Jump to content

Some feedback on the Houghton air conditioner


Minnesota Oli

Recommended Posts

travel trailer units for sale
Find Oliver Inventory Travel Trailers for Sale
View Inventory
14 hours ago, IL_Travelers said:

Advanced RV will probably be the path we take.

 

Be sure whoever you choose for the installation understands the issue of retaining thermostat control for the LP furnace. Advanced RV is careful to point out that their retrofit cost does not include additionals for this when replacing a Penguin II. Quotes must include specific consideration for this issue.

  • Thanks 1
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Thanks for bringing that up, @bhncb. Since the newer olivers have a thermostat controlling both ac and furnace, that's a consideration.  Our older unit had a separate analog control for the furnace, and ac controls were on the inside unit of the ac, so our swap was much simpler. 

@IL_Travelers, I looked up current pricing at advanced rv. The $2500 is the ac unit, alone, installed, starts at $3143. That's a pretty good chunk of change, when the 13.5 low-profile unit is the same Houghton unit, same 2 year warranty.  We (three people, my husband and I, and a younger friend who did the rooftop work) completed our removal and install in under two hours, without the lift and scaffold that a shop would likely have. Last time we had anything done at an rv shop, shop time was roughly $150 an hour. That's  awhile ago, so probably more now.

If it were me, I'd check with local rv shops to see if someone near you would install a Houghton, and offer a complete quote,  including rewiring the existing Dometic thermostat, or replacing it with a simpler model for operating just the furnace. The Houghtons come with their own remote, and I  don't think any of their models accommodate a thermostat. 

Many rv shops do ac installs. You might even find a mobile service that would come to your place. Just a thought, since you have a price difference of over $1600 plus, to work with, plus a trip to Ohio. 

  • Like 2

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Replacing the Dometic CT thermostat with a simpler one would allow removal of the control box that must be stowed somewhere in the plenum of the new A/C. 

In hindsight, this would have been preferable to the control box mod we did simply to retain the CT thermostat.

If you are considering installing the Houghton, I would take a look at what type of thermostat is required to run the Suburban furnace and to verify the wiring from the CT thermostat.  If the wiring is compatible, then ditch the CT and it's digital control box and save yourself a couple hours of work.

  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators
19 minutes ago, katanapilot said:

  If the wiring is compatible, then ditch the CT and it's digital control box and save yourself a couple hours of work.

And, you'd be offering a complete system if/when you sell your used Dometic.

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a paragraph from Got Earplugs by katanapilot from My version of the Houghton AC install posted May 27.

As a sidenote halfway through the install I thought of a different way of doing the wiring for the thermostat. If a person replaced the LCD thermostat with a older manual style you could do away with the LCD relay board. If you look at the first picture that shows a group of wires that are in a black sheath, these are the control side of the wiring for the AC. In that group of wires there are two blue wires one with a white stripe. The one with the white stripe is hot 12 volts DC and the solid blue is the wire that goes to the furnace relay board. So re-allocate the existing thermostat wires by doubling them up ,two of them hooked to the solid blue and the other two hook to the blue with the white stripe. Then at the wall hook the two thermostat wires that are hooked to blue with white stripe to the power in on the new manual thermostat and the other two to the power out. The reason I would double them up is because of they're small gauge. This would do away with having to pull wires and using the LCD relay board. Also save you having to toggle through the unusable modes (heat strip, cool)  on the LCD thermostat to get to the furnace mode.

IMG_0860.thumb.jpg.e24d8b6991597a21250ae47b934868af.jpg

By re-allocate the existing thermostat wires and doubling them up ,two of them hooked to the solid blue and the other two hook to the blue with the white stripe. Now you are able to utilize wires that are already there saving you having to run new ones. Simply switch out the thermostat with one that does not need a control board.

Paul

  • Thanks 3
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am bringing my Ollie in for a full battery/solar/electrical upgrade in 2weeks. I asked service about installing a Houghton for me (I even offered to buy one and bring it with me) while the camper was there.  Unfortunately Oliver Service declined to do the install, which is too bad because I am reluctant to let any other RV service center work on it.

2019 Elite II Hull 435, 2022 Toyota Tundra

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators
2 hours ago, wolfdds said:

I am bringing my Ollie in for a full battery/solar/electrical upgrade in 2weeks. I asked service about installing a Houghton for me (I even offered to buy one and bring it with me) while the camper was there.  Unfortunately Oliver Service declined to do the install, which is too bad because I am reluctant to let any other RV service center work on it.

I'm sorry to hear that. It would be a perfect opportunity for Oliver to see the differences in the Dometic and the Houghton. 

I know they haven't installed any other brands since around 2017 or so, but it's not totally surprising,  but disappointing. 

  • Thanks 1

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

I know that due to some health related issues the Service department is currently a bit shorthanded.  I'd like to think that this is the reason that they have declined your request.

I doubt that within the next two weeks things will change very much.  If you can wait, I'd suggest dropping Jason Essary an email ( jessary@olivertraveltrailers.com ) and mention that you'd like them to do this install for you.  Include what you have said above!

Good luck.

Bill

  • Thanks 1

2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

Near Asheville, NC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Surprised you couldn’t talk them into a slight modification like this when it’s on your own dime. Especially with the investment you’re making to upgrade the batteries and solar.  I was hoping for some upgrades in the 2022 model year regarding the electrical system and AC unit. With the huge price increase for ‘22 orders this year they could provide the new technology without disappointing the customers receiving trailers this year.  If this is the new company wide philosophy regarding keeping the fleet upgraded and current I think I’m going to own the only ZERO option unit delivered next year.  All my upgrade budget will flow to another installer…I guess I should start shopping around. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

There are other no option Oliver  trailers out there. The base model is hardly "base" compared to most. A base model is really, really nice, imo.

My experience has been, the more people who ask, the more likely something is to change, eventually.

But, it can take time. Especially in  these days of fragile supply chains, and covid. Considering all the new trucks sitting on lots without chips, and all the sob brand rv dealers sitting without or with limited  inventory to sell, I think Oliver has done a remarkable job, keeping up, personally.  

It will get better. I'm sure of that.

 

  • Like 1

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometimes I don't really get Oliver's service department.  I mean, it's a business that one assumes makes money for the company, and therefore the more work the better.  Especially when the work has R&D possibilities for the production team.  

Maybe they're just too busy or short handed.

  • Thanks 1
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators
14 minutes ago, Overland said:

Maybe they're just too busy or short handed.

I'm guessing,  the latter. 

Short-handed seems to be the rule, these days. Everywhere. 

I was on hold for 45 minutes, last night, with a vendor. Customer service agent apologized,  as usual.  Not enough people. 

I'm looking forward to more normal days, soon.

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators
22 hours ago, Overland said:

Especially when the work has R&D possibilities for the production team

I agree with that, entirely. 

So many of our current Oliver upgrades and options have come, at least in part,  from customer custom requests, and successful owner upgrades. Starting with the solar package in 2008, continuing with instantaneous water heaters, and lithium batteries, today, among others.

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...
On 9/8/2021 at 5:08 AM, NCeagle said:

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.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On a related note, I talked to Jason at Sales yesterday and I asked what the plans are for the Truma A/Cs. He said all the units they are getting are earmarked for new construction 2023 units. Truma has not made units available for aftermarket installs yet. Their entire production is going to manufacturers for new units. Jason's theory/opinion: if the A/Cs turn out to be well-received as new unit components, Truma might ramp up production and start selling to the aftermarket. Jason thinks OTT will offer them as a retrofit if/when that happens.

  • Like 2

Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

Where we've been RVing since 1999:

ALAZCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNMNYNCNDOHOKORPASCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYmed.jpg.b96241bad6752dec89d25af6ffbc8d99.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Steph and Dud B said:

On a related note, I talked to Jason at Sales yesterday and I asked what the plans are for the Truma A/Cs. He said all the units they are getting are earmarked for new construction 2023 units. Truma has not made units available for aftermarket installs yet. Their entire production is going to manufacturers for new units. Jason's theory/opinion: if the A/Cs turn out to be well-received as new unit components, Truma might ramp up production and start selling to the aftermarket. Jason thinks OTT will offer them as a retrofit if/when that happens.

They would be crazy to offer them on the ‘22’s, they need to hold back some features to offset the price increase. A few months ago I predicted the the used trailer upgrade price would be around 3k. Now my guess is just south of $4k.  I’ve shifted my attention to the Houghton 9500 to install myself for the (my projected) $3k savings. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Hello from Hull 275, an Oliver Ellite ll 2017. I have been wanting to replace the Dometic air conditioner because my wife HATES the noise even when using earplugs. So I went to last week to D&N RV service located in Guntersville and asked to order me the Houghton H3400 caravan air conditioner. They placed the order and 3 days later they called me to tell me that it had arrived. Today, Monday August 23, I took the trailer at 8 am and they had it installed by 1 pm.  This unit is a game changer, it is so quiet that my wife and I can have a conversation and watch tv within the horrendous noise we used to have with the Dometic unit. The remote control is great as I can have it on the nightstand and change the temperature without getting up. It doesn’t need the soft start as it has a ramps up without it. The only drawback was that they could not drain it with the drain that the Dometic use that drains the water down below the bottom of the camper but I will be installing a gutter so it doesn’t run down the window. Best ever. By the way the RV tech is name Brandon and he has won twice the National Championship of RV Techs. This was his first time installing this type of unit and he loves the unit. So it you are in the Guntersville area and want to have them exchange your unit, give them a visit. 

E8F43CCA-4287-4AC0-B499-98B47AF35B2E.jpeg

16BADC26-B181-4264-8444-CA619E79A8A2.jpeg

  • Thanks 1
  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...