Mexico-USA: entry USA & new travel vehicle
Zurich - Tijuana, Mexico
After 9 intensive weeks, also meeting with friends and thus many good conversations, once again we said goodbye to the for us overcrowded homeland.
We didn't want to take the risk
that the Germans wouldn’t let us stay in a hotel due to Corona restrictions. Therefore, we took the train early in the morning to get from Zurich to Frankfurt. And that’s why we flew after arrival in Frankfurt with Lufthansa on the same day to Mexico. Departure at 13.30 o’clock. A night flight would have been preferable to us with the comfortable seat convertible to a bed.
In Mexico City we stayed overnight in one of the airport hotels.
The following day we flew to Tijuana where we were picked up by the campground owner to drive the remaining 90 KM back to our vehicle.
Border crossing Mexico - USA
A very long column in front of us at the Mexican - US border. Slowly advancing towards the effective border control took 3 hours. The actual entry to US was without any problems. Showing our B2 visa and leaving fingerprints. We had thought about our Corona vaccination cards in vain, because nobody asked for them.
Unusual was that the 6 months Visa were listed only in their computer, and no longer as before with a stamp in our passports.
Since a police officer checked our passports with his vehicle computer during a recent major inspection on the road northwards and had no objection, we are obviously legally in the country.
SIM card in California
Our old USA SIM cards were blocked because they were not been used for a long time. So, we want to buy new ones in California.
We can hardly communicate our concerns in telecommunication store, as the first thing the nice salesman asked, can you give me your phone number please. We answered, yes, if you sell us one, then yes. AT&T in California does not sell SIM cards with prepaid contracts to tourists any more. It's good, that our Mexico SIM cards work also in the States with roaming without any problems.
In Arizona, when we bought a phone, we got a SIM from Verizon with unlimited data.
Buy a Motorhome in Arizona, police action included
We originally wanted to purchase our new vehicle in California. Then we learned that in the neighboring state of Arizona there is a little legal trick to pay 7.75% less sales tax.
So, we bought the motorhome from a wholesaler in Tucson. Mercedes Sprinter 4x4 Tranquility 19L. Important for us was, base vehicle with 3.0-liter turbo diesel, including all-wheel drive. We immediately replaced the 16-inch rims with off-road tires with 17-inch rims fitted with BF Goodrich.
While the vehicle was being handed over, we stood at the wholesaler's place. Suddenly a police helicopter circulated above us and several police vehicles drove around the square. We were asked by the staff to proceed to shelter in the building. Reason, less than 300 meters away from us, a young police officer had been shot on the company’s premises shortly before. The search for the perpetrator was in full swing. Even on the following day, however, the perpetrator had not yet been caught.
Mercedes Sprinter Motorhome
The change from the RAM and the Northern Lite cab to the 4x4 Sprinter showed us that we were still carrying too many things with us. The Salvation Army was the right solution for us. The whole thing is becoming clearer and less complicated. With filled up tanks and fully loaded the vehicle is weighing 4 tons. There is still a reserve of 400 kg compared to the total legal weight.
As we will be modifying the original chassis suspension at a specialist in California soon, this will give even more weight reserve.
Until we get our original license plates, which supposedly takes 5 or more weeks due to Corona, we drive around with a temporary paper plate.
So far, the Sprinter is fun too.