Looking for the best UK GPS app for caravan and motorhome navigation? We've used CoPilot Caravan GPS as a sat-nav for 2 years, travelling through 17 countries around Europe. I think it's safe to say we've used it well!
The app is car navigation for drivers- whether in a car, camper, motorhome or pulling a caravan. Here's our full review of the pros and cons of CoPilot GPS app- hope you find it useful.
What is the CoPilot GPS app?
CoPilot is an app, which works on either Apple or Android devices. You can find it in the App Store or Google Play and pay/ download it just as you would any other app.
ALK (the people who own CoPilot) are now called Trimble- just to avoid confusion should you see different names popping up. But I believe the app is going to stay as CoPilot.
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How to set up CoPilot in a car, camper or motorhome
We have the app downloaded onto an iPad (old and second-hand from CEX) and this iPad is mounted onto our dashboard in the motorhome, using this mount. (Do NOT mount it onto your windscreen or impede the driver's view- this will get you fined in many countries throughout Europe.)
You can also use the app on any phone which allows apps, so you could use a normal phone mount if you wish.
Which version of CoPilot GPS app should I download?
CAUTION: There are several different types of Co-Pilot available to download and although they are from the same developer, they are NOT THE SAME. For Motorhomes, campervans, Caravans and RV's in Europe, you want Co-Pilot Caravan Europe. NOT the truck one- that has tachometers and all sorts of other, totally confusing things! This applies even if your vehicle is over 3.5t, like ours- we use the Caravan version and it works great.
CoPilot car is for… cars, but if you are towing, it won't allow you to input dimensions, so you're better off with the caravan version. However, the car version is (at time of writing) the only version which can support worldwide maps (at extra cost.) The other apps are only for UK and Europe.
There is also Co-Pilot RV USA (no prizes for where that should be used!!) – I believe that comes with US and possibly Canada maps- please check before purchase.
Can I use CoPilot UK on two devices?
Yes, as long as you only use one device at once. If you want to use more than one device at a time, you'll need to buy a new licence for each device. You can only register one device on a user ID at any one time. If you're going to buy multiple licences, use different user IDs to avoid issues.
How to use Co-Pilot Caravan GPS app- CoPilot login
Once downloaded, add in the dimensions of your vehicle- we add on a little extra for the motorhome just to be safe! You can even add in extra profiles- for example, we have one set up for Wanda (our Motorhome) with a trailer attached and without a trailer attached. We also have one set up to avoid tolls or toll roads- we used this in Switzerland last summer, but now we are over 3.5t it doesn't make much difference any more! 🙁
The app finds the best route for you based on your preferences (fastest, shortest, avoiding tolls etc) and takes the dimensions of your vehicle into account- particularly height, which is very useful.
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How to set up CoPilot Caravan
Here's a quick video of us setting up Co-Pilot caravan and a montage of all the amazing places we've seen using Co-Pilot as our sat-nav! You can see Co-Pilot in UK and Europe as we cross borders, navigate mountains and drive at night in torrential rain-storms. Seriously, we have abused this system and it's still going! (There's also a puppy update in the video… I am too good to you! ;))
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Can I use CoPilot on a phone?
Absolutely, although obviously the screen will be smaller than on an iPad. Just remember you can only use one device at a time per licence.
The app will work in landscape or portrait, so any phone holder will do.
On the right-hand side of the screen is a line, which shows you traffic incidents if you've connected that feature. The app allows you to re-route if you prefer to avoid any buildups, which is useful, although we often find staying on the main roads can be quicker-especially in a caravan or motorhome.
You can also add in waypoints or an entire route, using postcodes or GPS co-ordinates. We use GPS a lot in the motorhome when we're navigating to wild camping spots across Europe.
The CoPilot ActiveTraffic also gives you a pretty accurate ETA to your destination- you can set up the app for the speeds your vehicle can (or should!) travel at, so you know a good estimation from the start of your journey.
Does CoPilot work offline?
Yep. You do NOT need internet to use the app. The maps are stored on your device- which is why it's quite a large app.
ALK (the company behind CoPilot) offer offline maps. Loads of points are stored in the app, so you can use it for directions offline. You can also use it to find places around you (fuel, etc) and to find alternative routes if needed.
CoPilot GPS app- our experience with CoPilot Caravan in Europe
In our adventures around Europe, we've only run in trouble twice- and neither time was really the app's fault. The first time was in Wales, on our VERY FIRST Motorhome adventure. We found ourselves at the bottom of a twisty, turny, country lane which we couldn't get out of as the road the other end was far too narrow for a motorhome.
The moral of the story is to be cautious with small, narrow roads which won't be marked correctly on ANY sat-nav.
The second problem we had with CoPilot Europe was in Germany, where a previously safe, passable road had been chopped in half by a railway bridge… leaving only 1.8m clearance! Funnily enough, we had to reverse our way out of that one too! But as they were still building it, the maps hadn't been updated yet.
Co Pilot Caravan app Review- Are there any downsides to CoPilot UK?
Initially, we used the CoPilot GPS app on our personal iPads but decided to buy a dedicated (older) iPad to use. We keep it charging as we drive using a USB charger. If you wanted to do something similar, there would obviously be an additional charge for the iPad- I think we paid about £100.
Don't forget, you need an iPad with a SIM card (or use a phone)- you need the GPS capability which comes with a GSM (Sim card).
You now also need to pay a yearly price of £25.99 to keep the app updated. At the moment, we still think it's worth it, but if you don't, here are some other AMAZING motorhome sat-nav systems on the market today!
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