We arrived late. The campground was already dark. It had been a long day. Rush home from work to throw the last of the required things into the camper. Slip the trailer onto Big Gray Truck and start our 2 hours journey to beer and campfires. It had been a warm day so the windows in the truck were shut for the kids and the A/C was on high but the air it was blowing wasn’t very cool.
This campground was a new experience for us, a private campground. Well, kind of private. It was owned by the township instead of the state. Until now we had stayed only in state parks. This one was much more cramped. When the large slides and awnings were out you could barley walk between campsites. Our compadres had already arrived during the daylight and had setup before many people got there. They had surveyed our site and deemed it difficult. The road it was on was tight and there was a lamppost directly across the road that would impede turning radius. The homeless meth head family parked in the next spot didn’t help either.
Back, forward, turn, forward again, back, turn, forward, watch out for the tree, that lamppost is awfully close, back, forward, out of the truck, back in the truck, forward, back, out of the truck again. Are we back far enough? Is there enough room for the slide? Do we need to put the awning all the way out? Back, Forward, Back again, park.
I should note that I am decent at this.
Turn the truck off. Lift the trailer off. Start the truck.
Hmmm. That scraping sound is new. Oh well it’s late and dark and nothing has fallen out yet and the beer is cold.
The next morning was beautiful, well the weather at least. The family next to us had been kicked out for being too rowdy so they were packing up. Well, packing is generous. Screaming at each other while throwing things into their motorhome can be defined as packing but I digress.
Off into town we go for the day. Hmmm. The noise is back. Engine speed dependent. If I turn on the A/C it stops making noise but I if turn it off it screeches. Guess it stays on.
I had done some work earlier in the week on the plumbing system and had filled the grey tank almost completely without realizing it. I have a tote cart for emptying it that you pull behind your vehicle to the dump station. I hadn’t used it before, but it makes a racket being towed behind a vehicle.
The unknown noise had gotten worse. A/C on or off didn’t matter. It wasn’t a loud screeching, but this combined with the banging of the cart in a quiet campground made for a lot of stares. We were in the back of the campground; the dump station is at the front about 5 minutes away at 5mph. I had to do it twice.
Pop the hood to look. I can’t pinpoint it and even if I could I don’t have any tools. The belts not falling off and if it’s the A/C it should make it home.
We left the next day screeching the whole way home. With the radio up at 65mph it was barely discernible above the road noise.
Ok. Time to actually look. Hmmm. This A/C pully is loose. Oh. The clutch plate just came off. There’s no screw holding this on. What does the clutch look like?
Ah. That would explain it. How’s the pulley itself?
How did this not lock up on the highway at 3000 rpm for 2 hours?
Well crap. Ok. Well the compressor is probably fine, but a pulley is $75 and the compressor is $110 plus refrigerant and the input shaft splines look pretty worn so it’s new compressor time.
Got it all buttoned up and it blows cool and quiet once again.