RV Caravans

RV Caravans – Going with a team

Professional Caravan Companies

Our family has never hired a Caravan so our advice is limited to those who have shared their experiences with us. We have led a caravan but that is a different kettle of pescado…..

We think Caravans are good ideas for those who are concerned about safety issues and want the comfort that an experienced guide can provide. Traveling in a group is comforting to many who fear the illusive “banditos” and “crooked cops.” We think that one trip in a caravan would be helpful for first-timers and enough to convince them that driving in Mexico isn’t nearly as dangerous as the myths and media make it out to be.

The Wagon-master can make or break a tour. We have heard stories from heaven and from hell about the characters that lead you and your rig as you make your way through Mexico. Our friends tell us that this is the single most important variable on the tour.

Caravan companies generally provide a “tail-gunner” who will help fix minor repairs to your vehicle or help get you to someone who can fix major repairs. Friends, Joe and Marilynn from Westport Washington, caravanned  throughout Mexico and raved about their “tail-gunner.” Marilynn said that he provided invaluable service and really added to their enjoyment on the trip. Again this service provides peace of mind for those who are unfamiliar with Mexico and who fear breaking down in a foreign country.

Most people we know who love caravans tell us it’s the friendships and camaraderie that they love the most. They enjoy experiencing Mexico with a group of people, sharing cookouts, stories and experiences with a group of like-minded friends. Some say they have developed life-time friends from one of these adventures.

We have also met people who have hated the experience. “I don’t like getting herded around like cattle,” ” I like to get up in the morning when I want to get up – not when someone tells me to,” and “The tours and the campsites were the cheapest they could find,” are some of the comments we have heard over and over again. However these are by far the minority of the comments we have heard about caravans over the years.

We think you should do your homework before you commit. Ask some questions and get lots of references.

John Harder from Priceville Ontario shares the following:

If you’re thinking of joining a caravan for the first time, here is my list
of 10 questions to ask before signing up.  Make sure you get the answers in
writing.

1. Will there be a tail-gunner?  If the answer is no because the caravan is too small, look elsewhere.

2. What happens if you have a mechanical problem?  Will someone stop and stay with you when you’re stuck out in the middle of nowhere or will you be left to fend for yourself?  And, if so, for how long?

3. Are there any hidden fees or additional fees charged by the Wagon-master for his services?  These can quickly add up to hundred of dollars.

4. Will you be provided with clear and specific directions to the next campground when you hit the road in the morning?  If not, what happens when you are at the end of the caravan and get lost?

5. If you sign up with a friend, will you be allowed to travel together?  And if one of you has mechanical problems, will the other be encouraged to stop and help?

6. Is the Wagon-master boycotting or feuding with any of the campground owners en route and, if yes, what are the alternative camping arrangements?

7. How many nights can you expect to dry camp in dusty parking lots or ball fields?

8. Will all the communications with the caravan be in English only, French only, or both?

9. What happens when you arrive at a campground?  Will you be allowed to park yourself or will you be asked to wait outside while the Wagon-master parks each rig, one at a time?

10. Talk to someone who has gone before you and ask them about the personal habits of the Wagon-master.  Make sure you won’t be offended by the language, the jokes, etc.

Some of these questions may seem obvious, but I sure wish we had asked them
before signing up.

Almost free caravan

Thanks to Carell Harder for the following photographs

caravan 1

Riding a modo ( 3-wheeled taxi) back to the campground in Tehuantepic. The driver wanted 50 pesos, we settled on 30 pesos, but when we arrived we were laughing so hard and after making him pose for pictures, we paid him 50 pesos.

 

caravan 2

In this picture we dined out with new found friends, Dining out, literally, on the boardwalk as the sun sets at Playa Linda, just outside Ixtapa.

caravan 3

One of the joys of Caravaning is the joy of sharing the adventure here the group waits for the sunset on a deserted beach near Caleta de Campo.

caravan 4

It must be laundry day for these Mexicans south of Ixtapa.

caravan 5We were told that the Chiapas natives didn’t like to have their pictures taken because the camera may steal their soul, but we couldn’t resist sneaking this one out a back window to show how the small women carry heavy loads on their backs up steep mountain paths. caravan 6

We are camped on the beach in Chetumul. We enjoyed the evening

while other drove into Belize to buy some cheap gas and booze.


caravan 7The market in Neuvo Progresso. Remember, it’s almost

100 degrees outside and there is no refrigeration.

caravan 8

A boat trip up the man-made lake at Chiapas de Corozo was spectacular.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons