Embarking on an adventurous journey in your motorhome? The right navigation system can make all the difference! Let’s delve into the world of the best Motorhome Sat Nav.
We have found our motorhome sat nav to be one of the very best gadgets that we use when we’re travelling.
The motorhome sat nav takes into consideration our motorhome size and weight, so it doesn’t take us down any tiny country roads, or under any low bridges, that we’re too high for.
It really does make travelling in our motorhome a lot easier and safer, with more efficient routing.
If you’re thinking of just using your smart phone as a sat nav in your van, then we think you should think again. Smartphones don’t even begin to cover some of the things you’ve probably never considered while travelling in a motorhome.
There are many different types of motorhome sat navs on the market, so how do you choose the right one for you?
Keep reading this blog post, where we discuss more on why you need a motorhome sat nav, and also discuss our recommendations to find the best sat nav.
What is a Motorhome Sat Nav?
A Motorhome Sat Nav is a specialised GPS navigation device designed specifically for motorhomes. It offers features tailored to the unique needs of motorhome owners, motorhome drivers, and travellers, taking into account factors like vehicle size and route preferences. It’s the ultimate guide on the road!
There are three types of sat nav types/apps that you can choose from:
- Dash-mount sat nav
- In-dash sat nav
- Sat nav app
You will get the most out of your dash-mount and in-dash mounts, mostly because they come with additional features and hardware that are specifically designed for certain situations and vehicles.
Why Do You Need a Motorhome Sat Nav?
Safety is paramount when you’re out on the open road. Standard GPS devices might direct you towards narrow roads, unfit for motorhomes. A dedicated Motorhome Sat Nav, however, considers your vehicle’s size and weight, ensuring you stick to safe and suitable paths.
Say goodbye to deciphering complex maps or trusting unreliable mobile data! A Motorhome Sat Nav provides accurate, real-time navigation, even in remote areas.
Motorhome Sat Navs offer route customisation options. Whether you prefer scenic routes or the quickest way to your destination, the custom route on your best motorhome Sat Nav, has got you covered.
Why Are Motorhome Sat Nav Devices So Important?
They’re important because we’re not just talking about a small car or even a truck.
If you’re driving around in a motorhome, there are safety features that come with most sat-nav devices that are generally going to be far more useful in a motorhome than Google maps is for your smartphone.
Some of those features include:
- Entering motorhome weight
- Most come with a rear view camera
- A much larger viewing screen
- Built in dash cam
Entering your motorhome weight may seem sort of silly until you realise that in many places, your weight may exceed a restricted weight limit or the best motorhome sat-nav can warn you if the grade is too steep for your current weight.
Height is also something that you want to input into your caravan and motorhome sat-nav system.
The system will either reroute you or give you a fair warning if you are approaching a bridge that is low enough over the road that your motorhome will impact it.
The reverse camera that comes with many of these devices is essential as well.
However, most newer motorhomes come with their own reverse cameras so this feature may be neither here nor there to you.
The much larger viewing screen is especially nice, considering the fact that a motorhome is a much larger, more difficult to control, and heavy.
You don’t want to have to squint at the small screen on your mobile when a much larger screen will be far more accommodating.
Pros and Cons of a Sat-Nav System
There are some cons to utilising motorhome sat-nav systems, however, there are certainly more benefits.
Sat-nav/GPS falls into one of those strange “middle-areas” where some people absolutely have to have it and others will never use it unless they’re forced to do so.
So long as you keep up with the maintenance—as in keeping the firmware/software updated frequently—and are always mindful of keeping the latest maps downloaded, you’ll never get truly lost.
Motorhome sat-nav systems are extremely reliable, even in areas where it may seem like no one has lived in centuries.
Trip times will always be cut down because you’ll be able to find—or be guided to—the quickest available route. That includes traffic information.
You may feel like the navigation is taking you the long way around, however, these devices are designed to get you around traffic fluctuations and save you time.
You will usually get an entertainment system to go with your sat-nav as well.
Most of the mid-tier and premium devices also come with CD and DVD drives as well as USB ports for transferring and using multimedia features.
Now, a smartphone will give you most of these things as well, however, some of the added features that come with a sat-nav—especially where motorhomes are concerned—are essential and distinctly underwhelming on a smartphone.
Sat-navs are incredibly reliable but that doesn’t mean that they are entirely infallible.
Just like a GPS app on your smartphone will guide you down a wrong path, mistake your address, forget to tell you about that massive traffic blockage ahead, a sat-nav is also every bit as culpable.
Expense is also another concern. While sat-nav devices aren’t usually going to blow your entire bank account, they can get costly.
Premium models are going to cost hundreds of pounds and there’s no way around that.
However, sat-navs are a distinct case of getting exactly what you pay for and premium devices are going to give you a whole lot of premium features for the cost.
Dash-Mount Sat Navs
Your dash mount sat navs are exactly what they sound like, satellite navigation/GPS devices that mount on your dash.
Some of the most popular options come from Garmin, a company that is renowned for its work in the GPS consumer electronics industry.
As aforementioned, the Garmin Camper 780 takes into account the height and weight of your caravan and motorhome, as it plots your route ahead of you.
You can also sync your smartphone with the sat-nav for updates when you’re out and about, hands-free calling, and smart notifications on-screen.
The Garmin Camper also offers a preloaded database of campsites so you’re never stuck trying to find one out in the middle of nowhere.
You also get all of the typical things that you expect from a GPS system, like weather alerts, live traffic alerts, accidents, construction, lane closures, and more.
If you need an additional backup camera, the Camper 780 comes with one and is also compatible with several more, namely the BC 30 and BC 40.
TomTom devices have been around since the beginning of the personal GPS device revolution.
Their innovations and devices are known for their quality and longevity. The Campervan is no exception.
All of TomTom’s services that you expect are built-in to the device, along with the same heads-up features that the Camper 780 has, including height and weight reroutes and warnings.
It also includes camper and caravan POIs, speed cameras and traffic light warnings.
Its voice control is operable and compatible with Siri and Google Assistant.
TomTom services come on a built-in SIM card and it includes WiFi updates and world maps for campers and caravans.
Tips for Using Your Motorhome Sat Nav
Using a Sat Nav can be a game-changer for your caravan and motorhome adventures. Here are some tips to make the most of your device:
1. Regular Updates: Always update your device whenever new software or maps are available. This ensures that you have the most accurate navigation data.
2. Understand the Settings: Spend some time exploring the settings. The more you understand your device, the better you can customise it to your preferences.
3. Backup Your Routes: If your device allows it, save your favourite routes. This can be a time-saver for future trips.
4. Use It Together with Traditional Maps: Technology can sometimes fail. Having a physical map as a backup never hurts.
5. Practice Before You Hit the Road: Familiarise yourself with the device before you start your journey. This can make your actual travel experience smoother and safer.
With these pointers in mind, you’re all set to start your motorhome adventure with your reliable Sat Nav as your guide.
All About In-Dash Sat Navs
In-dash sat navs have evolved significantly over the years, transforming from simple navigation units into comprehensive multimedia systems that offer a suite of features for enhanced driving and travel experiences.
Advanced Satellite Navigation
At their core, in-dash sat navs provide advanced satellite navigation, leveraging GPS technology to guide you to your destination. Enhanced features such as lane guidance provide clear and concise instructions on which lane to take in multi-lane scenarios, ensuring you never miss a turn or exit.
Voice Activated Navigation
Thanks to voice control, interacting with your in-dash sat navs has never been easier. Say goodbye to pressing buttons or fiddling with touch screens.
With voice-activated navigation, you can command your device to plot a route, find a point of interest, or even reroute your journey – all hands-free. It’s the epitome of convenience and safety.
In-dash sat navs with built-in WiFi add another level of convenience. They enable over-the-air updates, so your maps and software stay current without the need for manual updates.
Built-in WiFi also allows for real-time traffic updates, ensuring you’re always informed about the road conditions ahead.
Modern in-dash sat navs have transformed into comprehensive multimedia systems. These systems can play music, stream videos, provide access to various apps, and even connect with your smartphone.
DAB radio is often included, allowing you to enjoy a multitude of digital radio stations with clear, static-free sound.
The integration of Bluetooth technology means that in-dash sat navs can also facilitate hands-free calling. You can dial, answer, and end calls without taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road.
Camera alerts are another invaluable feature of advanced in-dash sat navs. These alerts notify you about traffic lights and speed cameras ahead, allowing you to adjust your driving accordingly.
Some models also offer compatibility with rear-view or dash cameras, providing an extra layer of safety.
There are a lot of great reasons to purchase a sat-nav, especially for your next caravan and motorhome too.
The benefits far outweigh any reason you have for trying to navigate around the country with a mobile instead of legitimate caravan and motorhome sat- navs.
While there are some drawbacks to sat-nav devices, their features that they come with far outweigh any negatives.
If you decide to go with a Garmin, TomTom or many others, you’ll find that it’s probably one of the most productive purchases you’ve ever made.
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I love everything about travel, from seeing new places, learning about new cultures and trying new foods! I believe that travel is one of the best forms of education you can get, I have learnt so much about myself and about the world from travelling all over. Travel is something I feel so passionately about, and I love the fact that we are now lucky enough to have this opportunity to do what we love as much as we can, it’s a dream come true.
Before we started travelling, I worked in local government in administration. I had been in this job for several years and had reached a complete brick wall where I was so fed up, but didn’t know what else to do. The only thing I knew that I wanted to do was to travel, and had wanted to do that for many years.
There were hundreds and hundreds of places on my wishlist that I wanted to go to, and I knew that going on a weeks holiday maybe twice a year if we were lucky wasn’t going to cut it.
After being in lockdown due to the Covid pandemic, and working from home staring at the same 4 walls every day, 2021 seemed like the perfect time for us to take the risk to finally do what we had dreamed of for so long.
It was a hard decision to completely change our lives, but so far it has been the best decision we have ever made!