North Bay Shore County Park – Oconto, WI

After spending eight nights at the fairgrounds in our hometown, we were ready to stay somewhere a little more rural with a lot more space. As we made our way from our week-long stay in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, we spent two nights at North Bay Shore County Park. This lovely little park is in Northeastern Wisconsin on the shore of Green Bay, about halfway between Oconto and Peshtigo. North Bay Shore is less than 25 minutes from the state border cities of Marinette, Wisconsin and Menominee, Michigan, and a little more than 2.5 hours from our next destination — Bay Furnace Campground in Munising, Michigan by Pictured Rocks.

Sometimes we get dazzled when we pull into a new campground/RV park. This was one of those times. This campground is small with 34 large, spread-out sites and is very well cared for. While the sites on the inner part of the loop are a little difficult to get into due to the placement of the site number signs, all of the sites are deep and seem to be level. A handful of sites back up to the bay and all sites have nice tree cover, with leaves that were starting to turn as we moved into autumn. Some sites appear to be tent sites, but still offer electricity. The RV sites have water and electric, and there’s a dump station available. The park also offers a boat launch and a nice jetty from which to fish. The nightly rate for this campground is $30, but they offer a midweek special August to October of $15 Monday through Wednesday. We happened to stay on a Tuesday and Wednesday night, so we only paid $30 (plus $5 reservation fee) for our two-night stay.

North Bay Shore County Park

500 Bay Road, Oconto, WI 54153

www.co.oconto.wi.us

  • RV Sites with Water & Electric
  • Tent Sites with Electric
  • Restrooms with Showers
  • Level, Blacktopped Sites
  • Waterfront Sites
  • Dump Station
  • Picnic Table
  • Fire Ring (Firewood for Sale Onsite)
  • Playground
  • Boat Launch
  • Fish Cleaning Station
  • Basketball Court
  • Camp Host (Referred to as ‘Caretaker’ – Seemed to Be MIA During Our Stay)
  • Recycling
Site 10 is a level, blacktopped site with W/E hookups
We had so much space between us and the neighboring sites!
The sites across from us backed up to Green Bay.
It was pretty empty our first night, but by Wednesday night, all of the RV sites were full.
The leaves were starting to change during our stay!
Two other Airstreams parked across from us on the second day.
There’s a nice little area to fish…
…or you can head out to the jetty.
Even the easily-accessible dump station had nice views!

There isn’t a whole lot happening in the immediate vicinity, be we did check out Copper Culture State Park, which was a short drive from the campground. The park is a small historic park that contains an ancient burial ground used by the Old Copper Complex Culture of early Native Americans during the Copper Age. There’s a small museum onsite which was closed when we visited, but we did walk the grounds along a short trail that winds through fields of wildflowers.

This was a perfect and peaceful two-night stopover and we would definitely stay at North Bay Shore Park again!

A Week at the Fond du Lac County Fairgrounds

We rolled into our hometown of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin on September 7 and spent eight nights at the Fond du Lac County Fairgrounds. The fairgrounds are nothing fancy, but are in a good location, have full hookups, and are only $25/night. The sites are all back in, narrow, and have the hookups in weird locations. There’s a camp host onsite that pops out of his trailer the moment you pull in in case you don’t happen to know your site number. Both the electric box and the sewer connection are locked up when not in use, so his other job seems to be to lock and unlock the utilities.

Fond du Lac County Fairgrounds

520 Fond du Lac Avenue, Fond du Lac, WI 54935

www.fdlcountyparks.com

  • Full Hookups
  • Restrooms with Showers
  • Gravel, Level Sites
  • Some Sites Have Picnic Tables

The entire fairgrounds complex consists of the fairgrounds itself, including a grandstand (more about that later); a large park area with swing sets, slides, and other playground equipment; and the Fairgrounds Family Aquatic Center, which is an outdoor pool complex with water slides and a concession stand. Our stay during the week was very quiet; however, the weekend not so much. As I mentioned earlier, the sites here are very narrow. We were barely able to fit our truck next to our Airstream without infringing on our neighbor’s space. The sites are also laid out in such a manner that there are two rows of sites that back up to each other, with a fence (where the hookups are located) in between. A number of RVs rolled in on Friday morning and didn’t leave until late Sunday. At first we thought they were there because of the hockey tournament that seemed to be taking place at the ice center next door, but that didn’t seem to be the case. Then we figured maybe they were there to take part in the tractor pull scheduled at the grandstand for Sunday — yes, a tractor pull — but that wasn’t the case either. They just seemed to be locals camping. At a fairgrounds. In the rain. In really tight spots. We couldn’t understand how staying at the fairgrounds was a good time, but to each their own! They also took advantage of the fact that there is no quiet time listed on the very brief list of rules. The tractor pull on Sunday was a good six hours of tractor noises and air heavy with diesel fumes, as well as a stand full of mask-less spectators. So, we give two thumbs up for the fairgrounds if staying during the week, but two thumbs down due to the loud, crowded weekend.

This is how things looked during the week – lots of space and hardly anyone around.
This is how things looked on the weekend — crowded without enough room to park our truck in our site due to our neighbor’s slide.
This is the view from our back window on the weekend — close neighbors and tractors.
This is after the craziness of the busy weekend, but shows how close the grandstand where the tractor pull took place is.
Here are the hookups at the back of the site. We had to run the hose and the electric cord under the trailer and use our sewer hose extension in order to reach the connections. During the weekend, the people in the site behind us had to hook up to that water spigot as well.

There are three options in the immediate area for places to stay with an RV. The fairgrounds, Columbia Park, and Breezy Hill. Just like the fairgrounds, Columbia Park is owned and operated by the Fond du Lac County Parks and Fairgrounds Department, and you can make reservations through their website or over the phone. Unlike the fairgrounds, Columbia Park is water and electric only, but does have a bathhouse and dump station. As the park is a bit outside of the city, the sites are more spacious with a more natural park setting. Columbia Park itself is located on the shore of Lake Winnebago and also offers a boat launch.  We had originally reserved part of our time in Fond du Lac at Columbia Park, but instead decided to stay put at the fairgrounds where we were closer to family and had full hookups. The woman from the Parks Department that helped us switch our reservation around over the phone was very helpful both when we changed to staying at the fairgrounds for the duration and when I initially made the reservation and there was a billing issue. We stayed at the third option, Breezy Hill, during our visit to Fond du Lac in 2018. You can read about that here.

Our First Time Boondocking

While in our hometown of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, we found ourselves without a place to stay for Memorial Day Weekend. Whether it was poor planning or uncertainty of what the length of our stay in the area was going to be (we had already stayed for a month at a campground), we reached out to a family friend to see if we could moochdock at their farm. Thankfully, they said yes.

We had never boondocked before, and the 90+ degree temps (with high humidity) and swarms of mosquitoes educated us very quickly as to what kind of conditions we would choose to boondock in in the future. We have a Champion 3500 watt generator with wireless remote start that saved us during the hot, hot weather. We were able to run the air conditioning continuously, though we never left the generator running unattended and instead turned the fans on and opened the windows whenever we would leave. During the hottest times, we had to refill the generator with gas every 4-5 hours, which meant it kicked off at 3am one night. Instead of getting eaten alive by the mosquitoes while trying to refill it in the dark, we opted to open the windows and use the fans instead. Our last night was a little cooler which allowed the generator to run all night — yay!!

We had filled our freshwater tank before leaving the campground and had no issues making it last the long weekend, especially since I was able to shower at my parent’s nearby cottage one day. I was going to a baptism so I needed to wash and dry my hair, which would have used a large portion of our water and forced us to turn the AC off as it can never be running when a blowdryer is being used.

We had solar panels installed by Airstream when we purchased our trailer and during the times we weren’t using the generator, we were able to depend on those to be able to continuously use our lights, fans, TVs, etc. without worrying about killing the battery.

The refrigerator ran on propane and did a good job of keeping everything cool, and while the hot water heater could have also ran on propane, we never turned it on because we really didn’t need hot showers with how hot it was outside.

Our takeaway from our first boondocking experience is that we like having electricity. We’d have no problem staying a night or two somewhere without it, but it would need to be in cooler temps.

Our spot was a little difficult to get into due to uneven ground, trees, and driving through field grass, but we did it!
We had nice view of Lake Winnebago which we shared with the neighboring cows.
Moo.
We determined it’d be much easier to pull the trailer out of it’s spot with a tractor. For the last night, we were parked in a flat, gravel area so we could hookup and hit the road by 6am the next morning.

Breezy Hill Campground – Fond du Lac, WI

After an aggressive travel schedule/route that began in Arizona, we made it to our hometown of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin on April 24th.  There aren’t a lot of options within the city for places to stay with a travel trailer, so we opted for Breezy Hill Campground, which is located right outside of the city. There are obvious indicators of its formal life as a KOA, such as the distinct cabins and bright yellow benches, but Breezy Hill is in its fifth season as a privately owned, family run campground. When we pulled into Breezy Hill, they were less than a week out from a spring snow storm that left four inches on the ground. While there was very little snow left, it was quite wet throughout — and it remained that way during most of our month-long stay as it rained at least every other day. The campground is very well maintained and has a lot of amenities that cater to families. At least a third of the 144 sites are for seasonal (aka permanent) trailers and there are six sites that are year round with heated water so you don’t end up with frozen pipes. While busy on the weekends, the weekdays were very quiet, as there were usually only about a half dozen other sites occupied, including seasonals.

Address: N4177 Cearns Lane, Fond du Lac, WI 54937

Phone: (920) 477-2300

Amenities:

  • Full Hookups
  • Pull Throughs
  • Year Round Sites
  • Cabins
  • Tent Sites
  • Arcade
  • Playground
  • Swimming Pool
  • Hot Tub
  • Store
  • Restrooms with Showers
  • Laundry
  • Fishing Ponds
  • Swimming Pond
  • Snack Shack
  • Picnic Tables
  • Fire Rings
  • Dump Station
  • Propane Fill
  • Volleyball, Basketball, HI-Ball, Teather Ball
Our site (#135) was a nice, long pull through across from the swimming pond.
Breezy Hills is in the country, surrounded by farmland, allowing for beautiful sunsets and lots of stargazing.
There weren’t a lot of nights we were able to have a fire due to all of the rain, but we took advantage when we could.
During our stay, there was a Kansas City Barbecue Association sanctioned BBQ contest held at Breezy Hill — and it was fantastic!
Kelley Country Creamery is right up the road from Breezy Hill. They sell their award-winning ice cream as well as cheese curds and other such Wisconsin fare.