Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Technology Corner: Mapping and GPS Recommendations Needed
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 > Mapping and GPS Recommendations Needed

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Scott M

Florida

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Posted: 11/22/20 05:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We are considering purchasing a GPS unit when we restart taking long trips. I love the old state Gazetteer map books, but I also like being able to see where the next gas station is located, as well as the next campground. Cell phones and Google maps are OK, but when you are in of those little black areas on the cell coverage maps, it may as well be a black hole. I see that there are now a bunch of GPS units marketed for RV use, but were probably designed for truckers. Garmin seems to lead the pack with the shear number of units that they make. I would like something that has an address book and shows locations of gas stations, stores, campgrounds and other amenities, as well as road hazards, weight restrictions and low bridge warnings.
I recall a PC based program about 15 years ago called Streets and Trips or something like that. You could pick your route and a corridor along that route showing any roadside amenity you had turned on. However, you couldn’t take it with you. I was hoping to find a GPS unit that had similar features that didn’t need a PC, WIFI or cell signal to work. Since we have a larger rig now, weight restrictions, road construction and low clearance bridges could be a problem. We like back roads which may have additional clearance, weight or width restrictions.
I found the RV Trip Wizard which looks a lot like the Streets and Trips program mentioned above. It will run on a tablet or phone, but I believe that it would require wifi or cellular service. Anyone use this subscription service? It seems to show many POI’s, including campgrounds, food and current fuel prices. Any thoughts or recommendations are appreciated for the travel map toolbox.


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agesilaus

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Posted: 11/22/20 05:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All the PC based navigation programs are extinct. MS Streets and trips, Delorme Street Atlas are kaput and while the software, if you have a copy, still runs they are getting more and more out of date. I have them all. Street Atlas does not seem to run very well on modern computers either. It has gotten very slow to update meaning you will be well past a turning point when the software suddenly announces you are OFF ROUTE! I'm about to buy a navigation panel myself altho I've resisted doing so for years.

Right now your best choice for planning is RV Trip Wizard RVTW which has a phone app that does real time navigating. Otherwise you are stuck with Google maps and those Navigation panels like Garmin sells. RVTW has many features, it shows just about all RV parks, places like Walmarts or Campingworlds, it routes the trip to avoid low bridges and such and the list goes on and on.
RVTW


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Ranger Smith

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Posted: 11/22/20 05:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I purchased a Rand Mcnally Tripmaker Overdrive rv gps last year I liked it a lot till I got the Garmin this year. It is easier to operate than the Rand and I find it does a better job routing. Came with traffic receiver, weather forecasts etc built into it.


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 11/22/20 05:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My Apple iPhone/iPad maps backed up by paper maps...some from years ago...are sufficient. I don’t need to know every next campground, McDonald’s or off ramp. I even carry an old Good Sam camp book. Please remember a business that pays the “map maker” get mentioned. So a campground that doesn’t pay but is “next” might go unreported.


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azdryheat

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Posted: 11/22/20 06:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't forget to pickup the Motor Carrier's Atlas. Shows routes approved for truckers.


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Scott M

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Posted: 11/23/20 07:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

agesilaus, good to hear about RVTW. I downloaded the demo and it looked detailed, thousands of campgrounds, both public and private. Like the links to their websites (as long as they keep the links up to date). The Demo did not appear to allow me to use the POI feature. Messaged support to see if the POI is supposed to work in demo mode.

Ranger Smith, what model Garmin did you go with? A Gator in Noles county..Go Gators!

Still love the Gazetteers, have a good collection of the states with the routes of past trips highlighted as well. We're not chain only people, love to find the local businesses to shop, eat and stay, that's what we remember the most.

agesilaus

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Posted: 11/23/20 07:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RVTW campgrounds come from their link to Campground reviews and so are current

Ranger Smith

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Posted: 11/23/20 08:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Garmin RV 785 plus traffic on Amazon

Scott M

Florida

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Posted: 11/23/20 09:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not meaning to change the subject, but I see that agesilaus and Lwiddis both have solar systems. How did you determine the panel wattage you needed? Did you go with permanent roof mounts or portable panels? Lwiddis, how many of the Trojan T-125 6-volts do you carry? In a Class C I am somewhat limited for storage. I can carry 2 -12 volt 29's or 31's under the stairs and possibly another one on the rear bumper. We used to to that with a previous Class C when we did more dry camping. What kind or charge rate do you all get with your systems? Can you get a full charge on a good sunny day?

agesilaus

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Posted: 11/23/20 09:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Look at this: How big a solar system?

I have 400W, four panels, and two banks of six volt golf cart GC2 batteries.

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