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Driving from Portland OR to Lake Chapala

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Cmax42
5/23/2019 00:57 EST

I will be selling my house in Portland OR prior to moving to Lake Chapala. Although I will be getting rid of almost all my furniture, I do want to bring a few pieces of furniture with me. Is it practical to drive an SUV with a small, enclosed trailer from Portland to Lake Chapala? Or do you suggest shipping the furniture?

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hrlee7804
5/23/2019 08:16 EST

I made that drive a few times, Eastern Oregon to Chapala and other places. My intention was to drag a cargo trailer with me for my move. I got detoured into downtown Monterrey and it was a nightmare even with my 15 Subaru Outback. I don't encourage anyone to take a trailer thru that part of Mexico, although I see a few doing it. I eventually brought a trailer with me to San Carlos, Sonora but the traffic to here is very light compared to where you are going. In general the roads here are much better also. My advise is have the furniture shipped and remove the hassle of a trailer all together.

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YellowTail
5/23/2019 16:16 EST

Have you already purchased/rented your property in Mexico ? For me - that would be step one. Can your new place accommodate the furniture you are thinking of transporting.

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RVGRINGO
5/23/2019 17:08 EST

And....can your property accommodate the trailer that you have in mind. Many streets are too narrow and crowded to allow one to be maneuvered into a garage. In fact, few properties even have space of any kind for storage of an extra vehicle. You may not take a rented trailer into Mexico, and you must take yours with you, whenever your car leaves Mexico.....No exceptions.

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YellowTail
5/23/2019 18:02 EST

I wasn't going to go down all those other paths so early but - are you capable of driving a trailer ? Could/can you back a trailer into a tight space ? You would need to anticipate places to stop at night that can accommodate a trailer. You have the security issues. The insurance issues. There are many other things. How are your new Mexican neighbors going to feel about your parking a trailer in the neighborhood ? or were you going to rent space in a parking area ? Were you going to get a menaje for your load ?

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hrlee7804
5/24/2019 08:57 EST

When I crossed with my trailer at Mariposa/Nogales I had about $5000. worth of tools and furniture on board. It cost me $1000. US in propina and I think $750 pesos for the legal paperwork. I did cross on a Sunday two days before Jan 1. I fought like hell on the bribe $ but the next option was to go back to Nogales for 3 or 4 days and wait for the real agents to be available. Then no telling if the cost was going to be more or less. I did have a menaje de casa, which was not free at the US consulate. I bought the bullet. Right or wrong....don't know. I made it to my home in San Carlos in one day so no issues about the trailer and safety coming here. Going to Chapala could be a nightmare. Streets and traffic in Chapala are not conducive cars, walking or trailers.

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longtimelurker
5/27/2019 07:44 EST

I have pulled all kinds of trailers all over Mexico. 95% of your trip will be on the autopistas. It is most important to plan your stops for the night.

Tandem wheels is better. Make sure the tires are good and repack the bearings. Have 2 spare tires, a jack that can lift a loaded trailer, an extra set of wheel bearings.

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YellowTail
5/27/2019 13:09 EST

And you want to be sure to not bury the spare tire(s) at the bottom of the load. Keep the load level with the bulk of the weight over the axle(s). You might consider a small wheel that can help you move the trailer around if it is not attached to the car/truck. You should consider chokes (sp ?) that will prevent the trailer from rolling away if not attached to the car. There is a pin that attaches the 'tongue' of the trailer to the car. Be sure to get a locking type of pin - one which can't be jarred lose on a pot hole riddled road - or you might see you trailer sitting on the road behind you as you drive away. Finally - when you set the trailer onto the 'ball' be sure and put a pad-lock on the little lever that sits by the ball. And of course you want padlocks on all the doors of the trailer...

Those are the steps I took on my one and only experience driving a trailer.

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YellowTail
5/27/2019 17:33 EST

Oh - and every wheel should have a locking lug nut (I thought I said that already, but apparently not).

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YellowTail
5/27/2019 17:39 EST

And I also had one of those locking 'boots' on a trailer wheel which prevented someone driving off with it if all else failed.

Sorry...

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