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Installing a New AC Unit + An Epic (Potential) Failure

Sunday, October 2, 2016 12:09
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When we were inspecting our new trailer during the Are-we-really-gonna-buy-this-thing stage, we immediately noticed that the AC unit would have to be replaced. We knew the heat  didn’t work because the reversing valve was stuck, but exactly when the AC would go out was anybody’s guess. Being that we live in Florida, we didn’t care too much about the heat, but the AC? That’s another story. We made sure to save our pennies in case it should completely break.

4 months later…

At the end of August, the AC died. Brian tried to bring it back to life which gave us some time to get a plan together (but mostly just to come to terms with the fact that we were about to spend a crap ton of money) but a couple of days later the compressor finally froze up for good.


We decided to go with a Goodman 2 ton unit from Alpine Direct. It got excellent reviews and cost $1700. Normally, it would have arrived by freight in 3 days but since the old unit died during a holiday weekend, the new one would take 6 days.

6 days of no AC. In August. In Florida. Yeah that!

Believe it or not, I initially thought we’d be okay without it. A little uncomfortable? yes, but doable? Suure.


The Flu

It was only a couple of hours of no AC that I knew we weren’t gonna make it. Mostly, it was the humidity. We headed to Lowes to buy a portable AC unit and a friend let us borrow one. That gave us two portable units but still, they hardly kept one room cool. We hooked one up outside through the dining room window and the other one inside in the living room to at least keep the main living areas bearable. At night, we all camped out in the living room.


All the windows in the trailer are the original hand-crank and half of them are broken. So to keep the cool air from immediately escaping, Brian screwed wood over the window directly into the panel board. The inside wood paneling has not been refinished or painted yet so it really didn’t matter.

I was thankful to have somewhat of a reprieve but it was so incredibly UGLY that the situation was downright depressing. I realized this home is like the flu; it’s gonna get worse before it gets better.

Now that we had some relief from the heat, that gave Brian more time to work on the AC.

Concrete Craftiness

The old unit was placed directly on the ground in the dirt so for the new one Brian wanted to give it a nice place to live. He used 11 80 lb. bags of concrete to pour a 70×44 pad. As usual, he did an amazing job.


The concrete set just in time for the new unit to arrive.

The Suckiness that is R&L Carriers

The new unit was delivered by a freight company called R&L Carriers. It was late the day it was due to arrive and I specifically remember the delivery guy’s behavior.  He was rushed and nervous. He unloaded the unit as fast as could and shoved papers in Brian’s face and told him to sign them. He immediately went back to his truck, looked at us in a strange way, and left.


I don’t think Brian noticed any of this because he was too busy trying to unbox the thing before the delivery guy left. With the delivery guy long gone, I figured out why he was in such a rush…


After unwrapping it, we discovered a massive dent on the end panel. Even the pallet it came on was damaged. It looks like it was done by a fork lift, probably by the delivery guy himself. That’s why he wanted to leave so quickly. He knew the AC was damaged and he probably did it. Brian immediately called Alpine to report it and (of course) they said we need to call the freight company, R&L Carriers. We called R&L Carriers and (of course) they denied responsibility because they said we signed the receipt putting the unit in our possession, thus making them not liable.


Do not do business with R&L Carriers. They are horrible. Here is a link to their website so you NEVER hire them.

Moving the Beast

Even though the exterior was damaged, Brian came to the conclusion that the interior mechanics were fine and Alpine said they would “work with us” on getting a replacement panel. R&L Carriers has a hub nearby which makes it possible for us to take them to small claims court. We don’t want a brand new AC but we would like some reimbursement for the damage done. We’re just not sure if we want to hassle with that route. Would you?

Riding on the hope that the unit still functioned properly we decided to hook it up. To move it from the carport to the back of the house, we used two pipes and shovel.


We slowly rolled the AC on two pipes. We used the shovel to lift the AC up to place the pipe underneath it again after that pipe had rolled out. Got that? Not sure if I explained that well but just imagine how the Pyramids were made (I think).


I didn’t get any pics of it but the next part of connecting the AC to the ducting under the trailer was a royal pain in the butt. Brian had to make his own adapters and while it turned out well, he wished he had hired a professional.

An Epic Fail?

After it was all said and done and Brian was admiring his work, he noticed the breaker box looking uncomfortably close the new unit. Beads of sweat starting pouring from his brow. He walked closer. Then, he lifted the lid to the breaker box…


Whew! With a quarter inch of space the lid freely opened! Now, that is the look of one relieved and HAPPY guy! Good job, babe.


After all that work, the ground around the AC was just dirt so to keep the dust at bay, we threw hay down. Not the prettiest but it works.

20140911_144708 (1)

And there she sits! So happy to have cool, dry air! Well, that was our adventure in keeping cool in Florida and I sincerely hope you do not have to install your own AC unit any time soon.

Thanks for reading!

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