Limitations on use of Garmin Camper 780 Sat Nav

Nov 2, 2021
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I wanted to share an experience that I've had with a recently purchased Garmin Camper780 SatNav.
I initially found the SatNav to be everything the hype said it was. I was replacing a much used but dated competitor's SatNav in my Motorhome and this time I wanted one that I could install it's dimensions.
I had also decided that I wanted to make the installation look more neat and to not have cables stretching across the front of the motorhome to a 12v Socket or USB Point. I'd arranged to have the SatNav professionally installed in the dash. The SatNav now looked like it was a standard fit and I was very pleased, no cables anywhere.
The initial install and downloads were done (although the updates did take what seemed like an age), but eventually everything was set. Everything was updated the dimensions of my motorhome downloaded onto the unit all ready for having destinations put in and away we went and "yes" it did exactly what I had hoped, routed us to a regular site we use but this time didn't try and send us by way of a very narrow single track road.
So where's the problem, you may ask. Well I've now discovered that one of the functions on the Garmin780 can't be adjusted. That being the level of Brightness on the Display. It remains at the factory set 40% which can be dangerously distracting at times.
I contacted Garmin Support for advice and suggestions, only to receive a cryptic reply stating that ONLY the Mini USB Cable that they supply will operate all the functions on the Garmin780. (I may well find other functions that cannot be adjusted)
When I had the unit installed it was connected to an existing standard Mini USB Power Cable that was in situ and, as I've stated, this allowed all the set up and downloads to happen, but unknown to me at the time, not all the functions were activated.
I went back to Garmin Support with a more detailed explanation stating that an Industry Standard Mini USB Cable had been used for the initial set-up and I found it incomprehensible that a Garmin Mini USB cable is the only power source that can used, and if that is their stance this should be made clear to any prospective purchasers of their SatNav.
I'm still waiting for a response, to this follow up.
To summarise; If you're going to purchase this SatNav please be aware that Garmin state (or that is the problem, they don't state) you can only use the Mini USB Cable that they supply to power the SatNav.
I hope this information is useful.
Michael Dinnage

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Nov 11, 2009
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Thats a bit unfortunate, but I have had issues at times with lack of functionality when devices don't have the OEM cable, or one accredited for usage. Can the Garmin cable be backfired to regain functionality?
 
Nov 2, 2021
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I'm sorry but I'm not savvy enough to know what "backfired" means.
It wasn't cheap to have it fitted into the dash and I've been in touch with the installers and they are as perplexed as I am. They said if the updates and configurations hadn't worked then they could understand it, but as everything seemed to go without a hitch they had no reason to think using the existing Mini USB Power Cable would cause problems.
Thank you for the response
 
Jun 16, 2020
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I'm sorry but I'm not savvy enough to know what "backfired" means.
It wasn't cheap to have it fitted into the dash and I've been in touch with the installers and they are as perplexed as I am. They said if the updates and configurations hadn't worked then they could understand it, but as everything seemed to go without a hitch they had no reason to think using the existing Mini USB Power Cable would cause problems.
Thank you for the response
Possibly a spell check anomaly for back fixed, without the space my spellcheck gives backfired.

John
 
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When I had the unit installed it was connected to an existing standard Mini USB Power Cable that was in situ and, as I've stated, this allowed all the set up and downloads to happen, but unknown to me at the time, not all the functions were activated...
It's not immediately obvious when you look at most USB cables, but there are several types, and the comment I have included says "standard Mini USB Power Cable".

There are cables which only allow charging which are "power cables". They will not allow data to be exchanged. It sounds as though you need a USB Data cable.

However I have come across a couple of a cases where even a data cable does not cover all teh functions, but somehow the manufacturer's own cable does. I have not stripped them down to identify what the differences are.

As a bit of an aside that might have some bearing in your case, Depending on exactly what work you agreed with the installer, they may not have completed the job to the agreed terms of the contract, and whilst I'm not suggesting you should go back to them all guns blazing, It might be worth reviewing exactly what you asked for, and whether you have got what you asked for or whether it falls short.

I presume from your posting they must have given you reason to believe they were capable of fully installing the unit to a professional standard, and that is the reason you chose to use them as you trust them to be expert and competent in the field.

It seems they may have not fully installed the unit so it fully works, therefore that is a breach of trust, and a failure to complete the job reasonably expected of them.

Now even the most professional of people can make mistakes from time to time, and often it may something new thats tripped them up. Most of the professionals I know and trust accept this and are keen to understand what's gone wrong and get it working properly firstly to satisfy the customer, but also so the don't make the same mistakes again. So I'm not suggesting going in all guns blazing, but there is definitely a conversation to be had about their responsibility to you to complete the installation to contract so it it works fully.

If it doesn't yield results then I suggest you read up about the 2015 Consumer Rights Act which cleary sets out what to expect and what to do.

Good luck
 
Jun 16, 2020
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Looking at the Garmin site (briefly), I am assuming that this unit fits a double din compartment. It comes with a power cable and a usb cable. So thinking the usb is for updating via a laptop. If so, how do you get access to the cable? Does it come out the back and hang down so where. If so, would only take a minute to extract the unit and swap the cables.

I have probably got this completely wring.

John
 
Oct 8, 2006
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Apple do sneaky little tricks like that, like putting a resistor between two otherwise unused pins in one of the charging cable connectors. If it doesn't see the resistor it will only charge at a slow rate, but if it finds the resistor it will take whatever current is available to charge faster.
 
Nov 2, 2021
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Firstly, thank you all for your comments.
Regarding the installer I've used them many times on a whole range of vehicles from cars, vans and my motorhomes, and completely trust their expertise.
Yes the SatNav can be removed quite easily and again yes the cable is then unplugged from the back of the SatNav exposing the Mini USB Connector.
The other unfortunate issue is that I don't have a 12V socket to try operating the function through that source.
My installer has agreed for me to take my motorhome back in so that he can check that the charging cable was type approved (although it had been used to power a previous, but now out-dated, SatNav).
Fingers crossed he'll get to the bottom of the problem, he's never failed me yet.
Thanks
Michael
 
Jun 16, 2020
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I am a bit confused Michael, looking at the Garmin site, there should be two cables with the unit, a power supply and a mini USB.

Looking at the manual. It would appear that the power supply is just that and it has a cigarette lighter plug on it. (I surmise that your installer has hard wired the unit to the car for neatness.

The USB is for updating from a computer once the unit is charged. However. The recommended method for updating is by WiFi.


3BA3CFB8-A24E-4E2B-B569-419CD37AFB38.jpeg



Is that not the case?
 
Nov 2, 2021
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I am a bit confused Michael, looking at the Garmin site, there should be two cables with the unit, a power supply and a mini USB.

Looking at the manual. It would appear that the power supply is just that and it has a cigarette lighter plug on it. (I surmise that your installer has hard wired the unit to the car for neatness.

The USB is for updating from a computer once the unit is charged. However. The recommended method for updating is by WiFi.


View attachment 2534



Is that not the case?
Yes you are correct, two cables are supplied one a Mini USB and one a 12V/Cigarette Lighter Attachment. Unfortunately my Motorhome does not have a 12 socket, so I've not been able to use it.
All the downloads and updates are made through the Motorhome's WiFi.
I've also received another message from Garmin Support stating that the circumstances surrounding the selective non-functions is unusual. The hard-wired Mini USB connection should either work completely or not work at all, it shouldn't allow certain functions to work and not others.
As I stated earlier I'm going to let my installer check over the installation, and hopefully he'll be able to shed more light on the problem. He was equally surprised by the symptom's that I had described, and had not encountered them before.
 
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The hard-wired Mini USB connection should either work completely or not work at all, it shouldn't allow certain functions to work and not others.


As I stated earlier I'm going to let my installer check over the installation, and hopefully he'll be able to shed more light on the problem. He was equally surprised by the symptom's that I had described, and had not encountered them before.
I agree, the power supply should be just that and nothing more. I think your initial advice from Garmin was very flawed and misleading. Hope you get it sorted.

John
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I agree, the power supply should be just that and nothing more. I think your initial advice from Garmin was very flawed and misleading. Hope you get it sorted.

John
My Garmin plug in power supply also has an integrated aerial function that displays road traffic conditions in real time. It can also have a supplementary aerial that is more sensitive mainly for cars with tinted or heated windscreens, but this is my second Garmin and I have never needed to use the supplementary aerial.
 
Mar 27, 2011
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If you haven’t got a 12v socket already you could wire in a 12v socket and just leave it behind the dash with the plug pushed in the socket and taped in so it can’t come out, as long as the socket behind the dash is wired to a 12v ignition supply it will switch on and off exactly as you want, my garmin satnav also has a duel function power supply lead, it also provides the traffic updates, I can power it up with any lead but only the supplied lead gives all functions.

BP
 
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If you haven’t got a 12v socket already you could wire in a 12v socket and just leave it behind the dash with the plug pushed in the socket and taped in so it can’t come out, as long as the socket behind the dash is wired to a 12v ignition supply it will switch on and off exactly as you want, my garmin satnav also has a duel function power supply lead, it also provides the traffic updates, I can power it up with any lead but only the supplied lead gives all functions.

BP
It's perfectly in order to cut the 12v plug off and hard-wire the power cable - many car accessories supply two power cables, one with a 12 plug and one with bare ends for hard-wiring.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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If you haven’t got a 12v socket already you could wire in a 12v socket and just leave it behind the dash with the plug pushed in the socket and taped in so it can’t come out, as long as the socket behind the dash is wired to a 12v ignition supply it will switch on and off exactly as you want, my garmin satnav also has a duel function power supply lead, it also provides the traffic updates, I can power it up with any lead but only the supplied lead gives all functions.

BP
It's perfectly in order to cut the 12v plug off and hard-wire the power cable - many car accessories supply two power cables, one with a 12 plug and one with bare ends for hard-wiring.
My reading of the OP suggested that he can’t program the unit which is supposed to be done by WiFi as a preference. He has not said he can’t get traffic updates.

I also think that modern SatNavs keep up to date via a smart phone no radio broadcast signal.

I may well be wrong.

John
 
Mar 14, 2005
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If you haven’t got a 12v socket already you could wire in a 12v socket and just leave it behind the dash with the plug pushed in the socket and taped in so it can’t come out, as long as the socket behind the dash is wired to a 12v ignition supply it will switch on and off exactly as you want, my garmin satnav also has a duel function power supply lead, it also provides the traffic updates, I can power it up with any lead but only the supplied lead gives all functions.

BP
On the assumption the 12v connector is the cigar lighter push in type, I cannot recommend your suggestion. The cigar lighter type pugs are notoriously unreliable at maintaining a good contact. Using one behind a non opening panel would be a nightmare for reliable operation. Far better to use a locking connector or connector block.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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On the assumption the 12v connector is the cigar lighter push in type, I cannot recommend your suggestion. The cigar lighter type pugs are notoriously unreliable at maintaining a good contact. Using one behind a non opening panel would be a nightmare for reliable operation. Far better to use a locking connector or connector block.
The problem there is the cigar plug also contains the transformed power supply. But poor connectivity certainly needs to be considered. I have done this but taped the connection tight to prevent lack of reliability. I have also done it by soldering to the plug connections.

What should be done is to use a hard wired kit which contains the power supply with tails that can be properly wired in. Strangely, on the Garmin Accessories tab for the device, there is no hard wired kit as an option. Also strangely, with the two cigar charger options. The double fast charge one is the cheaper option.

Another strange thing, in my opinion. Is that these cigar plug and socket combinations, some of which are better than others, have taken over as the caravan norm for 12 volt.

John
 
Mar 27, 2011
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Lots of plugs for sat navs as well as other things like dash cams plug into the 12 v socket but don’t let 12v reach the gadget, lots actually run on 5v so if the plug on your gadget is cut off, when you then connect it to a 12 v supply the 12 v will frazzle the satnav or what ever your fitting, great care needs to be taken when cutting plugs off and wiring direct, I’ve many times gone to jobs where some one with satnav has cut off the plug and the thing is scrap because it’s burnt out, I always recommend fitting a socket behind the dash board and plugging your thing into it out of sight with no messy wiring .

BP
 

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