they can search you, detain you, question you without an attorney and in general make your life hell.
ICE is on the front line of defense of our country, they are there to protect us. If they would accept it I would buy them a beer every time I crossed.To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin "Those who would give up liberty to obtain safety deserve neither liberty or safety". Too many people do not stand up for the rights they do have, and when they don't they erode those rights they have, PATRIOT Act or no PATRIOT Act.
My point is this. If the agent is professional, asks questions politely, and treats me like a citizen, then we have no problems. On the other hand, if the agent tries to exert authority he does not have, or give the answer "you have no rights here" , then we will have problems. That's when the smartphone camera gets activated (legal, but they don't like it) and every word is documented.
Thankfully, the majority of agents I have run into ARE professional. Those who are not I have had no qualms about reporting.
My biggest peeve? TSA agents at airports who are so full of themselves because Uncle Sam gave them a uniform and a badge. Most folks do not know the TSA screeners are NOT law enforcement, DO NOT have arrest powers, and CANNOT detain you. They can only bar you from the sterile area of the terminal. Their training is minimal, and DHS recruited many of them with ads printed on pizza boxes.
But that is another subject altogether.
There are quite a few people who have a much better opportunity to stand up for their rights and those of others but don't like to rock the boat. What a shame.
Once they open my passport and start thumbing through the pages and see that I have stamps from Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, etc., you can see their eyebrows raise. Airports are the worst and I agree about the TSA agents. They've gone beyond their job too many times abusing the elderly, children, foreigners who may not speak "their" language.
My big beef is the checkpoints located north of the border. That is scary when someone can ask you your nationality within your own country. They did that in the late 30s and 40s, if you know what I mean. It will only be a few more years when people will be carrying national ID cards. Funny how people are about their social security number but not about proving their citizenship(phony driver's license are available everywhere). Funny thing is, these internal checkpoints are illegal. What does it say when you have to have immigration set up checkpoints within a country and not at the borders? The job isn't being done at the border and there is no control over a porous border. I don't care how much dope or contraband they catch at a border bridge, that's not the enemy. It's as if they are putting on a show. The real threat is the thousands of miles of border used everyday for human trafficking and drug transport. I know they know, but they're looking in the wrong place.
Living in Mexico and traveling for work via air, ground and rv, I have never been asked to prove my citizenship. I have been asked for an ID to board a plane. If I am ever asked by anyone other than an immigration official, I will politely refuse and ask for an immigration agent, call the embassy and CNDH (Mexican Human Rights). Fortunately, my rights here are respected and I have never had to confront this situation. I never show my passport to anyone except for international travel.
It took 28 years to come up with immigration reform. Too little to late. Now I want to see them undo the mess. They did it to themselves. Good luck!
Looks like Texas is the winner with Arizona in a close second.
Enforcement Actions Arizona Texas New Mexico California
Apprehensions 124,631 172,33 5,661 54,246
Drug Seizures 1.1M lbs 1.7M lb 43.4K lbs 285.6K lbs
Currency Seizures $5.6M $12.5M $715K $15.9M
Inadmissible 6,011 27,392 489 28,167
CPB's 2012 Fiscal Year in Review