Caravan in use Electric consumption.

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Mar 29, 2021
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We are stopping on a metered pitch this season it will be a first so i found this a very interesting read and what you use per day .but we will not be doing any washing because we are on holiday keep inputting (Darren)
Had a bit of an edit after you replied.
 
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Thursday to Friday

20 kwh used at £0.17.5 equals £3.50
Day time temperature was not much higher than 8 degrees with a night time low of 3 degrees, the coldest night this week, the car windscreens are frosted over too! An explanation as to our higher than expected electric usage.

In the evening the rear of the caravan was luke warm to a chill.

The bed had the heated fleece between the sheets and set to 4, drawing around 0.3 amps timed to go off in 4 hours. An electric blanket would be larger but with only one use, and I purchased the fleece a while back as part of my general caravan kit so it was to hand.

The partition curtain was used on an evening along with the fan heater to top up the heat, and as per usual 22.00 or around that was bed time for me, Michelle stayed up another hour or so.

We both showered in the site facilities, our leccy kettle used about 6 times.

06.30 Alde at 18 degrees
09.30 Alde into "Day Mode" of 5 degrees
16.45 Alde "Day Mode" off heating resorts to set temp of 18 degrees.
17.15 I'm home, Alde set to 14 degrees, partition curtain closed, fan heater set to 17 degrees, which translates to a room temperature of 21 degrees according to the Alde panel, and its very warm. Alde can't function as heating as the room temperature is way above the Alde set point.
18.00 Electric Fleece between the bed sheets is set to 4.
22.00 Alde into "Night Mode" at 14 degrees, electric fleece off.
04.00 I'm up again, partition closed, heating via Alde only, the system is on and off every few minutes, the cold outside ambient temperature coupled with the caravans heat loss means a steady flow of heat coming from up the back of the lounge chairs.
06.30 Alde set to 18 degrees.

Our usual temperature setting on Alde would be 21 degrees, which it has been for years of use. A set point of 18 degrees which we are using now is "Just" comfortable without fan heater intervention.
Its clear without any explanations the given is, the higher the interior heating the greater the kwh usage.
In my mind with this weeks monitoring to achieve the higher interior temperature's we desire, around 21 degrees, the most cost effective way is to use a fan heater and only heat the part of the caravan that's being used, sacrificing a little discomfort for toilet trips.
It sounds obvious, but the eye opener is when mixing 2 heat sources, wet and fan, you can have a very toasty interior without burning a hole in your pocket.

Next post will be Sunday, a total of our weeks usage as the next 48 hours will be almost a repeat of todays.
 
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Its glaringly obvious that for this style of layout Alde has missed a trick, a pipe cutting the caravan in half left to right at or near the curtain partition would allow a selection to be made of heating all the caravan or just the lounge/kitchen area. Indeed if a variable valve was used then maybe you could select how much heated glycol went rearward to give all over control of the internal space...
I seriously doubt that Alde can be blamed for the layout in your caravan. I know from personal experience how despite appliance manufacturers offering their input into the way their products can be installed, the caravan manufacturer make teh final decision, and will cut costs by missing out some of the appliance manufacture's design points.

We've had many instances where caravan owners have been dissatisfied with an appliance or its performance, and it turns out its not becasue the appliance was faulty, but it had been installed in a way that did not allow it to function to its best effect.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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I seriously doubt that Alde can be blamed for the layout in your caravan. I know from personal experience how despite appliance manufacturers offering their input into the way their products can be installed, the caravan manufacturer make teh final decision, and will cut costs by missing out some of the appliance manufacture's design points.

We've had many instances where caravan owners have been dissatisfied with an appliance or its performance, and it turns out its not becasue the appliance was faulty, but it had been installed in a way that did not allow it to function to its best effect.
I agree as we had a similar issue with our Lunar due to poor design by the manufacturer. There was a modification where 3 vents were required by the front windows. Resolved the heating issue.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Some very detailed reports from you Darren (y), but it's going to be difficult to draw any detailed conclusions from them.

Your daily energy usage especially for space heating will be significantly affected by the external ambient temperatures and the wind chill factors. Caravans have very little thermal mass and despite having better insulation than the used to have 20 years ago, they quickly loose heat at the slightest opportunity, and one of the biggest influences will be the external ambient conditions, including temperature, wind and humidity. Frost also has an effect, becasue it takes energy to make it change from ice to water yet there is no temperature change until the ice has actually melted.

Other things can also make a significant effect, the number of times and how long the caravans' door is opened. Windows and roof lights opened to ventilate when people are doing their ablutions. - Even the number of people ( and animals) in the caravan.

Then also cooking or making hot drinks also puts heat into the caravan, this reduces the demand on the heating appliances.

Basically there are so many variables it will be difficult to give absolute values on energy usage, and so far the differences you have reported I strongly suspect would be within unknows caused by variables.

However despite my reservations about the value of your observations, it will lead you towards some general ideas about how effective your caravans facilities are. (y),
 
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I seriously doubt that Alde can be blamed for the layout in your caravan. I know from personal experience how despite appliance manufacturers offering their input into the way their products can be installed, the caravan manufacturer make teh final decision, and will cut costs by missing out some of the appliance manufacture's design points.

We've had many instances where caravan owners have been dissatisfied with an appliance or its performance, and it turns out its not becasue the appliance was faulty, but it had been installed in a way that did not allow it to function to its best effect.
I take it "Layout" means the Alde install?

If blame is to be shoulder by anyone then I would point to people who test a new design. As these folk should be giving feed back of the caravan in use.

On our model bought new I'm convinced not a single person who caravans can have tested the design before sign off.

First issue are the alloy wheels, the spokes form 2 size of slot between, a large and a small, the Alko wheel lock fits in the large.
Have guess where the tyre valve is?
The number of times I've put the van on a pitch and had the flipping valve in the way, on some because of obstacles either at the rear, or at the side stopping the toilet cassette door from opening it wasn't fees able to move, so I bought a jack. Who could not have spotted this?
I won't list the others but you get my point, so on designing a heating system more bespoke to a caravans layout that again should be a thing, brought about from testing the product.

My usage is linked to weather and how we use the Alde programmable functions, with savings made by utilised use of the fan heater.
The figures show savings can be made, and the cost to an inclusive site of Alde use only caravans. as Wednesday figures are just so, with only slightly over £4 spent. or 25kwh.

The posts arnt ment to be scientific, as the title says, in use.
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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Part of the heat retention problem is the safety ventilation. Just imagine. Block off all the ventilation holes and slots! I jest but as we all know caravans must breathe and certain nasties must hopefully escape too. So please anyone following this thread do not block the floor ventilation slots even if you feel they are drafty.
 

Ern

May 23, 2021
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One simple factor which influences the caravan internal temperature is the sun. Even on a cold day, the sun can radiate loads of heat through windows and roof lights. The absence of sun can turn the value of the same windows and roof lights negative.
 
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I take it "Layout" means the Alde install?

If blame is to be shoulder by anyone then I would point to people who test a new design. As these folk should be giving feed back of the caravan in use.

On our model bought new I'm convinced not a single person who caravans can have tested the design before sign off.

Yes the Alde install.

Alde may well have offered or been consulted about the best way to install their product in that model of caravan. But ultimately it would the caravan manufacturers decision about what features to include. Also it would be the caravan manufacturers own fitters that actually carry out the installations on the production line.

30 years ago I worked for an appliance manufacturing company. As one of its service's it operated a NAMAS accredited test house. We could place whole caravans in an environmental chamber and test their heating systems . As a result of those tests we were able to modify an installation (not necessarily increasing the cost or parts count) and improve heat distribution throughout the caravan. Those results were made available to the clients. One client in particular also sent the results and recommendations to the caravan manufacturer. I never saw any later production caravans having their installations changed.

On the point of feedback, some of the most successful companies collect and use feedback (complaints or comments) to improve a product or service. In fact it is a feature that companies striving for accreditation to the ISO 9000 series and other management models have to demonstrate to the surveillance inspection teams. There is little evidence that caravan manufacturers embrace user opinions arising from some costly problems.

I appreciate your content, and I encourage you to continue as that will build on your spread of information, but my concern is that the results you have so far are not perhaps as reliable indicator as you might like them to be, and just to take them with a slightly broader view. The variables I have mentioned and others I haven't, could be responsible for a significant error in your conclusions about costs.
 
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Friday to Saturday

Usage was 18 kwhs @ £0.175 equals £3.168

As the previous 24 hours when it comes to Alde settings and fan heater use, plus I'm still waking up a silly o'clock!
 
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Hey Prof.

Its mainly a bit of geeky fun, but with a nod towards both users/site owners/manufacturers and readers of this thread as I've never really seen or read anything along these lines, other than wild speculation of costs. And in the News the rising cost of energy for home owners, no mention of those many thousands that live in the less insulated static caravans and tourers we have noticed, plenty here in Cornwall.

We started this week on mission frugale, relaxing as the days past because the predicted combined weekly cost of electric and reduced pitch price didn't take us above our previous sites all inclusive weekly tariff.

Heating is the overriding cost, I have never taken any notice or note of how the caravan operates at these times of year, as I suspect the majority dont, simply plug in switch on and forget.

However this week my mind has focused on "Improvements" let's say that could be made to comfort and heating costs.
The CAMC when I was a member put out a statement asking members to ration their electric consumption whilst at the same time accrediting caravan manufacturers with awards! Go figure me that.

Alde does have the option of a seperate bedroom thermostat, but that takes us back to "One or the Other". Which section of the van gets heat and which doesn't, not much joy if kids are asleep in the rear and mum and dad are freezing up front.

Alde has it limitations is I think a perfectly sound observation from this weeks "Look See".

Unfortunately I'm working today, but as of clocking off we are on holiday for a week, no need to pack the caravan and head off for the long drive to Cornwall as we would, because we are already here 😀.

Enjoy your day John, for part of it, I won't be 😕
 
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Saturday to Sunday.
20 kwh at £0.175 equals £3.50

The meter readings are taken at 06.30 as I leave for work at 07.00

Our daily electric usage for a working day seems to have settled at around 20 kwh.
We peaked at 25 kwh because that was 1 session with the tumble dryer and Michelle's day off. She didn't stay in all day, I imagine about 4 hours was spent out doing the essentials, hair nails and shopping, Girls!

The weather for the week has been daytime highs of 9 degrees with the lowest night time of 3 degrees.
Alde is the sole source of heating for night time, set at 13 degrees at the room thermostat between 22.00 and 06.00.

I've found it an interesting experience, and as far as mixing wet and fan heater for heat verses cost, its one that we shall stick with, along with using the partition to shut the back half of the caravan off, a thing we have never done but that not only saves money but unbelievably the difference in temperature between the two halves is striking, its like walking from an oven to a fridge.

Week 19 of living full time in a tourer has now been completed, we expected no more than 12 weeks, building delays of the housing development means another 13 weeks to go we are told. Covid has been the overriding reason so hopefully with the lesser self isolation rules the end of April build date should see the next chapter of our lives begin, with the sale of the caravan, but the money will be banked and when the time is right we shall purchase another, a different layout of mid bathroom with fixed end bed is more suitable than the end bathroom transverse bed we have now, but one thing I shall pay a special attention to is "Blown Air Heating", as I can distantly recall seeing or reading about fore and aft heaters.

I think I may pen another post on "Living full time in a touring caravan", you never know.

I've enjoyed myself writing this, hope you all have a smashing day, I'm off swimming in the sea and learning to play on my new Cornish toy, a Stand Up Paddle Board, check out Ready Money Cove web cam and gaze at one of the most relaxing beautiful beaches in Cornwall Here, hopefully there about 11 ish, that reminds me, Tide times.

Bye All.
Darren H.
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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Been an interesting series of posts. Thank you. Won’t be swimming but washing cars and replacing an outside light. Not quite the same, but eh oh.
 
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The magazine did an article on how the ALDE heating design is arrived at a good few years ago. Quite simply the caravan maker sends the design to Alde who then produce a system they think will work. This is incorporated into a prototype and would be tested in the Alde cold chambers to see if it works and tweeked if need be.
On that basis there should be no problems, but possibly changes made from prototype to production may happen and possibly different models with the same layout might use the same design. Things change during the lifetime of a model. so that can mean problems develop elsewhere.
 
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Your excellent series of posts have certainly focused my mind on power consumption. Our CL near Harrogate uses pay meters . Usually our spend is £1.50 per day. Early March will be the best test as the site will be the coldest time of year we have use it. If I get away with £3.00 a day👏👏. In fairness we will be at my sons most of the day but will keep the heating ticking over.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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On another thread there was mention of using a portable induction hob in the caravan. What would be interesting to compare is whether it is cheaper to use a +2000w induction hob instead of gas if the gas of a litre of gas is £0.70 and the cost of 1kwh is £0.18p.
Another good comparison would be using an air fryer 2450w instead of the gas hob? Any thoughts.
 
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Jan 3, 2012
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Your excellent series of posts have certainly focused my mind on power consumption. Our CL near Harrogate uses pay meters . Usually our spend is £1.50 per day. Early March will be the best test as the site will be the coldest time of year we have use it. If I get away with £3.00 a day👏👏. In fairness we will be at my sons most of the day but will keep the heating ticking over.
Hi DD cannot wait to see what you use in March we are trying a metered pitch soon and i roughly need to know what to expect per day (y)
 
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Hi DD cannot wait to see what you use in March we are trying a metered pitch soon and i roughly need to know what to expect per day (y)
BB, You have the bench marks already. Height of winter.
Darren , living full time on board seems to average out approx £3.50 per day.
Me is £1.50 per day as we are only there part time.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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About three years ago, we were at Henlow Bridge lakes, And had a water line come loose, flooded the van. Drained the water and for the next 24 hours had the air blown heating on full blast for all the time. Metered electric was less than £5. 00 I hate to think what it would be now.
Lovely site though and great outdoor shows.
 
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On the point about Alde design, in our caravan its hopeless, I struggle to understand how this layout was green lighted for production, and again no real caravaner could have tested this type.

My complaint to Coachman and Alde was noise, cheapness was the aim I presume. I almost sold the caravan within a few months of ownership when we had our first use of Alde at night time so about 5 months after purchase the gloss well and truly came off.
Our transverse bed has wardrobes either side, within my wardrobe, the woman bagged the toilet side of the bed straight off, there is the header tank, within it a very noisy 12 volt pump without, it emerged, the soft start that an in boiler pump has.
ZzzzzZUMM every 10 minutes or so as the heating kicked in and out, an absolute nightmare.
Next there are heating ducts almost the full length of the bed, both at the headboard and foot of the bed, too much heat but the "Bedroom" thermostat is an option and to fit retrospectively a bit of a pain, so I fitted a soft start box to the cheap as chips electric motor which helped, and we permanently have a towel over it too!
I think Coachman/Alde must have been inundated with complaints as they dropped this idea on the next years models, but how on earth it came to pass is a mystery if as they claim a panel of folk test them first.

Ive kept meaning to source a quieter motor, but as often is the case other matters take over and it doesn't get done.

Then there's innovation, so again my idea, well maybe not but I will claim it, for a pipe to run left to right at a strategic point to allow a variable valve to give some control of Fore and Aft heat, controlled by the panel, cant be too difficult surely?

This thread is about in use, so for us to heat the entire internal space is a waste of energy, in todays environmental awareness culture should the industry look at "Out of the Box" ways to achieve greater efficiencies?
Our New build home has the latest tech to reduce heating costs, a central heating system that at the touch of a button, so to speak, turns off the entire upstairs!
Come on the Caravan industry, get on board and put your thinking hats on!
 
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Ern

May 23, 2021
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On the point about Alde design, in our caravan its hopeless, I struggle to understand how this layout was green lighted for production, and again no real caravaner could have tested this type.

My complaint to Coachman and Alde was noise, cheapness was the aim I presume. I almost sold the caravan within a few months of ownership when we had our first use of Alde at night time so about 5 months after purchase the gloss well and truly came off.
Our transverse bed has wardrobes either side, within my wardrobe, the woman bagged the toilet side of the bed straight off, there is the header tank, within it a very noisy 12 volt pump without, it emerged, the soft start that an in boiler pump has.
ZzzzzZUMM every 10 minutes or so as the heating kicked in and out, an absolute nightmare.
Next there are heating ducts almost the full length of the bed, both at the headboard and foot of the bed, too much heat but the "Bedroom" thermostat is an option and to fit retrospectively a bit of a pain, so I fitted a soft start box to the cheap as chips electric motor which helped, and we permanently have a towel over it too!
I think Coachman/Alde must have been inundated with complaints as they dropped this idea on the next years models, but how on earth it came to pass is a mystery if as they claim a panel of folk test them first.

Ive kept meaning to source a quieter motor, but as often is the case other matters take over and it doesn't get done.

Then there's innovation, so again my idea, well maybe not but I will claim it, for a pipe to run left to right at a strategic point to allow a variable valve to give some control of Fore and Aft heat, controlled by the panel, cant be too difficult surely?

This thread is about in use, so for us to heat the entire internal space is a waste of energy, in todays environmental awareness culture should the industry look at "Out of the Box" ways to achieve greater efficiencies?
Our New build home has the latest tech to reduce heating costs, a central heating system that at the touch of a button, so to speak, turns off the entire upstairs!
Come on the Caravan industry, get on board and put your thinking hats on!
Coachman could have installed the heating with a boiler mounted pump and a bedroom stat which was/is part of the available kit from Alde. Our Swift Challenger has both. I think your attempt to use a caravan as if it's a house with separate rooms and two floors is a non-starter. A touring caravan isn't intended for that. The distance from the bedroom stat location to the Alde Panel can't be that far, and if they are on the same near side wall, why not fit one?
 
Mar 29, 2021
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Coachman could have installed the heating with a boiler mounted pump and a bedroom stat which was/is part of the available kit from Alde. Our Swift Challenger has both. I think your attempt to use a caravan as if it's a house with separate rooms and two floors is a non-starter. A touring caravan isn't intended for that. The distance from the bedroom stat location to the Alde Panel can't be that far, and if they are on the same near side wall, why not fit one?
On the bedroom stat, I did look but achieving a nice finish routing the cable and protecting the rear of thermostat had issues, couple that with its not really required as using Night Mode and the Room Stat as a comfort figure works.
Coachman and Swift didnt want to fit a boiler pump on these models extra £200 in bits, cost cutting.

On living in a tourer well plenty of people do 52 weeks a year, 7 at the last site, one caravan the bloke had built a wooden awning/extension to the side of his tourer. We are into week 20 and very happy thank you.
There have been a few issues but with a little effort and thought easily overcome, and as this thread shows, if you mean by house its a reference to heating, last week and for the next 13 we will be doing just that

Have a lovely day, Plymouth for us, shopping for an elusive new Ebike for my vertically challenged Mrs, her current one is a tad too high.

Darren H.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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On the point about Alde design, in our caravan its hopeless, I struggle to understand how this layout was green lighted for production, and again no real caravaner could have tested this type.

My complaint to Coachman and Alde was noise, cheapness was the aim I presume. I almost sold the caravan within a few months of ownership when we had our first use of Alde at night time so about 5 months after purchase the gloss well and truly came off.
Our transverse bed has wardrobes either side, within my wardrobe, the woman bagged the toilet side of the bed straight off, there is the header tank, within it a very noisy 12 volt pump without, it emerged, the soft start that an in boiler pump has.
ZzzzzZUMM every 10 minutes or so as the heating kicked in and out, an absolute nightmare.
Although we have the header tank in the wardrobe next to the bed, the n pump itself is at the front under the offside bunk and is set to 2. If it is left on the default setting of 5 it can be noisy.
 

Ern

May 23, 2021
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Coachman and Swift didnt want to fit a boiler pump on these models extra £200 in bits, cost cutting.
Have a lovely day, Plymouth for us, shopping for an elusive new Ebike for my vertically challenged Mrs, her current one is a tad too high.

Darren H.
I think you misunderstood my post. Swift did fit the boiler mounted pump.
Have a nice day in Plymouth. Lovely place in the daytime. Perhaps a set of pedal blocks?
 

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