It was a hard decision to pull out the air conditioning system. The bus came with a Carrier split air conditioning system. It’s comprised of two compressors connected to the engine that drives the R124 Freon towards two giant skirt condensers under the bus. It then runs up into three evaporators inside the bus. The decision to remove all these parts was one I went back and forth on more than a few times. Eventually I went forward with taking it out.
The engine driven A/C system only works while driving, and I need something that works while parked. I could not justify keeping such a heavy and bulky system in my bus while adding another A/C system. It seemed like it was better just to start fresh and install a lighter, more efficient system that was better tailored to our exact needs.
Honestly it would have been easier just to keep the system, but I do not want to take short cuts with the bus. And so began the very dirty a challenging job of removing the A/C system.
The very first thing I did was have all the refrigerant evacuated from the system. I could have just cut the lines, and let the Freon escape, but I did my part for the environment and had it properly done.
My friend Matt came out to help remove the evaporators inside the bus. These beasts were bolted to the roof and other than being heavy it was not that hard taking out. However, it would have been terrible if I had tried to do it myself.
The first compressor was a little difficult to get to, but was on its own belt from the engine so after we got the bolts loose it was straight forward removing.
The next part of removing the air conditioning was the worst. Pulling all the hoses and wires out from under the bus. It was straightforward work, and I got very familiar with air hoses, wiring and fuel lines while under my bus, but it was dirty work. Not only crawling around on the ground getting bit by fire ants, but also all the dirt falling from the underside of the bus as I began yanking on the hoses and wires.
Justin McCormick grew up in the Yukon Territories in a cabin on Nisutlin Bay. Being surrounded by the majestic and harsh wilderness of the north, he developed a passion for canoeing, hiking, mountain climbing and skiing. He currently resides in Texas and is trying to impart his passion for the outdoors to his four children.