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Old 08-21-2023, 05:38 PM   #1
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Alde - Winter Differentials

Classic - Alde - Winter Temperature Differential (inside/External Ambient)

I am moving to remote-work fulltime, and am considering my options with lengthier trailers such as the 30FC-FBQ Rear Office, and the Classics. During the past two winters, I have extensively boondocked in Northern Arizona/Southern Utah (north of the frost/snow line,) and would envision continuing to do the same in the future.

I have a question for Classic owners with winter experience on the Alde heating system.

First, yes, I am aware that Airstream have been trying to get their Alde installs correct since they first introduced; and reports of issues continue to generate even in modern lineups. So I'm not intending to ask/discuss reliability; but rather capability when it's in fine form.

I am curious for those who have camped extensively in the winter, what the temperature differential they've been able to reach for inside vs outside ambient?

As an example of what I mean, in my current International 25FBT with the propane hot air furnace, last winter, I saw a max temperature differential of 70F, when it achieved 55F inside, in a blizzard at -15F outside. (therm was set to 62; never made it.)

Normally the max I will stay in a location to in my 25FBT is about 10F; anything lower I will move on. It's also at about 10F that I will start to see ice crystals in the water lines, so I winterize proactively anytime it drops below 15F in calm winds, or 20F in stiff breezes, for a period greater than a day. I am curious if anyone with the Alde system has pushed their envelope as well and can provide feedback as to what external ambient temperature it's keeping their tanks safe?

thanks for your time and feedback,

Ian
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Old 08-22-2023, 05:06 AM   #2
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Hi. We spent March and April this year in Utah and Colorado, with lows in the 20s. Our Alde kept the inside warm, at 70F. We kept the tank heating pads on the whole time, even when underway to the next campground. We would fill the fresh water during the day and then disconnect. Had to dump in mid day as well. That was our first experience in below 32F camping.

Bill
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Old 08-22-2023, 10:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BGClassic View Post
Hi. We spent March and April this year in Utah and Colorado, with lows in the 20s. Our Alde kept the inside warm, at 70F. We kept the tank heating pads on the whole time, even when underway to the next campground. We would fill the fresh water during the day and then disconnect. Had to dump in mid day as well. That was our first experience in below 32F camping.

Bill
Thanks Bill --

This feedback allows me to understand I am asking questions on more than one system. Where in my International, the furnace supplies heat to the subfloor tanks, keeping them warm, I had incorrectly assumed hydronic heating would be doing the same. It appears, my now three questions then would be hydronic internal differential capabilities, and tank pad low level limits and tank pad 12v amperage draw per hour.

Cheers!

Ian
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Old 08-23-2023, 05:28 AM   #4
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The Alde takes time to get the glycol up to temp, but it’s silent. We are always plugged in to shore power, so no big deal for the tank heaters. We had them on while towing, but do not know if they energized, due to the thermostats. We do have solar, and the truck provides a trickle while underway. We had no issues, even with the Norcold DC fridge. Good luck with your research.
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Old 08-23-2023, 12:04 PM   #5
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We moved our 2023 Classic ‘33 from MN to AZ during the early cold-snap in late November last year. Overnight temps were around 5 degrees and high winds for several nights. Once we got the thermostat adjusted — there’s a settings adjustment to make the Alde’s thermostat reflect the actual inside temp correctly — we saw 70 in the trailer.

So, I concur that the Alde can drive at least 70 degrees of inside/outside differential.

There was enough sun / 7-way power to run the tank heaters and ‘fridge while pulling. We were plugged in overnight.

We did not risk dumping the gray tank or adding to the fresh until we were way further South for fear of freezing a gate-valve open.

We drove with the Alde set to keep the trailer 60 degrees. I worried about water line freezes. I know some people wouldn’t do this. YMMV.

We added a 800 watt space heater with a fan after a couple days. With this pointed into the bedroom, IMHO you could go way colder outside and be OK as long as you’re plugged in and the propane holds out.

Including time-in-tow, we were 15 lbs of propane a day when it was as really cold.

If we were doing an extended trip that included the possibility of consecutive sub-zero nights, we’d get some sort of skirt and use some of the other insulation techniques if only to worry less about the tanks freezing and less about the propane burn-rate.

M & K
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Old 08-23-2023, 04:35 PM   #6
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Pretty impressive. And I was concerned when the lows were in the 20s.
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Old 08-23-2023, 06:28 PM   #7
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I'd be curious if the Classic has the same easy access to the belly compartments behind the kitchen cabinetry, etc. as does my International -- I might be able to slip remote temperature probes down there to see how the various systems impact the tanks, etc., as the temperatures drop...
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Old 08-24-2023, 04:45 AM   #8
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I gave that some thought, too. I never knew if or when the pad heaters energized. But, nothing froze.
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