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Gypsyblood

Wet Heating Vs. Blown Air?

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We are looking to buy a caravan in the next month or so. We want to be able to use it during the winter months and want to be nice and cosy warm. ..! Which system would be best for winter vacations? Would like some unbiased opinions and experiences prior to going to the NEC caravan show next month! Any info from caravan owners would be very helpful, thanks.

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Our new Coachman has blown air heating which we have found to be very efficient, plus there's no water to fret about! :)

 

John.

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General consensus is the Alde (wet) is a far more comfortable system with no draughts or cold spots. The downside is that it takes slightly longer to warm the van from cold.

 

My current van (U3 Vigo) is 'wet' - would I go back to blown air ?? In a word - No.

Edited by maplecottage
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The Alde system is fantastic, no question. wouldn't want to be without it.

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I'm with Leedslad on this one!

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We have a Whale blown air system in our Peggy and if I'd known it was so noisy in operation I wouldn't have bought the van

 

Tip: Try before you buy

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Biggest drawback with blown air is ducting running under the caravan.

 

Ducted air works fine but only if the ducting is inside, or not more than say a metre outside, I had an Avondale were all the ducting was inside and it was cosy warm.

On the other hand I've had a caravan with 3 to 4 metres outside and the shower room was always cold, especially during the cold months.

 

Which ever system you go for I would and do use a small fan heater to get a quick warm up, or for a specific cold area usually the shower room as I like mine hot when showering.

 

Alde heating is ok, but you can still have cold areas if the heat exchangers have not be sized correctly, such as my current caravan.

 

And I should add that the Alde heating fluid should be changed every two years, which isn't cheap. Unless 5 year fluid is used, which at the factory in my case it isn't.

Edited by xtrailman

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I asked a similar question last year.

 

We had a van with blown air and decided to change it - our choices came down to two vans one with blown air and one with Alde. After much though and advice we went with Alde and it is brilliant. I would not go back to blown air.

 

Our Alde is very quiet and warms up the van very quickly. It can be timed for morning and evening and gives a much more even heat with less cold / hot spots

 

Well worth the extra servicing costs associated with changing fluid

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Our Pursuit has blown air with all the ducting inside, and it is very efficient and quiet! Kept us toasty warm all last winter!

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Having used both blown air & Alde, I'd echo what's been said. Alde is quieter (so long as the pump is adequately damped), provides a more even heat distribution and the heat is somehow more "pleasant" (blown air leads to a dry atmosphere, I found).

 

Whichever system you choose, pay careful attention to where the unit is mounted. For a combi-blown air or Alde, whichever seat base it's mounted under will get warm when it's in operation. ...fine in winter, maybe not on a summer's day (or worse, summer night if that seat has been converted to a bed) when you're just using it for water heating. For the Truma Ultraheat units - not used much now but my 2012 Lunar had one - if it's next to the bed it's all to easy to brush your toes against a molten hot surface.

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Many years of blown air and finally had Alde. No comparison IMHO - would never go back to blown air !

 

Bill

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What's not been mentioned is that blown air has the facility to circulate cold (ambient) air through the outlets if you go somewhere warm.

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Had blown air in the Orion which was OK,pretty quiet compared with some peoples experiences.

 

I insulated the exterior pipes though.

 

We have Alde in the Unicorn 3 and find it excellent,quiet and very easy to set up and use,it even gets too hot for SWMBO which is a worlds first.

 

So Alde for me.

 

Ian

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Thank you very much to everyone who has taken the time to reply to my post, looks like in general, the wet system comes out as preferable. That's been very helpful.😀

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We're getting a new pegasus modena 2016 with blown air. After experience of it in a friends van i have to say it is very very good. all the ducting on our new van is run internal.

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Anyone know what the weight of a typical Alde system is?

 

We have blown air (which doesn't weigh much) and every new caravan we've looked at has metal radiators which are full of fluid. I wonder what the penalty of that is.

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Only ever had blown air, until our new Cartagena this year would i go back ? "hell no" as said no cold spots the whole van warms up quickly easy to control ( don't know why some find it difficult ) can pre set to come on in the morning what's not to like ?

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Anyone know what the weight of a typical Alde system is?

 

We have blown air (which doesn't weigh much) and every new caravan we've looked at has metal radiators which are full of fluid. I wonder what the penalty of that is.

I believe its around 13kg heavier?

 

I put around 12 L of antifreeze in my system.

There are also out of warranty costs that could prove expensive such as around £80 for a boiler mount pump, the header tank pump is cheap, but IMO also nasty, read reports of them being noisy.

 

I'm not being anti Alde I'm happy to have it, but I also think if you buy the correct blown air system then it will also do the job, the latest systems are also programmable.

 

The op asked for unbiased views, which I am trying to give.

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I would advise reading the threads regarding problems with wet and dry systems.

You will find when wet systems have problems they are expensive!

The air system is just a motor sensors a couple of control chips and ducting.

Whereas the wet system

Boiler

Pump

Plumbing

Fluid containing chemicals and sludge

Sensors

Control chips

Possibly a fan to

Mandatory regular service

 

I have blown air.

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I would advise reading the threads regarding problems with wet and dry systems.

You will find when wet systems have problems they are expensive!

The air system is just a motor sensors a couple of control chips and ducting.

Whereas the wet system

Boiler

Pump

Plumbing

Fluid containing chemicals and sludge

Sensors

Control chips

Possibly a fan to

Mandatory regular service

I have blown air.

 

Take the point though I don't know where the sludge comes from. Still prefer the comfort provided by the wet system but just wondered, don't you also have a boiler and a heat exchanger?

 

John

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The blown air system in our new Coachman is much more quiet than the one installed in our previous 'van ( Bailey GT60 ) and not at all intrusive. Progress I suppose, the Bailey was 6 years old and things move on.

 

John. :)

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Had blown air in our caravans until six years ago. Blown air has,no doubt,moved on from then but there is certainly no comparison between blown air as it was then and the Alde system. As said,the Alde warms the whole of the van with no cold spots and is capable of automatic switching between required day and night temps (although,I understand this is now possible with some blown air systems).

Toasty warm even in the depths of winter.

Edited by paulthomas
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20

Nope

No boiler as part of the heating system.

I suppose there must be as part of the gas hot water system

The sludge appears because the majority of caravan owners do not get their wet systems serviced.

On a wet system that is going to be an expensive economy in the longer run.

Of course wet systems in volume have not been around for long but I think we will find water in pipes plus heat cold and bashed up and down on our deteriorating UK roads equals expensive problems after five plus years.

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Another vote for the Alde system, all areas of the caravan are as warm as you wish with the very sensative thermostat

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20

Nope

No boiler as part of the heating system.

I suppose there must be as part of the gas hot water system

The sludge appears because the majority of caravan owners do not get their wet systems serviced.

On a wet system that is going to be an expensive economy in the longer run.

Of course wet systems in volume have not been around for long but I think we will find water in pipes plus heat cold and bashed up and down on our deteriorating UK roads equals expensive problems after five plus years.

The circulation system is simple and bullet proof. But the boiler is complex so could be a worry over time but they do have a very good reputation. I think they are over £1000 but a simple job to replace.

 

John

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