Sunday, February 28, 2010

Reader Questions - New RV - Real de Catorce

If I weren't so lazy I would set up a real webpage where you could find all the places we have boondocked along with information such as gps coordinates. Someday. I think I am waiting for someone to help me.

Bob asked about the leak we had in our rv on the trip to Florida. First off, I tend to over-exagerate in a crisis. Fortunately, I haven't had too many of those in my life. I think I can count them on one hand. I sealed the trailer well, found the source of the main leak. A second appeared during the torrential downpours across the Gulf states. One was a screw at the top of the trailer that holds the side molding into place. It was never sealed from the factory. I found it over a year ago but unfortunately, I didn't use the right kind of silicone hence the reappearance. The second leak was around the front window. Shadow Cruisers and I guess all travel trailers with a front window need to be sealed regularly to avoid these problems.

No more leak but we weren't able to sell the trailer in the U.S. as the title was surrendered during the export process to Mexico. I went to both Florida and Texas and both were a no go. So we brought it home, cleaned it up and it is for sale. All with the idea that the new owner will know the history of our trailer. Six years old and I feel safe to guess we have traveled over 35,000 miles in it and it is a good sturdy entry level travel trailer. In fact, it amazes us how well it has held together if you could have seen where we have taken it. No road is too bad for us to cover. Yesterday, a very interested party came to look at it and they will be back today. They loved it.

So what about the new trailer? We have our sights set on a Funfinder 230DS which I showed the floor plan for. It is 24ft long, has a living room slide and a bedroom slide and weighs in at 4000lbs. We can tow up to 8800lbs with the Dodge 5.7 Hemi. The problem is that they only made a few of these units and they are scattered all over the place. Apparently the tongue weight was high in comparison to the overall weight limiting the idea of "light" towing. I have researched the internet to death looking at other options but we always come back to this unit. So expect a trip from us to Calendaria, Penn. if such a place exists.

Wayne has asked some interesting questions about Real de Catorce (click on the link). We were there after the no-tell event at the La Siesta Rv Park at Christmas. This is a real jewel and needs to be explored by any Mexico rver. You can't get an rv into the tunnel, not only is it low in some spots, but rocks jut out from the sides without notice. We parked in front of a small plaza just meters from the entrance to the tunnel. There is no traffic at night so it is very quiet. Also, as you get to the top of the mountain, there is a road to the left where buses park. It is ideal for overnighting and there really isn't any limit on the size of your rv. The only rig I would take to Real de Catorce through the tunnel would be a pop up truck camper. (this is really a great rig for boondocking, secured and closed when you're not around and it can go anywhere with out worry of tree limbs, low bridges, etc. and Chalet makes a hard-sided popup). Even the tourist buses are special made for the tunnel. As you can see in the pictures on the link above, the roofs are very low and even then it scared the pants off of me as I could practically feel the jagged edges of the tunnel brushing my face as we went through.

But once on the other side, you can walk and eat and take pictures and eat, oops, I said eat twice.


  1. Thanks for the tips! According to the Church book "Mexican Camping" the tunnel is 8'10" high which rules out most RV's. The Northern Lite truck camper on a 4X2 Ford Ranger is about 8'4" high, close enough that they might not let me in. From your description that sounds likely. Chalet has discontinued making any more of their Oregon pop-up truck campers according to an interview with their boss on Truck Camper Magazine. They are going the full size rt starting with a triple slide that is down right amazing. Would towing one of their pop-up A-frame trailers through there be possible? Just thinking in terms of length of the set-up, not height. I'm leaning towards a Four Wheel Camper pop-up truck camper backed up to an Oztent. Another idea is to get a teardrop trailer and put it completely inside an Oztent set up with the peaked panels attached to the awning. Would have a secure bedroom, a kitchen, stand up privacy. Could tow with a VW Jetta wagon tdi or a Golf tdi. Not sure I want to tow, but I like that idea. And I really enjoy your blog, keep up the great work! Very informative, eye opening for people with preconceived views of Mexico. Wade

  2. I was wondering if there are any spots I can safely camp out in my tent. I know, sounds kind of silly, but I want to go at the end of December for my birthday and every hotel is booked.

  3. I was wondering if there are any spots I can safely camp out in my tent. I know, sounds kind of silly, but I want to go at the end of December for my birthday and every hotel is booked.