Being Google Maps addicts, we first thought we would be ok with just our phones as GPS. And then we thought about internet data usage… We quickly opted for a GPS instead of our phones.
We have owned the HN7 since May 2014 when we left Brisbane for our 2 year roadtrip around Australia. It even took us to the northernmost tip of Australia: Cape York!
The HN7 is a purpose-built on and off road navigator from Hema, the company that makes all the caravanning and 4×4 maps (how handy!). It has a nice, large touch screen that is finger friendly. Instead of giving you all the features of the navigator (which you can access on the Hema Maps HN7 page), we thought it would be more useful to provide you with your feedback on the machine.
What we love
- large finger friendly screen
- gets you there
- is very easy to operate (but read the manual first)
- the off road functionality is absolutely brilliant. Basically your position is overlaid onto any of the existing Hema map of your choice. So in Cape York we could choose from at least 4 different Hema maps of the region
- preloaded with freecamps, caravan parks and petrol stations
Points for improvement
- HN7 can only be updated on a Windows computer!!! (as we run everything on Apple – like many caravanners) so we can’t upgrade the maps)
- There should be a setting to choose ‘best routes for towing’. On numerous occasions the HN7 wanted to send us down a tiny, 2 ton max road.
- Read the manuals before you leave. Note that only a short manual is included in the box and you need to download the full version here. Obviously we didn’t and when we wanted to do it it we didn’t have any internet connection
- Watch the videos (online as well, click on link above)
- Use your brain and double up with Google Maps if you aren’t sure. Like any GPS it is 95% accurate but be aware you may need to do 5 point turns with your 23 foot van every now and then…
- Grab a copy of the big Camps 7 book – whilst a GPS is great at taking you from A to B it doesn’t give you the birds’ eye view that the paper map does.
All in all, we wouldn’t be without it – the HN7 is the most friendly navigator we have come across and we continuously recommend it to all caravanners. When you are about to head on a trip around Australia with your caravan you need to know where you are going!