Looking for recomendations on travel guides and navigation systems.

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tvfrfireguy

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Is there such book that lists campgrounds, fueling locations, sites of interest, restaurants, etc?  I am also wondering if anyone out there has any information on the new navigation systems.  Consumers Report had a short article that only rated three brands.  If you are a high tech propeller head, I sure could use some recommendations.  Thanks for your time.
 

Steve CDN

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What are the three models of GPS systems that were reviewd and recommended.  In fact there aren't that many choices in brands  Garmin, Magellan and Tom Tom, but plenty of models, depending on your needs and budget.

We like the Trailer Life Directory as a campground directory.  The RVer's Friend is a good directory of truck stops that I use.

There have been a number of directories listing services at interstate exits, but several have come and gone.  Perhaps someone knows which one is a good one these days.

However a god GPS navigation system will contain information on points of interest, fuel stops, restaurants and lodging.
 

tvfrfireguy

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To answer your question about which units were in consumer reports, it's the three brands you referred to.  I have found quite a few others on the market.  One was at Costco and had a large seven inch screen that would be easy to read.  Some models use the term "blue tooth" and I haven't a clue what that is.  Things are moving pretty fast in the electronic area and it is not my strong suit.  Just four years ago I spent hundreds on a new CD player that holds three hundred Cd's and now Cd's don't look long for the world.  Thanks for your input.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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In fact there aren't that many choices in brands  Garmin, Magellan and Tom Tom,

You've got to get out to the stores more, Steve.  The market is now flooded with GPS navigation systems - everybody is jumping into the business. Stores like Staples, Walmart, Target, Best Buy,  etc are selling brands I've never heard of, e.g. Fine Digital, PNI, Mio, Navman, Nexstar, Averatec, Mobile Crossing, Pharos, Atlantis  plus offerings from other electronic gear vendors such as Lowrance, Delphi, Pioneer, Cobra, Audiovox, and even Rand McNally has an entry in the horse race.
 

KodiakRV

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tvfrfireguy said:
To answer your question about which units were in consumer reports, it's the three brands you referred to.  I have found quite a few others on the market.  One was at Costco and had a large seven inch screen that would be easy to read.  Some models use the term "blue tooth" and I haven't a clue what that is.  Things are moving pretty fast in the electronic area and it is not my strong suit.  Just four years ago I spent hundreds on a new CD player that holds three hundred Cd's and now Cd's don't look long for the world.  Thanks for your input.

I think CDs wil be around for quite a while yet.  :)

Blue tooth is just a certain kind of wireless communication protocol that enable two devices to communicate over a range of several feet.  There are a couple of ways that blue tooth might be used with a GPS unit --
1)  Some units come in 2 pieces.  One is a puck-like receiver antenna you put up on the dash under the front window.  The other piece might be a self-contained screen or might be a piece that plugs into a PDA or a laptop and uses their screen.  The two pieces of the GPS communicate with each other using the blue tooth wireless technology.  [With the newer, more sensitive SiRF III GPS chips nowadays, having the receiver up on the dash with a clear view out the window is not really needed.]
2)  It might be a self-contained GPS unit that uses blue tooth wireless to communicate with a PC to download maps or other information.

 

Rex

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I am a long time user of Delorme GPS software.  Several years ago it was very hard to beat.  Today that is not the case.  I recently purchased Microsoft Streets & Trips 2007 with their GPS locater.  I am on a trip to several cities and lots of stops, and am using that system.  Didn't think I would like it, but am totally sold.  It is so much better than the latest version of Delorme that there is just no comparison.  I also own the latest Delorme software.

Now if you want a GPS that is a stand alone, I can't be of help.  But if you want one to use with your computer, go with the MS Streets & Trips.  Hands down the best available for Laptops at the present time.

 

N Smock

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tvfrfireguy said:
Is there such book that lists campgrounds, fueling locations, sites of interest, restaurants, etc?  I am also wondering if anyone out there has any information on the new navigation systems.  Consumers Report had a short article that only rated three brands.  If you are a high tech propeller head, I sure could use some recommendations.  Thanks for your time.

You have asked seveal questions in one here.
a)  Lists of Campgrounds; Trailer Life, Woodalls in paper. Microsoft Streets and Trips on the PC, Trailer Life on the PC other mapping programs have campgrounds.
b) Fueling locations: For the interstates the best is "The Next Exit". Some mapping show fuel stations also but not necessarly RV/truck friendly.
c) Sights restraunts:  Mapping programs like Streets and Trips, Delorme.
d) Nav systems: I use the PC mapping programs, others use Garmin (losing favor), Magellen, Tom-Tom, pay your money and take your chances. None are perfect, at one time or another it will route you to a road the is now none existent or one lane gravel etc. you must temper the recommendations with your own good judgment.


Nelson
 

Jim Dick

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tvfrfireguy,

Whatever GPS you finally purchase just remember they are not perfect. Sometimes they will take you down roads you do not want to travel. I have mine programmed not to make U-turns but it still tries to get me to do that on occasion. In a car that is not too bad but not in a 40' motorhome with a toad!!

I use the Garmin Street Pilot III. It works about as well as any of them but I don't like the very large price to update their maps. I was looking into the TomTom but I have since found the screen isn't as bright as I think it should be. As RV Roamer mentioned, you should get out to some stores that carry several brands and compare them.

They are a great aid in traveling especially those that give you voice directions which include which side of the exit to stay on to continue your journey. The Garmin Street Pilot models do this and it is really helpful.
 

joelmyer

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My two cents worth:

1. GPS - I have Garmin SP 2610.  I like it but... I'm thinking some sort of a dash sitting display for a pc based program, like Delorme or Streets & Trips.  Those two are <$100; Garmin wants ~$200 for updates. Since I'm in my pickup pulling the 5er, a PC display isn't prectical.

2. Campground Info: Streets & Trips, Discovery Motorhome for the Passport America and FamCamps, James spreadsheet for free WiFi, RV Campground Reviews and as a last resort, Trailer Life.

3. The most useful is the Flying J and Love's location from Discovery Motorhomes.  I bought the "RV'ers Atlas" and have attempted to use it with mixed results.

Joel
 

jamesnaddie

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College Station, TX
Another 2 cents worth.  I like the Garmin Nuvi 360 so well I bought four more as gifts this Christmas.  The map set is very accurate and the receiver is sensitive enough so you can mount it just about anywhere in the vehicle.  Mine locks on while its laying on my desk 5 feet from  the nearest window.  I've bought all of mine on line at a deep discount over the walk in stores.  Garmin also came out with the Nuvi 660 - same thing with bigger screen.  The 360 is about the size of a deck of cards and has a "walking mode" for use while wandering around on foot.  The prompts are slowed down to match a walking pace.
 

Ned

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Garmin Mapsource City Navigator map updates are now $75.  They are issued annually.

There is a DeLorme draw file at the discoveryowners.com web site that has a lot of WiFi equipped campgrounds, pay and free, as well as a draw file I posted of James spreadsheet data (with his permission).
 

Ron

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joelmyer said:
My two cents worth:

1. GPS - I have Garmin SP 2610.  I like it but... I'm thinking some sort of a dash sitting display for a pc based program, like Delorme or Streets & Trips.  Those two are <$100; Garmin wants ~$200 for updates. Since I'm in my pickup pulling the 5er, a PC display isn't prectical.

I think Garmin only charges $75 for the updates now. Still too much for what you get IMHO since they don't seem to correct the existing errors.  I don't care much for Delorme anymore.  Now use Streets & Trips while parked for planning.  Next GPS will not be a Garmin unless they clean up their act.  The Lawrence I500 looks interesting as does the Tom Tom.
 

Tom

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We're pleased with the iWay500C we bought a year or so ago. I've used it alongside the SPIII, Delorme and S&T for comparison. The 500C has a bright screen (has several brightness settings) and several RVer-specific menus.

As others have suggested, try different makes/models until you find one you're comfortable with. That's what I had Crhis do and she kept coming back to the iWay. You may have a preference for a different look/feel.

Since Chris' Suburban doesn't have a built-in GPS, a dash mounted one allows her to use it there also (and she does, extensively).
 
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