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Old 08-12-2016, 11:21 AM   #15
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We use a combination of technology and old school maps. The rand McNally atlas sits at my feet for broader views than the nav system provides and non-interstate travel. The Next Exit is invaluable when we are on interstates and is a must have in our travel tool kit, along with snacks. We must have snacks!

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Old 08-12-2016, 11:28 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
I guess there are still those big campground books out there. I have not seen one in several years. The ones that I remember were about the size of the Manhattan Yellow Pages. I'm sure that you can still get one, but I'm not sure where. You can still get state highway maps at the welcome stations. We haven't gotten one in a long time.

We have gone totally virtual. Good luck in your quest.


We picked up one at the tourist information centre in East Point, Florida. I think they were happy to get rid of it. The thing weighs about 20 pounds. We use it as a stepper. Jim

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Old 08-12-2016, 11:32 AM   #17
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Kingston , Washington
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As a boating instructor (, when it comes to the navigation section, I teach using charts. Now boaters, especially new boaters on new pricy vessels, love their electronics - - plotters, radars (close and far reaching), GPSes, depth finders, fish finders, satnav systems, and even more soon appearing at the boat show. I tell them that's all fine, but what happens when their power fails or the batteries go dead? So paper is prime, with gadgets being backup. There you have it, VaTravellers, your good wife of 34 years is the wise one.

We do lug around on our MH a good variety of print resources, many which probably have online versions. But it is nice at the end of the day when thinking about future destinations and adventures, to pull out the books. Besides, Amazon Prime loves us!

Travel safe.

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Old 08-12-2016, 01:44 PM   #18
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Woodinville , Washington
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Alta & I are just back from a 9,000 mile/6 week journey, in which we used a combination of a Garmin 760 GPS & AAA maps, both state & regional. The GPS works well for finding directions & telling us where we are, typically, on a smaller scale. The AAA maps work well for following the details of our route, where we're heading, what we're passing, where we've been, etc., typically, on a larger scale.
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Old 08-12-2016, 02:31 PM   #19
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I'm a printed map enthusiast as well.

Rand McNally Motor Carriers Road Atlas - While geared for semi-trailers, it has lots of information that is useful for campers. I especially like the fact that approved roads for semil-trailers is highlighted, as I like to travel off Interstate highways and this feature lets me know I won't get into trouble if I use those roads.

Rand McNally regional US folding maps
- macro level view, lets me see the big picture when planning

Last Exit, as someone else mentioned

Good Sam campground guide

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Old 08-12-2016, 08:22 PM   #20
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Bandera , Texas
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I'm with AWCHIEF. Love the paper maps, and in fact prefer them. We tote a Rand Atlas in the TV, it's been with us for a number of years, and every road we have travelled is highlighted. We use the iPhone maps only in cities, or when totally lost, which does happen! But sometimes being totally lost is exactly where you need to be!
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Old 08-12-2016, 10:39 PM   #21
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Pacific Palisades , California
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Originally Posted by VaTravelers View Post
So I am a geek, I'm ok with that. I like electronics, the web, the cloud and all the APs out there that help us enjoy and control (okay a little control freak in there) our RV experience. My wonderful wife of 34 years likes maps and books. I need advice on the best paper versions of all the great RV references out there. Thanks
We're just like you!

My wife loves her Rand Atlas that we buy new every year. We also buy Next Exit new each year to be up to date--great to pick your fuel stops or picnic areas hours in advance if you want to, and know which are RV friendly and EZ on, EZ off.The auto nav system is useless because it's so inaccurate and out of date and the viewing area is way too small.

iPhone maps are great. Love being able to zoom out as far as you want, and then in as tight as you want. Checking the 3D satellite view to explore a location way in advance to see if it's trailer friendly. Seeing exactly where you are on the map. Seeing traffic problems way ahead. Being able to get accurate projections to next stop, and to intermediate stops.

We inherited an iPad, and I may activate a wireless hot spot on our phone (requires a plan change away from unlimited data) to share data to get an even larger picture than the iPhone permits. We have a Wilson sleek phone cradle signal booster which amplifies any signal so it's useful even in semi-remote areas, so the phones will always have better reception unless we upgrade to another booster.

We have found it useful to plan our trip the evening before at least to decide on how far we're going that day. Then we can be impromptu about where we're stopping to make breakfast, for example, as we take off with coffee mugs in hand. Our favorite combo of overview but leaving the details to just happen more spontaneously.
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Old 08-12-2016, 10:58 PM   #22
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We like maps, too!

We find official state highway maps usually to be superior to commercial state maps, and have a collection of them, but we also travel with the Rand McNalley road atlas or its moral equivalent.

One type of road atlas we really like is a state or provincial recreational or backroads atlas that shows all of the backroads at a decent scale, including their conditions. (Dashed brown lines, usually OK. Dashed red lines are for 4-wheelers or serious jeeps.) Sometimes it's also helpful to see whether an area of interest is public or private land, for camping purposes.

We also travel with the Good Sam guide to RV parks, formerly Woodall's guide.

We have never owned a GPS, outside of the seldom-used one on my smart phone. We do pre-trip Mapquest routes for long trips.

We might get around to a GPS eventually, mostly to prevent occasional bursts of temper between the driver and navigator, in situations where the map is at too small of a scale to be helpful. As in:

Driver: "Where's my next turn?"

Navigator: "I don't know. I've never been here before."

Driver: "Can't you read the map?"

Navigator: "The map doesn't show individual city side streets."

Navigator: "Oops. That was our next turn."

Driver: "I asked you to tell me when was our next turn."

Navigator: "Do your own navigation. Or just buy us a GPS."
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Old 08-13-2016, 07:47 AM   #23
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I''m the navigator and the driver.
My wife is the nag-avator. ;-) (she says this, not me)
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Old 08-13-2016, 08:14 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
The DeLorme Atlas maps are great. Very detailed and accurate for good local navigation.
I second this. I have two complete regional sets, and some individual state maps. I did this because when driving having my daughter or wife look at the paper map when needed comes in very handy.
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Old 08-13-2016, 08:39 AM   #25
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Several years ago, the San Diego Union did a feature story on the Google street mapping operation that becomes the basis for the GPS program. Interestingly enough, if you were to punch in my home address, your GPS would take you two miles further than necessary to pass by a Conoco service station! I volunteer at the visitor's center for the San Juan National Forest office and never fail to be amazed at the number of Delorme books we sell as well as maps. I too have all the Delorme books for the western states and don't even know how to turn on the GPS feature in my RV!
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Old 08-13-2016, 10:08 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
We pick up the "Official State Road Maps" from the welcome centers every year so they are as updated as they can be.
We do use GPS navigation from time to time, but it seems to get me lost and frustrated more than it helps, so I have a Rand McNally Road Atlas on board and a compass.
I also print out turn by turn directions before I go and memorize as much of the trip as possible.
I refresh my memory at every rest stop, fuel stop, meal stop.

Think of the GPS as being the real time information manager. It's how I use it for work. My goal is generally to stay on the biggest road for the longest period, even to the extent of driving farther (as time means more than sheer miles). Planning is still in using the large format commercial road atlas (use overview page to see if non-Interstate roads show up) and use straight edge there, and on state page to consider routes on either side.

Then it's a matter of plugging in a fuel stop along the way and a destination. A few waypoints to keep the GPS honest (Garmin 760). It does have a tendency to "save" me time/miles on inferior routes without the waypoints.

For ETA and distance remaining, it's damned handy. All so much that I'd replace it that day were it to fail.

I can change routes pretty easily as well, having already looked the main maps over previously. As well, the traffic alerts are good. Suggested alternatives nearly always work given I've an empty trailer (too top heavy in some instances). I holler on the CB and there's usually a local with route knowledge to confirm or warn of problems on the alternative.

I run up on wrecks weekly. Same for giant construction headaches. The USDOT has a link page to the various states for construction woes, but there is usually little warning of wrecks (such as a few days ago on IH71 where a semi lost it in the rain ahead of us. And onlookers the other direction caused your normally crappy pickup-and-cardboard-box-trailer to fishtail and flip shutting them down as well).

WAZE is just barely okay, but TRUCKERS PATH is good, especially if an RVer likes the easy ingress/egress associated with truck stops (I prefer Flying J when in the pickup).

The sheer amount of traffic on Interstates beggars belief. Who the hell are all these people 100-miles from a metro area in the middle of the day? Or at 2300. It makes no sense.

The GPS is thus handy when I've simply had it for the day. I enter a new destination at that point and let it carry me there. Same for very bad weather. Or, knowing the road is closed ahead (CB). I can tell it to pull up all truck stops and choose. Or use my truck parking guide as well.

I enter every destination. Business and personal. When back home I use it to run errands. I certainly know where to go. But, by using Mapquest best order routing, I can enter that routing for most effective fuel burn. Best warm up, and with no left turns, make a less stressful day in a one ton around Dallas-Fort Worth trying to get all errands done.

I use the IPhone Map also to check routing alternatives, but it is oriented for cars. The Truck GPS can be set for all sorts of limitations to which the combined rig is subject. When in crossing the Appalachians, north or south, I am glad for its consistency in keeping me off those "scenic" routes.

And, as my pickup/travel trailer at 63' is considerably longer than my work rig, much of that also applies.

It would never occur to me to travel without atlases. Or state issued maps. But the GPS has made the interim between departure and arrival much easier. Plenty of times I've kept an eye on it when delivering a load (2-3 hours) and have had to change that days destination. With the TT, the same applies for weather, traffic, etc, against the 3-350/mile day rule.

Damned handy once you have one.
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Old 08-13-2016, 10:17 AM   #27
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Ridgefield , Washington
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Even though we have all of the "Golly Gee" stuff, I still prefer the paper maps. One of my most favorite is a AAA map called "Indian Country" for the Southwest. Great map if you are doing the Grand Circle in Utah, Arizona.
John & Lisa
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Old 08-14-2016, 06:25 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Woosch View Post
Even though we have all of the "Golly Gee" stuff, I still prefer the paper maps. One of my most favorite is a AAA map called "Indian Country" for the Southwest. Great map if you are doing the Grand Circle in Utah, Arizona.

Or a Tony Hillerman fan. I have two versions. An original from the 60's and one dedicated to Tony Hillerman and his novels.


Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
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