Bryony SymesSee other accessory reviews written by Bryony Symes
Say goodbye to navigation horror stories with Garmin's Camper 770 LMT-D – it'll take into account the exact dimensions of your ’van and route accordingly
This sleek addition to the Garmin navigation line-up is the best yet for motorcaravanners!
Why? Well, there is a whole host of features designed just for us.
Aren’t they thoughtful!
Made for motorhomes
For starters, this Garmin sat nav has the ability to enter your vehicle’s dimensions and save them as a profile, so you don’t have to key them in again every time you go away.
In fact, you can make multiple profiles for cars, car and caravan outfits, and, most importantly for us, motorhomes.
Input the length, height, width and weight of the vehicle, and it will calculate a route that doesn’t have any restrictions that could impede you.
The sat nav comes pre-loaded with detailed maps of the UK, Ireland and Europe – all 45 countries – with free lifetime updates, so there won’t be any unexpected costs down the road and you can travel wherever the urge takes you.
All you need to do in order to get the updates is to connect the device to a Wi-Fi network, then it will automatically download all map and software updates, including bug fixes.
When updating the maps, the Garmin sat nav also updates the information that it holds on items such as speed safety cameras. This means you have the knowledge of a local, no matter where you choose to tour!
Plan your next pitch
Garmin has teamed up with quite a few organisations to build a huge database of points of interest, campsites, review sites and amenities as well as pre-loading the device with some very helpful apps, all of which can help making touring easier.
The ACSI, NKC and MHF apps will allow you to search for sites either near you, or near your destination. You can even scroll through the site’s facilities to make sure that it will have everything that you’re looking for, and check the open dates.
Entries for the sites include ratings, prices, size limits, the type of terrain, and a website for you to find out more information. However, not all of the entries are complete.
Sites range from car parks that allow overnight parking to full-facility sites, including a lot of Club sites, which tend to have very detailed information.
In the same vein, the TripAdvisor and Foursquare apps provide thousands of reviews and ratings of attractions, restaurants and more.
No longer will you be stuck for places to stop on your journey, or unsure whether to take the risk on a restaurant you’ve never tried before.
This Garmin sat nav even has a built-in Trip Planner to help you choose where you to stop – you can pick a route via specific streets, if you like.
To make following the sat nav’s instructions even easier, Garmin Real Directions uses landmarks and buildings within the navigation instructions, as well as the traditional road markings, so that you know exactly where you are going, as well as using Active Lane Guidance at complicated junctions.
Pair this with the bird’s eye view of junctions and the photo view of the junctions, and there’ll be no more getting in the wrong lane on a roundabout!
This is not simply a navigation device, though. You can also connect it to your smartphone, using Bluetooth, for hands-free calling, voice-activated navigation and notifications from your smartphone.
There are also options to have various alerts, including traffic, road warnings, real-time parking information and the weather forecast.
If you download the Smartphone Link App, you can even use the Live Track feature to share your route with others – ideal if you’re in convoy on your way to a big family get-together.
The live traffic updates come via DAB, through the receiver that is part of the power cable, to ensure a seamless stream of information that will keep you rolling towards your destination, rather than stopping every now and then to hunt down a patch of Wi-Fi.
The low-down on this Garmin sat nav
The device itself is a good size with a 6.95-inch screen featuring an edge-to-edge touchscreen display and large buttons, so it is easy to select the right one. Of course, the hands-free function will help with driving safety, as well.
Once you have entered your destination, the map never leaves your screen – even when you get notifications and warnings.
The large screen is also perfect for use as an all-important reversing camera! Simply buy the Garmin BC 30 reversing camera (available in a bundle with the sat nav or separately), wirelessly pair it to the sat nav, and you’re all set.
Yet another additional function is the Service History app that allows you to document all your vehicle’s maintenance, such as oil changes, new tyres and brake pad checks – handy to help keep on top of your motorhome’s maintenance.
This is a great piece of kit to make going away in the 'van far less stressful – having a sat nav that you can trust to take you on a sensible route can make a huge difference to the journey.
The fact that it comes packed with extra features is a bonus – and they aren’t gimmicky, they are all designed to help you make the most of your trip.
It is highly functional, with clear menus and features that are easy to use whilst you’re on the move, and it can fit easily into a glovebox, although the mount is a bit of an awkward shape.
If you go on motorhome holidays often, this Garmin sat nav is a worthy investment to avoid navigational headaches.
Plus, it can help you to research and plan on the go, helping you enjoy a far more flexible touring experience.
- It has a clear display that keeps the map in view at all times
- It has a plethora of features specifically to make travelling in large vehicles easier
- The hands-free function is great for safe driving
- You can connect your phone and a reversing camera
- The large screen will have to be placed carefully so as not to obstruct the driver's view of the road
- The charge cable and window mount are quite chunky
- At a glance, a lot of the app icons look very similar