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Camper and caravan sat-nav?
Posted: 28 August 2012 2:15 PM
Subject: Camper and caravan sat-nav?
Just joined

Posts: 7

Hi, I'm Ray and a forum virgin lol. This is my first posting and i'm after opinions and advice regarding dedicated sat navs. I have been a long term user of TomTom sat navs, having upgraded and replaced several and always with TomTom. Last week i took the plunge and bought the Camper & Caravan edition from TomTom. We used it this weekend for our trip out to Woodhall Spa, a place we have been to previously so thought it was a good test route for the new device. To say we were dissapointed is a massive understatement. On our outward journey it took us over ten miles 'round the houses' and added approx 20 minutes to the known route. Worse was to happen on our return journey, as a result of the experience of the outward trip we calculated the car and van route and then compared it with the lone car route option. The result was staggering. The car & van route was in excess of 14 miles further and a massive 40 mins longer. Taking into account the calculation of time would be based on 70 mph for the car and 60 for the outfit, i still estimate a good 30 mins extra time. To compound matters the lone car roouite was on good roads with no country type roads, no narrow road, low bridges tight corners etc. etc. We elected to follow the car only route and had a dream journey home. Needless to say the TomTom is being returned to the seller for a full refund under their 14 day satisfaction garauntee.

The point of this essay is this, does anyone have any advice and or experience of a reliable tried and tested sat nav for caravan touring and could they make any recomendation for me to take a look at?

Thanks in advance


Edited by blackray 2012-08-28 2:16 PM
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 28 August 2012 2:45 PM
Subject: RE: Camper and caravan sat-nav?

Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street

No, but I can make a suggestion.

The market leaders in this field are TomTom, Garmin, and Snooper. There are, AFAIK, only two sources of electronic mapping: TeleAtlas (owned by TomTom) and Navteq (owned by Nokia, who also own Garmin). All sat navs, of whatever make, to the best of my knowledge, use one or other of these firms mapping. There are differing map sets available from these companies, but again, AFAIK, none of the mapping yet includes information on road widths, only on where there are mapped width restrictions.

Thus, any of these units may route you down narrow, minor, roads, where there is no mapped legal restriction on vehicle width. The truck/motorhome/caravan versions allow vehicle parameters to be entered, so places with mapped height and weight restrictions will also be taken into account where an infringement may result.

Bear in mind also the time lag between a restriction being put in place, the restriction being mapped, and the maps being published. All maps are invariably out of date in some respects, by the time you get them.

It seems that what most of the units that offer these facilities do, is prioritise main road routes, where such restrictions rarely arise, and only use minor roads at each end of the journey if there is no main road alternative. Thus, they tend to go the long way round, because shorter routes may involve unsuitable roads, albeit there is no actual legal restriction on their use. In the absence of mapped carriageway width data, it is, in effect, all they can do.

My suggestion would be to plot your routes from paper maps, then set them up on your sat-nav and see where it intends going, and then insert waypoints as necessary to "push" the sat nav to go where you want it to go. It matters little then whether you have the truck etc variants, or a plain vanilla variant. They are very clever bits of technology, but the poor things are only machines, and are a bit limited compared to out Rolls- Royce brains!

Please do check with both TeleAtlas and Navteq if the above remains the case. It was when I last asked whether road carriageway width data was mapped, but I would be good to know whether this is now changing. Do please let us know the outcome.
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