Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
I know it is only June, but I am in a heated discussion with my wife about where we are headed this coming winter. We have tried all the supposedly warm southern destinations in the U.S. and are often holed up in the motorhome because it is too cold outside.
The problem is, I want to go as far down the Baja Peninsula as possible and spend the winter where I am guaranteed warmth. My wife watches too much news and thinks everyone that goes to Mexico is in grave danger.
I am not ignorant of the facts, I just know that a lot of RVer's go into Mexico every winter and seem to have no problem.
Am I asking too much? Do you think I would be putting my wife under too much pressure?
--Baja in a Bounder from Boise
Before you go, I think you should both be comfortable with it. Having your wife spend the winter out of her comfort zone would defeat the whole purpose of living the RV dream.
It will take some studying on your part. You'll want to make sure you know the rules and regulations of entering and traveling into Mexico. Carry the right insurance, have your passports, and take no weapons. That is just the beginning of what you should be aware of. My suggestion would be for you to read and study the many up-to-date forums and blogs of RVer's who do this every winter. I would share this information, good and bad, with your wife as you progress.
Knowing that thousands of others are doing the same thing might make her begin to feel more comfortable about the adventure.
Many people who RV to Mexico will tell you they have never had a problem. This might very well be true. However, if you read the U.S. Embassy Report online, you will find it's not true for everyone that travels there.
You might want to find others to caravan with. Safety in numbers can be a much less stressful way to travel into Mexico.
Most people find services very accommodating in Mexico, some say more accommodating than many of the snowbird areas of the U.S.
The bottom line: There is a lot of insanity in the beautiful areas just south of our borders. Caution is advised, but with the right preparations you are most likely not to have any problems.
Traveling close to the border in the U.S. can have its own dangers, but you will find a heavy law enforcement presence and the insurance that they are there to help you.
It's not like the old western films in Mexico where the good guys wear the white hats and the bad guys wear the black hats.
It's a personal choice. My only suggestion is that you are both comfortable with the decision before going.
--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink