Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by katanapilot

  1. If Oliver is finally ditching the Dometic Penguin II turbojet air conditioner for a quieter model in 2022 - I would suggest you wait.

    Resale might also be higher on a one year newer model, if travel trailers are anything like cars and trucks on the used market. 

  2. Great write up! 

    Still holding out hope the OTT will make the switch to this or one of the other available quiet units. No excuse in my opinion that they continue to install the painfully loud Dometics. 

    • Thanks 1
  3. I love Tacos.  My son has a 2012 with 6 speed manual.  He towed an Elite II-weight trailer (SOB) from Minneapolis to Oshkosh and back two years ago and vowed not to do it again.  4th or 5th gear most of the way, high revs and terrible fuel mileage. Yes, these trucks are almost indestructible (like their Hilux cousins), but I agree that it's a struggle to tow anywhere near the rated towing limit.  Towing out west would be even worse. Maybe a supercharger would help? 😉


    • Like 1
  4. 2011 Tundra Crew Max Platinum 5.7 4WD - 107,000 miles

    I'll apologize in advance - I am not a blogger and don't take many pictures, so this write up will likely be unsatisfying to some of you. However, I'm happy to answer questions if you have any.

    Before beginning the installation, I did a complete fluid and filter/strainer replacement on the automatic transmission and fluid replacement on the front and rear differentials plus the transfer case. I especially wanted to make sure the A/T wasn't making metal before I went to the trouble and expense of this install (it was very clean in the pan). All fluids were replaced with the appropriate Amsoil fluids. Not trying to start a war on which fluid is best, but I have always had good success with Amsoil. When you see the pictures of the valve train and valve cover, you may understand why I am partial to Amsoil.  I guess it's possible that any synthetic oil would have similar results, but I don't know.

    The installation was a bit more complicated than expected - primarily due to finding oil in a few of the spark plug tubes.  This was due to the tube seals deteriorating which is not unexpected on a vehicle with 107K miles.  The removal of the cylinder head covers (valve covers in Toyota-speak) is a PITA, especially the right side.  The left side was easier, but still not easy. All the tube seals, cover gaskets and small orings for cam lubrication were replaced.

    The fuel injectors are replaced with a higher flow model.  Since my truck was flex fuel, it already had the high flow fuel pump.  If it were not flex fuel, you would have to drop the tank and replace it with a new pump (which is provided by Magnuson with the non-FFV kits).

    The Magnuson instructions are pretty thorough, although there are a couple of head scratchers. The supercharger is heavy.  We lifted it most of the way with an engine hoist, but the boom on the hoist was a bit short, so we had to do the last bit by hand.  Not damaging the intake orings is the key here.

    We also replaced all four of the oxygen sensors since it was about time anyway.  Not a terrible job on a cold engine, but a couple of the clips holding the wire harnesses are tough to access.

    The engine started pretty quickly once the fuel rails were filled and it idled smoothly. The check engine light came on and threw a code for the secondary air injection pump.  This is a known issue on the 5.7 engines (and other Toyota/Lexus vehicles).  I found a bad pump which I assume coincidentally failed at this time.  Fortunately Toyota issued a 10 year extended warranty for these and I am inside the 10 years by about 6 weeks.  So the truck will go to the dealer this week.

    That's about it and I will provide more feedback on the performance once I've had a chance to tow the Ollie.  As mentioned in another post, this upgrade was more about towing performance than winning any races. I would love a diesel, but Toyota doesn't sell them in the U.S. - so I'm hoping the supercharged Tundra will provide similar torque and horsepower (reported at 550 lb-ft and 550 hp). 

    Yes, it's expensive ($7K), but so is a new truck and I'm really happy with this one that's paid for!



    • Thanks 1
    • Like 4
    • Wow 1
  5. Another data point for TST.  Had it on our SOB motorhome as well.  No complaints other than the batteries and orings are hard to change.  I think you can send them back to TST for battery swap, but then you are without the system. I also use it when I tow the utility trailer (18' Horton Hauler). 

    The signal booster/repeater is a worthwhile add IMO.

  6. Oliver are you listening? No (good) reason OTT isn’t installing the Houghton units in new trailers. The Dometic Penguin is a poor choice given the noise level and the availability of something dramatically better. 

    To potential customers reading this - insist that OTT gets with the program and installs these much quieter, better built and more energy efficient units in their 2022 trailers. 

    • Like 3
  7. Thanks John.

    Pulled the pan and replaced the filter/strainer a couple of weeks ago. Also did a full Amsoil ATF fluid replacement. I had previously done a fluid swap at 50K. Almost nothing other than a little sludge on the pan magnets. Had a full compliment of pan bolts here just in case, but I used PB Blaster ahead of time and all the bolts came out easy peasy. Not much salt used on the roads here in Georgia, thankfully.

    Yes, remap of the ECU and higher flow injectors. Mine is Flex Fuel so it already has the high flow fuel pump to deal with E85. No longer flex fuel after the swap.

    • Like 3
  8. 6 minutes ago, rideandfly said:

    I'm sure the 2022 will be nice, but don't know how many $.

    What kind of power increase do you expect after Supercharger installation on the 5.7L?

    According to Magnuson, 550 hp and 550 ft-lbs of torque. I assume that’s estimated based on a dyno test at the rear wheels. I’m not trying to win a drag race, just improve the towing performance for our trips through the mountains. Downside is premium fuel required and of course, lower than the already poor fuel mileage. To me though, it’s cheaper than a new Tundra and I know my truck’s history.

    I’ll provide a report after the install and after towing the Ollie a bit.

    • Like 4
  9. 42 minutes ago, rideandfly said:

    We have a 2.4L 5 speed manual 2003 Tacoma with over 180,000 miles and running strong. The 2003 year had frame corrosion problems, but we purchased it new for $12,500 and it's never been on snow or road chemicals, so it does not have any frame issues. Have smaller utility trailers we're always hauling mulch, stone, and helping family members to move.

    It will be very interesting to see the next generation 2022 Tundra. Reported to have a 400+HP Turbo V-6.  Will see....

    I hope it’s not too nice 😗 I’m installing a Magnuson supercharger in my 2011 Tundra with 106k miles this week. 

  10. And yet the “poorly” rated Tacoma outsold both the higher rated Ranger and Colorado by over two to one in 2020. 

    Personally, reliability carries more “weight” than payload or towing capability. It’s why I drive a Tundrasaurus over a much more feature laden and modern Ford, Ram or GM truck.

    Sorry for the thread drift.

    • Like 3
  11. It’s my dream vehicle. When Toyota announced the cancellation of the LC200, prices here went through the roof on new and certified used LC’s. Just can’t justify $80-90k when the Lexus LX is about the same price right now. 

  12. On 3/14/2021 at 12:24 PM, John E Davies said:

    You need another tow vehicle, yours is unsuitable for even the small Elite (5000 pounds). It would pull even the biggest Casita (2500 pounds), but the serious reliability and servicing issues (while traveling) would remain a constant hassle.


    It’s just too small and too weak for an Ollie.

    John Davies

    Spokane WA


    You mean the Land Rover isn’t as reliable as your Land Cruiser? 😉

    • Like 1
  13. 31 minutes ago, Minnesota Oli said:

    If I understand correctly you have to pull the control board from the AC and mount it somewhere in the opening so you can still use the furnace through the existing thermostat. If that is right could you describe the process.      

    I'll offer my two cents as to how I modified the relay board and box.  I removed the AC power lines from the box and reused the quick connect wire connectors from the Ollie's romex wire to the new Houghton AC lines.  I would normally use wire nuts or similar, but I assume OTT has had good results with the quick connectors and if they become problematic - they are easy to change. I opened up the Dometic relay box and removed the board from the box.  I removed the large AC relay (that controlled the compressor on the Dometic A/C) as described in a earlier post. I trimmed a couple of corners on the relay board using the pencil grinder and cut slots in the new box for the DC wire connections to/from the thermostat and furnace. I put the cover on the new box, connected the thermostat and furnace wires and attached high strength velcro to the box.  This smaller box fit nicely up in the void in the plenum (picture provided earlier). I did not save the freeze sensor from the Dometic A/C as the only use for it would be to prevent the "E5" error code that shows up when the Dometic thermostat is powered up.  It doesn't bother me and it doesn't affect the functionality of the thermostat in furnace mode.

    Sorry I didn't take a bunch of pictures.

  14. Sorry about my lack of clarity.

    Since the freeze sensor is of no use to me now (other than to make the relay box happy that one is connected) - I left it in the old Dometic a/c.  Might be more useful to someone who buys the unit.

    My CT thermostat isn't Bluetooth either, but I understand (maybe incorrectly) that some of the newer Ollies do have the BT version.

    As to the large relay - I took a pencil grinder (Dremel like tool) and carefully ground off the potting and most of the solder where the relay pins penetrate the board (this is on the back side of the board opposite the relay).  I then took my high temp soldering pencil and de-soldered one pin at a time - while simultaneously lifting gently on the relay with a small blade screwdriver.  The relay will lift further with each pin removal and will eventually just fall off when you get to the fourth pin. I cleaned up the solder holes (not neccessary) a bit too.

    I meant to look at the Progressive EMS to see what the load was with the Houghton unit running on high for a comparison with the Dometic, but I didn't.  I know the start up loads are higher than the running loads.  No, I haven't tried it with a generator since I have two Honda EU2200's, but I should try it with one just to see if it will start the A/C.

    • Thanks 2
  15. One minor detail I forgot to mention about the Dometic CT thermostat - normally the freeze sensor in the Dometic A/C unit is connected to the CT thermostat.  With the Dometic gone, the CT displays the error code "E5" when the thermostat is active.  You could fix this by buying a Dometic freeze sensor and plugging it into the relay box or I suspect just adding an appropriately sized resistor across the two terminals in the relay box. For now, the error code does not bother me and I hope to rarely use the gas fired heater - since the new Houghton unit is a heat pump.  We are not big cold weather campers.

    And thanks Russell, I hope our "experimentation" leads to an improved experience for Oliver buyers in the future.

    • Thanks 2
  16. 1 hour ago, SeaDawg said:

    We installed our Houghton 2801 today, and it's just great. Love it. 1 hour and 45 minutes, dumping the old, and installing new. Really nice design, and easy install. Whisper quiet.

    Hardest part was getting the monster Dometic Dino unit off the roof. At least we had three people.

    Thanks again, katanapilot, for the heads up on availability of the Houghton, through RecPro. 


    Outstanding news! I hope we are trendsetters and our experience encourages Oliver buyers to insist on a better cooling solution for these very nice and very expensive trailers. 

    We had a forklift, so the removal and installation on the roof wasn’t an issue. Glad you had plenty of help. 

    Here’s to years of quiet cooling while camping!

    • Thanks 1
  17. I completed the installation of the Houghton (RecPro) 13.5k BTU heat pump today.  Pretty happy overall with the installation and beyond happy with the quietness of the Houghton versus the Dometic.

    A couple of notes -

    1. The internal drain does not connect to the Houghton, so the condensate will drain down the roof.  Not a huge deal, but it will leave some stains and the Oliver installed drain was a nice feature that I have lost.

    2. The Houghton will not be connected to the Dometic CT thermostat - so you lose the Bluetooth feature of the CT. The Houghton does have a touchpad on the overhead plenum plus a remote.  You can use the CT thermostat to control the gas fired furnace.

    3.  I modified the relay board to remove all of the AC power features including the large relay that used to be connected to the compressor on the Dometic A/C. This allowed me to mount the relay board in a much smaller box (Hammond 1591GSBK that I bought from Newark). I had to make some small modifications to the board itself, as well.  I was able to velcro the relay box onto the side of the plenum attach bracket.

    4.  There will be two screw holes from the Dometic plenum that are not covered by the Houghton plenum.  I used white screw caps to cover these holes.

    I did noise measurements again today and here are the results -

    Location, Baseline measurement, Low Fan, High Fan with compressor running (all measurements "A" weighted DB)

    Front dinette seat (phone on table) - Dometic 35, 68, 71 Houghton 29, 49, 58

    Left bed (phone on bed at aft end) - Dometic 31, 70, 74 Houghton  28, 52, 63

    Standing under A/C (phone held at 5') - Dometic 32, 76, 78 Houghton 28, 56, 66

    Not sure why the baseline is so much quieter, other than I believe the hangar door was open when I was measuring the Dometic.  It was closed today for the Houghton measurements. 

    The Houghton has a medium fan speed as well and the measurements were about half way in between low and high fan.  Having the compressor running makes little difference in the sound level.

    So, in summary, the Houghton is a great modification for our Ollie and I highly recommend it. I hope OTT will evaluate these units and provide them as an option for future buyers.

    Pros - much quieter, more efficient, heat pump versus cool only, 13.5k BTU versus 11k.

    Cons - a little pricey versus Dometic, no internal drain capability, doesn't work with wall mounted thermostat. Installation I would rate moderate difficulty. I would estimate 3-4 hours of shop labor if you have it done at a shop.

    If you have questions, feel free to send me a message!

    7B246F9D-2130-4EDB-9E28-4B6AC3E7A81D.heic 3313E728-DA55-4EAE-A7FC-9EB592676E01.heic 872169D5-007A-4629-823D-458E0E10BFF4.heic

    • Thanks 2
    • Love 1
  • Create New...