Driving Down Mexico Way
February 16, 2006
Filed under Travel
Some RVers, such as Amanda and Rich Ligato, relish the idea of foreign travel. The Ligatos quit their corporate jobs and set out on a three-year journey over four continents, 24 countries and 60,000 miles in their RV. Their book, Wide-Eyed Wanderers — A Befuddling Journey From the Rat Race to the Roads of Latin America and Africa, shows how moving outside of your comfort zone can truly change your life.
Yet for some, the mere thought of driving an RV across the border to Mexico brings forth a cold sweat. Don’t let horror stories inhibit your explorations. Although you may not be ready to cross continents like the Ligatos, you can prepare to cross borders and explore Mexico with confidence. Fear of having a roadside breakdown or accident in Mexico is one of the main reasons RVers avoid driving in our neighbor to the south. Make sure your Emergency Roadside Assistance plan provides coverage in Mexico. Good Sam’s RV Emergency RoadsideGood Sam’s RV Emergency Roadside</a>Assistance offers full benefit coverage available on a reimbursement basis up to $1,000 in Mexico.
Before leaving, have your vehicle serviced and in optimum condition. Bring along an extra fan belt, fuses and other spare parts that may come in handy. Be on the lookout for the “Green Angels,” a fleet of radio-dispatched trucks with bilingual crews who offer medical first aid, mechanical aid and basic supplies (the only charges are for parts and supplies). Stay aware and alert. Don’t expect the same road standards as in the United States. Always drive slowly since livestock may appear on the road, and construction sites are often unmarked. Avoid driving at night.
Another sticking point for reluctant travelers is the insurance issue. Review your health-insurance policy before you travel. You may need supplemental health insurance while traveling (U.S. Medicaid and Medicare do not cover medical costs incurred outside of the United States). If you become seriously ill, notify the U.S. consular officers. Your U.S. automobile-liability insurance is not valid in Mexico, and neither are most collision and comprehensive coverages issued by U.S. companies. Check with your RV insurance company to determine your coverage in Mexico. Before you cross the border, purchase adequate insurance for your RV. A good rule of thumb is to buy coverage equivalent to your U.S. policy. There are plenty of kiosks offering short-term insurance near the border, but they tend to be more expensive.