Need help with Satellite Navigation devices (Sat Nav)?
Visit our Club Marketplace
The Club’s Technical Team is frequently asked about satellite navigation (sat nav) systems that are suitable for use with larger motorhomes and cars towing caravans. Garmin, Snooper, Pronav and TomTom have all released relevant products so when you’re looking for a caravan sat nav or motorhome sat nav these brands may be a good starting point.
1. Why Large Vehicle Sat Navs Cost More
A frequently-asked question is why sat navs for larger vehicles (or those towing trailers) cost so much. The reason is they are loaded with considerably more data than standard products and the data-gathering companies charge for the use of their information, which is then passed on to the consumer. The TomTom and Snooper products also have large numbers of campsite locations preloaded as well as many other features such as a Bluetooth connection with your mobile phone to provide hands-free use on the move.
2. Using Caravan Sat Navs in Your car
It’s worth remembering these devices are generally able to be used in a car too. When in this mode, if you request the shortest route it will include narrow roads as well.
3. Adding the Dimensions of Your Campervan
Caravan and motorhome sat navs are based on truck sat nav devices and can be programmed with the length, weight, height and other pertinent information relating to your motorhome or car and caravan combination. Some are more refined than others, which is usually reflected in the price. The sat nav will plot a route on the main road network, only using minor roads where there’s no other option. For an example a suitable motorhome sat nav could replot a route to avoid low bridges and certain weight and width restrictions.
4. Can you Upgrade Your Existing Sat Nav
Another common question is whether
an existing handheld sat nav can be upgraded to a caravan sat nav? So far only TomTom plans to make its caravan and motorhome-friendly software, called Camper and Caravan, available for other compatible hardware. However, this would only be available on the latest devices that have the spare capacity to process the data and could be similar in cost to the preloaded version, only worth considering if you already have a new Tom Tom high-end product.
5. Always Have a Back up
Sat nav devices are a great addition to modern life, but they are only a useful real-time aid. In fact, they’re one of many in your potential arsenal. Don’t forget the humble road atlas – it needs to be up-to-date but it can be a useful back up, helping you pre-plan your route before departing and providing an easy reference document should you need to deviate from it. Don’t forget online mapping systems can also be very useful and always have the latest mapping information. If you’re going to a Club Site, you should always follow the directions given in the Club’s publications (Your Big Sites Book and Your Place in the Country) or use myccc.co.uk to access the printable location maps online.
6. What Brand to Choose
So which is the best sat nav for caravans and motorhomes? For those who have used one particular sat nav brand it’s probably easier to buy another from the same company as you’re familiar with its set of menus and commands. All those we have tried work well and get you from site to site without too many problems however a sat nav can only operate at its best when it has up-to-date maps. This could be provided free with the latest high-end units from Garmin, Snooper, Pronav and TomTom, however not all provide free maps as standard on all their products so either select “free maps for life” devices or build the cost into your budget.
7. Keep Your Maps up to Date
Don’t forget to connect the device to a computer regularly to download the latest maps and software updates to get the most out of your navigation investment.
Try the Club's Marketplace for additional discounts from the leading sat nav manufacturers.
Need locations for Club sites, Certificated Sites, Camping in the Forest, European Travel Services or Listed sites for your Sat Nav device – All the Points of interest (POI) are in here and exclusive to members