It's really no secret that Pete is a mechanical genius. The man can fix just about anything with a screwdriver, wrench and/or duct tape. I'm fairly certain that we'd still be stuck in Greenville, TX without Pete's superior understanding of tools.
Just take a look at all of Pete's bad-ass, do-it-yourself accomplishments since we've hit the road:
1. Installing solar panels whilst driving to keep our battery from dying after our alternator broke.
2. Replacing our alternator like a pro! (After days of being stuck in Greenville).
3. Changing oil like a G.
4. Tinkering around under the hood. Like a G!
5. Fixing our much-needed space heater during Texas' coldest winter in 20 years.
6. Adding an extremely useful basket to my bike!
7. Replacing spokes. Many spokes.
8. Assisting in our total engine upgrade with our mechanic.
9. Installing sophisticated solar panel systems after completing his first course in solar school.
10. And saving a turtle. Like a G!!
And the list goes on!
Pretty impressive, eh? I don't mean to brag, but my boyfriend is pretty stellar. He's just like MacGyver, only without the mullet. Kinda.
So a couple of weeks ago, within 30 minutes of Pete's return from the airport, our air conditioner stopped working. Oh crap. That's just not gonna fly in 105 degrees. After a little investigating, we find out that our AC unit is just fine; However, our inverter/charge controller/converter/AC-panel unit (which runs all of our AC-powered appliances, such as our air conditioner) is fried. Literally.
Well, what does Pete do?? The next day (after a sticky-night's sleep), he gets under the damn table and FIXES IT!!
Basically, he rebuilt the entire thing. He took the whole panel and unit out, cleaned it, rewired certain parts and replaced any burnt wires. Sure, plugging it back in was slightly scary. But it worked! And we didn't have to spend $275 to get a new one!
Afterwards, the air conditioner was working even better than before. Stronger, colder and more efficient. Awesome, right?
Then about a week later, Pete's in Arizona and I'm too cold one morning in the Winnebago. The AC was kicking. So, I turn it off and enjoy a little break from the constant flow of chilled air. By noon, it's 100 degrees and it's time to cool off. Well, I go to turn on the AC and I hear a noise that can only be described as something that sounds broken.
Oh CRAP. Using the scientific method, I deduce that the AC is no longer blowing cold air. It's making noise, so obviously it's receiving power (Pete's previous project still proving to be a success!), but, like a worn out prostitute, it no longer has the gusto to blow.
What to do!? Mr. Fix-It is away on business and I certainly have no business tinkering around with electrical components. So after work, instead of suffering through an uncharacteristically hotter-than-normal evening, I spent the night at Molly and Josh's. To be honest, I felt a little defeated. It was the first night I hadn't slept in the Winnebago since Christmas Eve. But yea, it was pleasant...
Pete was flying back the next night so I knew we'd figure out some way to cope by bedtime. Thanks be to the Honky Tonk gods, our neighbor, local country star, Teri Joyce had an old window AC unit hanging around that she graciously let us use so long as we promised not to bring it back.
With the help of her next door neighbor, Austin (there are a lot of men named Austin who live in Austin), we brought Teri's unit over to the Winnie where I ingeniously rigged a temporary cooling station. Ta daaa:
The air conditioner sat on the floor, sticking out of the doorway. Since the door had to remain open, I hung the trusty zodiac sign tapestry (which has been hanging around my living spaces since 2006) to keep the moderately-cool air in and the steamy, hot air out. It pseudo-worked. Definitely much cooler than outside (if you stood right in front of the dang thing). Definitely not permanent.
Pete most likely chuckled at my adorable attempt to keep the place cool when he got home from the airport. We (read: he) immediately got to work acquiring tools from the deep recesses of our bed to configure the AC unit in the window...where it belonged.
After a little finagling of a ratchet strap, the AC unit was firmly in place and keeping us slightly more moderately-cool than before.
It was great for sleeping, actually. Being right next to our bed, we were kept quite cold at nighttime. By midday, though, it just wasn't powerful enough to keep up with the Texas heat. Better than nothing, I suppose.
Of course, the next morning, Pete opened the roof cover, turned the rotor one rotation, and our regular AC unit was back to work. A few days later, I turned the AC off again (I chill easily). When I wanted it back on, whatta ya know? No cold air. Pete had to use a long bamboo rod to get the fan going this time. I guess the key was to never turn it off. Ever...
...Which is why we bought a brand new rooftop air conditioner. We've been saying for months now that if ever our 26-year-old AC broke, we wouldn't put any money into fixing it and instead, just buy a new one. So we did. There's only so much fixing one man can do.
Except when it comes to breakfast. Pete can always fix a mean breakfast...