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Old 05-15-2021, 08:45 AM   #1
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RecPro Air Conditioners for E21C

I just came across a thread "21' Ne air conditioner" posted 6/8/20. I can't post a link because I don't know how. It refers to several E19 owners installing Recpro's 13.5K model RP-AC3400 ACs built by Houghton. It is low profile , non-ducted with heat strip and soft start. It is very quite and highly rated. It is however 3 1/2" linger than the Dometic installed by ETI. Recpro offers 2 other models that interest me.
RP-AC2801 9.5K: Quite with soft start, no heat strip. According to several members it is sized right for a 21C. The problem they have been out of stock for many months. I have call once a month for the past 4 months and they have no expected delivery date. The other is :

RP-AC3501: quite with soft start, not low profile and no heat strip. It is 1" shorter than the Dometic so it should have no problem fitting on an E21C.

I have completed my build sheet for an 8/4/21 delivery w/o an AC unit. Being without AC is not an option for us. I can't wiat much longer for the 9.5K units so I have to choose between the (2) 13.5K ACs. I would prefer the AC3400 low profile w/ heat strip. It's $13500 vs $950 but at this point that doesn't matter. Being 3 1/2" longer the best I can questimate from scaling photos of the ACs is that It will extend 2 1/2 " further aft of the vent opening.

The big question, Will it fit on the raised reinforced roof area of a E21C and also clear the factory installed solar panel. If anyone has any information It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Jim A.

Update: My guestimate for the distance from the aft end of the vent opening to the rear of the shroud is 23 3/4" and since the shroud tapers toward the bottom, the bottom of the shroud at the aft end is about 22 1/4" from the aft end of the vent openin.g
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Old 05-15-2021, 09:47 AM   #2
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Sorry you can't find the 9.5K Houghton in stock. I guess we got lucky. I just finished installing ours and so far it seems pretty good. Much quieter than the Dometic which, from the videos I've seen, sounds like a jet engine. Still, it's an air conditioner that is right above your head, so there is some noise.

There is plenty of space between this unit and the rear solar panel so I doubt you will have a problem with 3-1/2" of additional length. Also, the 9.5K sits on several foam pads aft of the roof opening. So even if the larger unit extends a bit over the lower area of the roof it should be adequately supported. I'll try to post a few photos of our install later.
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Old 05-15-2021, 01:28 PM   #3
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Sorry you can't find the 9.5K Houghton in stock. I guess we got lucky. I just finished installing ours and so far it seems pretty good. Much quieter than the Dometic which, from the videos I've seen, sounds like a jet engine. Still, it's an air conditioner that is right above your head, so there is some noise.

There is plenty of space between this unit and the rear solar panel so I doubt you will have a problem with 3-1/2" of additional length. Also, the 9.5K sits on several foam pads aft of the roof opening. So even if the larger unit extends a bit over the lower area of the roof it should be adequately supported. I'll try to post a few photos of our install later.
Don, thanks for your reply. Pictures would be great. Are the foam blocks a standard item that are included with the AC. My plan is to have the AC shipped to Bellingham WA and have it installed shortly after picking it up at Sumas. I did you find any installation with the unit?
Thanks again
Jim A.
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Old 05-15-2021, 02:42 PM   #4
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Here are a couple of photos of the 9.5K. The manual that comes with it has basic installation instructions. We used a 12’ ladder and two double pulleys for mechanical advantage to hoist it to the roof. The foam spacers come attached to the underside of the roof unit.
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Old 05-15-2021, 05:58 PM   #5
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Here are a couple of photos of the 9.5K. The manual that comes with it has basic installation instructions. We used a 12 ladder and two double pulleys for mechanical advantage to hoist it to the roof. The foam spacers come attached to the underside of the roof unit.
Don, It looks Gooood! Sleek and a nice fit. I looks like it comes close to the end of the raised area. From the photos on the RecPro site it is easy to see they foam pads on the 9.5K model. The 13.5K model AC3400 photos of the bottom are in black and it is difficult to determine the pad locations. If there is a pad close to the back end I think it may be beyond the end of the raised area. I'll try to contact RecPro Monday. Thanks for your input and congratulations on a job well done.
Jim A.
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Old 05-15-2021, 06:35 PM   #6
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Worst case is you have to peal off the pads and reposition. The unit come right to the end of the raised portion of the roof, but the large pad is positioned further forward, then there are a couple of others closer to the rear edge. I don't think it would be too hard to move them. Hope it works out for you.
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Old 07-23-2021, 02:17 PM   #7
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I just received a Houghton 2801 9,500 from RecPro and also have a 21 foot escape. Just wondering what you used to seal the roof mount to your trailer. Installation manual said to use a sealant. I have not installed mine yet. Now that that yours has been in use how does it cool your trailer?
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Old 07-24-2021, 04:45 PM   #8
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I used Dicor self-leveling sealant, since it is what was available locally. I also did a modification to move the temperature sensor from inside the plenum to outside, which was necessary for me to get adequate performance. It's described in this post https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...tml#post390938
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Old 07-24-2021, 09:45 PM   #9
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Thanks for the update on your installation. I am in hopes the 9,500 will be enough to cool the trailer.
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Old 07-26-2021, 07:18 PM   #10
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Does it cool and heat well?

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Originally Posted by DWM3 View Post
Here are a couple of photos of the 9.5K.
Thanks for posting the pictures.

What's your experience? Does it heat and cool your 21C as expected? Is it quiet as claimed?

73/gus
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Old 07-27-2021, 03:48 PM   #11
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So far we are happy with the Houghton 9.5K. It seems to be about as quiet as can be expected from a non-ducted AC that is right over your head (I'm pretty noise sensitive). We haven't had it in temps over 90 degrees, so I can't be sure how it will do in, say 100+, but I expect it will perform well. Also, see my reference above for the mod I did to make it cool properly.

Note: there is no heat provided with this model, only cooling. I prefer that because if I need heat when we have electric hookup I'll use a small space heater that is quieter than the AC fan and probably more efficient.
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Old 08-13-2021, 06:11 AM   #12
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Heater thermostat ???

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Originally Posted by DWM3 View Post
Note: there is no heat provided with this model, only cooling. I prefer that because if I need heat when we have electric hookup I'll use a small space heater that is quieter than the AC fan and probably more efficient.
We are installing the Houghton AC3400 (13,500 BTU heat pump) this weekend, which will not use the Dometic thermostat.

What did you do for a thermostat to control your Dometic DFSAD12 heater?

73/gus
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Old 08-13-2021, 07:35 AM   #13
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We are installing the Houghton AC3400 (13,500 BTU heat pump) this weekend, which will not use the Dometic thermostat.

What did you do for a thermostat to control your Dometic DFSAD12 heater?

73/gus
Sorry to jump in. I too have the Houghton sitting in my shop waiting on delivery of the 21C. I would love to hear how the install goes, especially your method of getting the A/C unit on top of the Escape.

Thanks,

Ryan
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Old 08-13-2021, 08:20 AM   #14
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My furnace is Atwood hydro flame AFS. What I did was locate the two wires that come from the furnace to the Dometic passed dielectric box. (Gray box in plenum) that has all the wiring to control the Dometic A/C and thermostat. Mine are green and white. All those wires do is complete a connection which is all the thermostat does. To check them turn on your 12 volts system pull the two wires from the gray box ( mine were the last two side by side on one end of where all the wires attach) ( another hint is they will have wire connection ends that ETI attaches and they will be obvious different looking from the factory wire ends that plug into the passed dielectric box with all the tags attached) touch them together and your furnace will start. All the thermostat does for heat is make and break the connection to start or stop the furnace. You will find at least three wires that go to your thermostat. ETI was not consistent on mine they spliced two of the thermostat wires somewhere in the wall instead of getting a longer wire and running it. Plus they did not use the same thermostat wire and instead it was larger gage, different color and jammed into the thermostat. Poor / lazy workmanship on their part. Your thermostat wire should be stranded and with a gray covering over the two wires. They run three wires to the Dometic thermostat. You will only need two. (Third wire is separate) The thermostat you can use which works great is a Honeywell Home Thermostat TH1100DV 1000 Pro Digital 2 wire. Uses 2 double AA Batteries. Even though it says for 24-volt system they work great. You can check them out on other forums if you like. It’s a common work around for the old analog thermostats. Sounds complicated but really isn't.
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Old 08-13-2021, 09:33 AM   #15
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Installed Houghton 13.5 on new 5th wheel last week. No problems other than seal underneath A/C came attached. Instructions were to put sealant down around A/C seal then lower A/C into cutout. Difficult to align and minimize weight on roof. My son and I were able to lift A/C unit up to roof using A frame ladder. Put plywood sheet down and then lower A/C into position with one of us on top astride A/C and the other inside.
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Old 08-13-2021, 09:50 AM   #16
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I used a block and tackle to get the old dometic off my roof 21 C and slid the Houghton up an extension ladder with help. It weighs about 65 lbs not to hard. I have been on the roof several times and it will support you without any problems. I could lift my unit without much trouble. Mine is the 9500 BTU unit A2801 which does not use the seal you mentioned. Used butyl 3/4" wide tape.
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Old 08-17-2021, 12:19 PM   #17
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Installation complete

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Originally Posted by Ryanb-72 View Post
Sorry to jump in. I too have the Houghton sitting in my shop waiting on delivery of the 21C. I would love to hear how the install goes, especially your method of getting the A/C unit on top of the Escape.
Have a separate thread for our installation.

73/gus
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