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Old 02-18-2003, 06:26 AM   #1
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Question To GPS or not to GPS?

Still outfitting my '95 Land Yacht LE that we recently bought for our upcoming trip across the US & Canada to is installing the Banks System this week, I've got the Dish Network set up along with a DVD & VCR....&, got my trailer brake controller/wiring installed..., I'm thinking GPS....
...Garmin has a setup that supposedly covers the US, Canada, & Alaska - road networks, city streets, points of interest, etc....
...has anybody used a GPS on any long trips in that area? Are they worth the big bucks? What additional software (beyond what came with it) did you purchase?
...oh, I carry a Toshiba notebook computer with me if that matters to the type GPS I might purchase...

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Old 02-18-2003, 06:47 AM   #2
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My choice

I don't use a GPS, but I have tried about all of the softare packages and I find that the Delorme Street Atlas 2003 is by far the best out there. They sell a GPS unit that works with handhelds and laptops.

Be aware that with any software package you often have to do some intervention to get a good route planned. This is especially true if you ask for the shortest route. The software can get pretty over enthusiastic and take you on paths where you would rather not go. Delorme allows you to mark roads "no-way" and/or add vias to influence the routing.

John W. Irwin
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Old 02-18-2003, 06:49 AM   #3
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And by the way

You will really appreciate the Banks system. It has really improved the towing ability of my truck and added a little to my gas mileage.
John W. Irwin
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Old 02-18-2003, 06:53 AM   #4
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I purchased a Garmin Emap handheld GPS. This is a discontinued model that has a display with a built in basemap. It has most of the major roads and interstates. You can purchase additional software to take it down to street level. I find the included basemap works just fine. If I want more detail I can hook it up to my Ipaq with a serial cable and look at more detail in the Microsoft mapping program, or hook it to my laptop and use Delorme or Microsoft Mappoint. 99% of the time the built in basemap has all the information I need. It was $150 on a closeout at a local hunting, camping and fishing supply chain store.
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Old 02-18-2003, 09:18 AM   #5
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Garmin GPS III

I have a Garmin GPS III with the US & Canada base maps buit in. I am a geologist and love working with maps so I bought this model when it first came out.(About 6 years ago) It is great .I use it backpacking and have it mounted on my dash in my truck the rest of the time. I like to know where I am at all times. The built in map works fine for interstates and most roads you will take your trailer on. I also take it anytime that I fly. You can tell exactly where you are, what you are flying over, how fast you are going and your current altitude. I have been meaning for years to hook the Gps to my laptop and use the Delorme Street program but the built in road maps are good enough that it doesn't seem worth the effort. I don't know if Garmin still makes the Gps III, I think they now have the III plus and higher versions. The III plus will have more memory and you will be able to download detail maps from your computer. When you use it while you are flying you have to sit near the window of the plane and hold the unit near the window. In my truck I have it mounted on the dash near the left side of my steering wheel. It doesn't distract from my driving but is close enough to use when you want to check your progress. It runs on 4 AA batteries or the cigar lighter. The whole unit cost approx $495 6 years ago. GPS, power cord (plugs into Cigar lighter), & mounting bracket. I am sure that they are cheaper now. I didn't opt for an external antenna but it seems to work fine through the windows. If you are going to use it in the wilderness a book by Lawrence Latham with a title like GPS Made Simple or Learning to Use your GPS or something like that would be well worth your while. I have never mounted on my motorcycle but you don't have to since it fits in your jacket pocket. The beauty of the GPS III is it a stand alone module that is easily portable. Buy one or the updated version and invest the time to learn how to use it and you will be very pleased with it. I wouldn' t pay the money for a color screen unit at this time. At any rate that's MHO>
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Old 02-18-2003, 10:46 AM   #6
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Hi There;
I've bought , 3 years ago , the most complete GPS in Europe and the product is VDO DAYTONA; I don't know if this product is distributed in USA.
This GPS is equiped on my truck and can't be moved. The central computer( under my driver seat ) has a cd rom driver and you put the country you want to be guided.
A large screen is fixed and I see it when I drive. On this color screen , you have choice between map with differents scales, or only directions and plenty of informations about gasstations, restaurants, hotels... roadwoks where you want to go? There is a woman voice who tell you the direction to go , if you don't want to watch the screen ( you can connect a DVD, a rear camera... if you want).
It's a very usefull system and you can find CD roms with the last roads, differents lands...

I've another GPS on another car, it's a BEECKMAN, genuine equiped on MERCEDES, but only directions are indicated on the small screen; Not easy to well drive when differents roads are in front of you.

My best one is the VDO.

I hope that 'll guide you in your choice.

Best regards from FRANCE

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Old 02-18-2003, 12:40 PM   #7
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You mention the laptop and, I've used that with great success.
Here's a link for listings of software and, units.
Also, check out the RINO 120 handheld.
This patent-pending technology makes it possible to transmit your location to a friend or family member, and they can see the distance and bearing from your position to theirs on a Rino display. In short, this could be a life-saving feature in an outdoor emergency by helping rescuers pinpoint your location—or it could be used simply for rounding up the family at an amusement park
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Old 02-27-2003, 08:29 AM   #8
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We have an older model hand-held GPS unit that we've never really used because it's too difficult to read. Sounds like all we need to do is purchase some software and hook it up to one of our notebook PCs and we'd be set to go. Is this correct?

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Old 02-27-2003, 09:03 AM   #9
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Think that's the way I'm gonna go - notebook w/GPS antenna & software to keep up with me, route me, tell me points of interest coming up

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towing 1979 MGB on trailer
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