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PartyOf Five

Wheaton, IL

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Posted: 01/25/20 10:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you've traveled into rural areas and can handle yourself, I'd worry less- we heard all kinds of tales and warnings about going to Alaska but it was much milder, and the rig did much better, than I feared.
Knock on wood...


Da Moose:2001 31' E450. 30k in 3yrs.
PartyOf5: Driver's DW & 3 pre-teens -trying to connect, learn, appreciate creation & the Creator
May you find Peace in all that you endeavor

pnichols

The Other California

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Posted: 01/25/20 11:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ron.dittmer wrote:

Being in Central American countries from Mexico to Panama via cruise ship shore excursions and similar, I would think twice about driving from the USA to Panama. I would be concerned for our safety. Americans in a motor home with USA plates, will stick out like a ripe piece of fruit on the vine. There is a steady stream of illegal migrants walking north on major roads. Most people are good, but there are some really bad apples too. People in hard times can get desperate.

It's not much different as buying a brand new Corvette convertible, put the top down, have $100 bills sticking out from my hat, crank up the stereo, and drive through the worst of neighborhoods in Chicago in the summertime. It's the perfect way to commit suicide without voiding my life insurance.

Also, like others here mentioned, repairs will surface often, resources for replacement parts will be few, and reputable service centers less yet. Pending the type of repair and location, you could find yourself stranded for months.

As much as I would love to RV all the way to the southern tip of South America, I will never take our motor home south of the border.

Call me paranoid.


I agree somewhat with Ron above - in that "If you're not paranoid, then you're not paying attention."

That being said, I have read some articles on how over-landers travel in 2nd/3rd-world countries and remote places all over the world. They are usually doing it with no children, or with one or two children at most. They usually have a small rig that is popular and somewhat common - or manufactured in - the part of the world where they plan on traveling ... for both ease of parts availability and knowledge by the locals on how to get parts quickly and repair the chassis using those parts. Usually their rigs are diesel - as that appears to be the most common fuel used for vehicles in other than the U.S.. I get the impression that "gasoline" is more of a U.S. type of fuel.

BTW ... have you considered, instead, a long tour of the U.S. with your family in a U.S. built Class C motorhome? We have toured the U.S. on both a 9000 mile trip and a 10,000 mile trip. We concentrated on the back roads and out-of-the-way obscure places and things to see. We camped in our Class C in campgrounds of all types and also boondocked in remote places on these trips.

There is a lot to see in the U.S. if you get off the beaten path, for example:

- How about drycamping in a field next to, and enjoying the music of a Blue Grass festival in the Eastern U.S. hill country?
- How about drycamping at a farm way out in the countryside?
- How about drycamping in the boondocks along the Salmon river in Idaho?
- How about stopping to see dinosaur prints out in the middle of nowhere and being the only people there?
- How about canoeing in the morning on a pristine and sparkling lake in Maine to photograph moose grazing along the shore?
- How about boondock camping way out there in Death Valley and eating popcorn around the evening fire?
- How about shopping for handmade goods on family farms in the Amish countryside?
- How about drycamping on an island in the Great Salt Lake and watching the buffalo graze?
- How about shopping, eating, and overnight camping your way along the world's longest garage sale (100+ plus miles long)?
- How about standing on the shore and looking out at the water where Blackbeard's ship sank just off shore?
- How about visiting with biologists as they release Condors into the wild and then camping out there in the boondocks?

Don't sell the good old U.S. short. In my opinion - do it first before you visit other countries.

* This post was edited 01/25/20 11:57am by pnichols *


Phil, 2005 E450 Itasca Spirit 24V

wolfe10

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Posted: 01/25/20 12:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just an observation, but I hate to see a "please help me choose the correct rig for the trip I have planned" thread

TURNED INTO A

Why you should not do XYZ.


Brett Wolfe
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Ex: 1997 Safari 35'
Ex: 1993 Foretravel U240


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noteven

Turtle Island

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Posted: 01/25/20 12:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wolfe10 wrote:

noteven wrote:

Sounds like maybe a job for a school bus conversion? Rugged vehicles that have common commercial truck maintenance parts, cubbards that won’t fall apart cause you installed them, lots of tank capacity...etc


Check CAREFULLY with each country to verify that a school bus conversion would be allowed vs being considered a commercial vehicle.

I am not suggesting this will be a problem, but there ARE "got-ya's" with 1 ton dually's into Mexico being one.


Yes you would want to have the vehicle re-registered as a motorhome not a bus.

RV_BAR

usa

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Posted: 01/25/20 03:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator



Thanks a lot for the concern of our safety. I really appreciate it but I am pretty sure whoever wrote those comments has not done such a trip before. We have traveled (as a family) to most of the countries we will be visiting and we really love them a lot. The question is not if we should go but with what vehicle to do it.

Again, it will help a lot to get some advise on the rigs I have posted and to hear if any of you have experience with them.
Thanks a lot!

pnichols

The Other California

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Posted: 01/25/20 03:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RV_BAR wrote:



Thanks a lot for the concern of our safety. I really appreciate it but I am pretty sure whoever wrote those comments has not done such a trip before. We have traveled (as a family) to most of the countries we will be visiting and we really love them a lot. The question is not if we should go but with what vehicle to do it.

Again, it will help a lot to get some advise on the rigs I have posted and to hear if any of you have experience with them.
Thanks a lot!


Here's a great site for some research on what vehicles others are using for travel:
https://expeditionportal.com/forum/?s=991d46d892eec8d05fe155eb9c18c7ca

The only overall comments I would make are to choose for ruggedness, reliability, and repairability. Hence stay as small as you can for your family, do not choose an RV with slides, and stay with the tried and true Ford E450 chassis if possible. You also might want to carry two full spare tires.

Good luck ... and if it happens let us all know - with photos. [emoticon]

DrewE

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Posted: 01/25/20 04:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For those two particular rigs, I think the Winnebago is probably slightly better constructed than the Coachmen, at least based on brand alone. With any used RV the quality of care the previous owner gave is a very important consideration, and often trumps any difference in initial build quality (more so the older it is). However, I'd be more concerned about the layout and what works for you than the differences between makes. For instance, despite the gushing ad copy the dealership put together, one appeared to have just enough counter space in the kitchen to put down a spoon or a pepper shaker, but not both at the same time, while the other has at least a square foot more.

The appliances and other parts of the systems come from the same few companies regardless of who makes the RV, so there's not a lot to differentiate in them. The differences between brands are mainly in such things as roof and wall design/construction, attention to detail (which is rarely a strong point for anyone), etc.

Unlike some others here, I don't think it's at all unrealistic to expect that the appliances will generally work fine for the whole trip, nor for that matter that the chassis will hold up without major problems. There very well may be minor problems and being handy and having a few tools and basic parts is a very good idea. There are a lot of parts to be finicky, but on the whole an RV is not quite the soap bubble that some seem to imply. That said, they aren't overbuilt at all, and one does need to be wise and take care and treat things with an appropriate degree of gentleness.





jjrbus

FT Myers FL

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Posted: 01/26/20 06:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

People that are fretting about safety in S America should stay away from Miami. Also Tampa, some horrible things happening in Tampa. Also all Texas beach's, A couple in an RV were just abducted and killed there.

Grit dog

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Posted: 01/26/20 07:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PartyOf Five wrote:

If you've traveled into rural areas and can handle yourself, I'd worry less- we heard all kinds of tales and warnings about going to Alaska but it was much milder, and the rig did much better, than I feared.
Knock on wood...


I don’t like doing the negativity thing like some of the grandfarts on here, and think it’s an awesome adventure in the making.
But to compare the dangers of going to Alaska (people) vs Mexico and Central America is like assuming every bear in AK has a gun and is trying to steal your money not your picnic basket.

Vehicle wise, I still think you’re looking at far too new of a rig for a trip into the unknown.
There are just too many 10-20 year old RVs with super low miles and in good shape for 1/2 of what even a 5 year old would cost.
And then beating it up potentially won’t hurt your wallet as much.
But when you mention “learn the mechanics” and 6 months in the same sentence, that means you’re not already mechanically saavy and 6 months is not much time to learn how to repair a vehcile or RV. So buy in good condition


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

wolfe10

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Posted: 01/26/20 08:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:


Vehicle wise, I still think you’re looking at far too new of a rig for a trip into the unknown.

There are just too many 10-20 year old RVs with super low miles and in good shape for 1/2 of what even a 5 year old would cost.
And then beating it up potentially won’t hurt your wallet as much.
But when you mention “learn the mechanics” and 6 months in the same sentence, that means you’re not already mechanically saavy and 6 months is not much time to learn how to repair a vehcile or RV. So buy in good condition


I agree with both parts of this statement.

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