Hers’s a summary of our trip from Austin, TX, USA to Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico
- Total time: 5 days
- Total Distance: 2050 miles
- Total Tolls: dang! I forgot to total these up. I do have receipts though, so I’ll try to update this post soon with that info.
- Total Gas Costs: Sorry, I forgot to keep track of this. No receipts either.
- Driver: Me, the entire time.
- Passenger / DJ / Keeper of the Maps: Elizabeth
- Pets: 2 dogs: Sadie the Boston Terrier, and Bessie the Basset Hound.
Daily Detail Posts
Here’s past posts that detail each day, including travel times, distances, and hotel stays:
- Day 1 – Austin to Laredo
- Day 2 – Mexico Border Crossing
- Day 2 – Laredo to Matahuala
- Day 3 – Matahuala to Puebla
- Day 4 – Puebla to Villahermosa
- Day 5 – Villahermosa to Puerto Morelos
Before we left, we mapped each leg using Google Maps, and printed it out, so that we had an actual hard copy.
Also before we left, I mapped out our trip using the Maps.Me app. What’s nice about Maps.Me is that you can download the maps for offline use. So I was able to keep my iPhone in airplane mode during the drive, and the GPS still works, and Maps.Me worked perfect!
The only downside seemed to be its time calculations. Those are totally wrong. For example, 200 miles to go, and it said it would take us 10 hours. Or 60 miles to go, and it would take us 1 minute. So we just knew just to ignore its time estimates.
Overall I was very impressed with this app as an offline maps app.
When we got into tricky situations, like when we got off course in Puebla, we turned on Cellular Data and used the Waze app, which guided us exactly where we needed to go. Waze is my normal go-to mapping app, but since we’re no longer on an unlimited data plan, it was nice to have maps.me for offline use, and just use Waze when we needed it.
- Vehicle: 2003 Jeep Wrangler Sahara (2-door soft-top)
- Engine: 4.0 liter inline-6
- Horsepower: 190
- Torque: 235 Lb-Ft at 3200 rpm
- Transmission: Automatic with overdrive. I turned off the overdrive for the entire trip. This makes a *big* difference.
- Towing Capacity: 2000 pounds
- Trailer: 2016 Hallmark Passport 5×8
- Trailer weight (dry): 935 pounds
- GVWR: (Total Capacity Trailer + Cargo): 2,980 pounds
- Trailer weight (full): Not sure, but I’m pretty sure we were over 2000 pounds. Especially with my tools, and all the dumbbells and kettlebells!
- Trailer brakes: none
Overall, the Jeep did great! I never felt out of control (well, other than when we had to come to a skidding stop because of goats on the highway!)
On good highways, I kept it about 65 miles per hour. I never went about 70. The Jeep seemed happy there.
It pulled great, even through the mountains. And I felt comfortable passing other cars and trucks on the highways.
The braking felt good, and never let me down. I did drive with some caution though, and kept my distance from other cars, and didn’t have to do many hard stops.
Engine temperature stayed perfect at 210 most of the way, Occasionally, it peaked just above that when climbing through the mountains. We ran the AC the last 2 days, and it didn’t affect engine temps at all.
I did do a bunch of preventive maintenance before I left. I took it to my mechanic, told him about our trip, and said we wouldn’t likely have a great mechanic for a couple years, so take care of anything that it might need. Oil change, AC hoses, vacuum hoses, brakes, etc. It cost me a few bucks, but the peace of mind was worth it.
In short – my Jeep is awesome! I freakin’ love my Jeep!
A few people have asked me about security, especially for the trailer. At each hotel we stayed, I felt completely safe with the Jeep and trailer. Each hotel had great parking, and the 3 hotels in Mexico all had gated, protected lots.
- A Master padlock on the trailer back door
- A Master padlock locking the hitch
- A locking hitch pin
- A Master coupler lock, for when the trailer is disconnected from the Jeep
- I put wheel locks on all 4 wheels, plus on the spare tire
- I put locks on the door pin bolts as well
- I installed a hidden cut-off switch inside the Jeep, so it can’t be started unless the switch is on.
- I have a Club brake pedal lock, which is also a nice visual deterrent
Road Trip complete – Time to enjoy our new home
So that’s a wrap on our road trip. We’re now in Puerto Morelos, so we can move on from the road trip phase to the living in Mexico phase! More posts to come!