Your favorite road atlas?

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jymbee

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Feb 20, 2018
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Upstate NY
Yep, our primary navigation strategy is GPS based but I want to purchase a US Atlas for those times your eyes are too bleary from staring at smart phone/tablet screens.  :)

But there's enough options to make the choice hard to make. For example, here's what I'm finding:
  • 2019 Rand McNally Road Atlas (perhaps the "safest" option?)
  • 2019 Rand McNally EasyFinder (wonder about the overall quality of the details?)
  • Rand McNally 2019 Motor Carriers' Road Atlas (Probably overkill given we're not truckers)
  • 2019 Rand McNally Large Scale Road Atlas (Sounds good but I'm reading the quality & detail also suffers somewhat)
  • National Geographic Road Atlas (Too focused on particular areas for ourpurposes?)
Perhaps some other paper-pushers here can comment on what they're using and satisfied with?
 

Tom

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The Rand McNally 2019 Motor Carriers' Road Atlas is the one we carry, but as a backup to our fixed GPS and PC-based maps. There are things in the Motor Carriers paper atlas that are not necessarily in other paper maps or GPS. We also carry books like The Next Exit, which we've found useful on numerous occasions when, for example, we're running low on gas.
 

John Stephens

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Cape Coral, FL
Tom said:
The Rand McNally 2019 Motor Carriers' Road Atlas is the one we carry, but as a backup to our fixed GPS and PC-based maps. There are things in the Motor Carriers paper atlas that are not necessarily in other paper maps or GPS. We also carry books like The Next Exit, which we've found useful on numerous occasions when, for example, we're running low on gas.

X2
 

Larry N.

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Westminster, Colorado
If you're driving anything much bigger than a pickup, the Motor Carrier's Atlas is valuable, since it has some info on clearances, too.
 

Optimistic Paranoid

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I prefer the old fashioned fold-up road maps.  Way more detail than what's in any road atlas I've examined in a Barnes and Noble's.  Best of all, you can often get one sent to you for free from each states's tourist bureau.
 

Dragginourbedaround

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Jul 15, 2013
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Southwest FL
Tom said:
The Rand McNally 2019 Motor Carriers' Road Atlas is the one we carry, but as a backup to our fixed GPS and PC-based maps. There are things in the Motor Carriers paper atlas that are not necessarily in other paper maps or GPS. We also carry books like The Next Exit, which we've found useful on numerous occasions when, for example, we're running low on gas.
X3 especially on the Next Exit.
 

Larry N.

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Westminster, Colorado
Optimistic Paranoid said:
I prefer the old fashioned fold-up road maps.  Way more detail than what's in any road atlas I've examined in a Barnes and Noble's.  Best of all, you can often get one sent to you for free from each states's tourist bureau.
We have those too, indexed by state. We stop at the state's welcome center when we first enter a state for which we don't have a map. But the atlas makes for easier planning and has clearance and weight information that isn't on the state maps.
 

darsben

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Central NY in summer beautiful Casa Grande AZ in w
Not on your list but my favorite are the Delorme Atlas's of each state I am doing more than passing through. Detail superb. It also shows lakes, dirt roads for boon docking all state and national parks. Has hiking trails, boat launches and state and local campgrounds.
If passing through the state issue map is sufficient
 

ArdraF

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Rand McNally 2019 Motor Carriers' Road Atlas (Probably overkill given we're not truckers)

That's the one we carry for general overall maps.  It's not overkill because of the section on restricted roads in each state.  If they're restricted for trucks they may say why such as a low clearance bridge, but if they don't say why they have a reason so it's worth checking it out before going on that road.

I love my paper maps,  AAA are the best because they're easiest to read and they show elevations for passes.  Some of the state-issued maps are darned near impossible to read.  For navigation we love our Garmin Nuvi 2757 with the 7-inch screen.  None are perfect but this one is our best so far.

ArdraF
 

garyb1st

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Southern California
While not an atlas, the mountain directory can be helpful and alert you to significant highway grades.  We have both the East and the West and use them regularly when traveling on new roads.  Even some we've driven previously, if we were pulling our travel trailer at the time.  The combined weight of our motorhome and toad is 10,000 lbs heavier than the truck and trailer. 
 

ArdraF

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Yes, definitely the two Mountain Directory books and the Next Exit.

ArdraF
 

BruceinFL

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Mar 12, 2005
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We like the RM large scale Atlas, Walmart version. It has a spiral binding and a list of all the Walmarts and Murphy gas  facilities and which have diesel. Not the perfect map but a good backup to the GPS.
 

TrvlShell

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garyb1st said:
While not an atlas, the mountain directory can be helpful and alert you to significant highway grades.  We have both the East and the West and use them regularly when traveling on new roads.  Even some we've driven previously, if we were pulling our travel trailer at the time.  The combined weight of our motorhome and toad is 10,000 lbs heavier than the truck and trailer.

I was just looking at this the other day.  Looks very useful!  Do you have the paper or ebook version?  I've been trying to figure out which would be easier to use/more useful.  I liked in the demo how clicking on one of the yellow triangles brought you to the description.  I'm guessing in the paper book you would flip thru the pages to get to the descriptions? 
 

TrvlShell

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garyb1st said:
We have the paper version.  The ebook version would be nice but I wouldn't want to rely on connectivity for routing.

Thanks Gary!  From the descriptions on the website, I believe the ebook is an actuall file that you download so I don't think I would need connectivity to use it.  But I would need to pull out my laptop if we needed to use it while driving, which might be a pain.  I feel like the ebook would be more useful in the planning stages when I was at home planning our routes, but the paper version might be more useful on the road if we needed to change plans.  Tough call.

With the paper version, do you find it cumbersome at all to flip between the map and the descriptions of the roads?
 

ArdraF

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With the paper version, do you find it cumbersome at all to flip between the map and the descriptions of the roads?

We have paper for all of these and, no, they are not cumbersome.  In fact I prefer paper for a lot of maps because I can use clips or fingers to go back and forth between pages.  This is especially useful when you're looking at a location near the intersection of several state lines where you need to go back and forth between states.  To me that's harder to visualize in an electronic version.  Same with the Good Sam Campground Directory (and others) when you're trying to find where you want to stay at the intersection of two or more states.

ArdraF
 

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