Thread: South America Travel Advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    brasil and texas
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    Default South America Travel Advice

    Ideal RV and Equipment for traveling in
    South America


    Travel to South America will require some cutbacks on your part. If you are going to drive an RV, the best rule is; “the smaller the better”. The ideal unit for travel in these countries (south of Panama), is a one-ton Ford F350 7.3l diesel extended cab pick up with standard 5-speed transmission and a 9-13 foot overhead slide in camper.

    The best built slide-in camper brands we have seen are the California-based Lance Camper, Fleetwood’s “Caribou”, and the Canadian-built “Bigfoot” camper. These units come complete with large refrigerator, roof air-conditioning, generator, microwave, queen size overhead bed and many other options you wouldn’t think a camper could have. These are very comfortable, (this is coming from a “class A” motorhome owner). The size of these units should not deter the prospective traveler from buying one. The objective of this trip is to be outside exploring and not in your RV all the time, so reduced quarters will be even more reason not to sit in the RV during this expedition.

    The size and versatility of this unit are very important because many roads, city streets and side attractions require a small vehicle. On this years tour the maximum length is 30 feet, which will easily accommodate several class C and A motorhomes. If possible, try to get a unit that runs on diesel because it is far more plentiful and much cheaper than gasoline. You will spend approximately 40-50% more on fuel with a gasoline powered vehicle.

    Additional equipment you will want to bring is a water purification system by Nature Pure (Wescalco@aol.com). This system installs in minutes right under your RV sink and uses the same pressurized system as your cold water. This purifier removes not only bad taste and odors but also bacteria, agricultural chemicals, giardia, colera, and many other microbes that other “filters” do not. If your unit already has a filter system on it, call the manufacturer and see if it guarantees pure water by removing all these bacteria, if not, you may want to consider buying on for you unit even while you travel in the US and Canada!

    Another thing that will come in handy is a power inverter to convert battery 12V DC to 120V AC. These also act as a battery charger when connected to electricity.

    Remember, in South America the voltage in many places is 220V and 50 cycles (in the US and Canada it is 125V and 60 cycles), thus your appliances and other electrical items will not operate without a inverter, in South America.

    A Gasoline generator will also come in handy. Small 3500 watt models (Generac, Honda, Coleman) will power lights, TV and roof air conditioners of most RV’s. DO NOT BUY a PROPANE operated generator, there is not many places to fill propane and refueling could be a problem because these generators use a large amount of fuel to generate electricity.

  2. #2
    I really wish you'd give more detail as to WHY a Ford over a Toyota Tundra or a Dodge Cummins.

    The tundra has a higher reliability across all the studies but lack in parts availability. then again you don't need the part if it doesn't break...

    Cummins has a presence in South america too. Although I'd be unsure about Dodge parts...

    What would you do to a F250-350 bought used at around 125k miles to prepare it for the abuse? Beside suspension and tires obviously.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    1,211
    I really wish you'd give more detail as to WHY a Ford over a Toyota Tundra or a Dodge Cummins.

    The tundra has a higher reliability across all the studies but lack in parts availability. then again you don't need the part if it doesn't break...

    Cummins has a presence in South america too. Although I'd be unsure about Dodge parts...

    What would you do to a F250-350 bought used at around 125k miles to prepare it for the abuse? Beside suspension and tires obviously.
    The Tundra would not be able to handle the weight of camper, using a vehicle that much over it's capacity and beyond what the truck is designed to be used for would decrease the reliability, not to mention unsafe.

    I am bias so I would pick the dodge with Cummins over the Ford but that is my personal preference. I understand some Ford F series trucks in Brasil came with a 4 cyclinder cummins.
    1997 Dodge Ram CTD, 5 Speed manual, BD exhaust brake, 5x12 injectors, 4k Gov. springs, Thuren coils, Fox shocks, Stable loads, 99HD steering, Carli end links, Method Race Wheels, 295/70/18 Cooper STTMaxx tires.

    2011 Northstar Adventurer

  4. #4
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    Default Why choose Ford over Toyota or Dadge?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblah View Post
    I really wish you'd give more detail as to WHY a Ford over a Toyota Tundra or a Dodge Cummins.

    The tundra has a higher reliability across all the studies but lack in parts availability. then again you don't need the part if it doesn't break...

    Cummins has a presence in South america too. Although I'd be unsure about Dodge parts...

    What would you do to a F250-350 bought used at around 125k miles to prepare it for the abuse? Beside suspension and tires obviously.
    I have made 13 RV trips into S Amer.l... The service on the 7.3 diesel is available, you need to carry some parts with you to save time. A pre 2003 truck is the one to take (lack of the n american polution devices. Toyota is in some areas , but not the models they sell here, and Dodge is not almost anywhere
    Ford trucks come with cummings from the factory
    the Ford ranger comes with a 4.2 Navistar Diesel and a 6 speed diesel....not available here.

    Anyway the reason is experience.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
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    Feb 2012
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    brasil and texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darwin View Post
    The Tundra would not be able to handle the weight of camper, using a vehicle that much over it's capacity and beyond what the truck is designed to be used for would decrease the reliability, not to mention unsafe.

    I am bias so I would pick the dodge with Cummins over the Ford but that is my personal preference. I understand some Ford F series trucks in Brasil came with a 4 cyclinder cummins.
    I have made 13 RV trips into S Amer.l... The service on the 7.3 diesel is available, you need to carry some parts with you to save time. A pre 2003 truck is the one to take (lack of the n american polution devices. Toyota is in some areas , but not the models they sell here, and Dodge is not almost anywhere
    Ford trucks come with cummings from the factory in BRAZIL....these are the F150 and 250
    the Ford ranger comes with a 4.2 Navistar Diesel and a 6 speed diesel....not available here.

    Anyway the reason is experience.

  6. #6
    What would you do to a 125k miles F250 pre-2004 as precautionnary maintenance and what parts would you carry in the truck?

  7. #7
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    Default f250 7.3

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblah View Post
    What would you do to a 125k miles F250 pre-2004 as precautionnary maintenance and what parts would you carry in the truck?
    Before departure

    Lub/oil/filters, pack wheel bergs. , new belts and hoses (keep old for spares), replace broke fluid with DOT4, cooling sys service with diesel additive, differential service. overall check of undercarriage and exhaust.

    PARTS;
    TENSION PULLEY, AND TENSIONER
    3 EA FILTERS - OIL, FUEL, AIR
    DIESEL ADDITIVE 2 QTS
    2 GLOW PLUGS, 2 INJECTORS
    FUEL TANK FILTER
    EXTRA R WHEEL BERGS AND SEALS
    ALTINATER REBUILT KIT
    P/S REBUILT KIT
    STARTER REBUILD KIT
    FUEL PUMP
    2 A I R PUMPS OR DIAPHARMS
    UNIVERSAL FUEL HOSE (2 SIZES)

  8. #8
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    Apr 2014
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    Also highly recommend to bring: Spanish

    Get your shots, and bring several methods of water treatment - I like to carry a Steripen in my daypack. Everyone will tell you the tap water is safe to drink. Varies widely. Check the seal on every bottle of water you buy too!

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