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Some feedback on the Houghton air conditioner


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Besides the huge improvement in the sound level there is also another area where it surpasses the Dometic AC that I had replaced. The Houghton with the compressor running draws 10 amps while the Dometic was pulling 16 amps. So I decided to install a second transfer switch for the air conditioner to test it running off the batteries.

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It was 11 o'clock in the morning on a cloudless sunny day the temperature was 88 degrees. I had my batteries 400 Ah fully charged with 340 watts on the roof and 230 watts remote ready to feed it. I set the thermostat at 70 degrees and turned on the AC. Once it brought the temperature down to 70 I noticed it was cycling four minutes on with the compressor and four minutes off. I left it running until about 5 o'clock and was surprised to see that the batteries were at 97 percent. So I was happy with those results but time will tell if that is the norm.

 

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I put the picture in to also show it's nice low profile.

 

Paul

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Looks great, with your low profile fan, too.

I'm curious about the relatively short cycles. We haven't experienced this, but we have a smaller unit, and  smaller trailer.

I'd like to see a wider range in temp with the thermostat setup. We haven't been able to use our Houghton, much.

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9 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

Looks great, with your low profile fan, too.

I'm curious about the relatively short cycles. We haven't experienced this, but we have a smaller unit, and  smaller trailer.

I'd like to see a wider range in temp with the thermostat setup. We haven't been able to use our Houghton, much.

Yes I was thinking about the short cycles also and a possible explanation would be the trailer internal temperature had not stabilized yet since I only stayed long enough for it to drop to temp set on thermostat. I did stop in to check the batteries couple times during the 6 hour test but neglected to  check cycle time. I have also not used it much ether.

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When we were installing our smaller unit, I remember seeing something like a temp probe, that we pushed away from the big, fabricky air chute. 

When we get to run ours longer, we'll see what it does. If it starts to  do really short cycles in hot summer weather, I'll pull the interior shroud and see if we can push it further away from air circulation.  Sorry now that I didn't take more photos. But, I  was a bit busy...

 

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2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Yes, they fit in the same rough opening.  We did have to file a couple rough spots in the opening of our 2008. The plastic insert collar that is the first step, and most important,  is a very tight fit. The old Dometic didn't require tight tolerances. (Remember,  we were replacing 2008 equipment. )  Less than a minute with a file fixed everything. 

There is a very measurable difference in sound level. I don't have an expensive  meter, just a download db meter, but between that, and my own ears, the noise difference is quite huge.

I'll look for my old posts.

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Here's a link to @katanapilot thread. My db ratings are there, (scroll down) and some short videos.  You can hear me speaking,  in a normal voice, well above the background sound of the ac running on high. It is an amazing difference.

There's a lot of injected foam in the upper unit. We used a closed cell foam seal, rather than the recommended sealant, for the upper unit. Time will tell if that was best, but no leaks so far, and I  thought the foam might give a better seal, and eliminate a bit of  the snare drum effect  of shroud on fiberglass...

The air chute is some kind of fabricky stuff, vs metal, all of which, I'm sure makes a difference.

The thing I'm not fond of is the big round air intake on top, no screens. We haven't (yet) added a screen. Imstead, we use a vinyl drawstring cover over the ac when not in use (most of the time, for us.)

We have the smaller 9.5k unit, and I  think we're the only ones, so far. As such, we don't get heat from ours, only cool. 13.5v unit has a heat pump. Totally ok with us, as we rarely have electricity. 

(No leaks, even with a foot if rain, in 28 hours last month, in WNC.)

If you want any more info, I'll try to answer your questions.  Fortunately or unfortunately,  we chase the cooler weather, and haven't used the new unit much. Just a week or two in Florida,  cleaning up and packing up.

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2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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We have used our Houghton extensively this summer in the hot NC climate as well as on several camping trips.  First, I run our Houghton off of the Lithium batteries (as Minnesota Oli mentioned above) all the time.  I also run it off of a small 2400W generator with no issues - and no Soft Start.

I have very little experience with the original Demonic AC that came with the Ollie because after trying unsuccessfully to run the AC and sleep (or think or talk for that matter), the Houghton was virtually my first (and in hindsight still the best) upgrade / mod.

I talked to Houghton a while back about the cycling and they said it is working as designed (4 minute cycles when close to the set temp).  I have the proprietary formula they use and they asked me not to share it publicly, but if anyone wants it PM me and I'll find it.  I typically put the AC on 60F and it cools quicker without the cycling.  Then when it's close to the temp I want I back it off and let it maintain with the cycles.

The dehumidifier works amazingly well too.  Actually, both the AC or the dehumidifier set low (like 60F) take out tons of water very quickly.  Water does run off of the roof with the Houghton, so I just used some EZ gutters to divert the water to the back - rather than running down the sides and/or and getting into the window tracks, etc.

It has a heat pump that I haven't used yet, and I'll likely stick with the gas furnace for heat and only use the Houghton heat as a backup.

So far I give the Houghton a 10 out of 10 when compared to the competition.

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53 minutes ago, NCeagle said:

Water does run off of the roof with the Houghton, so I just used some EZ gutters to divert the water to the back - rather than running down the sides and/or and getting into the window tracks, etc.

What a great idea!

Thanks for the detailed info.

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2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I am seriously looking at the Houghton A/C sound numbers and they are "music to my ears"!  

From what I have read, the Dometic is 11 1/4" tall.  The Houghton 13.5 unit is 13 1/2" tall.  The Houghton 9.5 unit is 9" tall.

My "dark barn" floor to rafters just barely allows the Dometic, but would not allow the larger (13.5) Houghton.  Hence, I am looking at the 9.5 unit for my 2018 LE2.

Some questions:

     A.  When did Oliver change from the 13.5 Dometic to the 11.0 units?  See later post with questions

     B.  Does anyone have hot weather experience with the 9.5 unit in their LE2?

Thank you,

thanks for the correction.  Please disregard this post.

Edited by Geronimo John
I did not recognize that Houghton has a low profile unit. Thereby making this post moot.

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Houghton has two 13.5 units, though both were too wide (and overkill) for our elite, I didn't study them closely.

I think I'm the only one, so far, with the 9 .5, which is quiet, and nice. Cools my elite quickly . No heat in the smaller unit. Just ac and dehumidifier. 

Take another look at the 2 13.5 units. One is rather tall. Other is lower profile. 

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2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Call recpro to confirm, but the low profile 13. 5  unit shows 9" height, like my smaller 9.5.

This would likely shave 2 or 3 inches from your dometic height, but may be wider and/or a bit longer . 

Screenshot_20210909-221615_Chrome.jpg

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Let’s recap…10 amp vs 16, low profile to compliment the sleek Oliver, and quiet operation.  How is this (or something similar) not an option on new builds?

This is a game changer for individuals running off lithium. The lower draw along with possibly increased solar capacity would make all the difference. It would also facilitate charging the house batteries with the AC on with a 2200 size generator. 

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This ac is only recently available in the US, other than the wildly expensive (same) unit from advanced rv. 

It has been off and on backorder since intro. I waited several weeks for mine. I could do that. A manufacturer can't. 

I'm grateful that we're finally seeing new, quieter, more efficient units in the USA, instead of just eu and Australia. I suspect,  when supply chain issues become resolved,  this type of unit could become a consideration. 

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2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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We replaced the stock 11K BTU Dometic Penguin (A/C only) with the 13.5K BTU RecPro/Houghton Heat Pump (Cool and Heat) on our Elite II.  Lower profile than the Dometic, lower amp draw and as has been mentioned frequently, less than half the noise level. Great to hear it will run on the inverter, although probably only on the lithium models.

The price has gone up a bit from RecPro, but you can get 5% off if you sign up for their emails. https://www.recpro.com/rv-air-conditioner-low-profile-13-5k-quiet-ac-with-heat-pump-remote-non-ducted/

Still the best $1300+ we have spent on the Ollie (besides the Ollie itself).

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8 hours ago, ChrisMI said:

It looks like the Houghton models spec out at 1370w and 1550w for the 9.5 and 13.5. The dometic 11k list out at 1382w.  @Minnesota Oli was the amp draw on the low setting and did you replace a 13.5 or 11k unit?  

My old AC was 13.5 Dometic the new is Houghton 13.5   I had the fan on auto and the compressor was running and it was show 10 amp draw.

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I would love to swap out our Dometic AC for the Houghton on our 2021 LE II; however, I would need it to pay a service company to get the job done.  Does anyone know of a full-service company anywhere that would safely and professionally exchange the units?  

Have Ollie, will travel.

 

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I keep going back to this thread.  The 10 amps and only running 50% of the time to keep the trailer cool really is amazing. In theory (like you experimented with) 600 ish watts of solar can pretty much keep up with the AC under ideal conditions during the day. 
 

@SeaDawg Do you have the ability to measure current draw of your 9.5k unit w/ the AC on and fan on low?

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@ChrisMI, We're home for a week, and trailer is in storage. I haven't taken the cover off the ac, all summer. No need to, at elevation.  I've needed a light  blanket, more than ac. A small fan has been fine on "hot" nights, in the high 70s.

When I bring the trailer home, it may be necessary.  I'll check then. I don't know if Paul has the appropriate meter in his arsenal, but, we have a bunch of meters. Possibly. 

Whether you could be comfortable with a 9.5, in the larger trailer,  is debatable. My suspicion is, yes, unless you camp in the desert in summer, but I really don't know. We have the smaller 2008 Elite. Less cf to cool.

Also, keep in mind, if it's at all important to you, that the 9.5 only has cool and dehumidifier modes. No heat pump.

Our main concerns with our replacement was the lower and narrower profile, so that we could adjust our bigger solar panels,  without hitting the ac. In retrospect,  I could have replaced the old Dometic with a $50 manual vent, and been fine, for as seldom as we use ac.

I'm sorry we didn't take readings when we installed the ac, and used it at home in Florida.  I didn't think very many people would be interested,  except for the db  measurements. 

Those were great. It's very, very quiet. It cools our smaller trailer quickly,  in 90+ weather. If that's enough in the bigger Elite, I couldn't say.

 

 

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On 9/11/2021 at 3:57 PM, IL_Travelers said:

I would love to swap out our Dometic AC for the Houghton on our 2021 LE II; however, I would need it to pay a service company to get the job done.  Does anyone know of a full-service company anywhere that would safely and professionally exchange the units?  

Have Ollie, will travel.

 

I don't know if they will do a modification like this, but have you reached out to Oliver service?  Maybe they would consider it and might be a good opportunity for them to discover how quiet the Houghton/RecPro units really are!

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On 9/11/2021 at 12:57 PM, IL_Travelers said:

I would love to swap out our Dometic AC for the Houghton on our 2021 LE II; however, I would need it to pay a service company to get the job done.  Does anyone know of a full-service company anywhere that would safely and professionally exchange the units?  

Have Ollie, will travel.

 

I found this company but it's too far from WA. Maybe you are closer?

https://www.upfittersresource.com/collections/frontpage/products/quiet-air-conditioner-for-mercedes-benz-sprinter

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Advanced rv in Ohio  has been installing the Quiet AC (made by Hiughton)  for some time. It's the same or similar Houghton units several of us have installed, from recpro, though the new interior grille/adb is much nicer in ours, than in your photos. Katanapilot was the first. We have all been quite happy,  so far .

By doing the installs ourselves, we saved a lot. In my case, our 9500 unit was less than $1000, usd. It's gone up a bit. The larger unit is more .

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Thank you everyone for these suggestions about Advanced RV!  We are currently camping at Wild West Campground & Corral near Amherst, WI.  I just now saw your messages and am overjoyed to think we could get this done in Ohio.  That would certainly be a doable trip from Illinois.  

Although I must say that we are sort of getting accustomed to the jet plane loudness, we have not yet faced any long-term use during seriously hot weather.  Like many of you, we lean toward trips in the cooler climes.  Still, we like to be prepared and think Advanced RV will probably be the path we take.

We appreciate everyone and their expertise.  This forum is so cool.

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2021 Legacy Elite II  Twin Beds   "R-Villa" ~ Hull #803 

2021 GMC Denali HD, 6.6 L Duramax Turbo-Diesel, 10-speed Allison

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