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Very few Gringos in Yucatan


reed and elaine

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We are spending three nights at Isla Aguada on the Gulf of Mexico between Campeche and Villahermosa on our way back to US. There was one couple from Switzerland and another from Quebec when we got here. We have see a total of 5 other Americans RV'ing in 2 1/2 months in Yucatan. In that time we have met perhaps 20 Germans and Swiss-Germans and about that many Canadians. Have been in contact with others Gringos but they pretty much go no further south than the area around Guadalajara and the west coast near there. We did see a few several years ago at Palenque but that is it. Friends from Cleveland have been coming down with RV for 20 years (they turned 81 this year and went to Florida instead) and said that they figured that there were never more than 5 or so Gringos traveling about in Yucatan. There are a lot of Gringos at gated communities and places like Paa Muul which have RVs pretty much "dug in" under palapas.

Reed and Elaine

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  • 2 weeks later...

I will be scouting out a new Yucatan route in Jan 2017 for a caravan to run in 2018. The company I wagon master for is running a French Language one down there next season, but I have found that what appeals to Americans & English Canadians is very different, so I am I want to make sure its perfect. We already organize tours for another American based company, but I want to come up with something a little better with some trips to more less visited spots in the Yucatan. Want to see the RV parks down there stay open. iF your cleveland freinds have any suggestions, I would welcome them.

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We have stayed at Xpu Ha, the big one at Chetumal, Paa Muul (which is limited) and a few Archaeological Sites. We stayed four days at Izamal which is owned by a Swiss who has a great hotel (see Ioverlander for really good reviews) and who has traveled extensively as an RV'er. Most of the folks who stay at Hacienda Hotel Santo Domingo (www.izamalhotel.com, (+52 1) 988 96 76 136 are overlanders. There is water and a dump station and a few electrical hookups. Izamal is 75 km from Merida, near to the best cenotes in Yucatan and fairly near the many Puuc archaeolgical sites.

 

We spent fiive days at the San Ramon at San Miguel del Allende and there was an American caravan that was finishing three months around Mexico with severl weeks in Yucatan. It was run by a guy who runs what is primarily Baja based group.

 

I would look into archaeological sites like Uxmal that do permit parking for several days. Others willl do the same and there are some cenotes near Merida that permit overnight camping of smaller rigs. Do not think French will be driving big rigs (we had a 34' 5th wheel which is far to large for Yucatan (and we have taken it down there three times but we are full timers and this is home). "Ioverlander.com" has quite a few possible campgrounds in Yucatan.

Assume that French have a much greater interests in cultural, historical and anthropological activities than do US

 

Hope this has been of some help

Reed Cundiff

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@Reed & Elaine, we have a 4x4 truck w/ 28 ft. 5r. Our current 5r isn't good for much more than weekending w/ hookups, so we're due for an upgrade before hitting the road.

What are the obsticals in the Yucatan for bigger rigs? What is a good rig for boondocking down there?

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The problems are swing room and low branches at some sites for tall rigs. There are only half a dozen CGs in the Yucatan: A couple near Cancun, Paa Muul just south of Playa del Carmen, Xpu Ha about 5 km south of Paa Muul, the big one near Chetumal. Church and Church's Guide is still good but is now six years old but they have updates on a web site.

 

We have really liked Laguna Azul on Lake Bacalr (very good write up in Church's) but our 5th wheel is to tall and could not get in. The archaeological sites will usually permit folks to overnight in parking lot; notably Uxmal and Calukmal. Uxmal is easy but Calukmal would not permit a 12' tall 5th wheel.

 

Look up "Ioverlander.com" for a lot more campsites. This website is designed of Overlanders (folks driving down to Chile or across Asia (there are half a dozen spots in Afghanistan if so inclined). It notes a large number of cenotes where you could overnight in Merida area. We were told about the Hacienda San Pedro in Izamal and looked it up on Ioverlander. It was great.

 

A 28' long 4 x 4 truck should work almost anywhere. Most of the rigs are VW buses (modern 4 x 4s), converted vans, small trailers, campers, and a number of Mercedes 911/1011 and MAN expedition level vehicles. The Europeans really like specially constructed camper shells. One Swiss-German couple has been on the road for 17 years with on of these (Europe to Cambodia/Malaysia and back and down to Chile and back.

Reed and Elaine

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Small and nimble is the way to go. Our 34' 5th wheel is great on the beach when our kids come down to visit but prevents going a lot of places that a much smaller rig would permit. Overlanders pretty much stick to VW level campers, camper shells (some very elegant European shells that can do almost anything). There are those in their giant MAN and Mercedes expedition level vehicles but they were planning on 2 to 15 year trips.

 

As noted earlier, there are apparently a number of really nicde cednotes that permit one to camp for several days after paying entry fees and hear really good things about these places: solidtude, beauty, wildlife etc.

 

Reed and Elaine

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The Cenotes sound great. I wonder if a mid size TT would be a better boondocking rig? Put the biggest tires that will reasonable fit on it. Something to research.

Our truck is a 3/4 ton 4x4 xcab 8' box. A winch and front receiver is going on it soon for 2 tracking. Hmm, a plan is taking shape.

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In Mexico smaller is better. I have some large rigs on the caravan I am currently leading and it can be a challenge, even though I know this particular like the back of my hand. This is why I am scouting out the Yucatan route for 2018 to ensure there are no issues. Another company did a Yucatan trip last eyar, I know because we arranged a lot of their tours. They worked off 10 year old road logs and got last a lot. Not good.

 

BTW the church book is now 6years years old and many parks in there have closed and some other opened.

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We ran into a caravan in San Miguel del Allende (two weeks ago or so) that was in the last two weeks of a three month trip. It was being run by a guy who generally does Baja tours and the folks had had a time. They did have a slight slipup in the Yucatan in accomodations, but overall it apparently went extremely well.

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We ran into a caravan in San Miguel del Allende (two weeks ago or so) that was in the last two weeks of a three month trip. It was being run by a guy who generally does Baja tours and the folks had had a time. They did have a slight slipup in the Yucatan in accomodations, but overall it apparently went extremely well.

 

That would be Dan Goy a good friend of mine. He runs Baja Amigos. It was not a caravan, just a group of freinds. He is currently taking a trip to Copper Canyon.

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Paul

 

Dan Goy is the guy and it was Baja Amigos. They were having a grand time. Any trip in which, six couples are still enjoying the trip and each others' company after three months is a most succcessful trip. You are of course correct, it was a "caravan" of friends and were excited about heading to Copper Canyon.

 

Reed and Elaine

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Cannot edit. One of the rigs was an Open Range TT (we have an OR 5th wheel). They had a slide motor fail. They called the factory and a replacement motor was UPS'ed and down in Cancun in two days. They had enough tools and knowledgeable folks to do the repairs in a few hours. We went to a Chevie dealer in Playa del Carmenand they said it would take two months for a part to be sent down. Fortunately, their prognosis was incorrerct.

Reed and Elaine

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Intereresting. We had someone blow a convertor board. It took 6 weeks and we were long gone by the itme it arrived. i guess they should have used UPS.

 

Was that a Swintek slide (the one with the gear rails along the side). The motors are easy to replace in those.

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Paul

 

Dan Goy is the guy and it was Baja Amigos. They were having a grand time. Any trip in which, six couples are still enjoying the trip and each others' company after three months is a most succcessful trip. You are of course correct, it was a "caravan" of friends and were excited about heading to Copper Canyon.

 

Reed and Elaine

BTW if anyone wants to do a caravan to Baja, Dan is the guy i would personally recommend.

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Telco man

 

Open Range uses the cable slides, a lot lighter. We have had one problem in 3 years and that was due to not checking clearance when pulling slide in. We use screw jack supports on the extended slides to cut down wear and tear on the cabling and cantilever construction.

Reed and Elaine

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