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Old 11-29-2015, 03:34 PM   #1
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Default GPS choices/preferences?

Wondering, what are "B" travelers using for GPS in their Adventures? Cell phone, Garmin, Tom Tom or what & why ? I tried a search but not finding anything current.
To many choices, not enough tech savvy. But it's time to buy!
Thanks, Ric.
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Old 11-29-2015, 03:52 PM   #2
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Garmin. Fairly recent model. 5". I'd give you a model number but it's probably obsolete. Fairly intuitive, good graphics. Does some weird routing sometimes, but I think they all do. Make sure that "LM" is part of the model number when you buy. It means lifetime maps for free. I like to plan routes with Garmin's Basemap.

I have a Tom-Tom in the dash which is horrible. I'd like to use it because it's built in, but it's not intuitive, the menus are awkward, the graphics are ugly and the maps are old but they want too much money to update them.

Eric
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Old 11-29-2015, 04:33 PM   #3
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I still use a Rand McNally RV GPS in the van. It's big and easy enough to use but seems slow to calculate when choosing a new destination.

The basic version of CoPilot for free for Android, Apple & Windows mobile devices. https://copilotgps.com/uk/ Basic doesn't have voice guidance enabled. It doesn't cost much to turn on voice guidance though.

You could try it if you have a smart device. 2GB or so download to get North America maps stored on your device.

The Rand McNally is a bit more RV specific; lets you specify length and height for example. Both let you specify to avoid tunnels with propane restrictions. CoPilot lets you pick between 12'6 or 13' for height if you set RV as the vehicle preference.

There's probably a much newer Rand McNally GPS than mine: http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f6...20-a-2322.html

Here are some screen captures of CoPilot running in the free Andy Android emulator on my Windows PC. You can see size of the free maps you can download.

copilot routing.jpg

copilot maps.jpg

I downloaded too many maps! I started with a smaller map just to try it then added the bigger maps.
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Old 11-29-2015, 04:36 PM   #4
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Garmin RV760LMT -7 inch screen, life time maps and traffic
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Old 11-29-2015, 05:14 PM   #5
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Garmin 5797, which by itself is just another GPS with all the good and bad.

If you couple it with the Garmin Basecamp software on the laptop, you can make custom routes to your exact liking just like on Google maps, and then you can transfer them identically to the GPS. For us this is nearly a necessity, because most of the time we would prefer to go a different route the GPS chooses. Other units we have seen that transfer in from Google maps, or other sources, only transfer the destinations so the GPS recalc everything in between, giving lots of surprises.

The Garmin also does something that most of the others (maybe all) doesn't do, and that is if you have a point entered as a via or shaping point instead of a destination point it will direct you to it, but if you miss it do to a quick side trip or such, as soon as you are on route again the point is ignored. Every other unit we tested would incessantly harp at you to turn around and go back to that point until you stopped and deleted the point on the route. Destination points still will force you to go back, so you can choose each point, each way.
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Old 11-29-2015, 07:15 PM   #6
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iPhone- it's already paid for it's always there and I can use a variety of mapping apps- many of which are free.

( I also have an app which stores the north american maps onboard...and have not used it in 2 or 3 years: youneedamap).

waze will help you with real-time road hazards, closures, congestion, accidents and radar.

I find a gps approach works best for a pre-determined route and a view of a small area

--------------------------------------

and I use paper maps ( the 1/2 size rand mcnally I get free from HOG) to look big picture at areas I want to bumble through and find surprises.

RVparky helps find campsites

tvtowers helps me point the antenna

gasbuddy saves on gas costs

all of this costs zero extra--- I already have the phone and data plan ( t-mobile) which includes all of north america- no roaming charges.


I have no interest in a dashboard full of electronic devices, wiring adapters etc





Mike
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Old 11-29-2015, 09:33 PM   #7
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I just use my iPhone or iPad. I use either Google Maps or Apple Maps, but I also have Galileo, an app that allows me to download offline maps and minimize data usage. I like Google's "traffic" (feeds from Waze) better - easier to see than the one in Apple Maps, but prefer Apple Maps, generally, because the route numbers are nice and large.

Don't like cluttering up my view through the windshield with gadgets. With the iPad, it is really easy to set on the shelf of the front cup holders that are in the center of dash in the EVC.

Generally, I do not like "step by step" directions; just give me a map, tell me (or use the gps) where I am, where I'm going, and I can get there. I have sometimes found the "directions" from a GPS or Google to be wrong. I would rather figure them out myself.

And I always carry paper maps with me. Great for a quick view and planning.
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Old 11-29-2015, 11:16 PM   #8
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For about ten years I've used GPS programs on a laptop, primarily because I prefer a large, easy-to-read screen. Much more pleasant to use while driving than the small screens on phones and handheld devices. Used Waze on the phone once. No thanks.

In the car, I velcro the laptop to a stand which I bolted to the floor within easy reach. In the Travato, I just lay it on the passenger seat. Requires a bit of head turning, but it quickly becomes second nature. I don't travel with a passenger. You have to add a separate USB GPS receiver which you can just lay on the dash. I use the popular GlobalSat BU-353-S4. USGlobalsat Corporate

For the GPS program, I first used a Garmin product which is no longer available.

Next used Delorme Street Atlas. It's feature-rich, and some folks swear by it, but I found the maps and other stuff on the screen to be too "busy." The maps were often inaccurate, and the GPS routing could be maddeningly illogical. Was glad to finally get rid of it.

Currently using Copilot Live v8 for Laptop. https://copilotgps.com/us/personal/laptop.asp Really like it. The best yet. Easy to use, visually appealing maps, plenty of useful features but not too much to fiddle with, logical routing. Works great with a touchscreen laptop and Windows 8.1.

Still prefer paper maps for studying the route ahead of time. Benchmark's state atlases are my go-to maps, especially for getting off the beaten path.
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Old 11-29-2015, 11:31 PM   #9
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Well of course the current Sprinter rigs come with the built-in MB GPS, the Becker.

Total POS. I only use it as I drive along in an urban area. Meanwhile my trusty old Garmin is sitting up on the dash as a real GPS!
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric1514 View Post

I have a Tom-Tom in the dash which is horrible. I'd like to use it because it's built in, but it's not intuitive, the menus are awkward, the graphics are ugly and the maps are old but they want too much money to update them.

Eric
Is that the one that comes with the Travato/Promaster? If so, it seems many just abandon it - like James did on FitRV.

Is that put in by WGO or Promaster?
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Old 11-30-2015, 01:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obgraham View Post
Well of course the current Sprinter rigs come with the built-in MB GPS, the Becker.

Total POS. I only use it as I drive along in an urban area. Meanwhile my trusty old Garmin is sitting up on the dash as a real GPS!
Wow... Okay, not that they aren't total POS, but... how can the integrated MB's Becker and the Promaster's Tom-Tom GPS systems be crappy? I only ask because we are awaiting our new MB Chassis/PW build and it has the Becker. Is it that they just have a steeper learning curve than some of the portable GPS devices?
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Old 11-30-2015, 01:16 AM   #12
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I have grown rather fond of the Becker. The interface is peculiar, but once you get your head around it, it works quite well. I especially like the free, real-time traffic and accident reports complete with auto-reroute. The secondary summary display on the little screen under the speedometer is a winner, too. You can even get the nice lady to remind you if you are driving X-mph over the speed limit.

Not an award-winning product, but actually pretty nice.
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Old 11-30-2015, 01:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
I have grown rather fond of the Becker. The interface is peculiar, but once you get your head around it, it works quite well. I especially like the free, real-time traffic and accident reports complete with auto-reroute. The secondary summary display on the little screen under the speedometer is a winner, too. You can even get the nice lady to remind you if you are driving X-mph over the speed limit.

Not an award-winning product, but actually pretty nice.
I was really hoping you would say that!

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Old 11-30-2015, 01:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobB View Post
Is that the one that comes with the Travato/Promaster? If so, it seems many just abandon it - like James did on FitRV.

Is that put in by WGO or Promaster?
Promaster.
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Old 11-30-2015, 02:05 AM   #15
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Garmin 65LM. 6" lifetime maps. We never had much luck with Waze, Google Maps or Co-Pilot. This works much, much better for us...
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Old 11-30-2015, 02:08 AM   #16
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O.K. Thanks all for the insight (& opinions). I appreciate everyone's thoughts & experiences. I like paper maps & Rand McNally. But like every thing in this age travel has become more complicated.
I've been studying the Garmin RV760 LMT & like the specs (marketing) info.
BUT - priced at $300, seems a bit much - if we don't use it or don't like it.
I bought a Garmin nuvi something years ago. Didn't like when it got us lost in in Philadelphia & again in Houston. Wife says I don't follow directions very well though. So I need some thing that I can tell it where I want to go & how, with the least amount of hassle. And simple with an easy learning curve. BTW we travel mostly back roads, two lane & avoid cities at all costs.
So keep it coming, thanks. Ric.
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Old 11-30-2015, 04:03 AM   #17
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I installed a Pioneer AVI5100 stereo which has GPS. I also discovered recently that using Apple Car Play which the AVIC5100 has, makes using a GPS using Siri/iPhone a delight. I just ask Siri to find something, and it brings it up on the in dash 7" screen and also the phone, and then I just hit start. This is all done speaking through the mic that came with the radio and feedback is through the stereo's speakers. For example today I said Cannery Row, and it directed me to it no problems.

I still need the in dash GPS where I will have no phone service but I'm impressed with Apple Car Play, Siri and GPS. I also have reduced dash clutter using the radio and the iphone.
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Old 11-30-2015, 04:16 AM   #18
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My van came with a Kenwood head unit that has Garmin maps and lifetime traffic data. But it is very slow at recalculating a new route if you make a wrong turn, so I also run an app on my iPhone called Copilot. It is very fast and gives alternate routes to choose from. It was about $20 with maps for all of North America.
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Old 11-30-2015, 04:17 AM   #19
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Garmin Nuvi somemodelLM
Garmin etrex 10 for out of van (typically when hunting/fishing)
Android Tablet with City Maps 2Go Offline Maps
Android Tablet with BRMB Navigator (online/offline maps)
Numerous Android phones
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Old 11-30-2015, 05:11 AM   #20
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My 2 gripes with the Becker, as I've previously stated:
1.No elevation display. I just like to have it.
2.Programming a route is counterintuitive, can't be done (perhaps by the copilot) while driving down the road, and you have to click thru the alphabet for every character of every waypoint. So far I can't see a way to do it on my computer and load the route into the Becker.

I do like it in an urban area as it displays the upcoming streets nicely, and gives you route indications if you can get a destination into it.
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