Our Wonderful Followers who come back again and again to read about us...

Sunday, April 30, 2023

CAMPGROUND REVIEW - Chute Pond - Oconto County Park, Wisconsin

We spent a couple days over at Chute Pond County Park Campground. It is part of the Oconto County Park system in Northeast Wisconsin. 

Chute Pond is located over on the northwestern side of our County, just south of the town of Mountain on Highway 32 / 64. It is usually jam-packed full all summer and we can never get in here. 

But in late April, there's absolutely no problem getting in as a first come first serve visitor. 

The campground is spaced out in four different loops for daily campers and a fifth distant loop down on the far Southeastern end for seasonal campers.  One loop is specifically available for people with ATV / UTV recreational vehicles.

Our site has 30 amp service, not sure if the others are 30 or 50 in other newer parts of the campground.

Potable water is available at the the bathroom/shower house, but not at the dump station. The campsites do not have water hookups. So be sure to fill ahead of time, or wait in line at the bathrooms for other campers to fill during busy times.

There are various bathroom facilities scattered about, some are pit toilets, some are flush, and a nice shower house near the central area by the playground.

Cell phone signal is very good, and television antenna programs fade away some during the day but come back in the evening.

There is a little general store in the field house that has some signage of things that they sell. It was not open this early in the year. I'm sure more information can be found online. Nearby is a picnic area and a small beach as well.

Incidentally, this water reservoir here that has been dammed up is the Oconto River. It flows 50 miles down towards our house, through our little town and out into the bay waters of Green Bay. So cool that it's the very same river. If we popped a canoe in here, we could float our way home!

As for the park itself, like I said, it is older and set up for smaller RVs. Some of the sites that are big rig friendly are in the loop nearest the state highway 32. It's not like an interstate, but it is heavier traffic during the day. The smaller sites that are nestled further back into the woods are much quieter. 

The river is beautiful and the water is up with higher levels because of the recent rains. With the Oconto River being controlled by various dams up and down it's complete path, the fluctuation of the water is always a guess. Right now it's up and maybe next week it's down.

Here's more information on the County website as well as a link on how to make reservations:

Previously, we had camped here in our larger motorhome in 2020. Here's my blog post link from that visit:

The Oconto County Park system has recently installed credit card kiosks for their park fees instead of envelopes and a pay post at their North Bayshore campground. We stayed there the other night and we could also just pay for our site via the website from our cell phones when we pulled into a campsite at North Bayshore.

So when we got to Chute Pond, the other campground on the County website, we thought we could do the same.  

We were the only ones in the park of course... And had our choice of 100 campsites.  We selected site number 82 and got ourselves all set up. I opened up my cell phone to go to the website to pay for the campsite. Oh boy, it was only set up for reservations 2 days out for this campground --- not for first come first serve to be able to pay for it!  I called up the gal at the County office and asked her if I could just pay over the phone. She said no, we have to walk all the way over to the field house because they still have the old fashioned pay post and envelopes there. This is until the new credit card kiosk is operational. That is located over at the boat landing next to the field house. Either way, we were all set up on the site and now we had to get all the way over to the field house to pay at the post. It's quite a walk..... 

Sure wish they had put up a temporary pay post somewhere within the campground until the credit card situation is operational like their other campground. Oh well. 

It was a nice walk around through the woods and over by the dam. This cute little damn backs up the river to make what is called Chute Pond. It is pretty popular in the summer and has quite a bit of recreational boating, fishing, kayaking etc. 

This is the view of the dam from one of the campsites in the campground. It's quite impressive, but also a little noisy. 

This little dam has a walkway across the top that leads to some hiking trails... and a special little place called "Slippery Rock" that all of the locals know about.

Here is a video about "Slippery Rock" that I filmed 2 years ago:

On our walk back to our campsite, we examined these two huge pieces of equipment are Pond Skimmers. They are used to skim off the lily pad and seaweed growth that happens out on the pond. Because of the damn backing things up, the water becomes more still or stagnant at times, and the plant life overtakes the pond. Because of the high amount of recreational use, as well as the cabins around the rest of the pond, they have opted to skim the stuff off to keep their residents of the area happy.

The park is beautiful with full grown mature trees and winding little twisty dirt roads to many of the campsites. The two newer areas are more gravel roads and easier to access. There are no blacktop sites, it is a little more rustic than most RV parks. But there is electric available at most of the sites. One loop down near the water and one other campsite near the dam do not have electrical hookups. 

The bathroom/shower building is very nice and neatly kept every time we've been there. 

The price is $30 a night from Thursday through Sunday. Monday through Wednesday it is a special of only $20 a night. No vehicle permits are required. It's a pretty good bargain considered it's an electric site. Like I said, it's a very popular park in the summer and you do need to make reservations. 

The site we chose, number 82, is up at the end of a loop at the top of the hill, in the farthest northern loop of the campground. There are big areas of exposed rock as this is a glacial region. The town nearby is named Mountain and has a lot of exposed rock and ledges in that area all the way through down to Chute Pond.

We got all set up on our site even though the day was looking a little cloudy in the afternoon. Steve expanded out our awning. Then he read the book on different ways that we can tilt it a little bit rather than having it straight perpendicular out at 90°. It's our first time having a power awning, so we want to make sure we do this right. 

We put out our slides and got ourselves settled in and made some lunch. I had ordered some cute little black ottomans for the living area, but they hadn't come yet. So we took one of our larger stuffed ottomans from in the house for the week end. When we turn around the driver and passenger seat from the cockpit area they become lounge seats in the living room. Ottomans will make them even more comfortable.  The ones I ordered can also be used for storage for things like shoes or dog leashes or other things we don't wany laying about. 

The love seat in our motor home is also a comfy spot to settle in to watch TV. It could also benefit by having ottomans in front of it. It is a "Fold and Tumble" loveseat by Flexsteel. We are thinking about swapping it out with a Wall Hugging Lazy Boy loveseat recliner in the future. I also have a creative idea about a cocktail table instead of that wooden computer slide one in the pic below. It's temporary for now.

Binney says the loveseat suits her just fine!! 

After fixing a nice dinner, we settled in our comfy cockpit chairs to enjoy a little TV for the evening. It was drizzling a little bit so we decided to not do a campfire. 

Our new to us Winnebago View has some pretty impressive theater lighting. It is all LED and has a low power consumption for when we are boondocking. There are strips of lights up above the cabinetry as well as along the walls and submerged along the backsplash in the kitchen. As my Grandma Kafehl would say "kind of ritzy".

I really like all of the counter space and drawers of the kitchen in this rig. The TV is in front of one of the cabinets overhead. It can be unlatched and turned towards the front seats to view movies or snapped back into place during travel. For a small 25-ft rig, this is a pretty big kitchen. Beyond the refrigerator is a tall pantry with four different pull-out box drawers. We are finding things to be pretty comfortable, coming from a 38 ft rig down to a 25 ft one. 

We fell asleep early in our cozy comfy bed. Even though it got cold and damp and wet outside, we were just fine. Besides the furnace, we also have an electric mattress pad heater. We snuggled in for the night and it was so comfortable.

Early in the morning, little Binney decided she needed to get outside. It was about 35° out. I slid into my moccasins and Steve's winter jacket. I opened the door to let out the dog ... I descended the steps and looked up to see there were three deer right in our campsite! They looked at me in disbelief and bounded it off in three separate directions. Binney didn't even see them because she was concentrating on coming down the steps behind me. 

It was a sweet surprise for the morning.

Steve was still dozing so I started up the coffee in the cute little percolator from Steve's mom and dad. I whipped up a blueberry muffin mix and popped it in the convection oven. I don't really care for convection baking, I would much rather have a propane oven. We might make a swap out later, but for now, it's good enough. 

It sure was a pretty good way to start the morning. Seeing some wildlife, perking some wonderful coffee, and having a little snack.

The sun was coming out and it was going to be a beautiful day! The temperatures weren't going to get much above 50, but we didn't care. The sun was out and we would be able to enjoy the woods and sit in our lawn chairs and do our thing. 

The morning sun was shining in through the skylight and bathed the inside of the rig in bright sunlight. This was much better than the cloudy rainy drizzly day before. 

We walked around the empty campground. It was kind of nice being the only ones here. Binney had so many things to sniff. It takes her a lot longer to go for a walk when there are interesting things to examine. It's almost like taking a toddler for a walk. 

We kicked back on our recliner lawn chairs underneath the awning and enjoyed the view. The trees are just starting to bud out and get a few teeny tiny leaves. We listened to the birds singing in all the different directions. Every now and then some geese would fly overhead, heading back to the north. We had a few cranes, saw a couple eagles, and there were even some noisy crows giving some other birds a tough time.

We really didn't need to do anything or go anywhere. Just kicking back and enjoying the quiet woods was all that we were looking for on this camping trip. We don't do a lot of tourist things, we don't see a lot of attractions or do any shopping or restaurant eating. This is our kind of camping. 

Steve gathered up some firewood from surrounding campsites, because there wasn't anyone around to purchase the wood for sale at the locked rack up at the field house.  But he found enough here and there to get a campfire going for the evening. 

We have been thinking about grilling some burgers, but I decided to cook inside. I had done up some sliced pork tenderloin in the slow cooker portion of my Instapot. I had it going all afternoon. Then I added some frozen vegetables on top and simmered up a pot of rice on the side. We had a wonderful warm meal while sitting out by the campfire. 

Watching the flickering flames of the first campfire of the season. What can get better than that?

One more camper pulled in after dinner, to a site a few spaces down from us. We were the only 2 campers in the entire campground! 

We woke up Saturday morning to the sounds of pitter patter pitter patter rain on the roof. Looking outside, it was just a drizzly wet day and the weather forecast said it was going to continue for the rest of the weekend.

At least our weather report was not as dire as what's going on just north of us. My sister and brothers up north are facing up to TWO FEET OF SNOW!!! 




My oldest brother Steve, also known as Butch, was travelling on his way down from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He was heading to Green Bay to catch a flight out to Phoenix. Smart! Avoiding the snow storm, lol! 

Because he was driving right past our campground, he stopped into visit us and check out our new to us rig. 

We had a nice visit. He is actually on his way to fly out to Arizona and help his girlfriend drive her motorhome back to Ohio. She has been wintering over near Benson, AZ with her sisters.  He said he would avoid the snowstorm in the UP by flying down to see her, and take turns driving the rig back home.  How nice is that?

After he left to catch his flight, we decided to pack it up and head back home. The weather reports didn't look good for us at home either. We could have stayed at the campground as late as 3:00 p.m. check out time if we wanted to. Or just paid for another night and stayed till sunday. But instead, we rolled things up pulled in the slide and headed on home.

Steve had an order finally come in at the auto parts store for the rest of the supplies he needs to do some service maintenance on the motorhome. Also our neighbor have been collecting our boxes from Amazon and Home Depot that have been delivered to our house. The Ottomans as well as some other things had come in and we could head home and check out our new purchases.

After an uneventful ride home, the rig is parked back in our driveway and getting ready for our next round of camping! 

What a (wet & rainy) View! 

Friday, April 28, 2023

CAMPING HINT - Washing Dishes in a Coffee Cup!

Just sitting around the campfire tonight and thought I would write a quick little blog with the camping hint. I will do a campground review blog of the place we are at after we get home tomorrow. 


Here is a camping hint I learned a while back... When camping with the limited amount of water, doing dishes can be a problem. Who wants to waste a gallon or two or three of water just to do dishes? Especially when you only have 30 gallons on board?

How on earth can I do a meal's worth of dishes in a coffee cup? 

(Well almost)

First, you need a coffee cup. Preferably dirty. 

Fill it up with hot water. If you don't have hot water right away, don't waste cold water running down the drain trying to get a cup of hot water. Instead either heat up the cup of water in the microwave or on the stove in a small saucepan.

Into that coffee cup, put a liberal squirt of dish soap. Then get yourself one of these cute little dish scrubbing brushes.

Now with the invention of this wonderful new Dawn Powerwash spray bottle, you can do extra duty by just pre-wash zapping each of your dirty in dishes with a squirt of sudsy soap.

Like so:

Go ahead and wash each dish and cup and silverware with the brush... dipping it back and forth into the hot coffee cup and scrub them up one at a time. Rinse each one holding it over the soapy sink with the quickest little rinse. Rinse them one at a time from the faucet, turning it on and off between each dish. The water from rinsing ends up in the bottom of the sink underneath the other unwashed dishes. 

Stack each rinsed dish into the dish rack. 

By the time I am done with all of the other dishes, all I have left is the big insert pan from my Instapot. 

There is less than an inch of water in the bottom of that sink as you can tell by the coffee cup below.

Now I can wash the big pan and roll it around in the bottom of the sink with the remaining water and give it a good scrub. A quick rinse and I am done.

I've used probably a quart or so of water.  

And all of my dishes are done!

So technically, they are washed with a cup of soapy water, and they are rinsed from the faucet with a bit more. 

I know some people will just shrug their shoulders and say "So what? Just use paper plates."

We really don't like wasting paper plates or filling up the garbage. This way we can still eat on real dishes with real silverware and still be cooking our own food in our camper.

Now.... Back to that campfire and I will write another blog post tomorrow.

Happy Camping!

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Motorhome Maintenance and Modifications

It's that time! 

It is motorhome maintenance and modification time! A couple of the biggies coming up are going to be on the maintenance end... Things like changing the oil, changing the fuel filter and turbo cuff, and the air filter. Steve has most of the stuff ordered and he will probably work on that next week. I will be sure to take pictures of the step-by-step as he services the 3L Mercedes-Benz diesel engine on our new to us motorhome. 

Then there's little things here and there that we want to do to improve our comfort and organize inside of the motorhome. One thing we noticed is that the two valances over the windows in the bedroom seem loose and wobbly. The other valances are secured to the undersides of the cabinets.  But these are just secured to the walls above these 2 windows on each side of the bed. It seemed the screws were not adhered very well into the wood above the windows. Upon closer examination, they are really just screwed into the paneling and there's nothing really behind it holding them!

So we came up with the idea of removing them, flipping around the angle iron so the wider more supportive pieces against the wall, and adhering it with some sections of Gorilla double stick tape. Then we will run the screws back into new areas by shifting it over about half an inch. So that was our project yesterday afternoon.

First we popped out the brackets holding up the MCD heavy roller shades. Then Steve was able to access the screws that were holding the big padded valance into place.

Once he got the valance off, we could see how far away from the wall this bracket was. It doesn't look like much in this photo but the whole thing was very wobbly. I didn't want to pull down too hard on it because it would probably rip all the screws right out of the paneling. But you can see the gap at the top of this angle iron. The angle iron is actually wider in the horizontal area that holds the valance on and narrower on the area that butts up to the wall. That's when we decided to flip it around before we fastening it back up with all in new holes. 

Before we put the wider portion of the angle iron back up, we put on four sections of this really strong Gorilla double stick tape. We will never get it off again, but who cares? It's going to hold the valence up tight to the paneling as well as the new locations for the screws into the wall. 

Once we got the angle iron back up in its new position, it was very easy to screw the valances back on and into place. It sure looks good now. 

We snapped the MCD roller shades back into position in the little snap clip brackets within the valance. I bet you're wondering what that big silver Command Hook is for right there above the valance?

Well, I will show you. Since adding the electric mattress pad heater to the bed, we needed a place to put the controllers. Because of the slide we did not want to have any cords in the way permanently tucked underneath the mattress on the platform bed with the controllers up by our heads. So instead, we routed the cords out the side and set the little controllers up on top of the valance. To keep them from falling down I just flipped the cords back over the silver command hook. The big "S" is written on Steve's controller so he can see it if he's not wearing his glasses! LOL

Really, we only turn on the mattress pad heater to warm up the bed about a half hour before we get in. Once we get in we turn them way down or even to off. It sure is a pleasant luxury to be crawling in between nice warm sheets. 

We got a box in the mail from Amazon yesterday. We had ordered six things for the motorhome. One of them would not work and has to be returned, thus the red x. It was one of those screen door pull tabs to make the screen door open easily without moving the slide. But it does not line up correctly and our screen door latch is actually attached to the main outside door and not to the door jamb like travel trailers. So we will send that back or give it to the kids for their RV.

First up from our box of goodies was putting the mesh screens over our furnace intake and exhaust. Mud dauber wasps love the scent of propane, and that's where they choose to make their homes. We do have a lot of wasps in our area that are constantly trying to make homes on our eaves and soffits. So it's always a good precaution to add these to our RV furnace ports.

They are reasonable in price, and made from stainless steel so they won't rust. They are nothing more than a mesh cap with a little spring in the center. It comes with a tool to help stretch the spring down to clip it onto the vent grid. 

It's easy to just set them in place, push the little slotted tool over the end of the spring, and clip it right on.. 

Voila! Done

Next on the list was this push bar for the screen door. We have put one of these on every RV we have ever owned. Especially when you have kids or grandkids that like to push against the screen or pull hard on the slider portion of the door to open it or shut it. They make them in three pieces now so they can be adjusted for any size RV door. 

Here is the link: 

All that is needed is a tape measure, 1/8 inch drill bit, a drill and a Philips screwdriver bit. 

Assembling the first part by screwing on the two black end caps, then slide the center piece to the middle and check it out on the door. Using the measuring tape it can be centered to be exactly in the middle. Ours was 4 and 5/8 in on each side of the silver to span a 25" door. 

Steve drilled the holes after carefully marking where we needed to put each section. The screws are self tappers but it really helps to drill a hole first so it doesn't slide around. 

He drilled the holes on the screen door, itself also running in self tapper screws to hold it into place. 

And as Steve would say, "And there you have it". Another little task done. But it's something that we are sure will be helpful in the future and keep the screen on our door looking nice. 

The next job was going to take a little more electrical expertise. Steve gathered his dialectic grease that he puts on every electrical connection he ever does, some wire nuts and tape, and these really interesting little surface mount USB port outlets that we ordered from Amazon.

Here is the link

They came with little slider trap doors that go over the outlets to prevent lint or dirt or whatever from getting in them. But we decided that means you need two hands every time to plug something in----  one finger to pull back the little spring-loaded door and the other hand to plug in the actual cord. So we decided to remove the little slider trap doors because one outlet was going to be hanging horizontally on the wall, and the other outlet was going to be hanging upside down over the bed from the cabinet above.

Down on the wall near the living room loveseat, Steve found a hot 12 volt wire and a ground right near the propane detector. So he was able to tap in underneath there by removing the detector temporarily. He marked the hole on the wall where I wanted the outlet to get mounted.

He carefully tapped into the line and uses wire nuts and tapes everything shut to prevent any possible loosening during vibration of travel over time.

Now we have both the C type rapid charger for our Samsung phones as well as a USB port for anything else we would like to charge. 

The second outlet he put over the bed on my side, so I could keep my phone plugged in and resting on the little shelf next to the head of the bed.

He was able to access 12 volt power by the overhead reading lamps. He carefully drilled a secondary hole through the cabinetry to run the wires down to the new outlet. 

Pretty easy work laying on your back on the bed, hey?  If you're wondering what that little thing is hanging on a command hook on the wall, that is a little LED flashlight on a keychain. I hang it right next to the bed in the event that if I needed to see something or get to the bathroom, without turning on all of the lights. 

Here is the new outlet mounted next to the light fixture. As a side note, I also found out that light fixture is the perfect place to hang my glasses on overnight! All I have to do is reach up and set the nose piece of the glasses to straddle over the stem of the light, with the bows hanging down on each side.  Easily within reach. 

Again, the power connections are all secure with dialectic grease, wire nuts, and electrical tape. Here is the USB port as well as the rapid charge C port for our phones. We can both charge our phones at the same time --- one using a USB cord and the other one the C cord. 

I used some command velcro strips to put up this large digital clock that we had gotten from Steve's dad's motor home when he sold it. I used the velcro type of Command Strips so it can be pulled off to change batteries or reset the time during Daylight Savings Time. It has nice large numbers so it can be seen without having to put on glasses! And if it's during the night, remember, I have that little LED flashlight I can just shine on it to see what time it is. The silly things we need to do when we wake up in the middle of the night as we age. For some strange reason we always want to know what time it is when we've woken up? Oh boy! 

Here is the last modification we made in the last blog. Bet you didn't think you'd be looking at a toilet seat? We added a wooden toilet seat to the porcelain base in our bathroom. (got rid of the flimsy plastic one)  But the rubber stoppers did not go wide enough on the underside of the seat to adequately balance over the porcelain base. So I ordered an additional set of stick on rubber bumpers! I doubled up in the area where it was lacking on each side and added two rubber bumpers to the front as well. Now our toilet seat is more comfortable, and not as wobbly either.

That's it for these modifications.

Later on today we are going to go out and test putting up our Weeboost cell phone antenna booster and finding the best locations for the booster, the antenna, and the receiver as well as the best places to wire it in and power it up. 

The other project is going to see about getting our Tire Minder TPMS sensors mounted onto the valve stems. We are going to switch over to all metal Borg valve stems in the future, but not until we order them and find a place that will adequately bend them and put them on correctly for the rear dually wheels.

In the meantime, I would like to have the tire pressure monitors put into place, as I always feel more comfortable when we have them on and running.


The weather is warming up and it looks like we might have a couple nice days coming along... Maybe we will get in some camping???