Gear Guide: Sat Navs, Apps and Maps

Published in Caravan Guard News, Guides on   - 29 Comments

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  1. Jay Punshon says:

    I’ve got the Garmin 660 LMT-D. Quite frankly it’s awful.
    It’s been close many a time being thrown out the window.
    Wish Google would update Maps I’d be happy then.

  2. Johnny Carbon says:

    I use CoPilot for Caravan (it’s version is known as Car, Truck and Caravan), and it has never took me down any silly roads. I have full confidence in it when we travel with the caravan anywhere, knowing it will not take me down an unsuitable road. I have used it for years. I think it’s about £25. The only extra payment is if you want traffic updates, which you have to buy each year for about £7. I don’t bother with this unless it comes up on special offer sometimes. You can select car for when you are normally driving and change it to caravan for when you are towing.

  3. John says:

    I use CoPilot’s app on my Samsung tablet 10.1. Perfect and only one of payment of £49.99. And comes with traffic updates.

  4. Patrick Keefe says:

    I got the Aguri RV 720 Deluxe with in built dash cam all updates through WiFi and over 30000 campsites built in. You can input vehicles size and weight plus LEZ nice bit of kit.

  5. Jit says:

    I agree with you Norman. I recently bought a 7 inch trucker’s satnav for £60. It’s a fabulous kit and has better reviews than the overpriced tomtom and garmin products.

  6. Barry Carter says:

    Oh Satnavs. I have had a portable TomTom Satnav since they were first introduced, both reached the end of their working lives according to TomTom because their memories were insufficient to have their maps updated. I have a built in Satnav in my four year old car and one in my five year old Motorhome. None of them route the same way they all have their quirks. The one in the car and it’s not a large car only wants to use motorway and A roads & some B roads except where it’s forced, this would be great in the motorhome but not in the car. The onboard Motorhome Satnav which is designed for the motorhomes size would be great except that once it’s route is accepted it won’t let you deviate from it en route in other words once you leave its allocated route you are on your own until you come back on to it, it can drive you mad if you meet a diversion or want to take part of the route differently, it won’t re route. Neither the car’s nor the motorhome has a way marker facility useful if you want call in somewhere on the way. Now to my current (reached the end of its life) TomTom, it does or it did all that I could ask of it except it’s not really suitable for the motorhome great for the car. When I use the TomTom for the Motorhome we have to consult a Truckers Map against its route due to the motorhomes height, width and weight, oh and I didn’t mention, having accepted its route as ok it has a habit of altering its route en route so much for AI (artificial intelegence) you constantly have to have your wits about you when in strange parts. I don’t have any experience of the latest for motorhome Satnavs except to say that my next door neighbour who is an HGV Articulated Truck driver lent me his trucks Satnav to try, it is great for a truck it tells you everything about the road route selected but literally takes you around the house so to speak resulting in much longer rather than a realistic route, still he doesn’t pay for his diesel. It bothers me also that the latest Satnavs with all their traffic AI’s may re route as and when it feels the need great maybe for cars a nightmare for the larger motorhome . I do look forward to other Satnav users comments. BC, E&OE.

  7. Ian says:

    Even with size dimensions of your Motorhome don’t trust any sat nav . Be careful we have been nearly been caught out several times .Even the garmin camper that has caravan -Motorhome sites logged in . It still tries to take you done too small a roads . Some of these roads have been sign posted 6ft 6 and have been for years . Common sense needed

  8. me says:

    spot on.

  9. Philip King says:

    When are Google going to have the facility to enter unit dimensions into the filters?

  10. Alan Phillips says:

    My previous (Snooper) satnav was motorhome specific, but having put in the dimensions of my small van conversion it used to take me miles out of the way to avoid minor roads, as though I was driving an articulated lorry.. My current TomTom unit is only designed for cars, but tries to take me down tracks that I wouldn’t even attempt with a bicycle. There must be a sensible option out there’s somewhere, but I haven’t found it yet, and it’s an expensive way to keep trying.

  11. D King says:

    I have used TomTom since it was just software on a PDA. Then dedicated units which had the facility to write your own itiniary which was useful to follow a recommended scenic route. Then they eliminated itiniary planning so I stopped using TomTom and changed to a Garmin which still offers the opportunity to plan your own route. I have always used the facility in conjunction with a paper map, it eliminates all the diversions through a housing estate in order to cut the corner on a main road route.

  12. Bob MacQueen says:

    No mention of Aguri sat navs. Based on an android tablet with a dash cam built in. Excellent map coverage and free updates. Also lots of campsites and other points of interest.
    Recent trip through Baltic states to Russia worked really well.
    Also excellent support from English based support.

  13. Margot Sargent says:

    I use an old phone (with no sim) with Nokia’s excellent Here We Go app, I’ve downloaded almost all the world’s maps over wifi and they haven’t filled my 16gb memory. It’s totally free, gives you turn by turn directions etc. I’ve used it all over the world, New Zealand, Hawaii, Europe, UK. It’s quite basic so no way to add vehicle dimensions, no traffic alerts but it works well for £0.

  14. Gordon Sharp says:

    From many years experience I personally recommend the “TomTom Truck” GPS for use with a motorhome. You can change from car, to van and to truck easily. I select “truck” with the pre-selected dimensions of my motorhome and the unit avoids low bridges, narrow lanes, etc.

  15. Peter Thomas says:

    We have been to France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal on different occasions with an ordinary Garmin Sat Nav with European Maps and haven’t had any problems, and at the time when I bought it I paid about £120, it is regularly updated never had any problem at all finding site etc with post codes in any of the countries. Why spend a lot of money on something that is no better really.

  16. Bill Taylor says:

    I do not use a smart phone, so which of the Satnavs under review do not need a smart phone connection for free continuous updates ?

    • Liz @ Caravan Guard says:

      Hi Bill, as far as we’re aware you can download updates via your home computer.

  17. Wendy Dayment says:

    Don’t bother with Tomtom I am on my second. The first one gave ten second warnings and then would just turn itself off at crucial moments. I now have a via 53 which is supposed to virtually everything the gocamper does including vehicle size programming. Unfortunately it refuses to believe it has reached its destination and two days after I get home it is still refusing to let my phone receive notifications!

  18. Reg says:

    Always keep a map handy as the satnav can take you on roads that will take a crazy out of the way route even though there is a good strait road directly to your destination.
    Several times got me lost,so do not depend on it.

  19. MICHAEL PEARN says:

    We use Mapfactor’s Navigator on our mobile and choose Truck for our vehicle description ( we have a motorhome) The default length is 12 metres so works for caravans too. You can subscribe to Tom Tom maps (cheaply) or use the free version. Works very well avoiding narrow roads. Lots of options in set up.

  20. Kim says:

    How does the Aguri sat nav compare

  21. Edward. Negus says:

    What did we do before sat Navs ,? Used our eyes ,looked up the route we were going and read the sign on the road as they came up in front of you ,try turning the radio off and drive as you was told to when learning ,keep your eye on the road watch the car in front and focus you have a powerful machine under your control it does what you say ,so fix your eyes on the road not on a sat nav and you will see tomorrow’s dawn

  22. Peter Steer says:

    I agree. My Garmin cost me £119 several years ago and is complete with Western Europe and 4 updates per year for free. What more do I really need?

  23. lance collier says:

    eye watering exspensive so will give them a miss rip off

  24. David says:

    We bought the garmin camper but it has seriuosly let us down several times. Including telling us to go through a 2.6 m tunnel even thou we have put 3m height into the satnav. We just noticed at the last minute and swerved into another lane. We now dont trust it. We feel we have wasted our money. Not happy!

  25. jim barlow says:

    I agree 100% with Norman, but it would help if caravan sites were better signed. So many times the site signs are a couple of hundred yards from the gate and not from the nearest main road. The cost is on power with motorcycle Sat Nav’s not cheap but little different to normal car device.

  26. Norman Chandler says:

    Cannot understand why Motorhome satnav are so hideously expensive compared to others. Is it because they are meant for the luxury market? What do HGV drivers use?
    I personally am content with any satnav that has Western Europe in its memory, all you need in addition is good eyesight and a bit of common sense.

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