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Route from Tucson to Ajijic

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Route from Tucson to Ajijic

Post by MyrnaMinkoff on Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:25 am

Hola,

We are moving from Oregon to Lakeside.  Is it advised to drive along the coast at the Sea of Cortez on Route 15, coming from Tucson to Ajijic?  Can you recommend how many days and where to stop over at good motels?  We will be driving our cats down, so we're thinking 6-8 hours each day.  If there are some great restaurants to stop at, please let us know.  Should we plan an overnight in Mazatlan, or bypass that city?  Is it hard to find pet friendly motels (cats specifically).

Is there an agency like AAA that can offer roadside assistance?   Is cell phone service good for most of the way?

Would any experienced RV'ers offer a route and suggestions?  We've never RV'd before.  We will have our cats wiht us, in carrieres.

Has anyone towed a mid-sized SUV (Ford Explorer) behind a small motorhome?  This is something we're thinking of but coudl also drive the second car, following motorhomel

Thanks for sharing your experiences and recommending good motels to stop at.

Many thanks!
Myrna
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Re: Route from Tucson to Ajijic

Post by RVGRINGO on Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:36 am

Route 15 from Nogales, south of Tucson, is just fine and is a toll road which will take you all the way to Guadalajara. Once there, just follow the big green signs to the airport, passing it and continuing toward Chapala and Ajijic. Keep in the right lane with the RV, especially if towing and obey truck rules and routes, should you encounter such signs.
You might break your trip with stops in Hermosillo, Culiacan or Mazatlan, and arrive in Chapala easily on the third day. Be sure the motor home has towing capacity and is wired for lights and brake controllers for whatever is being towed. Otherwise, drive it.
Enjoy the trip, but note that you will not see the ocean from that route without making side trips to towns along the beach. For the ocean experience, I suggest you spend some time at Mazatlan, for example. It is a very nice city. You will have to search hard for RV parks, and they will not be what you are accustomed to in the USA or Canada. Many have closed in recent years, so try to determine which ones are still open and make contact online or by phone.
Enjoy your trip.
If your SUV has an automatic transmission, it cannot be towed. You would have to use a dolly.
If you have an RV, I don‘t understand your need for pet-friendly motels, since you have carriers, etc. Anyway, I do know that Motel Paraiso on Calle Internacional in Culiacan is very pet-friendly, has protected parking accessible by RV and a restaurant that also provides room service. We paid $450 MN last October.

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Re: Route from Tucson to Ajijic

Post by MyrnaMinkoff on Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:47 pm

Hi RV Gringo!

Great info!  Glad to know good places to stop!  This will be my first RV experience...   buying a used one that my mechanic says will do fine, and all about comfort for my furry friends.  If I only had 2 cats it would be fine in the SUV, but I have 4 lovely cats, and thought in the RV we could make stops for litter box and food/water breaks...   keeping them contained inside the living area...   then back to their cages for driving.

I think we will be quite tired from such a long drive, and the motels are more about not having any chores at night...   and hopefully a good bed!

I do think the RV will be great in the future as we tour about Mexico.  My husband is a surfer so we'll most likely alternate Sayulita and Puerto Escondido.    Without the cats on those short trips, we'll enjoy finding good RV camps...  sounds like a blast!!!

Many thanks!!!
;-)))
~Myrna
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Re: Route from Tucson to Ajijic

Post by sparks on Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:55 pm

If you don't have an RV park picked out you might want to head for Jocotepec instead of Ajijic .... and try the Roca Azul Park. Save some Guadalajara driving too
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Re: Route from Tucson to Ajijic

Post by RVGRINGO on Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:57 pm

Have a good trip. Be sure to have your veterinarian prepare your cats‘ papers in your separate names; two cats each, so that you do not upset an inspector who could impound excess pets; only two per person are allowed.

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Re: Route from Tucson to Ajijic

Post by MyrnaMinkoff on Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:20 pm

Wow!!!  

Sparks, thank you!  Great RV park!  What a nice pool!  Thank you!

RV Gringo...  what a great suggestion....   2 cats per person on the drive down.  That could have been a disaster!  Thank you so much for the heads up!!!

I am more grateful than I can tell you guys...  everyone who has supported our move with our pets and an RV...  you've all been so helpful!
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Re: Route from Tucson to Ajijic

Post by RVGRINGO on Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:56 am

A quick note: Stock up heavily on cat litter, as you will have to search hard for it in Mexico and even the big box stores are often out of stock.

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Re: Route from Tucson to Ajijic

Post by Canmex 87 on Sun Jul 19, 2015 11:02 am

RVGRINGO wrote:A quick note:  Stock up heavily on cat litter, as you will have to search hard for it in Mexico and even the big box stores are often out of stock.

Its readily available in Lakeside.

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Re: Route from Tucson to Ajijic

Post by brigitte on Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:36 pm

When we moved we had a pick up and a car. We moved with 3 mastiffs and 3 cats, they all were in kennels. At night the cats went into the bathroom , the catlitter box in the shower and we did not have any problems from San Francisco to Ajijic. We drove San Francisco Tucson, stopped in Tucson for a couple of days, dogs and cats went to an A/C kennel and then on to Guaymas, Navaoja Tepic and Guadalajara. We only drive in the morning, stopped early during the day so we could walk the dogs around and we had no problem. That was in July and it was mighty hot..
All you need is food and cat litter for the trip, you can find anything you want once you are in the Chapala area.

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Re: Route from Tucson to Ajijic

Post by MyrnaMinkoff on Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:16 pm

So how hard would it be to set up a Co-op pet store in Lakeside?  I would love to try and import great pet products for resale in a small shop!  Is that an impossible dream, to start a retail store?  Has anyone done so?

Thanks for the heads up about kitty litter!  Who'd 've thought???

I see now that the comment about our felines actually owning us is quite possibly very true!!!

jajajajaja  (I'm still cracking up over Canuck Bob's version of ha ha ha ha)!!!
hola
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Re: Route from Tucson to Ajijic

Post by joyfull on Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:38 pm

We have done the drive a few times from Tucson. Spend the first night at the Best Western at Navajoa, it is just off the main road for easy on/off. There is a decent restaurant there for dinner and breakfast...also a pool. If you are coming down in the summer it will be HOT. Our next night we stay in Mazatlan. Not easy to find places that will take pets. We stayed near the Mazatlan airport in a "No Tell Motel." It was the cleanest motel I have ever stayed in. Pets okay and very secure. You can order food to be delivered or bring in with you. It is the Sole Grand Motel.
Sole Grand Motel
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Re: Route from Tucson to Ajijic

Post by brigitte on Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:47 pm

We have several pets stores, cat litter is not difficult to find and there are plenty of pet stores in Guadalajara as well.
You can see for yourself if there is a need for another store when you are here.

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Re: Route from Tucson to Ajijic

Post by Zedinmexico on Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:23 pm

Just a heads up as security has changed. Many of us from the Pacific Northwest come down using the Lukeville Arizona border crossing south of Ajo Arizona. We use to cross and take mexico 2 to 15 and avoid the Nagales crossing. They are fighting over the area and it is not safe anymore to use 2 and to cross at Lukeville arrizona. I am a very experienced traveler and I do not over react but time to avoid the Lukeville crossing and route 2.

Sorry but it was nice while it lasted as it use to be dangerous only if you left highway 2 north or south.

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Re: Route from Tucson to Ajijic

Post by MyrnaMinkoff on Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:23 pm

Thank you very, very much for that info!  So Nogales is the best entry crossing, right?  Just making sure I've got it right.  

By the way...  can you offer some general advice in case we are stopped by unsavory characters...   and there seems to be a threat of robbery or kidnapping?  It would be great to have a plan...   just in case!

mariachi
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Re: Route from Tucson to Ajijic

Post by Jim W on Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:37 pm

joyfull wrote:We have done the drive a few times from Tucson. Spend the first night at the Best Western at Navajoa, it is just off the main road for easy on/off. There is a decent restaurant there for dinner and breakfast...also a pool. If you are coming down in the summer it will be HOT. Our next night we stay in Mazatlan. Not easy to find places that will take pets. We stayed near the Mazatlan airport in a "No Tell Motel." It was the cleanest motel I have ever stayed in. Pets okay and very secure. You can order food to be delivered or bring in with you. It is the Sole Grand Motel.
Sole Grand Motel


We stay there on most trips, really clean, cold beer, and fairly good service, However is probably further than you want to drive in 1 day from Tucson.  The truck route into Nogales opens @ 6 AM. If you order your TIP on line you can save time as our 1st trip took 2 hours to process paperwork. I don't know how you have mapped your trip, but, you can find many motels between Tucson and the border.  Have a safe, fun trip.

Jim W
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Re: Route from Tucson to Ajijic

Post by brigitte on Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:12 pm

If you get stopped a gun point, give them whatever they want ..the plan is simple.

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Re: Route from Tucson to Ajijic

Post by Jim W on Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:43 pm

Good advice from Brigitte! We have made this trip a dozen times over the past 2 years, with no issues!
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Re: Route from Tucson to Ajijic

Post by Jim W on Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:46 pm

Your next stop might be Mazatlán, and a approx. 6 hours to GDL
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Re: Route from Tucson to Ajijic

Post by MyrnaMinkoff on Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:32 pm

Hey Guys! I kinda thought it might be that simple. So you travel with enough cash to get by, and maybe a small account debit card? Give them over... hopefully not your cell phone.

Well... I don't think it's my fate... gonna be positive and hope for no trouble on the drive!
Thanks again for your replies!
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Re: Route from Tucson to Ajijic

Post by Jim W on Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:22 pm

Be Safe and observant. Deb is driving the same route the 10th of August. Beer
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Re: Route from Tucson to Ajijic

Post by Jim W on Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:55 pm

I got the impression you were driving and pulling a trailer, if so you will have to pay a 3rd axle fee. They have been raising Toll Road fees, so to be safe plan on 3000 pesos for tolls. Don't use a credit card for gas, so compute based on mileage. From Casa Grande, we leave around 3 AM, hit the border @ 6 AM!
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