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Any problems taking the southern route


Det107

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We have not decided which route to take to AZ. this year, but one concern is safety and problems on the most southern route #10. This route take you close to our porous southern border and I have been reading about the problems our southern neighbors are having with theft and worse. Has anyone taken this route this year and experienced any negative situations or changes? Have any RV parks issued warnings of any nature?

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I-10 is as safe as any route. We travel it to get to the Gulf Coast. In my opinion is safer than the northern routes because of the lack of weather issues and no mountains. I have never heard of any issues in any RV parks or State Parks. The rest stops are fine, the traffic is fine. C'mon down.

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I-10 doesn't get all that close to the border except through El Paso. I haven't heard of any reports of anyone on the Interstate having problems with illegals (that would have probably made the national news), nor have I heard of any problems in any of the El Paso area RV parks having problems. I think that problems with illegals is way over blown.

 

We have taken this route, although not in a few years. However, I would have no problem taking I-10 today nor in stopping overnight in El Paso.

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Plenty of problems along the border but as others have said they won't impact you passing through. Now if you plan on doing some boondocking at remote sites close to the border I'd talk to the local folks for an assessment of the local problems.

 

Most illegals are just interested in getting where they are going and won't be a problem, drug dealers and such will also try to avoid drawing attention unless their plans go wrong. A bit of common sense will keep you from any trouble with either group. A bit more likely to be a problem are the "Border Bandits" that come across to grab stuff and run, if you camp where they are active (the locals will know) you are asking for trouble.

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I wouldn't boondock alone in some places either but I would take the road close to the border from El Paso to Columbus, NM maybe even further but without boondocking. There at Cloumbus is Pancho Villa SP just a short distance to the border and Los Palomas, Mexico. I have friends that camp there at least 3-4 or more times a year and have never had a problem.

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Guest Pensauncola

I don't know where the idea got started that it is unsafe to RV overnight around El Paso, any more so than any other American city. It's not like there are gangs of illegals crossing the border and marauding in this country. I've stayed in RV Parks in and around El Paso several times, didn't see any difference than staying in any other city. Half a million people live in El Paso within sight of Mexico. I doubt they live in fear.

 

This would also be a shock to the thousands of snowbirds staying within 10 miles of the Mexican border in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. What's that population?

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I don't see where anyone has said not to overnight near El Paso. I might not *boondock* around there, but I would have no problems staying in an El Paso RV park.

We have stayed many times at the Truckstop located at Exit 72, the Fort Hancock exit east of El Paso. The truckstop is on the Southwest side of the exit. We always park by the electrical transfer station in the rear as it has lights all night. The lot will fill up. West of El Paso we stay in the parking lot of Camping World, exit 2 on the North side of I10 or in the Big K parking lot in Deming, New Mexico. We try to time our crossing thu El Paso for Sat or Sun. Sunday morning is the BEST!

 

rocmoc n AZ/Mexico

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The people crossing the border do not want to spend any more time near the border than they have to. They want to get as far north a fast as possible.

 

This will be our third winter in SW Texas. Right on the border. I have only seen one Border Patrol response. The locals agree that the crossers want to head north fast.

 

When we were on our way the first time I expected to see someone behind every bush. At least that's what the media wants you to believe. I felt pretty silly after we were there.

 

Don't fret it. You will have a nice trip. SW Texas is unbelievably desolate, but it is beautiful in it's own way.

 

Have Fun!!!

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Agreed. There's absolutely nothing to be afraid of in or around El Paso. We have stayed there. We've also stayed at Hueco Tanks State Park just east of the city - highly recommended, and Guadalupe Nat'l Park further east - we've climbed the peak. We travel secondary roads all the time and have no fear of getting close to the border. We've jeeped along the border fence. We even bought a house close to the border. We have dental work done in Mexico at the border towns.

 

Just read your local newspaper and you'll see that you have crime, too. The Mexican people are wonderful folks who respect their elders. We're elders so we feel safe. :)

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"Plan on stopping in Van Horn as your last stop before El Paso." Van Horn is very unfriendly toward RVs. As I recall you probably won't be ticketed while the fuel hose is pumping fuel into your coach, but otherwise your coach had better be parked in an approved RV park.

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I believe the conclusion was to be careful about boondocking. Not even that you shouldn't do that unless you are uncomfortable about it. I personnally have spent the night on the NM tourist stop and at a couple of the pullouts where they had the concrete barricades stored just a little east of El Paso. Sometimes you are nervous about areas you are unfamiliar with. I was paranoid the when I went north to a volunteer position in late Feb. I though it would be all snow and ice like I had seen on the news all those years. It didn't help when there was an ice storm the 2nd day out. Lucky for me I was able to get to Raccoon Valley skp park just before it got bad and was able to wait it out in comfort for 4 days.

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That is the only route we take when going cross country in cold weather. We have been using I-10 for 18 years. We have stayed, stopped & boondocked in El Paso with no issues. The traffic is the pits though and if we are not going to stop, we take the US 54 N and the SR 375 Loop. It might be a bit longer but much less traffic and we pick up I-10 at Exit 6. It works for us. .

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We take I-10 East every winter. While Roger was still working, I drove by myself, and he would meet me in PHX. In all the years either of us have driven it, there was never a problem.

 

Most people crossing the border are very poor, and they will not bother you. I even spent two weeks parked with my big-ass RV in a park packed with migrant workers. The RV park managers told me when I pulled in who was there. I said, "Okay, do you have a spot for me?" She did. It was such a tight fit. All these horrible migrants, who lived in tents, helped me back into a small space. They, and their three generations, were so quiet and polite all day. The workers left well before dawn to work the fields. Every afternoon something wonderful was left on my picnic table. Sometimes it was fresh produce. Sometimes it was some tasty treat.

 

I never felt so safe and respected in my whole life.

 

Karen

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BTW if you go to Hueco tanks and hike the trails it can be real easy to get yourself misplaced and in trouble not that I ever did it. Research it and call ahead about the amenities and site sizes. It is out of the way for just passing through. Unless the weather is sucky this park is popular with rock climbers.

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The reason I made the negative comment on El Paso was because we stopped mid day at the westbound rest area on I10 east of town a few years ago. While there for 10 minutes a shook up RVer asked for me help. He had been mugged between trucks and his RV and lost all his money and wallet. I called the police who showed up quickly and in talking to the cop this wasn't unusual and it would be very difficult to catch the crooks. This is as close as I have ever come to violence so El Paso is on my list. Greg

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We have stayed many times at the Truckstop located at Exit 72, the Fort Hancock exit east of El Paso. The truckstop is on the Southwest side of the exit. We always park by the electrical transfer station in the rear as it has lights all night. The lot will fill up. West of El Paso we stay in the parking lot of Camping World, exit 2 on the North side of I10 or in the Big K parking lot in Deming, New Mexico. We try to time our crossing thu El Paso for Sat or Sun. Sunday morning is the BEST!

 

rocmoc n AZ/Mexico

 

When I talked about not boondocking around El Paso, I wasn't talking about spending the night in a parking lot...I was talking about actually being out in the boonies with no one else around. We do a lot of that kind of boondocking elsewhere, including around Yuma which is close to the Mexican border, without a problem.

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People can (and do) get mugged almost anywhere. Situational awareness and trusting your instincts can eliminate a lot of the risk - risk that is present (more or less) almost anywhere these days.

 

That said, I would not stay in a rest area overnight in El Paso. It just does not seem wise to me. Actually, we rarely stay overnight in rest areas. It would always be a judgement call if I would or not. But the I10 route is pretty much as safe as anywhere else on the interstate system. IMO.

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- Van Horn not RV-friendly? It is but not if you plan to park on parking lots. There are plenty of RV parks. We stayed there in October.

 

- Hueco Tanks State Park - our 40' motorhome fit easily

 

- Mugged in rest area near El Paso? We stopped for lunch once in a rest area in Indiana and were approached and asked for money in an area between the parked big rigs. Luckily another driver happened to walk toward us and the undesirable ran. Don't know if he was caught or not. Bottom line: These things happen all over the country.

 

- We drove through El Paso this past October on a Sunday morning and it was a fast experience. Heading back west a few weeks later we came to El Paso on Sunday around 4pm. (Wife drove both times.) Again, an easy drive through. Pick your time between 9 & 3 any weekday (as you should do in all big cities) and it'll be fine. Just stay in the middle lane and let them pass you on the left and enter the highway on the right. There are lanes that truckers need to stay in, also.

 

I forgot that when we first began full-timing we stayed at Mission RV, I believe that was the name. There was a small van tour from the park every morning giving a tour of Juarez Mexico. We took it and had a great time. Of course, this was well before the troubles now.

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