• Zach

Of Course This Happened...

Updated: Feb 4

The last few months of travel have, in general, been pretty smooth. We have had no issues getting into our spots, we are typically setup with 10 minutes, and nothing is broken when we start opening our cabinets. It’s been wonderful getting to new locations and not having to call a repair person the second we stop…no good things last forever. The only positive is, this time, it wasn’t COMPLETELY my fault.

When we purchased the trailer we pictured non-stop bookdocking with occasional R&R at a fancy resort . We dreamed of being tucked away on our own private lake with pines surrounding us, enjoying a nice drink and a book. Better yet, mountains and bonfires every night without another soul in sight. More than anything, this last year of travel has taught me three things;

  1. The places you go to relax always seem to be where everybody else goes to party.

  2. Private lakes and heavily wooded forests are not easy to reach in a 13500lb 41’ 5th wheel.

  3. Privacy is not a thing at a campground (this one I kind of assumed...)

With all that being said. Let’s move on to my millionth mistake.


We are planning a trip all the way around Lake Michigan. We spent time in Milwaukee visiting family, enjoyed a pleasant week in Baraboo near the Wisconsin Dells, now it is time to head to the Northwoods for the week. Stephanie was with Piper in Milwaukee running a few errands and I was in Baraboo packing up the trailer and getting ready to hit the road. The goal was for me to be in Minocqua, WI about an hour before Stephanie and Piper were set to arrive so that I could have the place all set up for them when they got there.

From the moment I got there I knew it wouldn’t be as simple as that.

Tight dirt roads, huge roots breaking out of the ground, super uneven surfaces, low trees, and no other trailers bigger than 30 feet.  All the telltale signs were there that this was going to be a rough evening. The spot itself was huge and right by the lake, couldn’t have asked for a prettier location.  Given that Stephanie was bringing up the Jeep, I decided that it would be okay to pull the trailer straight into the trees. This would trap the truck behind the trailer in our spot but we wouldn’t need it anyway. Besides, pulling straight in would allow all of our windows to face the water. Easy decision, I’m pulling straight in. 

I made the wrong choice

As I pulled into the spot, the back tires slipped downhill and pinned the trailer against a tree. No matter what we do, in order to pull forward or backward we have to drag the awning against the tree.  I could go into brutal detail covering the stresses of the next 4 hours, but let’s keep it simple. A tow truck was called but could not do anything, wood was laid and re-laid in front and behind the tires to tilt the trailer away from the tree, and hours were spent inching forward and backward until the rear of the trailer finally faced straight out of the spot.

So what did this weekend in the Northwoods cost? $80 a night, severely damaged both awnings ($3000), spent $300 on a tow that we could not use, and skipped dinner.

However, as usual, the neighbors were great. Over the next couple days they stopped by to see if we were okay and to tell us how bad they felt. A nice woman and her little boy brought Steph and I a couple of beers and wished us will. As frustrating as some of the experiences we’ve had have been, it never ceases to amaze me how kind RV people can be.

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