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Old 06-04-2016, 09:37 AM   #1
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2017 Classic @ Colonial

Well I think I know where the price increase came from. Seems like it may be worth the wait!!
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Old 06-04-2016, 09:57 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by HeavyAssault View Post
Well I think I know where the price increase came from. Seems like it may be worth the wait!!
Hah, what are us 2016 and earlier guys going to be yearning for now?

EDIT: oh ya I see the radiant heat, posted about that a few months ago.

Few other adjustments I can spot:

The main control area by the front door is all in a single panel. Not sure if that is a good move, as those tiny buttons are harder to manipulate. ie: with a regular dimmer switch it may take 1 second to adjust, on that it may take 5.

Light controls on one side of the sofa.

Kitchen counter top has a backsplash gap to let radiant heat rise.

Interested to know how the radiant heat, heats the tanks if at all or do they have simple heat pads (may not be as good for cold weather as the LP furnace).

The dinette seatbacks are now removable and provide the over table bedding.

The tank monitoring system seems to be much upgraded, although the radiant heat control panel isn't integrated and has it's own control panel next to it.

I do see the dinette table lowering/raising is easier to access on the new control panel, it does have electric heating pads for the water tanks.

Combination control panel under the overhead cabinet above the bed.

Tower warmer in bathroom.

External solar plug by battery box.

Mounted factory solar longitudinal with the trailer and not lateral.

TV antenna is different.

Hot air exhaust for the LP radiant heat air handler that is located under the front dinette seat. Air exhaust is just outside at that seat position, just forward of the exterior shower compartment.

Thats the changes from what I can see in the photo's.

It will be interesting to see how well the radiant heater works and the usability of the centralized control interface system is. I plan to mimick a lot of the radiant heat idea, but with cheaper electric strips.


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Old 06-04-2016, 10:40 AM   #3
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Also noticed the Alde radiant heat is also the water heater, interesting.

Can work off LP or electric, this means you don't have to use any LP in the cold weather for heating the trailer.

http://www.alde.se/usa/heat-technology/how-it-works/

It would blow my mind if Airstream also integrated radiant floor heating, but I doubt that.

Curious to know about the freezing point of this water/glycol mixture and if it's another entire system that needs to be blown out for winterizing.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:36 AM   #4
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Having 16 years of experience with the Aqua-Hot brand of radiant hydronic heating units, I applaud Airstream's decision to use the Alde system.

Even though most Aqua-Hot systems are diesel fired (they now also make LP and nat. gas models) the principles are similar.

The units are a closed loop system filled with an ethylene glycol/water mixture that is usually rated to -20 deg. F.

The boilers heat the glycol mix and a pump circulates it thru the system to heat exchangers that usually have silent computer fans distributing the warm air thru-out the coach.

The domestic water is run thru a copper coil in the boiler that gets heated in similar fashion to a tankless water heater system.

You will notice a significant difference in the quality of the heat from a hydronic system as it does not have the drying effects of forced hot air.

It is also virtually silent, which will be a welcome change from the antique LP furnaces that are still prevalent in RV use.

Congrats to Airstream on a great upgrade!!!!!!!!!


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Old 06-04-2016, 12:32 PM   #5
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Lew, I agree definitely a nice upgrade. I am curious as to the noise of the combustion or pump under the front dinette seat. Obviously it won't be nearly as loud as the cage blower in the forced air furnace.

I was just curious about the forced air furnace in the 2016 and earliers. Does the furnace used interior trailer air for combustion or exterior?

The same question applies to the Alde, does it suck in exterior air for combustion? Obviously both exhaust to outside.

Wondering why the interior gets so dry with the forced air furnace.
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Old 06-04-2016, 01:21 PM   #6
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A forced air furnace cooks the interior return air as it is drawn in by the blower and expelled thru the ducting after passing across a heated plenum. It uses exterior air for combustion and exhaust.

The hydronic systems also use exterior air for combustion and exhaust by draw the interior air gently over the heat exchangers so there is little to no drying effect as the heating is indirect as opposed to direct with an LP furnace.




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Old 06-04-2016, 01:39 PM   #7
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So, basically both systems do not do any internal air replacement. The radiant heat just distributes the heat slower over a larger area.

This may sound like a stupid question, but if the furnace doesn't exchange any interior air with outside air and just heats a plenum really hot for the interior air to blow over, how does that remove moisture? If the airstream interior is a closed system, wouldn't the same amount of moisture be present whether the air passes quickly over a very hot element like a plenum or slowly via radiant heat?

I've also found this interesting article:

http://bookstore.ashrae.biz/journal/...C-20110305.pdf

According to that, both the radiant heat and furnace should have identical humidity levels given everything else equal.
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Old 06-04-2016, 02:48 PM   #8
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Interesting! I never thought about it in that depth, but I do know from many client comments that upgraded from a furnace heated RV to a hydronic unit, the consensus was that there was a better, even and less drying heat from the hydronic.

Guess it would be worth measuring with a moisture meter some day.


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Old 06-04-2016, 02:53 PM   #9
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Interesting. The T@B teardrop trailers have been using the Alde system for some time. They have a complex control system but put out a nice, even heat.
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:02 AM   #10
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Having just returned from JC last week, I had the privilege to go over a new 2017 Classic with a service technician. I liked all of the "improvements" for the most part. The only things that I questioned was the new heating system. I am not questioning the operation or the effectiveness. I just didn't really like some of the design elements? First of all I don't think that I like giving up six inches of floor space? The radiators are almost three inches wide and are on both walls. Really noticeable in the bedroom, where floor space is already tight! Secondly, the one that's under the sink requires that portion of the countertop to be offset from the wall almost two inches, right behind the sink. I can only imagine all of the possibilities for things to get dropped back there? Mainly water! The radiator at the head of the bed was not enclosed and the fins were already bent. The one at the front had a cover behind the recliners. None in the bathroom, only a towel warmer? I think that from what I saw, my prediction is...... there will be some design changes as we go foreword?
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:53 AM   #11
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Good thoughts, didnt realize how thick they are. I wonder how that affects the twin bed. Also wonder if the towel warmer is enough to prevent a cold spot in the bathroom.
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Old 06-07-2016, 04:21 PM   #12
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Good thoughts, didnt realize how thick they are. I wonder how that affects the twin bed. Also wonder if the towel warmer is enough to prevent a cold spot in the bathroom.
I don't see how it could? Didn't see a twin, just a queen. Since the radiators are on the outside walls where the storage compartments are with twins, they will have to do something different I would think? No more forced air for the tanks, they now have electric heating pads which you have to turn on and off.
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Old 06-07-2016, 05:52 PM   #13
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I wonder how the electric heating pads hold up under the cold versus the forced air.
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Old 06-08-2016, 04:55 PM   #14
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Electric pads certainly aren't desirable for late fall/winter temps if you like boon docking. Beauty of propane heat is off grid camping, at least for the water tanks.
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