RV to Nicaragua

We would love to drive across country from Florida and then on the Nicaragua in our RV. We have heard glorious stories about the drive as well as horror stories. The RV would contain all of our personal property and would be a great way to live on a piece of property while we were building.(You all have helped me rule out shipping) Will there be hassles in and out of other countries? How long would we have before having to pay taxes on the rv and would our personal items(nothing extravagant or new) be taxed as well? Any help or advice would be appreciated!

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Dont do it!

If your goal was Mexico, I can see an explanation which might make sense, under certain circumstances. In Nicaragua, I simply cant imagine what would have to be true for this to be your best bet, or even a remotely "comfortable" idea. There are many variables and just too many things which could go wrong -- and few RVs (as big as they are) are really cargo vehicles. They are big, but you are severely limited to what you could take, even using the roof (many people fill their RV for 5 days of camping!). An RV in a poor country is a bad idea. I have seen some in Honduras and Panama which have been for sale for 5+ years, with zero interest in them (I know the sellers). You will spend a lot of money on: gas, bribes, etc., and might have been better off selling in the U.S. and replacing a small portion of what was sold, in Nicaragua. After you have been there a while you will probably realize you need a lot less than you thought you needed.

You have 30 days to "legalize

You have 30 days to "legalize" a vehicle once you are here. As for posessions, it will likely be a huge mess. At each border you cross you will have to deal. This will likely mean you have a choice: unpack everything you have so they can "inspect" it or pay whatever is the appropriate bribe.

Realistically, figure a day per border. I have a friend who did this will a glorified station wagon and that was pretty much his story. It won't be fun.

You should be able to cross those borders with paperwork that says you and your stuff is in transit. But, when you get to Nicaragua, you get to show them what you have and pay the duty right there at the border. The exception is the vehicle.

There are also restrictions on how old a vehicle can be to legalize it. Expect to pay tax based on blue book value, not what you might think it is worth. Then, the real down-side is that you are stuck with an RV in a country where an RV makes no sense. At the current price of fuel and it going up every day, virtually free (by US standards) public transit and such, an RV has close to no value here. If it isn't diesel then it probably will be worth less than the duty you have to pay.

When I moved from the U.S. to Costa Rica, I brought all too much stuff (fortunately not including a car). When I moved to Nicaragua I brought half of that and that was still way too much. It takes a while but you eventually figure out all the stuff that you don't really need.

Sorry to sound negative but, well, I am. Even having an RV is not going to be good for your "community standing". People here are poor. You can get a temporary house for less than $1000 (I know, I am doing this on the land I bought). Showing up in something that makes no sense in Nicaragua and costs more than building a decent house is just going to label you as "those rich Gringos". That's not a good thing.

good points!

Thank you so much for being brutally honest. You have made very good points! The alternatives???... Are we back to shipping and what are the costs and details involved?