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Old 07-24-2020, 03:59 PM   #1
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Rocky Point Mexico Is The Place To Vacation & Find RV Body & Paint Work (Who Knew?)

I had the best trip and saved a ton of money getting my RV worked on by driving across the Lukeville, AZ border to Puerto Penasco/Rocky Point in June-2020. (Just 1.5 hour drive on excellent roads.)

https://www.thereefrvpark.com/

You say the border is closed? ...Not so!

You say you don't feel comfortable traveling into Mexico? ...Okay. But once you do it you will realize it's no big deal.

MY BACKGROUND

20 years ago I use to fly small airplanes into the Baja, and I suppose that help prepared me (mentally) for this trip in an RV, but after it was all over I no know anyone can do it and you do NOT need a caravan or other RV owners to visit Puerto Penasco/Rock Point, which is in the so-called "Free Zone" the Mexican government has set aside to promote tourism and to keep visitors safe.

WHAT'S GOING ON IN ROCKY POINT?

If you are looking for a beach RV site for only $26/day or $700/month... instead of a going to Florida and paying a lot more... then you should checkout The Reef RV Park or Playa Bonita in Rocky Point.

I also will NOT be returning to Port Aransas, TX now that I have found a better camp spot on the beach where the weather is not humid (Nov-June).

In June-200 the weather was more like a desert than a hot and humid sea shore town, which is probably why it is possible for Carlos & Pablo to fully paint an RV or just do body and touch-up paint work (which is what I did) for a lot less than what you will spend in the USA. And their work is excellent!

All the roads are paved highways and there is even a Sams Club and Auto Zone in Puerto Penasco!

I made this trip because I was motivated to get some RV body and paint work done, based on a referral from another fellow RVer, and I am so glad I took his advice! I saved a ton of money, had a great trip, and will definitely return to Puerto Penasco next year.

I also found several other RV services for 50% off USA prices and they all did very good work!

You can read all about this journey in the attached .pdf and if need more information you can contact me by private messaging on this blog site and then I will give you my phone number. ...After you check out the attached .pdf.

I also recommend Rocky Point to vacation! There is much Mexican hospitality and culture and nice restaurants; and on my next visit I hope to do some fishing!

Enjoy! ...And all my best!
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Old 07-24-2020, 05:21 PM   #2
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Than you for taking the time to write this up. This winter we are looking for an alternative to south Texas. Several years ago we visited central Mexico and loved the people and their family oriented life-style.
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:01 PM   #3
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Great info...thanks for sharing!
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Old 07-25-2020, 02:47 AM   #4
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Good write up. My wife & I rented a condo in Rocky Point about 5 yrs ago. We walked the beach several times (as you can imagine). That's when we walked by Playa Bonita, so went up to check it out. We sat and talked with rv'ers a couple different days. I have wanted to take the rv down there ever since. Nice little town, great seafood and people.
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Old 07-25-2020, 01:26 PM   #5
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They do good body / paint work in Rocky Point but it is done outdoors and it will not be perfect quality as you would get when done indoors in a paint booth in a full price USA facility. You will only get a single coat of clearcoat over the underlying paint job unless you negotiate this and pay more. You need to have the right expectations and attitude if you have this kind of work done in Rocky Point.

Rocky Point is closed to outside visitors who don't have a business purpose or immediate family due to Covad-19. You can get into Mexico but may get turned around at the entry road to Rocky Point, so be sure to confirm that you can get into Rocky Point when making your travel plans.

I stay at Concha Del Mar. The manager, Edgar, will help you find top notch reliable people to work on your RV or vehicle and the people will come right to the park and do the work there, and you will continue to be able to live / use your RV while the work is being done, if it takes more than 1 day.
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Old 07-25-2020, 04:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by powercat_ras View Post
They do good body / paint work in Rocky Point but it is done outdoors and it will not be perfect quality as you would get when done indoors in a paint booth in a full price USA facility. You will only get a single coat of clearcoat over the underlying paint job unless you negotiate this and pay more. You need to have the right expectations and attitude if you have this kind of work done in Rocky Point.

Rocky Point is closed to outside visitors who don't have a business purpose or immediate family due to Covad-19. You can get into Mexico but may get turned around at the entry road to Rocky Point, so be sure to confirm that you can get into Rocky Point when making your travel plans.

I stay at Concha Del Mar. The manager, Edgar, will help you find top notch reliable people to work on your RV or vehicle and the people will come right to the park and do the work there, and you will continue to be able to live / use your RV while the work is being done, if it takes more than 1 day.
Cool, Thanks. I really don't have any mechanical or body work to be done. I have just thought about running down there for 2-3 weeks in the winter when we would be in Yuma anyway.
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Old 07-25-2020, 09:53 PM   #7
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The peak time is Jan-Mar for visitors from USA and Canada. Rocky Point gets pretty rowdy and crowded from Palm Sunday thru Easter with visitors from all over Mexico, so keep that in mind.

I found it very fun, safe, comfortable, and affordable in the Jan-Mar time frame. You can get into trobule if you are stupid and go out at all hours of the night in the non-resort areas.

Don't speed. Don't try to break the rules about what you are allowed to bring across the border from USA, in particular the prohibited weapons and self-defense devices. At best they will turn you around at the border and flag your passport. At worst you will be jailed.
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Old 07-30-2020, 03:05 PM   #8
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Border Crossing Tips

Some of you have asked what it was like crossing the boarder during this Covid-19 pandemic, so here are my comments:

* Just have your paperwork in order and you will be fine crossing in to Mexico; and remember, it's NOT up the US officials to let you enter Mexico.

* My Geico car policy does not cover me anywhere in Mexico, but I found it interesting that my Hartford RV policy does cover me 50 miles over the Mexican border. So you might talk to your RV insurance carrier about your overage when traveling in Mexico.

* Our RV was over 15 years old so we could only by Liability only coverage and frankly that was all I cared about. Therefore, it's the same liability coverage you would buy for a car; and you can pay for 1 day or more. In fact, I bet a number of people just buy a 1-3 day insurance policy for the sake of saving money and just stay longer at their own risk, but the cost for 10 days is the same as paying for 6-months! So many pay $120 for the 6 month policy and may or may not return to Mexico.

We bought the 7 day Liability policy (I can't remember the coverage amount) for ~$80. And we left the tow car in Why Not Travel Store in Why, AZ where we bought the Mexican insurance policy. They have a secure lot for our tow car and we paid ~$50 for the week. You can call them to make an appointment or you can just show up.

Diesel, Gas - The Why Not Travel Store - Ajo, Az

However, we wished we could have brought our tow car with us to get it fully detailed inside and out (or have body work done); and so we can depart Rocky Point and head north toward Yuma when we left town. However, we felt compelled to leave the tow car (with our hand guns in the trunk) on the US side of the boarder rather than risk smuggling them in and out of the country. And I would never advise anyone to do this for obvious reasons, but there is no way either the Mexicans or the Americans would be able to find contraband in an RV. Plus neither side wants to take the time to strip an RV unless you give them an obvious reason to do so.

* You need ID to cross into Mexico, but I very confused if you need a US-Pass-Port to leave the USA. I don't think so. And I know the US border officials have to let you back into the USA if you lose your passport when abroad, so I can't tell what the penalty is for traveling without a valid passport? ...I Google it and you will find there is no penalty, but you will probably invite a lot of extra scrutiny if the driver (at least) does not have his passport ready for bear. The passengers... not so much! And they don't stamp your passport when crossing the boarder either, but they do swipe it into their system.

* Crossing the boarder in to Mexico is no big deal; and crossing the boarder back in the USA (for me) was a 30 second question and answer blip on the radar.

* You will deal with several Mexican checkpoints at the boarder. Immigration first, then Customs, then security (military inspection). The Mexican officials were all very professional and courteous, but they pack heavy guns on them. (Americans just carry a pistol and have drug sniffing dogs.) It's all part of the travel experience that has not changed in over 40 years that I have been traveling into Mexico. (I.e., normal stuff.)

Reminder: Immigration is about a person who is visiting, immigrating, or returning home. Customs is about the stuff you are bringing into the country. Is it allowed, should you pay duty, etc.

* At each Mexican check point they will ask you the same questions, and size you up, but if you just let them do their duty and search inside all will be okay. More importantly, you might like to know, not once did anyone make any reference to wanting to be tipped. They were all very professional and not very curious as they can see by my RV the purpose of my travel was to visit Rocky Point.

Side note: I think traveling during the Covid scare is a perfect time to visit Rocky Point unless you are looking for a party! There are no crowds, no tourists in RVs, just condo owners and their families enjoying the town and all the side attractions.

Here's a website of things to do in Rocky Point:

https://fmirentals.com/what-to-do/

* It's about a 1.5hr drive to the town of Puerto Penasco and there you will find a city checkpoint that is more difficult to pass thru than the boarder. Why? ...Because the town officials are blocking the condo owners and tourists from driving-in from Phoenix and Tucson. And they will turn you away from entering the town if you do not have a reservation at one of the local hotels or RV parks.

* The deal is this: You need to make your reservation 8 days in advance of your arrival. This way your name will appear on the city manifest so they it with the reservation you present. The Reef RV Park & Playa Bonita are approved to let people stay. So I highly advice you to make plans in advance and do not go to Rocky Point with out a reservation. You can make it for just 3 days if you want and extend your time after you get there.

* The city checkpoint will then spray your coach inside to presumably kill germs; and they will ask all persons to step out of the RV so they can be sprayed down on their person. It's no big deal and it's not pesticide. It's more like a Purrel-like solution of some kind?

* Every business establishment in Mexico was forced to close and only permitted to re-open after all employees passed strict Covid training protocols. And believe me they follow them. No exceptions! Or the business will be closed and fined.

There are several layers of Covid security steps and bathroom cleaning you do not see, but what you will see are everyone constantly cleaning and wiping down counters and tables. All menus get thrown away too!

There are now more employees than customers for most of the day and that's disheartening, but the town open for business and will treat you royally if you come.

Personally, I would rather be in Rocky Point, in the fresh ocean air... and at The Reef RV Park (or Playa Bonita) ...where I can walk 2 city blocks to dine on the beach at either of two nice restaurants vs. anywhere in Arizona or Texas or California at this time.

June-October will be very hot so you will need to run your ACs. It's $50/nt to stay right on the beach at The Reef RV Park, but only $26 for an interior space with 50A power. However, since no one is staying in the park I just paid the $26/nt rate and ocean was in full view.

I definitely look forward to a return visit and since there is not salt air or killer humidity to deal with (it's a desert for the most part on the edge of the ocean) I will not be traveling to the Texas beaches anymore. Why should I when so much more is available in Mexico!

Final comment: Carlos Hernandez Body & Paint shop put 4 coats of "clear coat" on my RV and Carlos & Pablo's work ethic are the best. They really prepped my RV properly and I know excellent body & paint work when I see it. I did not have to negotiate with Carlos on quality either, because he only has just one standard of excellence. However, if you employ someone else then...yes... it would be a good idea to verify all the steps they will go through when repairing a dent in your cargo doors and how they will paint and apply clear coat. It's worth talking about, because paint and clear coat materials are expensive and can be 50-60% of the total cost. You can email Carlos at: [email protected] and then talk or text Carlos on What's App at +52 1 638 105 6894. Note: Carlos understands English better than he speaks it so he will have an interpreter on any phone calls between you. First, you should get on What's App and text him pictures.

* You will like using What's App too. I was a little skeptical of trying it, but after I found out how easy it is to use and how quick it sends pictures, I like What's App better than my Verizon cell phone app. You can even make phone calls on What's App to other What's App contacts. I think it's an internet phone so as long as you have internet coverage you can talk/text/message anywhere in the world. So this is the App to get to keep in touch with family who travel abroad!
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Old 08-02-2020, 04:58 PM   #9
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WhatsApp

This is a great and easy to use app. My daughter in Switzerland said "we had to use it" if we wanted to talk and sendher "stuff". Needless to say we did and we are sold for sure. You can switch from text to sending audio to a picture to turning on video and off again. Seamless - try it!
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:57 AM   #10
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Thank you for all these posts. We've always been wary of traveling into Mexico so your experiences are enlightening.
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Old 08-03-2020, 08:07 PM   #11
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I disagree that the Mexican police would not be able to find firearms or ammo hidden in an RV. Don't even think about trying it because smuggling guns into Mexico from the U.S. is now big business for arming the cartels, and if they have a trained dog, it will find it no matter how smart you think you are! That also applies to any loose ammo that may be rolling around in your rig. Get rid of it before going into Mexico. 60 Minutes did a piece several years ago about a real estate agent from Arizona who crossed the border, leaving his handgun and ammo at home, except for one lone shell that had rolled under his spare tire. The Mexican police found it when searching his car. He spent 9 months in a Mexican jail before they decided to let him go. All for one lone bullet! It is not worth it under any circumstances.

I have only driven my rig to Mazatlan from Utah 15 times for Christmas and lived in Mexico for 6 months on another occasion, so I am somewhat experienced in the country. I figure I have driven over 20,000 miles in Mexico, so I'm not particularly afraid of being there.
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Old 08-03-2020, 08:42 PM   #12
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Contraband: Guns, Ammo, Drugs, Sex Toys!

It was a rhetorical statement, but I guess there is no harm putting an emphasis on being "LEGAL" whenever you cross into Mexico or Canada.

"moabdds" is right... You can travel all over Mexico in an RV, but you don't want to invite trouble or attract attention no matter where you go.

"moabdds:" Can you start a thread that talks about traveling in Mexico by RV; and I am particularly interested in any travels you did by ferry from Mexico's mainland to Baja towns?

Diesel Fuel In Mexico: I don't know if diesel fuel is the "good old stuff" or not? Meaning... Is Mexico diesel now USLD like we have in the USA? If it is NOT ULSD will 2007 and newer RVs have an issue using this high sulfur fuel? (Note: I only picked 2007 due to emissions changes I am aware of, but maybe the cutoff is more like 2009?

Does anyone know if diesel fuel is a concern when filling up in Mexico? I left the USA in my RV with a full tank out of Phoenix and I had plenty of fuel for a round trip to Rocky Point and back. What I can tell you is that diesel fuel in Mexico was priced in the $3.00/Gal range vs $2.25/Gal I was paying in the USA (June-2020), so there is no fuel savings when traveling in Mexico.

Regarding my limited travels to Puerto Penasco/Rocky Point, I would first like to say, I have driven over 40,000 miles in the last 5 years, all over the USA, and I can tell you the only two states that give me the most concern when traveling through and staying here-and-there are Oregon & Florida. So go figure! That said, I think everything I experienced in Puerto Penasco and Rock Point exceed my expectations. Also, these Mexican, corporate owned, gated RV parks, on the ocean have 24/7 security. And I liked that there is a popular party restaurant called "Wrecked At The Reef" ...and a 4-star dining restaurant next door with a great piano player and singer... all within 2-city blocks from my RV parking stall!!

BOTTOM LINE: I think I liked staying at The Reef better during the Covid-19 scare, because I had the entire RV park to myself!!! ...And I received excellent RV services that made my trip 300% worthwhile.

Side note: On my way from Tuscon to Why, AZ I passed by the Saguaro National Park, and I highly recommend you plan an afternoon visit or a week long stay to enjoy this very beautiful and very different National Park: https://www.nps.gov/sagu/index.htm
...Just be sure to check for RV size limits where you go or plan to leave your RV and drive into the park with your tow car. You will be glad made the extra effort!
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:31 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by powercat_ras View Post
The peak time is Jan-Mar for visitors from USA and Canada. Rocky Point gets pretty rowdy and crowded from Palm Sunday thru Easter with visitors from all over Mexico, so keep that in mind.

I found it very fun, safe, comfortable, and affordable in the Jan-Mar time frame. You can get into trobule if you are stupid and go out at all hours of the night in the non-resort areas.

Don't speed. Don't try to break the rules about what you are allowed to bring across the border from USA, in particular the prohibited weapons and self-defense devices. At best they will turn you around at the border and flag your passport. At worst you will be jailed.
A single bullet or empty magazine can send you to jail. i remember a man that traveled there from Scottsdale, AZ that was jailed for months for having a single bullet in his car!
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:33 AM   #14
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This is a great and easy to use app. My daughter in Switzerland said "we had to use it" if we wanted to talk and sendher "stuff". Needless to say we did and we are sold for sure. You can switch from text to sending audio to a picture to turning on video and off again. Seamless - try it!
We use WhatsApp to communicate with our international friends. We use it for texting and video calls. My only dislike is it's a Facebook Company.
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:40 PM   #15
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What's a problem with RVing in Oregon and Florida

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the only two states that give me the most concern when traveling through and staying here-and-there are Oregon & Florida.
I would love to know what is behind your saying Oregon and Florida are the two States that would most concern you. I live in Oregon and I don't get it.
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Old 08-05-2020, 01:19 PM   #16
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I would love to know what is behind your saying Oregon and Florida are the two States that would most concern you. I live in Oregon and I don't get it.
Indeed. We have vacationed in Florida in 10 of the past 12 years and never had an issue.
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:22 PM   #17
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calendarboy: Living in Oregon and visiting Oregon are two different things. And if you have not experienced any problems in your home state that's great. I'm just saying I felt saver in Rocky Point, Mexico than I do in some places in the USA.

...And I mention Oregon because I'm bothered by of all the encampments near rest stops; and the "Tweekers" I have witnessed on the Oregon coast are very disheartening.

Moreover, you just need to go to Costco and 90% of the time some family with kids in a van will pull-up asking for food. It's all a big con! You know they don't want food they want money!

In Greshem (which is just outside of Portland) I saw so much despair. ...And I got tired of helping transient teenagers. How you ask? ...I would take them into a Mexican restaurant and give the counter person $20 and tell them to let this young man order whatever he wants and to give him the change. (Great Mexican food in Gresham!) ...Sad to see so many young people flock to Mt. Hood and/or Portland to seek "whatever" and then end up homeless.

So sad... Portland is under siege by leftist radicals and you think Oregon is just fine and dandy. OMG... There's nothing I can say that will change your way of thinking if you deny what you have seen on TV this this last month!

My family dates back to the first provisional governor of Oregon... My great grandfather use to run a Stern-wheel on the Willamette River. And I can go on and on. There was a time where Oregon was progressive in a good way. Now it's just a radical leftist state controlled by you know who.

...Man I'm sorry to trash your state, especially since there are some beautiful places to visit, I have have, but I don't feel safe in Oregon when I'm traveling in an RV. And like Florida I always stay in gated communities when I travel to Oregon and Florida. I.e., no Walmart holdovers or rest stops!

Rocky Point, Mexico by contrast is so much safer! ...And that's my point! ...I don't think people know this. ...Moreover, now that I have made the trek to The Reef at Rock Point, I now have no concerns traveling over the border to Puerto Penasco/Rock Point, because Puerto Penasco/Rocky Point is located in Mexico's Free/Safe Zone. ...But I still have concerns when I travel through Oregon and Florida. Can we leave it at that?
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Old 08-06-2020, 09:25 AM   #18
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calendarboy: Living in Oregon and visiting Oregon are two different things. And if you have not experienced any problems in your home state that's great. I'm just saying I felt saver in Rocky Point, Mexico than I do in some places in the USA.

...And I mention Oregon because I'm bothered by of all the encampments near rest stops; and the "Tweekers" I have witnessed on the Oregon coast are very disheartening.

Moreover, you just need to go to Costco and 90% of the time some family with kids in a van will pull-up asking for food. It's all a big con! You know they don't want food they want money!

In Greshem (which is just outside of Portland) I saw so much despair. ...And I got tired of helping transient teenagers. How you ask? ...I would take them into a Mexican restaurant and give the counter person $20 and tell them to let this young man order whatever he wants and to give him the change. (Great Mexican food in Gresham!) ...Sad to see so many young people flock to Mt. Hood and/or Portland to seek "whatever" and then end up homeless.

So sad... Portland is under siege by leftist radicals and you think Oregon is just fine and dandy. OMG... There's nothing I can say that will change your way of thinking if you deny what you have seen on TV this this last month!

My family dates back to the first provisional governor of Oregon... My great grandfather use to run a Stern-wheel on the Willamette River. And I can go on and on. There was a time where Oregon was progressive in a good way. Now it's just a radical leftist state controlled by you know who.

...Man I'm sorry to trash your state, especially since there are some beautiful places to visit, I have have, but I don't feel safe in Oregon when I'm traveling in an RV. And like Florida I always stay in gated communities when I travel to Oregon and Florida. I.e., no Walmart holdovers or rest stops!

Rocky Point, Mexico by contrast is so much safer! ...And that's my point! ...I don't think people know this. ...Moreover, now that I have made the trek to The Reef at Rock Point, I now have no concerns traveling over the border to Puerto Penasco/Rock Point, because Puerto Penasco/Rocky Point is located in Mexico's Free/Safe Zone. ...But I still have concerns when I travel through Oregon and Florida. Can we leave it at that?



Well said. If we tolerate this stuff, it will continue. If we don't, it won't. Pretty simple.
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Old 09-02-2020, 06:41 PM   #19
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UPDATE: Puerto Penasco is reopen for business. This includes the beach access. I'm planning a return trip to Rocky Point so Carlos and his crew can perform the annual roof radius seam maintenance.

Every Winnebago Class-A owner knows what I am talking about, however I'm thinking I may try a new technique I will share with you after I am done.

The weather in Rocky Point will remain very hot and very humid thru late September, so I don't plan on return to The Reef RV Park until October sometime. And then I will post an update after all work is completed.

Should anyone need more information how I crossed the boarder, and how I entered the town of Puerto Penasco during the Covid security checks, you are welcome to private message me.
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Old 09-13-2020, 02:25 PM   #20
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How Do I Reach Carlos In Puerto Penasco For Some Body & Paint Work?

People have PM me asking how to get in touch with Carlos to prearrange some body & paint work?

So here is his phone number you can use -- to send him a What's App request. Then you can communicate with him directly before you come: +52-1-638-105-6894. If you still have trouble getting a hold of Carlos, PM me and I will send you is email.

Here's a picture on how to find The Reef RV Park in Puerto Penasco, Mexico. Basically, you just turn right at the Auto Zone and start heading for the right side of the biggest condo building you see. And if you need to setup a RV campsite reservation you can googe The Reef RV Park at Rocky Point and everything will be handled my a corporation that runs the park.

The Reef has internet and 50A service and I prefer to park in the even number parking stalls so I face West. This way I don't get the morning sun, but if your picture window is on the passenger side of the RV, then you might want to take an "odd number" RV stall.

For more information on how Carlos helped me out again, by performing that annoying Winnebago roof maintenance and re-glue work, you can go to this website that explaines why I returned to Rocky Point in September-2020, which is earlier than planned, but the weather is actually not as hot or humid as it was in late-June. Of course, the humidity will come and go in waves, but today the humidity was only 20% and later this week it will rise to 50%, and 89F so that will not be too hot for me!

https://www.winnieowners.com/forums/...ce-358625.html
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