Wednesday, June 22, 2016

When Your Air-Conditioner Goes Bad in June . . .

One steamy afternoon when we returned to the motor home from exploring outside, we flipped on the air-conditioner like usual. It's not a good thing when you are greeted by a loud grinding noise from one of the roof-top air conditioners when temperatures are forecast in the 90's. It's an especially horrifying sound when you have visitors coming that have flown half-way across the country to spend time with you.

We have two air conditioners on the motor home, and we were relieved that our back AC was still functioning correctly. We were also glad that we had booked shady camping sites. 

It's times like this that we feel that the extended warranty we purchased is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that when there are big things that go wrong with the motor home, we know that we are limited to our $50 deductible and the cost of shipping parts to our location.

The curse is that our extended warranty company requires that the diagnosis of the problem, and the repair is done by the same repair service. Between the diagnosis and repair, the warranty company must approve the cost, and parts must be shipped. So any repairs will require that we are in the same location for a week or more. That wouldn't happen until we reached Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. 

But we couldn't walk on the beach until we checked on the air conditioner problem. So Mark made an appointment to be at "Camper Connection" repair service when we rolled into town. Denisa took a picture of the technician climbing down from the roof.

By this time Mark had trouble-shot the problem and knew that the compressor and air unit were fine. Our problem was the blower unit that was supposed to bring that cool air into the motor home. He had already called the Coleman company that made the unit, and he knew what part we would need and how to get it. He even knew the name of the Coleman representative to call, because he had offered to ship the part for free and pay for its installation. Mark was on top of the motor home with the technician, and was the one that found the crack in the hamster-wheel blower fan that was spreading apart and causing the racket. 

So Mark obviously knew more than the repair service. But our extended warranty requires us to go through a service company to certify that something is actually broken and that they can fix it properly.

In the meantime, Mark gets the great idea that he can fix the broken part that has cracked and is causing the racket. So he uses a zip tie to hold the cracked section of the wheel together. 

One of the things Denisa loves about Mark is his keen ability to fix things, and this was one of his best fixes ever! We now had both air conditioners while our visitors were with us in Myrtle Beach!

Fast forward a week, and we are still waiting to hear from our service company. We also got other bad news. The Coleman representative Mark spoke with is on vacation for the week, and no one there knows that he has authorized to pay for our repairs. Our extended warranty company will only pay $80/hour while Camping Connection wants to charge $125/hour for the repair. The only good news is that Coleman did ship out the part we need, and they didn't charge us any shipping charges.

So after waiting a week, Mark picked up the free part, and did the installation himself. We also had to pay the $62.50 diagnosis fee to the service company, even though Mark was the one that had to show the technician what was wrong with the air conditioner.

From talking to the Coleman technician, Mark found out that they have improved the condenser fan on the air-conditioner. The six-blade fan has been replaced by a three-blade fan that is quieter while the unit is running. Coleman shipped this part as well, and Mark installed it while he was on the roof top. This is a picture of the old (and louder) six-blade fan that he replaced.

To summarize a long blog story, we can't recommend the Camping Connection RV repair service in Myrtle Beach. But the good news is that we once again have two working air-conditioners. The best news is that Denisa thinks Mark is awesome!

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