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Author: Subject: Bringing household goods down…?
Beagle
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[*] posted on 4-4-2017 at 06:51 PM


My Essay:

Ok, I'm resurrecting this thread because the time is Nigh to head down in the Truck. All other trips we flew into the south and drove up. Haven't driven into Mex via the border (TX) in 22 years. So please bare with me and sorry if it's long winded.

The current Plan is pretty much as stated originally, but we are coming from TX so would cross at either San Luis or Algodones. San Luis has looked more promising after researching through old posts. Looks like we should find the 2 and head over to 5 to get south from there? Would it be better in that case just to cross in Mexicali to get to the 5?

We are in a Tacoma with a shell over the bed. It's going to be loaded with hand me downs from dear old Dad. Like an old sofa, Chairs, some rugs, old cooking stuff, some books maybe, etc..

-After reading above it looks like the consensus is: Pull into the regular lane and act like dumb dumbs (easy) and pretend not to know much Spanish and pray a little? What's the outlook on this scenario? Worse case they just send us to another lane? My wife is thinking about still just making an itemized list with estimated value just in case. Thoughts?

-Once we get over, am I correct that the immigration office is right there? How does that work these days? Just go in and get the FMM or is there still a bank involved as I read before? Are there only certain hours for the FMM then? We could get them through Discover Baja butI know we still have to get them stamped. Any ideas here?

I know there are A LOT of questions. I value all of your responses and even if you can only answer one thing, it's very helpful.

Thank you!
Beagle








[Edited on 4-5-2017 by Beagle]

[Edited on 4-5-2017 by Beagle]

[Edited on 4-5-2017 by Beagle]
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[*] posted on 4-4-2017 at 08:41 PM


Just go. It will all come together perfectly. Go san luis, park in the inspection area and walk back to the fmm place. Its a one minute walk. Tell the guy your load of junk is for your house. Easy.



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Beagle
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[*] posted on 4-4-2017 at 08:59 PM


Quote: Originally posted by woody with a view  
Just go. It will all come together perfectly. Go san luis, park in the inspection area and walk back to the fmm place. Its a one minute walk. Tell the guy your load of junk is for your house. Easy.


Ha! I like your style, Woody.
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Gulliver
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[*] posted on 4-6-2017 at 09:05 PM


I cross at Tecate with a silly load every Fall. I keep a sheet listing any new stuff including what I paid for it. One year it was so obvious that I had a ton of new stuff (big trip to Ikea) that they actually charged me import tax. Two new beds, a couple of doors and new tires for my motorcycle. I think I might have paid $40-60. Nickel and dime. But most years when they look inside my cargo trailer and look at my list they laugh and wave me in.

The weirdest thing that has happened to me has been to see the woman who started to look inside our van freak out and jump back when she saw our house cat. The cat felt the same way and bolted for the bed. I couldn't persuade her that the cat was about as dangerous as a bowl of cold oatmeal.
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[*] posted on 4-7-2017 at 03:52 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Gulliver  
I cross at Tecate with a silly load every Fall. I keep a sheet listing any new stuff including what I paid for it. One year it was so obvious that I had a ton of new stuff (big trip to Ikea) that they actually charged me import tax. Two new beds, a couple of doors and new tires for my motorcycle. I think I might have paid $40-60. Nickel and dime. But most years when they look inside my cargo trailer and look at my list they laugh and wave me in.

The weirdest thing that has happened to me has been to see the woman who started to look inside our van freak out and jump back when she saw our house cat. The cat felt the same way and bolted for the bed. I couldn't persuade her that the cat was about as dangerous as a bowl of cold oatmeal.


Ha! Yeah the cat has a bad rap in Mexico. I don't know why.

Gulliver, thanks for all of that. What lane do you come through with these loads? Is your list just a generic list pretty much?

Thanks for the input!
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Gulliver
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[*] posted on 4-7-2017 at 07:06 AM


Yeah, just a list that says things like, "One bed. Nuevo. 1200 pesos." If asked, everything not on the list is Segundo.

i just drive up and see what they tell me to do. I did get behind some bigger trucks once and was waved past them by both the truckers and the Mexican personnel.

It's a really small operation so the formalities are minimal. Kinda like crossing into British Columbia from Washington at Nighthawk. One guy in a little house who might ask you a few questions if he feels like it.

At Tecate one of two things might happen when you are in something bigger than a sedan. If things are really quiet they may tell you park right where you are and point you to the office where you get your FMM. Ask for 180 days, the max. You can pay cash right to the guy behind the desk (it amounts to a few bucks more) or he will give you a bit of paper to take to the bank right in the same building complex where you then pay, get a receipt and go back to the first guy, get your FMM and hit the road.

Sometimes when there is more traffic and parking in the gangway would obstruct things you will be waved through. Then you go down to the first light (half of a block), make three right turns and park along side of the customs building where there are cones and a guy tending them. Then go in, do your business and then tip the cone tender a buck or so.

Follow the signs out of town. Stop at all of the stop signs as once in a while the motorcycle cop is feeling poor, and enjoy the great road to Ensedada.

Sometimes I hit the Cambios (money exchangers) in Tecate and sometimes in Ensenada. About the same rate. Your dollars are not much good once you get South of Ensenada. Cash machines or credit cards only. Most of the gas stations are starting to accept credit cards but not always and sometimes they are refused by the machines. I carry pesos enough to deal with gas. The cash machines are usually fine but we just went through a spell of some sort of official fun time with several of the banks, especially Bancomer but things seem to have settled down now.

All more than you probably wanted to know.

Baja, Mexico and, indeed, most of latin america operates under a remarkably benevolent and gentle anarchy. Just be a civilized person and you will be accepted or ignored or both.

An entertaining note about this site. In the above text it reads that there was, "Some sort of official 'fun time'" I typed it in as "c i r c l e j e r k". Ah yes.

[Edited on 4-7-2017 by Gulliver]

[Edited on 4-7-2017 by Gulliver]
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[*] posted on 4-7-2017 at 11:34 AM


Tecate is by far the best of all the crossings when it comes to a wave-through.

I made four trips through there with my stuff. I stopped to declare, but was waved through all but one time.




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[*] posted on 4-7-2017 at 08:00 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Gulliver  
Yeah, just a list that says things like, "One bed. Nuevo. 1200 pesos." If asked, everything not on the list is Segundo.

i just drive up and see what they tell me to do. I did get behind some bigger trucks once and was waved past them by both the truckers and the Mexican personnel.

It's a really small operation so the formalities are minimal. Kinda like crossing into British Columbia from Washington at Nighthawk. One guy in a little house who might ask you a few questions if he feels like it.

At Tecate one of two things might happen when you are in something bigger than a sedan. If things are really quiet they may tell you park right where you are and point you to the office where you get your FMM. Ask for 180 days, the max. You can pay cash right to the guy behind the desk (it amounts to a few bucks more) or he will give you a bit of paper to take to the bank right in the same building complex where you then pay, get a receipt and go back to the first guy, get your FMM and hit the road.

Sometimes when there is more traffic and parking in the gangway would obstruct things you will be waved through. Then you go down to the first light (half of a block), make three right turns and park along side of the customs building where there are cones and a guy tending them. Then go in, do your business and then tip the cone tender a buck or so.

Follow the signs out of town. Stop at all of the stop signs as once in a while the motorcycle cop is feeling poor, and enjoy the great road to Ensedada.

Sometimes I hit the Cambios (money exchangers) in Tecate and sometimes in Ensenada. About the same rate. Your dollars are not much good once you get South of Ensenada. Cash machines or credit cards only. Most of the gas stations are starting to accept credit cards but not always and sometimes they are refused by the machines. I carry pesos enough to deal with gas. The cash machines are usually fine but we just went through a spell of some sort of official fun time with several of the banks, especially Bancomer but things seem to have settled down now.

All more than you probably wanted to know.

Baja, Mexico and, indeed, most of latin america operates under a remarkably benevolent and gentle anarchy. Just be a civilized person and you will be accepted or ignored or both.

An entertaining note about this site. In the above text it reads that there was, "Some sort of official 'fun time'" I typed it in as "c i r c l e j e r k". Ah yes.

[Edited on 4-7-2017 by Gulliver]

[Edited on 4-7-2017 by Gulliver]


Wow! Thanks for all of that! We are super grateful. We are coming from the East so do you think we should bypass San Luis and continue on to Tecate and cross there, head to the 1 based on what you and Udo said? Or would we be ok at San Luis and taking the 5? I know it's probably a toss up in the end but also for convenience and "speed".

Thanks again!!
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[*] posted on 4-7-2017 at 08:05 PM


I dunno anything about San Luis.

Myself, I would just stay on I-8 until it's time to get off and go South to Tecate. Then you can decide whether to go down to Ensenada or head back along the border to Mexcali on the toll road.

Can't help you with any guidance about the toll road. Never been there.

I kinda like the road from Ensenada to San Felipe.
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[*] posted on 4-8-2017 at 08:29 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Gulliver  
I dunno anything about San Luis.

Myself, I would just stay on I-8 until it's time to get off and go South to Tecate. Then you can decide whether to go down to Ensenada or head back along the border to Mexcali on the toll road.

Can't help you with any guidance about the toll road. Never been there.

I kinda like the road from Ensenada to San Felipe.


Right on. Thanks for all of the help, Gulliver!
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[*] posted on 4-8-2017 at 08:43 PM


Exit 51 (Buckman Springs Road) off the I-8, south to the 94 then west to the 188/Tecate junction

Quote: Originally posted by Beagle  
Quote: Originally posted by Gulliver  
I dunno anything about San Luis.

Myself, I would just stay on I-8 until it's time to get off and go South to Tecate. Then you can decide whether to go down to Ensenada or head back along the border to Mexcali on the toll road.

Can't help you with any guidance about the toll road. Never been there.

I kinda like the road from Ensenada to San Felipe.


Right on. Thanks for all of the help, Gulliver!
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[*] posted on 4-8-2017 at 09:46 PM


I have only crossed at San Luis once three years ago, and it was simple and quick. I did not even talk to anyone, it was just a mechanical arm that let one car at a time pass through. I don't know much about getting your FFM there, because at that time I was not aware one was required.

The easiest, quickest way to go is to head directly to Calexico/Mexicali and head south on 5. I agree that driving west to Tecate, then down to Ensenada and back east to San Felipe is a great drive, but that adds a lot of mountain driving!

You would basically cross the Sierras from sea level to sea level twice, while Mex 5 is pretty much a straight, flat run to San Felipe. It would be the short leg of the triangle of roads, and is not a toll road like Mex 2.




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[*] posted on 4-9-2017 at 01:13 AM


What AK says make a lot of sense. Especially from the view of mileage. There is one stretch going South from Mexicali that goes through what I think is the most desolate area in North America. An absolute moonscape. I love it.

I know nothing about a Southbound crossing at Mexicali. My gripes are about going North.

That said, the road from Tecate to Ensenada is now one of the better highways in Baja. My knowledge of the Ensenada route is out of date but years ago it was not a big deal.

As you are discovering, there is a lot of information to had from us here on Baja Nomad. And that reflects the diversity of experience to be had in Baja. I wouldn't over prepare. A significant part of our attachment to the place comes from the unknown factors. If you want a completely predictable life, this might not be a place in which you would be the most comfortable.

You will very likely be surprised in many ways and can be the next person to be on here with a report.

[Edited on 4-9-2017 by Gulliver]




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[*] posted on 4-9-2017 at 07:07 PM


Right on! Thank you guys again for all of the help and suggestions. Def value all of your experience on it!

And Gulliver, I noticed on another thread that you ride dirt. I will hit you up later about how to get my dirt bikes down there!! :light:

[Edited on 4-10-2017 by Beagle]
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[*] posted on 4-10-2017 at 05:04 AM


As long as you have registration for your bikes there will be no problem. Mine are dual sport bikes with current state tabs but anything that looks like valid registration papers with you name on them will pass muster.

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[*] posted on 5-17-2017 at 06:41 AM


Pouring over maps and various posts...Reading reports of this long stretch of construction on the 5, south of San Felipe before it meets back up with 1.

Would I be better off/ worse off just crossing at Tecate, and taking the 3 down to Ensenada and then just following the Pacific down to GN? Or would staying east on the 5 still be about the same? Pros/Cons?

On the way down, we want to just "blast" through. do the various sight seeing on the way back up.

Thanks for any input!
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[*] posted on 5-17-2017 at 06:50 AM


If you are coming from the east just take the 5. Go slow the last 20 miles and you're almost there!



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[*] posted on 5-18-2017 at 01:59 PM


Mexico 3, the road from Tecate to Ensenada is now totally complete!

No construction, no pot holes, no bandidos.

A dream drive!

The Mexican Feds wanted to finish the road before the next Vendimia wine event in July (a major tourist destination), and poured all kinds of resources into the road project.




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[*] posted on 5-18-2017 at 07:14 PM


Right on. I'm hearing 5 might still be faster, even with the construction stretch. Yet, 3 is supposed to be a pretty cool drive as well. I'm just wondering how much longer 3 and 1 are than 5….

Much to ponder. I have maps out all over the place and going through message boards. haha.

Thanks guys!
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[*] posted on 6-10-2017 at 07:34 PM


So we take off tomorrow! Our Truck is packed to the brim. It's sorta scary but will be fine.

Most of the stuff is used and old. Furniture, dishes, kitchen stuff, Some new things like sheets and pillows. but they're just loose.

We mad a "list" of the items on a spread sheet. One list has Used items with their "value" and the other New items and their Value. There's really like 4 things that are new.
The total comes out to around 950.00 US.

IS this right that we have a list of all of the Used items as well? Or should we just have a list of New? the truck is so packed, If they ask us to unpack it, it could take days to get it un-stuffed.

Should we just drive right into the Declare lane?

Thanks! Excited. Nervous.
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