TomTom or sat-nav
We use a TomTom for our sat-nav not by choice but because it was a present for my birthday [thanks dad]. Our TomTom is 99% our best friend and 1% our worst enemy. We have it on all the time as we travel but we never trust in it all the time. It has sent us through roads that looked like paddocks ,down streets that were too narrow for the motorhome , on roads that had tunnels that we could not get under , into small villages only to find that we were directed back to the road we were on before, I could go on but I think you get the picture. Other people we have met all have their TomTom stories. We did see a motorhome in Toledo [the old part] get stuck as the streets are narrow , one way and totally not designed for a large motorhome. It probably had the sat-nav set to Toledo and to the centre of town it went.
Tip 1 : Never trust the TomTom. It has been designed to be used in a car and not a motorhome.
So how do you get around when you don’t trust it. What we do is two fold. We always have a good map of the country we are traveling in, normally we buy it in the country we are in, at a large supermarket. The second thing we do is have our Samsung tablet mounted on the dash with a program called OsmAnd+ . This works the same way as a sat-nav and will even give directions, plot a route, indicate places of interest, and much more. The best feature is that it gives a far greater picture of the roads ahead as you can zoom in or zoom easily, which gives you a quick idea of how the road ahead looks, even down to the small details. It is a android program and will not work on the apple tablets.
Tip 2 : Always use something else along with your sat-nav whether it be a tablet of a map. I have even known people who mount a computer on there dash with a map program. Be careful as you can only use a solid state hard drive computer when driving. The roads in some places can get pretty rough so you wanted it mounted securely.
We load our TomTom with our POI’s about campsites, aires etc. See our page about POI’s [points of interest] for more information.
There are places where we have been that the TomTom has limited coverage or not coverage at all. In Albania for instance the Tom Tom was useless while the OsmAnd was a lifesaver. By the way the program cost us only 5 euros.
[The advice given is our opinion only .We are not experts and are still learning as we go. Seek other sources of information to get other opinions. If we have made any mistakes or if you have something to add please let us know. Ewout and Jenny]