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 > Mapping and GPS Recommendations Needed

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lryrob9301

Mid-Atlantic

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Posted: 11/23/20 01:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

An alternative to dedicated GPS units, at half the price, is an android tablet with built in GPS sensor running the CO-PILOT RV app. CO-PILOT does not need cell service since the map software is loaded on the tablet. CO-PILOT can be configured for the size and weight of the RV and has campgrounds, rest areas, and other attractions in it's database. I've been using it for over 7 years and never had a problem with being routed over weight limited roads or low overpasses.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 11/23/20 04:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you think loss of cell coverage is an issue, you presumably haven't used Google Maps in a while.

- While navigating, if you lose signal, it just keeps navigating without missing a beat.
- If you know you will be out of cell range, you can download areas easily.
- It gives you live traffic conditions along with notifications of traffic and speed traps. (that function on my old Nuvi doesn't work in most areas anymore and when it does, it's often wrong.)
- Plus there really aren't that many places without cell service (and as noted above, you can download the map ahead of time for those rare areas).
- If you want larger size, run it on a tablet.
- It doesn't use a lot of data given the size of cell data plans today.

There's a reason dedicating mapping platforms are dying off.

I suggest giving it a try before putting out the money for a new dedicated GPS.


Tammy & Mike
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Scott M

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Posted: 11/23/20 06:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good solar article. As many do now our class c came pre-wired for solar. Aside from a plug on the roof, I’m not sure what else I would need to complete a solar install.


2021 Entegra Odyssey 24B Class C on Ford E-450 Chassis with 7.5L V8


ktmrfs

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Posted: 11/23/20 06:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I use streets and trips 2013 (yes it is OLD) to plan my general route and using it's features figure time etc.

And in the truck we have a large print truckers map or more detail. (still not as much detail as old school state maps, but that's what's available)

And use our garmin GPS and truck NAV system for gas stations, dining, etc. etc. and on many occasions google maps.

I've loaded POI's of our favorite lists of campgrounds, dining, etc. into the truck GPS.


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agesilaus

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Posted: 11/23/20 07:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Scott M wrote:

Good solar article. As many do now our class c came pre-wired for solar. Aside from a plug on the roof, I’m not sure what else I would need to complete a solar install.


You need to investigate much more, you'll need a controller. Those come in two different types. And an inverter if you plan to run 120V appliances off your solar charged batteries. You will need to learn how to wire your solar panels together, what wire to use, what connectors you'll need, how to mount the panels and how to get the wire down from the roof. There are many websites and YT videos on this plus lots of books if you prefer those.

As for the gps, I am just about sold on the Garmin 890 RV which is darned pricey but worth it in aggravation reduction. The earlier gen isn't that much cheaper, $420 vs $500 so may as well get the newer model.


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Matt_Colie

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Posted: 11/24/20 08:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

At one time, I had a name tag that said "Navigator" under my name. As a lifelong waterman with paper that says "Pilot", and a pilot ticket (IFR,SEC,land), you might guess that I am somewhat pathological about the subject.

To make the point clear, in the family, we have a large number of GPS. Several tablets and laptops/crossovers. We carry wire underway and I still always carry the paper that covers where have any reasonable expectation of being during any one excursion.

For my money, there was never a better all round package than Street Atlas and Streets and Trips was a close second. I have tried, but have not been able to get the same productivity out of CoPilot. Both SA and S&T were great in that they could be used for planing in depth and then (with minor consideration) be used for the enroute navigation as well. If you co-drive, your navigator has an easy time of it and if you are alone and running on laptop, set it up to talk to you and listen for your instructions. But, that is a time gone by and the fact that it took learning was more than the market could bear.

The obsolete copy of SA2015 is still used for planning because I can look at where we may want to fuel and plan the ONP. It still beats the others because it is a stand-alone with real location input. So, if you happen to find fuel sooner or decide to stretch the driving day, when you updated SA, that change rippled through the whole plan. That is absolutely left out of RVTW. Those rings that RVTW provides are completely uses as we happen to live near three great lakes and an international border.

Google Maps has now failed us as now managed to run out of chart (map data) four times and all were critical. Yes, I did the pre-load bit, but that only works if you are sure you know where you will be. Now, If I could get GM to listen to a GPS we would be almost a third of the way there. What so many people ignored was that there were many overlays available.

So, if it requires internet access (aka cell service), you better stay on the blue roads. If you want it to tell you where you are, you are stuck with either a 5" low res screen or a really pricey tablet.

As the time progresses, I am steadily moving back to pencil and ruler on paper charts taped to the dinette table. This means that the navigator does not get to be in the right seat all the time and that is a big disadvantage.

I could go on with about just how disappointed I was to find out that Garmin would not update SA, but that is not my biggest disappointment from them.....

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.


Gdetrailer

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Posted: 11/24/20 11:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

lryrob9301 wrote:

An alternative to dedicated GPS units, at half the price, is an android tablet with built in GPS sensor running the CO-PILOT RV app. CO-PILOT does not need cell service since the map software is loaded on the tablet. CO-PILOT can be configured for the size and weight of the RV and has campgrounds, rest areas, and other attractions in it's database. I've been using it for over 7 years and never had a problem with being routed over weight limited roads or low overpasses.


We tried the Co-Pilot on the tablet method..

Failed miserably.

Tablets vary greatly between the OS version, processor, on board usable memory so results often can be rather unpredictable to say the least.

Not ALL tablets include GPS radios either.

Played the game of downloading Copilot, then the maps of the states of interest which took hrs (couldn't imaging how long it would take to download all 50 states)..

Then played the game of "wack-a-mole" with Android updates which took out the CoPilot which required a newer version of CoPliot which required reloading the maps..

Also noticed that when using CoPilot, the Tablet just ate right through the battery and the second the charger was plugged in, Copilot would freeze and then reboot the Tablet..

Betting your life on a buggy OS like Android and a highly buggy "app" is pretty risky.

If you needed the Tablet for anything else, you had to shut down Copilot, then once done with the other App you had to restart Copilot from the beginning and setup the trip again and again..

After several trips of that, my DW in the seat beside me quietly put the Tablet CoPilot to sleep for ever and started using the paper maps again..

GPS is only a "tool", it can and will make mistakes, best to not 100% depend on it and use backup paper and your eyes and mind on the road signs..

A far better idea we found was to scan in our Paper Atlas as JPGs and DW can view the JPGs on her Tablet. Allows her to to zoom in closely like a magnifying glass or zoom out depending on level of detail she wants to look at. We still keep the paper Atlas also..

valhalla360

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Posted: 11/25/20 05:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

Not ALL tablets include GPS radios either.

Also noticed that when using CoPilot, the Tablet just ate right through the battery and the second the charger was plugged in, Copilot would freeze and then reboot the Tablet..

Betting your life on a buggy OS like Android and a highly buggy "app" is pretty risky.

If you needed the Tablet for anything else, you had to shut down Copilot, then once done with the other App you had to restart Copilot from the beginning and setup the trip again and again..

GPS is only a "tool", it can and will make mistakes, best to not 100% depend on it and use backup paper and your eyes and mind on the road signs..

A far better idea we found was to scan in our Paper Atlas as JPGs and DW can view the JPGs on her Tablet. Allows her to to zoom in closely like a magnifying glass or zoom out depending on level of detail she wants to look at. We still keep the paper Atlas also..


You will be hard pressed to find a tablet for sale that doesn't include GPS.

All mapping systems need to be plugged in unless you are driving only very short distances.

How is it risky? Your worst case is to pull over and ask for directions...but really, you can always pull out your phone and check on google maps.

Tablets are cheap, if you are worried about using it for something else taking the map off line...just leave one in the car as a dedicated GPS system.

Even zoomed in, a scan of a paper map will never be as accurate or as up to date as an online mapping system. I've yet to see a paper map that indicates the lane I'm best choosing when entering a complicated interchange.

Gdetrailer

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Posted: 11/25/20 11:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:



You will be hard pressed to find a tablet for sale that doesn't include GPS.

All mapping systems need to be plugged in unless you are driving only very short distances.

How is it risky? Your worst case is to pull over and ask for directions...but really, you can always pull out your phone and check on google maps.

Tablets are cheap, if you are worried about using it for something else taking the map off line...just leave one in the car as a dedicated GPS system.

Even zoomed in, a scan of a paper map will never be as accurate or as up to date as an online mapping system. I've yet to see a paper map that indicates the lane I'm best choosing when entering a complicated interchange.


Cheap tablets=junk. Pretty much ANYTHING under $180 in a Tablet is garbage, been there, done that.

Not EVERY tablet has GPS radios built in, period.

HAVE run into that, DW and DD have burned through many more tablets than I have with real PCs and a few of their tablets most certainly did not have GPS radios.

Tablets go out of date, run out of manufacturer support pretty quickly. Android OS is nothing more than one huge "experiment" and is pretty bug laden. Tablet processors are weak "ARM" processors and Android has considerable amount of limitations.

Then you go to all of these "App" developers, you toss the dice and take your chances with these Apps, they are often very buggy, have very limited QA.. Some work, some do not, some bring a lot of "ads" and other unwanted junk.

And you are going to bet your life on GPS on a Tablet?

Our several attempts with CoPilot on several different Tablets, we could not get it to recognize our rural area properly, seems our home moves and where a grocery store is, a farmers field, a church, a defunct railroad tunnel that has been closed for 30 yrs and all locations 2 miles or more away from our home.. Sometimes driving along on roads CoPilot would show us as driving a mile off the road..

No consistency to what it detected as our starting point or if it could locate us properly.

And you want to bet your life on GPS on a Tablet?

CoPilot would also lose it's mind when going in a tunnel, often taking minutes to reacquire sat signals on the other end..

A scan of a paper map HOLDs it's "accuracy" and is always there even when you have no cell signal or Wifi.

Roads do not randomly change, appear, disappear over night so even a paper map from 10 yrs ago is still valid. Takes considerable amount of yrs of planning or building by DOT to change or add roads so paper maps tend to be a valid tool for many yrs.

GPS maps must be continually updated since they started out with extremely old base maps (they didn't build the maps from scratch, they BOUGHT OLD MAPS, converted them into an electronic form)and over time they add in additional details as the map makers play catch up.

There are also plenty of vast areas where GPS map info is non existent or totally incorrect which sends folks driving into farmers fields, into ponds, lakes or even old farmers roads into the middle of no where..

Not unusual for GPS to toss you onto very small roads with bridges or obstructions too low for a RV.. Have a bridge not far from my home that truckers using GPS seem to be attracted to, has been damaged multiple times.. I take one look at the size of the road and shake my head, no way I would take anything bigger than a automobile on that road..

As far as figuring out lane choices, that IS what the ROAD SIGNS ARE FOR! The DOT of every state has the responsibility to ensure the road signs are placed in an orderly fashion which will give you enough time at the POSTED SPEED LIMITS to notice, read and take proper action. I can't help if you or anyone else are not able to determine what lane to be in, I have not had that issue and have always gotten to my destination in fine fashion.

GPS is not an excuse to toss paper maps and ignore road signs, it is nothing more than a extra tool in your trip to use alongside other methods.

We PLAN our routes ahead of time, we use our paper maps and now days plenty of good online methods along with our paper maps.

MAPQUEST gives you blow by blow directions and a map to follow.. Put in beginning point and destination and it will give you detailed directions to follow. You can then PRINT the directions and map.

You can also snip the directions and map and save it as a JPG and put on your tablet or phone.

Don't like Mapquest?

Then try GOOGLEMAPS

If I was ever going to consider GPS, it WOULD be a "dedicated" standalone GPS and not a Tablet with buggy OS and buggy software with buggy maps. You get what you pay for and there IS a reason standalone GPS units are more expensive.

Bill.Satellite

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Posted: 11/25/20 11:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Google Maps.
WAZE.
Mostly Google Maps unless you want a 2nd opinion on traffic or want to use an HOV lane that does not show up with Google (yes, in the car!).


What I post is my 2 cents and nothing more. Please don't read anything into my post that's not there. If you disagree, that's OK.
Can't we all just get along?

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