GPS

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STrimble

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Joined
Aug 26, 2019
Posts
17
Looking for help in selecting my next GPS. Have 36 ft. motorhome. Open to all suggestion. See a lot of reviews ranging from good to bad on same product.
 
Garmin has several models made for trucks and RVs.  We have them in all of our vehicles and have been quite happy with them.
I usually purchase them from Walmart online.  They are refurbished and about half price.  Never a problem.
 
Here's what we use in our RV.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/RV-Hardshell-Mount-GPS-Case-770-Dash-w-Cloth-Camping-Universal-Navigation-Navigator-Bundle-LMT-S-includes-Cleaning-Garmin-Dash-Mount-NA-XL-PocketPro/486992072
 
I used to use the Garmin dezl 560, but have now replaced it with the Garmin RV-770. Both are good units, with the 770 being better (IMHO) for RVing -- very happy with it.
 
Right now I'm using my phone's Google Maps
In the old days I used Microsoft Streets and Trips (Warning program is well named. Sometimes you got streets and sometimes it too you on trips. as in bad acid trip)

With a GPS dongle

Truth be told... I like the bigger screen on the laptop computer.
 
Right now I'm using my phone's Google Maps
As has been mentioned before, some of us go where there is NOT phone service. Just this week I was at Carter Lake between (and somewhat west of) Loveland and Berthoud, Colorado, unable to even make/receive a phone call, let alone get data. Google Maps is useless then. That's true of a LOT of places in the west, thus making the dedicated GPS a much better choice for many of us.
 
Larry N. said:
As has been mentioned before, some of us go where there is NOT phone service. Just this week I was at Carter Lake between (and somewhat west of) Loveland and Berthoud, Colorado, unable to even make/receive a phone call, let alone get data. Google Maps is useless then. That's true of a LOT of places in the west, thus making the dedicated GPS a much better choice for many of us.

Look at "Offline Maps and Navigation". We started running it a year and a half ago on our Android tablets and phone in a rented moho. As the name implies, you can download current maps by US state, ( and internationally), and it keeps working even out of Internet range.

In the Play store, maybe in the App store, too, but we don't have i-stuff.
 
Larry N. said:
As has been mentioned before, some of us go where there is NOT phone service. Just this week I was at Carter Lake between (and somewhat west of) Loveland and Berthoud, Colorado, unable to even make/receive a phone call, let alone get data. Google Maps is useless then. That's true of a LOT of places in the west, thus making the dedicated GPS a much better choice for many of us.

With Google Maps, when you do have data you can download "offline maps" for remote areas you plan to visit.  Never wanting to be without Maps I typically download Offline Maps that cover just about every area we plan to be in.
 
Larry N. said:
With a GPS you don't have to download the maps. Each to his own.

Yep-- we use a Garmin GPS for our primary navigation and when we get in potentially confusing areas-- North on 95 around DC e.g.-- typically the wife is also using the tablet with Google Maps in satellite view. And yes, sometimes we STILL manage to get off route!

How in hell did we ever get anywhere with [GASP!] paper maps!  ::)
 
jymbee said:
With Google Maps, when you do have data you can download "offline maps" for remote areas you plan to visit.  Never wanting to be without Maps I typically download Offline Maps that cover just about every area we plan to be in.

I always try to remember to do the same.  I'll generally focus on the area within maybe 30-40 miles of the destination...or whatever the distance is to near a populated area/city.  I have occasionally downloaded several different areas to cover the corridor of the entire route, when going a long distance in an unknown place. 
I've noticed that while enroute if I don't do this, the maps still typically never miss a beat for nav through a dead zone, it seems like just when I try to search for a cup of coffee while in the dead zone there's no database to search...or if I need to modify my route while in the dead zone.... those are situations that seem to be improved by downloading the offline maps to my phone. My guess is that the map is always buffering the route ahead so that when you drive into a dead zone while on route the data it needs is always there...assuming the dead zone isn't bigger than the buffer...again, just my guess.

Larry is right though.... you gotta remember to actually download it before the trip!

I don't have a high opinion of the stand alone automotive gps units.  Years ago I bought a garmin for DW (for use in car, not rv)  I splurged and got a high end one for that time....it had some voice capability and upgrade features.  I also splurged and paid extra for the lifetime maps.
I found that we didn't end up updating the maps all that often and back in those days it was a bit glitchy to do it anyway.... so the database was probably almost always lacking new roads and info.
and then
about the time that the included updates (without the unlimited extra cost stuff) ran out, is about when the device started having problems.  By then it was a discontinued model so the fix...which I'm thinking I had to pay for.... was a refurbished unit.  That one didn't last long either.
SO at that time I figured that IF I ever buy another, I would never pay extra for the lifetime....I'd instead just consider them to be limited time disposable devices....buy a new one when the database runs out. I felt ripped off.

BUt then by that time maps on smartphones were becoming very good...giving live traffic etc.... so I never did buy another.
Maybe the whole update process is better now, I don't know.

About the only thing about using the phone I don't like is that it's harder to use the phone as a phone if using it to navigate....well that and the fact the screen is a bit too small.
 
I have used Garmin units for decades.

I have an RV770 in the truck and love it. We have weatherproof units on our motorcycles.

The thing really like is using the free Basecamp software to do the trip planning. Right now I am planning a trip to Alaska for 2-3 years from now. I create a route for each day with sometimes an alternate if weather may make the preferred route unusable.

A week before a trip we update the GPS maps and firmware and load our trip. I can load over 3 weeks of routes so am not too dependent on access to a computer on the trip. Though if in an rv, I would have the computer and likely update the GPS each week or so.
 
Lynx0849 said:
I have used Garmin units for decades.

I have an RV770 in the truck and love it. We have weatherproof units on our motorcycles.

The thing really like is using the free Basecamp software to do the trip planning. Right now I am planning a trip to Alaska for 2-3 years from now. I create a route for each day with sometimes an alternate if weather may make the preferred route unusable.

A week before a trip we update the GPS maps and firmware and load our trip. I can load over 3 weeks of routes so am not too dependent on access to a computer on the trip. Though if in an rv, I would have the computer and likely update the GPS each week or so.

It's been a long time since I used Basecamp-- thanks for the reminder! For me it's much easier to create/edit routes on the PC then transfer to the GPS. Easy to fine tune routes rather than to just rely on the default routes the GPS wants to use.

I'm downloading Basecamp now...

I see that Garmin has some very useful videos showing how it all works here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=6af85GiKVl4
 
jymbee said:
With Google Maps, when you do have data you can download "offline maps" for remote areas you plan to visit.  Never wanting to be without Maps I typically download Offline Maps that cover just about every area we plan to be in.
We tried this and with all the memory in my phone, I could not download enough database and we still ended up in "Neverland".  But the aged Garmin was still on.  It was missing a new road or two. 

Matt
 
jymbee said:
It's been a long time since I used Basecamp-- thanks for the reminder! For me it's much easier to create/edit routes on the PC then transfer to the GPS. Easy to fine tune routes rather than to just rely on the default routes the GPS wants to use.

I'm downloading Basecamp now...

I see that Garmin has some very useful videos showing how it all works here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=6af85GiKVl4
As far as I am concerned, Garmin Basecamp is only a passable value for the price.  (It is free.)
But it pales in comparison to most other planners and it still is an on-line app that is useless for enroute. 
With the exception of passing the (bad) information to the stand-lone, Furkot beats Basecamp every time.  It does much better at fuel projections and EOD suggestions.

I Really Miss Good Old Street Atlas.

Matt 
 
Matt_C said:
As far as I am concerned, Garmin Basecamp is only a passable value for the price.  (It is free.)
But it pales in comparison to most other planners and it still is an on-line app that is useless for enroute. 
With the exception of passing the (bad) information to the stand-lone, Furkot beats Basecamp every time.  It does much better at fuel projections and EOD suggestions.

I Really Miss Good Old Street Atlas.

Matt

I still have probably a dozen or so OLD Street Atlas CDs.  :-\

I guess it depends on what one wants to do but as we use a Gamin GPS for primary navigation, Basecamp works very well for transferring information back/forth directly to the GPS. If I understand correctly, Furkot is an online app where the only way to get information into your GPS is to export then import?

In any event, I probably have at least a dozen GPS apps installed on the Android phone and I always enjoy trying out new ones. I do think that Basecamp's interface looks a bit dated and perhaps Furkot's features will win me over. Having to export/import info is pretty simple after all.

Thanks for the info!  :))
 
I kinda miss the days of the old paper map atlas.  Back then, planning the route was part of the adventure for me...
I think about it sometimes when I use google to find the fastest route....I think there's no way I would have thought of that routing back in the day...and I used to be pretty good at finding the best way to go!
Anyway, I have found my situational awareness stinks now...I used to think I have a very good "internal compass", but now realize it was really just familiarity with the layout of the roads en route....now I just blindly follow the little voice.... ???
 
I have Garmin 760 RV.
It works pretty well, if you have destination to feed it.
The search on the fly function is not so impressive.

If you want to find a place to eat, or something along the way, it can be quite frustrating.
If you have a route entered, and are following it, you can ask for restaurants along the current route, and that usually does pretty well.
Other wise, every option is displayed sorted by distance, and and you you have to mind the direction when picking a spot.

The map display is not very friendly. Very basic. If you're used to Google Maps and the detail it provides, you can find the Garmin map display a bit wanting.

I think both Google Maps and the Garmin 7xx series are essential tools for the RV life, these days.

An aside - I also have a TomTom that I have used for a number of years. It traveled with me on business trips, for years. We keep it in the Toad for finding our way around locally. The last update, though, it seems to have lost Colorado.

We were up in the Sand hills, and I want to see what route option were available, plugged in "home" and it could not find. Or anywhere else in Colorado.




 

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