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

On the Road Somewhere

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Joined: 02/06/2012

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Posted: 11/02/20 09:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I vastly prefer a stand-alone RV GPS. We actually have two, a Rand-McNally which I like because of several additional features such as fuel mileage tracking.

Also we have a GARMIN. I find Garmin traffic superior to any other system, even Google Maps or WAZE - because it works on traffic on my route, and KNOWS my 60 ft total length cannot go onto normal city streets most of the time. I do not care about the major traffic delays on another freeway.

The MAIN reason though is that I tell the GPS the route I want to take. Seldom to I take the GPS recommended route without checking it over closely. They are made to accept my alternative waypoints to shape the route.

I do sit down the night before travel every time and look over the route with the GPS and some checking with my cell phone, and a map, maybe electronic or paper.

For longer tows into areas where I have not been in a few years, or have never been - I check state DOT websites for information on construction on the planned route.

I used Google or Bing Maps and look at the satellite views of major freeway intersections, looking for changes which even apps which Google Maps do not seem to know about. I've seen Google more than once route me though a major freeway intersection to go upon ramps which are no longer present, miss new ramps which are visible in the Satellite View.

The key is that you be comfortable with the device/app, and have a system what you use to ASSIST you in keeping track of where you are and the next turn. Your co-pilot should also be familiar with the system so the driver does not have to make adjustments to the device.

If you miss a turn and feel you are going the wrong way or such. STOP (off of a freeway) and then look at the tools available to help you.


Full-Time 2014 - ????

“Not all who wander are lost.”
"You were supposed to turn back at the last street."

2012 Ram 2500 Mega Cab
2014 Flagstaff 832IKBS TT


lane hog

Tucson, AZ & NW Chicago Burbs, IL

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Posted: 11/03/20 02:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I stick with Google Maps and use the offline maps option. It works well via Android Auto in the head unit of our Ford, and it's one less device to have to worry about keeping current.

That said, I cross-check it's suggestions on a RV route to make sure it doesn't route us onto county roads, which in many states can be gravel. Ask me how I found that out...

So far, we've done OK since ditching our Garmin. I'd also recommend keeping a printed Trucker's Atlas just in case so you have the low clearance bridges marked. Anywhere a truck can go, you should be able to go...



  • 2019 Grand Design 29TBS (had a Winnebago and 3x Jayco owner)
  • 2016 F-150 3.5L MaxTow (had Ram 2500 CTD, Dodge Durango)
  • 130W solar and 2005 Honda EU2000i twins that just won't quit



one_strange_texan

The Woodlands, Texas

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Posted: 11/03/20 12:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would like to add that my Garmin has successfully routed us around interstate closures or heavy traffic due to a incident on the highway. You can pretty much trust the routing. Again: the program knows your rig type and dimensions to select the alternate road.
However, Garmin's routing, from what I can tell, may not be as "real time up-to-date" as Waze or Google Maps. For instance, I have had it try to route me around bottlenecks, when, having decided to go on through them, turned out to have cleared. On another occasion, Garmin tried to route me miles way out of the way to an alternate crossing of the Mississippi River. The problem was some road closures due to flooding in eastern Arkansas the night before. Pulling over, I checked the highway department site and determined that they had reopened and the Garmin router had not yet got the word.
This reemphasizes what others have said. Pick your tool, but don't use just one tool. Use your judgement and cross check various sources if in doubt. Going over the route the night before and satellite checking the next scheduled stop are good ideas, too.


one_strange_texan
Currently between RV's
Former 5th wheel owner (Montana 3402RL)

Matt_Colie

Southeast Michigan

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Posted: 11/04/20 08:15am 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

Stepnwolf wrote:


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.


Stephenwolf,

People keep telling me that. I have done that with varying degrees of success. We like to navigate with something more readable than a cell phone. Gmaps on a laptop can't get real time GPS input.

Then there is the problem that you have to know in advance (by a whole day or more) where you are going to be. That has failed us miserably on several occasions now. Strangely, none were in the UP. With our outside antenna and repeater, we do pretty well. The problem with anything other than a stand alone GPS is that we are not blue roads people. We also are the type that changes plans on a whim (or an interesting road sign).

Street Atlas is dead and there is no planning package that can replace it and all its functions. It at least had a full map available and with some pretty good detail. As an enroute package, when combined with a real GPS device it was a wonderful thing.

As much as I like the Garmin instruments, Base Camp should embarrass them. But that along with all the other web based planners are useless for us most of the time and sure can't enroute navigators.
Matt


Matt & Mary Colie
A sailor, his bride and their black dogs going to see some dry places that have Geocaches in a coach made the year we married.


lane hog

Tucson, AZ & NW Chicago Burbs, IL

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Posted: 11/05/20 03:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ah, Street Atlas... how I miss that and don't. I get the small screen vs. large screen, but now that I'm back to a truck & trailer, I don't have room for a laptop while moving like I did with the motorhome and the area in front of the doghouse...

Prior to getting our Android Auto enabled Ford, I was running Google Maps on either an Android tablet or iPad, both which had GPS capability.

This past summer, I downloaded our entire itinerary from Chicago to Yellowstone with some buffer knowing that there'd be no cell service inside the park. Worked fine. But yeah, not much planning capability.

doxiemom11

Victoria TX

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Posted: 11/07/20 09:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We use google maps to avoid crowded cities and interstates. It does give low clearance warning if the route I am creating has any. It give me construction information also. I go in and look at the road, campgrounds, gas stations from streetview. I would be lost without it.

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