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Author Topic: First Trip of 2019 - Unexpected SNOWSTORM!  (Read 303 times)

FunSteak

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First Trip of 2019 - Unexpected SNOWSTORM!
« on: April 15, 2019, 11:25:28 AM »
We decided that this past weekend, after all the nice weather we've had here in Northern Illinois, would be a fine time to dewinterize and get our first trip in.  Saw a forecast for a rather cold Saturday night and Sunday, and maybe an inch of snow on Sunday morning.  No big deal - wouldn't be getting cold enough to worry about it, and a skiff of snow is nothing for us in this region.

Boy, were the forecasters wrong! 

We went to Richard Bong Recreational Area in SE Wisconsin - a favorite close-to-home spot of ours.  Great campground.  (First photo)
It was nice on Saturday, near 50.  We took a nice walk on the trails and built a nice fire for the late afternoon/early evening.  Went to bed and all was well. 

Got up on Sunday morning, planning our usual leisurely morning and early afternoon departure.  That is, until I took a look at the weather radar and realized there was MUCH more snow on the way than expected.  That storm almost reached the Gulf of Mexico!  We motivated after breakfast and began getting ready to leave.  At about 10:30 the snow began, and looked very nice.  (Second photo, out of our window)

Well, by the time we made it 15 minutes down the road, it looked like the third photo!  We were NOT expecting this!

Usually takes around an hour to get to our storage facility from Bong Rec.  Conditions continued to deteriorate rapidly.  Over an hour into the drive, still hadn't seen a plow anywhere, and it was getting hairy!!  (third photo)

Just got worse the closer we got to our storage lot.  Conditions were really, really poor, although we did start to see evidence that plows had come out.  (fourth photo)

Took over two hours to get to our lot.  Thank goodness we store indoors!  Around six inches had fallen by the time we got there, all in about 3 hours time.  It was NUTS.  (fifth photo)

Even though I'd just dewinterized, I didn't worry too much about lines freezing.  It got down to around 26 or 27 last night, and only for an hour or two.  Since our rig is inside, even thought the building is unheated, I'm confident that nothing froze.  Now it's going to be near 50 again today, and in the sixties for the next few days.  I think we're out of the woods!

Lessons learned: 
1. Rig handles MUCH better than I expected in a huge snowstorm!  Took it easy and carefully, and didn't notice any sliding or anything.
2. Old-school style Ford wipers clog with snow and ice FAST!  Way worse than the modern, one-piece ones on our cars.
3. My policy of putting away our outdoor chairs and so forth BEFORE going to bed nearly always pays off, and it sure did in this case!

All-in-all it was a lovely weekend.  Just a bit of a stressful return trip.  All's well that ends well!




JP & Karen
2017 Minnie Winnie 26a

Larry N.

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  • Westminster, CO
Re: First Trip of 2019 - Unexpected SNOWSTORM!
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2019, 12:07:11 PM »
Yes, all that weight on the rear helps traction a lot. Glad things went well for you.

A park named for a fighter pilot? Wow!
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL, Bounder, Beaver
  de N8GGG

FunSteak

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Re: First Trip of 2019 - Unexpected SNOWSTORM!
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2019, 12:13:06 PM »
Yes, all that weight on the rear helps traction a lot. Glad things went well for you.

A park named for a fighter pilot? Wow!

Thanks, and Yes!  I actually didn't know until we started going up there that he was one of the most decorated pilots of the war, the top US ace and a Medal of Honor recipient.  40 Japanese planes shot down.  The land this park sits on was originally to be an airbase, but they canceled that plan and made it a state park, instead, named after Wisconsin's biggest ace.  He flew a P-38 named after his wife, Marge.  Even had her photo painted on it.  Quite an interesting guy.
JP & Karen
2017 Minnie Winnie 26a

jackiemac

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Re: First Trip of 2019 - Unexpected SNOWSTORM!
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2019, 12:22:08 PM »
Glad you got back safely- an interesting experience! 
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Back home in Scotland awaiting May 2019

FunSteak

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Re: First Trip of 2019 - Unexpected SNOWSTORM!
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2019, 12:26:20 PM »
Thank you.  And yes, interesting is definitely one word for it.  ;-)

We would have called our respective bosses and taken a PTO day today, just staying an extra night until the roads were cleared.  Unfortunately, though, we didn't bring enough groceries (first trip, not much stocked yet).  Dang!

Ah well, now I know what it's like. 
JP & Karen
2017 Minnie Winnie 26a

SarniaTricia

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Re: First Trip of 2019 - Unexpected SNOWSTORM!
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2019, 12:37:10 PM »
Happy to hear you safely home!

Unexpected snow sucks....driving any RV in the snow just sounds WRONG! lol
I had a little bit of snow (0.5") on my first trip out on the way home..... I was worried, but asked for some advice here and felt more confident with those suggestions...

Driving a 2003 Ram 1500
Towing a 2017 21QB Jayco Flight
Camping to relax and attend rabbit shows!
Home: Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada

RVRAC

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Re: First Trip of 2019 - Unexpected SNOWSTORM!
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2019, 02:12:39 PM »
Welcome to my Wisconsin!  After leaving there for 40 years, you can never trust the weather in WI.  That is why I am not going back until May 1, and even in a couple Mays we have seen some snow. I am glad I am retired.
2017 Leprechaun 311 FS
Toad: 2016 Jeep Patriot
American Dolly
Home: WI
Snowbird 6 months/yr.

FunSteak

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Re: First Trip of 2019 - Unexpected SNOWSTORM!
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2019, 02:18:36 PM »
Welcome to my Wisconsin!  After leaving there for 40 years, you can never trust the weather in WI.  That is why I am not going back until May 1, and even in a couple Mays we have seen some snow. I am glad I am retired.

Thanks!  I live in Kane County, IL, previously in McHenry, so I'm up there frequently.  Not the first time the weather on either side of the border has surprised me! 

That said, I do love me some Wisco!
JP & Karen
2017 Minnie Winnie 26a

RVRAC

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Re: First Trip of 2019 - Unexpected SNOWSTORM!
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2019, 02:40:31 PM »
I love it too, but not the weather.  Best summers in my estimation.  Looking forward to them. Lol
2017 Leprechaun 311 FS
Toad: 2016 Jeep Patriot
American Dolly
Home: WI
Snowbird 6 months/yr.

John From Detroit

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Re: First Trip of 2019 - Unexpected SNOWSTORM!
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2019, 03:12:55 PM »
Reminds me of driving to Utah (Salt Lake City. Motosat) in 2006
Left Vegas sunny 70 Drive into a blizzard.. Decided the road was white and scary enough and parked for the night at a place provided (Rest stop) for That.

Show plows did a workmanlike job and when we hiked to the eatery for breakfast the news was talking about how the ditche were lined with cars that did not make... Got back on a clear dry road and about a quater mile later found the reporter was not exagarating at all. the ditche .. both sides were lined with cars about half a car width from each other.. We of courese had no problem since we were PARKED during the problem times.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Ken & Sheila

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Re: First Trip of 2019 - Unexpected SNOWSTORM!
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2019, 03:27:05 PM »
JP,
Where is the storage lot?
I'm looking for a place my MH next winter.
thanks,
ken
ps. back in the early eighties I worked in Hinsdale, IL and lived down in Lincoln Park (Chicago). One day Mid April it started to snow. Forcast was for a major storm so I sent everyone home at noon and I stayed. I tried to leave at 5 but only made it a few blocks before I turned back. Spent the night on my sofa in the office. April storms can be fierce!

Ken & Sheila
2019 Dutch Star -4369
2019 Jeep Trailhawk Elite, 2006 Saturn Vue
Fur-ball kids: Ariel and Mia

Larry N.

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  • Westminster, CO
Re: First Trip of 2019 - Unexpected SNOWSTORM!
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2019, 04:01:27 PM »
Quote
named after Wisconsin's biggest ace.
Bong was the top US ace in WW II, and died just before VJ day when the P-80 jet fighter he was testing had a fuel pump failure right after takeoff.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL, Bounder, Beaver
  de N8GGG

Hanr3

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Re: First Trip of 2019 - Unexpected SNOWSTORM!
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2019, 08:41:06 PM »
Traveling in snow is always interesting. I'm in the Peoria area and we got hit by the same storm. They forecasted rain/snow mix. It never rained and we ended up with 4". I spent the day prepping the camper for the season despite the snow.


I have family in northern Wisconsin and travel past Bong State park all the time. Glad to know its a good park...
2016 F150 3.5L Ecoboost XLT
2019 K-Z 231RK Sportsmen
1997 16' Sylvan Back Troller Select

FunSteak

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Re: First Trip of 2019 - Unexpected SNOWSTORM!
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2019, 07:06:40 AM »
JP,
Where is the storage lot?
I'm looking for a place my MH next winter.
thanks,
ken
ps. back in the early eighties I worked in Hinsdale, IL and lived down in Lincoln Park (Chicago). One day Mid April it started to snow. Forcast was for a major storm so I sent everyone home at noon and I stayed. I tried to leave at 5 but only made it a few blocks before I turned back. Spent the night on my sofa in the office. April storms can be fierce!

Hi Ken.  Crystal Lake.  Place used to be a dealer back in the day, but now is a storage and service lot.  Olson's RV Storage & Service.  Allen Olson, 815-762-2982. 

Most reasonable rates I found in the area.  I store indoors (unheated) with power, which I love.  Allen is a great guy, too, and is super responsive.  He's pretty full already, but may have some spots left.  Tell him I sent you if you decide to call him.

We live in the Dundee/Elgin area, and this location is VERY convenient for us.
JP & Karen
2017 Minnie Winnie 26a

FunSteak

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Re: First Trip of 2019 - Unexpected SNOWSTORM!
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2019, 07:13:24 AM »
Traveling in snow is always interesting. I'm in the Peoria area and we got hit by the same storm. They forecasted rain/snow mix. It never rained and we ended up with 4". I spent the day prepping the camper for the season despite the snow.


I have family in northern Wisconsin and travel past Bong State park all the time. Glad to know its a good park...

We wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.  Nice sites, mostly level, with reasonable privacy.  Decent facilities (should you need them).  At least one of the campgrounds has 30A power at each site.  Dump station is decent, and by the entrance.  Lovely trails around the lake and through the prairie.  We go at least a couple of times each year. 

Protip:  To save on firewood, go North on 248th St (Rt 75) past Burlington Rd (where park entrance is) to Kansasville.  There's a self-service, honor system firewood shed at the corner of 248th and Rt 11.  $4/bundle for "firewood", $5/bundle for hardwood.  Definitely a couple of bucks cheaper than in the park. 
JP & Karen
2017 Minnie Winnie 26a

Hanr3

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Re: First Trip of 2019 - Unexpected SNOWSTORM!
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2019, 10:03:28 PM »
We wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.  Nice sites, mostly level, with reasonable privacy.  Decent facilities (should you need them).  At least one of the campgrounds has 30A power at each site.  Dump station is decent, and by the entrance.  Lovely trails around the lake and through the prairie.  We go at least a couple of times each year. 

Protip:  To save on firewood, go North on 248th St (Rt 75) past Burlington Rd (where park entrance is) to Kansasville.  There's a self-service, honor system firewood shed at the corner of 248th and Rt 11.  $4/bundle for "firewood", $5/bundle for hardwood.  Definitely a couple of bucks cheaper than in the park.

Awesome! Thanks for the review and tips!
2016 F150 3.5L Ecoboost XLT
2019 K-Z 231RK Sportsmen
1997 16' Sylvan Back Troller Select