Sherman, parked for the night at Rocky Springs Campground on the Natchez Trace Parkway, Mississippi. Photo taken yesterday!
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Natchez Visitor Center, Natchez, Mississippi.

Where are they going next? West into Louisiana!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

RV Caravan trip to Mexico

Most of our regular readers will remember when we led an RV caravan group in Mexico for the month of February in 2016. That was a kind of a test run for us to be able to decide if we wanted to lead a longer caravan.

And, we did end up making a commitment to lead one this coming winter. I was talking with the organizer yesterday, and it turns out that you can still come with us if you like!

We're only taking a small group. Maximum 10 other rigs. So we're going to be a close knit bunch of amigos for the three months that we're traveling together.

And boy, we're going to have some adventures!

Taken looking at Ruth's mirror. 
That's why it looks like we're on the wrong side of the road!

We haven't been down to the Yucatan area in our motorhome since the winter of 2008-2009. I don't think much has changed though. It's going to be a bit of a more "rustic" experience at times, since some of the RV parks and overnight scheduled stops don't have the amenities that we're used to up here in Canada or the United States. But, that's part of the adventure and if you're prepared for it, it's not a problem.

They are doing two separate caravans to the Yucatan. The group that we lead crosses into Mexico at Laredo, Texas on January 5th,  2018. The second unit leaves the same point, but two days later on January 7th.

It turns out that there are still some spaces available, and that if you specifically request to be in our group, arrangements can quite likely be made. We'd love to have you with us. Did I mention it's going to be an adventure??!

You can have a look at the full itinerary here... (we are the group listed as "Spring 1")...


Worried about safety? We have been all over Mexico in our motorhome during the course of eight winters. We have never had a problem with anything unsafe. In fact, we have never even seen anybody having a problem. If you are not in the drug business, it is highly unlikely that you will have a problem either.

Still worried? Whenever possible, we travel with the support of the "Green Angels". These Mexican roadside assistance and  safety crews are usually top notch mechanics, and they often speak some basic English as well. We sometimes use them to redirect traffic and help us get through congested areas...

Kevin, with some members of the Green Angels.

It's not cheap to come with us. But, if you wouldn't otherwise go by yourself, spending the money to come with a caravan is a good way to introduce yourself to something you might not otherwise ever get a chance to do.

These trips are priced in Canadian dollars because historically, the peso to $CAD exchange rate has been more stable than the peso to $USD exchange rate. For a couple traveling in one rig, it is $12,450 Canadian for the nearly three month trip. And until July 31st, it is $9,350 USD, but on August 1st the U.S. price goes up to $9,750 because the U.S. dollar has been dropping vs most world currencies. Tell them you booked because of Kevin and Ruth, and you'll still get it at the lower rate, even after August 1st. :-)

You are still responsible for fuel, toll fees, and incidentals. Your fees cover campground expenses, all group tours, all group meals out that are on the itinerary (approx 27 meals out), and the expert services of Kevin and Ruth if you decide to come during the dates we are leading!!

Other tours are still open as well there is a shorter fall tour that leaves in October.


The Caravanas de Mexico website is very detailed and will likely answer all of your questions. But if there's anything else you want to know, just ask us and we'll get the answer for you!

So, who wants to come along for an adventure with us??

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The popular Sport-Brella is on deal of the day today... never been this cheap!


And in Canada, a drinking fountain for your dog is on sale...




25 comments:

  1. I should mention that the customers who were with kevin & ruth last season gave them very high marks. In fact kevin is largely responsible for us trying to add a bit more adventure to the trips than the same old, same old. I scouted this route last spring and I intentionally looked for some more adventurous stuff to inject. I found a few. 1) Calakmul: This is a set of impressive ruins 40 km up a jungle road near the Guatemalan border. Few people get in there. 2) Dziblanche near Chetumal, also off the tourist route. 3) a 3 hour cruise on Lake Bacalar, we intend to take coolers of beer & food on board, great swimming off the boat. 4) A perified waterfall near oaxaca and a swimming hole on the edge of a cliff. I have convinced the owner to axe Cancun. Why go to a place you can go on a 1 week all inclusive, plus its a tourist trap. I checked out isla Mujeres last year. I had not been there in 30 years. Now it is a paved over tourist trap. We still do Chichen-Itza which has 5000 visitors per day, but we camp 1/2 km away and are out of there before all the tour buses arrive. We give wagon masters the power to improvise which fits the way Kevin & Ruth operate.

    Also this route may not be suitable for really large rigs, check with us first

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    1. Thanks for all the extra info Paul. We had wanted to go to Calakmul back in 2009 when we were in the area but we did the research beforehand and found that we couldn't take our dog so we didn't do the trip in so it will be nice to see it this time. I remember reading somewhere that that was a good camping/parking area that wasn't too far from there, it might be better than a Pemex. We have been to Dziblanche back on the 2009 trip, it is small but definitely off the beaten path kind of place. We rode our bikes to it. We haven't done a cruise on Bacalar Lake though, we have heard that it is really pretty though. Did the petrified waterfall , loved the scenery there, absolutely fantastic. We are looking forward to this winter trip and showing everyone the places that we love.

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  2. Jean and I (Mark) just spent 5 weeks in March/April in Qroo. Traveled from Xcalak to Cancun. The highway is totally improved all the way to Chetumal (the capital). A far cry from when we first went...its was gravel just outside Play del Carmen going south. Our favourite spot was Akumal...it's now over run with snorkel tours. Tulum is growing and the traffic there is getting bad. When we first went to the Tulum ruins, I think there 12 people including us. We really enjoyed ourselves...but alas the world has discovered the area. It's not as "out of the way" as it used to be. Not much has changed as far as RV camping...it's almost non existent.

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    1. I remember them working on the road when we drove down back in 2009 so nice to hear that it is all complete the only problem with that is it will mostly likely mean more traffic. Yes, Akumal it pretty but as you said overrun with tourists. Still we would love to go to the turtle sanctuary there and go swimming with the turtles, I believe it is in a National Park and is still quite rustic. Never went to the Tulum ruins, even then it was too busy for our liking, it would have been fantastic to have seen them back in the day with hardly anyone around. No that area certainly isn't off the beaten path anymore, however from Chetumal on it is.

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  3. The maya coast is a challenge. The only RV park of any size between Cancun & Chetumal is at Paamul. $50 US a night. We pay it, but we don't like it.

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    1. Yes, it would be nice if we could find somewhere that could take the caravan that was a little more rustic but there aren't many options in that area. We will keep our eyes open for an alternative spot when we are down there.

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  4. I've been reading articles on people having their drinks tampered with...contaminated with drugs. They have drink testers to determine if drugs are present in your drink. Some tourist drowned in resort swimming pools after their drinks were spiked with drugs.

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    1. That is a new one on me. Certainly not an issue on a caravan

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    2. Actually there is a major street in one city (cant remeebr which one) where it is reversed. There are also sections of the main road through Oaxaca where it is reversed.

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    3. Good thing we are all responsible adults that won't we joining in on the night club scene. Plus, we don't believe half the stuff that the media writes.

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  5. Sounds like a great way to travel by RV in Mexico. I'll bet everyone has a great time.

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    1. It is for a lot of people that wouldn't travel to Mexico otherwise. I am sure we will all have a great time. :-)

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  6. I hope the pic at top of page was transposed (turned around) because you are either traveling on wrong side of high way or you are really in GB.

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    1. The picture caption said Kevin took the picture looking at Ruth's mirrow...They are on the right side of road :-)

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    2. Kevin never was one to follow the rules

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    3. Rita is correct, except that I took the picture out my window into the mirror, Kevin was busy concentrating on driving. :-)

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  7. BTW, Kevin the Yucatan has changed since 2008-2009. Quite a few new roads which makes getting from Mexico city over to the coast a lot easier. RV parks have declined a bit. I did find a good spot to camp in near Canyon sumedero. I have done that trip before, but in spring it was closed due to them working on the dam. That should not be the case this season. it is used by bises but its a huge lot and has a shower & a water tap, much better than dry camping inthe Sams Club parking lot in San Cristobel. There is one open Rv park in San cristobel itelf, but the street arrangement there makes it impossible to get trailers into. Nice new park in Oaxaca. Let's just say I am very glad I scouted it all out last Spring and I will tweak it this Fall. One highlight was a boat trip on Lake Bacalar near Chetumal. We did that for 2 hours, but I want to try it for 3 and take food & drink along. We also arranged a boat trip in Catemaco & visited the islands with its monkeys. Both of those trips are Ok to take dogs along as long as there are not too many. Mine really enjoyed both. Nice thing for him as I had to have him put down later in the trip (15 yrs old). BTW we cant take dogs into Calakmul, you have to pass throguh a nature reserve to get there and they are not allowed. We will try and pre-arrange with a local to look after them in Fall and give you the info for Spring. Its possible bernie, Gabriels son will travel with your group (He has a tent). He is along as an interpretor. We will put him with whichever Wagon master needs him more. If so, he can look after dogs. We will have to overnight in a Pemex near the turnoff. We have already set that up, plus transport, since you cannot get RV's into there. This is an opportunity to see a Mayan site with pyramids rising up out the jungle well before it becomes a tourist attraction. They still have an admission booth, however. We have still not secured Wagon Masters for trip #2. I am gald you are taking #1, as you may be more experienced in the route and can pass info back by phone to them. If any of your readers who have some driving experience in Mexico are interested, they would have to come along on my Fall trip leaving Oct 15th (to Dec 16th) to learn the route and our procedures. Thye have to pay but we would discount them and the money they made in Spring would mean they break even at least. If htta interests nayone call me at home after July 30th (camoig now) at 604-852-1342. Spanish is not as important as social & leadership skills.

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    1. Yes, there may be a few new or improved roads but all in all I doubt a lot has changed, except that it is even more busy and touristy than it used to be. Rv parks were pretty much non-existent even then, but then we never stayed in any of them except for a few days down at Xpu-Ha beach which has a few serviceable sites, although we just dry camped there, definitely not big enough for a caravan.

      Surprising that the boat trip in Catemaco allowed dogs because we did that trip as well and at the time we couldn't take Whiskey with us. We enjoyed our time in Catemaco and look forward to going back. I am surprised that you don't have the group staying at Hogar Infantil Orphanage just outside of the town of Ocozocuatla. It has sites for RV's as well as dry camping and they want the kids there to get the interaction with English speaking guests. It works out great for both the kids and the campers and isn't too far to drive for the tour of the Sumidero Canyon as well as doing a drive to the top of the canyon and then looking down on it.

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  8. We would LOVE to go Mexico with you - especially considering we now own 2 motorhomes! YES! We just bought Beautiful 30 ft Winnebago Class A! (Will soon sell Toyota Motorhome.) BUT....OVER $3,000 per month?? Don't sound like Kevin/Ruth style travel at all?? Find it expensive! Especially after reading you guys only spent avg $1,800 per month traveling ALL over Europe with limited time in shared rv - MOST time rented nice places to stay, rented car, train rides,airfare, food, restaurant food/wine & your other gen expenses, etc! Mexico less costly than Europe; plus, RV'er would NOT have airfare expense. I know you've been ALL over Mexico for around 8 yrs....NEVER seen your Mexico expenses ANYWHERE near $3,000.....actually 1/2 this price! AND, you do MUCH, spend little; eat out, entertainment, site see, enjoy yourself, etc. Disappointed in caravan HIGH cost - but do realize you do NOT set the prices. Could not imagine & don't think you'd spend that much money for Mexico rv travel? Different for you guys; you're Working caravan. Maybe, you guys could set up your own cost effective Caravan for your readers/guests??? That would be awesome! RV with Kevin & Ruth; their Unique Travel Style! Hope you guys seriously consider doing one! THEN, we would join you, probably LOTS others would too! Enjoy your summer! Nov-Mar in Puerto Vallarata area. Rented apt past 3 yrs. Less money than parking RV, flights $179! We've LOVED riding bus/combi. Locals (friends) brought us ALL over - Off the Beaten Path for sure! SO much to see & LOVE in Mexico - NEVER gets boring or too familiar. Enjoyed; FUN to help much needed fund raising events food bank, kids for school, Seniors & general medically needy! Awesome peeps - seems only natural to give back - after they're shared their beautiful country & Love with us! :)

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    1. Maybe it's the commission they earn and/or the event owner earns for showing RVers around Mexico that racks up the cost. There has to be some incentive to host the trip :-)

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    2. Hi there Pat glad to hear that you and Geraldine are doing well and still going to Mexico in the winter. Yes, sometimes it is just cheaper to fly in and rent a place for several months rather than driving down in an RV, especially if you aren't going to be driving all over the country.

      Yes, the caravan tour is expensive and yes, if we were to do the trip all by ourselves we could do it very inexpensively but when you have 10 other units with you, it is a whole other story. Many people don't realize all the planning and expense that is involved in doing a tour like this, ourselves included until we did the one month test back in February of 2015. It would be hard to keep costs down with that many rigs plus they have many tours along with transportation and meals that they provide in those costs. I am sure if we were to do something ourselves that would be similar to this, it would be cheaper but it would also be really roughing it and most people aren't quite up to that. Plus, people doing these tours like the security that comes with traveling on the toll roads accompanied with the Green Angels.

      Keep on having fun and doing all the good that you do for the locals on your visits to Mexico. Who knows perhaps we will bump into each other again. By the way, when will you be leaving to Mexico this winter?

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    3. Yes, I'm sure there's much to organize with tours, lots responsibility. Done all time; easier - know what works. Costing over $100 daily; 3 mos almost $10,000. Vs We stayed 6 mos;LOTS tours, traveled, etc spent $500 month; $3,000 6 months! Stayed double time; spent 1/2 Caravan cost!
      Just too costly for us/avg person. NO daily tour/entertainment. Been camping 36+ yrs probably could assist lead caravan! Never spent $3,000 month....not even when taking grandkids to Disney World/Universal/Sea World, etc! Mexico, always travel toll rd specifically for green angels security. Available any traveler, paying small price use toll rd. Funny story, Geraldine made "illegal" turn in San Louis Potosi-friendly motorcycle policeman - gives us Police Escort=Stopped ALL traffic for us; follow him, several miles to place! No ticket/fine -just nice escort. He allowed Geraldine to hug him/take pic he looked like Chip's officer! Ponce? Remember the show? Lots NEW rds in Mexico. New hwy - much shorter, cutting out traffic thru Guadalajara to PV...very soon to open. Nicer route for sure! I remember you saying you skip toll rds. We like green angel security - so we pay rd toll. Caravan cost probably related to lots peeps on payroll, organizer down to wagon master; many in between! Positive, we'd enjoy it - but that money could go SO much farther for lots more to do. Will be in Cozumel (on cruise) for Geraldine's birthday in Sept & again in April for our 40th Anniversary! If wealthy, would join you! (Got great deals on cruises - like you scout out travel!) Who knows maybe one day, we'd get rich; afford caravan!

      Fly to PV Mexico Nov 11th; also, bring our cat. Got a min toy poodle pup last wk & will be bringing her also. She's my birthday present July 21st :) So glad business & restaurants in Mexico welcome "good" pets, bringing them nice bowl water, before coming to peeps! Although, we do bring our pets "home" (condo) prior to eating out.

      Did you know Mexico gov't SUBSIDIZES every elec bill? No matter whose name on account! Billed every 60 days. Common in Mexico, landlords supply MUCH, except your clothes. We use carry on for self, personal clothes & checked luggage full donations (clear out friends/family closets too/our closets/grandkids). Southwest allows 2 carry on pp & 2 checked bags pp FREE! First yr we brought clothes for donation - Hurricane Patricia hit & we gave to those in need. School supplies are much needed too. Our landlord also provides airport p/u & drop off FREE! Honestly, we SAVE money wintering in Mexico! Food is AWESOME, wonderful FreSH VEGGIES/FRUITS! Straight out garden to truck, picked same morning! LOVE Mexico & LOVE Mexicans! Peeps are so friendly, skilled/talented, always willing to help, very creative & unique! Had engine computer rebuilt, quite bit misc engine preventative maint completed for 10% of normal price! Shop owner allowed us to "camp" inside his secured shop/home - free elec & water! Also got BEST front end alignment ever! Kids/adults literally ran out tiny house as we pulled into "garage". Horses moved to side. Chairs brought out for us to sit on. Very accommodating! 2 adults/4 kids started working align front end of motorhome. GREAT teamwork - everyone knew their part! Quickly done & proper way; B E S T Job ever! Top Knotch! Kids "escorted" us on bikes back to main rd! Cost? 10% of normal price!

      Now you know why we go back! Many friends, like "family" to us"! Mexico is place like NO other! Hope to you Kevin/Ruth real soon! I'm sure we'll cross path real soon! Look forward to seeing you guys soon, one day! Peace - Enjoy yourselves! We'll have fun together again, soon - that I'm sure of. Might even SURPRISE you & work for you with the Caravans! Peace & Love!

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    4. We don't disagree with you at all Pat, it is expensive! As I said before, we can definitely travel by ourselves for cheaper but the majority of these people do it because they don't want to travel alone, they don't want to have to do the planning, they just follow along and enjoy the trip. We know people who spend $3-$4,000 a month just living and traveling through the USA, everyone has their own budget and that is what you have to live by. For you it is flying into Mexico and staying in one place for the 6 months, that works well for you and you don't have to spend a lot of money to do it but then you are staying in one place for the whole winter, not everyone wants to do that, us included, we love to travel around and see what the whole country has to offer.

      Yes, Mexico is a great place, it is like a second home to us and that is also why we keep coming back, there is very little that we don't like there. We can't wait to get back there for their fruits and vegetables as well as the delicious meals which are all so inexpensive. We have had so many special memories of Mexico and the wonderful people that we have met there that treat us like family. I am sure that one day we will be calling Mexico home!

      Just in case you are interested, the caravan company is looking for future wagon masters, you can contact Paul Beddows if you are interested, I think his contact information is in the link to the RV caravan the Kevin included in the post.

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  9. Wish I could afford..... how about a discount for the followers from 10 years ago?

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    1. Who knows, maybe they would offer you one if you asked the organizer! ;-)

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