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Old 12-10-2019, 05:09 PM   #1
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anyone use a GPS ?

I like Google Maps and Waze on my phone for around town traffic and navigation.


We found on our drive from BC to Ontario we were on a lot of two lane back roads we often didn't have data available. On top of that our cell plan has fairly limited data available in the US.



Its practical to have a US phone and data plan if your traveling in the US for extended periods. As we did when we kept a sailboat in Florida each winter. Now its shorter trips.



So is anyone using a GPS to navigate, find campgrounds etc ?



I'm partial to Garmin units. Aside from the cost I found them easy to use, pretty good maps and charts. I still have a Garmin Map76sc I use on my motorcycle handlebars, its waterproof and floats !



I see Garmin has units specifically for RV users with warnings about steep hills, sharp curves, etc. and POI's for RVers. Also gives increased notice of turns, required lane changes etc on Interstates.



I searched for GPS on this forum, no hits !


Any experience or advice ?



Bob
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:47 PM   #2
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I like Google Maps and Waze on my phone for around town traffic and navigation.
Do you download maps for Google Maps? You can download the maps of the areas you are travelling in Google Maps in advance using a wifi connection and not use data. When you don't have data while driving Google will then use these maps. Note that it will not give you step by step directions for walking/biking modes but does show you your location. I have used this in Canada, the US, and Europe successfully without using data. Here is a link with instructions:

https://support.google.com/maps/answ...DAndroid&hl=en

I also have a Garmin GPS but if you don't have free lifetime map updates it can get expensive and I generally find Google maps to be more accurate/current anyway. I tend to trust Google Maps for directions before Garmin. Well, unless you like surprise side trips, then Garmin is great. The one area I use my Garmin units more is for hiking/mountain biking but I use Backroads maps and not Garmin Maps.

Just my opinion.
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:54 PM   #3
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The CoPilot app for cellphones and tablets stores its map on the device, so you don't need a data connection when using it. It works well, but its North America map takes up 2GB of storage. I have it on my Samsung tablet, which I have floor-mounted in my truck when I travel.
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:57 PM   #4
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Rand McNally maps and GPS- https://rand.factoryoutletstore.com/...88/RV-GPS.html
is the one I have, customizable for length and height for bridges and ease of access in gas stations. Also on line map creation which you can then upload to your GPS. Nice thing with GPS over cellular is reception seems better with satellite vs cell towers, particularly out west. I had this before my truck which also has GPS, but the Rand McNally has free lifetime upgrade whereas the truck upgrade is $$$
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:59 PM   #5
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We’ve been real happy with the Garmin Nuvi with lifetime maps for Canada and the US. We use it mostly when traveling in Canada since AT&T will ding us for a daily data fee.
https://www.amazon.com/Garmin-Naviga.../dp/B00RVGZRR2

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Old 12-10-2019, 06:02 PM   #6
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We use a 7" Garmin a now discontinued 2797, with lifetime map and traffic. I'll load campground coordinates on it, select avoid highways, and we get sent down great blue highways. Our phones are full with apps and do not have room for a 2gb Google map download. The 7" Garmin has large text for our aging eyesight. We used Garmins for 20 years on our sailboat, and have had them in our cars for the same length of time. If we had to replace our large Garmin we'd buy another large unit with lifetime maps.
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:52 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm leaning toward a 7" Garmin, probably one of their discontinued RV models with the lifetime map updates. The current models are between 4 and 6 hundred C$ up here 😟.
It appears with the Garmin it will be much easier to nudge the route to go the way I want. I found google maps will accept the route I want then change it once I start driving. Sometimes by hundreds of miles.
As I said having google maps or Waze on my trucks screen works well around town for traffic, speed traps, red light cameras occasionally for directions. Not so good for me on longer trips without data.

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Old 12-10-2019, 06:56 PM   #8
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I use a Garmin Nuvi, works fine for navigation, this one that's only a little over a year old has a battery that won't charge, and has an intermittent issue with powering up. Not surprisingly those are the same issues I had with it's Garmin predecessor.


I use it to find campgrounds by finding one I'm interested in on my phone then punching in the address to the GPS.


I prefer the functionality of the GPS over using Google maps on the phone. I'll keep using one even with the above mentioned problems.


It did come with lifetime updates.
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Old 12-10-2019, 07:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanark Camper View Post
I'm leaning toward a 7" Garmin, probably one of their discontinued RV models with the lifetime map updates.

I'd be wary of a discontinued GPS. I've had to replace my TomTom (with lifetime maps) because the unit couldn't handle the data size of the new maps.
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Old 12-10-2019, 07:27 PM   #10
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One feature I use constantly on my Nuvi, is locating places by first looking on Google Earth, then plugging the coordinates into the Nuvi. I then auto-route to there. Dome Rock at Quartzsite is a good example.
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Old 12-10-2019, 09:49 PM   #11
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Here is one I like.

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/570074#overview
It has many features for an RV. A friend mentioned the directions are very different than with google earth. Instead of saying turn right in 500 ft, it says turn right at the Shell gas station. Might be easier ?
Also the RV functions provide more time for turns, lane changes etc.

I notice when towing with my truck it doubles the number of signal light flashes on a lane change. Similar idea I guess.



I has a slot for a micro sd card so increased memory shouldn't be a problem.


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Old 12-10-2019, 10:32 PM   #12
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I also download Google maps on my phone, my wife’s phone (and two old large screen spare phones without cell service) It works great as we don’t have a data plan.

Unless it is a bad area...I leave the old phone hooked up to the truck and use it as the main gps. This way I can just walk away from the truck with my phone that has cell service in my pocket.
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Old 12-10-2019, 10:42 PM   #13
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We are very happy with our Garmin GPS RV Navigator. It provides guidance on RV routes and sends road warnings. When we traveled all the way around the US it was great for alerting us to lane changes and the appropriate lane to be in for the upcoming exit. It also has a split screen with a picture of the exit. Don't forget that there are plenty of areas where cell phone service might not be available so you can't totally rely on a cell phone.
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Old 12-10-2019, 11:40 PM   #14
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Guess I'm a bit late to this conversation, but here's my two cents worth. I do have and even use, a Garmin Drive 51 GPS--the cheapest thing I could find when I decided to buy one. It works as advertised, and is useful for getting me around populated areas I'm not familiar with, and finding addresses I don't know.

That said, I generally prefer old fashioned maps from AAA. The maps give me context and show me opportunities for diversions and adventures I would otherwise never know about. The GPS is the digital equivalent of using the drive through at the nearest belly bomb factory for lunch--it accomplishes what is necessary, but is ultimately unsatisfying.
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Old 12-11-2019, 01:46 AM   #15
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We use Garmin GPS now for years . Put goggle map in phone and found it uses too much data which we don’t have ,Went back to the Garmin and am very happy . Pat
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Old 12-11-2019, 09:47 AM   #16
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I primarily use Google Maps. There is data pretty much everywhere these days, at least enough to bring the map up. You can turn navigation off eliminating data use if you like and continue driving using the map, but as said above, you do lose the turn navigation, but I can pretty much figure all that out by road signs. Our North America phone plan has 20 gigs of coverage, so running out is almost impossible for us.

I do have a Garmin Montana, and though it does very basic road guidance, I don't use it for that. It is a great backcountry GPS though, very tough and waterproof.
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Old 12-11-2019, 11:05 AM   #17
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I Use a Garmin Drive 61 (also have a Nuvi 760). Updates are done with Garmin Express (2-3 / year). I plan my trips (routes) with Basecamp (freebee from Garmin) then upload the routes with it onto the GPS unit.


Before uploading one must clear existing same name routes on the unit otherwise you'll get duplicate route names.


You can also download onto your PC the routes the GPS has accumulated and display them in Basecamp.
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Old 12-11-2019, 03:39 PM   #18
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It appears with the Garmin it will be much easier to nudge the route to go the way I want.
Bob
Garmin has a free desktop app(Basecamp) for download on their site. With this you can create your exact route however you want and save it and load it to the Garmin GPS. Not sure if it works on all models but we have an older RV model and it works great.
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Old 12-11-2019, 05:02 PM   #19
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Garmin has a free desktop app(Basecamp) for download on their site. With this you can create your exact route however you want and save it and load it to the Garmin GPS. Not sure if it works on all models but we have an older RV model and it works great.
Thanks, yes I have base camp on my laptop and have used it with my older marine, hiking Garmin's for sailing, hiking and fishing trips. I have a set of topo's that have worked out well.

I just pulled the trigger on one of these,

https://www.thegpsstore.com/Garmin-R...GPS-P5153.aspx

For $199 US, free shipping, no taxes. I'm shipping to a ups store in NY, about an hour from my home. We have family to visit there before Xmas so will pick it up then.

I really like being able to plan routes on the laptop and then upload to the gps.

The same gps on Amazon.ca is $379 Can.

Garmin also sell a wireless backup camera for these units.

Bob
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Old 12-11-2019, 05:09 PM   #20
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One place where our Garmin car unit is invaluable is navigating around cities! Also have a Garmin E trex 30 for hiking, skiing and biking.
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