The best GPS....your thoughts.

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by BC Wanderer, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. cfmelville

    cfmelville
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    We've had the Good Sam branded Rand McNally 5" for 3 years now and use it constantly. I like that you can switch routing modes from "car" to "truck" like routing, set your RV height, turn warnings (curves/hills/state borders/speed limits) on and off. It is extremely customizable but takes some experimentation to figure out what some of the options actually do. I use it even when not towing because it provides speed limit warnings--you can customize how far over the posted limit you want to go before the bitchin' starts--this is great if you are a leadfoot. Especially helpful in California where the speed limit is 55MPH for any vehicle towing or with more than 2 axles. A violation is $300-400 trust me.

    Another big positive is the ability to download trip plans and custom POIs from the Good Sam trip planner website. This is huge since you can sit comfortably at your desk or laptop and compare Good Sam info with other sources (Google Maps, USFS websites, and of course RV Park Reviews.)

    One negative is that their map updates can be months or years behind for new roads. They update their construction zone data very frequently but I suspect that and new road data comes from state agencies which may or may not provide timely updates.
     
  2. J & J

    J & J
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    We bought a "Good Sam" branded Rand McNally 7725 a couple of years ago. We like the screen size and the way the exits and intersections are displayed. It does tend to send us off the Interstate and onto secondary and even residential roads for no good reason. When that occurs, we switch to the cell phone mapping. We can't recommend the RM.
     
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  3. tge5200

    tge5200
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    Garmin RV 760. Not perfect by any means but it does have the height restriction which has saved my ass more than once. Check for map revisions at least 4 times a year (free, or included in cost). Had to get different mount for the head in the truck which works well. Back up camera works well when there is no interference to it. Interference can make the camera LATE in displaying the picture which is not good when backing up. Crunch! There is a newer model but I don't know if it is better or not. This is my second Garmin. I would buy another one.
     
  4. X-OEM

    X-OEM
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    Use the Garmin RV760 (not sure of the model number as it is in the coach in storage). It is about a year old. It is programmable back and forth from a car to an motorhome towing. You can set all the physical parameters of your car and RV. Have been happy with it. Interface to find RV parks and other destinations is a breeze to use. Free maps for life and a big display.

    Just do not forget to switch from the car back to the RV and back again or it can be frustrating. From what I have heard :)
     
  5. G_Barbosa

    G_Barbosa
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    I found an iPhone app called SmartRV Route! It is designed by a company that provides routes for truckers and uses a fee-based service. Has anyone else been using it?
     
  6. cfmelville

    cfmelville
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    Same here, it does sometimes want to send us around and around instead of straight on. Wife got a new Garmin for her car and the screen is amazingly bright and easy to read even with sunglasses on so I think our replacement will not be another RM/Good Sam unit.
     
  7. cfmelville

    cfmelville
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    Problem with any phone app is if you are in a remote area without cell towers your app won't work. Single purpose GPS units (not the special RV/Trucker units) can be pretty reasonable these days, starting around $100. I guess it depends where you travel and how much.
     
  8. docj

    docj
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    With all due respect that is not a correct statement. There are a number of phone-based GPS apps that download their maps to phones. This keeps them from using as much data while they are navigating. In addition, Google Maps has made it even easier to have maps downloaded.

    Two examples of GPS apps with downloadable maps are Here Maps and Mapfactor: GPS Navigation.

    When you use downloaded maps you may lose some features. For example, with Google Maps if you download I don't believe you get real-time traffic info. For me, that's the best thing about using Google Maps and I wouldn't want to lose it.
     
  9. drfife

    drfife
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    It is not free for Android. $10.

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
     
  10. franklyn4

    franklyn4
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    I'm very satisfied with my Garmin RV 760LMT. Very accurate.
     
  11. BC Wanderer

    BC Wanderer
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    Thank you all for your input. I have just ordered the Garmin RV 660 LMT. It has all of the bells and whistles as the RV 760 (which is now the RV 770) except the 7 inch screen. I will let you know my thoughts on the product once I have used it for a while.

    Darrell
     
  12. VOLFan

    VOLFan
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    Garmin

    Have had very good experiences with this brand.
     
    #32 VOLFan, Feb 6, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
  13. BC Wanderer

    BC Wanderer
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    The Garmin RV 660 got here ahead of the ETA suggested by Amazon. (FYI this is the first "on-line" purchase for me). I am pleased with the look and feel. The screen is plenty big enough for me. Much larger than my previous GPSs. The only major difference between the 660 and 770 is screen size.

    I was not sure how much of a charge the battery had so I plugged it in to my computer right away. Immediately, we received a map update and it walked us through the set up (Vehicle type etc). It was very easy. Map updates are "life time" free. Maps do include Canada, Us and Mexico. My other Garmins did not always include the southern US or Mexico. They were an extra cost. It does have an extensive list of RV Parks as "points of Interest".

    We took it for a test drive in the car since my wife need to get some shopping done. Choosing a location was exactly the same as our earlier models....no surprise. Once we set off it gave me a Propane Restriction warning. We were not going to board a Ferry (they do have restrictions) nor were we planning on parking in a parkade or underground so I'm not sure what went wrong there. I may have entered an incorrect value in the set up. I have disable it for now as the warning message and beep were somewhat irritating. I was given warnings about sharp corners, steep inclines, speed limit changes and an avoidance correctly. So far so good.

    It also came with a program called "Base Camp". It is Trip Planning software. I have installed it on both the Lap Top and Desk Top but have not had an opportunity to check it out yet. It is available to the public free and I don't think you need a Garmin product plugged in to make it work. It does look interesting though. A link http://www.garmin.com/en-CA/shop/downloads/basecamp if you want to check it out.

    From here on I will only post short comings or problem that I encounter.

    Darrell
     
  14. Tom

    Tom
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    We've gotten away from GPS units, and use mostly Google Maps on our smart phones. When Waze first came out it had a lot of problems, so we don't use that now... maybe it's better?

    Two years ago I tried "Co-Pilot", but was not happy with it - I found it difficult to use and confusing. I was using the free version, so I don't know if the paid version is better.

    For long trips I usually post my route for advice and recent conditions here and on Open Roads Forum / RV.net. Usually get good up to date road conditions and timing for traffic.

    (RVParkreviews is referenced favorably regularly on Open Roads, so I figure it is okay to do likewise here?)
     
  15. Keeping up with the Joneses

    Keeping up with the Joneses
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    We had nothing but problems with our Good Sam/Rand McNally unit (or rather, units, as we had 4 replacements and each had different issues). On paper it should be a better choice, but it just didn't function well (telling us to turn left and drive for 2 miles then make a U-turn on the freeway and return to our starting point instead of just turning right to begin with, sending us in circles in downtown Portland, telling us to turn left when there was nothing there but the Mississippi River, trying to route us through open fields, telling us to cut through apartment building parking lots instead of turning at a major intersection, calling a major highway underpass "low clearance" when it was about 10 feet taller than our rig, etc.). It even had us take an exit 3 miles too early and follow gravel backroads to get to a Camping World that was right off the next exit. It was slow and unresponsive...when it was cold I often had to press a button 7+ times before it registered. Customer Service was great, but if the thing don't work... Recently switched to Garmin RV760LMT and have been much happier so far.
     
  16. vincee

    vincee
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    The problem with using just smart phone GPS' is the signal can get lost. Just got back from a trip to the Michigan U.P. and had no phone signal at any of the campgrounds we stayed at. Only time there was a signal is when we were around populated areas/towns. My six year old Magellan RV GPS took us right to the gates of the state park campgrounds we stayed at. Paid a $125 for it on Amazon on still gets the job done though it is cumbersome to use.
     

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