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Fad or useful?

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I just saw an article about Alde heating now has a Truma iNet interface.  

Its got me thinking, is the ability to remote control things like heating, water heater, aircon etc actually a useful thing or is this another fad?

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Not of use to me personally. If I were on constant EHU on a seasonal pitch over winter it might be usefull to set heating for 5 degrees to avoid frost damage and to be able to increase it prior to arrival on site

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It seems that most people don’t use the time function on their Alde heating anyway so I would say fad.  

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Was a bit apprehensive when I fitted it to the home heating and thought I would never use it but being able to control the money gobbling heating when we not here is a great advantage being able to override the timed programs .

 

I can see an advantage as said arriving at a heated caravan or if on metered electric .

 

 

Dave

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Fad.

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29 minutes ago, CommanderDave said:

Was a bit apprehensive when I fitted it to the home heating and thought I would never use it but being able to control the money gobbling heating when we not here is a great advantage being able to override the timed programs .

I can see an advantage as said arriving at a heated caravan or if on metered electric .

Dave

 

Yes agreed on the home issue - not sure I would need one for van though but I do like gadgets!!

Edited by SamD

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44 minutes ago, fred said:

It seems that most people don’t use the time function on their Alde heating anyway so I would say fad.  

That's because its not very good. The Truma control panel in our last van was much better. It was programmable to do much the same as our home systems, reduce the temperature at night so it was never too cold, then raise it at a set time in the morning, along  raising the water temperature for an hour or two for that morning shower. The Alde controller can't do the latter, it has just one water temperature setting.

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15 minutes ago, thebriars said:

That's because its not very good. The Truma control panel in our last van was much better. It was programmable to do much the same as our home systems, reduce the temperature at night so it was never too cold, then raise it at a set time in the morning, along  raising the water temperature for an hour or two for that morning shower. The Alde controller can't do the latter, it has just one water temperature setting.

 

I know nothing about the Truma system but to be fair the Alde version does the same things you have mentioned less the higher setting for hotter water but the Alde only needs a few minutes to heat to the second level provided that it had been running at the lower level for a while - in your scenario it would have.    I can hear mine click on and off but it would be great if there was a better method of informing when ready.

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The Alde system has a hot water boost facility afaik you have to set it on the controller.  But because it is a combi it basically switches off the heating.  We find the normal water temperature setting fine.   We have both have had showers this morning.  There is a night setting so the temperature can be changed. There is also a daytime setting and a default setting our is programmed as follows 11pm - 7am  night setting water off, 7am-10am default 24c water on, 10am-4 30pm day setting 19c 4 30pm- 11pm default.   It takes literally a few seconds to change the settings.  I have switch the day setting off because we are sitting in the van because it’s pouring down.  

I have no idea if the temperatures I have set relate to the real temp tbh I don’t care it’s just a number that gives us comfortable temperatures when we want it.  

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Water boost is different from setting water temperature. The Alde produced scalding hot water all the time, the Truma can be reduced to a more normal temperature for daytime use.   Everything you are suggesting above can be done with the Truma and more, but considering the Alde system is so expensive, I would have expected a more versatile controller, its very crude. Alde could have easily programmed something much better.

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You need to complain to Alde’s owners which is Truma about this.  

 

Edit 

 

The Alde hot water tank is relatively small so hot water is a good idea because you can dilute it with cold.  It would seem to me a sensible safety step would be to fit thermostatic control valves on particularly the shower to prevent the risk of scalding.  

Edited by fred

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Its not a fad at all, the concept of caravan systems speaking together via a central “brain” is little different to what we already take for granted in a car (canbus in car and ci-bus in caravan).  Why on earth would we want multiple control panels when one can do it all, central diagnostics and control and even better when integrated with smart devices. Bring it on I say.

 

Love it or hate it Swift’s Command is the only UK manufacturer really embracing this change, they are not quite getting it right yet but its getting there. This new model year (2019) sees a new panel (touch screen) and gone is the JVC radio with in-built DAB, here is a sneak peek . .

 

I can already hear the “aint broke dont fix it” brigade but sadly as we age out the new gen just expect this gadgetry, so lets “get down with the kids” 🤣

C1C63FF0-FCE9-4284-AA2B-9B5D64176CA6.jpeg

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I would much prefer the funds needed to provide it being spent on a higher rated running gear to have a usable payload, or even adequate time to assemble the van correctly.

Love gadgets and technology, but only after the basics are sorted first.

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We had Eccles 560 with swift command and probably due to my own ignorance didn’t get on with it, yes it did lots of cool things via my phone but a switch by my bed would of been better for me.

now back to basics with Bailey but must admit the new swift command with radio looks awesome and the swift was far better built than the Bailey but let’s not go there.

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2 hours ago, fred said:

You need to complain to Alde’s owners which is Truma about this.  

 

Sadly I've more to worry about in trying to get the caravan rejected (or rather to get the dealer to accept that it is so well below par that its definitely going to be rejected) than bother to write to Alde.

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2 hours ago, fred said:

You need to complain to Alde’s owners which is Truma about this.  

Alde owned by Truma? ?

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1 hour ago, MartinJB said:

Alde owned by Truma? ?

Yep

Edited by fred

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1 hour ago, fred said:

 

Yep

Yeah just found it in company history, seems a well hidden fact hey! well thats my learn new today thanks Fred! 

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MartinJB  you are welcome :D

 

In the van at the moment the heating came on at 7 and it’s toasty.  

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I think it'd be a pretty cool gadget (and I do love my gadgets). @ericmark has a thread in the Electric forum discussing geofencing where your system would turn off automatically if you went out for the day and turn back on on your return. Or you could turn it on remotely a few times over winter to avoid damp.

 

But you will also need to consider that this would be another device drinking electrons 24 hours per day and you'd need to replenish this drain with something like a solar panel to maintain battery health.

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Thank you for the idea, I use to brew beer, and to brew beer temperature is important, so I built two units to automatic turn heater or fridge off/on to maintain the temperature, using one of these in caravan over winter it can turn on heating in freezing conditions, I can just put a oil filled radiator in caravan.

 

However there is a lot going for KISS (keep it simple silly) and I think simply draining water is a better idea.

 

I had it with mothers house before we moved in with her, lucky I had a camera where we could see if she was OK which also had a thermometer built in, one day checked and house at 28 deg C batteries had gone flat in the wireless thermostat. It seems more expensive types had fail safe and if thermostat not seen once every half hour they auto turn down.

 

The point being we tend to forget to consider what happens when it goes wrong.   it was pointed out with geofencing likely better to simply switch on/off by accessing phone manually and not relying on the automatic function.

 

I have two sockets, originally used for extruder alarm to alert us if mother tried to leave house, now works bedside light and fan, all timers now not used, however every so often fan or light turns on without my pressing remote button. The plug in unit also records power being used so I can check remotely if on or not, but even when I can I don't, so if the caravan supply turns off (At moment it is recording power used by caravan parked in garden) I would still now know. As I simply don't bother checking.   Well since writing this I have checked still on and caravan using 15W.

 

The two remote controlled sockets were a god save when mother was alive, alarm was upstairs, the remotes allowed us to disable down stairs, and it auto switched back on at three selected times in the day, but now it's just a toy. OK works bed side light, but could just as easy use switches on cords.

 

If my electric heater in my caravan turns on in error, I use a bit of extra electric, so what!  If my gas heater turns on in error I return to empty gas bottle and no heat, that's more of a problem.

 

 

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