Friday, 23 December 2016

Happy Christmas

A Happy Christmas and a leak free New Year to all my readers.

As a confirmed Christmas hater SWMBO says I should put some HO HO HO into my Christmas message so as you don't argue with a SWMBO, HO HO HO it is.


Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Alde External Temperature Sensor

After the success of the Alde remote interior temperature sensor I have decided to install the Alde external temperature sensor which gives a reading of the outside temperature to the Alde control panel.

I seemed to be getting confused messages as to where the end of the sensor wire plugged in,some seemed to say to the rear of the panel like the previous one or some said to the boiler.

Considering this I went to the horses mouth and asked Alde themselves who replied literally within a few minutes ( excellent firm to deal with incidentally ).

The external sensor plugs into the boiler which makes life easy as there is a gas dropout vent adjacent to it where the probe can pass to the outside and be attached to the underside of the floor.

This is where it plugs into the top of the boiler after removing the black plastic cover :-

This is the dropout adjacent to the boiler by the black pipe :-

So installation should be no problem.

Will write a blog post when I have done it.

Will probably buy the sensor at the Manchester Caravan Show in January so it won't be till after then.


Monday, 12 December 2016

Condensation After Repair

A poster on Caravan Talk is suffering condensation on the plastic moulding that covers the roof join after it has been repaired.

No condensation anywhere else in the van.

We have not suffered any since our repair and I wondered if anyone else had ?


Thursday, 8 December 2016

Get Yer Skates On.

Bailey are introducing a 3.8% price increase from 12th.of December :

"Following the post-Brexit economic uncertainty and associated turbulence in the foreign currency markets we have come under increasing price pressure from our European supplier partners and have therefore been forced to undertake a review of our current product pricing structure.

"Consequently, I am writing to confirm that from Monday 12th December 2016 all models from our current Pegasus and Unicorn touring caravan ranges will be subject to an average 3.8% price increase."

Wonder why the Pursuit is excluded ?

Anyway if you want the Cadiz before the rise better get a move on.


Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Alde Panel : "Auto" or "Sofa"

Having thought about it my statement in the "Alde Sensor" blog was a bit blase as I ddn't really know what "Auto" meant so I asked Alde and got this reply:-


I have installed the remote temperature sender in my Bailey Unicorn 3 Cadiz. The control panel shows either "Auto" or" Sofa" in the settings section.Could you tell me which setting to leave it on please.

Thank You,

Ian Broadhead


Hi Ian,

Thank you for your enquiry.

In your case, either will do.

"Auto" selects the most recently connected sensor.
"Sofa" selects the sensor connected to the Sofa pins.

In your case they're the same sensor.

Best regards,

Joakim Johansson
Customer Service Advisor
Alde UK Team


Friday, 2 December 2016


Just a reminder for last minute Christmas presents for the wife,the Isabella Magnum and Futur Annex are still for sale ( see previous post ).

Just imagine her face when she unwraps it ( them ?? ) on Christmas morning.



For any of my readers who are new to caravanning now that winter appears to have arrived don't forget to winterise your van by draining the water system ( I use a Floe device which removes the remaining dregs ),empty the toilet flush and remove any liquid foodstuffs so they don't freeze and cause a mess when they thaw.

Leave all taps half way across and in the open position,open the yellow lever on the Alde boiler and remove the shower head.

Make sure the gas is turned off and the Alde flue is covered to stop spiders etc. getting in ( see an earlier post for a home made flue cover,ooh er missus ).

Run the Alde and the fridge on gas for fifteen minutes or so a once or twice over the winter to keep the jets clear.

Give the toilet cassette blade a squirt of silicone spray to keep it supple.

Think about moving the van a few feet a couple of times over the winter to prevent tyre flat spots,some people don't bother and say no harm is caused by not doing so,so take your pick.

I always upend the cushions and mattresses and open all the cupboard and locker doors to enable good circulaton of air to avoid any dampness.

There is always a discussion on CT every winter about placing moisture absorbing crystals or bowls of salt in the van.

Proponents say they work whilst others say as long as there are vents in the van then you are trying to dehumidify the world so do what you feel is best.

One word of caution though,DO NOT spill the fluid that is produced either on woodwork or,worst of all,on upholstery you will NEVER get rid of it,do not ask how I know this.


Thursday, 1 December 2016

Alde Remote Temperature Sender

As the experiment with drilling a hole in the Alde faceplate to get a more responsive and accurate temperature reading wasn't a spectacular success I decided to fit a remote temperature sender.

The first problem was where to locate it,bearing in mind that there are only two meters of cable.

My first choice was in the left wall of the compartment where the control panel is situated.

I posted this on CT and also e-mailed Alde who said that it wasn't a bad choice but didn't seem overwhelmed by it and various posters on CT also said it wasn't ideal mainly because it is not very far from the outlet for the radiator under the offside front window and the fact that the compartment isn't ventilated which might cause some heat build up.

After some thought I eventually decided on the panel above the cutlery drawer which was easy to get to and feeding the cable to it was very easy and it is well away from all sources of heat,also as my assistant Mr.Roscoe pointed out when the caravan door is opened and cold air comes in it will hit the sensor and perhaps turn the heating on if need be,well that is the theory anyway.

So first off switch off the 12v supply and remove the Alde control panel faceplate which is very easy to flick off with a fingernail and then unscrew the "works" via the four screws one at each corner,this gives access to the gubbins inside.

Then thread the sensor cable down the hole at the back of the compartment,along the back of the space under the worktop and through the hole at the far end which brings it out under the sink.

Next refer to the inside of the cover which has been removed from the rear of the control panel and you will see where to plug the cable in.

You will notice thet there are two options,"Bed" and "Sofa",I think this refers to motorhomes who may have multi-zone heating,anyway I plugged it into "Sofa" but I don't think it makes all that much difference.

Then simply drill a 10mm hole in your chosen location,press the sensor in,it is an easy fit,and connect the cables up at the back,to make it neat cable tie the sensor cable to the sink waste pipe.

The job would have been slightly easier if I had have been able to remove the cutlery drawer but I couldn't get it to shift,Mr.Roscoe kindly did the honours here by bending double under the sink,bless him.

Switch on the 12V and give it a test.

If you go through the panel menu to "Installed Acessories" it shows three states:-


Which I think is self explanatory.


As explained previously,if you have connected it up to "Bed" then this will obviously show a bed.

The last one is "Panel" so if you wish you can revert to the panel sensor at any time.

 And that is it,have fun.

Incidentally I purchased the sensor from Halesowen Caravan Centre which was the cheapest I could find at £20.87 with free postage.

Halesowen Caravan Centre : Alde Sensor


Monday, 21 November 2016

Probable Last Trip

Well we have returned from what is probably our last trip of the year staying at Beechwood Grange near York,I can't see us getting out until the horror of Christmas is over and done with ( can't be over quick enough ).

We like Beechwood as it is only forty five minutes or so from storage and is a well run and managed site with good clean spacious pitches.

The Alde heating proved its worth as it was a bit nippy at times but the Cadiz was lovely and warm inside.

I think motorhoming with very large motorhomes must be really taking off as there were at least three near us,all in the £100,000 or so bracket.

I don't like to turn these missives into " what I did on my holidays" but if in York at any time try and visit the Treasurers House at the back of the Minster and go on the short ghost tour.

Gives food for thought shall we say.


Monday, 14 November 2016

Berwick Sea View

Just returned from four nights at Berwick Sea View CC site in Northumberland.

We have visited this site previously which,as the name suggests,is right on the coast and if you pick your pitch carefully there are some excellent views.

It is within walking distance of Berwick,Spittal is a stones throw away with a beach and a small promenade with a cafe ( unfortunately the promenade seems to be a toilet for the local canine population ).

Spittal From Berwick Sea View CC Site

The journey up started a little iffily with snow showers but these vanished by the time we reached Durham.

No Cadiz problems to report though I wish I could get out of the habit of continuously nervously checking the rear cupboards for leaks from the roof join.

I said I would report on the adaptation to the Alde control panel as described in a previous posting.

Well the answer is rather inconclusive really,after the Alde warmed up I think the thermostat was more responsive than previously but this may have been me being hopeful,so sadly the jury is still out on that one but as the thermostat is now open to the air it should be an improvement.


Thursday, 10 November 2016

Phantom Tracker Offer

Phantom have an offer on at the moment whereby if you recommend someone you get 6 months free and the new subscriber gets three months free.

So if anyone wants recommending let me know and we could both do ourselves a bit of good.


Saturday, 5 November 2016

A Fool To Myself But Anything For My Readers.

As a special pre-Christmas offer,not bad for a Yorkshireman,I will include the cost of postage for the Magnum awning and the Futur Annex.

So £550 for the awning and £200 for the annex both including postage.

There you are,no excuse now for the wife's Christmas present or you could put it away for Valentines Day,she will be thrilled.


Friday, 4 November 2016

Home Made "Load Monitor".

David Mantell has been busy again and has produced a document describing how to make a manual "load monitor" for your van,David's instructions are reproduced in their entirety below:-

I feel that the Alde load monitor is a really great idea to prevent your electrical supply from site tripping out with all the embarrassment that this can bring. However, the cost of the unit at over £40 is exorbitant. A simple domestic energy monitor that measures current is all that is needed to keep an eye on the total electrical consumption.
The Alde system is good in that it automatically reduces the electrical heating whilst other items are consuming energy, however if other units (microwave/cooker hob/fan heaters for the awning etc) exceed the site supply, then the Alde cannot compensate and the site trip will ‘blow’.  The system described here is a manual system (ie you need to keep an eye and manually turn on/off items that consume energy). The major advantage is that the cost is much lower; mine cost me £10 secondhand from ebay!
Most energy monitors display kilowatts but there are some that can also directly display current in amps – one such monitor is the Owl CM113A/CMR113A  this has a similar ‘clamp round’ sensing  coil that is fitted around the positive supply cable. This is in turn connected to a small transmitter that resides in the bottom locker. The separate indicator unit is wireless and can be placed anywhere inside (or outside) the caravan. This unit indicates total current consumption and hence the user can make simple choices on what is on and off to limit the total consumption to below the site supply. I have this installed in my Cadiz for a while now and works extremely well.
One word of warning – most energy monitors only indicate watts/kilowatts – whilst this will work,  it will need you to divide this reading by the site voltage to get the current consumed – bit of a pain as site voltages are somewhat variable especially on the continent!  My suggestion is to monitor ebay and wait until a suitable unit becomes available.
If this is of any interest, I would be happy to provide any further details you may need – send a pm to Ian who will pass them on to me. 

As usual,thank you David.