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Given the numerous posts and prior experience with a Dometic noisemaker air conditioner, I have contemplated replacing the A/C unit on our brand new Oliver with an Atwood Air Command heat pump. I had done this previously on our MBS based motorhome and we were extremely pleased with the results.  That being said, I was aware of one Ollie owner who has an Air Command A/C factory installed in his Ollie and he indicated to me he wasn't thrilled with the noise level from it either.

So we agreed to take measurements using the same iPhone app and although not scientific, I am hopeful the results are different enough to warrant the change to the Air Command. My results are listed below and I expect John will weigh in at some point when he is able to take similar measurements on his Ollie.

Since I'm not sure I can attach an Excel file, the list will be in this order -

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

Front dinette seat (phone on table) - 35, 68, 71

Rear dinette seat (phone on table) - 34, 71, 72

Left bed (phone on bed at aft end) - 31, 70, 74

Right bed (phone on bed at aft end) - 32, 70, 73

Standing under A/C (phone held at 5') - 32, 76, 78

Looking forward to the comparison with the Atwood.

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FYI, Katanapilot and I agreed to use this IOS app to do the measurements.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/decibel-meter-sound-detector/id1254994873

There are others, some are more feature rich and expensive, but the basic version of this one works fine and is free. If there are any other iPhone owners who want to participate, please install that app and post your results. Don’t use a different one because that will mess up the results. I will try to get to “Mouse” to test the Air Command sound levels, but I am currently trapped in my bedroom with two HEPA filters running full bore, the Wildfire smoke AQI is slowly dropping from its high of nearly 550 Sunday. It is “only” 418 now. Maybe in a couple of days.....

I will also get measurements as the compressor kicks in. That snarl is significantly louder than its running sound level, and lots more irritating.

Stay safe everybody. Here is wishing everyone clear skies, cool temperatures and no fires.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

Edited by John E Davies
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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Thanks for doing the comparison - it will be interesting to see the results.  As perhaps some additional advice on getting accurate measurements, I know that the Sonos app asks you to remove any case on the iPhone and hold it upside down so that the microphone faces away from you. I’ve also read on the Sonos forum that you can get different results from different model iPhones, but I don’t know to what degree. So there’s an excuse for you both to go out and get the latest model. 😛

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Good luck with the smoke, John. 

Looking forward to your results when it's safe to do your test. Thanks to both of you!

Edited by SeaDawg

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Technomadia's latest youtube popped up on my phone yesterday,  discussing the flaws in their Travato. The ac (a Coleman Mach 10, old style) and its noise level and flimsy vents were some of their dislikes. Cheri mentioned both the new Coleman Mach 10 NDQ (NON DUCTED QUIET) and the Houghton unit from Advanced RV as possible replacements, noting the extremely high price of the Quiet AC from Advanced.

I remembered this youtube from James at Fit RV, measuring the db from his Dometic Penguin, then the Coleman NDQ. 

I thought it might be interesting to compare with your numbers.

https://www.thefitrv.com/rv-tips/the-pursuit-of-quiet-replacing-our-rvs-air-conditioner-again/

Sherry

Edited by SeaDawg
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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Thanks for the information and video. The other systems show some promise.

I’m really hoping that John provides sound level data that supports my desire to install the Air Command heat pump. Better cooling, quieter, lower amp draw plus it’s a heat pump as well. 
 

 

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Yes, at worst, you can compare the systems James tested, based on your readings. Especially since he started with the simular Dometic. 

I've also sent two emails, and tried to call Dometic,  about their Freshjet series, available in Europe,  but here, only in Happier Camper.

I'll keep trying.

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I measured the Attwood Air Command inside sound levels, using the same Decibel Meter app on my iPhone 6S, I did not remove the case (Otterbox Commuter). The trailer was inside the RV bay, AKA The Hanger deck, plugged into a 20 amp 115V wall outlet. All 110V AC breakers inside the trailer were turned off except for the air conditioner one. The app was set to measure dbA, which is what the human ear hears. I zeroed the display before each test. 

My system is different, it has Low/ Med/ High/ Auto fan speeds. The cabin fan runs off one small motor up on the roof  The compressor runs off a second small motor. Most other types have a single big motor with two shafts, driving both parts simultaneously at the same speed.

For reference: Katanapilot's measurents

Location, Baseline measurement, Low Fan, High Fan with compressor running

Front dinette seat (phone on table) - 35, 68, 71

Rear dinette seat (phone on table) - 34, 71, 72

Left bed (phone on bed at aft end) - 31, 70, 74

Right bed (phone on bed at aft end) - 32, 70, 73

Standing under A/C (phone held at 5') - 32, 76, 78

 

Attwood Air Command 16,000 BTU "equivalent" (rated at 13.5K), no heat strip.

Location, Baseline measurement, Low Fan, High Fan with compressor running

Front dinette seat (phone on table) - 34, 58, 63

Rear dinette seat (phone on table) - 34, 58, 63

Left bed (phone on bed at aft end) - 34, 58, 63

Right bed (phone on bed at aft end) - 34, 58, 63

Standing under A/C (phone held at 5') - 34, 64, 70

These numbers compare favorably to Attwood's own testing from this Powerpoint presentation:

1436948077_Attwoodscreeencapdecibels.thumb.png.fddd0d457ea870c13c44a05aa58961e8.png

An interesting note: The sound level is dominated by the cabin fan wind noise. The readings on High Fan and High Fan Compressor Running were identical. Other than the cold air pouring out, you could not audibly tell that the compressor was operating. This is very similar to the compressor noise level outside the trailer - with a quiet generator going twenty feet away, the AC sound on the roof is hardly perceptible when standing next to the hull. When you walk away a few feet, you can't hear it at all. It is very "neighbor friendly".

Compressor snarl: When running off the Yamaha generator (no soft start kit installed on the air conditioner) the compressor is louder when it kicks on, due to the voltage drop. It doesn't happen when plugged into a strong shore power circuit. I will try to test the sound when running off the generator to see what the sound level is.

My system was a custom install by the factory in early 2017, they no longer do this sort of mod on the production line. See the attached Attwood pdf files for more info.

I hope this helps. It does indeed seem to be much quieter overall. I have never been inside an Ollie with the standard unit running, so I had no way to know the real world differences. I can't say if it is worth the money and time to swap the Attwood for the Dometic, but the sound difference is certainly there. You would lose the electric heat strip, it is only available in the larger Attwood, which is way too big for an Ollie. Plus the condensation drips down the side of the roof, there is no belly drain. And the Olliver techs were not able to mate the AC with the digital thermostat, so I have to run it either from the drop down control panel or from the little remote control. None of these is a big deal for me.

One feature I do NOT like: because the unit is running off the thermostat attached to the bottom of the inside console, instead of from a wall stat on the far side of the pantry, the unit short cycles. When the cabin has cooled down to the desired temp, it cycles on and off too quickly. The cold air bouncing off the rear wall and overhead cabinet confuses the onboard controls. If it could be connected to a remote wall stat, this would not happen. It is irritating but not harmful.

John Davies

Spokane WA

RV Atwood Air Command Presentation2014.pdf RV Atwood Air Command Service Manual.pdf

Edited by John E Davies
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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Great information John. Assuming our phones are reasonably close in measurements (and the baseline numbers would confirm that they are) - the Atwood is approximately half as loud as the Dometic.  This corresponds very nicely to our experience in our MBS motorhome where we replaced a Dometic with an Atwood.

In that case, it was a ducted system and the unit sat directly over the dinette area.  We had to turn the fan off when we ate because the sound level was so high.  The Atwood cured that and we could easily converse over meals with the system even on high.  However, the ducted system did allow you to close off the "dump" vent right there at the grill and force all of the air through the ducts.  This is not possible on the non-ducted units of course.

I agree with your assessment of outside noise.  I can hear the Dometic running from a long way away and the Atwood is much quieter.

Now I just have to decide whether or not it's worth the time and expense to replace the a/c.  The Atwood is available as a heat pump, however it's 15K BTU which might be too much for the Ollie even in our hot and humid environment in the South. Time to do some additional research...

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Has anybody researched what air conditioners Australia uses on their campers?  They have some pretty slick travel trailers.  I think they use Gree RV Air Conditioner, that has Wifi and App control. 

I heard USA is now having parts problems due to the issues with China manufacturing.  I hope we bring this manufacturing back to the USA.

Here is a video I found:

 

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=gree+air+trailer+air+conditioner&docid=608003718196429842&mid=2E1BEB301125FFD3DBB62E1BEB301125FFD3DBB6&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

 

Video

 

 

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3 hours ago, Brad-Beth said:

Has anybody researched what air conditioners Australia uses on their campers?  They have some pretty slick travel trailers.  I think they use Gree RV Air Conditioner, that has Wifi and App control. 

The Attwood Air Command originated in Oz. I have never heard of the Gree. 
 

My personal feelings about Wifi and Bluetooth for RVs is, the less, the better. Certain exceptions like the VictronConnect are great, but for controlling the main systems, I want simple and reliable hard wired controls.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

 

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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19 hours ago, John E Davies said:

Location, Baseline measurement, Low Fan, High Fan with compressor running

Front dinette seat (phone on table) - 35, 68, 71

Rear dinette seat (phone on table) - 34, 71, 72

Left bed (phone on bed at aft end) - 31, 70, 74

Right bed (phone on bed at aft end) - 32, 70, 73

Standing under A/C (phone held at 5') - 32, 76, 78

 

Attwood Air Command 16,000 BTU "equivalent" (rated at 13.5K), no heat strip.

Location, Baseline measurement, Low Fan, High Fan with compressor running

Front dinette seat (phone on table) - 34, 58, 63

Rear dinette seat (phone on table) - 34, 58, 63

Left bed (phone on bed at aft end) - 34, 58, 63

Right bed (phone on bed at aft end) - 34, 58, 63

Standing under A/C (phone held at 5') - 34, 64, 70

I'm wondering if anyone has tested the 11,000-BTU Dometic A/A that is currently being installed in the newer models.  Is it substantially quieter (or even a tiny bit quieter) than the 13,500-BTU unit that I assume KatanaPilot measured as "baseline?"  

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The Dometic installed in my Oliver is an 11K BTU Dometic Penguin, so smaller capacity and twice as loud as John's Air Command. If someone has an earlier model that was built with the 13.5K units, I would be interested to see the sound measurements.

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A competitor—(not really cuz their floor still plywood) is releasing a new model 2021 and offering a lower sound AC — claiming 5 dB lower. Suppose Oliver will compete with similar option or standard unit? Also had available soft start option or might have been part of the unit. Can’t recall.

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Yes, RV air conditioners are noisy . . . . but we cope.  If it is really warm out, try to situate the trailer to take advantage of shade or in the least, park perpendicular to the sun as it goes down.  Use fans and windows strategically to get maximum circulation; use auxiliary fans when possible.  We don't attempt to sleep with the A/C running.  If it is extremely warm out we will run the A/C to cool the cabin down before retiring for the night.  We don't expect conditions to be as good as at home with our sophisticated HVAC systems;  Just thankful to have something to cool things down below 80 degrees.  I might feel differently if we were full-timers.

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin Hull# 699 - delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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Even a loud AC is way better than the summertime tent camping of my youth.  Living and camping in the southeast, an AC is required for most months of the year.  As I grow older and hearing loss gets worse, the AC seems to get quieter - strange how that works out.  We did plug a BOSE speaker into the speaker jack on the back of the television and turned off the Oliver 4-speaker system - this provides for directional and improved sound while watching television with the AC running.  Headphones is another option, but not as comfortable while in bed watching favorite shows.      

KWR


2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II, Hull#444


2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab, 4WD, Denali, Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 Engine with Allison 6-speed transmission

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Posted (edited)

The best solution that I've found is a set of comfortable noise cancelling headphones.  Mine are comfortable enough to sleep with and they eliminate the AC noise almost entirely.  The batteries will easily last the night.

Edited by Overland

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Posted (edited)

So, I  emailed Dometic about the Freshjet inverter compressor ac sold in Europe (and in Australia,  under a different name.) Several times, beginning mid September.

Over the last few weeks, I've had four responses, from several reps.  "Not available here. Sold in Europe. Don't know when, or, if it will be available in North America."

We have the largest market,  but apparently the least demanding. The Elkhart builders love "cheap." And, I think Dometic thinks what works for Elkhart,  works for all if us.

So disappointing,  so far. I'm going to keep on asking, though. I'd pay more, for quiet. And less power consumption. 

Ps, tried calling Dometic today. Spent 41 minutes on hold. I gave up. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by SeaDawg

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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On 10/8/2020 at 5:03 PM, SeaDawg said:

So, I  emailed Dometic about the Freshjet inverter compressor ac sold in Europe (and in Australia,  under a different name.) Several times, beginning mid September.

Over the last few weeks, I've had four responses, from several reps.  "Not available here. Sold in Europe. Don't know when, or, if it will be available in North America."

We have the largest market,  but apparently the least demanding. The Elkhart builders love "cheap." And, I think Dometic thinks what works for Elkhart,  works for all if us.

So disappointing,  so far. I'm going to keep on asking, though. I'd pay more, for quiet. And less power consumption. 

Ps, tried calling Dometic today. Spent 41 minutes on hold. I gave up. 

 

 

 

 

I wonder what some of the high-end upfitters use.  Ask one, like maybe Advanced RV.  They may know of a better product that's available in the U.S.

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin Hull# 699 - delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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The advanced rv/houghton system is really, really pricey. Here, and in Australia.  

I haven't given up hope yet on the  inverter compressor Dometic Freshjet showing up here someday soon, despite the Dometic responses . In Europe, a kit can be bought to allow it to run on 12v dc, eliminating the loss of using the inverter to cgange dc to 120 ac .

There are some dc ducted systems in vans, but they're kind of clunky installs, at least the ones I've seen. And, there are the systems designed for truck cabs, no idle zones.

Europe and Australia have had better systems from Dometic for close to a decade.  

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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