Home on Wheels: RVs in Mexico

A white minivan on a well-paved two-land road that winds between rolling golden hills dotted with greenery.

On the cuota (toll) road between Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta. Photo © Matt Rutledge, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

For Americans and Canadians planning to spend a season or two down south, driving a recreational vehicle into Mexico is a popular option. There are many RV parks and facilities in Baja California and along the Pacific Coast, which are easily accessible from the United States. Many RV parks have full hookups, as well as Internet connections, pools, and even housekeeping services. While many parks are aimed at tourists, they may also permit long-term residents.

To bring an RV into Mexico, you need a passport, a valid driver’s license, and a registration for the vehicle. Just like cars, RVs can enter Mexico on a temporary vehicle permit. To bring an RV into Mexico, you need a passport, a valid driver’s license, and a registration for the vehicle. Technically, you should also purchase insurance for your vehicle. You may or may not be asked about insurance at the border. Finally, you will also need a valid credit card to leave as collateral (if you don’t have a credit card, you will need to post a bond for your vehicle, which is a slightly more complicated process). At the immigration office, these documents will be reviewed, you will pay a fee, and the office will provide you with a sticker permit. If you are entering the country on an FMM or tourist card, you and the RV must leave the country within six months. If you have an FM3 (or convert your FMM to an FM3 once you are in Mexico), you can have your RV in the country for as long as your visa is valid. Keep all your paperwork.

On the road, RVs are usually treated as two-axle trucks, so tolls can be up to double the cost of a car. Some parts of the country are more prepared for RVs (visiting cities can be more difficult, for example), but most parks and campgrounds offer very affordable rates.


Excerpted from the Second Edition of Moon Living Abroad in Mexico.

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