Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Viva Mexico

This morning was departure for Mexico.
Leaving the USA and the many friends.
The last three days were with close friends in Temecula who occupy a very important spot in the heart and the goodbye was beautiful but with a sniff of snuff.
This is the hard part of being a nomad.
To have to say goodbye when friends and times are good.
To be close and next to tear away.
However, the intensity and pureness is only there because of the time the visit has.
Before the usual annoyances have a chance to occur, a new page in the book of life is turned.
This is what Osho suggests to his Sanyassins: never stay longer in one place than 6 weeks otherwise the process of living life fruitfully gets stagnated.
This is true but it means a life without a home.
Without a place where one can feel it is OK for the wings to fold.
Because of the personal background it has to be realised that oneself can never find a home.
It will need to be a very strong woman who opens the arms and embraces to convince that finally home is right there.

It is not a long voyage from Temecula to the Mexican border at Tijuana.
Simply take the 15 South, change to 805 South and where it ends is where Mexico begins.

Cruising the Highways in a Fuso Santek is quite something.
Because by Mitsubishi’s instructions speed is temporarily kept at 50 miles an hour, one is not a participant in the madness of the high speed traffic all seeming to be in a hurry to get somewhere.
Sitting so comfortably in the comfy chair as if it was a cruise-ship, the engine humming at a very low level of sound, NPR via XM-satellite radio feeding the brains through the ears, the large windows offering a last view of the Californian landscape, the border crossing is the first stop.
On a Monday morning at the Tijuana border crossing there is no madness going into Mexico but on the other side, vehicles coming into the USA, it is the opposite situation.

As a holder of a European passport a Mexican visa needs to be obtained.
The Mexicans have made bays for cars to park that have goods to declare and although the water pump for Gumaro Gonzales is living now in one of the cargo holds of the Fuso Santek, this is where the expedition vehicle is temporarily parked in order to settle with the Mexican Immigration the visa.
Nobody of all the officials objects about the self decided way of doing and within 20 minutes the journey can be continued having a visa to stay 180 days in Mexico.

Next stop is near Ensenada to take fuel.
Diesel costs in Mexico 5,59 Pesos per litre.
That’s 21,16 Pesos per Gallon.
At the current rate 21,16 Pesos is 1,92 USD.
A gallon of diesel these days costs between 2,99 to 3,15 USD per gallon in the USA.
How can a gallon of diesel be more than 1 USD cheaper in Mexico compared to the USA ?

The amount of fuel put in the Fuso Santek tank was noted down as well as the information of the odometer.
It will be interesting the next time fuel will be bought to calculate what MPG the Fuso Santek is offering us.

Stop for lunch near Ensenada, Mexico.


During the last conversation with Paul Westphal, manager and owner of Santek Trailers, the builders of the Fuso Santek, he stated that they had been doing the best job they could but that they were not perfect.
That it could be expected that things would not work well or even fail.
This is absolutely normal for a custom build RV.

Until now everything works perfectly.
However, one issue has come to attention.

There are two fresh water tanks.
Openings have been made in the tanks to attach hoses to enter the water and to take the water go to the water pump.
However, each water tank on the top has also 3 short hoses to let the air out when filling the tanks.
What happens is that when the tanks are filled to full capacity, a lot of water comes out of those 6 hoses while driving.
Having the Seelevel II tank level monitoring system, which is very accurate, it became clear that the tanks were at 96 % of capacity when filled and at 64 % after driving for a while.
It means that 32 % of the water comes out of the hoses while driving.

There are three questions now.
Would it hurt to close those 6 hoses ?
Would the tanks fill anyway ?
And how to close 6 plastic hoses ?


Where the Fuso Santek spends the night: near San Quintin next to the Pacific Ocean.



Robert Hill said...

Howdy Michel, It's Great to see Your Fuso Santek in Mexico. About your water Tank breather hoses, If it was possible to run longer hoses up to a higher spot I believe this would cure your problem, the water splashing around while driving has an easy exit. Hoses running up verticaly in a void that may or may not exist on your motorhome could be the fix. If plugs are the only fix then I would open a fuacet when filling the tank to relieve pressure, and fill slowly I'm no expert I just thought I would through my two cents in. I'm in san diego and I can mail you any hose or plugs needed if you can't find them in Mexico, that would be my pleasure, Good -Luck. Robert Hill fireduck66@yahoo.com

Clarke Hockwald said...

Depending on how the hoses are run from the tanks it could be possible that you are filling them (the tanks)too full. If the tanks are filled too full, as you drive and the water sloshes around possibly entering the hoses, you may be experiencing an unintended siphoning effect. Try not filling them to 96% full. Try 90% and see if you stop losing water as you drive. I could be wrong, but it seems that may be what is happening.

Michael Hughes said...

I would say part of the reason diesel is cheaper might be that it isn't ULS diesel. I guess it takes a lot to get the sulfur out of the diesel.