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Old 11-29-2016, 04:15 PM   #85
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GPS Questions - Looking for a Better Tool

Most of my destinations are commercial. I search them out beforehand on satellite photos as my entrance to said location may not correspond with an office or mailing address. GPS use is relative at that point.

Upon departure, there may or may not be a direct route to the Interstate where 18-whlrs may travel. I must know that ahead of time. My biggest failing in using one is to set and forget. Been that way recently, etc. I may be far off a preferred course. I just lost the time that day for a shower and a decent meal as penalty. GPS use is relative.

En route, as said in other posts, the device is likely to take me off of the big road well in advance of what is best. A US or state highway shortcut. No matter the vehicle, these are always slower than an IH. Thus I need know my desired route. For that is no substitute for a Commercial Road Carriers Atlas. GPS use is relative.

In fact, I may wish to continue past "the usual exit" even having followed an IH at a total miles penalty as an exit yet farther along has a better or shorter road to the destination. GPS use is relative.

None of these is precluded in RV use. RV park entrances are sometimes no more than a driveway. RV parks aren't hard to find on satellite photos, generally. And as street addresses are "guesstimates" it's to me to know the landscape. If I think I'll be returning I set a location mark nearest an entrance. GPS use is relative.

In each of the above, making a mistake in them is a half-hour penalty. Often less, but stressful in any event. U-turns in a big truck will grab you by the you-know-what and are a firing offense at some firms. Someone's idiot child doing his usual 36-mph commute in a wide two lane 30-mph road, stereo on and reading texts has an appointment with that trailer cocked against traffic. Could be you instead of me. GPS use is relative.

On a daily basis I never have less than two destinations. 2-3000/miles week. Yet though in agreement with the love/hate thing, I still find it a valuable enough tool that I would replace mine if it failed. If it means I have to ignore it to stay on one road versus another, I hardly consider that a penalty. I just need to make a few notes to compensate.

Also as said, I use it as a real time information manager. I may be on a 70-mph IH, but traffic and construction has me down to 55-mph versus my set speed of 68-mph. GPS can tell me time and distance remaining that day. My work week and income ride on this. While I plan at 50-mph to also include stops, I can travel as much as 62/3-mph in best conditions. As this isn't guaranteed, I need to have two or three alternate destinations entered beforehand. Arrive late enough in some regions, and there may not be a parking spot for the night. The 760 is excellent for this.

I have also tried the multiple waypoint thing. It can't really do more than two over a great distance. I've experimented with it. Directions will change depending on departure points; from the original.

It's other use to me is when I've a stopped road ahead. That other great tool -- a really well sorted CB transceiver -- can give me an idea of alternate routes. I can usually set a waypoint in that detour to confirm what the Atlas is telling me. Time and distance. The detour may not be worth it from more reasons than daily average road speed. But sometimes it is worth it. I have more than once saved two hours this way. Can change my week, not just my day.

In short, a GPS makes me money. Or keeps me from losing it. It isn't marginal on an annual basis.

Adapt to the tool.


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Old 11-30-2016, 10:39 AM   #86
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With all the improvements in technology, it IS strange that nobody has been able to build the "perfect" GPS (whether for cars, trucks or RVs). ALL GPS units I've tried have shortcomings, sometimes serious shortcomings. As mentioned, it's always prudent to have and use, a current issue of the Motor Carrier Atlas. Checking a location on Google Earth can also be a godsend.
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Old 11-30-2016, 11:52 AM   #87
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Like nvestysly, I too have been taken to the back entrance of a state park by a GPS. I learned from that experience that it is best to use a second source of data (Google maps, Google Earth, physical map, iPhone mapping program, entering a physical address, calling to get directions, etc.) to confirm that the location it is taking me to is viable for my use. Nothing more than one would do in the absence of a having a GPS.

I may have said this before, but a GPS is a great tool to assist with navigation (point A to point B) but not so great at finding places. Navteq provides the data that all of the GPS manufacturers use but each manufacturer develops their own routing algorithms, which even may differ from one GPS to the next in their product line.

Rarely do I go to a campground "on the fly", I always have my trip planned out in Garmin Basecamp, including alternatives. I use Google Earth in conjunction with Basecamp to pinpoint exactly where the campground entrance is and adjust my Basecamp waypoint location coordinates to match. Or call for directions and confirm.

I would be interested in knowing which particular Mississippi state park you were headed to as well as how you specifically found the location on your GPS, so I can try to simulate on my device. For the how, I will give you an example. If you search for Brown County State Park in Indiana by entering immediately after switching from "Where To?", it will return four locations; one of which is usable by RV's, one of which is a service entrance, one of which goes to the horseman's camping area and one of which (the popular main entrance) is only usable by cars and motorcycles. None of which have information to help you decide. However, if you do the same search in the "RV Parks" category, it only returns one, which is the RV entrance.


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Old 12-10-2016, 09:22 AM   #88
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I've just read this thread and I'm at a crossroads for a GPS system. Currently I have a 2015 Ram 2500 with the Uconnect 8.4A (RA3) system that allows navigation to be activated. I wish I had negotiated the navigation to be activated when I purchased the truck. Normally the activation fee is $600 but until 12/31 there is $100 discount. My understanding is the FCA Uconnect navigation system is provided by Garmin. I don't think future map updates will be free like standalone Garmin systems. I guess the main reason for considering purchasing the Uconnect navigation is the integration into the dash and the trucks audio system. I don't want to clutter my dash with devices and screens. I may purchase a rear view camera system for the Airstream, like a Voyager, and that requires another screen too. So with a standalone GPS, then back up camera, then my phone on a mount and my TPMS receiver the dash is cluttered with devices.

Currently I've tried Apple Maps and Google Maps from my iPhone 6. The phone's Bluetooth pairs with the UConnect system fine but I have some audio issues when using either Apple Maps or Google Maps when played over the truck's audio system.

Google Maps:
The first 1 or 2 seconds of a driving direction announcement is truncated. The UConnect system switches from the radio to the aux input so after the navigation announcement is finished I have to manually switch back to the radio function. This is inconvenient and the audio truncation deletes information.

Apple Maps:
When I have activated driving directions, Apple uses another protocol that allows the device to interrupt the radio, play the direction, then return to the radio. The problem is it doesn't work unless you set the audio to iPhone, save, then come back in an select UConnect again after your restart the directions. Looks like Apple Maps under 10.1.1 has changed the Maps App since I used the phone for navigation in the truck so maybe this issue is fixed. Once its synced it comes over the truck audio better than than the Google Maps.

Using the phone standalone isn't loud enough and hate to say it but the wife is technology challenged and can't read a map so I need something I can use solo, even when wife is in the passenger seat.

While I can mount the phone on the dash in front of me I'm finding using the iPhone for GPS uses a lot of data. On our two week trip to Montana in August between my phone and my wife's sharing 2g of Verizon data we used it up in just 2 weeks along with email and light web access. A standalone/uConnect navigation system would get around that.

My requirements are not like the OP.

My question is for anyone who has the Uconnect navigation, how do you like it? Is it as good as a standalone Garmin unit. I'm not sure I'm interested in the unique features of the RV enabled Garmin.

Thanks

Kelvin
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Old 12-10-2016, 09:55 AM   #89
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We used Google Maps to travel from Petit Jean SP in central Arkansas to East Texas. Not long into the trip, we were heading down a side road that included a low water crossing! I thought I'd reviewed the route the night before, but that got by me! I'm going to see if I can find a setting that limits travel to a minimum size road. Good thread to see what the collective experience is like.


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Old 12-10-2016, 10:16 AM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
... My understanding is the FCA Uconnect navigation system is provided by Garmin. I don't think future map updates will be free like standalone Garmin systems. ...

My question is for anyone who has the Uconnect navigation, how do you like it? Is it as good as a standalone Garmin unit. I'm not sure I'm interested in the unique features of the RV enabled Garmin.
I use the FCA navigation, but the head unit in my vehicle is the 430N which has the Garmin nav system. Unlike when you purchase a stand-alone Garmin unit, the updates cost. However, from the model number of your head unit 8.4A it may be different navigation software than Garmin.

The driving directions through the Uconnect are clear and the radio volume is muted while the directions are announced.

If you are using a smart phone you could try the Waze app for navigation. It uses data, but the traffic information is crowd sourced so accidents, etc. ahead of you on your route are automatically taken into account with re-routing possible. When I use Waze I have set the preferences to use my iPhone speaker and not go through the Uconnect, which I find much better. The Uconnect often has a lag when paired with the iPhone navigation systems.

If you want an iPhone navigation app that doesn't use data Garmin North America is excellent. It also has free map updates.
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:53 PM   #91
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GPS Questions - Looking for a Better Tool

I use Navigon for apple. It has internal maps. Pay once, update forever.

It's the same thing as Garmin, I think.

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Old 12-11-2016, 06:58 PM   #92
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I did not read all the posts but I have three GPS systems, the one in the F150, a Garmin 3490 LMT and CoPilot RV. Just my observation. The first two are great. I actually prefer the Garmin over the Ford built-in. I got CoPilot RV as an option designed specific to my camping and I am just starting to use it. So far it is proving to be a good choice. It allows for trailer height and tow length adjustments and then routes your travel based on that. It may be an option for some here. I have not tested the CoPilot too much at this point. I put it on my iPad and it does not require the Internet to function so wireless, etc is not an issue. You can download the blue CoPilot RV for a trial free.

https://copilotgps.com/en-us/navigation/
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Old 12-11-2016, 08:29 PM   #93
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I have a built-in GPS in my truck but continue to rely on a Garmin external GPS for one key reason; I prefer to do all my planning on the computer.

My built-in GPS does not have a means to have waypoints (aka POI or Point of Interest) and routes uploaded to it while the Garmin external GPS readily interfaces with Basecamp. I find it really tedious to enter waypoints sitting in my truck and not being able to alter a route to my liking. Planning is really clunky on a GPS.

I've built up quite a collection of verified waypoints in my travels, which I retain in Basecamp for the future. I say verified, in that, I either visited the waypoint or used Google Earth to confirm its coordinates. And there are sources of verified waypoints at sites such as POIFactory.com These are retained in Basecamp and can be transferred to the Garmin GPS very quickly when my plans take me to an area. And I've put additional information in many of the waypoints, such as direct links to the campgrounds web page, ReserveAmerica page, library hours, church service times, etc. All things that I've looked up once and have captured to save me from searching again. Yes, it's tedious to do this but I only have to do the heavy lifting once.


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Old 12-12-2016, 09:04 AM   #94
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Keep in mind; on the GPS Apps in which maps are loaded onto a smartphone or tablet, the App's database will have quarterly updates available (usually at no extra charge) that are LARGE (1.5 ~ 1.7GB). You'll need a GOOD WiFi connection to download that much data. I usually go to a public library.
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Old 05-25-2017, 06:22 AM   #95
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My love/hate relationship with the RV 760 LMT continues. This thing is far from perfect. I don't think I'd even rate it as fair (3 out of 5). Probably 2 out of 5 stars but it's apparantly as good as it gets for stand alone GPS.

I'll give some more thought to smart phone apps and only use Garmin when I'm out of cell phone range.
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Old 05-25-2017, 07:19 AM   #96
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Well, I am still happy with my 760. I almost exclusively plan my routes on Basecamp before I leave, assuring that the roads are appropriate and direct. Then I upload to the device.
When I am at my destination(s), I find the 760 just fine for locating POI's like groceries and so on. Sure a phone would do all of that, except on a screen I can barely see and generally requiring a large data service. I use a prepaid phone rarely use it for data. The 760 is a good tool for me.

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Old 07-14-2018, 06:50 AM   #97
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It's been over a year since I've posted here so I figured an update is in order.

The Garmin 760 has not been used for quite a long time. We did use it last year when we were in Canada because we were trying to avoid cell phone data use while we were on the other side of the border.

In lieu of using the 760 I've been using Apple maps as well as Google maps on our smart phones. One positive aspect of using the smart phone is we are familiar with it so rather than dealing with the additional quirks of the 760 we deal with the quirks of the smart phone apps.

I'm not convinced the smart phone is a solution that I'm happy with but we already have it in our pocket/purse so we can discuss the route during a stop and make changes to our course if desired. However, the smart phone apps have the same issue that I dislike about the 760 - it's not easy to alter the route options that the device offers. I find myself entering intermediate stops so we can get to that point then enter the next stop.

Why not just get the laptop out and enter the entire route on the computer then download to the 760 you might ask. That works fine for some people but I'm much more of a free spirit in my driving and change course based on things I learn at the gas station, restaurant, etc. If the waypoints are already entered into the 760 it's not easy (IMO) to change the entries and add new entries on the fly.

Oh well... I'm realizing there is no GPS on the market that works like my brain wants it to work:
  • I want drag and drop capability of the route.
  • I want the dang thing to keep me on the major thoroughfare (e.g. state road) if that's the road that takes me from A to B and stop taking short cuts through neighborhoods because it thinks that's a better way to get there.
  • I want a user interface that's more intuitive.
  • I want to enter addresses the way I write them on a envelope that I'm going to mail to somebody (street number, street name, city, state) rather than the reverse (state, city, street name, street number).
  • I want the software to stop telling me there is a turn ahead when it's simply a change of road name or number.
So it's been over a year... are there any better solutions?
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:04 AM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post
  • I want drag and drop capability of the route.
  • I want the dang thing to keep me on the major thoroughfare (e.g. state road) if that's the road that takes me from A to B and stop taking short cuts through neighborhoods because it thinks that's a better way to get there.
  • I want a user interface that's more intuitive.
  • I want to enter addresses the way I write them on a envelope that I'm going to mail to somebody (street number, street name, city, state) rather than the reverse (state, city, street name, street number).
  • I want the software to stop telling me there is a turn ahead when it's simply a change of road name or number.
May I add:
[*] Tell me distance to destination, not to the next bend in the road.
[*] Give me more choices besides "shortest time" and "shortest distance".
[*] Stop telling me to "make a legal u-turn" and backtrack 20 miles so I can get back on the route I'm obviously ignoring. At some point, calculate a new route!
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