This morning my friend Barbara and I primed the living room walls’ dark paneling and prepped the bedroom walls for priming tomorrow. The lighter colored walls are already looking better.
By the way, that awesome chandelier that Barbara is standing under works, although the brass is a bit pitted. (It came loose in transit and will probably need some soldering to secure.) I’ve replaced the bulbs — had to use pliers to remove 3 broken bulbs. I found 4 watt nightlight bulbs at Home Depot, perfect for a fixture with 16 bulbs.
Okay, I didn’t just buy the Carousel for the skylight and its chandelier, but they did help draw me in!
My handyman Ian fixed yet another water leak. Both elements in my electric water heater were burned out, and he replaced those. He replaced the hose from the water faucet to the trailer — it acquired a bubble.
He built stairs to the back door, which is the only door that works now. (The replacement sliding glass doors do not open.) He patched more soft spots in the subfloor and shored up the subfloor under the corner of the cabinetry that holds the wall oven.
My biggest problem right now is that I’m having difficulty getting anyone to sell me and install a heating and cooling system. When the flooring arrives next week, it needs to sit at “room temperature” before it is installed.
So far, one HVAC company has told me that their insurance doesn’t cover mobile homes, and two companies promised to call me back and then didn’t call.
I called the first company back and was told the owner can’t get a unit that small. They recommended I go to Home Depot and get a portable 1 ton AC unit “and maybe you can get one with a heater”.
That’s not a good solution, in my opinion.
An HVAC company owner and his assistant even drove from San Marcos to look at the trailer Friday morning. I expected to hear back yesterday afternoon. I left a call this morning, but so far haven’t heard anything. I do know they’re busy…
I did talk to one HVAC guy (recommended by a plumber friend) who says he can install a system for a reasonable amount, but I need to get what I need myself.
So right now, the paths available seem to be (1) get a portable unit and (2) figure out and get what I need on my own and have it installed. I can do both — portable now, HVAC system acquisition and installation later — but prefer just the latter.
Here’s what I know, and if anyone wants to further enlighten me, please do.
The space to be heated/cooled is 500 square feet. The system can use all electric or electric and LP gas (propane). The trailer needs a downdraft unit — it has 8 floor vents and insulated ductwork (14″ x 2.5″). I’ve replaced the registers.
There are two main brands used in mobile homes, Coleman and Intertherm, and HVAC companies often mix them, installing an Intertherm heater and Coleman AC, for instance, or vice versa. The condenser, which goes outside, can be any brand. I can get a good warranty on a condenser, but not on the other stuff.
I need a little less than 1.5 tons for cooling, and I need 17,500 BTUs to heat it. Obviously, the more efficient the better.
All in all, these are good kinds of problems to have. Research and persistence will pay off, chipping away at my frustration, and so will reaching out.
Small/tiny housing has been a trend for years. I wonder what systems they use.
Addendum: An hour after I posted this, I heard back from an HVAC guy with an estimate. Yes!
And…it’s a couple thousand dollars more than I thought it would be. $5,600.
Basically, my Spartan Carousel is bigger than the average trailer and smaller than the average mobile home, and there just aren’t off-the-shelf units for this size of space, as far as I can figure. Unless the small housing folks have discovered a solution… I’ll continue to research that.
If I go with Coleman with a conventional central heating and air conditioning system, the smallest furnace available is 56,000 BTU, and the smallest evaporator coil is 3 tons. Both are more than I need for 500 square feet, and there’s the possibility that the AC may cycle on and off.
I’m going to research adding an AC unit (or two) on top of the trailer for now and a propane central furnace before it gets cold. That may be my best bet.
A couple of hours later: I learned that my trailer needs 1.1 tons for cooling and 12,000 output/effective BTUs for heating. Good to know.
I plan to visit Crestview RV, a huge sales and service facility just down the road in Buda, on Wednesday, my next day off when they’re open. They sell and install furnaces and air conditioners and all kinds of appliances for RVs. I found them when looking at Atwood furnaces online.
I have a hunch they can help solve my problems!