Alde heating systems are hot in the world of RVs right now. But what are they? And are they a good idea? If you’re considering purchasing an RV that has one of these systems, stay tuned. In this article, we take a closer look at the radiant hydronic RV system from Alde, its pros and cons, and how to get your hands on one. Let’s go!
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What Is An Alde Heating System?
An Alde heating system uses central radiant heat in RVs and campervans. Some call them “wet heat” or hydronic because they use liquid glycol pumped through a boiler and circulated to radiators to provide even heating. This system is similar to ones found in a house or old building that use a boiler and radiators.
The Alde provides warmth for your camper by pumping the heated liquid through pipes and connectors around the perimeter of the RV. This disperses hot air, which naturally rises up along the walls to the ceiling. As it cools, it self-convects back down toward the floor and near the convectors again to be reheated.
In the middle of the system is the boiler. In addition to central heating, this boiler can also heat water for your tap and shower. Additional features include warming towel racks, factory-fitted in-floor heating, and heated mats and seats for some motorhomes. You can find it in many types of RVs, from teardrops to Roadtreks to Airstreams and more.
The Alde heating system is made by Truma Corp. Truma also makes the Aqua-Go on-demand RV water heater that we really love.
What Are The Benefits?
An Alde heating system has many advantages compared to traditional RV furnaces and propane heaters. It can provide radiant heat to your entire RV and deliver hot water for cleaning, washing dishes, and showering.
➡ If this winter will be your first time cold weather camping, here’s everything you need to know about RV furnaces: The Beginner’s Guide to RV Furnaces
It can run off of either gas or electricity, making it an excellent option for off-grid camping. When running on propane, the Alde system only uses about 0.6 amps of 12v power to run a combustion fan and circulation pump.
This heating system provides more thorough heating than a traditional air-blown system, meaning that all areas of your camper will heat to the same temperature. Since the warm air moves through the camper through self-convection, there is also no noise! The Alde provide silent heating throughout the camper without fans or blowers.
Are There Any Disadvantages?
There are a few disadvantages to this type of heating system.
First, the Alde heating system uses an ethylene glycol-based antifreeze. This liquid is similar to any antifreeze that you would find in an automotive radiator system. This liquid gives frost protection and has a corrosion inhibitor to keep it functioning correctly.
You need to replace the antifreeze every two to five years, depending on your model. You don’t have to do this with other types of heating systems.
Also, air can occasionally get trapped inside. This disrupts the heating process and must be cleared out.
More Winter Camping Articles You’ll Enjoy:
- RV Furnace Troubleshooting: Common Problems to Look For
- 7 Best Ways to Heat Your RV
- RV Nightmare: Frozen Pipes. Now What?
Does It Come With a Control Unit?
The Alde 3020 system comes with a color touch-screen control panel for accessing all its functions. The screen resolution on the touch panel makes it easy to use in the light or dark.
You can also get an optional dongle connection that provides access to premium functions, like controlling the floor heating pump, the booster fan, and more.
Do You Have to Winterize Alde Heating Systems?
Winterizing an Alde heating system is similar to winterizing an RV. It consists of draining all water from holding tanks and lines and replacing it with RV antifreeze.
➡If you’ll be storing your RV this winter, here’s what you need to do to prepare: How to Use RV Antifreeze When Winterizing Your Rig
According to the Alde 3020 manual, when you drain your RV water system, the hot water tank in the hydronic heating system will drain, too. When adding RV antifreeze to the system, you will use a bypass to prevent antifreeze from entering your water heater.
Can You Install an Alde System Yourself?
No, you cannot install an Alde system yourself. The company does not offer online sales to private buyers. Rather, you must purchase from and have your system installed by a Truma technician. All campers must also be evaluated for compatibility.
In the U.S., Alde has sales and service centers located in Florida and Indiana. Additionally, they offer mobile services in Arizona, Southern California, Florida, and Northern Indiana. If you need sales and installation services, check out the U.S. Alde and Truma locations.
If you just need Alde service, you can find Alde partners across the U.S.
Most Alde Heating Systems come installed from the factory, so if you’re looking at a new rig check to see if this system is available.
➡ There are many benefits to using a mobile repair service rather than taking your RV to a service center. Learn more here: Mobile RV Repair Service vs. RV Service Centers: Which Is Better?
How Much Does the Alde Heating System Cost?
Alde does not list products for sale anywhere online and does not provide cost information on its website. RVs vary in size and design, so will the heating systems. The price you pay will ultimately depend on your Alde system’s complexity.
We found one for sale on eBay for about $3,700, but we don’t recommend purchasing any third-party “Alde” systems. According to their website, Alde doesn’t support selling online, so there’s no telling what you would get.
Is Upgrading to an Alde Heating System Worth It?
If you want an efficient way to warm your camper, try an Alde heating system. And if you own an RV that already has an Alde system, consider yourself lucky.
There’s a reason Aldes are becoming more popular. These heating systems are quiet, efficient, and mostly hassle-free. Plus, you can’t beat heated floors in an RV on a cold day!
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