View Full Version : Mexico and Central America - Apr '07
11-21-2006, 09:21 PM
My wife an I are planning a trip in April to drive the Gulf Coast to Yucatan down through Belize to Panama and back up the Pacific coast. Our vehicle will be a 2001 F150 Super Crew.
Currently our vehicle has the been modified witih and Airaid air induction, Summit Exhaust, rancho RS 5000 shocks, Parnelli Jones Dirt Grip Tires, and a A.R.E. shell on the back with the Access Door. Yakima racks are mounted on the shell as well as the cab for a Yakima Megawarrior basket with hi-lift and shovel carriers and a Maggiolina Extreme for on top of the shell. We also gotpurchased the awning, reflective hood and changing room to compliment the Maggie.
A Big Country front grill guard with a 9000lb Tabor winch will be mounted this week along with dual batteries. We are removing the back seat to make room for clothing and personal items.
I still have to deal with refrigeration, water storage, running hot and cold water, and storage for self rescue and tools.
We are thinking about the Engel MT45, DANG thats 1000.00 by the time you do the transit cover, slide mount and shipping too!
We can probably use a 15gal RV tank and electric pump for water and a Zodi water heater. The GSI camp kitchen looks pretty cool.
Our main concerns are of course personal safety. We know firearms are a definite NO! Does anyone know if pepper spray is legal in Mexico and the other countries we are going to visit.
Also, will I have problems with fuel in my vehicle which is gasoline.
Any suggestions or advise is appreciated. Our Spanish is ok and getting better!
Tyler and April
11-21-2006, 09:42 PM
First, congrats! and welcome to ExPo :wavey:
An RV tank, properly secured will work well. There are several of us with those tanks installed, and they are working without issue.
Dont worry about the fuel too much. PEMEX stations are nearly everywhere now and the fuel quality is good. MEX and most Central American countries have many modern gas vehicles on their roads now.
In remote villages, fuel from a drum can cause problems (mostly with the filters), but it usually is not an issue.
How about some pictures of that truck?
11-22-2006, 01:50 PM
Tyler and April, welcome!
I wouldn't worry about the fuel either. Pemex gas octane is several points higher now than it used to be, and the knock sensor in your engine's computer can retard the ignition if need be.
I've carried pepper spray in Mexico regularly. I believe it is technically illegal, but does not carry the same throw-away-the-key risk of firearms. So you should check with a consulate and make your choice based on that information.
Second the request for vehicle pictures!
11-22-2006, 02:14 PM
You may find the vehicle size to be a drawback if you plan on visiting some of the older colonial towns. I drive a LandCruiser BJ60 (diesel version of an FJ60) which I know is a full 12" narrower than my old Dodge Cummins. There are times that I've had to fold in my mirrors to get around those old towns or to get into the parking area at night! That means it would be a NO GO with a full size truck. If you have a full length box that may also cause some issues with turning circles.
Don't put too much stuff outside the truck, it will advertise to the locals that you have lots of stuff, so much that it doesn't all fit inside!! Keep the bling to a minimum.
Mexico has Pemex as the ONLY gasoline and diesel station, Further south they have all the regular stations we have up north. You will want to carry spare fuel filters.
Make sure you give the truck a thorough mechanical checkup and that if you use a mechanic that he is aware that you are about to go on a long trip so if it will need replacing in the next 10,000 miles you may want to either replace it now or carry the spare. Full size trucks are OK in Mexico for parts but are much less common further south due to the import restrictions that Mexico had for years.
11-25-2006, 02:20 AM
Thank you for the responses and warm welcome. Pics coming soon!
Insurance is a big issue as well. It seems like Sanbornes comes up alot in forums and searches.
Please give us some advise on some insurance companies. TNA
11-25-2006, 01:03 PM
Sanborns handle insurance for Mexico only, at least that's what they've told me each time I've asked them. Belize is separate, so you need a policy that from what I've heard is easy to get at the border. The insurance in Central America is more difficult. I have my vehicle insurance as part of a group policy at the school where I work (my initial drive to Guatemala City from the border with with NO insurance). I'm not sure what you'd do on your own. My policy covers me all the way to Costa Rica so I assume whatever one your able to find will do the same, leaving only Panama.
If you want I can dig out my Central American insurance documents and see what company is on them but like I said, mine is part of a group policy.
11-25-2006, 03:11 PM
I would be interested in what insurance you use as well. Mind diggin them out?
THIRD request for photos!:box:
11-25-2006, 08:23 PM
By popular request, my insurance provider for Central America (Guatemala, ElSalvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica) is G&T Seguros which is affiliated with the G&T Bank in Guatemala.
The address on my policy is "Ruta 2, 2-39, Zona 4 Guatemala City, Guatemala 01004" and a phone number (502) 2334-1361
The policy I have, and I've been told that applies to all non-Central American registered vehicles, does NOT cover theft or collision. It covers third party damages, injury and the civil responsibilities you have (other drivers damage).
Annual premium is under $200.
11-27-2006, 04:49 PM
Not sure if you already got the ARE shell but saw this today and thought of your trip.
Not sure if it would fit or if it would work.
11-27-2006, 05:50 PM
Thank you Cruiser guy for the insurance beta. And thank you for the link to the camper top Roverholic. We have already installed the ARE and we think it will suit our needs well. Hoope fully our tires and winch mount will be in today so I can get them installed and go geet the truck a little dirty for some pics. Tyler and April
11-27-2006, 05:53 PM
For the newbies going south of the border, here is a scan of the flyer from the Mexican government describing the requirements for temporary importation.
The website for more information is www.aduanas.gob.mx
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