I had a thought, sort of in passing, the other day that went something like this: "I should turn on the A/C in the van to make sure it's working because we'll need it for the trip". Time passes. Life happens, and so yesterday, I'm finally turning on the A/C as Sally and I head to the dog park in the heat of the afternoon.
No A/C. Just a lot of hot air. Pick your own metaphor there.
I howled at this. I paid a guy, who several folks recommended as THE guy to fix a vanagon's A/C, $700 last year to fix the A/C shortly after I bought the van. And the thing is, I didn't use it much. We used it on our trip and it worked pretty well. Then, I can't recall using it after then, as I'm one of those people who don't turn on the A/C for short trips around town (much to my kid's dismay).
In hindsight, I ask myself, why did I wait so long to check and make sure it worked? Because it was fixed and it was supposed to work. Simple as that.
So, now what? We were supposed to leave Tuesday to drive to MN to see my brother and SIL. I'm not driving the van all that way without A/C. I hate the feeling of being beat up by the wind. That ain't no vacation. I'm going to leave a message on the guy's voice mail today, very nicely asking if he could look at it first thing Tuesday. I'm not sure if I should try to pack in the meantime.
I checked flights and at this late date, they are $400 apiece. Plus I'd have to board the dog. J and M have lots of travel planned this summer, so if I could leave a day later, I guess, and that would still work. We might be able to swing something at the beginning of August. Or I could pack up my 16 year old Civic (which has working A/C and cruise control, btw), and give it a shot. Or I could rent a nice little car that is sure to make it. Both of those options would require a night in a hotel somewhere around Omaha.
I'm afraid this is Strike One against Graycie the Campervan. I love her, but I am no tinkerer. I need my transportation to have a level of reliability that I'm comfortable with, and this demonstrates how things go with such an old vehicle. It's the prime season to sell it, if it goes that way, but I'm not there yet. I do feel a twinge because I'm still paying for it, and haven't camped in it this year yet.