Sat navs

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Sat navs

Post by Fidlock on Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:21 am

I've never used a sat nav, and I've read a few horror stories, but the POI feature looks ideal for camping adventures. I presume you get what you pay for, but what do members think of them, and how accurate are they?
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Re: Sat navs

Post by Oddsnends on Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:47 am

Must admit I wouldn’t be without mine, although I have the sound turned off and just glance at the screen now and again. Comforting to know I’m heading in the right direction I suppose. Its an old TomTom oneXL but I keep it up to date via their map share system. Tried putting in a C&CC site longitude/latitude thingy a few days ago but got an error “no reference point nearby” or something like that. Guess I did something wrong will play again next time its raining. Got loads of extra POI’s programmed in apart from campsites there’s supermarkets, garages, Pubs like Marston’s, Harvester etc. the list is quite long and can be very useful.

Cheers
Matt
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Re: Sat navs

Post by Tonyt on Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:18 pm

I've had a number over the years and I too wouldn't travel, motorhome style, without one.

It suits me as I travel solo quite a lot and can't keep stopping to check the map.

My general recommendation would be to get one to which you can add your own co ordinates, in all three formats. I like Garmin, many others swear by Tom Tom.

Co ords to 5 or 6 decimal places will take you to within a few feet of that spot. Of course, incorrect co ords will take you to within a few feet of some other spot!

C&CC co ords are not always accurate - especially CSs which appear to be Post Code based.

But Number One Rule - don't rely on it totally. Use it as an aid to get you from A to B but have some idea of the route before you start out.

I find it's most useful attribute is when you've driven to a town you've never visited - you get sucked into a few one-way systems looking for a car park and eventually grab a spot you know not where. When it's time to leave and you want to continue your journey that's when it frequently pays to let the sat nav take over in what I call "get me out of here" mode.

I spend many hours in the winter months armed with various site related co ords, a map and Google Earth/Street View. I'm then able to load co ords into my sat nav knowing they are spot on and even with pics of the locations.

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Re: Sat navs

Post by Peter Brown on Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:45 pm

The satnavs are much the same (good advice above) what varies is the user!

You do still need to know where you want to be and the sort of journey you want to have to get there.

Last year some distant relatives from Australia hired a car + satnav on arrival at Heathrow and went south for the night. Next day the programmed the unit to bring them to Staffordshire by the shortest route - it took them 16 hrs instead of 4. They didn't see a Motorway but did a lot of town centres.

I know several people who have arrived at similar sounding destinations in Europe dozens of miles from where they want to be!

We have several satnavs (and GPS for walking) but are never without a map against which the satnav suggested route has been checked.

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Re: Sat navs

Post by modelman on Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:59 pm



I've been using satnavs in one form or another for many years, the original tomtom, a tomtom on the bikes, Magllean when walking & also a 7" Navman Panoramic in the van.
The biggest problem I had was that after using maps for 'oodles of years, I got used to going 'up' the map when going north & 'down' the map when going south, & thus found it confusing when 'up' on the satnav wasnt north but my direction of travel, & the map rotated to suit, so now, my head units are 'north up' on the screen, ( just like a map ) & I have my preference back.

Having travelled most of the UK, I have a fair idea of the direction, & so long as the arrow points more or less to where I'm heading, all is good, the BEST bit for me is when I have to divert due to hold ups, pile ups etc, then I simply turn off as & where & the satnav re routes me, ( usually ) smile!

I start to really take notice of the instructions once I get near to the destination.
Still take an up to date map though hugegrins

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Re: Sat navs

Post by Cymro on Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:30 pm

Agree entirely: Satnavs are brilliant - but no substitute for common sense. Have a look at this recent story:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-22212456

I use a TomTom GO700 - it's very old (steam driven, I think) but brilliant.

Mind you, the navigation service on the free Google Maps on your smartphone is quite good (apart from it's inability to pronounce!) and for about £80 the Navagon app is as good as TomTom. Handy in case you've forgotten to take the TT.

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Re: Sat navs

Post by -mojo- on Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:08 am

I've owned satnavs since before they were generally known as that. I had a Garmin GPS12XL on a dash mount before Reagan turned off "selective availability" (the US mechanism to ensure that their military always got better service than their opponents).

My satnav has led me astray many times, but as a mainly solo traveller I would not be without it. I've just learned to ignore it if I have any doubts about what it's telling me.

I've only recently upgraded to a more up to date Garmin, and it features a Bluetooth handsfree link to my Nokia phone with access to the phone's contact list, voice-activated commands and an optional link to the vehicle ECU for full trip computer readout. It cost £130, which IIRC is less than half the price of the original, very primitive, GPS12XL...
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Re: Sat navs

Post by alanlakes on Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:44 am

Would not be without mine (tomtom 750). Beware when using with a Motorhome/caravan a satnav will send you down country lanes that are OK in a Car but a bit buttock clenching in a larger van. I would recommend investing in a satnav that has Motorhome/caravan setting, where you can put in the size of your vehicle and it will use suitable routes. Tomtom or Snooper do them so probably do Garmin.

I use Archies http://www.archiescampings.eu/eng1/
for Site POI's but as mentioned by others I still check the site position in Google. A lot of sites suggest not following Satnav to get to them, its worth checking this out - the Caravan Club book is excellent with these warnings. I just set the satnav to the nearest recommend road junction to get the safest access to the site.

Another good site for POI and speed cameras is
http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/

Oh yes and always take a map!

regards Alan
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Re: Sat navs

Post by Paulmold on Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:27 am

alanlakes wrote: I would recommend investing in a satnav that has Motorhome/caravan setting, where you can put in the size of your vehicle and it will use suitable routes. Tomtom or Snooper do them so probably do Garmin.

That type are rather on the costly side and, in my opinion, more suited to the larger coachbuilt units. For van conversions I've always felt the normal car ones OK. I often think 'if white van man in his transit can get down a road, then so can I'.

My cousin had an RAC sat nav that you could program for 'car' or 'lorry' and so he always set it for 'lorry' (he has a Boxer based Wildax) as he felt this would avoid narrow roads etc. I remember one journey with him when we wanted to go to a particular village and the satnav was taking us round in circles around the village, then realised that because he had it set for 'lorry' and none of the roads into the village were wide enough, it just wouldn't take us into the village.
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Re: Sat navs

Post by alanlakes on Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:30 am

I did say "in a larger van".
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Re: Sat navs

Post by hillwalker on Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:03 pm

I used to have a Tom-Tom but had problems with it recharging on the move, so bought a Garmin Nuvi and it is quite brilliant. travelled to Croatia with it and it led me to my camp sites and POI's within 20 meters.

It also came with Mapsource which allows you to plan a trip on your computer and download it to your unit.
when on Mapsource find the destination you fancy, go to "find nearest places" and "accommodation" and it will find all camp sites within 20 miles or so. you can also research Aires etc. and imput that those into your route

It is also a better piece of kit than the one fitted to my car as a £2000.00 extra allthumbz

And don,t forget you still have to read road signs or you will find yourself in situations you could avoid

"H"

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Re: Sat navs

Post by Fidlock on Sat May 04, 2013 11:05 pm

Just read the satnav saga in the latest MMM. They sound useful, but only when accompanied by a map and a Mk 1 brain. Reminds me of a report in a boating magazine over here with graphic photos of a very expensive boat parked in between the legs of a very large lighthouse outside Auckland harbour. Too much reliance on satnav and auto pilot, and the famed Kiwi guarantee "She'll be right". Thanks to everyone for the advice; it's very much appreciated.
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Re: Sat navs

Post by gj1023 on Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:20 am

I use to think they were a waste, especially with the stories that came out when they first became popular. Nowadays they are much better and more accurate , most of the stories now are because someone followed the sat nav blindly. I would not be without mine now, the main use for them is when you are in a strange town. I have loads of POIs , shops like Asda ,Tesco etc and food like Toby carvery , harvester etc , so it makes finding what I need quiet easy , something a map can`t do. On A to B , it is more useful to let me know what lane I need to be in when getting off a motorway , traffic problems , as well as directions. In fact the most useful item on sat navs are POIs , makes life much easier knowing where places , shops etc are.

It is an aid not god , if mine sends me somewhere I am not sure of I ignore and go my own way and she recalulates

Gary
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Re: Sat navs

Post by matchlessman on Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:43 pm

I have had a variety of TomToms, starting with a couple of PDA based units, and ranging to a Rider and now one which gives lane guidance and traffic information alloing it to recalculate if there's a delay ahead.

Very useful identifying Supermarket petrol stations, when there can be 20p difference between motorway prices and a supermarket half a mile from the motorway. I use that feature a lot in France, as I regularly travel to the south as I have a daughter in Toulouse.

Most of the time it's set to quickest route, as we've limited time which we want to spend at the destination, but when cruising with France Passion etc. we tend to avoid motorways and enjoy country lanes, pretty towns and villages and great scenery in the knowledge that we can just head for wherever we like that looks good (sunny, dry...) and rely on Tessa TomTom to get us to somewhere to lay our head in the vicinity of wherever we end up in the afternoon.
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