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Author Topic: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?  (Read 834 times)

RefugeeFromIRV2

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What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« on: November 01, 2018, 05:15:09 PM »
I have been doing research and planned to buy the Garmin 770 NA LMT-S. However, when I went to pull the trigger on Amazon, there were a TON of recent bad reviews. See here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N5Q2YMO

I'm a bit frustrated, as I already thought I had a solution with the CoPilot Navigation app on Android. However, it turns out that app doesn't let you enter your unit's weight, it won't accept unit heights above 13', etc. Worse, the routing repeatedly malfunctioned, and it drained my phone so fast that the charger couldn't keep up.

So, please share what you use and why you love it. Bonus points for describing some of the nice features (avoiding tunnels that ban propane, for example).

Please also list what type of rig you drive and it's specs. I drive a 2017 Thor Outlaw 37BG.

Thank you in advance. This has beena huge frustration, and I feel intense pressure to get it right due to the safety implications for me and my passengers.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2018, 05:20:23 PM by RefugeeFromIRV2 »

Larry N.

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2018, 06:07:04 PM »
There's no such thing as "best" for RVing, except the one that suits you best.  In a couple of recent threads, I've discussed my thoughts (mostly good) about the RV-770, as have others. NO GPS is perfect, as all have programming and/or database errors of one sort or another (as does virtually all software), but the 770 has a much improved interface over previous GPSs I've used, and does as well as any other in performance. I actually have the feeling that the designers actually use this one, unlike the interface on so many others.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL, Bounder, Beaver
  de N8GGG

MikeFromMesa

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2018, 06:35:00 PM »
The choice of a gps is really a personal one as different people like different features and different UIs. I have had quite a few gps system through the years and my personal favorite was the Rand McNally 7720. It had a lot of features that I really liked including a ton of information about where you were at any particular time, your speed, your elevation, the nearest exists and the ability to add custom POIs (Points of Interest) and I was able to add the gps addresses from those at the free POI download sites. Having said that, a lot of people did not like the Rand McNally gps because they felt the interface was too complex and they could not find what they were looking for. You have to check these out for yourself.

Whatever gps you get should have campground information but remember that this changes from year to year and you will have to get it updated to keep current. You should also get gasoline/diesel locations, rest areas, post office information and the like, but most gps until will have those. Check out poi-factory.com for free custom POIs.

grashley

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2018, 07:03:16 PM »
If you will click the SEARCH button above and enter "garmin 770"  you will find several recent threads on this topic.  As I recall, most folks are very happy with them.  I have a Garmin 760RV, and I am quite happy with it.
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4   TST TMS  Garmin 760
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

Laura & Charles

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2018, 08:19:54 PM »
X2 on the Garmin 760 RV.  Very happy with screen size and functionality.
 (Make sure to connect it to a PC and get it online for updating ASAP after purchase... seems they make them all with same software as original, expectation is buyer will update. Our  original software was WAY out of date.)
Living and working full-time out of a:
2011 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 38P; W24 chassis; 8.1 Vortec
and dinghy towing a 2014 Honda CR V.

SargeW

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2018, 08:45:20 PM »
I just purchased a Garmin Drive 60. 6" screen, and easy user interface. I won't rely on the device to reliably route me around obstacles like low bridges or restricted length roads. $127 on Amazon. 

www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01A1HLDDE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
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ChasA

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2018, 08:47:27 PM »
The world is coming to an end without GPS. Does anybody remember traveling before GPS? Maps? What's that?  I don't have a GPS, but I did buy Co-Pilot. With each new release it gets worse. Don't waste your money on Co-Pilot.
Apex, NC
2010 Winnebago journey Express 34Y
2018 Ford Edge SEL

PancakeBill

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2018, 09:13:34 PM »
I like my Rand McNally 7720 (I think), b=nice size screen.  Good mounting system and lifetime map updates.  Little clunky to get them, but once a year not bad.
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Retired from Old Faithful, On The Road for a bit
2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G
2000 Suzuki Grand Vitara.
2012 Dodge Grand Caravan
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

WA7BFN

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2018, 02:31:16 PM »
I too have been looking at the 770...
Question;  We have a class C with a a fairly large overhang... does that hinder the reception of sats for GPS?
Just wondered.

RefugeeFromIRV2

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2018, 02:36:38 PM »
I just purchased a Garmin Drive 60. 6" screen, and easy user interface. I won't rely on the device to reliably route me around obstacles like low bridges or restricted length roads. $127 on Amazon. 

www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01A1HLDDE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

So how do you route around obstacles?

RefugeeFromIRV2

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2018, 02:39:10 PM »
X2 on the Garmin 760 RV.  Very happy with screen size and functionality.
 (Make sure to connect it to a PC and get it online for updating ASAP after purchase... seems they make them all with same software as original, expectation is buyer will update. Our  original software was WAY out of date.)

How much does it let you customize your vehicle specifications, and what RV-relevant obstacles does it let you avoid?

SargeW

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2018, 11:40:36 PM »
So how do you route around obstacles?

Use either the Waze app or Google maps on the DW phone. Much more accurate and always up to date.
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
2018 JLU Jeep Sahara
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchick2018
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

TandC

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2018, 09:27:46 PM »
Used Garmins for a long time.  Switched to Tom Tom Trucker 620, and find it easier to plan trips.  Just like the Garmin, you can enter the specs of your vehicle (weight, height, length, etc.)  so it will not route you into places that would be problematic.

 The Trucker 620 is better at choosing logical routes when I put in points that I want to include in the route.  Fewer loops created compared to the 770(correction Dezl760LMT) rv Garmin that I had for a couple of years.  It always infuriated me when using the Garmin.  I'd want to take a particular road to go around a part of a city, and the Garmin would create loops or circles to include the point that I would put in the route, adding un-needed miles.  Sometimes just totally illogical.   I would have to put in many many points on the route to finally get the Garmin to take a logical route. 

    Sometimes I would want to take a bypass road that I already know is a better way to avoid certain congested areas, so I pick a point on that road to add to the route.  Well, many times the Garmin would include that point in the route, but it would insist that we do a u-turn and go back to the route it chose even though it still goes through a bad area.   So I would pick a point further down the bypass road, but many times the Garmin would create some God-awful loops to that point while trying to get you back on it's chosen path.  Finally after I entered maybe 4 or 5 points along the bypass road, the Garmin would concede and plot a route along my preferred path.

The Trucker 620 will sometimes do a similar thing, but less frequently.  Generally, it seems to be more logical when it comes to picking roads which include your chosen waypoints.

Now I know what somebody is going to say.......that if I already know a better way, then why use a gps.   My answer is that on a long complicated route, it is awful easy to miss a turnoff.....especially when the traffic is heavy, and sometimes it's a bear to get turned around so as to get back on track.  You also have to stop somewhere to look at a map if you don't use the gps.  Usually it's hard as heck to find a big enough spot to pull over.

Didn't mean to write a book here........but the subject just gets me goin.

Correction to my post......it was a Dezl760LMT that I had previously.  Memory is getting fuzzy in my old age.

« Last Edit: November 04, 2018, 07:17:19 AM by TandC »

Laura & Charles

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2018, 06:00:57 AM »
The Garmin 760 RV lets you enter vehicle height, width, length, and weight. It advertises it routes around anything you’re too big or heavy for.  I trust it does that, but still pay close attention to signs. (Again, updating its maps and data is critical.)
« Last Edit: November 04, 2018, 06:03:31 AM by Laura & Charles »
Living and working full-time out of a:
2011 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 38P; W24 chassis; 8.1 Vortec
and dinghy towing a 2014 Honda CR V.

PancakeBill

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2018, 09:01:18 AM »
TandC, how do you find the TomTom for routing?  I had an early one and found it was right turn centric, it would route me past a usable left turn, take me a mile down the road and a couple rights, a cross road and then a right into destination.  Found that both comforting and aggravating depending on traffic.
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Retired from Old Faithful, On The Road for a bit
2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G
2000 Suzuki Grand Vitara.
2012 Dodge Grand Caravan
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

ricknc

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2018, 10:01:34 AM »
Any GPS will get you where you want to go, they all just do it a little differently and they all get bad reviews because most people will go out of their way to complain about a product but few will to praise. The garmin 700 series are  great devices, but ours lasted to 2 months past warranty and then died. I didn't get any love from Garmin just a $130 repair bill and a 9 week wait. In the meantime we started using a free version of CoPilot on my I-pad mini and I liked it so much I ebayed the RV760 when I finally got it back and bought the $39 Copilot download. We prefer to travel the back roads and the Co-pilot interface and routing works better for us compared to the Garmin.  In congested urban areas we often switch to Google maps for more recent detail and satellite views.  I keep a Rand McNally truckers atlas with me to verify low clearances and bridge weights during route planning.   Winnebago 23', 10' 6" OA height, 5.5 ton.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2018, 12:02:49 PM by ricknc »

TandC

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2018, 06:07:20 PM »
TandC, how do you find the TomTom for routing?  I had an early one and found it was right turn centric, it would route me past a usable left turn, take me a mile down the road and a couple rights, a cross road and then a right into destination.  Found that both comforting and aggravating depending on traffic.

I don't know which TomTom you were using, but I think that the Trucker 620 may be improved over earlier TomTom gps units.  It's hard to say if particular problems you might have with gps operation are resolved in this version, but I have not experienced that kind of problem. This version is geared toward Truckers, so if anything, I would think it would lean toward left turns, which are safer for trucks to make due to wider vision in the driver's  left hand mirror.  But of course, favoring one turn over another don't seem practical.

Now it is not perfect.....I don't think they make a perfect one yet, but for me.....it solved the major irritation with trip planning.  I like the fact that I can plan a trip very easily on my laptop and it syncs with the gps via wifi.  Other gps units may have a similar function, but I find this one very easy to use.

The reason I am happy with easier trip planning is that we plan long trips cross country, and we plan carefully where we are going to stay and what sights we are going to see.   The scheduled route can easily be altered if something happens, and we can just as easily send the info to our kids so that they know where we are and what's happening.

So far,  I can't complain about the Trucker gps.   It is set up for trucker's of course, but when we pull our fiver, it is good to think of it as a big rig......subject to all the low clearance hazards and weight restrictions.  As I said in earlier post, it also seems to route in a very logical way, with few if any loops created due to entering a waypoint(so to speak) to vary the route.

We have also tried the Copilot software that a lot of people like, but it had glitches which I could not stomach.  Once it kept trying to send us off the interstate back to the stop that we had just made.  It was a stop we entered into the route, and it should have routed us to the next stop, but it kept insisting that we return to it.  At that point I just turned off the iPad and went back to using the gps we previously were using.

grashley

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2018, 08:35:02 PM »
The Garmin 760 RV lets you enter vehicle height, width, length, and weight. It advertises it routes around anything you’re too big or heavy for.  I trust it does that, but still pay close attention to signs. (Again, updating its maps and data is critical.)

Correct!  It also allows multiple vehicles, so I have the truck / FW as one vehicle and truck only as another.  It could also handle different trailers.  I love the big screen.
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4   TST TMS  Garmin 760
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

ricknc

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2018, 09:23:05 PM »
........We have also tried the Copilot software that a lot of people like, but it had glitches which I could not stomach.  Once it kept trying to send us off the interstate back to the stop that we had just made.  It was a stop we entered into the route, and it should have routed us to the next stop, but it kept insisting that we return to it.  At that point I just turned off the iPad and went back to using the gps we previously were using.

That is an aggravation and has been my only complaint with CoPilot. If you don't pass exactly through an intermediary stop or final destination. It will keep routing you back unless you cancel the stop. It doesn't happen to me every route but has enough in the 16 months I have used CoPilot, that I am accustomed to just canceling the stop manually (2 screen taps) when it occurs.

TandC

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2018, 06:40:25 AM »
That is an aggravation and has been my only complaint with CoPilot. If you don't pass exactly through an intermediary stop or final destination. It will keep routing you back unless you cancel the stop. It doesn't happen to me every route but has enough in the 16 months I have used CoPilot, that I am accustomed to just canceling the stop manually (2 screen taps) when it occurs.

I guess all gps software have shortcomings, and that includes the major manufacturers like TomTom, and Garmin to mention a couple.  I think that in my case, it depended on how short tempered I was at the time that the gps acted up,  that determined if I continued to try to work with it  or  try another one.   

My wife always tell me to wait a while and my attitude will probably change.   Sometimes it does, most times it don't. Lol. 

Co-pilot is definitely the cost effective software, and I really wanted it to work for me.   I may try it again using your method of clearing each stop(waypoint) as we pass it.  If my co-pilot wife doesn't get aggravated at having to do that.  It might wake her from naps too often. Lol.

« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 06:45:00 AM by TandC »

ChasA

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2018, 07:13:07 AM »
That is an aggravation and has been my only complaint with CoPilot. If you don't pass exactly through an intermediary stop or final destination. It will keep routing you back unless you cancel the stop. It doesn't happen to me every route but has enough in the 16 months I have used CoPilot, that I am accustomed to just canceling the stop manually (2 screen taps) when it occurs.

Have you tried designating those intermediary stops as waypoints? I think co-pilot will just assume you went close enough if you use waypoints.
Apex, NC
2010 Winnebago journey Express 34Y
2018 Ford Edge SEL

PancakeBill

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2018, 09:02:02 AM »
My TomTom story.

I had put in my daugheters home in VA, from where we were in FL.  I wanted to take 50 across, it wanted me to go via I-4 through Orlando.  So, I figured it would try to reroute, and then settle down.  It continually did the 'recalculating' and attempt  to take me to I4.  After about 10 or more of these, it pronounced 'You are in charge'.  and stopped talking to me.  My wife and I looked at each other with a 'did we just hear that?' and it stopped.  Once we hit 95 north it started talking again. 
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Retired from Old Faithful, On The Road for a bit
2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G
2000 Suzuki Grand Vitara.
2012 Dodge Grand Caravan
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

Larry N.

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2018, 11:36:04 AM »
Wow, Bill! My Garmins will be persistent for a while, if I go off route, but eventually will recalculate to reroute from where I actually am (may take a few miles, depending on the route), but I can't imagine total abandonment.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL, Bounder, Beaver
  de N8GGG

MikeFromMesa

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2018, 12:30:22 PM »
I like my Rand McNally 7720 (I think), b=nice size screen.  Good mounting system and lifetime map updates.  Little clunky to get them, but once a year not bad.

My Rand McNally 7720 is the best gps unit I have ever had. Not only does it tell me where I am, it also tells me everything that is around, it has all campground information in it, it gives me my current elevation, allows me to construct multiple-leg trips and it takes custom POIs. We just bought a new 2018 Fuse which comes with its own gps and I have seriously considered finding some way to mount and use the 7720 instead of the Ford gps.

ricknc

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2018, 02:20:21 PM »
Have you tried designating those intermediary stops as waypoints? I think co-pilot will just assume you went close enough if you use waypoints.

Waypoints IIRC you only need to be with-in 1000' for it to cancel and that works fine for me. Only problem with waypoints is CoPilot doesn't give distances between waypoints while underway, just the over all mileage and drive time. Like I said earlier I have adjusted to manually cancelling stops if I don't pass through the target.  Suppose to be a new IOS version coming along this year, maybe it will address that.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 04:32:10 PM by ricknc »

jymbee

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2018, 04:05:08 PM »
My Rand McNally 7720 is the best gps unit I have ever had. Not only does it tell me where I am, it also tells me everything that is around, it has all campground information in it, it gives me my current elevation, allows me to construct multiple-leg trips and it takes custom POIs. We just bought a new 2018 Fuse which comes with its own gps and I have seriously considered finding some way to mount and use the 7720 instead of the Ford gps.

Apparently this model has been discontinued? Does that mean that one can no longer get updated data installed?

MikeFromMesa

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2018, 05:13:17 PM »
Apparently this model has been discontinued? Does that mean that one can no longer get updated data installed?

It was replaced by the 7730 a couple of years ago and for all I know there may well be a 7740. I have not checked. As for updates, that was not a problem as of 6 months ago since I updated about then. It came with lifetime updates and I assume that means lifetime. I do not do many updates as I assume roads will not change much. I am more interested in the updates for campgrounds.

One thing to note. I tried updating the maps on my Mac but that failed and I had to do it on Windows. I think Rand McNally put more time and effort into the Windows software.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 05:14:58 PM by MikeFromMesa »

jymbee

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2018, 09:55:31 PM »
It was replaced by the 7730 a couple of years ago and for all I know there may well be a 7740. I have not checked. As for updates, that was not a problem as of 6 months ago since I updated about then. It came with lifetime updates and I assume that means lifetime. I do not do many updates as I assume roads will not change much. I am more interested in the updates for campgrounds.

Same here re. updates-- I usually keep our Garmins updated. I'm sure they're added a number of updated data points but I can't say as I notice any difference. Maybe just lucky. I do know that several errors I've made note of locally re. routing have not changed.

If the 7720 works for you that's all that counts. For a number of reasons however there's a lot of negative feedback on Amazon for the 7730:
https://www.amazon.com/Rand-McNally-7730-RV-GPS/product-reviews/B00N3RM186

black92

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #28 on: November 06, 2018, 03:35:05 AM »
My friend's got the the Garmin 770 and it works quite well, but it's quite expensive for me at the moment
All good things are wild and free...

RefugeeFromIRV2

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Re: What is the best GPS unit for RVs and why?
« Reply #29 on: November 09, 2018, 09:05:24 AM »
Use either the Waze app or Google maps on the DW phone. Much more accurate and always up to date.

Neither Waze nor Google maps account for height or weight of the vehicle. Also, I don't have anyone to copilot.