We bought a Snooper Ventura caravan/motorhome-specific Sat Nav to guide us on our travels.
We have got rid of most of our possessions, but a caravan Sat Nav is one of the last things that we would ever give up!
Unlike a normal car Sat Nav, you program in the length and height of your vehicle or rig. The Snooper can save the dimensions of multiple vehicles. A single button at start up allows you to select which vehicle (eg ‘Caravan 1’ or ‘Motorhome 1’) or if you are not towing, ‘Car’ mode.
In ‘Caravan’ or ‘Motorhome’ mode, the Snooper plans routes to avoid low bridges, narrow or winding roads and will even avoid extremely tight turns, routing you around a nearby roundabout or some such where necessary. It gives you pre-warning of hazards such as areas prone to cross-winds, steep gradients and sharp bends.
It has full European mapping, covering over 30 countries, with free map updates ‘for life.’ Thousands of campsites are pre-programmed in, with full contact details, an indication of cost and often, even a picture. You can program the Snooper to avoid toll ways (and ferries – something that caught us out on the rivers in Germany!)
- The Snooper was recommended by the Camping and Caravan Club (C&CC) at the time we bought it. We received a discount when we purchased through C&CC.
- The Snooper made the ‘Best Sat Nav’ list because of “its superior build quality, massive TV-ready screen, and its processing speed, which is second to none in the Sat Nav world.”
- UK Campsite also has a review and details on its website.
- We tour the UK and Europe almost full-time and initially, the Snooper proved invaluable. I found it easy to use; a minor quirk is that, unlike ACSI and many other groups of campsites, which are on the top level menu, the UK C&CC and C&MC sites are hidden away in the ‘Points of Interest’ menu. Go figure!
- We have had a couple of occasions where the programmed-in campsite locations were not completely accurate. 99% of the time, navigation has been flawless. The other 1% gives me material for my blog! (See Happy with our Lot at the River Café and Argenton sur Creuse – A Hold Up with a Hairpin!)
- We did have a technical problem with our first Snooper. On our return to the UK, the screen froze intermittently for a month or so before locking completely. We contacted Snooper and received a brand new replacement within 2 days. They had clearly dispatched the new Sat Nav before they had even received the unit that we returned. The replacement worked reliably for just over a year. Problems happen, but how a company deals with problems speaks volumes. However;
- 2018 – Concerns about Reliability; I have to report that our replacement Snooper gave up the ghost completely a year-and-a-bit later in the middle of Romania! A number of friends who also use the Snooper have reported similar problems; with the screen locking completely after trying to update the maps.
- ‘Which’ – the UK’s independent Consumer’s Association reviewed the Snooper Ventura Pro S2700 in December 2017, some time after we bought ours. Their verdict “While not quite below standard enough to be a ‘Don’t Buy’, there are much better standalone Sat Nav devices aimed at camper and caravan owners.” If you are a subscriber to ‘Which’ the full Snooper review can be found here. (You will need to log in.)
Would I Recommend the Snooper?
To date, the Snooper is the only caravan specific Sat Nav that I have used. While initially, I would not have hesitated to recommend the Snooper, it has not proved reliable and for a unit costing around £300, I do not find this acceptable.
Other Sat Nav Recommendations
I concur with ‘Which’ and would suggest that there are better choices. The Garmin 770 Camper LMT-D and the Tom Tom GO Camper both come out as ‘Which’ Best Buys.
We bought the Tom Tom GO Camper in October 2018 in Hungary and had no problems with it on our journey back to the UK through Slovenia, Italy and France. The only negative that we have found so far is that the screen is rather small. It is fine in our van and would be visible in a 4×4, however in an A Class Motorhome or equivalent, I think it would be difficult to see. It is too early to comment on its reliability in terms of mapping accuracy and longevity.
If you are a subscriber to ‘Which’ the full reviews of Caravan Sat Navs in December 2017 can be found here. (You will need to log in.)