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RV trip to northern Wisconsin

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#1 Dennis Campbell

Dennis Campbell
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  • Location:Madison, Wisconsin

Posted 19 June 2006 - 01:12 PM

We had a fairly good RV trip this last time, apart from the really high cost of gasoline at 15 mpg with the trailer using a 2006 Toyota Sienna. Our planned 6,000 mile RV trek this summer to the west coast and back would’ve been over $1,500 in gasoline alone. It cost some $43 in gasoline just to come home from northern Wisconsin. Judging by some of the huge rigs we saw in many campgrounds up there, gasoline costs are not dampening some folks at all. We were again struck when driving around up there where we used to live as to how far everything was; we’d gotten used to it, driving 25 miles one way was normal. Gas up there was 10 cents more per gallon.

The Casita worked very, very well, apart from some ignorance on my part. The by-pass valve for the hot water tank is not installed logically on our unit. Usually, if the valve handle (under the double bed configuration on the port wall behind a hatch) is parallel to the line of the water line, it is open. Not so in this rig, it crosses the embossed arrow on the line. Anyway, once that was figured out, we had hot water. We managed 8 days and nights using just the blackwater tank for storage of “previously used food,” and still did not top it. And, no, I did not sneak out in the wee hours for an illegal dump. Did dump some of the grey water, heck, same as tossing the dish water in the woods from the screen tent. The AC and furnace, and we used both, worked beautifully. I will admit to some sense of smugness while reading in a cool and dry cabin, watching people run about trying to crawl inside of wind blown tents in a heavy thunderstorm. We did luck out, although some anticipation was involved, in having taken down the Quest 10x10 Screen tent (wonderful piece of engineering) before the storm hit, since a 6-inch tree limb landed right where it had been erected, and I suspect it would’ve been seriously damaged had it been sitting there.

Did have one small engineering causality. My hitch uses a torsion bar weight distribution system, whereby a 2.5 foot bent 2-inch steel bar is used to lift the front of the trailer, so that when viewed from the side, it is a straight line from the back of the trailer to the front of the car, thus reducing some of the weight on the rear wheel bearings. That bar, by Reese, fits into a 2.2 inch ID cylinder wielded onto the hitch assembly. There is a small pin that inserts into that cylinder, and into the steel bar, so that the bar does not drop out of that cylinder when not under pressure. Anyway, that little ¼-inch pin failed and vanished. That means that the steel torsion bar can also under some conditions drop out, and go bouncing down the road to perhaps end up on someone’s radiator or windshield, thus really making them cranky. Bought a stainless steel ¼ 3/4 inch bolt and nut and that works very well to replace the Reese-made pin than vanished.

The flat screen TV worked quite well in northern Wisconsin (Minocqua-Woodruff), but the Verizon cell phone (“Can you hear me now?” No.) did not work at all in the campground.

Ya’ll stay well out there. We’re off again in a couple of days, to endure and suffer the pangs of deprivation and discomfort, in an effort to further expand the limits of explored territory. I just hope that WIFI is available, 8 days without any internet or cell phone connection is just too much for even a hardy soul like myself.

Dennis E. Campbell, Ph.D.

612 Wood Violet Ln

Sun Prairie, Wisconsin


Dennis and Diane Campbell

2003 Casita 17-SD

#2 woodsyowl

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  • Location:Bloomington, Indiana USA
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Posted 11 May 2010 - 03:50 AM

Northern Wisconsin has some really wild spots, and I recommend boondocking at the US Forest Service campground on Mineral Lake, west of Mellen, Wis. You can often have this campground to yourself. Make sure to bring fishing tackle. There is good to excellent muskie fishing in Mineral Lake itself and lots of other small lakes around that have muskies. Bring wire leaders. They like plugs (minnow imitations) and surface baits too. A canoe would be a good thing if you really want to fish. The campround is within the Chaquamegon National Forest. Hayward, Ironwoods and Park Falls are the closest good sized towns, Ahsland to the north of Lake Superior. Explore some of the other lakes in the nearby area. Bring insect repellent.

#3 Dutchman

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 04:21 AM

Well, perhaps someone should be the first to have a big Datastorm Internet dish on top of a Casita (and hope the egg doesn't turn over in a windstorm ohmy.gif ) I mean, eight days without ...

Nice report. Nice memories of Wisconsin.

Edouard Trautwein, #1372  

'03 17SD "Pura Vida"
'99 Toyota 4Runner, 3.4L V6 -


Casita living - Luxury on two wheels.


#4 JudyinWis

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 05:04 AM

This is he first time I've been able to open this forum. The page to which it is linked used to jump around too much to get down to the regional forums.

We most often boondock on 18 acres we still own after finally selling the old farmhouse in which we used to live. There's a dump station in Rhinelander, and we've been pleased with the service and prices at Shoeder's RV & Marine, but haven't found a good source of fresh water. They've urned off the tap at the US 8 wayside east of town, and we've been using water from a Langlade County park almost an hour away. Does anyone know of a water source (not too rusty plaease) in Oneida County?

Best restaurant in the area is at Holiday Acres.