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Old 10-02-2017, 05:43 PM   #1
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Winterizing a 2018 Classic

Living in the Northeast, I am getting ready to winterize my 2018 Classic. We are taking it to the dealer to watch them do it this first year and hope to do it ourselves next year.

I have a question about the attached diagram and the instructions given. I get the difference between just blowing out the lines and putting RV antifreeze in the traps and in theory, I get putting it into all the water lines using the water pump, although this would require some experimenting finding all the different hoses, connectors, etc. so hence, the dealer. But what really confuses me is the interaction of the winterizing and the Alde system. Like for example, the instruction: turn off the main power to the water heater. Does this really mean turn off the power to the Alde system? Or simply turn off the water heater? And then there are the two different valve configuration, maybe even three. Winterizing: all valves open or if blowing out the lines close 1 and 2. Or there is the bypass Alde altogether with a different set of valve configurations. I do not think I want antifreeze anywhere the water reservoir, so why am I not bypassing the Alde altogether to winterize after dumping the tank and potentially blowing out the lines?

I am trying to draw on all your knowledge rather than rely on the knowledge of my dealer who doesn't seem to understand what the Alde system is. Appt is Monday. I am hoping that I know enough to ask the right questions.

Amy

P.S. Attached the winterizing page from the manual.
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Old 10-02-2017, 08:12 PM   #2
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Hi

As long as the heater is not running on the Alde, RV antifreeze should not be an issue. You would need to flush things out pretty well at the end of the season. Even *with* antifreeze in there, the risk of an issue is pretty small.

The bigger issue is that the heater "tank" is big enough that flushing it will take a while ...

Bob
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Old 10-03-2017, 04:23 AM   #3
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Alde recommends that the Alde heating system not be run with the RV antifreeze in the hot water jacket of the boiler system. They, Alde, told me that the temperatures reached in the heating cycle degrade the RV anti-freeze to the point it will no longer work as anti-freeze.

Last year, our first year with the Alde I blew out the lines like I've done for 40 years, I then added RV Antifreeze to the whole water system. Then prior to our trip to FL in January I drained the entire system of anti-freeze and blew out the lines again. Then once we were south far enough I hooked up to water and ran water thru the system with all drain valves open. Never had a taste and more importantly never had a freeze issue with our pipes and the Alde system heated our trailer just fine from Western PA to SC when I hooked up to water for the first time. We did run the trailer with the Alde system on, using propane while traveling.

Bud
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Old 10-03-2017, 04:28 AM   #4
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[QUOTE=paiceman;2016681]Alde recommends that the Alde heating system not be run with the RV antifreeze in the hot water jacket of the boiler system. They, Alde, told me that the temperatures reached in the heating cycle degrade the RV anti-freeze to the point it will no longer work as anti-freeze.

Last year, our first year with the Alde I blew out the lines like I've done for 40 years, I then added RV Antifreeze to the whole water system. Then prior to our trip to FL in January I drained the entire system of anti-freeze and blew out the lines again. Then once we were south far enough I hooked up to water and ran water thru the system with all drain valves open. Never had a taste and more importantly never had a freeze issue with our pipes and the Alde system heated our trailer just fine from Western PA to SC when I hooked up to water for the first time. We did run the trailer with the Alde system on, using propane while traveling.

Bud[/

Which valve configuration do you use the bypass or the winterize? I guess I can call Alde to find out.
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Old 10-03-2017, 05:35 AM   #5
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I do not bypass the hot water boiler as it's only 2.5 gallons and I actually want to make sure all the water is out. In a "standard" AS system with a 6 gallon HW tank there is a bypass valve. I cannot find one on the Alde, so stopped looking and simply added the additional RV Anti-freeze. To winterize I added a connection at the fresh water pump to allow the pump to circulate the RV anti-freeze throughout the system. I did need to add additional hose to the valve as the pump on the 2017 is way back behind the drawer under the refridge and I needed it long enough to be completely outside that area. Not a big deal as I had plenty left from the hose I bought to fix the too short connection on the refridge drip pan.

All in all once I decided to winterize this way pretty simple and quick and it worked.

Bud
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Old 10-27-2017, 01:37 PM   #6
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What winterizing steps are different from a non-Alde trailer?

Thought I'd jump on this thread instead of starting a new one. A neighbor just brought home a 2018 Classic and asked if I would help winterize. I'm happy to...have a compressor, can locate low points etc. My concern is the Alde system. Is it independent of the water system, plumbing wise, and doesn't need to be drained (I believe it's full of glycol and doesn't need draining? )

Is the water heater, besides being smaller than the usual 6-gallon, just a standard "drain and bypass" deal or is there anything special that needs doing?

If I'm not confident, I'm going to recommend he take it to the dealer in SLC, but if it's nothing really more complicated than a non-Alde system, I'm happy to show him the ropes.

Prefer feedback from Classic/Alde owners, not 'guesses'.

Thanks!
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Old 10-27-2017, 02:01 PM   #7
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Pcskier, I don’t know who posted first you or PAICEMAN, but would strongly suggest that you follow his directions and or JAMES M direction which is the same. Sorry I can offer anything as I am in FLORIDA and hopefully will not have the need to I
Winterized.
As you noted those who do not have 2017 or 2018 Classics and do not understand that the Alde system is different aren’t very helpful.
There are several other Classic owners who are doing the same as PAICEMAN has suggested but if there is doubt I would recommend a call to JC, specifically Mike and see what he has to say.
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Old 10-27-2017, 02:01 PM   #8
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I would insist on reading the owner manual section on this, which should lay it out pretty thoroughly.

Maggie
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Old 10-27-2017, 02:24 PM   #9
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Maggie, yes you would think so but the owners manual for the Alde system is as useful as.....well, nothing. Every single Classic owner that I know about including me has had the learn about the Alde system in our own. Which is why we all have to come here to share the information because those that don’t have this particular model and years do t know anything about it.
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Old 10-27-2017, 02:46 PM   #10
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pcskier: The owners manual for the Alde is lacking at best. Maggie, you would not believe how poorly written and how unhelpful the Alde owners manual is and Alde corporate is not better. So, I sat down last year and figured it out.

I drained all the water from the WATER system. Do not touch the actual Alde glycol system. It takes a while, especially from the hot water tank - 2.5 gallons.

Then I close all valves and I put 60# of pressure with a compressor into the lines. Then one by one I open a facet and let it blow out, and repeat and repeat, including the low point drains and the drain for the Alde Hot Water jacket, which is a flip valve under the front dinette end cap.

Once I am confident I have as much water as I can get out, I have installed a Camco winterizing kit on just before the water pump, behind the drawer under the fridge. I bought extra clear 1/4" line as the supplied line with the kit is not any where near long enough. I put the valve in the winterizing mode, and turn on the fresh water pump and start pumping RV anti-freeze thru the system. In 40+ years I've never put in RV anti-freeze, but I am simply not confident I can get all the water out by draining and compressor. I run it thru each facet including the hot water jacket and the outside shower and the toilet. Then once that is done, I drain the whole system and capture the RV anti-freeze as best I can by draining it from the low points and back into the gallon jugs. Then I blow the lines again to get as much of the anti-freeze out as I can.

I clean up all the residue anti-freeze, pour some of the captured anti-freeze down the drains and the rest into the gray and black holding tanks. Total about 3-4 gallons used and captured.

Lock her up and go home. She is now fully winterized and ready for trips south in late December.

This whole process takes just about an hour. Cost is the anti-freeze which is cheap compared to frozen lines OR frozen hot water jacket. I simply do not have enough confidence in any repair facility to winterize this system as carefully as I have done.

Mine system worked down to 11F last winter and this year no leaks at all. So, I know it works.

Good luck

Bud
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Old 10-27-2017, 02:47 PM   #11
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Well, then I would call the service center at Jackson Center and have them tell you...and write it down, step by step.

If you are taking this on, why hope that someone with accurate information sees this post and comes on here to thoroughly explain it to you?

Itís a brand new rig, and should not be a mystery as to how to properly winterize.

Most importantly, the owner needs to have accurate information, straight from the horses mouth...in my opinion.

Maggie
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Old 10-27-2017, 02:48 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by kendrick.l.j View Post
Pcskier, I donít know who posted first you or PAICEMAN, but would strongly suggest that you follow his directions and or JAMES M direction which is the same. Sorry I can offer anything as I am in FLORIDA and hopefully will not have the need to I
Winterized.
As you noted those who do not have 2017 or 2018 Classics and do not understand that the Alde system is different arenít very helpful.
There are several other Classic owners who are doing the same as PAICEMAN has suggested but if there is doubt I would recommend a call to JC, specifically Mike and see what he has to say.
Thanks...reviewing those posts now. The manual is pretty thin on the topic. I like your method of winterizing, as opposed to being here in the mountains at 7000 feet!
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Old 10-27-2017, 02:50 PM   #13
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Of course you know how, Bud, and would graciously take the time to reliably explain it, because thatís the kind of person you are....but I am absolutely confounded at folks who come on here with right out of the chute new rigs to ask basic how-to questions.

Maybe itís just me...

Maggie
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Old 10-27-2017, 02:53 PM   #14
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Well, then I would call the service center at Jackson Center and have them tell you...and write it down, step by step.

If you are taking this on, why hope that someone with accurate information sees this post and comes on here to thoroughly explain it to you?

Itís a brand new rig, and should not be a mystery as to how to properly winterize.

Most importantly, the owner needs to have accurate information, straight from the horses mouth...in my opinion.

Maggie
Nope, JC says they only blow out the lines with 60# of pressure, nothing more. There is still water in the hot water jacket, I know because I opened up the valve after blowing the lines last year eight times. It sits in there, a small amount and will not come out and the jacket is NOT like a water heater, it cannot take any freeze.
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Old 10-27-2017, 03:01 PM   #15
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Bud, thanks for the details. Your reply is exactly why I asked the question here, rather than call a dealer or even the factory. An actual owner who has learned and gone through the process is the best "horse's mouth" there is, and as usual coming here for answers was the best course of action!

Sounds like the same process I follow on my non-Alde system, really. I am curious though, you mentioned you never used anti-freeze...until now. What is it about this system that gave you pause and caused you to use anti-freeze? I've always used anti-freeze on my non-Alde trailer, but this year, finally just used compressed air until every drain/faucet/etc blew absolutely dry. Then antifreeze in the traps. This will make it easier to make winter trips south without having to go through the lengthy flushing process, should I decide to use the water system on such a trip (an re-winterize before returning home). In the antifreeze days, I just left it winterized and dry camped on winter trips.

Thanks again for the helpful detail!
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Old 10-27-2017, 03:08 PM   #16
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Of course you know how, Bud, and would graciously take the time to reliably explain it, because thatís the kind of person you are....but I am absolutely confounded at folks who come on here with right out of the chute new rigs to ask basic how-to questions.

Maybe itís just me...

Maggie
I totally agree - BUT, The manual as I mentioned is awful. I had an issue this week with the system, or so I thought. The manual told me one thing, which I thought was accurate but it was and is not. I called JC to make an appointment for the issue I thought I had and asked Chris the scheduler if he knew anything about the Alde and he said, no. He suggested I talk to Mike in customer service. I talked to Mike and also talked to Gretchen independently and both told me the same thing, which is not in the manual and Mike even stated "the manual is not well written". But, now at least some folks at JC know the system, so they can be an real asset. But back to winterizing as I mentioned I've never used RV Anti-freeze, but in this system I felt compelled to do so just to be sure I did not freeze the water jacket. As if it freezes the Alde system needs to be replaced, not sure of cost but I sure don't want to incur the expense and then I'd be in real trouble with Alice.

This is a great system, but not many people understand it, so new owners to be honest should read the manual and then come to the forums as there are a number of us on here who have experienced these issues for a year and worked most of them out. There are a number of 2017 owners who I have total confidence in and I am sure they will not lead anyone astray or give misleading information, I know I will not. Be it the Alde system, converter swap out, Maxim skylights or whatever we share the info we have as openly as we can so others don't have to go thru what we have and I also know Airstream reads and follows this forum and I would be pretty sure they have picked up some info. Airstream make Maxim Skylights a charged option - fantastic product.

Maggie hope all is well, I have been following and I know Lily is living the life. Worked with a dog today for a young couple that reminded me of her. Great do, owners simply did not "get it", I think they do now.

My Best

Bud
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Old 10-27-2017, 03:11 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
Of course you know how, Bud, and would graciously take the time to reliably explain it, because that’s the kind of person you are....but I am absolutely confounded at folks who come on here with right out of the chute new rigs to ask basic how-to questions.

Maybe it’s just me...

Maggie
Maggie with all due respect you are not contributing to this discussion. If a new owner has chosen to learn how to do this himself, and the provided manual is not comprehensive, and he has asked someone with a lot of experience (me) to help him with it the first time--that is his prerogative. While I'm confident in my abilities, this forum is always the best source of verified information from hand-on owners like Bud, who are happy to help with guidance when needed, so I can confirm I get it right on one of the details that I wasn't 100% familiar with.

If that is confounding to you, that's fine but why clog the thread with argumentative or critical posts?

Have a wonderful day!
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Old 10-27-2017, 03:13 PM   #18
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Bud, thanks for the details. Your reply is exactly why I asked the question here, rather than call a dealer or even the factory. An actual owner who has learned and gone through the process is the best "horse's mouth" there is, and as usual coming here for answers was the best course of action!

Sounds like the same process I follow on my non-Alde system, really. I am curious though, you mentioned you never used anti-freeze...until now. What is it about this system that gave you pause and caused you to use anti-freeze? I've always used anti-freeze on my non-Alde trailer, but this year, finally just used compressed air until every drain/faucet/etc blew absolutely dry. Then antifreeze in the traps. This will make it easier to make winter trips south without having to go through the lengthy flushing process, should I decide to use the water system on such a trip (an re-winterize before returning home). In the antifreeze days, I just left it winterized and dry camped on winter trips.

Thanks again for the helpful detail!
With the Atwood Hot Water Heater you have and most Airstreams have they can have some residual water in them and when they freeze it simply expands and does not damage. Not a lot of water but some just does not hurt. I do not know what the inside of the Alde boiler is made of, and I know there is water in there, and the jacket only has a capacity of 2.5 gallons so I figured that why risk any freeze damage for what amounts to $12.00 and with that money I can dump into the tanks "just in case".

When we get to our first campground traveling south I hook up and use the water. We travel with the Alde system on and the Classic has tank heaters so we just keep on moving and last year no issues. Probably do the same this year as we head to FL late December.

Good luck

Bud
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Old 10-27-2017, 03:15 PM   #19
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I am in the process of writing an article dealing with both the Alde and Truma systems, including winterizing, but it will not be printed until it's too late this season.
So, the most effective method is to drain the fresh water using the low point drains, close them, then run RV antifreeze through the entire system using the onboard water pump. Blowing out is optional, though it won't hurt anything if you do. The antifreeze will displace the water. There is a bypass for the Alde boiler, but you really want the antifreeze to go through the boiler and displace all the water. Again, there are bypass valves, but don't use them--you want the water out of there, and closing those valves will trap the water in the boiler.
This is from the Alde service manual I am in possession of.
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Old 10-27-2017, 03:36 PM   #20
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Thanks Bud and Terry. I have advised my neighbor to pick up 4 gallons of antifreeze and a winterizing bypass kit for the pump, and a longer length of hose. Not worth the risk on this Alde hot water jacket as opposed to the standard 6 gal Atwood heater on the non-Alde units. He keeps his trailer in climate-controlled storage but a) what if they lose power and b) He'll want to pull out in the winter for trips to southern Utah and will be towing in subfreezing temps--they'll just dry-camp or re-winterize before coming home now that he'll know how to do it.

So this will be pretty much the same process I've always used, other than not bypassing the water heater but instead pumping antifreeze through it to displace the water.

Thanks again for the excellent info. Love this forum!
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