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Old 09-16-2013, 05:55 AM   #43
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Haha.... I've been doing this with my phone in my car, and frankly it's nowhere near as good as a standalone GPS unit.
Most of the major GPS providers offer apps that do not need data connections and match, if not exceed, the capabilities of their standalone units. This includes marine and aviation data.

Additionally, while the maps themselves do not need a data connection, it's nice to have access to niceties that come with running an app on a connect device. For example, I consider live traffic data an absolute necessity these days. Unless your GPS somehow connects to your phone, you don't have access to all of this information.

If you're using the free apps that came with your phone, then yes you get what you pay for.
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:47 AM   #44
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For example, I consider live traffic data an absolute necessity these days. Unless your GPS somehow connects to your phone, you don't have access to all of this information.
Not true - many GPSs offer free traffic info. One of ours has it, and it works pretty well. The only downside is that it only works near cities. I believe it transmits over FM radio. Ours has a button that lets us re-route around traffic when it learns of trouble along the route.

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If you're using the free apps that came with your phone, then yes you get what you pay for.
Several people mentioned having good luck with the built-in map apps; I simply reported my experience. I'm not sure I want to spend the money on one of the name-brand apps; I'd still using it on a smaller display and still subject to the quirks of the smartphone.

I think my issue is that I just don't trust phones enough. I've seen smartphones lock up too many times, too many stupid errors, too many apps crashing. The purpose-built GPSs are much more reliable; the one problem we had with one was after an accident, but even that issue corrected itself and it still works. A phone is also one more thing to set up every time I get in the car, and take out every time I get out of the car, whereas I can just leave the GPS in the car; often we just leave the GPS on if we're not going to be stopped for long.

I just looked in the Google Play store at the paid GPS nav apps. Both Garmin and Magellan require in-app purchases to get features like "turn-by-turn routing." Magellan doesn't list their prices - rude - but Garmin does: for $70/year (no lifetime option!) you can do the same thing our standalone GPS has been doing for 3 years for free after the initial purchase (which was less than two years of service). It looks like TomTom has a flat $46 charge with lifetime maps (that's more like it), but it looks like it has to occasionally "check in" for security verification and won't work if it can't find a signal. Ugh. Now I'm even more convinced a standalone unit is the right way to go for now.
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:23 AM   #45
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I do not remember the model number of my recent Garmin unit (top model at the time), but it has all possible features included for the life of the product. One must connect it every so often to the computer to upgrade the maps (roughly four updates per year). I carry it with me when traveling to use in rental cars or my wife's sport car which did not come with a factory GPS.

Our other vehicles have factory installed GPS units that will eventually get you there. The Magellan RV GPS unit provides additional information, but both units are on when we drive with the trailer attached to the truck.
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:35 AM   #46
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As is so often the case, this is all about personal preference.

My in car GPS has maps that are six years old now. Still works 99% of the time, but I refuse to pay the $600 Honda is asking for the updated map data DVD. That's just daylight robbery.

Instead I use the TomTom app on my Nexus 7 when without data connection, ($65 all services included) Waze when we have access to data which is most of the time. Because I do much of my driving near urban centers, reliable and real time traffic data is important to me.

I have yet to see a standalone unit that matches an app for this purpose.

Interesting about traffic data via FM. I didn't know that's how they did it.
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:31 AM   #47
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My in car GPS has maps that are six years old now. Still works 99% of the time, but I refuse to pay the $600 Honda is asking for the updated map data DVD. That's just daylight robbery.
WOW! The updates for our '12 Accord are $150 (occasionally we get coupons for a cheaper price; we decided we'd upgrade the maps every other year). I wouldn't pay $600, either - I'd definitely go with the phone or standalone unit in that case.
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Old 10-18-2013, 12:46 PM   #48
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Probably too late for the original post, however, for furture reference, we have 75 tractor trailers on the road at all times. The drivers provide their own GPS. Most opt for an auto Garmin. Truckers/RV GPS units will work very well, however, they may route you 125 miles or more out of your way simply to avoid a tight turn that one can by pass when driving by it.
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:06 PM   #49
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Update. Thanks for all the responses to my question. All were helpful, or at least entertaining. I was premature in my original question, in that the RV 760LMT had just been released by Garmin and very few people had tried it.

Two criteria I did not mention in my original post were that the new GPS needed a large screen (so my old eyes could see it) and a remote antenna (so I could mount it on the console between the two front seats). Like I did with our old Garmin 7" Street Pilot 7200.

I ended up getting a car GPS, the Garmin 3597LMTHD. It's a full featured little GPS that works well for us.

Two points about newer GPS's:

1. The internal antennas are much better. No longer do they have to be plastered on the windshield to receive signals from the satellites. Our new one works well on the console between the two front seats.

2. Some have smaller, high resolution screens. I have no trouble seeing the data on the new 5 inch high resolution screen.

Maybe our next GPS will be RV oriented. I have several RV related apps on my phone that provide good info, but none that provide specific road information.

I remember a time when road information would have been helpful. Years ago on a tent camping vacation with the kids. I was barreling south on Utah State Highway 261, when suddenly the road disappeared, as if we were about to go over a cliff. I broke hard, then eased up as I saw the pavement end and a dirt road begin. The drop off was over a thousand feet to the valley floor below. Three miles of dirt road, carved into the side of the cliff, made the connection to the highway in the valley. Some of the turns were so sharp; I wouldn't even consider pulling a travel trailer on it. The place is called "Mokee Dugway", near Mexican Hat, Utah. It's worth a side trip to see. The view from the top is spectacular looking south towards Monument Valley.
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Old 02-16-2014, 06:34 PM   #50
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Maybe our next GPS will be RV oriented. I have several RV related apps on my phone that provide good info, but none that provide specific road information.

I remember a time when road information would have been helpful. Years ago on a tent camping vacation with the kids. I was barreling south on Utah State Highway 261, when suddenly the road disappeared, as if we were about to go over a cliff. I broke hard, then eased up as I saw the pavement end and a dirt road begin. The drop off was over a thousand feet to the valley floor below. Three miles of dirt road, carved into the side of the cliff, made the connection to the highway in the valley. Some of the turns were so sharp; I wouldn't even consider pulling a travel trailer on it. The place is called "Mokee Dugway", near Mexican Hat, Utah. It's worth a side trip to see. The view from the top is spectacular looking south towards Monument Valley.
I use an Android app called Allstays that has specific road information, mostly related to grades. Yes it does warn of the Mokee Dugway The warning says "6031 ft elev. Not recommended for large vehicles, Southbound: 5-10% for 3 miles with 20 mph curves on a very narrow road with 2.5 mile stretch" and gives the exact coordinates.

It's a nice complement to my Garmin Nuvi.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:24 PM   #51
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I use a Garmin Nuvi 2979. I really like the 7 inch screen. I also use android apps for RV specific info.

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Old 02-16-2014, 09:03 PM   #52
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I remember a time when road information would have been helpful. Years ago on a tent camping vacation with the kids. I was barreling south on Utah State Highway 261, when suddenly the road disappeared, as if we were about to go over a cliff. I broke hard, then eased up as I saw the pavement end and a dirt road begin. The drop off was over a thousand feet to the valley floor below. Three miles of dirt road, carved into the side of the cliff, made the connection to the highway in the valley. Some of the turns were so sharp; I wouldn't even consider pulling a travel trailer on it. The place is called "Mokee Dugway", near Mexican Hat, Utah. It's worth a side trip to see. The view from the top is spectacular looking south towards Monument Valley.
Have been down the Moki Dugway towing a 19' Bambi and the 25'. It's not that bad. It's wide enough and very little traffic that will stop or move out of the way for you on the hairpins. Semi trucks use it too, just don't want to meet up on the turns!
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:07 PM   #53
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I have used the garmin rv760 for 2 trips now and find it very useful . The 7" screen is great along with the RV specific features. In addition to gps features I have two wireless cameras going to the screen. One on back of TV, the other on back of trailer. I do have to switch connectors after hitching but very ez. The truck camera is garmin and the trailer's is a voyager with terrific reception on my Intl 27.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:41 AM   #54
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We bought a Garmin 760LMT last year and love it. It took a while to download all the information on it and it needs to be updated but found it very helpful on two recent trips. I love the fact that you can press a button and find all kinds of stuff on it like restaurants, walmarts, gas stations nearby. It was pricey, but so much better than the standard GPS that we had before. Gives good information about detours an RV or trailer might want to avoid as well.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:47 PM   #55
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I have used the Garmin, and its maps are not as up to date as they should be for areas outside of major cities and I am a dedicated Garmin person until recently when I got to view and test the newest Rand McNally GPS. I am completely amazed at its detail and information warnings and such. Just program your unit and it keeps you out of 99% of places you don't need to be. large screen. It is made by Rand McNally who has been making and mapping the U.S. for over 50 years, all of my maps that I have had have always been RM's, used RM for most of my driving career before retirement. I also got to look at their one designed for semi trucks and it is also something else compared to other gps units.
My next GPS is going to be the Rand McNally.
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Old 02-20-2014, 04:11 PM   #56
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I have used the Garmin, and its maps are not as up to date as they should be for areas outside of major cities and I am a dedicated Garmin person until recently when I got to view and test the newest Rand McNally GPS. I am completely amazed at its detail and information warnings and such. Just program your unit and it keeps you out of 99% of places you don't need to be. large screen. It is made by Rand McNally who has been making and mapping the U.S. for over 50 years, all of my maps that I have had have always been RM's, used RM for most of my driving career before retirement. I also got to look at their one designed for semi trucks and it is also something else compared to other gps units.
My next GPS is going to be the Rand McNally.
Tell us about the other 1%??

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