Do you have any experience with the Alde heating system used by nuCamp, Airstream and Roadtrek?
Long story, but based on my personal experience and the multitude of comments on nuCamp forums (haven’t checked any others yet), there are some issues with the Alde heating systems in at least the nuCamp RVs.
Additionally, while it does what it says, it is a very complex heating system with lots of maintenance and user knowledge requirements. There is little or no effort to educate the buyers/owners by the dealers, etc. (I think they would lose sales if people knew what it took to operate/maintain them.)
It’s the same old “buyer beware” philosophy of the RV biz.
Lots more to the story but don’t want to bore you. If you decide to research it let me know. —Calvin, 2021 nuCamp Cirrus 620
I decided to do a little research and also put this out there to ask our readers what they have experienced. When I went to the website, I found out why it looked familiar, as they partnered with Truma in 2019 for distribution in the United States RV market. What a time to jump in, I would say!
About Alde heating system
From their website, Alde has been in the European market for almost 60 years and have several products in the heating system market including a hydronic heater, floor heating, cab heating and others. The main heating system starts with a boiler that looks to be similar to Aqua-Hot, which has been around for years. The boiler heats an antifreeze they call glycol and distributes the heated liquid throughout the coach with convectors, underfloor heating, fan convectors, panel radiators, and heat boosters. Basically, they heat cooler interior air that is drawn in at the floor level and as the hot air rises from the converters it heats the walls and creates a heat barrier. Then when the air cools it drifts down to the floor for circulation.
There is not much technical information available on the site, naturally. So I did some more research and found a couple of reviews online. The first was from Truck Camper Magazine. It did a test and review in 2019 and stated that a few advantages are quiet operation, better efficiency, and no blowing dust and dirt throughout the rig. Another plus from the review was the comfort of even heat throughout the rig, with no hot pockets or cold cabinetry. Also, the temperature was consistent, not cycling hot and cold like a traditional forced air furnace.
I checked the threads on a few model sites such as Airstream and it seems that most of the issues were not understanding how the system works, especially setting the controller. Most commented that either Airstream or Truma had an outstanding customer service department and walked them through setting the temperature for the water heater or other parts of the system.
As for maintenance, the glycol should be replaced every two to three years and the system might need to have air bubbles bled out if there is gurgling.
Downside of Alde heating system
The only downside that I could see to the Alde heating system was the time it takes for the system to heat up and get the rig warm. Could be up to four hours, so you need to be prepared. However, the Truck Camper review stated they started to feel the heat in 30 minutes and after an hour it was fair.
I agree: The dealer orientation and even the Alde site are poor, at best. However, Truma has several videos and tutorials that seem to be helpful.
Let’s hear from any of our readers that might have experience with this system. Readers?
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and the author of the “RV Handbook.”
Read more from Dave here.
HAVE A QUESTION FOR DAVE?
We have started a new forum link for Ask Dave. Please be as brief as possible. Attach a photo or two if it might help Dave with his response. Click to visit Dave’s forum. Or send your inquiries to him using the form below.