Before we set off in NiKi we visited the Camping and Caravanning Show at the NEC in October 2015. Like all people new to anything, we were like children in a candy store and bought many items for the forthcoming adventure. One of which was a Snooper Ventura S6800 Sat-Nav made especially for Caravanners and Motorhome owners. It has all the ASCI, Alan Rogers, Caravan Club and more, campsites plus Camper Contact aires also. So very useful and very good. All for the base price of £349.99. While on the road CoPilot offered us a copy of their new CoPilot Caravan and Motorhoming Sat-Nav app to try out. Well chuffed to be recognised as a worthwhile recipient we took them up on their offer. Even better if you get to the bottom of this review you too could win a free copy for your phone!! NOTE: iOS and Android devices only. The price for the app is £49.99 so not cheap but lifetime worldwide offline maps and one year of traffic are included so not a bad price really.
So we thought it would be interesting to put the two side by side and see how that goes for one month. As you will know we are in Spain and the heat can be fierce under the windscreen of the van. So iPad was out, as it over heated straight away. We don’t have an iPhone holder but Blutac to the radio screen works just fine and dandy.
Let be straight the Snooper has many more caravanning POI’s such as aires and Camper stops, so this is handy but the interface to get to them is poor to say the least. But they are there and they work.
Both devices require you to enter the dimensions of your Motorhome / Caravan, once done they should not let you go down a road too narrow for you, or with obstacles to low to get under. But it is computer so Always Use your eyes and common sense!
At £49.99 for the app it is not cheap but the Snooper was £300 at the show. So in reality much cheaper as we already have the iPhone!
Set Up (only for the Co-Pilot)
After download, a user friendly screen prompts you through set up, with clear and easy instructions to navigate through. There are lots of options to tailor the app to your own personal requirements, you have the option to display safety camera alerts (and change how much distance ahead you want to be warned of them) and set it to save battery, another useful tool when you’re doubling your phone as your sat nav. Though we have it plugging for the journey.
Finally it’s time to enter those important measurements- the app allows you to input your Height, Width, Total Length and Total Weight. You can also select how it should navigate – the fastest route or shortest. Plus there is the ability to tell the app what sort of roads you want. You will see below we have tow for NiKi one with tolls and one without. This feature goes even further where you can avoid tolls if possible. This ensures you don’t get directions that woulds take you 100’s of miles out of your way to avoid a toll bridge, as the Snooper has tried to do many times.
The CoPilot like Snooper has lifetime map updates there is an option to purchase traffic info.
With the CoPilot you seem to get maps for every country in the world, you can download regions like Western Europe or one country at a time, this allows you to keep an eye on your storage on the phone.
On The Road Snooper v Co-Pilot
We used the Snooper and Co-Pilot to choose the best routes to each destination if they had the campsite we were going to we would pick it and let the device do it work.
On the other hand if we wished to go to an Aire we would enter the co-ordinates, here Co-Pilot was easier as it lets you enter these in virtually any format so much better than Snooper. You can also choose a spot on a map again Co-Pilot wins. As we are using an iPhone the map just moves and you click zoom and click again job done.
NiKi is a big beast and she does not like going into small villages in Spain, though we have told both devices, avoid them like the plague, well they just don’t get it, all the time. Though we have been able to get out of the worst we actually went down clearance of 2 inches each side to street walls is not good. BOTH devices though this was a good idea! So common sense is required. Oddly we were in a village called La Alberca and neither device would let us go down the main road around the town but wanted us to go down a road though the centre of the village that we measured at 5’10”wide with an overhang at 6’5”. Don’t know why but such is life.
The above said ‘Use your head as well as your Sat-Nav’ the app is easier to use than the Snooper. Obviously the iPhone 6 we have is more powerful that the Snooper as when we change direction the rerouting on the phone is much quicker.
So what is the verdict? Well for the most part the two work very well and are as good as each other. We covered over £2,000 miles with them, but we have the iPhone in our pocket and it is always there so now we don’t use the Snooper any more. Even with the extra POI’s in the Snooper the CoPilot is cheaper and simpler to use. Improvements could be made to the POI’s and add in more and make them easier to access. Also an addition would be to add cycle routes to the app. Most Motorhomers love to cycle and proper cycle routes would be a great added extra to a fantastic product. If we had seen it at the motorhome show we would have had £300 more to spend on the trip!
Note: We were given the app by CoPilot for our opinion of it and how it worked in practice, on top of that they have generously offered us one extra copy, for us to give to one our readers. The opinion is straight forward honest one
So how to win your own copy?
All you have to do is share this page on Facebook or Twitter, Like or follow us on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe to the site. We will announce winner on the 11th July. Our decision is final. If you already ‘follow’, ‘like’ or ‘subscribe’ by re-tweeting or sharing our page you will be entered. NOTE: iOS and Android devices only buena suerte to you all.