Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bad Day – Bad Memories

Maybe it’s the town of Ciudad Valles. Eleven years ago when we headed to the town we ran into a detour with the old RV. The detour ended up in an orchard where we were bogged down in mud so low we tore the outlet off our blackwater tank, our step and fender flares were also damaged. Then we couldn’t cross the detour bridge anyway, we had to back track losing 4 hours and ended up spending the night in a Pemex miles before we got to Ciudad Valles.
This year we had camped right of the Rio Micos. We had a small problem getting into the camp so we were worried about getting out. The drive was steep but we made it out of our campsite OK.

I was then worried about the next turn,  a steep rutted uphill and then a narrow passage between two overhanging trees. Peggy expertly directed me with no problem. When we got to the gate it looked like it was still locked so I walked all the way up the drive to get the caretaker who had the key. When we got back to the gate, apparently the lock was locked but not through the hasp. We wasted an hour doing this.

The next section was fairly flat with a steep paved uphill. I wasn’t worried, I made it down OK.  But we still hadn’t got to the last 50’ of steep rutted section of the road.  Believe it or not it walked right up past the ruts with no problem. I thought great we are not far behind schedule and on our way.
We had just got back on the narrow paved road heading back toward Ciudad Valles. I knew the ditches next to the road were deep but there wasn’t any traffic. All of the sudden a big beer truck comes roaring around the curve. I hit my brakes and pulled to the right watching that our mirrors don’t hit. We had slowed almost to a stop when my rear dual wheels dropped into the ditch.

The front tires slipped in as well as I came to a stop with the RV leaning over but it did not tip. I thought there should be no problem getting back out of the ditch, not realizing there was a big jagged rock in there with me. I heard a few crunches as I pulled back on the road.
The first thing I noticed was that the electric step did not deploy. I looked in from of the step and saw that I did a little fiberglass damage underneath and the step looked bent. Not too bad. As I walked to the back I saw that my outside rear dual tire must have hit a rock and tore a hole into the side.
I then walked to the rear to get my jack out. Oh no!! I must have caught the bottom of the back corner on the same rock. The entire back is one piece molded fiberglass. The bottom corner moved back about 3” causing cracks to occur in the back, the back compartment frame was bent and the roof ladder was bent.


We pulled up to road to a flat area where I could get partially off the road. I changed the tire putting on the new spare tire. When we got up the road there was a Pemex station with a pay phone. The insurance company has an 800 number and with the help of some police that pulled in behind me I finally was able to reach my insurance company. You must report the accident as soon as you can. I was on the phone for an hour waiting for an English speaking operator. The police told me there was a big Michelin store in town. I asked that the adjuster meet us there.

We easily found the store, they had the exact right tire in stock and the cost was the same as back home. They replaced the tire quickly and I asked them to look at my step. They used a sledge hammer and actually were able to straighten the brackets out so that the step was now working. I gave the mechanic 100 pesos for his trouble. They also lent me a phone to call the insurance adjuster again. They had said they would be there in an hour. After 2 1/2 hours and another call we left. We had hoped to at least get to near MX180 where we could stop at a campground in Cerro Azul. But it was past 5 PM and would be dark soon so we pulled into a small Pemex with a 24 Hr. convenient store and parked in their parking lot. We are in the town on Tantoyuca, MX on MX127.

So like 11 years ago, we ruined our RV and didn’t make our destination. Hopefully it will be a better day tomorrow, At least our Telcel Banda Ancha modem is working here so I can tell you all the bad news.


  1. So so so sorry to hear! Things like that are my worst travel nightmare - yours too I guess! grrrrrrrrrrr! I was checking in to see if you had made it to Neptuno - we are thinking of going there in January - so wondering if you could tell me the price. Also - now that I have you - should we take the route you did around Tampico as well ---- just not sure of going through Tampico....would appreciate your advice on that. Thanks John - I hope tomorrow is better for you too!

  2. Holy crap! That was not a good day. Are you exhausted? I think you better head home now.

  3. If I were coming from TX and had no reason to go throuth Ciudad Valles I would not go that way. When you get near El Higo the roads turn to shit and MX 127 is not much better. From where the road splits to go to Alamo to Emerald coast the roads are great & fast, but be sure and take the cuota that bypasses Poza Rica. Toll was only 62 pesos.

  4. Price at Neptuno is 150 pesos/night. There are two big rigs from BC here now

  5. did you get everything fixed?

  6. oh wow how sad to read sorry....what a frustrating day you've had...hope the adjusters move things long fast for least your both safe and sound..that is the main thing the rest can be fixed..good luck

  7. Thanks for the info John! happy and safe and trouble free travels to you!


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