Motorhomes & GPS Sat Nav – A Good Idea?

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At first glance, motorhomes and sat nav seem like a match made in heaven – and by and large, this is true. They are a great help in unfamiliar places, especially towns and cities.

However, care needs to be taken. We’ve all seen the news stories about lorry drivers who blindly followed their sat nav’s instructions and ended wedged down a country road for two days. Driving a motorhome using GPS maps designed for cars, this could happen to you, too.

Even worse, without taking care to assess your route properly, you could end up falling foul of a low bridge or width restriction – not fun at all, especially if you are abroad.

Fortunately, all you need to do to prevent this is to use a bit of common sense, plus a second navigation device – the mark 1 eyeball, which you probably already own.

Make sure you know the height and width of your motorhome and remember that a sat nav is just a different type of map. You do not have to do what it says:

If a road looks like it might be too tight or has signposted size restrictions, don’t turn into it.

  • Unlike a normal map, most sat navs will automatically work out a new route to your destination if you divert from your current one.

Depending on the size of your motorhome, it might be worth buying a Trucker’s Road Atlas for the UK – these have all bridge heights, etc., marked on them.

For the UK at least, POI (point of interest) files containing height and width restriction information are readily available for sat navs. This means that you can load the information into your sat nav and be pre-warned if there are low bridges or width restrictions on your route.

Amazon stocks a wide range of GPS sat navs at competitive prices – click here to take a look (Amazon⇒).

5 thoughts on “Motorhomes & GPS Sat Nav – A Good Idea?

  • Just a quick reminder that you can get the sat nav which will give you the choice for driveng a car or a large vehicle I got mine from Pro Nav after seeing an add in the CC magazine I think for about £199 and that included european mapping

    • Hi Richard,

      That’s a good point. I think that several sat nav manufacturers now offer mapping designed for large vehicles that takes into account height and width restrictions. For larger motorhomes, this could be more appropriate than regular car sat nav.

      A paper alternative is The AA Close Up Truckers Atlas Britain, which is a large scale road atlas aimed at the needs of lorry drivers.


  • alan stewart

    a good motorhome sat nav,full euro mapping and in particular aires in france and other countys, plus fuel stations selling the pumps,very difficult to find in spain,why because you cannot buy calor gas in europe anywere.minimum size, 5 inch,come on tomtom and garmin,do us motorhomers a favour.

  • We currently use a Snooper Ventura in our motorhome and its been a god send in Europe, the only thing I would say is it a little quiet and I have to pass it though the stereo.

  • Andy Deeley

    Having tried the latest and greatest Garmin Camper GPS in the UK, I would say the mapping related to maximum vehicle size is somewhat flawed. Preferences were configured per the instructions but the GPS persisted in sending us down very narrow country lanes when good main road alternatives existed. A good Trucker’s Atlas would appear to be better value in the UK. We’re planning to do further testing in Europe next year.


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