Joining a Caravan in Chula Vista California

Over the mountains of Califonia toward the coast

Today we finally reached our interim destination, Chula Vista, California. It’s right on the Mexican border and is the gathering point for our caravan south down the Mexican Baja to Cabo San Lucas. No more snow or ice, just warm sunny Southern California weather. The drive from Yuma brought us first through the Imperial Valley of California. The waters of the Colorado River have turned this desert area into a garden of eating. This is a primary source of many of those California-grown fruits and vegetables enjoyed across the country. Then it was over some mountains and through the Manzanita Indian Reservation where Hubby’s mom grew up. It was a pretty stark, unappealing area so we could see why she left when she was 16. We saw more windmills and were hearten by another sighting of  this growing clean energy source. Before we knew it we were in San Diego and maneuvering down the 805 to the Chula Vista RV Resort.

Manzanita Reservation, an inhospitable place

More windmills, less pollution

Chula Vista Resort is another of those urban campgrounds. The sites have cement pads, no trees and just enough space to back in and open your slides and awning without touching your neighbor. Its saving grace is the location, next to a beautiful park, a marina and the water.

A tight squeeze…

It will be our base of operation as we prepare to spend 28 days caravanning down the Baja. A caravan is a preplanned, fully scheduled tour joined by up to 25 RV’s. There are several companies that run them and you can join them to tour Alaska, New England, Canada and dozens of others places. We have never been on a caravan before, preferring to plan our own trips and  go at our own schedule. Mexico was a different animal, as they say. The Good Sam people who ran the tour had been doing this for years. They knew which campgrounds had drinkable water, they knew the roads, the language, the places to stop and ins and outs of passing the military checkpoints we would encounter. They  also had the experience to deal with any number of issues that might come up when traveling in a foreign country.

We attended  a welcome lunch to meet our trip leaders and the other caravan participants. We looked around the room and wondered how it will be to travel with these 40 people for the next month. While reading through our itinerary of scheduled stops, tour options, dinners and planned outings we hoped we wouldn’t regret giving up our usual travel flexibility.  When they announced we would be lining up to leave at 7 AM and that would be our usual travel routine, we  had a feeling there might be too much structure on this adventure. Concerned we might have made an expensive mistake signing onto a caravan we headed back to the RV to pack up and get ready for that early morning reveille. Cabo San Lucas here we come.

…but a pretty location

About JudithC99

Wanderer. Writer. Artist. Photographer. Learner. Traveler of the Red Roads


  1. Can’t wait to hear how you like the Caravan. It sounds interesting, but at the same time, we too like our freedom to go and do what we want.

  2. Sounds like a wonderful trip. Should be safe in a caravan. We would love to go there but a little nervous about safety. Be well and safe travels, Ann and Jerry

  3. I think heading into Mexico as a group is the best idea. The past few years have been shaky at best there. I hope all goes well and that your adventure is lots of fun!

  4. I agree that trips to Mexico and perhaps Alaska are best done in a group because of all of the complexities mentioned above. I hope it goes well. I will be following the travels since we are thinking of doing the same.

  5. It looks like you will be set to travel roads closer to ours now! Although we like to do our own thing and stick to a flexible schedule, we prefer to travel in groups of two or more when visiting countries north of us as there is both safety in numbers and extra help when things go wrong. Hope its great for you guys.

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  7. We encounter various Caravan groups in Alaska. They seem organized coming in and out of a campgrounds and they have with then an RV mechanic which is i think is cool. We wanted to talk to them just to ask how they liked it but they have activities going on in the night and they usually leave early in the morning. Joining a caravan was one of the option we explored when we planned to go to Alaska but ultimately we decided to do it by ourselves and are glad we did.
    Hope you have a good experience with your group going to Mexico.

    • For this section the Diary isn’t real time. We took the trip earlier and I’ll be recounting the pro’s and con’s of the trip in my posts. They were organized well. We are currently in New Hampshire enjoying the fall foliage and the crisp, sunny weather until we start to wander south.

  8. newenglandtravels

    wow, sounds like it was a grand adventure. How are you enjoying our rain right now

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