Caravan Motorhome Antifreeze Alde Heating

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Caravan Motorhome Antifreeze Alde Heating

Caravan anitfreeze probably isn’t something you give much thought to. However, our caravan has Alde heating. This is basically central we heating heating for your caravan as opposed to blown air, which is dry. As it contains fluid, it will be prone to freezing in cold weather, hence the need for antifreeze. ( This is all also true for Motorhomes )

After we had our first service, the engineer said, “Just to warn you next year’s service will need the antifreeze changing in the heating”. “Ok” I replied. He continued, “just letting you know as it is just about double the cost of your current service. “

I just nodded and carried on with my life, not really giving antifreeze a second thought. Now I’ve just booked this year’s service I remember the antifreeze conversation. So I headed to twitter, it’s a place of refuge and somewhere I can get things off my chest, so to speak. Twitter is like Facebook without the lunatics..

What followed was an interesting conversation with a few fellow caravanners. Several questions cropped up that I 1, didn’t know the answer too and 2. I’d never even though to ask.

Antifreeze Questions

  1. Why is is so expensive?
  2. Is it the same as car antifreeze?
  3. What types of antifreeze are there?
  4. How much do you need?
  5. Why do new caravan have antifreeze that only lasts 2 years?
  6. How do you check how strong the antifreeze is in the system?
  7. What are the different colours?
  8. Why are there different coloured antifreezes?
  9. How often do you actually need to change it?

…and so on. I thought I’d do some research. So I hopped onto YouTube when I really should have been getting some sleep.

I’ve read more than is healthy about antifreeze and you get A LOT of conflicting information, even from manufacturers of the stuff. It also seems to me that certain things are said to confuse, so eventually you think, oh I’ll just get it done. A bit like the MTPLM upgrade kit that I spoke about some time ago. You can’t quite figure out why you need it, so you get it, just incase.

Different Coloured Antifreeze

All antifreeze is clear and manufacturers add dye. There isn’t a standard, according to Alde, great!. Although I’d read that caravans and motorhomes are initially filled with blue antifreeze that lasts two years.

When topping up coolant, you should use the same colour that’s currently in there. But, this doesn’t mean that it’s the same “type”. I can see this turning into my rant about gas connectors tightening and loosening the wrong way and some smart arse explains why, whilst calling me a dangerous idiot. Still it’s the price you pay for trying to help.

So, the advice is to top up with the same colour but NEVER mix types and just because they are the same colour doesn’t mean they are the same type. Come on, help us out here! Naturally you’ll read mixing types will bring the wrath of, whoever the God of coolant is, meaning your pump and every other moving part for a 6 miles radius “may” be damaged! But I also assume may not?!

Alde recommend that you refill with 5 year lasting pink antifreeze. Wait a minute, you just said the colour had no effect? So already I’m thinking, “This is confusing, I’ll just pay some guy (local dealer) to do it…”

Alde themselves help with the colour myth by suggesting blue is 2 year and pink is 5, which in a way is the case, but not because blue is always 2 year stuff.

YouTube player

Antifreeze Standards, What Standards?

G13, G12++ what the heck does that mean?

G13 contains silicate additives which make it more suited for long term use as it’s kinder to metals, well, aluminium, cast iron and magnesium alloys.

G12 is better for older systems such as copper brass etc, so not suitable for caravan heating systems, unless you’ve used copper pipes? 🙂

G13 has the same “exceptional performance” as G12++ (so I’ve read) but….

G13 is better for the environment, or so I’ve read as it made using glycerin instead of glycol, but could probably still strip the skin from a racoon in less time than it takes to peel an orange.(Proved by science 🙂 ) This is not environmentally friendly stuff, you’d imagine, still as long as we’re warm and toastie on those long winter nights. It would be worse we could be taking a trans Atlantic flight to talk about climate change!

What If I Don’t Get Antifreeze Changed?

Naturally those with newer motorhomes and caravans are “forced” to get it changed as their warranty is at risk if you don’t. I guess in the same way that servicing your caravan yourself isn’t good enough for warranty purposes, I assume changing the antifreeze would be the same. However, if your caravan / motorhome is our of warranty, you can do it yourself and save a bit in the process. There are a few YouTube videos available, I’ll add these to the bottom of this article for you convenience.

What IS Antifreeze AKA Coolant?

Obviously it stops things freezing, I believe it was big in the wine industry in the 1970s, although I might have made that up.

It’s pretty awful stuff, please don’t drink it. It needs to be added to your heating systems with at least a 50/50 mix. That’s 50% antifeeze 50% water. But wait, not just any water, oh no, that would be far to simple, and of course cheaper! Read on…

Diluted Antifreeze?

It’s suggested a 50/50 mixture. Now if you read about car antifreeze, just pour in the old tap water, it’s fine, you could even go to your local stream, yep glug away my son. With a Caravan or Motorhome? Nope it needs to water from the pee of a Unicorn. If you can’t get that, deionised water will work, or as they would put it “clean water”, or guess what? Yep everything will corrode and your family will be cursed with 7 years bad luck.

Why Do New Caravans Have 2 Year Antifreeze In?

So, the problem is, after some research, Caravan / Motorhome manufacturers have been mixing antifreeze with tap water. I assume the water in Bristol isn’t that “clean”! I’m not even sure you can buy 2 year lifespan antifreeze, what is this stuff. I’ll tell you what it is, it’s CHEAP!

Alde recommends premixed G13 which has a 5 year lifespan. As of this year (2020) caravan’s will be filled with G13, hence lasting 5 years, as opposed to 2 years previously.

Alde Premium G13 Antifreeze Glycol 4070-120
476 Reviews
Alde Premium G13 Antifreeze Glycol 4070-120*
  • Alde Premium G13 Antifreeze Glycol 4070-120
  • Alde Premium G13 Antifreeze Glycol 4070-120
  • Alde Premium G13 Antifreeze Glycol 4070-120

Can I Mix 2 Year Lifespan with 5 Year or Vice-Versa

Here’s a quote from Alde:

“Bailey use a blue, silicate-containing ethylene glycol antifreeze as standard, with 2 year corrosion protection. You can safely top this up with VAG G12++ or G13 spec antifreeze (magenta in colour), although it will be cheaper and more convenient for most users to pick up a litre of the blue antifreeze above from their local fuel station.”

If you have 2 year old stuff in there, flush it out and replace with G13 magenta fluid.

CaravanVlogger’s Antifreeze Vlog

YouTube player

A Useful Video

Have a look at Bob Earnshaw’s video, this probably explains why it’s an expensive part of a service.

YouTube player

Does Mine Need Replacing?

If you’re out of warranty, would you really bother changing it every 2-5 years if you really don’t need to? Below are some bestselling coolant testers on amazon. Either look to get one of these, or if not sure, just change it.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Sealey Ak4120 Ethylene Glycol Antifreeze Tester Disc Type
144 Reviews
Sealey Ak4120 Ethylene Glycol Antifreeze Tester Disc Type*
  • Features:Checks condition of coolant antifreeze, hot or cold
  • Freeze protection level is indicated by the number of the six large coloured discs which float in the sample
  • Easy-to-read temperature table on the virtually unbreakable plastic body
  • Height: 58Width: 117Length: 389
Bestseller No. 2
Abuycs Antifreeze Refractometer for Glycol, Antifreeze, Coolant and Battery Acid, Measuring Freezing Point of Automobile Antifreeze, Glass water tester ATC Tool
75 Reviews
Abuycs Antifreeze Refractometer for Glycol, Antifreeze, Coolant and Battery Acid, Measuring Freezing Point of Automobile Antifreeze, Glass water tester ATC Tool*
  • The models have only one unit system: °F. With the indication we may know the freezing point of either ethylene glycol or propylene glycol based cooling systems. You can use this measurement tool to measure and Check Washer Fluid.With ATC(automatic temperature compensation) .
  • Ethylene Glycol: -60°F-32°F
  • Propylene Glycol: -60°F-32°F
  • Battery SG: 1.100-1.400sg
  • Windshield Washer Fluid: Ethanol + water :32°F to -40°F, Sopropyl alcohol + water (SRF1): 32°F to -40°F
SaleBestseller No. 3
Headerbs Coolant Tester, Quality Dial Type Rapid-test Anti-freeze Densitometer Coolant Tester Accessory Anti-Freeze Coolant Tester
3 Reviews
Headerbs Coolant Tester, Quality Dial Type Rapid-test Anti-freeze Densitometer Coolant Tester Accessory Anti-Freeze Coolant Tester*
  • Application to: Meet the installation needs of your vehicle without worrying about the items being unusable. Detailed application model, please check carefully before puhasing.
  • Quality Material: Anti-freeze Coolant Tester Made of high-quality ABS material, it is more wear-resistant, -resistant, durable and has a long service life. Professional manufacturing, high performance. Let your vehicle work more efficiently.
  • Reliable Performance: The Tester Coolant Tester adopts a professional design process, and it is more convenient for professionals to participate in the production. Measure the freezing point for winter protection and the boiling point for summer protection.
  • Convenient to Use: The Tester Coolant Tester can be replaced directly, which is convenient and reliable to use and easy to assemble and disassemble.Calibrated at °C and °F for easy testing.
  • Order Note : We attach great importance to the customers purchase experience all the time. If the you have any question about the item installation or quality , please contact us in time.We will spare no efforts to figure it out.
Bestseller No. 4
Antifreeze Refractometer,V·RESOURCING Hand-Held Anti Freeze Tester for Car Coolant Adblue Antifreeze System,Battery Acid,Coolant Windshield Fluid,Widely Used by Truck&Automotive Technician
1,035 Reviews
Antifreeze Refractometer,V·RESOURCING Hand-Held Anti Freeze Tester for Car Coolant Adblue Antifreeze System,Battery Acid,Coolant Windshield Fluid,Widely Used by Truck&Automotive Technician*
  • 1.[ Antifreeze Refractometer ] Designed for measuring coolant and antifreeze based on ethylene glycol or propylene glycol ,battery fluid condition and screenwash antifreeze (windshield washer fluid) based on ethanol as well as on isopropyl alcohol. And check the urea concentration in AdBlue.
  • 2.[ Measuring Range ] Battery fluid 1.10~1.40kg/l ;Propylene Glycol: -50°C -0°C ; Ethylene Glycol: -50°C -0°C ;AdBlue: 30 to 35%;Screenwash/SRF1:-40~0°C
  • 3.[ Easy to use ] Place 2 – 3 drops of sample onto the prism, and then look through the eyepiece for the results
  • 4.[ Convenient to store ] Compact in size and light in weight, packed with a plastic case, convenient to store and carry around
  • 5.[ Application ] This tool is used worldwide by truck and automotive technicians to ensure proper dilution.
Bestseller No. 5
Coolant Tester,Accurate Anti-freeze Densitometer Coolant Tester Durable Quality Dial Type Rapid-test For Car Performance Tool
6 Reviews
Coolant Tester,Accurate Anti-freeze Densitometer Coolant Tester Durable Quality Dial Type Rapid-test For Car Performance Tool*
  • 【BUILT TO LAST】Constructed of premium abs materials, this antifreeze tester is designed to easily test freezing and boiling temperatures of your coolant to water solutions
  • 【BUILT TO LAST】Constructed of premium abs materials, this antifreeze tester is designed to easily test freezing and boiling temperatures of your coolant to water solutions
  • 【EASY TO USE】Calibrated in °c and °f, convenient to test. Easy to read stickers allow you to test the solution and provides instructions
  • 【EASY TO CARRY】The coolant tester is lightweight and portable, easy to carry and use.Rapid-test coolant tester, quick to know coolant state
  • 【EASY TO CARRY】The coolant tester is lightweight and portable, easy to carry and use.Rapid-test coolant tester, quick to know coolant state
Bestseller No. 6
Sealey Ak4122 Propylene Glycol Antifreeze Tester Disc Type
314 Reviews
Sealey Ak4122 Propylene Glycol Antifreeze Tester Disc Type*
  • Features:Tests modern propylene glycol coolant antifreeze, hot or cold
  • Protection level is indicated by the number of the five large coloured discs which float in the sample
  • Easy-to-read temperature table on the virtually unbreakable plastic body
  • Height: 389Width: 118Length: 55
Bestseller No. 7
Aramox Antifreeze Tester,Automotive Anti-freeze Coolant Hydrometer Tester
16 Reviews
Aramox Antifreeze Tester,Automotive Anti-freeze Coolant Hydrometer Tester*
  • Function: Dial type coolant tester is mainly used to measure the freezing point of winter protection and the boiling point of summer protection. It can avoid the freezing of water in cold weather and the overheating of the engine to cause mechanical failure and engine failure.
  • Durable: This antifreeze tester is made of high-quality ABS material, designed to quickly test the coolant tester and quickly understand the status of the coolant.
  • Easy to Understand: Calibrated at °C and °F for quick and accurate testing, easy to read scales and pointers.
  • Lightweight and Portable: Easy to carry and use.Such a practical tool you will need it.
  • Quality Assurance: We provide professional services, including pre-sales consultation, cargo tracking, after-sales service. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Bestseller No. 8
Coolant Tester,Dial Type Rapid-test Anti-freeze Densitometer Coolant Tester Accessory coolant test prestone coolant tester hydrometer coolant tester coolant hydrometer coolant tester
40 Reviews
Coolant Tester,Dial Type Rapid-test Anti-freeze Densitometer Coolant Tester Accessory coolant test prestone coolant tester hydrometer coolant tester coolant hydrometer coolant tester*
  • Easy to read: The product accurately adjusts the tester with easy-to-read indicators for fast, accurate and easy reading of scales and hands.
  • Service Guarantee:If you have any question or any unsatisfactory about the product, you can contact our customer service at any time, our team will response you in 24 hours.
  • High-quality antifreeze tester: Made of sturdy, durable material, stable performance, freezing point for winter protection and boiling point for summer protection.
  • Easy to carry: Lightweight and portable, easy to carry and use. C ° C and ° F calibration for easy testing.
  • Practicality: The coolant tester, which quickly tests the coolant tester to quickly understand the state of the coolant.
Bestseller No. 9
Antifreeze Refractometer 4-in-1 Coolant Tester Refractometer for Checking Freezing Point of Automobile Antifreeze Systems, Anti Freeze Tester Refractometer for Battery Acid, Ethylene Propylene Glycol
364 Reviews
Antifreeze Refractometer 4-in-1 Coolant Tester Refractometer for Checking Freezing Point of Automobile Antifreeze Systems, Anti Freeze Tester Refractometer for Battery Acid, Ethylene Propylene Glycol*
  • 🚗【4-in-1】— If you notice that the battery of your your cars, solar plant or heat pumps is not durable anymore, DO NOT hurry to change it. This antifreeze refractometer will help to measure the specific gravity of your battery acid, then provide a quick reference of battery fluid condition. Also the refractometer can be used to measure cleaning fluids freezing point, screenwash antifreeze point, ADBlue point.
  • 🚗【Easy to Use】—Place 2 – 3 drops of sample onto the prism of the refractometer, then look through the eyepiece to get the reading directly.
  • 🚗【ATC Design】—The refractometer adopt Automatic Temperature Compensation from 10℃ to 30℃ (50°F~86°F), reading directly, fast, accurate and light weight.
  • 🚗【Packing List】— 1 x refractometer; 1x calibration screwdriver; 1 x pipette; 1 x instruction manual; 1 x cleaning cloth, and a free hard case included which make the refractometer convenient to store and carry around.
  • 🚗【Note】— Do not measure abrasive or corrosive chemicals with this instrument.
Bestseller No. 10
Antifreeze Tester Duokon Coolant Tester, Anti Freeze Tester Tool High Accuracy Dial Type Anti-Freeze Coolant Tester Car Battery Liquid Densitometer 6/12/24V
15 Reviews
Antifreeze Tester Duokon Coolant Tester, Anti Freeze Tester Tool High Accuracy Dial Type Anti-Freeze Coolant Tester Car Battery Liquid Densitometer 6/12/24V*
  • Fast and accurate testing: The coolant tester provides quick and accurate results with its easy-to-read scale and pointer. It allows users to quickly and efficiently measure the coolant’s temperature in both Celsius and Fahrenheit, making it convenient to test.
  • Versatile usage: This antifreeze tester is specially designed to measure the freezing point for winter protection and the boiling point for summer protection. This versatility ensures that users can easily determine the suitability of their coolant based on the season, helping them make informed decisions to protect their vehicle’s engine.
  • Lightweight and portable: Made from lightweight ABS material, the coolant tester is easy to carry and use on-the-go. Its portable design ensures that users can conveniently test their coolant’s condition whenever and wherever required, providing peace of mind.
  • Rapid coolant testing: This antifreeze checker is specifically designed for rapid-testing coolant. It provides quick results, allowing users to assess the state of their coolant and take action promptly if any issues are detected. This saves time and effort, ensuring optimal performance and protection for the vehicle’s cooling system.
  • User-friendly and convenient: With its simple design and easy-to-read scale, this coolant tester is user-friendly and suitable for both professionals and DIY enthusiasts. It requires minimal effort to operate and provides clear results, making it accessible for anyone who needs to test their coolant.

*Last update on 2024-07-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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