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*
  • 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

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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*
  • 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
SaleBestseller No. 2
Silverline Anti-Freeze Tester -7°C to -37°C (427656)*
  • Coloured discs indicate protection level
  • Tests coolant levels
  • Easy-to-read temperature table
  • Sturdy plastic body
  • Suitable for use with ethylene glycol anti-freeze
Bestseller No. 3
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. 4
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. 5
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. 6
Unitec 74277 Frost Protection Measuring PINDEL Coolant Aero Temp*
  • Tested quality
  • 2 part plastic spindle
  • Improved safety in the Sunburst use
  • Made in Germany
  • International products have separate terms, are sold from abroad and may differ from local products, including fit, age ratings, and language of product, labeling or instructions.
Bestseller No. 7
DHA 28pc Cooling System Radiator Pressure Tester Kit, Engine Water Leak Detector Kit, Radiator Cooling System Vacuum Purge Coolant Refill Tool, Universal Radiator Pressure Tester Kit*
  • Color Coded Caps: Color coded radiator test caps aid with identifying which cap is needed for each application, so it’s easy for you to choose the suitable test cap for the job without messy.
  • Universal Use with 17 Test Caps: Equipped with 17 test caps for testing cooling systems on most domestic and import vehicles,Working pressure is from 0 to 35 psi.
  • Blow Molded Case: Equipped with a bold molded case, which keeps your kit organized, providing you a convenient way to tester. Besides, with the case, you could easily bring this radiator pressure tester set to anywhere you needed.
  • Easy to Use: Special design of vacuum purge and refill tool connection allows easy testing for leakage in radiator system and quick change of coolant. With this pressure tester, you could easily do the job.
  • Universal Automotive Water Tank Pneumatic Vacuum Antifreeze Change Filler Set, with Adapter Case Hose
Bestseller No. 8
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.
SaleBestseller No. 9
Anti-freeze Tester, Car Coolant Antifreeze Tester Fast Coolant Tester Measures Boiling Point Freezing Point Dial Type Coolant Tester for Summer Protection Winter Protection*
  • 【Easy To Carry】Lightweight and portable antifreeze tester for cars, easy to carry and use
  • 【Quick Check】Rapid-test coolant tester, quick to know coolant state
  • 【Easy To Test】The antifreeze tester calibrated in °C and °F, convenient to test
  • 【Measuring Freezing Point&Boiling Point】The dial type coolant tester measures freezing point for winter protection and boiling point for summer protection
  • 【Easy To Read】Anti freeze tester, fast and accurate with easy to read scale & pointer
SaleBestseller No. 10
Unitec HP-Autozubehör Hydrotemp 74275 18155 Antifreeze Tester Hydrotemp*
  • Rotating measuring mechanism
  • Impact-resistant plastic
  • Drip Free intake duct
  • Professional quality for ethylene glycol coolants
  • Fast and accurate readings at all temparatures

*Last update on 2024-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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