CoPilot introduce an all-new app: CoPilot Caravan: A sat nav app for for Apple or Android smartphones and tablets that provides route planning and sat nav guidance designed specifically for caravan/motorhome drivers.
Simply enter in your vehicle or caravan dimensions and weight and CoPilot Caravan will automatically calculate an appropriate route, avoiding narrow or weight-restricted roads accordingly.
CoPilot Caravan key features:
- Premium quality off-line maps of the whole of Europe (including UK) with details of height and weight-restricted roads
- Driver alerts to warn about upcoming hazards like sharp bends and cross winds
- Comprehensive pre-trip route planning
- Driver-friendly display to reduce distraction on long distance drives
- Less than 1/3 of the cost of a dedicated caravan/motorhome satnav device
- Fully offline navigation: as with all CoPilot sat nav apps, maps are stored offline on your device so there's no need for a mobile internet connection or expensive data roaming when driving abroad.
Price and Availability:
The app is available for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets immediately through Google Play and in the iTunes AppStore at £49.99 but there is an introductory summer 20% discount at the moment.
Android Version Review
We took the app on a recent trip to France in our motorhome to test it out.
Installing the app on a 7" Android tablet went fairly smoothly until it came to installing the maps. By default, maps are stored in the internal storage and there wasn't enough room for the European maps. A bit of investigation produced the information that it is only possible to install maps on the external SD card with Android OS KitKat 4.4.4 and above, this is a bit of a problem for users like us with devices running earlier version of the OS and which may have limited internal storage (NB: There is a workaround for this - use Google to find it!).
Getting used to the way CoPilot works takes a bit of time, especially if you are migrating from another sat-nav, however with a bit of guidance from the online help we got it set up.
You can add the weight and dimensions of your motorhome, enabling CoPilot to route avoiding weight restrictions and unsuitable roads, you can also set configurable navigation preferences for road types and input your average speeds for the different road types too.
Routing does seen pretty sensible, however one anomaly we found that it seemed to be impossible to get it to route via a cross Channel ferry, it persisted in wanting to navigate via the Tunnel. In the end we set a route to Dover, then set a new route to our destination in France once we arrived in Calais.
We use CoPilot for the whole of our 2 week trip and in general it performed very well, certainly the ability to route avoiding the many 3.5 tonne restricted roads in France was a real boon. Occasionally it seemed to take a rather circuitous route around towns but I suspect that a bit of experimenting with route preferences and speeds would improve things.
There were a few minor glitches, a couple of times it changed it's mind on whether to turn right or left at junctions in towns, just on the approach to the junction, once the new route took us 1/2 mile to a roundabout, and then back to the junction to continue on the original route. Not sure of the reason for this!
CoPilot Caravan comes with a comprehensive set of POIs built in, it is also possible to relatively easily add your own POI sets in .ov2 or .csv format
Generally we got on quite well with CoPilot Caravan, it is considerably cheaper than a stand-alone sat-nav device and has the undoubted advantage of lifetime free map updates.
The maps available for Europe are detailed here: copilotgps.com/uk/maps/
There is a free trial version of the standard CoPilot app giving 7 days for you to try out its voice-guided navigation We would certainly recommend trying it out before making a purchase, just to ensure that you get on with it. Note that the trial version does not have the caravan/motorhome specific features.