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"alde" Heating System - Am I Missing Something?

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Our 2009 Lunar Lexon SE has a Truma water heater and blown-air space heater, which for us, ticks all of the boxes. Reading this (and other) Forums, it would appear that the newer "Alde" heating system with water-filled radiators is not without its problems; is less flexible; is heavier, and requires more annual maintenance. Having studied the attributes, feathures and characteristics of both 'heated air' and 'heated water' caravan heating systems subjectively, I cannot see many advantages of the latter over the former. E. g.-

 

If I wish to have the 'lounge' end of our caravan warmer thabn the bedroom area, the I can infinitely adjust the amount of heated air that is distributed to each area in order to meet our personal re

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I agree.

 

Some don't like Truma blown-air, perhaps they just don't understand it.

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Having had both types of heating I can only say that the Alde system is far better, the whols van is warm with no cold spots, it is quietand requires no more servicing that blown air. It cam be programed so easily so for those early and late trips its great. I agree that the blown air is good and works, but if you have experienced the Aldie system I think you may change your mind.

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Have to agree with Deltaman :D Can't see how it is less flexible ? Plus the big advantage for us when we are vanning in the colder months is the ability to set the system to reduce heat (but not shut down) during the night then come on again in the morning at our desired times so that everything is nice and cosy when get out from under the duvet!

 

As to weight don't think there is a lot in it, both have to have a boiler for the hot water, both have to have ducting, either for the warm air or water and both have some form of metal work for producing the warm air, Alde has lightweight alloy rads and Truma has a fairly heavy gas/electric fire.

 

Having now had both systems I agree that the Truma blown air system is good BUT the Alde system is (in my opinion) better AND the BIG, BIG bonus is it is silent :)

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Roger, maybe you could explain what I'm failing to understand about my blown-air heating?

 

Are you suggesting that I'm imagining the chilly bedroom, and previously the chilly end washrooms? Over the past few weeks I've actually given up on the blown-air and I'm just using the heater itself, which is proving to be more comfortable but I still have a chilly washroom because the only source of heat there is the blown-air.

 

I'd suggest that the problem with these discussions re blown-air/Alde is that people with smaller vans don't understand what the problem is with the blown-air, whereas I suspect everyone with a 20'6" twin-axle who uses it during the winter months, knows exactly what we're talking about!

 

I've now decided that I've had enough of cold areas and my next van will have Alde heating!

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Roger, maybe you could explain what I'm failing to understand about my blown-air heating?

 

Are you suggesting that I'm imagining the chilly bedroom, and previously the chilly end washrooms? Over the past few weeks I've actually given up on the blown-air and I'm just using the heater itself, which is proving to be more comfortable but I still have a chilly washroom because the only source of heat there is the blown-air.

 

I'd suggest that the problem with these discussions re blown-air/Alde is that people with smaller vans don't understand what the problem is with the blown-air, whereas I suspect everyone with a 20'6" twin-axle who uses it during the winter months, knows exactly what we're talking about!

 

I've now decided that I've had enough of cold areas and my next van will have Alde heating!

 

Good decision:)

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Hi all

 

Is the wet system silent? I am not so sure as when I was looking at the new Conqueror the other week, all I could hear was a gentle gurgling from the end washroom where the boiler is placed.

Not so bad during day time but would really annoy me at night.

Perhaps it just needed bleeding but I am doubtful of that.

 

John

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Having had both types of heating I can only say that the Alde system is far better, the whols van is warm with no cold spots, it is quietand requires no more servicing that blown air. It cam be programed so easily so for those early and late trips its great. I agree that the blown air is good and works, but if you have experienced the Aldie system I think you may change your mind.

Hi Deltaman,

 

We do not get "cold spots" in our van - but we do have the facility to direct all of the heat into the end bathroom (in order to increase the temperature in there temporarily when we shower), This is something that cannot be done with the Alde system.

 

You state that the Alde system is "quiet" - yet some people comment on the noise of the water circulation pump?

 

I quite readily admit that I have not experienced the Alde system first hand, but I personally cannot see how to obtain different temperatures in different areas of the caravan with the Alde system. Further, we do not have to switch off our space heating system in order for us both to have a decent shower each morning! Further, it takes less time (and energy) to heat air than it does to heat water - as in the Aldi system. Maybe I am missing some salient points, but from my perspective, the blown air system has advantages over the "water filled radiator" system. What are the perceived advantages of the "Alde" system?

 

Regards,

David

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After having both systems, then without doubt the Alde is better and as Ted says above, very easy to programme.

We can go out for the day and come back knowing the van will be warm. In the past with the blown air we have gone out, set the temperature and come back to find the stat had cut off the heating but the fan was still blowing. ..... cold air and not just on one van.

Another plus is an extra cupboard, in the space where the Truma was.

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After having both systems, then without doubt the Alde is better and as Ted says above, very easy to programme.

We can go out for the day and come back knowing the van will be warm. In the past with the blown air we have gone out, set the temperature and come back to find the stat had cut off the heating but the fan was still blowing. ..... cold air and not just on one van.

Another plus is an extra cupboard, in the space where the Truma was.

Hello Roger,

 

You state that the Alde system is "very easy to programme", yet there are many queries on this (and other) forums regarding how to programme the system - is it therefore over-complicated? Why (when hotel bedrooms have one thermostat for room temperature) is it considered necessary to have a "day and "night" temperature setting in a caravan?

 

If we are going out during the daytime, then we simply leave the caravan thermostat at the desired temperature, and the caravan has always been at that temperature when we return. If your blown air system has "cut-out" during your absence, then there surely must be a fault somewhere? If the fan was still blowing cold air, then it was obviously not set to the "A" (automatic) position - and if it was and this happened, then there was obviously a fault somewhere.

 

I grant you that some cupboard space is gained with the "Aldi" system - but then there is the penalty of having to carry the additional weight of some 12 - 15 litres of water when towing - this being the average capacity of the heating radiators and pipework.

 

Please do not think that I am being argumentative, but merely wishing to discuss the perceived advantages of both systems.

 

Regards,

David

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After having both systems, then without doubt the Alde is better and as Ted says above, very easy to programme.

We can go out for the day and come back knowing the van will be warm. In the past with the blown air we have gone out, set the temperature and come back to find the stat had cut off the heating but the fan was still blowing. ..... cold air and not just on one van.

Another plus is an extra cupboard, in the space where the Truma was.

Then the fan wasn't set to auto or it was faulty. When the heat cuts out the fan speed drops right down by still blows air at desired temperature as set by thermostat.

 

Many blown-air caravans do see to have had poor thermostat installations.

 

I didn't suggest that the Alde was inferior - I couldn't justify the extra cost/weight.

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I agree.

 

Some don't like Truma blown-air, perhaps they just don't understand it.

I think that you are correct Roger. The system allows me to pump 5kW of heat into the end bathroom just before I take a shower, and this prevents the 'goose pimples' when I step out of the cubicle. I fail to see how such a short-term blast of heat can be obtained with the "Alde" system.

 

Regards,

David

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Hi All,

 

Well I bought a Fleetwood Heritage twin-axle which came with ALDE heating, and I have to say, it's a great system - very similar to home central heating. Programming the system is pretty straight forward, even if you don't read the manuals. Setting the temperature is easy, and there is the option of setting timings and on/off times just like the home systems. An nighttime temperature can be set to come on/off at set times, plus the option to set hot water extra heat for 30 mins - although this does switch the heating off for that time.

 

We find it very toasty even in temperatures in the minuses, in fact the only complaint is that the bedroom can get a bit too warm if you forget to set the overnight temp down a notch. As to noise, the small circulation pump is not noisy. .... (the normal Whale water pump is though! . ... and the dealer/servicing say it's normal!).

 

There are other options such as gas / electric 1K, 2K or both selection, as well as a useful AMP setting (15A down to 6A or less) to ensure you don't overload your EHU supply ( when running the Hairdryer :) lol)

 

As to cost, only used it mainly with EHU. .. but according to the ALDE info, I worked out that a 6Kg Calor should last about 14 hrs on Full wack heating. .. so maybe more if careful eco heating temperatures (and maybe a thick jumper) are used off-EHU.

 

Hope this is useful to those looking at going for a van with ALDE. I must also say that my Fleetwood is a 2007. .... so they must have been pretty forward looking, as the 'new boys' are just getting around to fitting these Luxury Items.

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I have a large twin axle van at 6. 98M and my washroom is never cold.

It's all about how you distribute the heat

We was up in Scotland last winter where the night time temp got down to -10 and it was cosy and warm.

I have no expireance of Alde heating but from the comments on here it sounds like the ability to set it to come on and go off is great.

 

Stu :)

 

Roger, maybe you could explain what I'm failing to understand about my blown-air heating?

 

Are you suggesting that I'm imagining the chilly bedroom, and previously the chilly end washrooms? Over the past few weeks I've actually given up on the blown-air and I'm just using the heater itself, which is proving to be more comfortable but I still have a chilly washroom because the only source of heat there is the blown-air.

 

I'd suggest that the problem with these discussions re blown-air/Alde is that people with smaller vans don't understand what the problem is with the blown-air, whereas I suspect everyone with a 20'6" twin-axle who uses it during the winter months, knows exactly what we're talking about!

 

I've now decided that I've had enough of cold areas and my next van will have Alde heating!

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Lets see if I can identify its strengths and weaknesses, but I have to admit it is something that I find is an all but essential "must have" in any unit purporting to be a luxury caravan/motorhome. I concede it comes more into its own in larger vans where a single convecting source is no longer adequate. Also its not likely to be much of an asset if you dont do cold weather caravanning, and only need heating to take the chill off shoulder season mornings and evenings.

 

The Alde does give a draft free heating which by definition blown air cant.

The installation designer determines the temperature variation throughout the van by the sizing of the heat exchangers used in different areas. Bedrooms ought to have less than lounging areas. If the designer has not got the balance right then you cant as readily change things as with blown air, however blinding part of say a bedroom heat exchanger with a spare hand towel has the desired effect.

I dont know where the idea has come from of them being much if any heavier, they have not got an additional whole piece of equipment to provide hot water. The inhibited water volume of my 8 metre van is 10 litres. I use 5 year life inhibitor and changing that is the only service requirement of the later 3010 units.

They dont require putting off the space heating to have a shower, there is 8. 4 litres of typically 70 deg hot water to hand. Indeed you can put it into water boost mode and take the water up to 80 deg, but then you forgo space heating. We find leaving things in normal mode is adequate for us both to shower, given the restraints on water conservation that typifies caravan/motorhome showering.

You have to be a tad brighter to set the control panel of the Adle than the knob of the Truma, but then its hardly demanding. It just means actually reading the instructions, a thing that seems to be something more recent generations find difficult. I suggest fiddling with the blown air distribution and then seeking to rebalance it is a far more demanding task?

 

I like varying day and night temperatures to sleep well and really like waking or rising to a warm van so the timer based twin temperature levels is for us a big plus. Done the more rudimentary camping and now age plus fortunately the where with all to afford luxury if its available tend to lead our style.

 

Because they evenly warm the van then it does not offer a near instant warm sanctuary local to the heater so does require a bit of forward planning. A friend can text his from the pub but I have not yet gone to that level of papering.

 

They do need 12 volts to have any heat, unlike the low power convection that can be had from the Truma. This is an additional demand for those of us who camp in winter off EHU. The pump itself is the biggest user but not dissimilar to the fan when that is needed. It is something that we are mindful of but with our 85 Watt solar cell have yet to fall foul.

 

Like in so many things how and when you use your van, plus the van size and indeed your pocket size will influence whether Adle of blown air suit your requirements.

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I am surprised there is not a programmable thermostat option for for blown air, how hard can it be to replace the cheapo rotary temp control with a small backlit LCD controller, then you could program the temp, even if it only allowed a couple of temp changes, it would be sufficient to have an early morning boost to get the bathroom toastie, normal daytime, a warm evening, and cool night.

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I am surprised there is not a programmable thermostat option for for blown air, how hard can it be to replace the cheapo rotary temp control with a small backlit LCD controller, then you could program the temp, even if it only allowed a couple of temp changes, it would be sufficient to have an early morning boost to get the bathroom toastie, normal daytime, a warm evening, and cool night.

Domestic ones are cheap enough - sounds like a winter project in the making there!

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JTQ,

 

Thanks for your comments, as per the voice of experience. One of the problems I regularly find with internet forums is the amount of people who spout hearsay comments, in other words, they don't actually know what they're talking about as they've never experienced it for themselves!

 

We've been caravanning for 33 years, change our vans about every 3 years, and other than the first 3 they've all been large twin-axles, so I think I know a little about the Carver/Truma blown-air heating systems. Thinking back over the years I would say that the Carver/Truma system hasn't been constant re it's efficiency, we've happily survived -23 up at Glenmore over Christmas/New Year. But I also know what the end washroom in our 2 Super Siroccos was like at times, and I also know what our present Ace's rear bedroom is like with the blown-air in use!

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JTQ,

 

Thanks for your comments, as per the voice of experience. One of the problems I regularly find with internet forums is the amount of people who spout hearsay comments, in other words, they don't actually know what they're talking about as they've never experienced it for themselves!

 

We've been caravanning for 33 years, change our vans about every 3 years, and other than the first 3 they've all been large twin-axles, so I think I know a little about the Carver/Truma blown-air heating systems. Thinking back over the years I would say that the Carver/Truma system hasn't been constant re it's efficiency, we've happily survived -23 up at Glenmore over Christmas/New Year. But I also know what the end washroom in our 2 Super Siroccos was like at times, and I also know what our present Ace's rear bedroom is like with the blown-air in use!

Ever thought that it might me a problem with the detailed design/build of specific caravans - rather than a weakness of Truma blown-air?

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Hello Roger,

 

You state that the Alde system is "very easy to programme", yet there are many queries on this (and other) forums regarding how to programme the system - is it therefore over-complicated? Why (when hotel bedrooms have one thermostat for room temperature) is it considered necessary to have a "day and "night" temperature setting in a caravan?

 

If we are going out during the daytime, then we simply leave the caravan thermostat at the desired temperature, and the caravan has always been at that temperature when we return. If your blown air system has "cut-out" during your absence, then there surely must be a fault somewhere? If the fan was still blowing cold air, then it was obviously not set to the "A" (automatic) position - and if it was and this happened, then there was obviously a fault somewhere.

 

I grant you that some cupboard space is gained with the "Aldi" system - but then there is the penalty of having to carry the additional weight of some 12 - 15 litres of water when towing - this being the average capacity of the heating radiators and pipework.

 

Please do not think that I am being argumentative, but merely wishing to discuss the perceived advantages of both systems.

 

Regards,

David

David,

I do find the Alde easy enough to program and agree with JTQ, that one of the problems is people not reading the instructions.

I don,t think you can compare a hotel bedroom with a caravan in the depth of winter. We never have our heating on at home during the night in winter but a caravan is not as well insulated as most houses or hotels.

I think its an advantage to be able to set the night time temperature lower and then for it to return to a higher temp. an hour so before getting out of bed,something not possible with the blown air system.

The setting is not a day and night setting as its up to the user when to set the changes,if at all, for instance if you go out for the day just set it for a higher temp. for when you expect to return.

No I didn,t think you were being argumentative at all. Forums are all about points of view,help and advice etc.

Roger

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Hi All

To add to JTQ excellent comments one item that is not mentioned on any posts / other forums is the facility of the system to help over come legionella.

 

From the hand book Quote :-

 

AUTOMATIC TEMP. INCREASE

At 02. 00 hours (night time) the boiler starts

and works in accordance with Warm water

(item 5) if the clock is set. The reason for this

is to reduce the risk of legionella.

end quote

This is turned on as required by the owner as required

 

Most of the comments in this debate are by the male posters, i would be interesting to get their wife's / partners views / opinions

 

Couple of thoughts to ponder

 

Domestic warm air heating was in vogue some years ago now never heard of !!!

Would you have a blown air system like the Truma in your home or a conventional central heating system ?

 

Are the Dealers missing a good sales opportunity by not having a van set up and running with Alde System ?

 

 

Regards

Dave

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Couple of thoughts to ponder

 

Domestic warm air heating was in vogue some years ago now never heard of !!!

Would you have a blown air system like the Truma in your home or a conventional central heating system ?

 

Are the Dealers missing a good sales opportunity by not having a van set up and running with Alde System ?

 

 

Regards

Dave

There's no weight penalty installing central heating in a domestic property.

 

Is there a risk of Legionella's with either system?

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There's no weight penalty installing central heating in a domestic property.

 

Is there a risk of Legionella's with either system?

Quite agree with your first point Roger.

 

Regarding your question concerning the Legionella bacterium. It is common in many environments, with at least 50 species, but is only usually a problem when found in heavy concentrations. Heating the water above 60oC kills the bacteria, so provided that your caravan hot water heater is kept at or above this temperature for a few minutes each day, then there should be no problem. I suspect that an over-active Legal Beagle at Alde has persuaded them to include the "Anti- Legionella" facility in their system - although a verbal warning the in Operating Instructions would cover them just as effectively.

 

Regards,

David

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There seems to be a question on the SILENT advantage of the Alde - if you can hear the water being pumped around then I would suggest that the system probably needs topping up - our system is absolutely SILENT whilst on electricity only and just the slightest of noises when on gas, that is to say you can hear the boiler switching on and off if you are in that region of the van BUT it is just a very slight click - also outside you can hear the gas exhaust BUT if it is cold enough to have the heating on then you wont be sitting outside by the gas exhaust and if it is summer and you are just heating the domestic water with gas then the noise is much the same as the Truma unit when using gas.

 

Finally I can not boast of 30 odd years of caravaning as we only started when we retired seven years ago BUT we have experienced both forms of heating and we know what we like best - the Alde! :)

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With regard to blown air systems how many caravans have the most effective layout?

Truma can provide outlets to fit in the ducting which, providing the seat back cushions are held away from the wall by boards, allow blown air to rise behind the seat backs.

Some manufacturers, as with mine, obtain the same effect by piercing 15mm holes on top of the ducting every 300-400mm, crude but does the same job and the ducting is out of sight.

In addition, the ducting runs both ways from the heater all the way around the base of the walls to meet at each side of the doorway. No ducting outside the van!

 

Result is warm air rising behind the seating in addition to that from the normal outlets and circulation throughout the van including the seat/bed lockers.

 

A simple diy modification.

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