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After much planning and research I have now changed the Anti-Freeze in my 2011 Mk 1 Bailey Valencia. I am posting here as I think that what I have learnt is relevant to different caravans and models of Alde heating’ Although my circulation pump is next to the boiler on the return pipe. If yours is in the expansion tank then some rethinking may be required. I tried calling Bailey for advice but they said they would only reply to an email, I then emailed but have not yet got a reply. Choice of anti-freeze: No help at all on Bailey web site, Alde have conflicting information but recommend VW G12 or equivalent. Comma G30 comes up as the VW G12 equivalent, however, in another part of the Alde site it said to use 'Silicated', and the Comma web site say that G40 is Silicated. Hence some confusion. 5 litres of G30 at Halfords is £22:99 ( it is cheaper on Amazon but I needed to do mine that day), regardless of if it is ready to use or concentrate. I purchased the concentrate plus 5 litres of distilled water. My worry from the research was the difficulty in refilling and bleeding. Neither of these was a problem. The difficulty is in draining and flushing. At first I removed the drain plug, under floor at the rear. Using bucket to catch old fluid. Then opened the bleed screw on towel rail. I then needed to tip the van up as far as possible in order to get as much as I could from the system. I then refilled, put the pump on top speed and it bled itself with the use of the bleed screw. I then drained again. I thought this was tedious and not fully purging the system or flushing properly, looking at the design of the boiler, there will always by some residue held below the return pipe. see picture. I removed the expansion tank and fixed a hose to the side going to the boiler, I found a simple garden spray made a good seal. see picture. With a steady flow of water I flushed the system including the boiler for a few minutes. I then replaced the hose with a bellows pump using tape to make a seal, and blew out as much water as I could. See picture. Next I replaced the expansion tank and closed the drain. Topping up was easy, just add diluted Anti-Freeze, bleed with rad screw, and then turn on the heating pump at setting 5. After some gurgling, turn it off, top up and bleed at rad, pump back on and repeat. When it seems full turn the heater on and bring up to temperature, after a bit turn the pump down to normal, 2 in my case. I found that I needed another ¾ litre the following morning. This took me about 5 hours but 3 of these were wasted on research. If I need to do it again I think 1 hour would be enough plus time to allow it to settle. PS On the Alde site they say it is best to tip the van up to assist drainage. They admit that this may be a problem for twin axles and suggest finding a slope or using a jack (don’t know where). I think that the bellows pump I suggested above should be a good help in emptying the system as much as possible. Hope this is of help to anyone. John
I am posting this in chat section, not Bailey, as it should be of interest to anyone with a van that is under guarantee and has Alde heating. I booked my van in for its second service today, I enquired what the situation was with regard to changing the ani-freeze as I believe it only has a two year life. I found it strange that he did not know as they must have sold and serviced many a Swift or Bailey over the years. Anyway he promised to investigate and he did so. He said they would change my anti-freeze in the cost of the service but charge for the product, about 15 pounds, (fair enough), but might mean the service might have to go over 2 days as he is informed that bleeding is a very slow process. Could change for the 5 year anti freeze but thinks it is hard to find and might not be cost effective. I could change it myself if I wished, I think this is an easy straightforward job so would not mind doing that. However:....... Is change of anti-freeze a condition of the guarantee? If I do not have it done by an authorised dealer, How will I stand re guarantee on van? How will I stand re guarantee on heating? He checked and assured me that standard car ant-freeze is used, the silicates break down over time hence the need to change. Why don't car manufacturers insist in periodic change of anti-freeze? I think they just test the strength. I find that in a car, if it overheats, the anti-freeze stinks, would not want that smell in the van. Does the anti-freeze need to be suitable for the types of metal in the system. To be fair to the service centre they want the answers to these questions the selves and will be making their own inquiries, we will talk next week. This centre has a large turnover yet it seems that changing the ant-freeze is a job they have not done before. On the one hand I am amazed that the servoce centre were not more informed, on the other hand they did not try to fob me off and really want to learn themselves. John