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Post Info TOPIC: Full Timer from British Columbia.


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Full Timer from British Columbia.


Hi Everyone.
I am a Full Timer from British Columbia. My wife and I have been full timing it for over 10 years. We have traveled from Norther British Columbia and the Alaska Panhandle down as far as Manzanillo Mexico. We have spent as much as 3 months at a time parked on free beaches in Mexico.
I have written a book to help others become full time RV'ers, and I also run a blog about full time RV'ing. I will list those in the appropriate sections of this forum.
I hope to be of help to people in this forum when I can. I have set the email for responses to this post, so if you have any questions about full timing that I may be able to help you with, just respond to this post, and it should get to me.
Will


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Welcome, Will! My husband and I are also fulltimers from Canada (Ontario) and are in our fifth year. My major complaint is trying to find economical travel health insurance with pre-existing conditions. Other than that, we love the lifestyle and are looking forward to another winter on the Texas coastal bend.

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Hello there from two fulltimers here...Good to have you on our team. I know you will have some good input here on the forum.

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RE: Medical insurance


We have found that the only place you really need medical insurance is in the USA. In Mexico you can pay for services and not break the bank. Even for something major.
The only thing you have to watch in Mexico is that you do not end up in an American owned hospital, such as Hospital America in Puerto Vallarta. These hospitals charge American Prices.
We have used our Visa gold medical insurance for years, and topped up with other providers as we needed. You do have to watch out, as not all the Banks allow topping up on their plans.
Now we have a medical plan through the Royal Bank that is connected to their Platinum card and which gives us up to 6 months at a time. This plan also allows topping up if you are going to be in the USA for longer than 6 months.
We personally do not spend a lot of time in the USA, we feel much safer in Mexico. The statistics state that a tourist is about 40 times more likely to be a victim of a violent crime in the USA, than in Mexico. In fact Mexico is actually rated safer than Canada for travel. Yahoo just recently ran a news article that placed the USA as the most dangerous western country to travel in.
We have had experiences where people we knew needed medical treatment in remote parts of Mexico, and they received it for free. This is because the Mexican Government places new doctors in remote areas for their first years of practice, and then pays their wages. The American and Canadian people that we knew got treated for free, as the doctors in both cases said that the government paid their wages.


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RE: Full Timer from British Columbia.


Good info Will, Mexico is real cheap for medical stuff. If you get the time have a look at our web site it has offered alot of Canadian as well as American travellers an option. www.masa4u.com
We are also fulltimers out of Ontario and travel to Tx for the winter.
I just have not had the courage to head into Mexico for an extended stay as yet. But I know it's comming.
Ron and Sharon

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Hi Will:

I didn't see your post until after I have asked this question before, but you will know for sure.

Are safety chains required on 5'er in Alberta, BC or YT. I am speaking about traditional 5th wheel hitches, not a gooseneck.

I have conflicting information, so I should ask someone who lives there.

Thank you.

Bill



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deleted


-- Edited by NorCal Dan on Sunday 10th of January 2010 02:42:52 PM

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Dan,
shouldn't you be taking umbrage at Yahoo?

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Fulltimerver wrote:
We personally do not spend a lot of time in the USA, we feel much safer in Mexico. The statistics state that a tourist is about 40 times more likely to be a victim of a violent crime in the USA, than in Mexico. In fact Mexico is actually rated safer than Canada for travel. Yahoo just recently ran a news article that placed the USA as the most dangerous western country to travel in.



 I recently watched a video from one of the major US television networks about a family that was stopped, kidnapped (sort of, after all there was no ransom demanded) and had their truck and fifth wheel stolen.  In addition, their valuables and wallets, etc. were taken as well.  They felt lucky that they hadn't been killed.  The family had been vacationing in Mexico for years, but I would imagine that they will hesitate to go there again.

Perhaps you should take notice of the high number of kidnappings and killings that occur near and South of the US/Mexican border.  As for the "statistics", what were they considering as tourists?  Are they considering "drive through" tourists as opposed to those that fly or cruise to resort destinations.  I would venture that their statistics do NOT differentiate one from the other.  With more people flying or cruising to Mexico, that will certainly have an effect on the statistics.

Always be cautious of statistics if you don't know the parameters of the study or survey that serve as the basis for those statistics.  Those of us who have traveled in the United States would certainly disagree with your assessment.

Terry



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I know that written word can be easily misunderstood. So with that in mind I have removed my comments.

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Very heated discussion about this very subject on Escapees forum.Kinda like Chevy versus Ford versus Dodge.

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Bill and Linda.

Interesting question.

I had to go through a vehicle safety course at work a while ago, and on the course they stated that all trailers needed safety chains. But I have never seen a safety chain setup on a fifth wheel unit in Canada. This seems to be one of those areas that slips under the wire. But I would say since no one in Canada does it, they will not pick on you either if you do come up here.

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NorCal Dan wrote:

I know that written word can be easily misunderstood. So with that in mind I have removed my comments.



I can sympathize with you on that one. I stepped in it on the Wal-Mart Postashamed

 



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Terry and Jo.

In my 10 + years of Full Timing all through western Canada, The western US, and Mexico, I have met at least 3 couples that were robbed at gun point, or knife in the USA. I have probably spent at least 5 times as much time in Mexico as in the USA. In all that time I have never met anyone in Mexico that has had a problem, or met anyone who knew anyone that had a problem. These are mostly RV'ers that I am talking about, so for me these are becoming personal statistics. At the moment Mexico wins.
Also remember that Yahoo who ran the story about the US being the most dangerous western country to travel in, is in fact a US company.

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Fulltimerver wrote:

Terry and Jo.

In my 10 + years of Full Timing all through western Canada, The western US, and Mexico, I have met at least 3 couples that were robbed at gun point, or knife in the USA. I have probably spent at least 5 times as much time in Mexico as in the USA. In all that time I have never met anyone in Mexico that has had a problem, or met anyone who knew anyone that had a problem. These are mostly RV'ers that I am talking about, so for me these are becoming personal statistics. At the moment Mexico wins.
Also remember that Yahoo who ran the story about the US being the most dangerous western country to travel in, is in fact a US company.





Great!  Now I'm too scared to become a "Full Timer."no

Just kidding, I'll still see ya'll out there ASAP!  My ankle biting Shih-Tzu's will protect me.  biggrin

 



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Racerguy wrote:
I can sympathize with you on that one. I stepped in it on the Wal-Mart Post

I'm taking an extended vacation from the forum...



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I would be interested in someone posting the yahoo link because I would question its validity. For one, looking it up in wiki, it states it is very difficult to measure countries since every country picks and chooses its definition of burglary, assault,etc. Secondly, with Mexico as case in point, a country as corrupt as the Mexican govt (I would hope there is no need for debate in this area) would manipulate its crime statistics since they rely on tourists heavily.
Now having said all that, I base my judgement on personal experience and those of friends. I have travelled to Mexico and the Carribbean extensively. I have close personal friends that are Mexican citizens and live in Mexico. I also live in Miami which everyone seems to think if you walk outside the house after sunset you get mugged. I feel perfectly safe walking the streets of downtown Miami. I do it every month when attending a sporting event or going to a nice restaurant. By the same token, my hotel room has been broken into and I have been robbed visiting the islands. The same has happened to others I know. As for the couple I know that live in Mexico, they FEAR for their lives every day. They HATE it. They barelly venture outside the home at night. And they live in a gated, upscale community. They tell me the horror stories every time I talk to them. They have already been robbed of everything about two years ago, in the middle of the night with people dressed in police gear pointing machine guns at their heads and their 3 year old son as they laid on the kitchen floor. I base my opinion on my personal experience and those of my friends to base my judgement. That doesn't say I am right and you are wrong, its just that we have a difference of opinion.
Getting back to the statistics, when I was robbed in the overseas all inclusive resort I found out many things on how tourist countries work, Mexico included. For the most part, a lot of them have their own set up with the local police which is to mean NOTHING gets reported outside of the resort area and thus does not get included in the local crime statistics. When I demanded that a 'real' police report be performed, they reluctantly drove me outside the resort area (the police do not even bother going to the resort) where someone, on a piece of paper, very 'unenthusiastically' scribbled the burglary on a notepad!
Per an article I read on the internet, the following are the reasons why it is hard to compare crime statistics across countries:
Other factors affecting crime levels are:
a. Difference in legal and criminal justice systems
b. Rates of crime report and police recording
c. Differences in the point at which a crime is measured – some countries believes it is the time when the offense is reported; others only do the recording when a suspect in identified and the papers are transferred to the prosecutor
d. Differences in the ruling of which multiple offenses are counted
e. Differences in the lost of offenses to be included in the whole crime figures
f. Differences in data quality
Interesting enough in this article it states the burglary rate in the US is LOWER than that of Canada.
So again, the lack of standard definitions of what constitutes a crime and level of crime, the source of where it is coming from (Mexican govt is highly corrupt), and the fact per my experience that many crimes are not reported, would put any article that does not bear out these items into the suspect category.
Norcal Dan, I am with you on this one. I was quite offended with the matter of fact, 'US is bad, everyone else is better' comments that started triggering these responses.


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Not to beat a dead horse but another very relevant personal experience I have is that I work in the telecommunications business for the past 30 years. I have several friends that work for Nortel, a large Canadian firm. Their latin american headquarters are located in South Florida. When they travel to 'certain' latin american cities, Mexico included, they are assigned bodyguards to be with them. In fact I was offered a job with them several years ago and turned them down because of this. Last time I checked, I no of no business associate that is assigned bodyguards to do business in any American city.

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I love this type of discussion, a lot of interesting stuff comes up. I know a lot of it is personal opinion. I myself prefer to be there. In fact I am in Mexico right now, and have been for about a month.

When it really comes down to it, all this is really a moot point. Many of the people who are afraid to go to Mexico or other countries are still driving a car, which is much more dangerous.

A statistic I came across a while ago said that out of every 5,000,000 people that travel to Mexico 5 die in some kind of violence.

Now consider this. The average Mexican vacation is about 8 days, or about 200 hours.

The other side of the coin is that the average person drives a car for about 1/2 hour per day, or about 200 hours per year. For the same number of drivers, there will be 700 deaths, and about 35,000 injuries running from minor to serious, where the person is disabled for life.

(There are about 50,000 vehicle related deaths and 2,000,000 vehicle injuries in the USA each year. With a population of approx 360,000,000 that would mean that 1 out of 7000 people will die and 1 out of 180 people will be injured. Imagine the uproar if 1 out of every 7000 people that went into Mexico died and 1 out of every 180 was injured. I would guess it is probably much safer for an American to go backpacking in Iraq or Afghanistan than it is to drive a car.)

This number works out to 140 times more deaths for the same period of time doing an activity.

Now it would seem to me that even if you doubled the number of violent deaths in Mexico to 10, it would still be about 70 times more dangerous to drive your car. So why is it that people will jump in their car, run yellow lights, speed, pass on corners, do dangerous lane changes, but quake in their boots when travel to Mexico is mentioned.

Even when you look at the number of people that die by falls in their shower or bath tub, and compare the hours taking showers or baths, to the hours spent in Mexico, you will find that many times as many people die in their bathtubs or showers. Yet they have no fear of taking baths or showers.

I am also a life coach I help people deal with these types of fears and phobias. I am totally fascinated by this type of thinking. To me it makes absolutely no sense, I would love to hear opinions on why this type of thinking happens.

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I spent 20 years in the Navy and been all over the place. I have also been to many places in the U.S. Crime is everywhere. Some areas are safer than others. The big key is that you keep your head on a swivel and are aware of your surroundings. If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.

As for the traffic statistics, they are just that. Statistics. Some areas are better in the traffic arena than others. Comparing traffic fatalities / injuries to crime figures doesn't wash. It's apples / oranges.

I have a sister and brother who both RV (although not full time). They have never experienced a problem in their travels. I am still a dreamer and still researching what my RV of choice will be. However, I read through the forums and I take everything with a grain of salt. There are bad pockets everywhere you go. You just need to ensure that you stay out of them and you'll be fine.

Sorry, just felt the need to try to calm things down a bit!

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Nice to meet everyone!
I'm writing from the newly opened Whistler RV Park, which is open for the Vancouver/Whistler 2010 Olympics! The park is pet friendly and  includes free wi fi. There's still spots for the Olympics open, and the park is sending out passes to drive the restricted acsess Sea to Sky Highway up to Whistler. You can go to the website and book at http://www.whistlerrvpark.com
Hope to hear from some of you if you head up to the park!

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Fulltimerver, I know I'm going to get in trouble for this but can't stand by and not respond to your anti-USA sentiment. I resent as a proud American you coming on here  to run down our Country and then tell me you can help me with my phobia about Mexico.

-- Edited by Racerguy on Monday 11th of January 2010 08:13:29 PM

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I hate to jump into these things, but have to say that I don't believe he expressed anything that should be construed as anti American. He reported what he read in publications. These weren't his conclusions, but the publishers of the information.

As an aside, is this the first time you have read that we live in one of the most violent countries in the world?

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Sorry, if I came across as anti American. I am not. I have many friends in the USA. I was just quoting statistics that mostly originated out of the USA itself. If you read the statistics, even Canada is not a very safe country to travel in. There are actually more tourist deaths in Canada than in Mexico. If you really want to travel in a safe country you probably have to go to some place like Finland or Denmark. What I did want to point out though is that people are afraid to travel in many of these countries, but traveling there is still safer than many activities we do every day such as driving.

Yet people are much more afraid of the traveling than of driving or other activities.
My curiosity just gets the better of me and I would love to hear some opinions about why this is so.

I am a writer, and the information I collect in this type of forum is very helpful to me in my writing endeavors. I do not want all my writing to be just my opinion, I also want to know what other people think.

As an example the fact that someone though I was anti American means I failed in trying to get my point across. But I would appreciate constructive criticism much more than just being knocked down because I was misunderstood.


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Fulltimerver wrote:



Yet people are much more afraid of the traveling than of driving or other activities.
My curiosity just gets the better of me and I would love to hear some opinions about why this is so.




I'm not afraid of traveling or driving.  I am afraid of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane or going on a boat that intentionally sinks itself (submarine) or jumping off a tower with a bungee cord attached to my legs but that's another issue.

Statistics lie.  They can be construed to meet the objective of the presenter.  Your statements came across as the US is not a safe place to travel.  Many here would beg to differ in that assessment.  It depends on where you go, as with any country.

I'm not an RV'er yet nor have I slept at a Holiday Inn Express but when people see their homeland talked about in the negative in a generalized statement, they tend to take offense.  In some areas it isn't safe to travel but in most others, it's absolutely fantastic.  The few areas shouldn't outweigh the many.

I dream of one day having a 5er and touring this great country of ours along with Canada and Mexico.  I won't let a Yahoo report dim my enthusiasm in doing this.  Just research the areas you wish to go and stay out of the bad areas.  It's just that simple.


Crime can happen everywhere.  So can a great time.  I'd be looking for a great time while monitoring my surroundings, although I'm not going to let it affect me having a great time!



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However, there is still time to change the configuration, just a plan.



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This thread and the comments remind me of an old story I heard.
Seems this guy moved to a new town. Driving around one day, he saw a pastor working in the church yard and stopped to ask for information. He asked about the people in this town. The pastor asked him how they were where he moved from. He replied they were snobbish, gossiping and just generally not pleasant to be around. The pastor replied, well, I am afraid things are just like that here.

Another newcomer stopped to ask the same pastor about the town and people. The pastor asked him how it was where he moved from. Well, those people are the salt of the earth. Continually working in the church, helping one another, being good friends to one another and always involved with the town. Church had a lot of out-reaches, lots of activities that were lots of fun. The pastor replied, well, you will find it is much like that here.

Whole point here is that attitude is just a state of mind. So is travel. We tend to make our own environment. If we don't like the looks of an area, we move on until we find our comfort level.

I think we can enjoy anywhere if we just make up our minds that we can. (however, just saw that there were 68 murders in Mexico in one day near the border) Again, if I ain't comfortable somewhere, I change my somewhere until I am comfortable.

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