Swapping out my Alde 3020

campskunk

Active member
my Alde had developed some propane ignition problems so when i started to replace the igniters and sensor i noticed about half an inch of water in the bottom of the Alde case. not good. i had an internal leak in the fresh water supply, and was going to need a new unit. luckily i found undermountAC.com, an Ontario supplier who's the best source for all things Alde in North America. the igniters had come from a RV supply place in England, which means you pay 30 bucks for the parts and 30 bucks for Royal Mail. and wait a month. I just needed the bare unit, not all the hoses, exhaust, control unit, etc. you need for a fresh install, and undermountAC.com got it to me in five days for less than $2000. the install is about a two hour job, which means i can do it if you give me all day, triple checking all the Sharkbite connectors and so forth because i don't want to have to take the bed apart again to get to all this stuff. i put it in and it works great.

what i found out was that Roadtrek put the pressure limiter regulator on the fresh cold water line going into the Alde unit, not on the rest of the cold water plumbing. my wife, bless her, eagerly ordered and got me to install a shower head with a cutoff valve, and a Water Pic type thing that hooks onto the wet bath sink faucet soon after we got the van, and these devices connected unregulated pressurized cold water to the hot water supply, which pressurized the Alde internal plumbing via the hot water outlet up to the 55 psi the pump produced, defeating the whole purpose of the pressure limiter regulator on the intake side and eventually causing a leak. she had been complaining about the difficulty of temperature regulation on the shower head - now i know why. before i put the new Alde in i installed a 30 psi limiter immediately downstream of the water pump, so now our entire water system operates at a more moderate pressure, and within design specs for the Alde.

considering that this unit lasted four years in its over pressurized and always-on condition (we are fulltimers), i can't complain. this unit has really spoiled us for any other system. i would hate to go back to cold floors and fan noise. and the 3020 is a direct swap-in for the stock 3010 in production Roadtreks, and it operates fine at high altitudes. if your 3010 craps out, get a 3020.

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Moto Vita

Active member
Are you replacing a 3010 with a 3020? I'd like to hear details of the conversion. I believe you need the 3020 control panel.
 

campskunk

Active member
Are you replacing a 3010 with a 3020? I'd like to hear details of the conversion. I believe you need the 3020 control panel.
I got the original 3020 back about four years ago when I swung by the Roadtrek factory for some unrelated reason. Like Airstream and T@b, they were getting customer complaints from me and others about the 3010’s poor performance at altitudes above 7000 feet. Back in their home market Alde doesn't have any customers who try to operate their units at altitudes like we run into here in North America - the highest camping for RVs in Europe is less than 2000 meters. They needed someone to test how the 3020 worked at altitude and I got volunteered. We (and by "we" I mean "I" - they were short on labor in the R&D section and i got tired of waiting around, so I put it in myself, with them checking the connections) took out the perfectly good 3010 I had and put in this 3020, which completely solved the altitude problem, and ran well until the last few months. So the real swap out was back then, and there was nothing to swap except the bare unit and the control unit. Exhaust, fresh water and glycol plumbing connections, even my remote cabin temperature sensor were all the same.

Here I am up at Beartooth Summit, testing away. At night, we were the only people around for ten miles.

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Moto Vita

Active member
Good to hear of your successful update Campskunk. I have a 3020 sitting here to replace the 3010 in my 2017 Adventurer. Installing it myself isn't an option right now and the only RV shop here (Spokane, WA) that knows anything about Alde is the Airstream dealer, and they refuse to work on vans.
What year is your Roadtrek and what pump do you have that generates 55 PSI? I don't think my shurflow will achieve anywhere near that.
 

campskunk

Active member
Good to hear of your successful update Campskunk. I have a 3020 sitting here to replace the 3010 in my 2017 Adventurer. Installing it myself isn't an option right now and the only RV shop here (Spokane, WA) that knows anything about Alde is the Airstream dealer, and they refuse to work on vans.
What year is your Roadtrek and what pump do you have that generates 55 PSI? I don't think my shurflow will achieve anywhere near that.
Shurflo standard model for Roadtreks is the 4008-101-A65. you can see the model number on the pump. it shuts off at 55 psi, and comes back on at 40. i turned the pressure on mine down because it was putting too much pressure on the pressure regulator and not shutting off crisply. there's a 5/64 allen fastener on the pressure switch you can adjust. unscrew it to lower the pressure, screw it in to increase the pressure.

my Roadtrek is on a 2013 Sprinter chassis, although we didn't get it finished until October 2014 and it's titled as a 2014 Roadtrek. had to wait on the cabinetry and skirting for the extended body Sprinter. my skirting went on still warm from the mold and paint shop. it was the first extended body produced.

call up Tom at undermountAC.com. he may know someone in the Spokane area who can install an Alde. it's not rocket science.
 
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Moto Vita

Active member
Thanks for the tip campskunk, I'll call.
I'll have to look at my pump, I'm quite sure it doesn't put out 55PSI. The reason I'm sure is actually a funny story. When I first got the van and was checking it out and cleaning it, I hooked it up to my home water system, my well pump is set to cut off at 55PSI. The water system in the van worked normally. The first time I took the van on a trip I switched to the fresh water tank and pump, that's the only way I've used it since. Once on the road, the first time I tried to use hot water I could get no flow. After a couple hours of re- reading the manual and double checking all valves and looking along the water lines with a flashlight, I found a check valve in the supply line to the Alde unit, INSTALLED BACKWARDS!!! I flipped the valve around and everything worked. The house pressure was apparently able to force water backwards through the check valve (obviously high quality parts) and the shurflo couldn't do so.
The story doesn't end there. The next time I had the van in for warranty work I relayed my story and asked them to replace the check valve since it had flowed backwards for a while. They agreed to do so and ordered and installed a new check valve. Imagine my surprise when I was checking their work and found the new check valve installed....backwards!
 

campskunk

Active member
that check valve may be the pressure regulator - mine is blue. right next to the frost protection valve in the driver's side ottoman box.

try Blue Dog RV just across the border in Post Falls, ID. they sell Truma, and Alde is part of Truma now. they may be able to put your unit in for you.
 

Moto Vita

Active member
that check valve may be the pressure regulator - mine is blue. right next to the frost protection valve in the driver's side ottoman box.

try Blue Dog RV just across the border in Post Falls, ID. they sell Truma, and Alde is part of Truma now. they may be able to put your unit in for you.
That would make more sense for it to be a pressure regulator, I never understood why there would be a check valve there. Are you saying that that was the only regulator on your van? I thought there was one at the hose connection, I'd better check.
I bought an RV at Blue Dog once, I swore I'd never go back there. There may be new owners/management since then, I guess I should check.
 

campskunk

Active member
yeah i installed a pressure regulator at the city water connection to guard against high pressure hookups, but that won't protect your Alde from a high pressure water pump.
 

Moto Vita

Active member
yeah i installed a pressure regulator at the city water connection to guard against high pressure hookups, but that won't protect your Alde from a high pressure water pump.
If you're still monitering this I have a question. How do you get the fluid out of the system so you can change the unit? Looking online it appears that larger RVs have a drain underneath the floor but my Alde appears to just be sitting loosely on the floor without any attachment to, or perforation of, the floor.
 

Moto Vita

Active member
If you're still monitering this I have a question. How do you get the fluid out of the system so you can change the unit? Looking online it appears that larger RVs have a drain underneath the floor but my Alde appears to just be sitting loosely on the floor without any attachment to, or perforation of, the floor.
I'll answer my own question for the benefit of future generations.
Run the left side tires up on blocks, then remove the plastic cover in the footwell of the sliding door and remove the rubber elbow that is there, gravity should take care of things from there.
 

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