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bspks

Off Hook-Up Heating In New Caravans

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I appreciate your input, but going back to my original point, it's not that I'm expecting to get anything for free, far from it I know only too well how much a bottle of gas costs, I would just like to be able to upgrade the caravan but retain the gas only heating option for when I'm on a rally (which for me is most of the time I'm away with the 'van).

Bearing in mind the large number of rally goers, the manufacturers are really missing the mark here, in fact many I've spoken too have said things such as they may get their present unit reupholstered and keep what they've currently got, rather then spend the money on a new impractical caravan.

It means that for many of us who use the 'van extensively and like our comforts there is barely anything out there any more.

 

:goodpost: my thoughts too

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We've had the Alde system for a year now, and have done over 25 rallies with it, including last new year. Admittedly most rallies have been weekends, but new year and a few others have been longer. The longest winter one, so far, was 6 nights without EHU, summer we have done 10 nights without EHU.

 

Throughout the winter the system was set at 21 degrees during the day, 16 degrees at night, and the water heating was on continuously. Summer, just the water heater on continuously. We have had no electrical problems whatsoever. I do use a solar panel which. although old, will push in 3. 5 amps in full sunlight, been using this for years, nowt to do with the Alde system.

 

I guess if you use a lot of TV/Video, have all the lights on etc etc, the Alde load might well be the straw that breaks the camels back, . . but IME there is no problem with it.

 

Would I go back to blown air/convection gas ??? Not a chance, the comfort and efficiency of the Alde system means that it will be a requirement of any replacement 'van . ... until a "better" system is invented . .. :)

 

I know of a large number of regular winter ralliers who would agree with me as well . .. :)

Edited by Entwood

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Guest Inner State

Would I go back to blown air/convection gas ??? Not a chance, the comfort and efficiency of the Alde system means that it will be a requirement of any replacement 'van . ... until a "better" system is invented . .. :)

I don't have a beef either way, I'm really not bothered BUT you mention comfort and efficiency. .......

 

From a comfort point of view everyone I have talked to suggests that these wet systems take longer to heat up, so how do you claim the comfort is better? Additionally it could be argued when it's hot you don't have a fan to run to circulate the air more.

 

Going to efficiency, how have you measured that? if your argument is youre using less gas thats more likely to be due to the better insulation rather than the wet heating.

 

Final point, there must be more weight to the wet system than the blown air and you do have the additional potential problems of leaks.

 

I know of a large number of regular winter ralliers who would agree with me as well . .. :)

They may well agree but may be mistaken for the reasons why they agree as listed above.

 

J

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I don't have a beef either way, I'm really not bothered BUT you mention comfort and efficiency. .......

 

From a comfort point of view everyone I have talked to suggests that these wet systems take longer to heat up, so how do you claim the comfort is better? Additionally it could be argued when it's hot you don't have a fan to run to circulate the air more.

 

Going to efficiency, how have you measured that? if your argument is youre using less gas thats more likely to be due to the better insulation rather than the wet heating.

 

Final point, there must be more weight to the wet system than the blown air and you do have the additional potential problems of leaks.

 

 

They may well agree but may be mistaken for the reasons why they agree as listed above.

 

J

 

Speed of heating up is as quick if not quicker than blown air. The comfort is the same as home blown air heating v conventional central heating. That is, blown air dries the air too much.

 

Blown air cooling I have found not very effective, a table fan is much more use. However, it is a pity Truma stopped doing the diverter flap which drew cold air from under the van. Never tried one but I feel they would be effective.

 

Don't know about efficiency, never tried to measure, however x number of calories in = x amount of heat into van. Less boiler thermal efficiency measured as a percentage.

 

Better insulation will help but will be very similar on modern vans regardless of the heating type so can be discounted as a constant. One thing that can make a big difference is the ventilation into the van, it's location and it's quantity. I had one van which blew a gale from vents under the front seats and from a pull out worktop above the fridge. In winter the heating was stretched to cope and we were left with cold feet.

 

Weight wise it is possibly slightly heavier but you win a very useful cupboard.

 

I second Entwood, once you have tried it you would not go back.

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Well according to the FAQs that is for a few seconds at start-up, the normal system load is a total of 0. 6 Amps.

 

The constant current is dependant on the speed setting, the Unicorn is set to speed 2.

The current range data is in the link i posted.

 

Also be aware that some systems use a pump in the header tank, i believe this one is a fixed speed and current consumption.

 

http://www. alde. co. uk/itemdetails. php?itemId=14

Edited by xtrailman

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I don't have a beef either way, I'm really not bothered BUT you mention comfort and efficiency. .......

 

From a comfort point of view everyone I have talked to suggests that these wet systems take longer to heat up,

They do take longer to heat up on a single fuel, but not on duel.

 

so how do you claim the comfort is better? Superior comfort is obtained by the distribution of the heat through out the caravan perimeter.

 

Additionally it could be argued when it's hot you don't have a fan to run to circulate the air more.

true, but in practise the circulation fan is useless for cooling, its better than nothing, but can;t match a stand alone fan heater, set to fan only.

 

Going to efficiency, how have you measured that? if your argument is youre using less gas thats more likely to be due to the better insulation rather than the wet heating.

Possibly, but its also dependant on the blown air ducting route, on my last caravan some 4M of ducting ran outside, so the bathroom was always cold.

With Alde all heat losses are inside the caravan, the only heat loss i have found is the 2 foot of pipe behind the fridge, i had insulated this to prevent heat losses, and increase fridge efficiency. Losses were through the fridge vents.

 

Final point, there must be more weight to the wet system than the blown air and you do have the additional potential problems of leaks. True.

 

 

They may well agree but may be mistaken for the reasons why they agree as listed above.

 

J

 

J

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Hi having used both Truma and Alde there is no way I would return to Truma heating

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I'm not saying the blown air is superior in any way, I was merely asking for clarification of advantages quoted where technically in my opinion they were questionable. In my Senator all of the ducting is inside, I accept the insulation of Alutech should be better and therefore warmer. I have spoken to many people that say it does take longer for wet systems to warm the van up, that I can believe, a bit like an electric oil filled rad 'v' a fan heater.

 

J

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I had a Avondale with blown air and the system worked fine, no need for ALDE, more weigh, increased purchase costs, extra maintenance. Slower warm up period.

 

But as i mentioned earlier I've also had a Vermont with a very poor blown air system, only because of the long external under floor ducting, and the caravan was longer.

 

In the Vermont the blown air never worked a 2KW electric fire couldn't cope.

 

What we ended up doing was using the fire on convection, and added a portable electric fan heater to heat the shower room, so for 7 years we put up with a poor system.

 

Along came alde heating with all the pipe work inside, so any losses were inside the caravan, so ideal for me.

 

Yes a wet system does take longer to warm up, but you don't notice it if you use the portable electric fan heater, or use gas and electric which gives around 8kw of heat.

 

But once a wet system is up and running the temperature control is much better than blown air.

 

I had a blown air system for 25 years at home, and always liked its quick (20 mins) heat up time from cold, but it never really controlled the room temperature to a constant temperature, it had a wide hysteresis band, even when i fitted a state of the art electronic controller.

 

For the last five years we have had a wet system (new (old) bungalow), it controls the temperature much more evenly, but the first problem i had was leaking radiators, then a failing combi boiler!

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I had a Avondale with blown air and the system worked fine, no need for ALDE, more weigh, increased purchase costs, extra maintenance. Slower warm up period.

 

But as i mentioned earlier I've also had a Vermont with a very poor blown air system, only because of the long external under floor ducting, and the caravan was longer.

 

In the Vermont the blown air never worked a 2KW electric fire couldn't cope.

 

What we ended up doing was using the fire on convection, and added a portable electric fan heater to heat the shower room, so for 7 years we put up with a poor system.

 

Along came alde heating with all the pipe work inside, so any losses were inside the caravan, so ideal for me.

 

Yes a wet system does take longer to warm up, but you don't notice it if you use the portable electric fan heater, or use gas and electric which gives around 8kw of heat.

 

But once a wet system is up and running the temperature control is much better than blown air.

 

I had a blown air system for 25 years at home, and always liked its quick (20 mins) heat up time from cold, but it never really controlled the room temperature to a constant temperature, it had a wide hysteresis band, even when i fitted a state of the art electronic controller.

 

For the last five years we have had a wet system (new (old) bungalow), it controls the temperature much more evenly, but the first problem i had was leaking radiators, then a failing combi boiler!

I completely agree with most of your points, I was only really contesting the original claims that wet was more efficient and afforded greater comfort which I don't believe are true. I do think that improvements can be made to the blown air systems firstly by having motorised diverter flaps and secondly by having an air intake at high level. The best form of heating in a caravan of course would be underfloor with the floor area completely covered, I beleive that some of the wet systems are installed in this way, that should give a very even and comfortable heat.

 

From a home heating control the Drayton intelligent stats are very good, they learn how quick the house comes up to temp and you program time and temp profiles. I've had one of these installed for the last 3 years and it's brilliant, the boiler start up time varies by as much as 2 hours dependent on the outside air temp.

 

J

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I've no doubt that the Alde system, being similar to a domestic radiator system, is a better system from the point of heat.

It is the possible current consumption that was concerning me.

The fact that Entwood has posted above that they successfully rallied without EHU in the winter and it still coped without the battery going flat does alleviate my concern somewhat.

6-7 nights is around the maximum I am likely to use it at that time of year, additionally I use a separate 85Ah battery for the TV, only dropping back to the main caravan battery if/when it goes flat so it would seem that I may get away with it.

I think it's the background fear of losing the battery and the heating with it that is putting me off ordering a suitable new 'van.

There's a certain peace of mind in knowing you're using gas only and if it runs out you just need to swap the bottle and carry on which would be lost,

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You probably know, but the new swift has a solar panel fitted, should help?

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5 Days in the Valencia with a small 15 whatt Solar Panel during the depths of winter on 110 amp battery is possible. We've done it. But we do not watch much if Any T. V. from one day to the next. Certainly don't notice the battery going flat any quicker than the last van which had Blown Air heating, but probably worse insulation. If the Aldi used twice the power we would still have it. Blown air is just not in the same comfort class.

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Someone who as never ever either owned or used a caravan as decided that the way to go is no 12v system, could be the brother of the fool who decided that people who purchase a new car have no need of a spare wheel.

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Hi,

​Had ( for 10 months ) a lunar clubman with alde heating -- noisy fan on boiler/ circulating pump ( at night ) now back on the hot air /gas fire setup-- and very glad we are !! Have used this van in temps below -5 ( have photos of the 1" thick layer of ice on front of van plus icicles on sides ) we bought a small gas fire for the Lunar to help the heating .

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We have had four vans all with Alde heating and do a lot of rallies including winter.

 

Just need to manage the battery power same as you have to manage the gas supplies.

 

Ian

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Hi,

When we had the Lunar (alde heating ) it stated in the alde handbook that the system should have its fluid changed every two years . This needed ( according to the book ) a special pump, and who has that special pump ? ------ the dealer !

david

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Have swapped vans from a 'proper' Truma heater to a Whale underfloor blown air system. The problems are not current draw for me, although I do run a rally in June so will see how that goes, but the noise it produces and the time it takes to turn back on when the thermostat turns it off. I know the Bailey Orion caravans are well insulated but we had friends round the other day to see our new 2011 caravan and put the heating on to make it cosy. The thermostat turned off after 20 minutes and did not turn back on again for 2hrs 10mins by which time we were all reaching for our coats. Have E-mailed Whale about this but have not had any reply from them. I may just put a £25 400 watt panel heater in the van to use during the night as the whale unit starts up at 4am and wakes us up. There is nowhere in the Orion 430/4 to put a Truma heater so as I can't afford to change the van again I am stuck with a rubbish heater.

Edited by Capricorn12

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Capricorn12

 

It either got a good review in CaravanGuard or they reprinted the Whale press release. :rolleyes:

 

DeeTee

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That's one to strike of the list then.

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Have got a minimum/maximum thermometer since I last posted and if you put the heater on from cold it does take a while to turn back on but we were sat inline with the heat output port and when that turns off it feels cold. What we didn't realise is that turning it higher improves the situation and after 3 hours or so it settles down and is more constant with a 2. 2 degree C temperature band between turn on and turn off which is close to spec. Will see how the heater works next year and will see if the 12v current draw will allow us to rally in June. As the thermostat turns off for a fair amount of time and the fan stops the 12v current draw may be managable.

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Just looked at the spec for the Whale heater and it draws 1. 6 amps from the 12v when fired from gas and 0. 01 amps when in standby. It probably wont be used a lot in June as the weather is warm. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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