sat nav advice

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sat nav advice

Post by happyhelen on Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:12 pm

Having managed with maps only on our previous trips abroad we would like to buy a sat nav before our next trip across the water.
Have never had one before and would like to hear some advice about what sort to get and what features are essential.
PS We are not very techy savvy!!

Thanks HH
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Re: sat nav advice

Post by Backtrax on Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:26 pm

I use a Garmin Nuvi which comes with life long map updates (usually 3 per year) and covers the whole of Europe.
Not cheap but excellent.
One cautionary note - it is illegal to have the 'Speed Camera' warning function active in France, so you must switch it off.
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Re: sat nav advice

Post by happyhelen on Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:55 pm

Thats helpful. Thanks. What sort of price approx???
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Re: sat nav advice

Post by batch on Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:02 am

Further to the speed warning whilst driving in France.
This is the reply that I got from Snooper last year.


" We have updated all of our camera listings in France to comply with their law. 
Rather than saying there IS a camera there, our unit's now state there COULD be a camera there. This is legal in France.
All you need to do to get this change is update your unit as normal.
However, if you want to feel completely safe, then you could remove all French cameras from the unit.
All you'll need to do to remove them is update it again and deselect France as a country.
You can do it by going to "Menu", then "Download Settings" when you are running the camera updater".


Hope this is of some help.
Batch
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Re: sat nav advice

Post by Dutto on Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:26 am

Hi there,

I use a Nuvi that is now five years old, been updated twice and is due another update.

I previously owned a Navman for four years but changed it on the basis that I couldn't upgrade it for a trip to the USA.

Both are excellent machines but both have problems.

The Navman almost never seemed to be up to date with road modifications no matter how often I paid for the update.  However, it always gave me an excellent "Quickest Route".

The Nuvi seems to be better at the updates but it will often give me a "Quickest Route" that takes me on to roads that are so low-grade that it is impossible to go at the rated speed limit.

Halfords have this Garmin Nuvi with full Europe mapping for £99 so it may be worth your consideration.

http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_storeId_10001_catalogId_10151_productId_944609_langId_-1_categoryId_165685

I have to say that a GPS is what makes us such adventurous travellers and having one must have prevented at least a hundred arguments (and possibly a couple of murders) in the last nine years.

The first thing you will notice is that when you make a mistake and don't follow the instructions properly it won't abuse you, call you and idiot or suggest that you are suffering from a mental ailment (unlike someone I can think of) it will just say "Recalculating" and then give you a new set of instructions.

Always remember that a GPS isn't infallible and remember the man that tried to sue Mercedes in the early days when he followed his GPS down a road and straight into a river.  Apparently he hadn't ticked the "Avoid Ferries" box and unfortunately the cross-river ferry boat was on the other bank when he arrived.

Enjoy.

Hope this helps. allthumbz 

Best regards,
 drinksallround

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Re: sat nav advice

Post by Shubberdog on Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:19 am

I have just changed from tomtom to Garmim I went for the new 7" screen with lifetime updates and lifetime digital traffic, it took a bit of getting use to as it gives directions much earlier than the Tomtom and seems to ignore mini roundabouts unless it wants you to turn, but I am very pleased with my choice and next Friday will be setting off for Spain with it for the winter
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Re: sat nav advice

Post by Peter Brown on Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:10 am

I've had a couple of cars with integrated systems that used navtec mapping, a Garmin, two Navmans and currently a Tomtom Go Live Camper. All do the job but the Tomtom is best for me for several reasons. I've had a couple of Nokia phones with integrated satnav function and the current Nokia Windows Lumia 800 is very useable and I did do so extensively in China earlier this year.

Most camping/aire publications give location info in Latitude/longitude so the ability to program them in is probably most important. Next is the quality of the image and the audio(I'm not impressed with either on the Snooper units I've seen). After that its just your personal comfort with the functionality/programming and how much you want to spend.

Any that you buy new now will meet the legal requirements for use in any country where mapping or speed camera info is included, including France.

Peter

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Re: sat nav advice

Post by algy on Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:40 am

Hi Helen, which ever sat nav you decide on, what ever you do don't throw away your map books, you can never rely totally on a sat nav, no matter which settings you chose it may still take you down roads that are unfit for a motorhome, I speak from the nightmare experience. So now I check all the route selected by the sat nav against a good map...Algy
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Re: sat nav advice

Post by Dutto on Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:58 am

algy wrote:Hi Helen, which ever sat nav you decide on, what ever you do don't throw away your map books, you can never rely totally on a sat nav, no matter which settings you chose it may still take you down roads that are unfit for a motorhome, I speak from the nightmare experience. So now I check all the route selected by the sat nav against a good map...Algy
Hi there,

I agree with checking routes but I tend to use this site rather than a paper map.

http://www.viamichelin.co.uk

I usually check to see if my GPS is sending me the same way as the one recommended by Michelin and then use the "Satellite Map" mode to fly over the route and double check the roads.

I also use it for short runs on the bike to make sure that my bike GPS isn't sending me along cart tracks!!  As a general rule if I can see a white line in the middle of the road I know it will be okay for the bike; and if I see heavy traffic I know I need to find another route. 

Enjoy. allthumbz 

Best regards,
 drinksallround

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Re: sat nav advice

Post by mikethebike on Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:40 pm

Hi Ian, I am in the market for a new satnav .I like your Garmin suggestion for about 100 pounds.
Halfords do another model for 139 pounds.Cannot see any advantage for the extra money.?
My present TomTom needs a map update,but have heard of many problems doing this.So it will be replaced.
So i want a lifetime update package which they offer.
There will be difference between the makes but i still use paper maps  studying 
before and on the route for changes.

best regards

Mike
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Re: sat nav advice

Post by Paulmold on Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:53 pm

John Lewis have some good offers on Sat Navs. This one is UK only but with lifetime maps worth £79 and it only costs £79 and 2yr guarantee

http://www.johnlewis.com/garmin-n-vi-52lm-gps-navigation-system-free-lifetime-uk-maps/p461496

and this Tom Tom has free EU lifetime maps worth £79 and it only costs £76..

http://www.johnlewis.com/tomtom-xl-iq-routes-2-edition-gps-navigation-system-uk-republic-of-ireland-maps/p230936759

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Re: sat nav advice

Post by mikethebike on Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:00 pm

Hi Paul, I think that is not an Eu version.Also only 4.3 screen.
thanks

Mike
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Re: sat nav advice

Post by inspiredron on Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:41 pm

It is well worth having lifetime map updates and th etraffic info is also worthwhile when it is available (ie reception allows).  I have a Garmin 760 which is very old now and has both.  As others have said they are not infallible and I frequently ignore the satnav when I know a better way.  And at those times the satnav will often tell me that my ETA is earlier than it was even though I had selected "fastest route".
The HUGE benefit of a satnav is in timing journeys.  They are extremely accurate and update as you go if you are delayed significantly.  They do tend to ignore traffic light stops in their calculations which can make town travel less accurate in timing.  My Garmin actually learned my speeds on the different types of road and it took a few months to hone into its accurate predictions of journey times.  I try not to swap it from my van to the car for this latter reason.
There are drawbacks - a satnav will assume that you can drive down a narrow winding country lane at the same speed as a straight three lane A road as both have a speed limit of 60mph.  It will also often cut a corner by leaving the A road and taking a shorter narrow lane, even when that involves two turns across opposing traffic as well, where you will lose time in waiting to turn!
Traffic information helps but, again, you need to make up your own mind.  It will tell you if there is a delay but you may well stay on the M25 and put up with slow traffic rather than go off onto an A road which is slower anyway.
They are an aid to journeys - and significantly so when going from site to site in mainland Europe - so I would not be without one.


Last edited by inspiredron on Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:43 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typos again!)

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Re: sat nav advice

Post by algy on Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:09 pm

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Re: sat nav advice

Post by mikethebike on Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:46 pm

yes Algy its been discussed a lot. There is no one perfect machine.Well not at a sensible price.!
We all need to check a map,look ahead and keep looking.
I have found town work is much easier with a Satnav.I think they are worth it just for that help.Just off topic i like a compass as well.
regards

Mike
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Re: sat nav advice

Post by happyhelen on Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:30 pm

Thanks all for your experience and advice.
I have always enjoyed using maps and being the navigator (not sure if the the other half agrees as yes it has caused some arguments over the years) but our experience in Europe this summer convinced me that a sat nav as well as all the things we currently use will be good.
Sounds like I need to shop around and possibly choose between a Garmin and a Tom Tom - both makes seem to have their supporters.
May be able to pick up a bargain in the sales!

Thanks Helen
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Re: sat nav advice

Post by broadwayelduo on Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:01 pm

Hi Helen,
            both makes do have their supporters for one reason or the other so in my own opinion based on having used both companys i do find the mapping is better on the Garmin also their aftersales is first class...I bought a Garmin Zumo 660 on Ebay,2yr old which is waterproof to go on a Goldwing i ride then 3 months down the line it started to play up so rung Garmin who said send it to them..within 3 days they sent me back a refurbished 660 with 1yr guarantee.Good hunting for what one takes your fancy
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Re: sat nav advice

Post by algy on Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:15 pm

I agree.. from experience Garmin have a first class aftersales.....Algy
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Re: sat nav advice

Post by boxerman on Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:21 pm

I can also vouch for Garmin's customer service. My Nuvi was over 6 months old and it started switching off or re-setting itself. I contacted Garmin and they advised me to do a factory reset and sent instructions on how to do it. This didn't cure the problem so they said to return it to them and they sent me a replacement virtually by return of post. This didn't cure the problem either so I told them that I thought that it was the power supply which was the problem. They said OK and sent me another one. Touch wood, it has been fine since.

Frank
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Re: sat nav advice

Post by inspiredron on Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:27 pm

I too praise Garmin after sales. I had a nuvi 660 that failed out of warranty. For a very reasonable cost they replaced it with a refurb and when that had battery problems upgraded that to a 760. And their map updates are cheaper than tomtom

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Re: sat nav advice

Post by Peter Brown on Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:54 am

I've never had the need to contact aftersales for Navman or Tomtom. I did have a problem with the supplied software on a Garmin and had to track down an update to solve it.

Peter

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Re: sat nav advice

Post by happyhelen on Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:27 am

After reading all your comments I had decided that a Garmin would be the one to go for.
However after discussing it with the other half he made the interresting comment that if after sales was so important did it have more problems that the Tom Tom?

I guess you do the research and then just make a choice and I am sure there are pros and cons with both makes.

I really appreciate all your opnions and advice.

PS Mikethe bike - have you decided what to go for??

Helen
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Re: sat nav advice

Post by algy on Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:31 pm

boxerman wrote:I can also vouch for Garmin's customer service. My Nuvi was over 6 months old and it started switching off or re-setting itself. I contacted Garmin and they advised me to do a factory reset and sent instructions on how to do it. This didn't cure the problem so they said to return it to them and they sent me a replacement virtually by return of post. This didn't cure the problem either so I told them that I thought that it was the power supply which was the problem. They said OK and sent me another one. Touch wood, it has been fine since.

Frank
Frank That's exactly the problem I had hence my praise of Garmins aftersales. Mine managed to turn off at a crucial part of the journey. Ended up going the wrong way. They also told me to do a master reset and download the latest software, so were off to Shrewsbury at the weekend. Over 300 mile round trip so fingers crossed. ...Algy
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Re: sat nav advice

Post by rogerblack on Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:18 pm

We have three TomToms within the family, of different models and vintages.  All have been fine, one used to get it's traffic info via Bluetooth from the mobile against an annual subscription, which we no longer bother with as it's the least used machine. The later two use a plug in sensor which is a one-off purchase, it picks up free detailed traffic info from the same system as the TP traffic updates on a car radio. It tells you the reason for the problem, estimated delay and offers to reroute if a quicker alternative is available  This also works well in France.  I have only ever had to call TomTom customer service once over the years and found them most helpful.  As regards speed camera zone warnings in France, these models meet the legal limits provided you have the most recent software versions loaded; certificates to this effect, quoting the relevant French regulations, can be downloaded from the TomTom website. We carry printed copies to produce should we ever be stopped by the French authorities.

Although the different models use two versions of the TomTom software to connect to the PC, I have never had any problems updating the maps or the software, although a complete new map of Europe does take a while to download and it's preferable not to interrupt this.

One big advantage is that it can be set to remind you to drive on the right/left as appropriate each time you start to drive, also the route goes round roundabouts the right way, most effective in 3D mode, so useful if you're not used to driving abroad, not to mention when you first come back to the UK.

You can download POIs for campsies, Lidl/Aldi, McDonalds, Auchan etc etc and can go via any en route or use as ultimate destination.

We also use AutoRoute on the notebook with a GPS sensor as we have Pushpins (same as for the POIs) and it's easier to plan your route, zoom in and out to different scales, show topography etc.

However I would second all previous comments about also buying up to date printed maps and use those alongside whatever GPS you use.
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Re: sat nav advice

Post by mikethebike on Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:08 pm

happyhelen wrote:After reading all your comments I had decided that a Garmin would be the one to go for.
However after discussing it with the other half he made the interresting comment that if after sales was so important did it have more problems that the Tom Tom?

I guess you do the research and then just make a choice and I am sure there are pros and cons with both makes.

I really appreciate all your opnions and advice.

PS Mikethe bike - have you decided what to go for??



Helen
I agree.I shall buy the Garmin.I still have the Tom Tom so will be able to compare.
However no trip planned until late march.
After sales service for me was provide by the shop i bought from.
I changed 3 times,but the last time was my fault as i had a piece of plastic stuck in the cigar lighter! Excellent service.
regards

Mike
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