Broken A/C Forces US 105’s Jamie Garrett and Family Into a Driveway Campout
There's nothing like walking into a house on a hot day only to find out it's hotter inside than outside. That's what I was faced with Tuesday afternoon as I got home. The A/C was set to 78, but it was 87 in the house. This edition of Trial & Error looks at making lemonade when life hands you rotten lemons.
I checked all the usual problems. I'm becoming somewhat proficient at identifying A/C problems because this is the 2nd time I'll be getting a visit from Artie's Heating & Air in the past two months. My mother convinced me to go with a home warranty when we bought our house seven years ago. I hate it every time I see the $50 come out of my account on the 1st of every month, but when I actually have a problem and save hundreds of dollars I'm a very happy man. What would have been a $600 bill last month only cost us the $60 for the service call.
Houses built after the invention of central A/C just don't have the drafts from the wind that older homes have. Homes used to be designed with windows on each side so that a breeze could blow through. Houses used to be built with the purpose of creating a wind flow. Not anymore. Our house will be 85-degrees at 6 in the morning when it's 75 outside. There was just no way I was going to sleep well in that kind of heat. I'm spoiled.
After spending the better part of the evening trying to figure out how I was going to manage with the temperature so hot, a brilliant plan came to me. We'd just spent the weekend camping in our pop-up camper, and the A/C on that bad boy is beyond impressive. I knew the battery was still charged, so I headed out to the driveway to pop my way to a good night's sleep. The mattresses aren't exactly comfortable, but when the A/C has the temperature in the camper down into the 50s it's completely OK.
At 8:07 I told my wife I was going to pop up the camper. She didn't like the idea because it was too white trash for her liking, but whether she slept alone in a hot house while the boys slept in the cold camper or not... that camper was going up. At 8:27 the camper was completely popped up and on goes the A/C... or not. The camper requires 30-amps, but I have a converter plug for a normal wall outlet. Everything else of the electrical persuasion was working, but not the ONE REASON for popping up the camper in the first place.
I broke the news to the family. Logan was disappointed. Tyler was disappointed. They wanted an extra night to camp. My wife loved it. Anytime I can't get something to work she enjoys it a little bit. After troubleshooting the extension cords, breakers and trying multiple outlets I found the problem... I didn't actually plug in the A/C. You have to plug in the A/C with a separate cord directly from the side of the camper into the A/C up top. I delivered the good news that the A/C was working, but I refused to admit "why" it wasn't working in the beginning.
Our driveway campout was on!! The whole family, including the dog, got a decent night's sleep because of dad's great idea. The only problem came in the walk between the camper and the house. Logan was a little embarrassed because he couldn't find his shorts and his brother made him walk from the driveway into the house with just his underroos on. I'm glad they like my idea, though, because when I talked to Artie's this morning they told me it would be Friday before they can come see me. Friday, you say? You mean the day a cold front blows through, rendering my A/C needless? Great. I'll be there between 1 & 5. See ya' then!!