West Memphis, AR - Events of Friday, June 29 to Saturday, June 30, 2012
On Friday, the high temperature was predicted to be 104º, so we decide sightseeing wasn't a good idea. Instead, we thought we would run some errands, then maybe stop somewhere afterward for lupper.
As we prepared to depart to run our errands, we noticed it felt warmer inside the motor home than usual. Even with the sun shades in place and the curtains drawn, the front tends to be warmer than the rear; but this time it was 91º inside, which was much warmer than it should have been even with a higher temperature outside. Both air conditioners were running, but the air coming out of the vents in the front wasn't cold. Paul turned the front AC off then back on. After the usual two-minute delay, we didn't hear the compressor start. Uh-oh.
It was after noon on Friday, and if we were going to get the air conditioner fixed before the weekend, we needed to act fast. We did an online search, but the only nearby mobile repair service we could find got very poor reviews. Margery called the campground office, and they recommended Rikard & Sons a few miles away in West Memphis. They couldn't send anyone to our site because all their techs were out on service calls, but they said they would take a look at the AC if we took the motor home to them.
We quickly packed up and unhooked the utilities. Margery decided to stay with Freeway at the campground while Paul drove over to Rikard & Sons. To make a long story short, about an hour and a half and $75 later, we had two working air conditioners once again.
The problem was debris on the condenser coils causing the compressor to work too hard in the 100º heat and to overheat and shut down. Most of the debris looked like the "fluff" that comes from cottonwood trees.
Paul checked all the coils and the drain holes in the pans under the air conditioners last fall when he removed the covers to paint them, and everything looked clean. However, the side of the coils that collects the dirt is hidden from view. An additional metal cover under the shroud has to be removed to do the cleaning.
Cleaning is done with a gentle spray from a water hose. The spray needs to be gentle enough to not bend or distort the thin, aluminum cooling fins.
We were pleased with the work done by Rikard & Sons. Their place of business isn't fancy. They are not an RV dealer, but an RV and mobile home repair shop. Paul assumed it was the owner who worked on our air conditioner, and he was very knowledgeable. He seemed to know exactly what the problem was because he went straight to it. He worked for almost an hour on the roof of the motor home in the hot sun and an outside temperature of over 100º.
We're extremely grateful the air conditioner didn't need parts and that we were able to get it fixed quickly. Since it was mid Friday afternoon, if the AC had needed parts, we probably wouldn't have been able to get them until at least Monday. With triple-digit temperatures predicted all weekend, we would have been very warm with only one working air conditioner. To try to avoid a repeat of the problem, Paul has added cleaning the AC coils at least once a year to his maintenance list.
Saturday isn't our favorite day to run shopping errands because of heavier traffic, but we decided to try again after having to postpone on Friday. We had several stops to make, and after completing them went to Qdoba for our favorite burrito, Poblano Pesto. Qdobas are few and far between in our travels so we were excited to find one in Memphis.
HORRORS! They had taken our favorite, the Poblano Pesto Burrito, off their menu. We were told it was only for the summer, so we'll have to check back with them from time to time. We were so disappointed at not being able to get our favorite burrito at Qdoba, we decided to go to a nearby On the Border for lupper instead.
On the Border is a chain of Mexican-style restaurants. We first went to On the Border several years ago when we met Lora and J. Michael in Charlotte to attend the fall NASCAR race there. We rarely get to eat at On the Border, so we decided to go there when Qdoba didn't work out since On the Border was located very close by.
We both chose the New Mexico combo from the dinner menu. The combo includes a chile relleno, a pulled pork enchilada, rice and a choice of black or refried beans for $8.49. Lunches run about $6 to $9, and dinners range in price from around $8 to $16.
The food was yummy! We especially liked the chile relleno. It was stuffed with cheese, and the pepper was coated with tempura batter rather than the usual egg batter. The tempura batter did not overpower the pepper even though the coating was relatively thick, and the tempura was deliciously crunchy.
After lupper, we headed back to the motor home to watch the Saturday evening NASCAR race. We're taking things easy because of the heat, but we hope to get in a little sightseeing before we leave, so stay tuned.