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Author Topic: GPS and Cell Data with the new Garmin  (Read 519 times)

John Stephens

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  • Vacations begin when you leave the driveway
GPS and Cell Data with the new Garmin
« on: June 16, 2017, 07:02:27 PM »
I am seriously thinking about buying the new Garmin RV-770LMT-S but have discovered in my research that it no longer has a built in traffic receiver and now relies on a Smartphone App, pulling its information from your phone via cell data.

My question is: has anyone purchased one of these units and used it enough already to know how much cell data it uses? I'm planning on buying it because my old Garmin's are not configured for RV's and on my last trip, I cost myself an arm and leg using the phone maps, not realizing it was drawing cell data the entire time. I want to avoid that on my next trip. If the Smartphone App is constantly accessing my cell data, I'll buy a different unit.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
Acme EZ Tow Dolly and 2007 Azera

Stephen S.

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  • Marshmallows and Irish Cream. Mmmm.
Re: GPS and Cell Data with the new Garmin
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2017, 12:26:43 PM »
I have the RV-760LM. Without the Smartphone Link app it still has the FM receiver in the power cord for the usual traffic info on the highways. The app just adds Weather and slightly better traffic notices. With the app running I have gone from Atlanta down to Savannah, or ATL down to Panama City, FL and not seen any significant data use.

I have Verizons 4 Gig data plan, and see more use when I'm in camp surfing the web (this site too) than from the app. I've never been over my data limit from it.

Stephen S.
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'99 Winnebago Chalet
2002 VW Beetle
2007 Yamaha TW200
Home town: Mableton, GA

ronniebellie

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Re: GPS and Cell Data with the new Garmin
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2017, 12:34:58 PM »
Are these Garmin systems better than the free Google Maps as far as navigation?

larryziegler

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Re: GPS and Cell Data with the new Garmin
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2017, 03:36:44 PM »
Are these Garmin systems better than the free Google Maps as far as navigation?

Google maps does a good job with navigation, but many people use the Waze app (which may not be as appropriate for RV use) and the app updates itself as long as you update your phone's apps.  However, if cell reception becomes spotty or non existent, you completely lose any navigation ability, which is the benefit of having a stand-alone GPS unit.  I like Garmin GPS units as a general rule.

John Stephens

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  • Vacations begin when you leave the driveway
Re: GPS and Cell Data with the new Garmin
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2017, 04:59:54 PM »
Stephen - I finally got an answer from Garmin about cell usage for the traffic updates. They told me the average is roughly 2mb of data consumed per hour of driving and having the traffic turned on. I'm guessing I'll be on the road about 300 hours this coming vacation, so if it takes 600mg of my 2gb plan, I'm not going to be concerned. Last year on a 6,200 mile trip across country, I used the iPhone and Google maps on my phone and had to increase my plan that month from 2gb to 10gb and I still went over.

Ronnie - What Larry said X2. I don't think there is a mapping system out there that is 100% accurate; they will all tell you to turn wrong once in a while and much of the time it is because the map company from which they get their information is being given wrong information from municipalities, counties and states. But the biggest advantage I see with a standalone GPS unit over your phone apps is the fact that it gets its information from a satellite, while your phone map is relying on cell data, which can disappear or become extremely unreliable in certain areas of the country.
John
Cape Coral, Fl.
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J
Acme EZ Tow Dolly and 2007 Azera

JoelP

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Re: GPS and Cell Data with the new Garmin
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2017, 10:02:30 AM »
Google maps does a good job with navigation, but many people use the Waze app (which may not be as appropriate for RV use) and the app updates itself as long as you update your phone's apps.  However, if cell reception becomes spotty or non existent, you completely lose any navigation ability, which is the benefit of having a stand-alone GPS unit.  I like Garmin GPS units as a general rule.

I can only imagine what would happen if I tried to use Waze as to where it might take me. I had been using GoogleMaps and also had to raise my AT&T data plan to 10GB, so I have tried using my older Garmin Nuvi, but have not updated my maps for $80, making it somewhat compromised. 

Recently I started to look at alternative phone apps like CoPilot, which allows a route to be preloaded when using WiFi to stem the use of data while traveling and to give coverage when 4G disappears.  The RV version seems pretty spendy and the reviews were less than stellar.  Also they charge for all increment things like voice prompts, which I find essential.

Today I downloaded AllStays Camp and RV onto my iPhone.  This seems to have most of the things that the Truck and RV version of CoPilot tries to sell for $47. You can enter clearance height, avoid covered bridges, find all truck stops, campgrounds, Walmarts, etc. and it was only $10.  Perhaps someone here has already used this app and has feedback.

One other nice app that I found was Field Trip that will give you interesting things to see that are near you.  I learned about a couple of things that I never knew about right in my own neighborhood, and this is free.
Joel from San Jose

2010 Itasca Suncruiser 37F
8.1L Chevy Workhorse with Banks PowerPack
2016 CMax Energi Hybrid dinghy

ronniebellie

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Re: GPS and Cell Data with the new Garmin
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2017, 08:31:49 PM »
Google maps does a good job with navigation, but many people use the Waze app (which may not be as appropriate for RV use) and the app updates itself as long as you update your phone's apps.  However, if cell reception becomes spotty or non existent, you completely lose any navigation ability, which is the benefit of having a stand-alone GPS unit.  I like Garmin GPS units as a general rule.

I don't think this is entirely true. Last year we traveled to Canada and I downloaded the route to my Google maps on my iPhone, and then just before I crossed the border I turned my phone to airplane mode. Google maps got me to my destination with no problem even though my phone was not connected to any cell tower.

taoshum

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Re: GPS and Cell Data with the new Garmin
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2017, 08:52:47 PM »
FWIW, I have had 8 different Garmin units from the early units with a small B/W display to the NUVI series and now the Montana.  Our needs are somewhat different I guess, we need a super reliable GPS for off-road Jeeping and dual sport motos.  At the same time, in the RV, especially in the metro areas, we need the best maps and updates we can find so we use Google Maps on a "smart phone" to find detailed addresses, navigate complex freeways in the metro areas and get alerts to construction and at the same time weather reports so we know where the big storms are located.  It's true, if cell phone signals are weak or spotty, it can be awkward but Vz has good coverage out west, especially near metro areas.  So, in short, we use several systems... Garmin and the phone and, often, the atlas paper maps if you want to see the "big picture".  Sometimes we use an Android tablet as well if a larger display would be helpful.  The biggest advantage of the cell phone maps is that they get updated almost every minute.   I don't know how they do it but if there's a wreck somewhere, it often shows up on Google Maps.  Data costs about $10/Gb... if it avoids a big problem, it's well worth it.  Here's an example... we were headed west in I-10 and my wife's hearing aide had a problem so she ask Google for the location of the nearest repair site... and directions to get there... in a few seconds we had directions and got it fixed in less than one hour... easily worth tons more than the cost of some cell phone data.
07 Itasca Meridian 34SH.  '08 Jeep Sahara.
Taos, NM.

JoelP

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Re: GPS and Cell Data with the new Garmin
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2017, 08:59:34 PM »
I don't think this is entirely true. Last year we traveled to Canada and I downloaded the route to my Google maps on my iPhone, and then just before I crossed the border I turned my phone to airplane mode. Google maps got me to my destination with no problem even though my phone was not connected to any cell tower.

Ronniebelle is correct that you download portions of your route where you have no data access by following this procedure:
-Download an area to use offline
-On your phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app.
-Make sure you're connected to the Internet and signed in to Google Maps.
-Search for a place, like San Francisco.
-At the bottom, tap the name or address of the place. ...
-Select Download.

The only problem is that it may take from 200MB to 1.7GB of data or more depending upon how big a part  of the route you are trying to download. If you have lots of memory on your device then there is no issue.

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I noticed that Garmin has a series of RV based products.  Is it possible to get the RV maps for one of these products to use an older product that was sold for automotive applications?
Joel from San Jose

2010 Itasca Suncruiser 37F
8.1L Chevy Workhorse with Banks PowerPack
2016 CMax Energi Hybrid dinghy

 

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