Planning for Baja Begins

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Border Crossings and Packing Lists… Let the Baja XL Rally planning begin!

I know. I know. We are a bit late to start planning for this rally, but it’s been a busy year. When we finally got a chance to carve out some time, we started to realize there wasn’t too much planning to do. Our number one priority is that everyone has a good time, stays safe, and we keep the boarder crossings easy. Also, since we are taking our 2016 Tacoma, there is some work that needs done to it, as it is not Baja ready… more to come on this as we build it out. Other than these items, it’s really just creating a packing list, determining our communication channels, and meeting up in Los Angeles on January 24th.

So what does one EarthCruiser crew plan to pack when headed to Baja?

Below is our list of essentials. Please remember that we are traveling in an EarthCruiser, so things like water purification and an air compressor is already built into the trucks.

  • 10 gallons of clean fuel
  • Fuel additive
  • 2 air filters
  • 1 fuel filter
  • Tool kit
  • Recovery rope
  • 2 soft shackles
  • 4 max trax
  • Fluids:
    • 5 pints of motor oil
    • 1 bottle of brake fluid
    • jug of coolant
    • 1 bottle of transmission fluid
    • 1 bottle of differential fluid
  • Secondary jack system
  • Garmin Montana
  • Garmin inReach
  • Shovel
  • First Aid Kit
  • Camera gear
  • Food

With the packing list complete, we wanted to make sure us and other EC owners are most prepared for the border crossing. What we found out is that when crossing into Mexico, you and your vehicle must have a tourism permit. Apply for and printing these permits for the border agents, will greatly improve your chances of a smooth entry into Mexico.

To pre-register yourself and your vehicle with the Mexican Government

you have a 60 to 11 day window prior to leaving. If you try to register less than 11 days before your trip, you won’t get the mailed vehicle permit you need. What do you need to do:

  1. Get pre-authorized for a 180-day tourism document with the INM for yourself and any passengers.
    1. Use internet explorer… the website works best with this
    2. Go to:
    3. Fill out the online form using your passport information
    4. Submit the form and print out the document… it will be in Spanish
    5. Make sure you keep handy the INM pre-authorization number as you may need it for the next step depending on the vehicle you are crossing with.
  1. Get pre-authorized for a 180-day vehicle permit
    1. Use internet explorer… the website works best with this
    2. Got to:
    3. Begin a new application for a motorhome permit if you are registering your EarthCruiser
    4. If you are registering a foreign vehicle not classified as a motorhome, you will need your INM pre-authorization number
    5. Use your passport and vehicle registration information and go through the steps
    6. Once completed, you will be receiving your permit in the mail in 11 days

Please bring all printed permits with you for the boarder crossing, and these documents will hopefully streamline the process. Things change all the time though, so if you are reading this and have more information for us please send us an email.

For communications between our caravan and others

the rally asks that you use a CB radio and carry a satellite phone. We also wanted to bring our HAM radios, but unfortunately most of these frequencies are not approved by the Mexican government for amateur use. We are not sure how strict they are with this, but find it best to respect the law of any foreign country… especially our neighbors.

So with just under a month before the rally, we are feeling pretty confident about things. However I’m sure more will come up as January 24th approaches. Until our next post, Happy New Year to all!