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Old 12-30-2013, 09:15 AM   #1
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Does anyone use a special RV GPS when traveling?

We are looking at the Garmin and the Rand McNally units. Has anyone used either one? If so, do you think it is worth the extra money? Thanks!

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Old 12-30-2013, 09:45 AM   #2
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I use a regular GPS. Looked into buying one of the RV or truck ones but couldn't justify the expense. I do not travel backroads much and would not really rely on the GPS to tell me about low bridges. There are truck maps that are better for that.

What are you looking for it to do, may be a better question. I believe they data log various fuel and distance info.


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Old 12-30-2013, 12:08 PM   #3
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I have the Rand McNally for RV's. Have used it for two summers now, about 10,000 miles of total travel thru MI, OH, NY, VT, NH and southern Ontario. I'm really happy with its operation when in the USA. The one beef I have is the routing directions for southern Ontario always wants to take me off the divided highway right into downtown Toronto, when I just want to pass thru on my way to somewhere else. I have not encountered anything like that when in the states I've been thru. The preference settings do not get it to change this bad habit. BTW, it does the same downtown thing with London, Ontario. I've concluded, their maps for Canada must be a little screwy. Yes, I have the latest map updates.
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:57 PM   #4
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Although I described my "beef" with the Rand McNally RV GPS, I would not want to be without it. On two occasions, one in NY and one in MI, it successfully routed us around some construction which would have slowed us down. It has been quite helpful the majority of the time, but is not infallible. In general, I think a GPS should be used as a guide only and not gospel by any means. Read the road signs as they have priority. The GPS are only as good as the software written inside them.
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:55 PM   #5
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We have an old Garmin that works well, after you learn how to use it. We are considering upgrading to a Magellan 7" GPS. I believe the number is 9250T. Enjoy the hunt for the right GPS for you. There are a million of them.
Richard & Marilyn
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Old 01-02-2014, 07:17 PM   #6
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I do not have one yet but I will have for my next long trip. My TomTom sent me down a very narrow curvy road to go into Beech Fork State Park in W.V. Got stuck because tree limbs were so low they would have hit the truck. to low on the recommended route. The road was not much wider than the camper with some 5 MPH curves. It was too hilly and dangerous to back up. You would have to be there to see how bad it was. I tried and decided not safe ', too steep and to tight a turn to take a chance . A lady who worked at the park actually came up the road I was supposed to go down(per the GPS) and said "NO WAY - You have to figure out a way to get turned around and go back. ". I walked down Camp Branch Road trying to find a driveway to back into and turn around. First house had a down tree blocking driveway. Walked further to a house with a circle drive. Tight turn with one wheel of trailer floating in air as I made the cut into drive. Tore up some of their grass because of wheel slide on narrow/tight drive. Long story, but I made up my mind right there to upgrade to a GPS with RV routing. It's kinda funny now but I was sure worried at the time. If interested in My route look at Camp Branch Rd and 54 on Google Earth. I was stuck where the 54 turned left off Camp Branch. Someone with a little more experience might have been able to turn my rig around there but not me.

Johnie and Brenda
Central Illinois
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:01 PM   #7
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Tom Tom works great for us. You can find gas, diesel, campgrounds, banks, motels, places to eat.
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:39 PM   #8
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A GPS is a great tool to assist you in navigation, however, it should not be your only tool, it should be combined with pre trip planning, maps, map programs, and GPS trip planning. There are too many resources at hand nowadays for anyone to use only one source of planning tool for navigation.

My GPS preference is Garmin, I have used several models from the Magellan group, and 5 different models of the Garmin products, and find I like the user interface, the routing, accuracy and speed to compute much better in the Garmin products than the Magellans.

With that, I always first route my trip on my computer using the Garmin Mapsource with City Navigator software, this software has a interface link to Google Earth, so I can overlay the route in Google Earth and follow the route.

During my pre-trip planning, I will create waypoints along the route for fuel, food, rest stops, and assist in planning for total miles to travel, I usually try to keep it between 400 and 600 miles per day. I can estimate my fuel needs and then I use Gas Buddy. com to find the best gas prices along the way, this prevents highway robbery from some of the Interstate fuel stores.

Once on the road, I will use the GPS in the truck from waypoint to waypoint, and to find points of interest along the way.

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Old 01-03-2014, 04:46 AM   #9
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I like Garmin. None of them are perfect. The other posters have already said sometimes they take you on a route that is not desirable, and getting to know your navigator is important. I plan my routes in Microsoft Streets & Trips and export them to the Garmin. More flexibility in routing and not difficult to do.

My Garmin has "voice recognition" - wouldn't be without it. We find gas, food, rest areas, and whatever you might need while being on the road, without having to touch the Garmin.

All that said, whenever we pass a Welcome Center, I get a map. There is no substitute.

Edit: Sorry, never answered OP's question. Because the map program is an excellent supplement to the regular Garmin map, we have not gone to one of the RV specific navigators.
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:47 AM   #10
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Never saw the value in the special GPS that cost a lot more. Have 2 Garmins and use them with some advance trip planning and have never had a problem. The key with any GPS is do some preplanning about your trip. Look at a paper map to get familiar with the overall layout so you can pick up on "traps" that the GPS might want to lead you into. On a layover, take a look at your next day objectives and best routes.

Don't wait until you're speeding down the interstate, 25 miles from your destination or overnite stopping point, and expect your GPS to slip you into a campground or best routing option. We overnite at Wally W's so knowing approximately when we want to stop, we plug WW into the Garmin and it will give us the options coming up over the next 25 - 50 miles. If its a final destination, you always want to have a good understanding of the general area and we always check out their website since they frequently will tell you about mistakes the GPS navigators are making. With a little advance work before going to bed the nite before, you can easily cruise into a stopping point without problems and without getting crossways with the passenger in the copilot seat.

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