In your motorhome, the biggest consumer of energy is probably the heating system, and apart from the soaring costs, leaving the heating on all the time isn’t ‘green’, is it?
A few years ago, Alde launched Smart Control, later superseded by Truma iNet, which worked well with the Alde system. I used both to great effect, but sadly neither is available these days.
So the only way to play our part is to turn off the heating when we go out and leave it off until we return, meaning the ’van is likely to be rather cold. However, if you have an Alde 3020 boiler and control panel (or the latest 3030), you’ll find a little-known feature called the Delayed Start. How does it work? Put simply, you pre-set the heating system to start at a chosen time and then turn off the heating when you leave for the day.
Setting the timer program
With your system operating, press the Menu button. Then touch the Settings icon (bottom right on the screen), which will take you to page 1 of 4 in the Settings menu.
Touch the ‘down’ arrow icon at the bottom of the screen to scroll to page 3. The Delayed Start icon is the Hourglass (bottom row in the centre).
Touch the Hourglass icon. The screen will then show the Delayed Start menu. You now need to set the Start Time and Day, so touch the Set icon. Set the Start Time to an hour or so before you expect to return, to give the system time to warm up. For example, if you intend returning around 4pm, set it to 3pm. Then check the Day corresponds with the day you want it to start.
Touch the Return icon at the bottom right of the screen to take you to the Stop Time. Set that to an hour or so after you intend to return, so if you’re later than planned, the heating will still be on. You can, of course, set the Stop Time to much later; it won’t make any difference.
With that set, touch the Return icon and you’ll go back to the Delayed Start menu page. At the top right, you’ll see the blue Off icon. Touch this and it will turn green and say On. Press the Menu button twice to return to the Home screen.
On the Home screen, you’ll see an Hourglass icon at the top. This tells you that you have set the times for the Delayed Start, but the system is operating to your default settings (that is, the chosen temperature and the water heater on).
When you go out, turn off the heating by the main On/Off switch on the control panel. Before the screen goes off, you’ll see the message ‘Delayed Start Activated and Alde is now Off’. At any time, you can check the system’s status by touching the screen anywhere to see the message.
You can now go and enjoy your day, knowing you’re doing your bit for the environment and saving yourself and the campsite owner a bit of money, too. But when you return later, there are a few more steps to take – left as it is, the Delayed Start function will kick in at every selected time and day until it is cancelled.
Turning off the timer
When you return to your vehicle, and assuming that it’s within the timespan you selected for the Delayed Start, press the main On/Off button, and you’ll see the message ‘Delayed Start Activated and Alde is now On’.
If you are outside those times, you’ll just get the message ‘Delayed Start Activated and Alde is now Off’, so it’s not a problem. Following that, you’ll see the Home screen with the Hourglass icon, showing the Delayed Start function is still set.
Press the Menu button and then touch the Settings icon. As described previously, navigate to the Delayed Start menu. To turn the function off, simply touch the green On icon at the top right, so it turns blue and says Off. Now press the Menu button twice to return to the Home screen and your default settings. And that’s it!
At first it might seem a bit complicated, but once you’ve used the function a few times, it will become second nature.
An Alde back-up battery is a great accessory, because it maintains the clock settings should the power to the system be lost or turned off at any time. If that happens, all timer settings will be lost, including the Delayed Start.
If you’re finding the bright light of your Alde heating is keeping you awake, be sure to take a look at our guide on how to invert an Alde control panel screen.
A step-by-step guide to the Alde 3020 delayed start function
1. Press the Menu button.
2. Touch the Settings icon.
3. Scroll down to page 3 in Settings for the Hourglass icon.
4. Touch the Hourglass for the Delayed Start menu.
5. Set Start Time and check Day is correct.
6. Touch the Return icon, set the Stop Time and check the Day again.
7. Touch the Off icon so it turns green and says On. Press the Menu button twice to return to the Home screen.
8. The Hourglass icon will be displayed on the Home screen, showing the Delayed Start function is set.
9. Press the main On/Off button to turn off the heating, and you’ll see the message ‘Delayed Start Activated and Alde is now Off’.
10. The screen will go off, but you can check the status at any time by simply touching it again.
11. When you return, use the main On/Off switch to turn on the heating.
12. Navigate to the Delayed Start menu and turn it off by touching the green On icon, so it goes blue and says Off.
If you’re looking for more DIY projects to try in your ‘van, why not give these a go:
- We take a look at how you can clean a Carver 4000A fanmaster.
- It’s a small DIY project, fitting an awning light with photocell can make a big difference to an older ‘van.
Future Publishing Limited, the publisher of Practical Motorhome, provides the information in this article in good faith and makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Individuals carrying out the instructions do so at their own risk and must exercise their independent judgement in determining the appropriateness of the advice to their circumstances. Individuals should take appropriate safety precautions and be aware of the risk of electrocution when dealing with electrical products. To the fullest extent permitted by law, neither Future nor its employees or agents shall have any liability in connection with the use of this information. Double check any warranty is not affected before proceeding.
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