This article is from the December 2000 - January 2001 The Mexico File newsletter.
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A Memo From Bob Weir on Crossing the Border with Your RV

by Bob Weir 

Bob and Joyce Weir run MexUS Tourism Services and are experienced “RV Caravan Wagonmasters.” Bob sent us a memo in response to Gordon Jett’s “First Timers RV Guide to Mexico Travel,” which appeared in the October and November issues of Mexico File. Bob and Joyce have been leading caravans south to Mexico for ages and can be reached at (830) 693-9969 and by mail at P.O. Box 2430-187, Pensacola, FL 32513.

Thanks for publishing the article on vehicle border crossings. As RV Caravan Wagonmasters we encounter many minor problems.

The most frequent is finding errors in title VIN #’s, usually just a typo. Our “fix” is to make a copy of the original, white out the error, then make another “original.” This has been done dozens of times without a problem.

Make two copies of everything: documents, credit cards, letters, etc. on both sides, even if blank. Their copiers may not work! NEVER give them your originals.

Know the location of your VIN #. We once spent four hours with three soldiers and their officer searching for the VIN plate. Found it behind the couch at floor level!

An item of interest may be for you to verify which credit cards are accepted. For years they have refused to accept American Express.

Another problem that is sort of regional: you may only have one vehicle per person. A pickup with two bikes may have one confiscated. An RV towing a car with a couple of bikes may lose them! This is most common around D.F. and Guadalajara.

A good filler for your publication that may make fishing, etc. more pleasant. Ginger capsules have enabled our clients to enjoy offshore cruises, fishing trips, etc., even the Copper Canyon train ride.

The letter of release from the lending institution must spell out everything in detail: home of registered owner, make and year of vehicle, VIN #, approval to take into Mexico. It’s best if name matches the owners driving license, exactly (initials, etc). If truck and trailer, obtain a letter for each.

A locking gas cap helps. Another way we have found is to order a peso amount. Simply state 3,000 pesos, no mas.

RV’ers can readily buy purified water in Mexico. Some cities may have bulk delivery where they pump directly into your tank. Cabo (Wet Sun Co.) and Kino both offer this service.

Items one should always have:

– a large funnel suitable for pouring five gallon jugs into the tank.

– “Oxibac” purification drops are available in every pharmacy. Use these in the holding tank and to soak all fruits and vegetables before peeling. Some people believe they can simply peel the fruit – not so! The knife carries the critters to the edible portion.

– “Microdyn” drops are the most common water purification drops.

Another safeguard is to use the Mexican habit of soaking all restaurant salad in lime or lemon juice. We have been roaming Mexico for fifty years and leading caravans south for ages. So far, not one case of turistas!

We have our clients use garlic capsules as well as acidophilus capsules. Acidophilus is great anywhere. When we go out and eat a greasy meal, we discuss whether it was a 6 or 8 capsule outing. This stuff is great! Our clients quickly become believers.