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Friday, May 11, 2018

CAMPING VACATION - Day 1 - Chilton to Roche A Cri State Park

Steve is able to take time off from his old fart party bus job... so we took a week to escape a bit before all the lawn work and flower beds and tomato planting begins! Plus we are going to start dressing up the trim on the house this summer.  Good to get away and do some camping before we get too involved.

The temps earlier in the week were in the high 70's and low 80's in Wisconsin.  But today it turned wet and cold and only in the low 40's. The weatherman said even a few snowflakes will fall!!! ACK!

We have no plans in mind, other than kinda head west.  We were thinking of heading south westerly to the other side of Madison and angle downwards to a few state parks in that area, then maybe a COE along the border to Minnesota and maybe into Iowa.  Steve checked the weather for the week and it's going to rain almost every day in that direction!

Last night we looked at our Streets and Trips program (still works even if not supported by Microsoft) and decided to head more directly west and then perhaps northerly. The northern part of Wisconsin is due for warmer weather and no rain. Go figger!

I like the Streets and Trips because of the little GPS dongle... it hooks right into the USB on my laptop with the big screen.  I plan all our trips and make changes as we go. It leaves a mouse trail of wherever we travel.  Plus I can put "pins" with info of things we see, where we stopped and reviews of campgrounds or best campsite numbers to choose for reservations in the future.

This is a screenshot from our trip last fall around Lake Superior...

We loaded up most of the motorhome last night after attending our oldest grandson's choir in Oconto. We normally keep it fully stocked (minus the refrigerator food).  Since this is our first trip out this spring after being winterized, we have to reload a lot more.  All of the dry goods, canned goods, cleaning supplies, clothing, bathroom supplies and of course, dog food!   That all stays in the rig during the spring, summer and fall.  Then we only need to pop in the fridge and freezer food, the dogs, the laptops and cell phone and we are ready to roll!!!!

It is now Friday morning and I set the tire sensors for the tire pressure monitoring system.  They need a "base line" temp reading setting before the tires are warmed up from travelling.  We take the sensors off the motorhome and Tracker tires to not drain their little internal batteries all winter long.

We use a tire pressure monitoring system from Nvision, called Hopkins, which is what we bought about 8 years ago.  Since then we have replaced the 10 individual sensors at least twice, some even three times.  They are NOT cheap for a pair. (about $45 a pair)  High costs when you have 10 tires to monitor!   6 on the motorhome and 4 on the Tracker. We had decided that when this system finally takes a crap, we will invest in another system with replaceable batteries instead of these all in one units.

But then last summer we stopped at a rummage sale and there was a whole new system in a box with 6 more sensors for only FIVE BUCKS! The people said their parents never got it set up right, and it is confusing to find, locate and lock in each reading on each tire, so they gave up. (it is very futzy to do it) Their loss, our gain.  The whole setup is about $400.00  We nabbed it up fast!!!!

See... we are not nuts on this system that much anyhow. Sometimes we would lose the signal from the Tracker tires if we keep the monitor up near the front of the rig.  If we move the monitor towards the back, then we lose the signal from the two front tires of the motorhome.  We really needed to get a signal repeater to increase the range... but never got around to it. Now we don't have to because of buying the second unit!

I used one monitor now for the six tires up on the motorhome and set that one near the table in the middle of the rig with the 12 volt plug-in at the table.  The second monitor now I set up with the four sensors for the Tracker and locate that one near the rear of the rig with the 12 volt plug in by the bed.  I set it on the bed, facing forward and I can glance back at any time and see the reassuring green light that all is well back there.  That way we don't need a repeater unit and we are able to hear it if the alarm goes off. I got the readings set and all is good to go.

I went out into the motorhome during the afternoon and simmered up a pot of chili. That way when Steve got done with work between 4 and 5, we could just hit the road and eat when we felt like taking a break.

Steve arrived home at 4:30. We backed the motorhome out of the driveway, and then he drove it out of town to the extra lane for the turn off to the high school. I followed him with the tracker and we stopped there to hook it up. Once we tested the lights, the brake, the shifters, and the steering wheel --- we were good to go. It was still pretty cold but the rain has let up for a little bit.

Sitting at my Command Central
Navigating with the
Streets and Trips GPS on the laptop

Happy Motorhoming Man

We looped around the bottom half of Lake Winnebago past Fond du Lac and up the western shore to Oshkosh. From there we turned West, which was really nice because there was a wind blasting at us from the East. Now it was a tailwind and we didn't feel a thing.

We only drove 123 miles and ended up at Roche a Cri State Park.  Roche A Cri State Park (Wisconsin)  There are 41 campsites, but only five are electric. Since it is so cold, we decided to splurge and take an electric site. There is only one other camping trailer here, and one tenter with a boat and a pickup truck. (Not counting the hosts).

We self registered on our site for $28. We have annual stickers on both our motorhome and tracker so we do not have to pay the additional vehicle fee. Thanks to Uncle Pete for a nice Christmas present!!

I plopped the pot of chili back on the stove from where it was safely riding in the sink. Steve took care of the levellers and the electric cord while I took the dogs out for their potty break. Soon our chili was ready and we ladeled it out over the pre-cooked noodles. I don't put the noodles in with the chili because they get mushy. We had a fine meal and now we are settling in for the night.

It's kind of nice to splurge with the electric campsite, using our mattress pad heater on the bed, and the electric heater to supplement the heat and not use our propane as well.

Tomorrow we will explore the area and see if we want to stay here for another day, or if we should move on and look for warmer weather.

Day one- 123 miles driven today

1 comment:

  1. Been missing your posts....glad to see you are off an a little vacation, so I can resume my vicarious travels.


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