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Old 03-03-2017, 07:20 AM   #1
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Trip Planning and GPS

Next month I retire and my wife and I are hitting the road (we are newbies) in a 2014 Flying Cloud 27FB. I am wondering how important it is to use trip planning software like Good Sam's or RV Trip Wizard. How accurate are they when it comes to low clearance and grade information? Also, we are looking at a Garmin GPS system that reportedly provides low clearance, grade info and weather info. Any suggestions, dear friends?
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Old 03-03-2017, 07:57 AM   #2
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This is the one I got.

http://www.ourflyingcloud.com/2016/05/gps.html

So far so good. We like it. But when we planned a long trip I did it on my laptop using Google Maps and the Good Sam website for campground recommendations. I then entered the addressed in the Garmin GPS.
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Old 03-03-2017, 08:01 AM   #3
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

We are also retired and have been Airstreaming for 11 years now. We have 1,800 nights and 160,000 miles under our belt. we have traveled all over the lower 48.

We use a Garmin RV760 GPS unit. We have found it very useful in our extensive travels. It is not perfect and has messed us up on several occasions. We have found it very useful when negotiating the lanes on Interstate Highway through major metropolitan areas. We also find it quite useful in calculating distances and driving time. It can also identify campgrounds and other services in the immediate area.

In recent years, we have made it a point to avoid Interstate highways when possible. The Garmin can be set to stay off all expressways. We have had this GPS unit for about 6 years, and have been very satisfied with it.

Good lick in your travels.

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Old 03-03-2017, 08:30 AM   #4
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Unless you are traveling through Amish country with covered bridges, and you can see them, I doubt you will ever need clearance information.

You can get far more information from a smartphone loaded with Allstays, and Apple maps. The single advantage to Apple maps at this point is yu can request a repeat of the last verbal command. All to often we miss the original command for one reason or another.

Yes for point to point travel a GPS is nice and does not run the phone bill up. If you have any adventure coefficient the principle consideration you want in a GPS is instant route correction as apposed to one that tries to get you back on route.
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Old 03-03-2017, 01:14 PM   #5
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Unless you are traveling through Amish country with covered bridges, and you can see them, I doubt you will ever need clearance information.

You can get far more information from a smartphone loaded with Allstays, and Apple maps. The single advantage to Apple maps at this point is yu can request a repeat of the last verbal command. All to often we miss the original command for one reason or another.

Yes for point to point travel a GPS is nice and does not run the phone bill up. If you have any adventure coefficient the principle consideration you want in a GPS is instant route correction as apposed to one that tries to get you back on route.
Howie, thanks for the tip. Have you got any recommendations for particular makes/models? and price vs feature?
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Old 03-03-2017, 01:43 PM   #6
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We use a combination of a free app called RV Parks and Campgrounds as well as a 2013 version (the last one available) of MS Streets and trips, and a Garmin voice activated GPS unit. We first think of the places we want to visit, then plot out a course on MS Streets, then use RV Parks to locate places to stop overnight or for an extended stay. We are also Escapees, so we include their app to find SKP parks near where we want to go. Each day that we travel we send our destination via voice to our Garmin GPS. As mentioned previously, you can set the Garmin to avoid Interstates, toll roads, etc., so you can choose your route. Maybe we are old fashioned, (we are), we also carry a road atlas to use as well. This combination has taken us to all 49 states without much problems and only getting lost when we want to.

Good luck!!
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Old 03-03-2017, 01:54 PM   #7
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As for recommendations on a GPS that is a tall order. There are so many variables and so many different requirements by individual users. I would suggest you write down what you think you will want and call Garmin and ask them to walk you through those that will meet your needs. Garmin as well as being the leader in equipment has excellent phone support and they will discuss it with you in detail.
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Old 03-03-2017, 02:32 PM   #8
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I use my RAM navigation in conjunction with two apps on my iPhone; Allstays and Rest Stops.
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Old 03-03-2017, 02:45 PM   #9
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We like the Garmin products, but prefer the OEM navigation systems. They are not all perfect, but newer ones help considerably. Not having to deal with another stand alone product is an advantage.

The exception is the "phone play" capability that is available on some vehicles. No navigation upgrade cost and one unit familiarity is a learning curve plus.

What is more important to your question is - grade, overhead clearance ... etc. The grade info is available in the Mountain Directory books. Good resource. Now, overhead clearance ..... that's a problem mostly when traveling the unknown. Box delivery trucks have higher clearance problems than you. Consequently, there are really not many places of concern. Railroad under crossings should be added to Howie's list. Brother had to dodge one in the NW and we know of at least one in Oklahoma, just off I35. We are a bit concerned about trees. So good eyes are a plus with which no planning tool can compete.

Planning - personally believe that several tools help. The latest version of a catalog may be more current than a website, because they are not always updated. The satellite image of the campground identifies location with respect to railroad tracks and highways. Personal recommendations help with analysis of quiet and flavor. Recent reviews can provide pricing where catalogs may not. The AAA books help with everything from rating to state regulation. The Google street view images also can give you insight on what is ahead. Our first Canada crossing was easier for it and the way home was challenging for not taking the effort. We find a planning book with several vetted alternatives helps us adjust to our changing schedule and circumstances .... like that train wreck on the Columbia last year!

Keep on smiling. Do not yield to distracted driving. Pat
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Old 03-03-2017, 02:46 PM   #10
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All the cell phone navigation sounds great. We frequent remote areas where the is no cell signal. Phone navigation does not work in these areas. In these areas, you have nothing without a GPS.

Brian
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Old 03-03-2017, 03:14 PM   #11
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All the cell phone navigation sounds great. We frequent remote areas where the is no cell signal. Phone navigation does not work in these areas. In these areas, you have nothing without a GPS.

Brian
There are still paper maps, which I've always liked referencing just for fun. I just got the latest Rand McNally road atlas for the US and Canada and it's also fun planning and looking at your routes on those maps. It fits nicely in the pocket behind the front seats, and it was only about $8. Kind of retro, and haven't had one for years.
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Old 03-03-2017, 04:13 PM   #12
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GPS and route planning

I have been using the Garmin RV760 for a couple of years and find it works well while on the road. It is very adequate regarding low clearance, dirt roads, etc. Nice to be able to search ahead for gas, food, even rest areas while you drive. It has good campground and other travel specific info built in. However for planning on my laptop I use MyScenicDrives.com. You can plan your entire trip including overnight stops, tourist places, parks, etc. and then export it directly to the Garmin. This way you do not need to plan then manually enter all of the destinations. It is also very easy to force the route to your preferences. The Garmin and all other GPS units make too many decisions for me. For example I am traveling the length of the Blue Ridge Parkway this summer. Every time I tried to plan it the GPS constantly got off the parkway as soon as possible, not to Freeways but other non-parkway roads. With MyScenic Drives I was able to keep it on the parkway. I travel backroads all over the country and want to be able to pick my own route, not use the one the GPS tells me is shortest (I don't care) or quickest (I also don't care). I want to plot the one that is most interesting to me. There is no GPS for that yet. I also use AllStays, Campsite Photos.com and other planning tools when I feel I need to make reservations, etc.
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Old 03-04-2017, 10:19 AM   #13
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We travel with the Delorme Gazetteers for most of the western states and New England. These are indispensable for use on Forest Service Roads and navigating very remote areas.

We have found that, on occasion, the Garmin has some road detail that the Gazeteers do not.

Brian
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Old 03-05-2017, 08:46 AM   #14
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Patty hates when I say this but she really qualifies for a Black Belt in lPad navigation . She uses Google maps to follow along and make course changes, Allstays to plan stops (
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