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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I mentioned it in the other thread, so I might as well start a thread now for my questions, even though it will be a couple of months before I make the trip.

I've got to drive from Cancun to Laredo to bring back my stuff. My plan is to either rent a small cargo van, if I can find one to rent with an automatic transmission, or to buy the car I want (a jeep wrangler) and tow a trailer on the way back or both directions. But I'll ask mostly about the route in this thread.

My personal endurance limit for driving (alone) is 6-8 hours. Six is a fairly comfortable day, eight is beginning to push it for me as far as concentration, staying awake etc. That's counting only hours actually driving and concentrating. Google says the trip is 32 hours end-to-end along the route I'm planning (cancun-puebla-San Luis Potosi-Laredo), so dividing it into 5 days averages to 6.5 hours a day, which is about right for me. Except then that doesn't work out for some reason.

I just tried to find big cities to stop in, I know nothing about any of these places as far as which have good hotels or are desirable or not to stop in. It's not a sight-seeing trip, I just want quiet beds and secure parking.

Looking at the map, and times between cities, my first try resulted in:

day 1: Cancun - Merida - Campeche - Champoton (6.5 hours)
day 2: Champoton - Ciudad de Carmen - Villahermosa - Cardenas (6.25 hours)
day 3: Cardenas - Minititlan - Cordoba - Puebla (7 3/4 hours)
day 4: Puebla - San Luis Potosi (7 hours)
day 5: San Luis Potosi - Laredo (9 hours)

That's not too good, day 5 is too long. And somehow the sum is much more than the 32 hours google quotes for end-to-end.

One problem is the Cardenas-Minititlan section, it seems longer than it should be (is that a very slow portion of the road?) That section is 134 km, but google says nearly 2 hours drive, (that would be only about 40 mph). And there's nowhere much to stop in between. So it's a little too far to get to Minititlan but stopping in Cardenas makes the next two days too long.

Others have said going the other way to stop in Saltillo the first night from Laredo, but I can't get there from Puebla in one day. I can see allowing a shorter day's drive coming south, due to customs delays.

All help dividing it up and reports of good hotels along the way super appreciated.

Should I make it 6 days?
 

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We stayed in Saltillo the first night out of Laredo to reward ourselves after have driven from the US east coast. We stayed at a very nice hotel with gated parking (for the car and trailer). We had a nice meal and then got a good night's rest. I have no idea if there is anything to do in Saltillo. In the morning we headed out early. Too early as a matter of fact. I passed a stopped bus in a hospital zone on the way to the highway and got pulled over by the police. That cost us $20 US. (One of the two times we have been the victims of mordida over the years).

I'm not sure Google's travel time estimates are geared towards people pulling a trailer.

So I'm looking at a map of northern Mexico. Does Cancun have a commercial port ? I'm sure cruise ships stop there (in normal times) but do ferries and such go there ? If not, I'm sure they go to Progresso. I wonder if there are ferries (or such) which run from Corpus Christi to Progresso/Cancun.

Everyone here is probably more expert in travelling to the US than I but I'll tell you - I HATE the road out of Mexico City on the way to Queretaro/Guanajuato. It reminds me of a truck route in New Jersey/New York. The last time I swore we would only ever drive to places Mexico City and South.
 

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Thereis no ferry to the US, over the years theyhave been many plans for ferry but all have failed as far as I know.
The op does not have to leave Mexco city , the Arco norte goes around it , thank God.
 

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I drive the speed limit and drive San Cristobal Cordoba or Orizaba in 7 h to 8h San Cristobal Puebla in 10 hours so google map is off. San Cris Puebla I would think is farther than Viillahermosa Puebla.. You are right there is nothing between Minamitlan and Cordoba but pineapples and sugar cane...Boring with trucks going to Vera Cruz. Once there was a piece of metal in the road that busted a tire and a window and we waited for hours on the side of the road for the adjuster and the green angels .. We had 3 mastiffs in the car.. after that we brought water and a tarp in casr we got stuck again... no shade nothing that is the road.
 

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Thereis no ferry to the US, over the years theyhave been many plans for ferry but all have failed as far as I know.
The op does not have to leave Mexco city , the Arco norte goes around it , thank God.
I know there has been talk for years of a ferry between Tampa Fl and Progresso - but I have never heard of similar talk for one out of Corpus Christi. If it were me I would ask. What's the harm. Maybe there would even be a way to bring a 20 ft container into Progesso from Texas. In fact - I think someone on one of these forums mentioned doing that...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've made some calls in the past - one international shipping guy said "the hard part is going to be getting your stuff from Laredo around to florida" (lol). He could have helped me with a container from Tampa to Cancun, but didn't suggest even a Texas port.

But all the 3rd party movers I contacted said I had to get a Manaje de casa (sp?) and I looked into that, and it's just too big a PITA to bother with for the amount of stuff I have. The Seattle consulate where I got my visa indicated that I could get one through them (because they were the consulate where I got the visa). But I'd need to make an in-person appointment. So... a few hundred bucks to fly to seattle, plus a couple hundred for the Manaje, and I decided to just forget about it and pay whatever it costs at the border.

I can buy a second-hand trailer in Texas for a thousand bucks and even if I have to give it away when I get here I'll come out ahead on any way of moving the stuff involving a commercial company.

I'll do the drive, I just would like to have a plan for where to stop and stay. Although I realize that stuff happens and if I get any kind of breakdown it will throw me off the plan, but I didn't want to just completely wing it.
 

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Ok - here is some free unsolicited advice.
  • If you go with a top-shelf auto insurance policy (we have an AXA policy through HSBC) you should get road service included. There is also a AMA (I think) which is similar to AAA (auto club of america).
  • I use the HereWeGo app for navigation. I have downloaded the entire map of Mexico to the phone and use the app in offline mode (I don't care about traffic).
  • We got by with a single axle trailer, but you want to be sure to put the weight over the axle.
  • We had a drop down rear door as well as a side door which came in handy to rearrange the shifted load.
  • At one point we almost lost the trailer. There is a small 'pin' which attaches the hitch to the car. Ours was barely inserted at one point (bumpy road) and I stopped and bought one which locked (with a key).
  • We also had a small wheel which we could insert into the front of the trailer so we could wheel it around as needed.
  • We put on locking lug nuts.
  • We had a locking boot which prevented someone driving away with the trailer.
  • We had a lock near the ball of the hitch so the car could not be detached.
  • Cross your chains.
  • We had plastic chocks to prevent the trailer from rolling when not attached to the car.
  • We installed some straps to the inside sides of the trailer to help segment the boxes etc.
  • Get a good spare tire and make sure it is readily accessible.

(We were not trailer people and were perhaps overly cautious :))
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Great advice, will apply it. I'm not a trailer people either, so will also be cautious. I'm hoping not to park on the street, ever, with this trailer, but maybe investing in the locking lug nuts and boot are worth it. At any rate, those are features to look for when buying. I'm thinking the boot may be overkill, but the other stuff sounds good. Maybe 2x4's to chock the wheels, this is Mexico after all.

I was poking around a week or two and saw a really nice double-axle trailer with a lift-down back, plywood paneled interior, and inside lights only asking $800, for sale somewhere in Texas. Never did find out where, it sold. In the middle of the blizzard.

When I get it to cancun, I have covered secure parking, so no worries about it getting stolen once it's here, it's just the 5 or so nights stopping along the way - hence my goal of pinning down where I was going to stay so I could verify they had walled parking.

I'll download that app and see what it says wrt trip planning.

@Citali: "drive [to] San Cristobal Cordoba or Orizaba in 7 h to 8h ". That's starting from where?
 

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Note that if you bring a trailer to Mexico, you will have to take it out. You cannot "give it away". Not in Mexico anyway. I believe it is on the Temporary Import Permit (TIP) for your vehicle and has to leave at some point. I only know this by hearsay, so take it with a grain of salt.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hmm, I won't be on a TIP for my vehicle, I'm buying it here. And I'm RP so no TIPs. I thought I read that trailers didn't need TIPs. But that's a caution, I still haven't determined whether I'm buying the trailer here or in Texas (so as to only have to pull it one-way). If I buy it here I'd have Mexican plates for it from the start rather than needing to get them later. I'll do some searching...
 

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I don't even know where I would go to buy a trailer here in Mexico. But if you were to buy one in Tamaulipas (Nuevo Laredo) I suspect you would have to register it there (get plates) and then transfer the registration in Cancun (I'm assuming). When we purchased our new car in Mexico, the dealer drove it to our home (different state) using dealer plates. We registered it as a new car.

You read all the time on forums such as this that RPs can't get a TIP. We might have been the exception - but years ago we got a short term TIP for our car and trailer. One TIP. At the bottom it said 'and trailer". I'd be willing to make a small wager that if you were to ask for a 1 month TIP in Nuevo Laredo you might get it. Then you would have to either drive it out of Mexico or import it. (Pure speculation). When it came to importing (and registering) the trailer everyone looked at us funny. They had no idea how to handle it. Transporte's system didn't have the right category etc. The same is true of the auto insurance companies (we had the trailer insured by two companies over the years). As I recall the insurance for the trailer was 'free'. Once again - at the bottom of the auto policy it said - 'and trailer".

When we finally sold our trailer it was to our mechanic who had a buyer. There is a form he completed (available at your typical stationary store) which stated that HE assumed all responsibilities from that day forward. That is important. Our neighbors never liked that we had a trailer parked in the street. At one point we considered donating it to Aduana just to be done with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah, I don't want to bring it in on a TIP, because I don't want to take it out. So it's going to be a lot easier to buy it in Mexico. I'll start looking in Cancun. Google maps showed me one place, and asking around I may find others. Gotta get the wrangler first, so I can drive around town looking for a trailer store.

In my building's parking garage there are people who have parked trailers (with jet skis on them), and people don't have to look at it out their window as it's below ground, so I think I'll be ok.
 

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Yes mercadolibre does have some listings but you need to search on 'remolque caja seca' and not simply 'trailer'.

Be sure to check out the reputacion.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks, that helps a lot. Knowing the specific phrase for what things are called here is always a little tricky.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I found some info that said that you could now get a TIP for a trailer separately from the TIP for the vehicle towing it, and that TIPs for trailers lasted 10 years. I think that means you can have one on an RP, since you can only be on a tourist visa for 180 days and an RT for 4 years - if those visas require you to leave in that amount of time, and you're required to take the trailer with you when you leave, then it makes no sense to have a TIP for 10 years. But that's just me thinking, it doesn't have to make sense. So if that's possible (to get a trailer TIP separately when the vehicle is mexican and the driver/owner is on an RP) then I could get a new or used trailer in Texas - where they seem to be cheaper.

It does look like it might be difficult to buy a new or used trailer in Mexico - the one sales place dominating the mercado libre pages is Remolques Don Toro in Monterrey. They say they manufacture trailers (to suit) and ship to all mexican states, but they are not cheap (about double what I was hoping to pay for a used one). Presumably there is some possibility of negotiation. But it would give me an option of having it delivered to Cancun or picking it up in Monterrey on my way (likely cheaper). And it would be Mexican from the start, no importing required, and I could sell it later.
 

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Take this with a grain of salt - but I think those 10 year TIPs are for Boat and RV type trailers. And maybe used in Baja ? If I had some free time I might print off an image of the type of remolque you are considering and walk into a local Banjercito office. Or perhaps stop in at Aduana at the Cancun airport. Heck - I would probably lay out my entire situation to someone at Aduana (my stuff is in Texas... I love Mexico... I'm RP now but might become a citizen... What would you do in my situation ? How would you get your stuff down from Texas ?). When we were sitting in Central Mexico with a car and trailer with an expired TIP that is what we did. We explained our situation to someone at Aduana Mexico City and they recommended a path forward...
 

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Well, I mentioned it in the other thread, so I might as well start a thread now for my questions, even though it will be a couple of months before I make the trip.

I've got to drive from Cancun to Laredo to bring back my stuff. My plan is to either rent a small cargo van, if I can find one to rent with an automatic transmission, or to buy the car I want (a jeep wrangler) and tow a trailer on the way back or both directions. But I'll ask mostly about the route in this thread.

My personal endurance limit for driving (alone) is 6-8 hours. Six is a fairly comfortable day, eight is beginning to push it for me as far as concentration, staying awake etc. That's counting only hours actually driving and concentrating. Google says the trip is 32 hours end-to-end along the route I'm planning (cancun-puebla-San Luis Potosi-Laredo), so dividing it into 5 days averages to 6.5 hours a day, which is about right for me. Except then that doesn't work out for some reason.

I just tried to find big cities to stop in, I know nothing about any of these places as far as which have good hotels or are desirable or not to stop in. It's not a sight-seeing trip, I just want quiet beds and secure parking.

Looking at the map, and times between cities, my first try resulted in:

day 1: Cancun - Merida - Campeche - Champoton (6.5 hours)
day 2: Champoton - Ciudad de Carmen - Villahermosa - Cardenas (6.25 hours)
day 3: Cardenas - Minititlan - Cordoba - Puebla (7 3/4 hours)
day 4: Puebla - San Luis Potosi (7 hours)
day 5: San Luis Potosi - Laredo (9 hours)

That's not too good, day 5 is too long. And somehow the sum is much more than the 32 hours google quotes for end-to-end.

One problem is the Cardenas-Minititlan section, it seems longer than it should be (is that a very slow portion of the road?) That section is 134 km, but google says nearly 2 hours drive, (that would be only about 40 mph). And there's nowhere much to stop in between. So it's a little too far to get to Minititlan but stopping in Cardenas makes the next two days too long.

Others have said going the other way to stop in Saltillo the first night from Laredo, but I can't get there from Puebla in one day. I can see allowing a shorter day's drive coming south, due to customs delays.

All help dividing it up and reports of good hotels along the way super appreciated.

Should I make it 6 days?
We drive Querétaro/San Antonio, TX frequently, just went last week for a vaccine, and your 9 hr estimate for San Luis Potosí to Laredo is a bit long, unless you are including time required to cross the border. Staying within the posted speed limits, and stopping once for gas and bathroom, we consistently hit the Laredo checkpoint (Which is no longer in service) 7 hrs after SLP. Of course, construction delays are always a consideration, but, barring any construction, you should shave those 2 hrs off your estimate.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks, I looked just now and google was showing 8 hours via route 57, and 9 hours going via Zacatecas. Now I don't know which route I was looking at before. Via 57 it's 727km, so 104km/hr for 7 hours sounds reasonable if no construction delays. I don't know if towing a trailer will slow me down much, it would be empty going that direction.

I'm still working on the whole plan. One option would be, if I can find a reputable storage facility in Nuevo Laredo, to just take an SUV and then spend a few days in Laredo making day trips over to Nuevo Laredo and get my stuff across the border a load at a time. Once it's all in Mexico, I'd have a lot of options to get it moved to Cancun that probably would cost less than buying a trailer. Divide and conquer.....

So far no leads on storage in N.L, but I haven't asked the storage place I have in Laredo, they would probably know.
 
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