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Author Topic: Canada to Mexico West coast family Trip Dec 2011 - few missing items.  (Read 2947 times)
robertglines1
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« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2011, 10:15:04 AM »

Mini-split-----Ck out     MiniSplitShop.com      they run specials from time to time.  just had 9000 on sale for 399 plus 46  shipping.   heat and cool.     Bob
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
viento1
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« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2011, 12:09:11 PM »

Ok, I have my map out and noted all the recommendations. Thank you very much.

I love twisty, complicated roads in the bus Smiley

Aye aye captain,  no stopping in quaint Mexican road side turnouts.
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Ok, it's time to go on another road trip.
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MC5
Iceni John
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« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2011, 12:32:53 PM »

Huntington Beach CA also has some RV parking right on the beach:  http://huntingtonbeachca.gov/visitors/beach_info/parking_and_camping.cfm#rv_parking
South of HB, Newport Dunes RV Resort is expensive and often crowded, but is an option if HB is full.

South of the border, you really want to keep on the Cuota, not the free old road.   The old road is very poorly signposted and has some serious potholes, at least between TJ and Rosarito.   South of there, I don't know, but my sister used to drive down from Canada to Mulege most winters and she didn't have too many problems along the way.

Have fun, John
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1990 Crown 2R-40N-552:  6V92TAC, DDEC II, HT740, Jake.      Hecho en Chino.     
Behind the Orange Curtain, SoCal.
eagle19952
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« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2011, 05:59:47 PM »

eagle19952: Is that your bus emergency fund?  Shocked


two or threee more runs and i get a full partnership,thats the front money.... Cheesy
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Donald PH
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JRandall
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« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2011, 06:10:00 PM »

La Buffadora...south of Ensenada. Interesting site.
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Randall... a noobie from Fresno, CA. Don't yet have a bus, but looking and leaning to an RTS. I like the lines and research indicates to me that while they have less storage, they seem to be simpler.
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« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2011, 12:18:27 PM »

Just noticed this thread.

I've got a 67 5A based in San Francisco.  Traveled up hwy 1 to Mendocino a few times and I hope you have a Jake and enjoy tight hilly windy roads.  Many 15mpg, 90 degree, turns. Is quite a workout for the driver!

I'm actually planning a trip from SF to Southern California Dec 17th to the 1st.  I have a three year old.  Hopefully our paths can cross! I was thinking of hitting Mexico but am not sure.  Probably safer and easier just to stay in the states.  We plan to spend most of our time hanging on the beach between LA and the Mexico border.  Boon-docking is OK from what I know in National forests, but is probably non existent on the coast.

Let me know if you need any additional info!

Mike


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viento1
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« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2011, 02:03:42 PM »

He Mike,

I would love to see the 67 maybe we can work it out. I expect to be in the LA area for Xmass but who knows. I am sure the kids would tire each other out in an afternoon.

Often when I say boondocking I really mean stopping to sleep on our way to somewhere interesting.
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Ok, it's time to go on another road trip.
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MC5
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« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2011, 04:59:38 PM »

I drove my bus up the 1 from San Diego to Castorville earlier this year, I liked the drive.  As the driver, you won't get to take in much of the scenery.  The only other rv's I met were class C's and not many of them.  Stop in at the Nepenthe restaurant on the coast.  Check about road conditions, recently there was a thread, on this site, commenting on the 1 being closed indefinitely due to a slide.

I didn't think much of Hearst Castle but since you have kids it might be worth your time.  Much of the coast is locked as far as free camping with some cities ticketing you for parking in their town.  RV's become a problem very fast in Southern CA.

Since you like wine you will be close to some wine regions.  I like the Dry Creek area of Sonoma County.  If you decide to go that way I will inquire about free spots in the vineyards.

I recommend Venice Beach if you hit LA on a sunny Saturday.  Your kids will remember that forever even though they have filled in the graffiti pit.  Research parking though.  My only idea is to try the Washington Street beach parking lot.  Maybe if you get there early in the morning, they will let you park and if they do I'm not sure you can get out before suppertime.

Once you're in the San Diego area, I recommend the San Elijo campground.  It is spendy but you're at a prime surf spot with a cute California beach town across the street.  Since I live in San Diego, I'm weak on boondocking ideas.

I haven't talked to anybody with Mexico camping experience for the last couple of months but until then it was safe to drive to Cabo.  There are three border Crossings in the San Diego area.

San Ysidro border crossing is the busiest and usually has the longest wait times.  For example, currently there are 18 lanes open and a wait time is 90 minutes.  During rush hour it is routinely over 3 hours.

Otay Mesa is 30ish minutes east and currently has 9 lanes open and a 55 minute wait.  I believe this is where much of the truck traffic crosses.

Tecate is 45ish minutes east and currently there are 2 lanes open and a 5 minute wait.  Tecate has a cute town square and is a very easy place to cross.

Should you choose to drive across in SD the recommendations haven't changed since I moved to CA, drive south of Rosarito a 30-45 minute drive before you think about stopping.  If you want to camp go at least to Ensenada if not farther south.  Should you drive off the toll road do it only during daylight as the topes (speed bumps) are bone jarring.

The highway along the west coast of Baja will cut across to the Sea of California and in the middle is a small town (forgot name) where dirt bikers stay.  The food at the diner is a Mexican interpretation of American greasy spoon and wonderful when I was there a couple of years ago. 

In my opinion. the coast around Mulege is some of the most beautiful landscape in the world.

The other way to go south is to head out of AZ to Puerto Penasco and drive down the Sea of California.  Surfing sucks but it is a nice drive and at that time of year the inland trip through parts of NV, AZ and CA is pleasant.  The kids will like the dunes at Glamis.

You are welcome to dry camp in front of my house should you come to SD. 

Mike   


 
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napamikey
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« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2011, 03:10:10 PM »

OK.. now for my northern cal input...

I have the most experience in nor cal from the lost coast (Fort Bragg) to Santa Cruz.

Highway 1 south from the lost coast to San Francisco is tight and windy most of the way.  If you were pressed for time taking 101 to SF would save many hours of driving time.   If you do take 1 south some good eastern crossovers are hwy 20 between Fort Bragg and Mendocino and goes through the Jackson State Forest.  Highway 116 at Jenner, it follows the Russian river resort area.  From SF to Santa Cruz 280 to 85 is a pretty and faster journey.  Highway 1 is good and not nearly as curvy as north of SF.

As for camping or boondocking. Some of the state run campgrounds have overflow parking lots that you may be able to crash at, also keep in mind that a lot of State run campgrounds have size limits for RV's.  These are not set in stone as I have stayed at Salt Point State Park with my 35' rig with no troubles although the limit is 31'.  I would call ahead to see if you can get your bus in.  Also be sure to check to see if they are open or not as many State campgrounds are seasonally closed.  Some completely, some just a few days a week.  My favorite campgrounds is Stillwater Cove (dump station), run by Sonoma County and Memorial Park run by San Mateo County.  Half Moon Bay State Beach also has a campground right on the beach.

If you plan on staying in SF for a little bit I highly recommend the City Pass (http://www.citypass.com/san-francisco), it includes a 7 day cable car ($6 per ride) and bus pass, a bay cruise and admission to the best museums in town.  At only $40 for kids and $70 per adults it is a steal. If you do plan to stay near SF and camp in the bus I would recommend staying at Golden Gate RV park in Greenbrae, walking distance to Ferry into SF, or Treasure Island RV park in South San Francisco, only 2 blocks from BART, the regional subway, 10 min to SF.  I would not recommend driving in the city itself.

Hope this helps! Please let me know if you need any additional info.
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2011, 03:37:36 PM »

Hey Randy, if you get over to Yuma give us yell and see if we are still here.  I still owe you and your wife a dinner for the steering wheel.  Grin
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« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2011, 05:52:15 PM »

Otay Mesa is 30ish minutes east and currently has 9 lanes open and a 55 minute wait.  I believe this is where much of the truck traffic crosses.
I always use the Otay Mesa crossing every time I go to TJ Aeropuerto or the Central Camionera (you'll still see Eagles there in revenue service!).   From the 805 it's only a few miles east on the 905, and new sections of the 905 are being built to make it all freeway from the 805 to the border.   Going south is easy, and the wait coming north is usually much less than San Ysidro.   There's one lane for RVs entering USA, and trucks have their own crossing a mile or so to the west.   I've never crossed at Tecate, but the smaller the crossing the less likely the northbound wait.   Not all crossings are open 24 hours  -  I went to a wedding in Mexicali, and we walked through on foot because it closes to cars at night.   You'll see a line of empty cars parked there waiting for it to open, and their owners come back in the morning before it reopens!

John   
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1990 Crown 2R-40N-552:  6V92TAC, DDEC II, HT740, Jake.      Hecho en Chino.     
Behind the Orange Curtain, SoCal.
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« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2011, 11:08:24 PM »

Great stuff, I am busy making notes and plotting my route. The kids feel Disney is something they do not want to miss. So $700 later Shocked I may still convince them that collecting shells on the beach is the best way to see LA.

We spend a week to head South to LA which gives us plenty of time to stop in SF and that city pass sounds like the best way to do it.  Heading to Mexico on the 25th or 26th.

Hey Ed, I think we may do Arizona on the return trip... will let you know.
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Ok, it's time to go on another road trip.
www.randalclark.com
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« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2011, 06:28:39 AM »

When in San Diego-especially with the kids-stay at Campland on the Bay.  True the campsites are only about 16ft wide, but during winter, the campground should not be full.  Swimming pool for kids and adults, right on the north end of Mission Bay. Has launching ramp, boat rentals, water toy rental.  Within eye shot view of Seaworld-can see there fireworks at around 9:45pm.  Even though the campground can be crowded and the campsites are tight, you're right in San Diego (which when having a campfire is bizarre to me), minutes from Seaworld, downtown gas lamp district, fishermans wharf and the Midway aircraft carrier, etc.

If staying in Morro Bay, either Morro Dunes or Morro Strand RV Park (a bit cheaper) are good.  A shuttle bus comes right to the RV park to go into town.  Right across from the beach. 

Please do your family a big favor-stay out of Mexico!!  With all the murders, kidnappings (your kids?), you'll be a much happier camper staying in the good old USA.  If you do go to Mexico, leave the RV here and go on a guided tour and never separate out of the tour group.  Really nothing much to see over the border anyway.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2011, 06:47:42 AM »

Randy, also keep in mind the bus rally in Quartzsite Jan. 19-21 if you can fit it into your schedule. Grin
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« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2011, 08:12:31 AM »

Randy,

I walked into an office of Discoverbaja also discoverbaja.com the other day.  They describe their company as the AAA of Baja California.  They will provide all the paperwork you need for Mexico.

TomC brings up two good points.  The news is full of Mexican violence.  My knowledge is second hand from people who have returned.  Those I've talked with don't believe the tourist issues have changed much over the years.  I do have a friend who is going down over Thanksgiving.  He goes with his family every couple of months and he mainly stays in a guarded park which has been his practice for for the last 15 years to avoid campsite pilfering when he is out.

The second point concerning Campland.  It is on the bay so the water will be warmer and it is closer than the San Elijo campground to the local activities, however, Campland's only surf is from jetski's and ski boats. 

Earlier I forgot to mention, that in December, unless there is a storm, I don't believe the wind is strong enough to kite surf.  Again my knowledge is anecdotal as I don't surf. 

Mike
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