Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Roads and Routes: RV GPS
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mikemc53

Northern Michigan

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Posted: 10/30/20 01:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How many use RV specific GPS apps as opposed to Google maps? I know about the actual RV GPS units by Garmin, TomTom, etc., but I am curious about apps. So far I have only used Google maps and have been lucky, with no mishaps, but just curious as to the thoughts of others.

Would not want to get into a situation where a low bridge or tight hairpin might become an issue.

Thanks in advance gang.


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TexasShadow

Spring Branch, TX USA

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Posted: 10/30/20 01:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

we don't use an rv specific app, but we do use a truck app and that works pretty good.


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Matt_Colie

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Posted: 10/30/20 02:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mike,

We are also from Michigan (not a great thing these days), but when crossing the UP our phones ran into a few holes where even with the outside antenna and a repeater there was no signal to be had. Fortunately, we do our primary navigation with a stand-alone GPS. We are not "blue road" travelers and have run into this more than a few times.

Matt


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azdryheat

Tucson, AZ

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Posted: 10/30/20 05:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Google Maps and Motor Carrier's Atlas for me. My truck has GPS in the dash but it's 7 years old and hasn't been updated ($$$).


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Stepnwolf

Rio Rancho

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Posted: 10/30/20 05:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Matt_Colie wrote:

Mike,

We are also from Michigan (not a great thing these days), but when crossing the UP our phones ran into a few holes where even with the outside antenna and a repeater there was no signal to be had. Fortunately, we do our primary navigation with a stand-alone GPS. We are not "blue road" travelers and have run into this more than a few times.

Matt


If you choose the option to download the maps to your phone when you do have a signal, you don't need a cellular connection to use the phone GPS option.


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Stepnwolf

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Posted: 10/30/20 06:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mikemc53 wrote:

How many use RV specific GPS apps as opposed to Google maps? I know about the actual RV GPS units by Garmin, TomTom, etc., but I am curious about apps. So far I have only used Google maps and have been lucky, with no mishaps, but just curious as to the thoughts of others.

Would not want to get into a situation where a low bridge or tight hairpin might become an issue.

Thanks in advance gang.


Are you only looking for GPS info, i.e. routes? There are a multitude of RV/camping apps for both Android and IOS.

I have a wide variety of apps related to traveling, camping, etc.

All Trails
Allstays
Boondocking
Bureau of Land Management
Campendium
Campfinder
Casino Camper
Cellphone Coverage
Coverage?
Free Roam
freecampsites.net
Gas Buddy
Go Rving
Good Sam
Google Earth/Maps
Harvest Host
Highway Weather
Hipcamp
KOA
Mountain Directory
National Forest Service
National Park Service - Find a Campground
National Parks by Chimani
Oh Ranger
Recreation.gov
ReserveAmerica Camping
RV Parks & Campgrounds
RV Parky
RV Trip Wizard
The Dyrt
TripAdvisor
Trucker Path
Ultimate Public Camp Grounds
US Public Lands App

one_strange_texan

The Woodlands, Texas

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Posted: 10/30/20 07:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I use an RV version of Garmin. Many disparage the software, but not the hardware due to a definite learning curve, but I have found it useful.

Pros:
* You put in the dimensions of your RV and it tries to keep you on routes suitable to your rig. It is especially helpful on low clearance overpasses. It seems to have up to date information and has saved me on at least two occasions (meaning warn me when I was approaching, having departed from the planned route it laid out for me to begin with).
* It includes (or you download) a route planner (BaseCamp) where you can lay out your entire trip itinerary with fuel stops and overnight stops including travel times, etc on your computer. Then you can transfer it to the GPS device. This is one element where the "learning curve" complaint comes into play. Many prefer a simpler process.
* You can add points of interest (POI's) including fuel stops, rest stops, stores and RV parks to the BaseCamp data for planning. A lot of information is available on line to give a more comprehensive list than is available in BaseCamp itself (or all the other planning tools mentioned so far). Again, this capability adds to the learning curve.

Cons:
* It sometimes routes you around things that are probably OK, for perhaps dubious reasons. For example, it doesn't seem to like traffic circles ("roundabouts"), some of which, having seen them, I felt were navigable in my rig.
* The aforementioned learning curve. It helps to be somewhat familiar with computers, syncing devices to computers (like you would your phone, tablet or MP3 player) as well as downloading computer files. Google Earth for viewing stops and destinations with the satellite view is also very handy.

My two cents.

* This post was edited 10/31/20 02:09am by one_strange_texan *


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caver

Missouri, The Cave State

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Posted: 10/30/20 07:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I use a Garmin Montana 600. I also can move it over to my dual sport when I go exploring. It's loaded with City Navigator and Topo. I use a RAM mount system.

Rover_Bill

NE. Ohio

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Posted: 10/30/20 11:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

An RV specific GPS (when RV enabled) will tend to route you on commercial grade roads where your RV requirements (length, height, weight) will be supported. The Google GPS assumes you're driving a 4WD drive car and will route you on the shortest path to your destination including dirt roads, low bridges, and tight switchbacks. I use both - plan and drive the route on my Garmin RV-660 but use Google GPS on my phone for current road conditions. (The Garmin also has a good backup camera.)


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rdhetrick

Texas

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Posted: 10/31/20 05:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Garmin RV 770 user here. I travel a lot (30,000 miles a year) and love it. Don't have to worry about having cell signal and don't have to remembering to download maps ahead of time. I like that it avoids low height and weight roads. I have lifetime map updates, seems like the updates are available about every 6 months. The only downside is the traffic feature doesn't work as well as google maps on the phone.

I set the Garmin to the destination for the day, and have free use of the phone. I'll use the phone to navigate to stops during the day like fuel and rest areas.

If you're on the move a lot, I'd recommend a dedicated RV GPS. If you just travel occasionally, you're probably fine with just a smartphone.


Rob
2006 Mandalay 40E Full Time
2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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