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Roscoe's Roadtrips

Active member
Joined
Apr 3, 2022
Posts
28
Location
Texas
Hello Fellow Travelers,

I need some help with the best apps to use when traveling in my motor home. I have read stories of people being caught on bad roads, low bridges, etc. What about losing signal and not knowing where to go from there? We are planning a long trip from Texas to South Dakota. I am looking up distances from one city to another to help plan our route. I have downloaded the TruckMap app on my phone. When I compare the time and routes on TruckMap and my computer, the routes and times are much different. As much as 2 hours longer with TruckMap.

What have you found to be the best application when planning trips and traveling in your motor homes?

Thank you and Safe Travels
 

uchu

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Posts
796
Location
Ontario, Canada
RVTrip Wizard is one of the most recommended, here and in most RV forums. I personally use Google Maps, in combination with my new Garmin 890.
 
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NY_Dutch

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2010
Posts
7,954
Location
Where our wheels take us!
There are GPS units programmed for RV use that accept height, length, and weight info used for routing from Garmin and others. CoPilot has an RV specific GPS app that also uses your RV's specs. And as said, RV Trip Wizard is another app used for RV routing.
 

Kirk

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 30, 2005
Posts
3,479
Location
Full-time , Escapee
I use a Garmin RV GPS and plan my routes using BaseCamp, a free utility from Garmin that works with the chosen GPS model from Garmin. I do the planning on the computer and run Google Maps at the same time, then download the route from BaseCamp to my GPS.
 

niget2002

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2022
Posts
141
Location
Josephine, TX
Your question couldn't come at a better time. I'm currently researching the same.

I've been playing with the RV Life trip wizard. I'm not sure if I like it yet or not. One thing that I find is very odd with it is how it's routing me when leaving my house. I live NE of Dallas and for some reason if I plan a trip for anywhere SE of me, the planner wants to route me in towards Dallas to get to I20.

Google Maps doesn't do this.

I was able to export the RV Life route to MyMaps on Google. From there I could create a route in google and add waypoints so that the two lined up.

Still not sure what I'm going to do here.
 

Laura & Charles

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Posts
898
Location
Could be anywhere. Originally from Ohio. Go Bucks!
After the first couple of years with RV, we got the Garmin 760, RV model. It accounts for height, width, length, and weight and has been a solid performer (so long as I keep the maps updated. A huge plus is the large screen… (Over the years, it seems they just keep making things smaller and smaller.. I’m sure it has nothing to do with my aging eyes 👀 )
 

niget2002

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2022
Posts
141
Location
Josephine, TX
I really like the Garmin GPS I use on the motorcycle. It's waterproof and has performed well too. I also like that I can lookup locations on the phone and use the bluetooth to shoot it to the GPS.

I'm really trying to keep from adding another hardware GPS to my already growing stack.

My newer RAM truck has the larger screen on it and the android auto has worked really well. I need to go see if the rv life app works with the android auto for GPS. I really wish Google would add rv features to their google maps.
 

Mark_K5LXP

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Posts
2,803
Location
Albuquerque, NM
I wonder how folks successfully use google navigation while underway. I have yet to be on a trip where google didn't send me down a primrose path in some way, usually the "shortest" distance that led me through neighborhoods, rural roads and telling me to turn on roads that didn't exist. That's when there was cell service, which is problematic out in the boonies. Using a laptop program for route adjustments or finding intermediate destinations (restaurants, stores, attractions, et al) is a non starter while underway. I learned my lesson and my RV now sports a garmin 1090. I've had a couple Nuvi's over the years and the silly things just plain work, and I suspect the RV version will too. Maybe there's a navigation product or device out there that's "just as good" as a garmin but I haven't found it, and it sure ain't google. I love google maps for satellite views of roads and locations but for getting from A to B in an unfamiliar area, give me a garmin.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

DutchmenSport

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 30, 2021
Posts
277
Location
Anderson, Indiana
I suppose it depends upon what kind of roads you want to travel. We primarily avoid interstates as much as possible. However, if traveling any interstate, you'll have no problems.

We use a Tom Tom as our primary navigation device. We also use Google Maps on our phones. We have learned that both Tom Tom and Google Maps will almost always try to drive us down residential areas, factory industrial parks, and some really weird places. Sometimes, they will take us a block or two off the main road, wind us through some residential neighborhood, and then dump us right back on the same road we started from.

I do know, when traveling down new roads, especially secondary roads (not interstates or US Highways), I always watch for the big rig 18 wheeler trucks. If I don't see any on the road at all, I pay extra attention to road signs.

Another thing, before venturing off on any trip, know your route ahead of time. When traveling new roads or a new destination, I always write down, on paper, the roads I'm traveling and the intersection points, names of towns and locations.

One more thing, always carry a paper map and use it. You still cannot beat a paper map for your basic navigation from point A to point B. Now, fine tuning the last 2 miles of the trip to your destination, that's when the electronic version comes in handy.
 

Larry N.

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2010
Posts
9,339
Location
Westminster, Colorado
Another thing, before venturing off on any trip, know your route ahead of time.
That's fine for places you KNOW that you're going to check it prior to departure, but spur of the moment and/or other forms of enroute decisions don't lend themselves to that, so extra care is needed for those items.
 

Martian

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Posts
147
Location
Independent Republic of Horry
We use trip planner, an older Garmin, a newer Garmin and a large format paper atlas. Phone based apps can get you all messed up when the hearest cell tower is way out of range.
 

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Reinigm

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Joined
May 12, 2021
Posts
264
Location
Westminster, CA
I gave up on that newfangled stuff. It's just me and my mule now. She never lets me down.
 

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niget2002

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2022
Posts
141
Location
Josephine, TX
The garmin 890 and 1090 are on sale on garmin's website for the 4th of July. Oddly enough, I think the sale price is the normal price on Amazon.

I read this thread multiple times and read a lot of other reviews and ended up grabbing an 890.

This decision also came after I discovered that rv trip wizards app still doesn't work through Android auto. While I could get the trip over to Google maps, it required extra steps that I felt shouldn't be necessary. I also can't understand why it insisted on taking me on a route that was 45 minutes longer to get me to a destination vs the return trip's route.
 

Martian

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Posts
147
Location
Independent Republic of Horry
That is the final resting place of infant George Peter Stewart in a Savannah GA cemetery if I am remembering correctly. We visit a lot of them to see some of the beautiful art in them.
 

A Traveler

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Posts
474
The problem with using Google maps is that it is optimized for CAR routing. It does not know that you are driving a “Large Car” that is 13 feet high and 40 feet long. For that reason alone I would never use Google to route me anywhere.
 
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