Once a 20-ft left-hand-drive beast was part of the equation, I soon realised that it’s a lot harder to fix a wrong turn or a missed exit when you’re driving a motorhome than it is in a car. Add to that our ‘wow, look at that lovely mountain/stag/field of cows’ approach to navigating and suddenly sat-nav seemed like a really good idea. So I did some research and decided that a sat-nav that could be configured to take account of the vehicle’s size and weight would be my best bet.
I plumped for the Ventura S6000from Snooper. As well as the key feature of size and weight input, it also has a whopping 7 inch screen size, making it easy to see when perched on our Hymer’s expansive dashboard. I’ve seen smarter, more lifelike graphics on other
Another feature I find useful is the My Speed display – showing your actual travelling speed alongside the current speed limit. Since the Hymer has a km speed dial rather than a miles dial, the sat nav speed display makes it easier to know what your speed is, without doing conversions from memory as you’re driving.
The Snooper unit has had a few trial drives now, including two trips to Dorset and a longer trip to Lincolnshire that involved navigating 6 different motorways and a new section of the A46. So far, it’s handled itself very well, and there have been no inappropriate instructions along narrow lanes or under low bridges. On one of the trips to Dorset, we chose our own route on the outbound leg and ignored the sat-nav’s repeated instructions to go a different way. On the way back, we obeyed her instructions to the letter…and I have to concede that she chose a much better route than I did….a few miles longer but a much easier and smoother drive. Obviously, there may be times when you’d prefer to go a certain way despite it not being the simplest route, and you can easily do this by opting to avoid motorways or a specific road. If you’re using it in the car instead of your van, you can override the motorhome setting too.
Another reason for selecting this unit was its European coverage – with a 6-month Europe trip planned for April, it was essential to get European coverage as standard. Whilst this European coverage won’t be tested until April, I’m sure it’ll be fine and will update this review with my findings. I’m braced for France being a sat-nav challenge, as I’ve read that most of the roads are currently being renamed!
A bonus with this type of sat-nav is that it comes bundled with a massive POI file covering campsites in the UK and Europe, places to eat within a short distance of your route (so you can avoid the motorway services, if you like), petrol and LPG stations and much more.
For an annual fee, you can opt-in to a service that lets the sat-nav tell you about speed cameras, but this wasn’t an option I was bothered about, so I didn’t sign up.
All in all, I’m pleased with this purchase. I could have bought a much cheaper unit and chanced my arm on whether it would send me along narrow lanes and under tiny bridges. But with this sat-nav, I’m hopeful that I’ve bought a little peace of mind, as well as a friendly navigator …