TV AND ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM
Most motorhomes now come equipped with a TV and entertainment system, which may never need much attention. However, if you don't have one, or want to upgrade what you have, there are some things worth considering.
If you have no satellite dish for TV, or a manual one, you might want to upgrade to a fully automated one that locates and locks on to the satellite at the push of a button.
There are two basic types - a covered dome dish, and a fully exposed, but retracting dish. We opted for the covered dome variety, which has worked reasonably well for us. However, it is smaller (to fit within the dome) and we do get signal fade during wet weather.
Having compared notes with other motor caravanners, we'd definitely chose the larger exposed dish on the next time around.
There a number of options to choose from, the key difference being weather or not it caters for a Sky card. There is only a small difference in price, so it's worth having all options available. Even if you don't used Sky, it might help with resale when that time comes.
Note that you'll need expert advice on this as Sky's service assumes that the card is at a fixed location. It is possibile to use your existing home based Sky card, but that needs to be properly set up.
GPS and Navigation
Most multipurpose entertainment systems include a GPS Navigation system.
Ours was installed in the UK during manufacture, and was reprogrammed and had New Zealand maps installed on arrival in New Zealand. We used it for a while before becoming frustrated with the lack of functionality, glare from the screen which often made it impossible to read, and the difficulty of upgrading to the latest maps.
I had a Garmin GPS in our car, so I tried moving that into our motorhome, and have never wanted to change back. I ended up buying one of the large models to accommodate my changing eyesight, and have also tested a Navman and Tomtom to see which I prefered.
They all do a reasonable job of directing you from A to B, so which you would choose would mainly be a matter of personal preference. They all have some strange quirks, and won't necessarily direct you along your preferred route. But they will get you there.
However, there is one area of significant difference that I found when providing for loading of the custom GPS locations for the RV Explorer maps. For this, the Garmin and Navman are the easiest to set up, and they display all the locations on it's map, so that you can see them as you are driving past. Searching for each location is as simple as entering the 5 digit RV Explorer ID. By contrast, the Tomtom, which is a nice GPS to use, doesn't display custom locations on it's map, and requires some extra steps in order to search for a custom location.
Custom locations are incredibly convenient and easy to use when driving to new locations. Whether you use the NZMCA ones, or our RV Explorer ones, searching on a 4 or 5 digit number is way easier than entering Lat-Long coordinates, or even worse, relying on street addresses, which are often incomplete, or even inaccurate, especially for the freedom camping locations.
However, you can only use these on a standalone GPS unit - not on the one built in to you entertainment console. Food for thought.