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Surviving in a Camper or RV or similar in South America

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posted on Mar, 28 2010 @ 07:39 PM
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I am seeing ads on craig's list like this :

costarica.en.craigslist.org...

and I'm wondering how easy or difficult it would be to survive in something like that in a tropical location. (Assuming you have a moderate starting sum of money too, of course.) What are the issues?--Get fresh water from the beach showers and campsites, buy food when needed or pick bananas, work on your foreign language skills, and drive around looking for a good commune to join if money runs low? Does any ATSer have any experience with something like this? I really want to hear from the people who have done the nomad thing in Latin or South America. Thanks.




posted on Mar, 28 2010 @ 08:12 PM
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I am beginning to consider doing this, so bump for answers.



posted on Mar, 28 2010 @ 08:21 PM
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What are you thinking when you say considerable sum of money?

As the cost of living for basic supplies is a lot higher then is was. in fact in some places now the costs as comparable to Europe.

Water - You can get it anywhere and is pretty cheap. i.e. mexico you can buy 5 gallon bottles anywhere for about 20 pesos.

Although in Northern So.Am. the tap water is potable.

Your biggest concern is going to be security. many areas of Latin America are highly unstable. and the roads are not the best maintained. additionally you would also need to keep a good supply of medicine for when you get gastritis, also malaria tablets. But there nothing you can do about the dengue, so good luck with that one.

if you just want to chill at the beach in your RV, then expect to be hassled by the police alot. there is not as far as I know many places that are setup to accomoidate vehcles like this, I.e. camp ares. So most of the time, it would be road side.

But as I said, security security. I know I would not like to be in some old RV on the road side, and with that many miles on the clock, you know it's not the best maintained in the world, so get a good mechanic!



Good luck anyhoo!



posted on Mar, 28 2010 @ 08:27 PM
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reply to post by Scorched_Ohio
 


Just make sure that you buy an older model...one that doesnt need to be smogged or you will have to keep on backing to that state every year or two.



posted on Mar, 28 2010 @ 08:45 PM
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reply to post by rangersdad
 



YEah you have to love those cucarachas.

One point. How are you going to get around the visa / immgration system? as getting in /out of some of these countries is "expensive" and difficult and with an old beat up RV, on a land border, could be difficult. Expect many sniffer dogs, or at least refusal at point of entry!



posted on Mar, 28 2010 @ 08:59 PM
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reply to post by JakiusFogg
 


Which countries are you refering to?
2nd line........



posted on Mar, 28 2010 @ 09:05 PM
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A well equipped camper van will label you as a wealthy tourist, ripe for robbery (or worse).

If you are going to live for an extended time in a poor country, try to fit in and live as they do. Learn the language and try to fit in an win some friends among the locals.



posted on Mar, 28 2010 @ 09:14 PM
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reply to post by JakiusFogg
 


Money? Enough money to fix the vehicle, get gas, and put in a bank cd to draw enough interest to cover the basic food and road bills monthly.

Where? In whatever countries work...I know some are safer than others. Some people have done this before, but how do they do it and survive?



posted on Mar, 28 2010 @ 09:19 PM
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reply to post by rangersdad
 


Well I currentlyu live in Mexico, and have found the increase in the standard cost of living to have rising dramatically over the last couple of years.

I recently spent 6 weeks in Colombia, and found there that the prices of food, and drink, to be similar to that of Amsterdam.

I was in El Salvador a few years ago, and things were reasonable then, I would hate to think what it;s like now. I recently had business dealings with people from buenos Aires, and they we're telling me how expensive things have got, and I also have colleuges, from Costa Rica, and Guatemala who say the same things.

So what can I summise. although (as an ex pat brit) I find the costs of ammenities, cheaper, gas, electric etc. the cost of food has gone mental! even to the same levels as the UK. NOW here's the thing, what "level" do you wnat to go to. if the OP would wish to maintain a level consumate to that he experiences in the US, then he will have to pay for it. If you wnat to go on a shoestring, then it is possible. but you better have a good local LOCAL guide, and some good latino blending in skills. or you are just asking for trouble.

in my own experience, as a white guy in Latin America, I tend to be OK once I tell them I am English. And I have had this conversation many times down here. and not just in Mexico. But once they find out your American. Then you can expect a degree of hostility, and not entirely warranted, especially when in a local area (not so much in resort hotels, but thats just becuase they want the money!!)



posted on Mar, 28 2010 @ 09:26 PM
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reply to post by Scorched_Ohio
 


Well life is one big adventure. I agree on that!. I was almost about to suggest you look at backpacking, but even that is frought with danger in Latin America.

What I would think would be the best idea, would be to look at where you want to go, and how you would get there For example if you wanted to go from Costa Rica, if you bought that camper on your link. then you HAVE to drive through Colombia!!

Look at it this way American guys in a camper with Costa Rican plates, driving into northern Colombia in an RV. you see where I am going with this. Seriously do you homework. and not just ATS if you are looking at doing this.

Medical advise, insurance, Maps, travel guides, embassy advise. PLAN PLAN PLAN. or you could find yourself in a verty serious trouble down there. and "I am sorry I did not know this was your coc aine plantation won't cut it with some FARC guys!!

You want my advice. if you want to travel and you don't have a lot of experience travelling. Go to Europe. the thing in the Hostel hardly ever happens these days!!



posted on Mar, 28 2010 @ 09:44 PM
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reply to post by JakiusFogg
 


I find it hard to believe that the costs of anything in south america is anywhere near the cost of the UK! And if you are worried about the cost, dont go any where near the UK or Amsterdam or even the US for that matter.



posted on Mar, 28 2010 @ 10:01 PM
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reply to post by rangersdad
 


Well you would be surprised. it is true!! Colombia especially I found expensive.

And generally I am not so concerned about the costs. as I do alot of travelling for business, from the Americas through Europe and Mid East to East Asia yes Europe has always been expensive, and USA, eeeh not so bad. I just found it shocking that it had changed here in Latin America soo much soo quickly. i don't think this is an anomaly solely confined to Latin America. i think it is happening all over the world.

As I mentioned I am British, so was used to the high cost of living. My wife (mexican) and I lived in the UK together for 5 years (obviously I for considerably longer) One of our reason for moving back to Mexico was for the "lower cost of living" which it is just, but not as much as you would think. BUT what I am saying is that the reality is no where near what your average tourist expects it to be. Latin America is developing FAST, and don't think it isn't. Look at Panama, it's now more like Shanghai, or Barcelona than Bolivia!

Anyway, back to the context of the thread, the advice I am giving here, from my own experience in Latin America, amongst other things, is that don't expect to flash 20 dollars, and have a fleet of local pesants, drowing you in champagne and shell fish. you'd be lucky to get change from a pack of smokes and a 6 pack.

In short, if you wnat to live cheaply you can, but there are the associated dangers for us Gringos. if you want something where it is safer, and you "fit in more" then yes you will pay for it. but in either way. there is noway it is as cheap as everyone thinks it is.



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