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Old 04-20-2017, 05:14 PM   #1
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Best GPS for Interstates that didnít come with one?

Newer Interstates have built-in GPS functionality. Our earlier model T1Ns do not. There are a couple of fresh GPS-related threads on the Airstream trailer forums and the majority vote over there seems to be for the Garmin RV 760LMT. However, many of its Amazon user reviews are positively damning. The biggest complaints center on (1) the unit allegedly suggests routes that are not appropriate for RVs, even though route considerations are supposedly Garminís justification for charging a premium price ($400 plus accessory costs). And (2) there is a consensus that the 760LMT does not advise of propane-prohibited routes (especially tunnels), in which case, why are people paying the RV-related premium price, again? Virtually every RV and trailer carries propane!

IMO, those concerns donít make that particular unit a slam dunk purchase decision Ė it sounds like itís not quite ready for prime time. Iíd like to hear what others use. Iím particularly interested in a single-driver scenario, and particularly through the treacherous northeastern U.S. with all of its prohibitions, low clearances, and tolls. Itís no big deal to navigate as long as one person can devote their entire attention and voice to distilling what is displaying on their cell phone while the other person focuses on driving. Iím looking for a standalone dash-sandbagged unit that provides some degree of hands-free functionality even if it doesnít resolve every navigation challenge.

Also, in my case, Iím interested in 7-inch screens and larger (if possible). Suggestions are welcome, and reports of real world experience would be particularly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:14 PM   #2
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My GPS is at the storage yard, so I don't know the model offhand. However, it is a Magellan large-screen (7") trucker's model I have had for some time. I really like it. You can enter length, height, weight, and width of your unit and it selects routes based on that. It has never let me down.

I also have the Garmin-based Kenwood in the dash. I usually run both GPS together. It is like two slightly tipsy ladies quarreling a lot of the time.

I like the human factors of the Magellan much better than the Garmin based Kenwood. The Magellan was understandable by me from the start, while I still struggle with the Garmin.

The Magellan also has an optional license-mounted backup camera that comes on in reverse. It is a very high resolution display, far better than the AI camera.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:23 PM   #3
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Garmin has a newer 770 that is supposedly for RV's.
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:19 PM   #4
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I have been using an RV760 since my 2014 was new (going on 3 years) I like it because I do my route planning on my computer using Garmin's MapSource Program then upload the routes to the 760. I leave the installed Kenwood unit on audio mode and I use it for blutooth communication. At first I was concerned about the lack of propane warnings then after two trips around the USA I found that there are very few propane restricted tunnels and bridges. (mainly in the North East). In addition to lifetime map updates and free traffic alerts and rerouting they also have a School Zone warning that alerts you when you are about a half mile from a school zone. The street price on these has come down since they were new. Mine is mounted to the left of the OEM radio/nav using a ProClip mount.
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:40 PM   #5
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I got a Garmin RV 660 LMT. With the wireless backup camera option.

I'm liking it so far. The voice activation actually works fairly well- and normally I can never make them understand me (I have a very low voice, perhaps that messes it up?) Anyway, it will do searches, phone calls, set brightness and more with voice.

I put a pedestal on the stereo and cut a small hole in the screen (I bought a MB plastic piece, so I can go back to stock). This is working really well.

The RV specific stuff has not been useful to me at all yet. But the directions are pretty good. I noticed the speed limits shown were way off on some freeways- and it wasn't like it always showed truck speed either. I need to look into that (I just brought it in to update the maps- it has lifetime maps and traffic).

I'm not sure the RV warning are of much use- since the 22' is small enough to most anywhere that the road is ok. I have not really messed with the settings on that very much.

I used it quite a bit on the last trip- it certainly makes things easier (especially since I've never been able to remember road names/numbers)

I have some pics in this thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...-158429-3.html

If you have any specific questions on that model I"ll be happy to answer (6" screen, not significantly different than a 7")

Mark
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Old 04-21-2017, 06:29 PM   #6
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If you already have an IPad, look at CoPilot GPS. Easy to use, accurate, free map updates for life.
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Old 04-22-2017, 06:28 AM   #7
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Thanks for the comments... I'm still in the process of noodling on this.

Let me ask a potentially stupid follow-on question... none of the pay-for-use GPS models are plagued by adware, are they? Please tell me that they are not.

I have lurid memories of driving through New Jersey and trying to use "free" navigation apps on the cell phone, only to have the route totally obscured by the avalanche of pop-up ads for restaurants and stores, due to the urban density. I can't remember which app did that, but the result was a total goat fornication, proving once again that there is no such thing as "free".

I mean, I'd like to be able to voice command "find the nearest Cracker Barrel", but I want the display of that kind of information to be elective, not involuntary.
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Old 04-22-2017, 08:47 AM   #8
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For me, the iPad based GPS software didn't cut it.
My speculation is the GPS receiver isn't nearly as good as a dedicated GPS unit- and around here with the tall trees, heavy canopy and mountains I want the best I can get.
I also like having it do just one thing and leave it in place all the time.
(Plus I wanted a backup camera)

Voice commands have never worked for me on an iPad or phone. But actually are ok (not wonderful) on the Garmin. One thing I really like is the ability to dim/brighten with voice commands. I don't like it very bright at all at night and being able to just tell it to dim rather than fumble around when driving it much safer.

That is just for me, it sounds like others have had better results. (I have not tried that particular app)
Garmin is probably a bit overpriced, but they do pretty good about map update (gotta get the lifetime maps, their map prices are quite high) and I have several other Garmin units so I'm pretty familiar with all the software etc.
So all that taints my views.

Maybe I'll take a look at that iPad app too- I always like checking out options.


Mark

Edit:
A quick look at CoPilot and the interface looks pretty good
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Old 04-22-2017, 09:04 AM   #9
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The nice thing about CoPilot, for me at least, is that it is world-wide. Downloaded the Europe maps two years ago and have used it since in Germany, Austria and Italy.

But it is another device on the console...
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Old 04-22-2017, 09:17 AM   #10
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I use a Garmin designed for motorcycles. While not perfect, I think it serves very well.

The display graphics and navigation prompts are quite good. The map database is generally accurate as is the automatic routing. There are occasional errors; common sense and situational awareness are always required.

Garmin is the Microsoft of GPS. You love some of their features, you scratch your head on how any engineer could have designed others.
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Old 04-22-2017, 10:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n2916s View Post
If you already have an IPad, look at CoPilot GPS. Easy to use, accurate, free map updates for life.

Agee that Copilot is a great App. I use it on my iPhone 6+ in my Interstate as a backup to Kenwood/Garmin. The display on the 6+ is nearly as large as the Garmin. It recalculated the route much quicker than the Garmin. That can be important when making a wrong turn in an urban environment.

I also use it in my 2001 car that does not have navigation. For $10 you get an app that you can load on multiple devices with lifetime update. There are available in app purchases for things like traffic data, but no ads.
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Old 04-26-2017, 12:08 PM   #12
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Anecdotal comment here.

I did another quick trip this week and, in preparation for making a GPS purchasing decision, I used Google Maps and the Google app more than I usually do, so that I'll be in a better position to compare.

One of my primary complaints with Google is its frequent failure to label features, whether they are linear or specific represented areas. It can be impossible to "goose" the labels to appear - by zooming in or out, or by scooting the map around on the screen, for instance, to try to make something appear.

Of course if the vehicle is in motion, one cannot afford to be jacking around with the thing like that if one is the driver. That's a luxury reserved for those who have a navigator in the passenger seat.

So I said to my husband, "Surely I will be free of that particular hassle if I PAY for a map service vs. using a free app? Surely I can expect features to be properly labeled by vendors such as Garmin?"

He didn't think it was promising. He suspects that Google has the best map database, and if Google doesn't do the labels right for a particular area, then no vendor will.

Here's a pair of examples of what I mean. This is an unlabeled National Wildlife Refuge and an unlabeled road about 40 miles from it. Pretty lousy.

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Old 04-26-2017, 03:07 PM   #13
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Post the name of the location those pics show- I'll take a screen shot of what my Garmin looks like
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Old 04-26-2017, 05:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Post the name of the location those pics show- I'll take a screen shot of what my Garmin looks like
The first one is part of the Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge. (29.925021,-94.800604)

IB may know the second location.
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