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 Sat Nav - recommendations?

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dartmoor

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PostSubject: Sat Nav - recommendations?   Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:13 pm

Any one recommend a really good one? With coverage of France as well as UK? Thanks in expectation.
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TimV
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PostSubject: Re: Sat Nav - recommendations?   Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:12 pm

Love my Garmin 250w - updated no doubt by now but 99 quid with European maps from Amazon it was a bargain.

Looks like this is the update.

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belgiumbay

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PostSubject: Re: Sat Nav - recommendations?   Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:54 pm

HI Dartmoor

For France coverage Garmin, tom tom are both OK. However because they both use the same mapping data they both suffer a few problems in France. First can be that if you want to use the National (N) system (Frances best secret) rather than the auto -routes (A) the only way you can set it is by avoid tolls which can still end up taking you onto the unpaid parts of the auto route system. If you try to use avoid dual carriage ways then it doesn't help as almost all French roads have dual sections within them even the Department Roads (D).

Also both Tom tom and Garmin use dead reckoning to navigate so in France that can mean ending up going km down a D route at 20k when the sat nav has chosen the "shortest" route. Both work and both do the job but you need to treat the suggested routes off the A and N routes with caution.

The best answer for France and also for most of N Europe is viaMichelin - there UK coverage is as good as any one elses but their Europe coverage is excellent and routes are based not just on dead reckoning but on the fulll existing viamichelin database.

They also include as part of the package full avoidance updates daily from the michelin data base. Both the Michelin Food and Green guide points of interest and the maps interact with viamichelin website and maps directly on a PC (no mac compatibility)

The viamichelin iphone app knocks the socks of the tom tom equiv so if you have an iphone or some other mobiles you do not need to buy a sat nav.

Most people in the UK don't realise that michelin for the French is what the RAC and AA are all rolled into one plus great tyres

If you are only going to do France for a week or two then I personally wouldnt bother with a Sat Nav - Once you get across the channel buy a copy of the Michelin deluxe route atlas. It main route maps autoroute maps and detailed maps it cost about 24 euro but is worth every cent and will be on a stand near the till in any aire de service autoroute (service station on a motorway)

For town to town via either A or N roads the routes it suggests are the ones to take. Then in town centres and even in smaller villes, the locals will actually point you in the right direction and unless you have made the mistake of booking every campsite on your route (never do that in France just turn up) they will point you to the nearest camping municipal, aire due service du camping car or camping resort and again their recommendations are usually good.

We have even turned up at mid night in a French provincial town gone into the local gendarmerie or police station and been allowed to camp over night in their car park. Camping and camping cars are away of life for the French

PS if you do decide to use A roads pay by credit card at the automatic toll booths and unless you have a roof rack go through as under 2M

PSS also worth again about autoroutes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday 107.7 FM (info traffic sur les autoroutes) has full English traffic updates for the entire A road system in the sector you are in - only operates 50m either side of the autoroutes. It is my Toulouse god send ( the A61/62/68 intersection on a saturday morning enter at your own risk)
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