Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Sweltering

After a nice morning wandering around Delabar State Park just outside of Oquawka, we stowed the satellite dish and headed across Iowa, intending to connect with I-35 and head south.  It was pleasant at first, taking the scenic roads and traveling through small towns.

I kept seeing the tall TV antennas on rural farmhouses, and commented to Mary Ann about how those were all due to be obsolete in just a few months as television as we knew it was due to be shut down.  I wonder just how many of those farmers will bother to put up a new antenna to catch their local stations?  Many of them already have Directv dishes.  Just how important is the local news?

We paused at a stop sign to check the map and decide whether to turn right or left.  That was a mistake.  The generator overheated and shut down.

Our RV has three air-conditioners.  One, the typical auto AC doesn't work.  Somewhere we sprung a freon leak and we haven't used it for over a year now.  We also have two roof-top RV style units that run off 110VAC, either by plugging the RV into a campground outlet, or by running the generator.  This trip, the generator has logged quite a few hours.

But...it's an air-cooled gas engine that produces the electricity and every time we stop it on a hot day, like when refueling, it has problems coming back up.

Today, all the bad stars were aligned.  It was very hot and humid outside.  I saw one bank sign saying it was 103-degrees, but even if that was wrong, it was definitely in the high 90's.  We were also traveling on small rural roads with many slow-downs to pass through the towns.  

Once we lost our cool (in the thermal sense), it was impossible to get it back.  The generator couldn't get back to it's best operating temperature, so we couldn't either.  Even when we reached the Interstate and could cruise fast enough to keep the generator perking, the sunshine and the heat of the day was just too powerful for those struggling roof-top units.

And then, we reached Kansas City.  The outside temperature soared and I attempted to restart the generator a dozen times while in rush-hour traffic.  The generator didn't stay running until we returned to the green.  

But cool never completely returned until we stopped for the night, plugged in, and the sun went down.

Tomorrow, we're heading south.  I fear it'll be even hotter.

1 comment:

Karen said...

It's funny how many of us don't really trust the temperature readings at banks.

Sorry to hear of more RV troubles. Glad you got some good research done for your book.