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Old 11-29-2015, 02:34 PM   #1
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Location: Central Arizona, HiDesert & Mountains
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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, 02:52 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.


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Old 11-29-2015, 03:33 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. 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:

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, 03:36 PM   #4
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Garmin RV760LMT -7 inch screen, life time maps and traffic
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Old 11-29-2015, 04:14 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, 06:15 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

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Old 11-29-2015, 08:33 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, 10:16 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. 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.
2015 Winnebago Travato 59G (1st Generation)
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Old 11-29-2015, 10:31 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!
2015 RT CS with E-Trek
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Old 11-29-2015, 11:02 PM   #10
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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.

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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