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Author Topic: Do I need a new GPS  (Read 491 times)

DTM

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Do I need a new GPS
« on: September 15, 2017, 04:17:10 PM »
Getting our "new to us" used class A shortly, and I have heard in passing their is a gps out there that plots your travel which will keep us away from low bridges, etc.....do we need a new GPS or is it just a program we need to buy and download onto our current GPS? Thanks!

Rene T

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Re: Do I need a new GPS
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2017, 04:36:55 PM »
I don't have an answer for you but let me be the first to say what brand and model GPS do you have?
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
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DTM

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Re: Do I need a new GPS
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2017, 05:12:57 PM »
Our GPS is a Garmin

Tom

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Re: Do I need a new GPS
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2017, 05:32:50 PM »
You can download "POI files" from several sources, including the POI Factory and upload them to your GPS (depending on the make/model of GPS).
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HappyWanderer

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Re: Do I need a new GPS
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2017, 06:30:24 PM »
No matter what GPS you end up with, don't follow it blindly. Check out your intended route with another source, such as an atlas or map program first.
I don't have gray hair. I have wisdom highlights.

Robert K

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Re: Do I need a new GPS
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2017, 06:38:10 PM »
Need,no if you don't mind delivering a bridge ( old joke) rv  specific gps can be set for height and weight
Bob&Sandy
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Western New York

Tom

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Re: Do I need a new GPS
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2017, 06:44:53 PM »
Quote from: HappyWanderer
No matter what GPS you end up with, don't follow it blindly. Check out your intended route with another source, such as an atlas or map program first.

Good advice.
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fman

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Re: Do I need a new GPS
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2017, 08:55:34 PM »
I tried the phone (google maps). Works, but no bridges or tunnels info. Tried our regular car gps, same issue. Bought POI's to load into google maps and our car gps. from lowclearence.com. Works but you have to load the POI's into your phone/tablet via excel. There is no way to ensure the POI's work other then looking at the custom map you have to make for each route. I ended up not trusting it. I bought a garmin 660lmt a couple of weeks back during a labor day online sale for $250.00. You put in your RV info when setting it up. It's very easy. What's the height, width, weight, length, # of propane tanks, gallons of propane etc. I have yet to use it in the RV but did put it in my truck while driving around and it works great. Gives me warnings on low bridges etc. Also gave me a warning that I had to shut my propane before getting on the NJ parkway. Interesting enough, it's not illegal to drive on the parkway with propane turned on. But the warning was enough to at least let me know it will warn me about possible laws in other states. On my 2nd RV trip my phone GPS took me a different route back home in PA. I followed it with concern, but still followed it. I'm glad it was early because it took me into a tiny town down a 1 way road with a very old bridge, only 10ft high. I would never have gotten under it. It took me 15 minutes to turn the rig around and go back down the road the wrong way. That's when I seriously started looking at RV only gps. My RV is 12 1/2 foot high, when you start going under 13.5 bridges your nerves get a little shaky hoping the town did not mess up the sign. Going under and looking up out the window is scary with  those lower bridges.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2017, 08:58:48 PM by fman »

JudyJB

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Re: Do I need a new GPS
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2017, 10:14:28 PM »
The Rand McNally 7730 does that also.  Mine is the older 7720, but I entered length, width, height, etc. and it is supposed to keep me out of trouble.  However, as others have posted, you cannot follow these blindly--check on Google or a real map ahead of time so you know where you are supposed to be going. 

Besides preventing me from hitting a low bridge, I like the features that warn me I am going above the speed limit or a ferry is ahead. It also does a good job of graphically depicting my route on a 7" screen and lets me know what lane to be in ahead of time. It will also help me find a campground and direct me to it if I need one.

I bought mine after my old GPS directed me under a couple low bridges.  The second almost disaster, I had to back up through a four-way stop because there was no space to turn around.  Luckily, nice people stopped and waited for me to back up.  I figured $300 for an RV GPS was cheaper than losing my AC and satellite dish.  And maybe even my roof?
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Charlie 5320

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Re: Do I need a new GPS
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2017, 11:18:19 PM »
I bought a Garmin 660RV after a trip using my phone and google maps. I have an older Garmin 750 but they wanted $89.00 to update the maps on it. When I used it before with the MH, many times it would tell me to make a U turn if I missed a turn. Didn't like that about it, plus it was a small screen. I took the 660 on a trip to Wisconsin last month, I knew the way as I have driven the route many times, but just wanted to see how it would act. What I like about the 660, if you get off of the route, to get gas or stop at a restaurant, it will recalculate automatically. My buddy that went with me was so impressed he had me order one for him. He doesn't do computers or internet. The 6" screen is large enough for me. I down loaded Base Camp and do my routes on my PC then down load them to the Garmin. I got mine from Amazon for $250.00. Well worth it to me. I do still keep an atlas in the coach though. Google maps cured me from relying solely on GPS.   
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Larry N.

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Re: Do I need a new GPS
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2017, 07:02:14 AM »
Quote
My RV is 12 1/2 foot high, when you start going under 13.5 bridges your nerves get a little shaky hoping the town did not mess up the sign.

Or repave the road a couple of times without measuring again...
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL
  de N8GGG

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Do I need a new GPS
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2017, 07:46:07 AM »
If you want a GPS that automatically routes you based on height limits, you probably need a new GPS. There are "RV" GPS and Trucker GPS that have height-based routing, e.g. the Garmin 760 and 770 models.

If you are willing to have it less automatic, you can download Low Clearance POI info to most GPS models. http://www.lowclearances.com/ is one excellent source, and POI Factory has some as well.  This data allows you to check for low clearance based on your height and can provide warnings if your GPS offers alerts based on location, but the routes plotted by the GPS will not take the info into account. You cannot download new programs - just new or more data concerning maps and locations (Points-of-Interest or POI).

The larger question is whether you "need" height-based routing. Even in the Eastern US where there are more old roads, clearances under 13'6" are relatively rare on major highways. Older byways and highways through cities are a different matter, though. Your primary protection is to be aware of your rigs actual height and to pay attention to the signage ion bridges and tunnels.

You can also get paper maps that show height restrictions. The Rand McNally Trucker Road Atlas is an excellent one.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

SeilerBird

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Re: Do I need a new GPS
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2017, 08:16:24 AM »
No you don't need an RV specific GPS. I full timed it for over 10 years with regular GPSs. You would have to be blind, ignorant and dumb to not notice that there is an obstacle in your path that will hit the top of your RV. 18 wheelers go just about everywhere in the country and they are much taller than you.
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Tom

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Re: Do I need a new GPS
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2017, 08:39:02 AM »
Sometimes it's an issue of getting sufficient warning of a low overpass; There are numerous photos and videos on the internet of big rigs hitting overpasses. On the flip side, we've encountered situations where, due to geometry of the approach road, an overpass looked way too low for us to clear; We'd slow down or stop, crawl forward until we could read the sign, and find that there was plenty of clearance.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Do I need a new GPS
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2017, 09:23:05 AM »
The advantage of route planning that takes height into consideration is that you avoid the surprised inconvenience of encountering an unexpected low bridge.    It's not always simply to find a place to turn a big rig around!  Only once in 20+ years of RV travel did that happen to us, and a local resident told us of a side road we could take to make a U-turn, and then which highway to take to avoid the low clearance.

We've encountered a very few campground entrance roads with low clearances and had to take alternate routes, but the campgrounds had warnings about that on their website or brochure. It's wise to check those in advance.

Newcomers to RVs often get panicked about low bridges, but it's not really much of a problem. Just something to stay aware of, plus you must know your rig height so that the signs can help you. Car drivers are generally oblivious to clearance signage, but RV drivers cannot afford to be that way.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Larry N.

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Re: Do I need a new GPS
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2017, 09:25:48 AM »
No you don't need an RV specific GPS. I full timed it for over 10 years with regular GPSs. You would have to be blind, ignorant and dumb to not notice that there is an obstacle in your path that will hit the top of your RV. 18 wheelers go just about everywhere in the country and they are much taller than you.

Agreed that you don't NEED an RV-specific GPS (or any GPS, for that matter), but whether the semis are taller depends on the rig (the OP didn't say which) -- all class A's I've had were just under 13', while the max normal allowed height on the road is 13' 6". This makes clearance marginal in some cases, thus hard to judge. Many 5th wheels are about as high. Granted that some of each are lower.

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blind, ignorant and dumb to not notice that there is an obstacle in your path

It's not always obvious, Tom, since appearances can be deceptive to the untrained eye, so lacking knowledge and experience is a common cause of potential problems. Even the trained eye has to check and double check, if the clearance is marginal. Otherwise there would almost never be an incident of someone scraping (or worse) the bottom of the bridge.

Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL
  de N8GGG

ArdraF

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Re: Do I need a new GPS
« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2017, 06:43:46 PM »
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blind, ignorant and dumb to not notice that there is an obstacle in your path

Or, as happened to us last year in Alabama, we were on a small but good road to an RV park, came around a corner and there was an old railroad bridge that was about 10 feet tall.  The road width and surface also changed.  There was no warning sign and the locals who stopped to help said it (stuck RVs) happens a lot.  It probably keeps the local tow guy in business so no one reports it to at least get a warning sign placed where it would help.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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SeilerBird

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Re: Do I need a new GPS
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2017, 06:47:49 PM »
Or, as happened to us last year in Alabama, we were on a small but good road to an RV park, came around a corner and there was an old railroad bridge that was about 10 feet tall.  The road width and surface also changed.  There was no warning sign and the locals who stopped to help said it (stuck RVs) happens a lot.  It probably keeps the local tow guy in business so no one reports it to at least get a warning sign placed where it would help.

ArdraF
But you did notice it before you avoided crashing into it didn't you?
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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ArdraF

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Re: Do I need a new GPS
« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2017, 06:50:35 PM »
Yes, we had about a football field length.  The problem was turning around with mud on all sides.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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SeilerBird

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Re: Do I need a new GPS
« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2017, 07:26:42 PM »
Yes, we had about a football field length.  The problem was turning around with mud on all sides.

ArdraF
Well then you are not blind, dumb or ignorant.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
My new Pixel camera:
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My portfolio:
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My Grand Canyon shots:
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