Which Report 2019 caravan and camper satnavs

Val54

Full Member

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9,452
If anyone is interested, Which have just published their 2019 review and the latest Garmin 780 just came out top best buy .......



REVIEWED JUL 2019
Overview
The Garmin camper 780 Camper & Digital Traffic is an expensive but excellent sat nav for caravan and motorhome users. It offers high-quality visual guidance, is easy to program and recalculates routes quickly. There are a couple of issues we've seen in other Garmin models, such as voice recognition, that doesn't always get things quite right. Overall, though, this is a very competent and high-quality device - which is why it's a Best Buy.

What is it?
Garmin's latest dedicated sat nav for motorhome and caravan owners. It displays maps of Europe on a high-quality, capacitive touchscreen display that's as responsive as a high-end smartphone.
Free digital traffic updates are included via DAB, with more accurate live updates available via a Bluetooth-connected smartphone. This connection means the Camper 780 can also be used as a portable hands-free kit for calls.
The system also has a wi-fi connection, so you don't need to physically connect it to a computer to update maps. It's also one of the few camper systems we've tested that can be operated solely by voice, though in our tests we found the voice recognition to be too hit and miss to be relied on regularly.
As it's aimed at owners of over-sized vehicles, the system allows you to enter the dimensions and weight of your caravan or motorhome, so an appropriate route can accurately be found. You can also specify routes that don't include U-turns, height restrictions and weight limits. It'll also warn you when approaching steep slopes.
How easy is to use?
The device is easy to fit and remove from its windscreen-mounted bracket, though the small size of the bracket can make it inconvenient if you're sat a long way from the windscreen (in an MPV, for example).
The display's large, widescreen format makes the map very easy to read, and with sensible zooming between actions, drivers can anticipate the next manoeuvre well in advance. The display is bright and the colours used provide good contrast for easy legibility.
The interface and the structure of the menus is logical and easy to understand. Most settings are quickly accessed and there are context-sensitive submenus that easily put the required options at your fingertips. There is also a customisable 'quick' menu that can be opened from the navigation screen, where you can keep handy shortcuts to your most-used features.
If you have large fingers, you will be pleased to hear that the large screen means a huge keyboard. It's accurate and responsive, and also automatically blanks out irrelevant characters as you type, to make it quicker to enter addresses.
The only real bugbear is the voice recognition. It's mostly usable, but can sometimes struggle to accurately identify a destination.
How clear are the instructions?
The map is high contrast, with a bright white background - it's easily legible in all conditions. The colours and large screen make following on-screen instructions a doddle.
The system alternates between photo-realistic and dynamic lane guidance to navigate through junctions, the latter of which can either be very useful or slightly annoying, depending on the situation.
With clear guidance symbols and well positioned menu buttons, visual guidance is easy to follow, despite the amount of information on display. However, in urban areas the perspective of the map can become distorted, making it more difficult to accurately judge distances between junctions.
Audio guidance is also very good, with decent audibility and appropriate pacing between instructions. The Camper 780 also uses advanced vocal guidance on the motorway, including lane management instructions. This is useful, if not 100% flawless, much like the device's text-to-speech capability.
Is there anything else I should know?
Live traffic updates are available through a data-enabled smartphone connected by Bluetooth, which may incur extra charges depending on your mobile contract. Ensure you take the in-car charging cable with you too, as this sat nav's battery doesn't last long.
This sat nav is compatible with Garmin's wireless reversing camera (sold separately, for around £130). Place it in your rear window and it'll beam the image to your sat nav screen.
Should I buy it?
Yes, The Garmin Camper 780 & Digital Traffic is one of the best portable sat navs we've tested for caravan and motorhome users. It's a deserved Best Buy that'll take the sting out of planning your next adventure.
 

Wooie1958

Full Member

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780
Nice 1 (y) I`m thinking of replacing my 760LMT-D next year and that will be my automatic choice.

I`ve had it for 5+ years now and IMHO is far superior to all the TomTom`s i`ve ever owned.

My only gripe has been that the internal memory ( 7GB ) was virtually full once i`d installed the latest maps from new :mad:

I had to buy another micro SDHC card for it, given the price of the sat nav in the first place you shouldn`t have to do that.

I bought a good quality 32GB micro SDHC card for it and that sorted it out and has been great ever since :)
 

Val54

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9,452
Snap, our 760 has been the most reliable satnav we’ve had and is still going strong. My only gripe is that the 12v connector module and aerial has a tendency to come loose sometimes but it’s only a minor thing. I like the idea that the new versions have built in wi-fi so that map downloads and updates don’t require a laptop connection, but I’m not sure I’d fork out for a new one just on that basis. For balance it’s worth pointing out that the latest TomTom Go Camper, which came second in the Which test, also has built in wi-fi and was only a few percentage points behind the Garmin (71% against 69%), as ever it comes done to personal preference and price if there are any deals around.
Dave
 

Ardachaidh

Full Member

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140
We have the Camper 660 Caravan Club Edition. It's been mostly fine, although we've had a couple glitches with inappropriate routes. I'm wondering if it's really worth updating. Isn't most of the routing accuracy in the mapping? If the mapping is the same for the 780 as for the 660 can someone explain how the newer version is much better?
 

EJB

Full Member

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204
I have still never seen a side by side comparison of a 'Motorhome/Caravan' satnav to a normal satnav...….Is there really a difference, apart from £250 in price?
 

Val54

Full Member

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9,452
I’m not familiar with the 660 version, but I’m guessing the basic mapping is the same so if it works for you, stick with it. I’m not changing our 760 just for the wi-fi connection. As regards normal v camper editions, I can only say that we bought the 760 because we needed the big screen to allow both driver and navigator to see the route. The ability to enter vehicle dimensions is useful but there have been loads of discussions on WC site as to how accurate it is, and I certainly wouldn’t totally rely on it, particularly abroad.
 

Ardachaidh

Full Member

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140
Thanks. The 660 is 6", but we can both read it reasonably well when mounted in the centre of the dash. I'll think we'll stay with it just now.

One annoyance with the latest map update (2020.10) is that the speed limits for our camper on single carriageway roads is wrong. It shows a limit of 50mph which is the limit for vehicles of a maximum unladen weight of over 3030kg. It's also inconsistent with a few single carriageway roads showing the correct limit. And there's no way to correct it.
 

Val54

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9,452
“One annoyance with the latest map update (2020.10) is that the speed limits for our camper on single carriageway roads is wrong. It shows a limit of 50mph which is the limit for vehicles of a maximum unladen weight of over 3030kg. It's also inconsistent with a few single carriageway roads showing the correct limit. And there's no way to correct it.”

I’ve only just updated ours and haven’t used it since but thanks for the warning. I tend to drive to the road signage but the satnav mph display is useful as the Fiat dash is so hard to read in certain lights. At least while the latest update is wrong, it is wrong in the right way and you won’t get caught out.
 

jtowndad

Free Member

Messages
6
What about the various laws in some European countries (particularly France) which outlaw devices which detect speed cameras? All these satnavs have them, can the functionality be turned off? I don't want to spend £300 on something which will bring me a E1000 fine!
 

eurajohn

Full Member

Messages
108
What about the various laws in some European countries (particularly France) which outlaw devices which detect speed cameras? All these satnavs have them, can the functionality be turned off? I don't want to spend £300 on something which will bring me a E1000 fine!
For France they are not speed camera warnings they are safety zone warnings :) and rather than actually showing the precise location simply warn you of the area.
That's how they get around the legality.
 

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