Who Needs A Water Park . . .

to get soaking wet, when all you need is a JetBoat.

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Who knew that Camping World and Amazon were in on the scam too.

Peter must be so upset.

First off I want to thank everyone for their comments and support after yesterday’s blog. It’s much appreciated.

A couple of readers had asked about these ‘Cheater’ Boxes. And yes, that’s what they’re called, “Cheater Boxes”, and how they differ from what I did.

30 amp + 20 amp Cheater Box

30 amp 20 amp Cheater Box

These adapters plug into both the 30 amp and 20 amp receptacles on your pedestal, giving you a 50 amp supply.

Kind of.

Many RV’ers don’t realize that what we get from a 50 amp receptacle on a pedestal is actually two 50 amp circuits, for a total of 100 amps. That’s why you see two ganged circuit breakers in the box.

So this adapter actually gives you half of what you get from a normal 50 amp circuit, but it would allow you to run both AC’s

Kind of.

The one drawback with these adapters is that many times they don’t work. If the 20 amp receptacle on the pedestal has a GFCI on it, and most now days do, then this adapter will not work. It will pop the GFCI as soon as it’s plugged in.

So as Emily Latella says, “Never Mind”.

Since these adapters usually cost over $100, you might want think twice about getting one for the few times you would need it and be able to use it.

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On a more fun note, Jan and I headed out about 10am for breakfast at Mitzi’s and then a couple of boat rides, one slow, and one fast.

Very, very fast.

So after a really good breakfast at Mitzi’s Family Restaurant, we headed down to The Original Wisconsin Ducks dock for a one hour, half land, half water tour through the Wisconsin Dells along the Wisconsin River.

We’ve taken Duck rides all over country, from Seattle to San Francisco to Washington and Philadelphia, and the Wisconsin Ducks are different.

First off, there are two duck companies here in the Wisconsin Dells, the only place in the country where that is true. In fact, starting 1946, the Dells was the first place in the country to have a Duck ride. And the back and forth story of the ducks is kind of interesting. Here’s the Wikipedia story.

In 1946 a Milwaukee native named Mel Flath brought the first amphibious truck (DUKW) to the Wisconsin Dells. It was an impulse buy that he had made at a government auction in California; the trip’s purpose had been to purchase war surplus trucks. Mel opened the "Dells Amphibian Line", which gave 90-minute tours in the Wisconsin River, exposing tourists to the area’s famous sandstone formations. Mel eventually sold his duck fleet to the Associated Boat lines in 1952, which renamed the company the Wisconsin Ducks, Inc. In 1952 the Wisconsin Ducks, founded by Jack B. Olson, began offering tours of the river dells and adjacent areas using decommissioned amphibious DUKW vehicles from World War II. However, duck competition was far from over after the 1952 sale. Flath opened up a duck ride again briefly from 1964 to 1966. When he was bought out again, the Soma Boat Company opened its own duck ride on Mirror Lake, near Lake Delton, which it called the Aquaducks. In response to the competition, Wisconsin Ducks, Inc. assumed the name "Original Wisconsin Ducks". Aquaducks existed from 1968 until its sale to the boat lines in 1976. In 1977 yet another duck ride began, this one by Flath’s daughter and son-in-law, George and Suzanne Field, named Dells Duck Tours, Inc., operating from the same property as Mel had 30 years earlier. This time sporting a red, white and blue exterior, these ducks, while not the "original" ducks that were first brought to the dells, were still World War II production models. Today, the Dells Duck Tours, Inc. are known as the Dells Army Ducks after a paint scheme change in 2002.

The second thing is that this company has almost 90 ducks in service, not the 3 or 4 that most companies have. In fact this is the first time we taken a Duck ride without having a reservation for a particular time. Here you just show up whenever, and catch the next Duck, with one leaving every few minutes.

As it turned out, our Duck was a WWII original. Built in 1942, our Duck really looks it. It’s amazing that these things, built over 70 years ago, still are making 6 to 8 tours a day.

Wisconsin Ducks 8

But some of them don’t survive. Here’s the Duck Graveyard.

Wisconsin Ducks 7

The third thing is that we had Jocelyn, our first female Duck driver.

And she drives the Duck like a Indy car driver. Every other Duck ride we’ve taken starts out putt-putting through town at a sedate 20 mph or so. But the Wisconsin Ducks have their own race course, errr, roads.

They have 8 miles of paved single-lane, one-way roads through the woods and hills along the Wisconsin River. And Jocelyn drives like something big and mean is chasing her.

The Duck is capable of about 50mph on land, and I swear she had it floored all the way. Some of the dips felt like being on a roller coaster. Pretty good for a Pre-Dental College student.

The other thing that was fun is that most Duck rides drive slowly down the ramp and into the water. Our Duck went blasting down the ramp and hit the water at about 20 mph throwing up a large wave all around to the squeals of the passengers.

Wisconsin Ducks 1

But besides the excitement, we did have some very scenic views along the river and through the woods, hills and dales. Or is that dells?

Wisconsin Ducks 2

Wisconsin Ducks 3

Wisconsin Ducks 4

The competition: Dells Army Ducks.

Wisconsin Ducks 5

Wisconsin Ducks 6

So after our best Duck ride ever, we headed back into town for our next boat, the Dell’s JetBoat Ride

The one we were riding on, the Condor, is the fastest and most powerful on the river. At over 55mph, and with 3 400+hp V-8 engines, it literally flies across the water.

And stops on a dime. And then the bow digs in. And then a huge wave comes over the bow and soaks everyone.

The JetBoat’s other trick is to be bombing along at 50+ mph and then the pilot cranks the wheel all the way over. The boat goes into a flat spin, traveling 360 degrees, and then comes around and back out the same direction. Without ever slowing down.

But with the obligatory large wave washing over the side of the boat.

The trip out wasn’t too bad since we had a trailing wind for the most part. But coming back to the dock, the headwind sent the water over the bow with a vengeance. And we got soaked to the bone.

In fact we were so wet that on our way back to the rig, we stopped off to get the truck washed. And the bills in my wallet were so wet, the machine wouldn’t take them. Luckily I had a plastic bag that kept my camera dry for the most part.

But the ride was a blast!

And the scenery was great too.

JetBoat 6

JetBoat 1

JetBoat 2

JetBoat 3

JetBoat 4

JetBoat 5

Tomorrow, a train ride.

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Thought for the Day:

"Accustomed to trample on the rights of others, you have lost the genius of your own independence and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises among you." — Abraham Lincoln

sdfgfdgs

4 Responses

  1. Sounds great! We hope to be in that area sometime Thursday. According to the website it looks like they offer a pretty good deal on a combo ticket.

    Did you take the jet boat on the upper tour or the lower tour?

    DKO

  2. Greg, last year on an RV trip I borrowed a friend’s 20/30 amp adapter and used it for a couple of nights. Naturally I had to have one, so I bought one. Haven’t used it yet. Sorry to hear it won’t work if the 20 amp circuit is GFCI protected. Wonder why? Anyway, I took my first Duck ride this spring in Stone Mountain, GA. What a hoot….Jim

  3. Davy,

    We did the Upper Dells and it’s the one I recommend. The Ducks are on the Lower Dells, and it’s pretty much just wide open river with nice scenery.

    On the Upper tour they take you down narrow canyons and other interesting areas as well as some wide open, high speed areas.

    Definitely the Upper Tour.

  4. Jim,

    The reason it won’t work is because of the way the GFCI works.

    It detects leakage current between the hot lead and ground or neutral.

    Since that leakage current may be through you if you’ve touch the wrong thing, or it may indicate a short in the insulation, that makes the GFCI pop.

    So when the adapter tries to combine the two power sources, it creates enough leakage current between the two to pop the GFCI.

    Hope this makes some sense.

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