Golfing in chilly Minnesota

It is 53 degrees outside our trailer this morning! Jim’s looking forward to a morning golf came after the park’s Coffee and Rolls get-together this morning. Brrrr!

We arrived early yesterday afternoon in Clear Lake, Minnesota to the Minnesota Airstream Park. We were greeted at the gate by Beth and Mac, who run the Park’s office. They have been looking out for us for the past two weeks and asking people as they walked in, “Jim and Debbie?” They thought we were to arrive July 5 — we weren’t specific, we didn’t want to be tied down to a date while we explored Wisconsin.

Jim had asked several weeks ago, by email, if we could have a Camping World package sent here and held for our arrival. They graciously agreed and asked when we would arrive. We hadn’t meant to mislead them but we thought we might arrive the week of July 5. We then decided to take our time in Wisconsin and are really glad we did. Well, the package is here and Jim’s pretty excited about it.

Our wonderful Airstream is equipped, as are many RVs, with 110vac to 12vdc converter with a single stage battery charger. This charger constantly applies 13.6 or 13.8 volts to the RV’s batteries, regardless of the batteries’ usage or depletion. When the batteries are fully charged, a good charger should taper off or shut down. Good chargers adapt to this condition with a “float” charge rate. But not ours.

Our Magnetek/Parallax converter-charger will, if not monitored carefully, boil the batteries dry. It applies a constant voltage (and low amperage) to the batteries, regardless of their condition. We know, we’ve seen it happen to previous batteries and have heard countless other people who had the same experience. For the past two years Jim has manually switched the converter-charger on only when needed. Our solar panels provide almost all the 12vdc power we need and occasionally he would use the converter-charger, mostly first thing in the mornings to power the ham radio at 100 watts for long distance chatting.

Our Camping World package is a Progressive Dynamics Intellipower 9260, the most advanced (maybe I should qualify, “and affordable”) converter charger we could find. Great thanks to Beth and Matt Hackney from Georgia for their recommendation of the 9200 series instead of the 9100 series — the 9200 incorporates features you pay extra for in the 9100. This should be a fine improvement to our home, once Jim installs it.

No sooner had we pulled into our site, with friendly and capable help from Mac, than our neighbors walked over to welcome us. Jim and Lois Ryan have been Airstreaming over thirty-five years and spend summers here. Jim invited Jim (that’s right, they can both easily remember each other’s names) to join him for a round of golf on the park’s golf course and offered Jim use of his second pull cart.

We finished leveling and then connecting the utilities and she fixed us a wonderful lunch. Soon the Jims walked to the nine hole short course and met two of Jim Ryan’s buddies at the first tee. The golf course is nice and very compact with all but two fairways straight as an arrow and lengths varying from 84 yards to 223 yards. This is a relaxing way to play golf!

Jim has at least two big projects for our stay in Minnesota Airstream Park. Hopefully golf will allow him enough time to get these done too.


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