On Becoming Expert RV Mechanics…

Phoenix is hot in June.

Air Conditioning is important.


RVs are like giant metal boxes. Like being in a car. They transform into ovens in the sun.

Air Conditioning is important.

Ours died 2 weeks ago.

Here’s a brief timeline of what went down:

One day, the A/C unit woke up and decided to no longer be an A/C unit. The first clue was that it tripped the breaker. We reset, and it tripped again 15 minutes later. We let it stay off, tried again later, and it tripped again. Ruh roh, Scooby.

We also noticed that during the 15 minutes that it did run, no cold air came out. It just blew hot air. If we switched it to “fan,” it was fine. It blew hot outside air, but I decided that was better than stagnant hot oven air, so we left the fan on, opened all the windows, and decided to tough it out.

(By the way, when I say “we,” what I really mean is “me and my toddler with whom I like to spend my day talking to as if he were an adult because otherwise I’d technically be talking to myself all day, and that’s crazy person fodder right there.”)

Kevin was at work.

I made it until about 2pm before I sent Kevin a delirious text informing him that the child, dog and I would be at a nearby hotel that 1) allowed dogs and 2) had air conditioning. Apparently I am not tough enough to tough out being in the middle of the desert in 107 degree heat with a dog and a toddler and nowhere to cool off. There’s tough, and then there’s crazy.


Tucker loves hotels. 

That night when Kevin got home, we went out and bought a portable A/C unit from The Home Depot, plugged it in, and it worked okay-ish. It cooled, but the 8,000  BTU unit just isn’t enough to cool the 300 sq ft trailer in the sun. So we ended up moving it to just the bedroom, we sealed off the windows and doors, and even though it wasn’t ideal, we had at least one cool space to sequester ourselves when the heat became too much, or to lock the dog in when we went somewhere.


So it’s ugly as sin, I can’t get into my 2 drawers that contain ALL of my clothes, and we still haven’t even bothered to take the warranty papers off of it, but at this point, I am past caring.

After much Googling, reading RV forums, and talking to the RV parts store guys, Kevin figured out our compressor was likely dead. I don’t know a lot about RV air conditioners, but apparently that’s bad. And, while technically you can fix the compressor, it’s actually easier and less expensive to just replace the entire A/C unit.


Bye-bye, entire emergency fund and then some…

We got a few quotes from local RV repair guys, and the quotes were a little out of our budget. Thank the Lord Almighty for Google and YouTube.

We ordered a brand-spanking new A/C unit from Amazon and had to wait for it to be shipped. To the seller’s credit, it arrived a day before it’s estimate arrival date, so that made me very happy. But by this time we had already been a week and a half trying to diagnose, gather funds, and game plan, so seeing FedEx pull up with our giant box was like being witness to a miracle. Hallelujah!


I have never been so happy to see FedEx. 

Kevin was able to leave work in the middle of his shift (his job was all, “uh, yeah, please go get that installed ASAP so your family doesn’t become barbecue”), and, bless him, he had the whole thing installed in about an hour. The hardest part was literally just getting the 80-lb unit to the top of the trailer. Our awesome neighbors came running over to help heft it up, and my nightmare vision of either Kevin or myself being crushed under the box as we tried to carry it up a ladder never came to fruition.

Got the thing installed, it blew lovely, refreshing, beautiful cool air into the trailer and I kept hugging Kevin as he tried to get back out the door to go back and finish his shift at work. He was totally my hero.

2 hours later, the breaker tripped….

Stay tuned for What Happened Next!


One thought on “On Becoming Expert RV Mechanics…

  1. Pingback: Becoming Expert RV Mechanics, Part II | The Nomadic Bolens

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