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Old 01-20-2015, 06:04 PM   #1
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Buying an RV GPS.

Been looking for a good GPS for our travels and have been looking at a Rand McNally Tripmaker 7735. But it's listed at $550. Yikes! There is almost an identical GPS on Camping World's web site also made by Rand McNally and also listed as model #7735, but it's listed at $330. I don't think this can possibly be the same GPS with that price difference, but just wondering if the brains on this forum have any experience with either of these products. The ratings on the Good Sam modal are not very good.
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Old 01-20-2015, 06:20 PM   #2
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My $129 TomTom works just fine for me. Couple that with maps you pick up at tourist kiosks or by searching Google Maps and that's all I need.
I've used Google Maps to look at a satellite view of an RV park to determine if it is next to a river or next to the dump.
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Old 01-20-2015, 06:23 PM   #3
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I have the Rand McNally 7720, last years model. It is probably the best GPS I've owned. I travel with dogs and it has local vet's loaded. It has the Rand McNally dock on my computer for map planning and then downloading to the GPS. It also has the ability to pick up wifi and super impose weather onto your route. My new truck has GPS but I'm not sure if it is as good. Otherwise I'll sell the 7720. it was expensive, but worth it.
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Old 01-20-2015, 09:44 PM   #4
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Any thoughts on why the Rand McNally #7735 is so much more than the Good Sam/Rand McNally 7735?
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Old 01-20-2015, 10:13 PM   #5
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Before my 4Runner I used an older Garmin both in the car and on the motorcycle and it always got me there. The “new to me” 4Runner has a factory GPS which seems to do the trick and for camping I'll use it in conjunction with an AllStays app.
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:03 PM   #6
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I'm pretty sure the Rand McNally GPS RVND 7735 LM simply is the Good Sam GPS RVND 7735 LM: the Rand McNally web site offers the manual for the Good Sam 7735, and does not offer a 7735 under their own brand in their RV GPS page (or RV GPS shopping page).

Where did you see a non-Good Sam version for $550? FactoryOutletStore lists one for $550, but it is the Good Sam unit; I see no reason this retailer is charging so much for it, unless a lifetime traffic subscription is included.
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:40 AM   #7
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We use an older Rand McNally TripMaker RVND 7710 when we're camping in the USA. It has thousands of Places Of Interest (POIs) that are real handy when travelling - such as gas stations, rest areas and campgrounds. It's not so good in Canada, so I also use a TomTom. Whatever you get - check the # of POIs it comes with, and make sure it has lifetime map updates.
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Old 01-21-2015, 10:52 AM   #8
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It would appear the 7735 is branded for Good Sam only, and Camping World notes that it's loaded with 2100 Good Sam Parks. You'll likely be guided to those parks, as well as all the other businesses with which Camping World has affiliated.

The reviews of the product on the Camping World site aren't that hot.
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batcat View Post
Been looking for a good GPS for our travels and have been looking at a Rand McNally Tripmaker 7735. But it's listed at $550. Yikes! There is almost an identical GPS on Camping World's web site also made by Rand McNally and also listed as model #7735, but it's listed at $330. I don't think this can possibly be the same GPS with that price difference, but just wondering if the brains on this forum have any experience with either of these products. The ratings on the Good Sam modal are not very good.
Hi: batcat... We bought a plain old Magellan N393M-5000!!! Nothin' fancy but pre- Christmas sale at Canadian Tire for $79. Not sure what it'll do, but prolly won't serve draft or Poutine!!! Alf
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:50 PM   #10
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Hi: batcat... We bought a plain old Magellan N393M-5000!!! Nothin' fancy but pre- Christmas sale at Canadian Tire for $79. Not sure what it'll do, but prolly won't serve draft or Poutine!!! Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
As long as it can be updated, and is good for the USA as well as Canada, and has a large enough screen for you I think you got a good deal!!!
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:50 PM   #11
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We have a good quality Garmin GPS (not RV specific) But, I find myself using Google with my smart phone more and more and the Garmin less and less. Even when I consistently do the updates on the Garmin, Google seems consistently more up to date. But, in the wise words of Donna, YMMV.
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:57 PM   #12
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My $129 TomTom works just fine for me. Couple that with maps you pick up at tourist kiosks or by searching Google Maps and that's all I need.
I've used Google Maps to look at a satellite view of an RV park to determine if it is next to a river or next to the dump.
I got two refurbished Tom Tom's a few years ago for $69.00 each. Still holding up OK other than the occasional "turn right here" on the I5 where no off ramp existed.
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:04 PM   #13
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I don't see a huge advantage to a RV specific GPS unless you have an RV that is tall enough to make use of the clearance features. Most of the GPS manufacturers include POIs that include campgrounds. All of them leave some out & include some that have been closed for years. With our smaller trailers, RV specific routing may guide you on less interesting routes that a large RV shouldn't take, but would be fine for an Escape. While the 7" screen is easier to read than one of the smaller GPS units, be sure you have a place for it that doesn't interfere with your vehicle's visual field.

I've used Garmin GPS receivers for many years; currently have a NUVI 3580, a 5" unit that sold for around $200.00 2 years ago. Although they discontinue older units & release new ones fast enough that it is difficult to make a recommendation, the Nuvi 2689 LTM is available as with 5", 6", or 7" screen. The 6" version with voice control & bluetooth is around $270.00 at Amazon.

POIs can be added to most GPS units, and there are many sources for campgrounds and other RV specific POIs at places such as the Discovery Owners Campground POI page, or the POI Factory. Both of these seem to be kept more current than those supplied with a GPS.
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:09 PM   #14
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I actually prefer using my phone. It does pretty much everything a dedicated GPS does. The only downfall to it, is that it needs connectivity to display maps.
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:11 PM   #15
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I prefer common sense to GPS when it comes to negotiating side roads and drive-thru's.
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:29 PM   #16
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I prefer common sense to GPS when it comes to negotiating side roads and drive-thru's.
A good map set is a must. The GPS is not as important. Most GPS's will do what they are supposed to do, it is your maps that mess things up. Like gbaglo, I have had my GPS give me directions that I know are wrong. Rather than travelling off road, I just ignore them, and usually after a few recalculations, the GPS recognizes it made an error and humbly corrects itself.



What really sucks is using your GPS on a river canoe trip and after paddling awhile, finding out that your GPS is telling you that you are no longer on the water.
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:34 PM   #17
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Seems like personal preference is the primary guide in determining which GPS to get. Thanks for everyone's input.
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:47 PM   #18
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As long as it can be updated, and is good for the USA as well as Canada, and has a large enough screen for you I think you got a good deal!!!
Hi: J Mac... Actually it's a Magellan RM5220 with 5" screen & free lifetime updates. I don't like them... but my navigator doesn't like hearing me complain about where to "Turn this rig around"!!! Alf
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:26 AM   #19
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What really sucks is using your GPS on a river canoe trip and after paddling awhile, finding out that your GPS is telling you that you are no longer on the water.
I have seen that too, but too be fair, on rivers like the James River where our rec property is, the flood in 2005 changed the river course a lot. We lots many acres of land, and the river changed course in some bends drastically, moving it a few hundred feet in some places. In 2013 the floods again took more river bank from us, but did not change its course drastically.
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Old 01-22-2015, 11:09 AM   #20
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I've used a few GPS devices over the years for geocaching, cycling and getting around the backcountry. Turns out my absolute favourite device is my iPhone and all my dedicated GPS units sit around collecting dust now.

Apps I like on my iPhone for RV GPS usage:
Google Maps
Geocaching app - sometimes supplies a fun diversion to get out of the vehicle and stretch the legs for awhile.
Allstays Camp & RV - see their web page for all the amazing things you can do with this app.
Motion X GPS Drive - my absolute favourite GPS app/device for driving. It gets it's data live over the cell network while driving around so it's always current. It even supplies live data such as traffic density, locations of construction and accidents, etc. If you're going out of range of cell coverage or out of country and don't want to incur roaming charges, you can preload maps at any time. I've done this in restaurants with free WiFi while eating lunch - it works well.

I've actually considered getting an iPad mini and a dashboard mount to use as a dedicated GPS device in the vehicle as I think it would be a perfect size.
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