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Xscapers Baja Convergence

January 27, 2020 - February 14, 2020

Free
Xscapers Baja Mexico Convergence

San Felípe, B.C., Mexico
Victor's RV Park
Jan 26, - Feb 5, 2019 (Party Peeps)
Feb 4, - Feb 14, 2019 (Chill Peeps)

Join us as Xscapers heads south of the border for the third year! Good times, beautiful views, camping just feet from the ocean, tiny dolphins swimming by, amazing food, epic sunsets, ocean kayaking, margaritas, craft beer, local wines, artisanal cheeses, and all your Xscapers friends.  What more could you possibly need?

We will gather for a night in El Centro to get organized and ready for an early departure the following morning. The trip across the international border may take 2+ hours followed by a 2 ½ hour trip to the Seaside town of San Felipe. Last year, attendees were greeted at the campground with a cold beer and friendly smiles. The group spent the week enjoying many relaxing activities such as door-to-door deliveries of breakfast tacos, seaside dinners, sunsets viewed at the water’s edged with feet buried in the warm sand. There were also several outdoor activities planned such as paddle-boarding, canoeing, shopping, off-roading, and even a visit to the giant cacti south of town. While we can’t guarantee the same experience year after year, we hope this gives you a little taste of what you can expect when attending this Convergence!

Convergence Location

Aerial view of Victor's RV ParkOur home base for the Baja Mexico Hangout is Victor’s RV Park in San Felipe. This family-owned park and hotel, located right on a pristine stretch of beach along the Sea of Cortez, has been the site of two previous Xscapers Convergences. Victor, his wife Lily and son Victor Jr. are fabulous hosts, dedicated to doing everything possible to make our stay enjoyable. The park is a 15 minute walk from the main entertainment area the “Malecón” and all the sights of central San Felipe. Victor’s has both 30 amp full hookup and dry camping sites. There are 21 full hookup sites, but only some of those can accommodate large RVs. The dry camping area has an additional 31 sites, nine of which are adjacent to the beach, and plenty of room for big rigs. Fresh water, a dump station and warm showers are all available in the dry camping area.

Schedule

Day 1

Arrive in parking lot of Imperial Valley Mall in El Centro, AZ by 3:30 pm.

Check-in, documents check, site assignments and group informational meeting

Dry camping in parking lot (recommended) or arrange your own overnight stay in a nearby RV park

Day 2

Depart Imperial Valley Mall at 8:00 am

Mexican border crossing, police escort through Mexicali, drive 2.5 hours to San Felipe

Arrival at Victor’s RV Park in the afternoon with welcome margarita waiting!

Welcome Fiesta Dinner with included margaritas

Day 3-10

Included trip by private bus to a local artisanal cheese and wine shop with tastings, followed by an afternoon fiesta at a nearby craft brewery with live music and local food to sample.

Day trip and picnic at the Valley of the Giant Cactus

Farewell Drink and Group photo

Day 11

Depart San Felipe at 8:30 to cross back into the states around noon with an escort to the border

Registration includes:

  • 1 night dry camping in El Centro, CA
  • 10 nights in a FHU or dry camping RV site (your choice) on Sea of Cortez
  • Welcome Dinner and drinks
  • Restaurant & bar on property with rig service
  • Admission to Valley of the Giants
  • Bus excursion to beer tasting at San Felipe Brewing Company and wine & cheese tasting at C&G Cava Boutique
  • Farewell Drink
  • Social activities
  • Convergence host

Additional required costs (not included in Convergence fee):

  • Mexican tourist cards (about $35 per person)
  • Mexican vehicle liability insurance (about $80-$500 depending on RV and options selected)

Important things to know

International travel by RV is a bit more complicated than traveling in the United States. We will organize a caravan and do everything we can to help make your trip amazing.  But you are responsible for complying with all of the following requirements, and the group will not be delayed if you fail to do so. 

  • Passports: Every attendee (including children) must have a valid passport with an expiration date of August 14, 2020 or later.
  • Tourist cards (FMM): You must obtain a FMM (Forma Migratoria Múltiple, a Mexican tourist card) for each attendee online within the month before our border crossing. The cost is about US$35 a person, depending on the current exchange rate. We will provide each attendee with detailed instructions for how to do this.
  • Vehicle liability insurance: Mexico law requires that you have vehicle liability-only insurance issued by a Mexican insurer. The cost can vary greatly–anywhere from US$100-$300 or more–depending on your RV and the options you select. See more details in the FAQ below. You may wish to get online quotes for insurance before registering for the Hangout.
  • Your RV and tow or towed vehicles must be registered in your name, and must be in good mechanical condition to make the 2 1/2 hour drive each way to San Felipe. All the roads and highways we’ll travel on are paved. (Officially, all vehicles entering Mexico also need a Temporary Import Permit [TIP]; however, this has never been enforced on the Baja Peninsula, and we don’t expect it to be anytime soon.)
  • Pets are permitted in Mexico as long as they have a certificate of health, current vaccinations and parasite treatments, signed by a veterinarian within 10 days before crossing the border (required but not usually enforced)
  • Guns and ammunition are illegal in Mexico. Enforcement is strict. Expect your vehicles to be inspected. Any guns or ammo found will be confiscated and result in you being immediately sent to prison. Don’t do it.
  • Recreational drugs are illegal in Mexico. Again, enforcement is strict. Expect your vehicles to be inspected by drug-sniffing dogs. Illegal drugs will be confiscated and you will be sent to prison. If you take any controlled substances prescribed by a physician, be sure they are in the original bottles with the prescription label.
  • Radios: We recommend that you have with you a Family Radio Service (FRS)-capable walkie talkie for communications within the caravan (and so you can order food and drinks from the restaurant to be brought to your rig). These cost $25-$50 for a pair on Amazon. Be sure your radio has fresh batteries if it uses disposables, or bring the battery charger.
  • Staying longer: In an effort to include as many people as possible staying for both sessions will not be allowed.  However feel free to travel onward in the Baja penisula after your event is over
Xscapers Baja Convergence 1

Alternative: Escapees Baja Mexico Hangout

If these Convergences is soled out or the dates don't work with your schedule, consider the Escapees Baja Mexico Hangout on Febuary 13-24. Escapees Hangouts don't cater directly to working-age RVers but they do provide more opportunities for all members to make new friends and share fun, active and adventurous experiences together.
(You may not register for more than one of the three events.)

After you register

You will receive confirmation of your purchase and any additional information as needed. Please join the FB Group page created for this event specifically. This page will be used for communication leading up to and during the event. You will also receive instructional emails a few weeks prior with more information as needed.

Cancellations

10 percent cancellation fee of the full registration amount will be deducted from any refunds 30 days or more prior to the event, unless stated otherwise. There are no refunds 29 days or less prior to the event.

By attending this event, you are agreeing to the following: As an attendee, you assume all risk and danger relating to your personal property, RV and attendance at the Convergence, whether occurring prior to, during or after the event. In the event of loss or theft, no claim will be made upon Escapees, its volunteers, employees or agents. Volunteers may be directing and assisting you in your parking areas. However, it is the driver of the vehicle who is ultimately responsible for avoiding obstacles or dangerous situations, and is solely responsible for any damage to one’s property or the property of others. As an attendee at this event, you are granting your permission to be filmed, videotaped, audiotaped, or photographed, and granting to Escapees RV Club the full use of any such recordings or images without compensation.

Frequently asked questions

Yes. Every attendee (including children) must have a valid passport with an expiration date of August 14, 2020 or later. You must bring your passports with you to check-in.

If you are a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you don’t need a visa. However, you do need a FMM (Forma Migratoria Múltiple), basically a Mexican tourist card, for each attendee. You can obtain the FMM online within the month before our border crossing. The cost is about US$35 a person, depending on the current exchange rate. We will provide each attendee with detailed instructions for how to do this. You must bring your printed FMMs and payment receipts with you to check-in. We will have the Mexican authorities stamp our FMMs when we cross the border into Mexico.

Mexican federal law requires that you have vehicle liability insurance issued by a Mexican insurer. This insurance covers bodily injury to and damage to property of third parties while you’re driving. The minimum required coverage level is 50,000 pesos (about US$2,600) in property damage costs and 100,000 pesos (about US$5,200) in personal injury expenses, but for their own protection, most visitors purchase at least $100,000 in coverage.

Each self-propelled vehicle that you plan to operate in Mexico must have its own liability policy. If you have a motorhome and a toad, that means you’ll need two policies. Owners of towed trailers will need coverage only on their tow vehicle.

The cost for this coverage can vary greatly–anywhere from US$100-$300 or more–depending on your vehicles and the options you select. In the past, some Escapees members have saved money by insuring their motorhome for just the two driving days. You’ll want coverage on your toad or tow vehicle for the entire duration of the Hangout so that you can drive it while you’re there.

Remember that your U.S. policy has two main parts: liability to third parties (bodily injury and property damage), and damage to your own vehicles (collision and comprehensive).

The liability portion of your U.S. policy is not valid in Mexico. You must purchase a Mexican liability policy as described above.

The damage to your vehicles portion of your U.S. policy MAY OR MAY NOT cover you for damage incurred in Mexico. Read your policy and talk with your insurer to find out. If your U.S. policy does not provide damage coverage in Mexico, you can add this coverage when you buy your Mexican liability policy. If your policy does provide coverage for damage to your vehicles in Mexico, be sure you understand and comply with any applicable restrictions. If you’re OK with those restrictions, don’t spend the extra money on redundant Mexican damage coverage.

You can price and buy your Mexican liability insurance from a number of online sites. Our suggestion is to contact  FCIS Insurance at 800-331-1520 or info@fcisinsurance.com to discuss this with an RV Insurance specialist. Xscapers Baja Convergence 2
You can also check out including Mexpro.com and Oscar Padilla Mexican Insurance. Or if you prefer, you can visit a Mexican insurance broker in one of the U.S. border towns. Your U.S. insurer may also be able to suggest a source. Be sure to shop around, as premiums can vary significantly between insurers.

The roads are all paved, and pretty much like you’d find in the United States, at least as far south as San Felipe. In Mexicali, the surface streets are similar to those in major U.S. cities. The highway between Mexicali and San Felipe, and most of the roads in San Felipe itself, are all either two-lane or four-lane paved roadway. 

According to reliable third-party sources, all of the diesel fuel sold in the northern Baja Peninsula is ultra-low-sulfur (ULSD) suitable for use in all diesel engines. You will not see it labeled as ULSD, however. 

If you prefer not to buy diesel in Mexico, know that the round-trip route is about 290 miles long, so most vehicles can make it on one tank of fuel.

Yes, pets are permitted in Mexico as long as they have a certificate of health, current vaccinations and parasite treatments, signed by a veterinarian within 10 days before crossing the border. Although this certificate is legally required, it’s not usually checked or enforced by the authorities. You can find detailed requirements for different types of animals, as well as a form for dogs and cats that your vet can complete and sign, on the USDA website.

Dogs must be kept on leash at all times while outside your RV. Please be sure to pick up after your dog.

No. Guns and ammunition are illegal in Mexico. Enforcement is strict. Expect your vehicles to be inspected at the border and again at a military checkpoint on the way to San Felipe. Any guns or ammo found will be confiscated and result in you being immediately sent to prison. 

In the past, some Xscaper members have shared the rental of a self-storage unit in El Centro, AZ to store their prohibited items the night before departure. We have also heard of travelers leaving their weapons with a pawn shop in the U.S. and then retrieving them when they return.

No. Recreational drugs, including marijuana, are illegal in Mexico. Again, enforcement is strict. You should expect your vehicles to be inspected by drug-sniffing dogs at least once. Illegal drugs will be confiscated and you will be sent to prison.

If you take any controlled substances prescribed by a physician, be sure they are in the original bottles with the prescription label attached. And if possible, don’t bring any larger quantity than what you’ll need during the Hangout.

While not required, it’s highly recommended. While we are caravanning to and from San Felipe, we will use two-way radios to keep in contact with everyone in the caravan. They are especially useful if you need assistance during the journey. In addition, the park’s restaurant and bar monitors the radio for orders to be delivered directly to your rig. 🙂 

Any Family Radio Service (FRS)-capable walkie-talkie will work. If you don’t already have one, they cost $25-$50 for a pair on Amazon. Be sure your radio has fresh batteries if it uses disposables, or fully charge rechargeable batteries before each travel day.

Citizens-band (CB) radios are not required.

In general, the municipal water quality in San Felipe is good. But…better safe than sorry. To help ensure that illness doesn’t interrupt your fun, we recommend drinking and brushing your teeth with only purified bottled water. (Bottled water is readily available at stores in town, so don’t worry about bringing a 10-day supply.) 

The fresh water supply is fine for bathing, washing dishes, and so on. Many RVers sanitize their fresh water systems upon returning from Mexico, again just to be safe.

Yes, there is a Calimax store, similar to a Super Walmart, about two miles from the RV park. The Calimax has a wide selection of food items as well as other household goods and supplies.

Victor’s RV Park has wifi, but as with many campground wifi systems, it is relatively low bandwidth and may not be reliable with so many people in one area.  If you need data intensive bandwidth, there is a coffee shop nearby with a good connection, or you may wish to use your own cellular hotspot.

 

Your cell phone will work in Mexico, and coverage in the RV park and the cities is generally good. However, availability of service, data speed and data caps will vary depending on your device, plan and carrier. Please check with your carrier beforehand.

We strongly recommend that you have at least mobile voice service on your phone while you’re in Mexico for use in an emergency. If your current U.S. plan does not include service in Mexico and you can’t add it temporarily, it is possible to get a local SIM card and add data to it to use in your cell phone or other mobile device. The cost is about $5 per gigabyte of data.

Yes. On the night before departure day, in the Imperial Valley Mall parking lot, generators may be used until 10:00 pm and after 7:00 am. Generators may also be used in the dry camping area at Victor’s; we will establish reasonable quiet hours.

Most Xscaper attendees will dry camp in the parking lot of Imperial Valley Mall on the evening of February 13. The mall has restaurants, shops, and a 14-screen Cinemark movie theater you can enjoy that evening.

You are welcome to stay at a nearby RV park with hookups on the night before departure if you wish. However, you and your RV must be back at Imperial Valley Mall, fueled up and ready to go, by 7:30 am on February 14. The caravan will not wait for you if you’re late. 

If you do decide to stay at an RV park, we still ask that you and your travel companions attend the informational meeting at the mall at 4:00 pm on arrival day. You don’t need to bring your RV.

The town of San Felipe is probably safer than most American cities. You will see tourists and residents alike walking around and to and from the Malecón and downtown areas at night. Of course, it’s always a good idea to take the same reasonable precautions you would in the United States.

Yes! Mexicali is a large and dense city, with a population of about one million people in the metro area. It can be easy to get lost or separated from the rest of the caravan. To help prevent this, the local police department will meet us on the Mexican side of the border and escort us through the city. Motorcycle officers will stop traffic at each intersection so that our caravan can proceed straight through without stopping. When we return, the escort will meet us on the south side of Mexicali and take us back through the city, directly to a dedicated line at the border crossing. 

No, but we encourage you to travel with the caravan for safety and fun, as well as to have the benefit of the police escort through Mexicali and expedited crossing at the border.

No. The park is hosting an Xscapers Convergence immediately before the Hangout, and your site will likely be filled by other visitors on the day you depart. However, you may stay at another campground in San Felipe or elsewhere on the Baja Peninsula if you wish.

Unfortunately, no. Because of the different sizes of sites in the full hookup area and the shortage of larger sites, we will assign rigs to sites based on their rig size. In general, we will put each participant into the smallest site that can accommodate their rig.

No problem! Just email jp@escapees.com with your question, and we’ll do our best to get you an answer.

Registration includes:

  • 1 night dry camping in El Centro, CA
  • 10 nights in a FHU or dry camping RV site (your choice) on Sea of Cortez
  • Welcome Dinner and drinks
  • Restaurant & bar on property with rig service
  • Admission to Valley of the Giants
  • Bus excursion to beer tasting at San Felipe Brewing Company and wine & cheese tasting at C&G Cava Boutique
  • Farewell Drink
  • Social activities
  • Convergence host

Additional required costs (not included in Convergence fee):

  • Mexican tourist cards (about $35 per person)
  • Mexican vehicle liability insurance (about $80-$500 depending on RV and options selected)

RSVP

Get On the Waitlist Waitlist for a different site type or Convergence tickets.

Please fill in all required fields

Send RSVP confirmation to:

Details

Start:
January 27, 2020
End:
February 14, 2020
Cost:
Free
Event Category:

Organizer

JP Smith
Email:
jp@escapees.com

Venue

Victor’s RV Park
Av. Mar de Cortes Sur 10, Verdugo, 21850
San Felipe, B.C. 21850 Mexico
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One Response to “Xscapers Baja Convergence

  • Travis Carr
    Nancy Angleton
    3 months ago

    I filled out the “Get on the Waiting List RSVP” for the Xcapers Chill Peeps Baja Convergence on July 16 or 17 but have not had a reply as to where I am on the list.

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