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Old 01-24-2013, 08:13 PM   #1
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Best 2013 GPS Choices?

Finally decided to get a GPS. Going to look for a basic simple one. Big display, lifetime updates and $125 to $200. Ive never watched one being used and I know nothing about them.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:38 PM   #2
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Get a smart phone that has one built in. Google has several map apps. I was seriously thinking about getting a dedicated GPS but the phone works great and downloads the latest real time data. My phone is a Samsung SIII and it works well. It is probably not as nice as having one stuck to your window but it gets the job done.

Perry
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:38 PM   #3
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A good basic GPS is the Garmin NUVI 50 . The LM version has lifetime maps.
I paid $99. for mine. In addition to the usual routing from point A to B It allows me to load custom points of interest, gives me Lat/long and elevation when I need it. Beyond that i have no need for the bells and whistles on the higher end models.
I have found the Garmin maps are more accurate than the street atlas 2013 program in the rural area where I live.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:17 AM   #4
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We got rid of the Garmin and use our IPhone.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:59 AM   #5
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The phone is always with you. You can use it on the road or hiking etc. You don't need one for your car and one for hiking and one for hunting or whatever.

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Old 01-25-2013, 09:10 AM   #6
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I've used GPS on my phones before, and while it works, I prefer to have a seperate device. The garmin is a good choice IMO..is more accurate that TomTom, anyway, when it comes to local roads and speed limits (in the sticks). Use the one that works for you!
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:45 AM   #7
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There is no monthly charge for your GPS----
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:45 AM   #8
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I have also been shopping around a bit for GPS devices.
Here is one I thought about because it can be tailored to RV use, a back up camera can be added as well as a tire pressure monitoring system. It is pricey though.... I like the idea of having one screen in the truck cab.

Tele Type GPS: WorldNav 7600 Truck GPS High Res 7"+ Rearview Camera
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:39 AM   #9
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Our main navigation device in the CLIPPER is still MS 'STREETS AND TRIPS'.

My navigator has '2010' version active on her laptop at all times and I have the drivers laptop going also if a complicated route is being encountered. (I see this is only a 2010 version so it may be time to update the system before this years eastern excusion.)

The large displays make it easy to quickly monitor where you are and where you want to go.

I also have an ancient Nextar GPSS 4.5" on the dash of the CLIPPER which includes a display for a roof mounted camera. This is basically for clearance confirmation in tight overhead situations and checking that I remembered to put down the TV antenna.

When we travel, (ROAM) we shut the smart/cell phones off as those unwanted charges you get with the monthly bill are sure a PO. (applies specifically to cross border junk messages)

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Old 01-25-2013, 02:09 PM   #10
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We have two Magellan units we like that we're thinking about replacing with newer Magellans (both are now 2+ years out of date for the map data; they both work fine though). I would recommend if you get a separate GPS unit that you get one with traffic and lifetime maps. The traffic feature is quite handy around cities - it saved us 15-20 minutes the other night.

I'm probably going to try using my phone for a while to see how it works before we buy one, though. I don't know if I'll like it more or not.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:13 PM   #11
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I have a magellan 7" unit in my daily driver, its pretty accurate and has the ability to display video from a backup camera. It was bought as a refurb off Amazon last summer, around 90 something dollars and came with new warranty and lifetime maps. Other versions can come with traffic as well.

I would much rather have a dedicated unit for the gps function, but to each, his/her own.




Oh gee, what is that sitting behind my car?

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Old 01-25-2013, 05:53 PM   #12
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We didn't upgrade to a new Gps unit since 2009, but we will like to put a good word for the Rand McNally family of products.
We got the TND 510 when we were in the transportation field since we were doing a lot of oversize loads between wide boats (10 ft and up) or a 3 car hauler plus the dually we were @ the 62 ft. Now everyone knows that either load will complicate things in regular streets and that's the reason why we got the older version of this one:
IntelliRoute® TND™ Truck GPS
It was a great investment since it let us set the length, width and height of our combination and direct us to our destination safely.
We are aware that they also have an RV version that is loaded with rv info as campgrounds, trails, camping world locations and many other goodies like RV types, including Class A, fifth wheel, and travel trailer, propane restrictions and even right- or left-hand turn preferences!!!
RVND 7720
keep your eyes open on ebay or CL we got ours used for $100
well worth it!!
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:25 PM   #13
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Magellan, Tom Tom, Garmin: those are the three top brands.

You want lifetime maps, text to speech, and traffic updates.

Lifetime maps means never having to say your map is out of date. Text to speech tells you the name of the street ("Turn right on Mayflower Street in 500 feet" for example). Traffic updates,well, that's traffic updates.

Phones of those three brands above with those features sell here around a hundred dollars new. A GPS is something I would not buy used.

Those features are the important ones the only other one that I would want is a way to use your cellphone via blue tooth through it, if you don't already have that with your radio. That will add significantly to the price though.

In the store, ask to try the keyboard out. This they can do without going outside. I find the biggest way they vary is how easy the keyboard is to operate.

Good luck!
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:53 PM   #14
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Hi from AZ. . . I second the 'smartphone GPS feature'... Go to Amazon or C-Net and check the reviews on all of the Garmins, Magellans or Tom-Toms, because they're junk ! Even the RV specific models are not well rated. I guess they're using the cheapest chips they can buy to keep prices down or their programmers are terrible ! After 3 Garmins and searching thru the other brands, we'll use the i-phone we have anyhow. If my 1st Garmin had been as bad as the last, there wouldn't have been another. regards, Craig
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RamblinManGa View Post
Hi from AZ. . . I second the 'smartphone GPS feature'... Go to Amazon or C-Net and check the reviews on all of the Garmins, Magellans or Tom-Toms, because they're junk ! Even the RV specific models are not well rated. I guess they're using the cheapest chips they can buy to keep prices down or their programmers are terrible ! After 3 Garmins and searching thru the other brands, we'll use the i-phone we have anyhow. If my 1st Garmin had been as bad as the last, there wouldn't have been another. regards, Craig
I guess every ones experience is different. My Garmin C330 was used for 5 years before being religated to the second vehicle where it is still working well.
So far the Nuvi 50 has been fine also, but doesn't have a lot of time on it.

I also have handheld units, a garmin gps lll which I bought 13 years ago and it is still in daily service providing info to my ham radio tracker, and a GPS V I bought used a number of years ago and both are working flawlessly.

I have no personal experience with the traffic feature and am rarely in major cities anyway. It seems to get very mixed reviews on some of the forums.
It may be more appealing to some one with a daily commute in the city.
I never updated the maps in the 5 years with the C330 and it really didn't make much difference, but the lifetime maps feature was not available at that time
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:44 PM   #16
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Yes, we've had two Garmins and two Magellan models and they were all good, with only minor differences putting the newer ones ahead of the older ones. Never any problems with any of them. Our first one was a Magellan handheld we used in our boat. No map installed, and you had to work with 'waypoints' to build a trip.

As for using smart phones, I have to admit that I've never tried one. Here's one interesting comment from CU:

"However, an application is a better buy for smart-phone users, as the name-brand apps have the features and performance to rival dedicated portable devices, and they have the complete map onboard, so guidance isn't dependent on a cell signal. Whichever option you choose, you'll also need to purchase a mount, car charger, and possibly a data plan for your phone, if you do not already have one."

The other type of cellphone GPS system is a server-based system, and therefore relies on always having a good cell signal. For me, that puts it out of the question, I want 100% service all the time, and a GPS gives that, with the exception of some bridges interfering, and of course tunnels.

I suppose it's partly that I like the simplicity of the dedicated GPS, and also that I don't want to mix phone with driving directions, especially in an unknown area, as is the case when travelling.

In any event, I use it all the time when travelling, because it means one less thing to worry about, so I look into it carefully when it comes time to buy.

Good luck with your choice!
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:46 PM   #17
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:02 PM   #18
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The Google Apps cash a lot of data so if you don't have cell signal 100% of the time is it no big deal. I don't like to be 100% reliant on a GPS. I like to have the big picture. GPS units frequently take you way out of the way or take you where big stock holders want you to go. Lets make you go by every McDonalds on the way. It is wise to do some reseach on your route and compare that to the GPS route. There are places you don't want to go pulling a trailer. The GPS has no idea that you don't want to be in downtown Atlanta on a one way street.

Perry
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:26 PM   #19
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Check out the free "Waze" app for iPhone. It's a decent GPS maps application, but it's real strength is in the crowd-sourced traffic and police update alerts. So if someone ahead of you on the highway sees a speed trap, they'll report it in their app, and it shows up in your app as an alert.

You can also form communities within the app and send out chat/ broadcast messages. You'll also see on the maps where the community members (Airstreamers, let's say) are. Pseudoanomynously, of course, by account name.

There was a rumor that Apple was looking to buy them to give the troubled Apple Maps a boost.

Cheers,

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Old 01-26-2013, 05:28 PM   #20
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The past year we used an Android tablet for our GPS. Then we got a Garmin Nuvi 50, and I have now switched to the Nuvi for sure.

While the Android worked 90% of the time, the 10% of non-working time seemed to always occur at critical times. While the Nuvi needs only to find a GPS signal, the Android needs both GPS and 3G to work properly full time. As we were driving, if the 3G signal dropped out, the tablet would indicate our location incorrectly, and would pretty much become a brick. I found that unacceptable.

And the Nuvi has "lane view" which I find immensely helpful when towing. It means, for instance, that when you are on the boulevard and a freeway entrance is coming up, you get a 3D view of the overpass and which side of the overpass your proper direction is on. You know, "Is the Southbound entry on the left side of the overpass or the right?" And, because the boulevard is arched, you can't see it until you are on top of it. Changing lanes on the apex of the overpass is a nasty. With "lane view" you know a mile ahead which lane to be in for the ramp.

In the end, we drive with the Nuvi, and we investigate stuff with the Android. So, "where's the Museum and what are the hours" is a question for the Android.

Good luck, whichever you get!
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