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Travel Tips and Safety Concerns For Van Travel Through Central America

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Hello!
In December 2009, myself, a dog and male friend will be packing up a camper van and starting the drive from Vancouver BC, Canada to Central America (I haven't put a final destination because who knows where we will end up in the amount of time we have! :) ) We are planning to stick to the coast, but other than that we are keeping our travel plans open. This will be the first time that either of us has done such an extensive road trip (Kris has drove from Vancouver to Mazatlan, Mexico last april but thats as far). Anyway, I was wondering if there has been any other travellers out there who has done a similiar trip either in a RV or a vehicle, that has any travel advice. I am especially interested in hearing stories about driving through the central American countries, as this is our main destination goal and may do some bee-lining to get there in time to enjoy it :).
I have also been reading the travel advisories on the Canadian government website and have given myself quite a scare! I know that they do this to keep you aware, but I was also wanting to hear some stories from travellers in Central America on how safe they felt especially if they were RVing or travelling in a vehicle as we will want to stay most nights in our campervan :). The countries we are paticulary interested in visiting are Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and Costa Rica. Thank-you for your advice and your time in replying to this forum! :)

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