James Stanbury

See other accessory reviews written by James Stanbury

With more features than most, the Snooper DVR-4HD dashcam is the motorhome equivalent of a 'Black Box' flight data recorder – but does it do what you need?

Overview

Whether you feel like recording your most scenic motorhome driving routes, or just want a little protection in case of an insurance claim, a dashcam could be a fantastic addition to your touring kit.

We've tested 17 dashcams for Practical Motorhome recently, to find out which of these impressive little gadgets are best suited to our motorcaravanning lifestyle. Among the dashcams in our test were the Blackvue DR650GW-2CH at £289.99, the Cobra CDR 820 at £64.99, the Next Base iN-Car Cam 521G, the Garmin Dashcam 20 at £129, the RAC 05 at £149, the Mio MiVue 538 Deluxe at just £124.99 and the Cobra Drive HD CDR900 at £139.99. Click here to compare the products in our online dashcam reviews.

In this review we shine a spotlight on the Snooper DVR-4HD dashcam, costing £149.99.

Snooper is of course a well-known brand and – when it comes to features – this is the unit to beat. As well as lane-drift and forward-collision warnings, the Snooper DVR-4HD will also alert you if the vehicle in front pulls away and you don’t, if it’s getting dark and you haven’t switched on your headlamps, and if you seem to be accelerating or decelerating erratically.

It can tell if you are getting tired at the wheel and give you a warning, which we think could be very useful for those times when we decide to avoid traffic jams by crunching through lots of boring motorway miles overnight. Your co-driver or passengers may all be falling asleep on the long drive, but at least the Snooper will remain alert. It should even tell you when you really need to pull over and give in to sleep.

Speed camera warnings are included, and Wi-Fi allows footage to be easily viewed on smartphones. 

The touchscreen also makes the unit quite straightforward to navigate.

We like the fact that the dashcam starts recording automatically when you switch on the ignition. Also that it will capture a 140° wide angle view of the road ahead with that sharp-eyed lens. In fact the mount is flexible enough that you can swivel it to record a complete 360° panoramic film of your surroundings, should you need or want to. On top of that, the sensors on board will detect any impact from three directions. All the speed, direction and location data from any crash impact will be recorded along with the footage, also overlaid onto a Google map and saved. That should help a lot in case of any insurance claim disputes, surely? Dashcams like this have impressed some vehicle insurers enough for them to offer a good discount on the insurance premium you pay. This dashcam discount is more common with cars than motorhomes, but Snooper mentions that motorhome insurer Adrian Flux is one firm that lops 15% off the bill. We recommend that you contact your favourite insurer and ask for a discount.

All in all, the Snooper DVR-4HD lives up to its claim that it's just like having your own 'Black Box' flight recorder on board. But as impressive as the features list is, the optical side of the unit – while very good – trails that of newer entries from Mio and the RAC. 

Technical specs

Video camera1080p HD
GPSSpeed camera alerts and location data
AlertsDriver fatigue, lane departure and forward collision warnings
LCD screen2.7 inches
3-Axis G-SensorMonitors impact from 3 directions
Automatic recordingWhen ignition is on
Wide angle lens140°
Camera rotation360°
Wi-fi connectivityInstantly view or share footage via smartphone
In case of accidentRecorded footage, speed and time data is overlaid onto Google Maps

Verdict

The Snooper DVR-4HD is so full of great features that it's very hard to criticise it at all. The only thing we can say is that the RAC 05 and Mio MiVue 538 Deluxe are slightly newer and even better. And the Mio product is £25 cheaper.

Other than that, this is a terrific dashcam, well deserving of a four-star rating in Practical Motorhome's dashcam test.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Speed camera alert
  • Fatigue alert
  • Lane drift alert
  • The fact that it overlays accident data and footage onto a map
  • Wide angle lens
  • Easy-to-use touchscreen

Cons

  • Slightly overtaken by the latest Mio and RAC dashcams
  • Same price as the winning dashcam
  • The Mio MiVue 538 Deluxe is cheaper
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