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Old 08-16-2021, 02:50 PM   #1
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Houghton A3400 heat pump install

Completed removing our ETI installed Dometic 640310C451C0 11,000 BTU air conditioner and installing a Houghton Bellaire A3400 13,500 BTU heat pump. Attached are some highlight images.

This was a straightforward weekend project. Most time consuming part was removing the old Dometic silicone sealant and cleaning the roof. We did not need to get on the roof. We used two 8-foot step ladders and a pulley hoist system.

We measured before and after sound levels using the NIOSH Sound Level Meter app with our iPhone setting on the kitchen counter (1 minute average). Dometic was about 71 dB. Houghton with compressor on and high fan is about 60 dB and about 51 dB with compressor on and low fan.

We are really happy with this mod. We can now hold a normal conversation and sleep with the air conditioning on. We hope ETI offers this heat pump option.

73/gus
Attached Thumbnails
dometic_driveOut_IMG_4088.jpg   roof_ready_IMG_4097.jpeg   hoist_position_IMG_4112.jpeg   hooughton_inPlace_IMG_20A668E58881-1.jpg   plenumPlate_allBolts_IMG_4132.jpeg  

insideCover_Installed_IMG_4137.jpeg  
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Old 08-16-2021, 03:23 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gklott View Post
... We measured before and after sound levels using the NIOSH Sound Level Meter app with our iPhone setting on the kitchen counter (1 minute average). Dometic was about 71 dB. Houghton with compressor on and high fan is about 60 dB and about 51 dB with compressor on and low fan. ...


Congrats, Gus and family - that's a meaningful improvement, I can understand why y'all are happy with this mod!
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Old 08-16-2021, 04:20 PM   #3
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Nice install! I'm going to do the same
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Old 08-16-2021, 09:08 PM   #4
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Nice work, it maybe in the cards down the line
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Old 08-16-2021, 11:42 PM   #5
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Congratulations! We had the Houghton 9500 BTU AC installed in our 5.0TA. Have not seen it yet as the camper is in the shop that installed it for different reasons.
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Old 08-17-2021, 12:10 AM   #6
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That thing looks huge up top. The lower noise level certainly is worth any minor cosmetic issue, though.
I certainly hope they didn't actually use silicone on the old A/C, and that you didn't use it on the new one!
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Old 08-17-2021, 05:26 AM   #7
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Longer, wider, shorter, lighter, cooler

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike G View Post
That thing looks huge up top. The lower noise level certainly is worth any minor cosmetic issue, though.
From product manuals.

Dometic Penguin II
Length 40-1/2"
Width 29"
Height 11-1/4"
Weight 113 lbs
Rating 11,000 BTU

Houghton AC3400
Length 44-3/16"
Width 33-1/2"
Height 8-13/16"
Weight 106 lbs
Rating 13,500 BTU

73/gus
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Old 08-17-2021, 09:50 AM   #8
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AC3400 installed street side view

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike G View Post
That thing looks huge up top. The lower noise level certainly is worth any minor cosmetic issue, though.
Attached image is a street side perspective, which does not use a wide angle lens. We notice the lower height, sleeker, and cleaner appearance.

The more images we post highlight that we need to clean all the roof!

73/gus
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ac3400_streetSide_IMG_4113.jpg  
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Old 08-17-2021, 10:51 AM   #9
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Longer, wider, shorter, lighter, cooler

Daft Punk fan?

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Old 08-17-2021, 10:56 AM   #10
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Not a fan

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Daft Punk fan?
Had to look them up in Wikipedia. First heard of the French duo.

73/gus
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Old 08-17-2021, 11:18 AM   #11
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Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

This is the title of one of their hits that sounds a bit like your description.

Graham
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Old 08-17-2021, 01:13 PM   #12
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Outstanding, Gus! I may have to run up to Johnson City to see your rig sometime. I'm just down 281 off 306, north side of Canyon Lake.
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Old 08-19-2021, 01:31 PM   #13
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For sale: Dometic Penguin II 11000

Listed the carefully removed Dometic Penguin II described in this thread via the forum classified. $380 OBO, local pickup only.

Includes EasyStart 364 (3-ton) Soft Starter installed.

73/gus
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Old 08-19-2021, 01:51 PM   #14
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Thats a good deal for you and someone who needs an AC system
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Old 08-19-2021, 02:12 PM   #15
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Dometic includes EasyStart 364 installed

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Originally Posted by sofmerc View Post
Thats a good deal for you and someone who needs an AC system
Thanks. It's even a better deal with the EasyStart 364 (3-ton) Soft Starter installed. Forgot to mention that.

73/gus
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Old 08-19-2021, 08:50 PM   #16
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Do you think the 13,500 BTU will be too large and short cycle? Your in a very hot area as I am. The 9500 BTU has been touted here as the right size, but I'm inclined to go with the 13,500 like you did. ETI offered the 13,500 Coleman because peeps wanted more cooling so I would think there is some logic to it. Was the 11000 BTU Dometic adequate, aside from the noise issue?
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Old 08-19-2021, 11:15 PM   #17
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Competition lives on.
Thank goodness.
Perhaps Dometic will redesign their A/C systems to meet and exceed Houghton's heat pump.
Whatever the case, improvements are made as a result of competition.
And it works in all things.
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Old 08-20-2021, 10:04 AM   #18
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Unknown - not enough data

Quote:
Originally Posted by sofmerc View Post
Do you think the 13,500 BTU will be too large and short cycle? Your in a very hot area as I am. The 9500 BTU has been touted here as the right size, but I'm inclined to go with the 13,500 like you did.
We do not know yet.

You raise a good point. Using ACCA Manual J sizing calculators, the Houghton AC2801 9500 BTU unit is adequate, given the trailer volume, low R-value ceilings and walls, two occupants, 9 windows, and interior heat loads (cooktop). Yet Manual "J" makes many residential assumptions, and I question its direct applicability to RVs like ours. I also question how Manual D air flow calculations apply to our RV direct-plenum air distribution box.

Thus, not being a mechanical engineer, an empirical approach seems the best way forward. We are instrumenting our new AC with power and temperature meters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sofmerc View Post
Was the 11000 BTU Dometic adequate, aside from the noise issue?
Prior to our purchase, we read about others using the AC2801 and AC3400 in 19', 21', and 5.0 ETI trailers. Most seem quite happy with them.

When traveling, parked in afternoon direct sun (i.e., open RV park), and summer temps in mid to upper 90ºs, we noticed that the 11,0000 BTU Dometic seemed to rarely turn off. Our trailer stayed mostly around or above 80º until near sunset.

This was especially noticeable when we stayed in Mojave, Owens Valley, Las Vegas, Mesa, Tucson, and south Texas areas with temp > 100º. We noticed similar always-on operation under afternoon summer conditions near Pensacola, FL, meaning >90º, ~90% humidity, and mostly direct sun.

John in Santa Cruz
and cityofdestiny describe experiences similar to ours. alanmalk describes a different experience.

We like the idea of running our AC3400 with low fan to minimize noise. Thus we decided to start with the AC3400.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sofmerc View Post
ETI offered the 13,500 Coleman because peeps wanted more cooling so I would think there is some logic to it.
Did not know of this option.

73/gus
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Old 08-20-2021, 01:29 PM   #19
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ETI only offered the Coleman option for a short while. Supply chain issues stopped the availability . It seems like they get a supply of Colemans and offers them to peeps in the build pipeline. I think you did the right thing with the Houghton...
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Old 08-20-2021, 01:40 PM   #20
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As far as I know, Coleman’s are back on the list.
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