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Old 11-23-2014, 08:18 PM   #15
Don't forget your cat nap
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Port Orchard , Washington
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I've had various GPS units since they first became available to us common users. I started with Garmin and every time I have strayed off the path to another brand, I've regretted it. I have probably owned a couple dozen units over the years including automotive, marine and handheld units. Garmin units will occasionally make stupid decisions, so you have to be aware of what they are doing. However my experiences with Tom Tom and Magellan have caused me to now avoid them entirely. If you want to try something from another brand, do research to find out whose map data they are using.

Bottom Line:
My advice is don't buy anything but Garmin. I've learned that the hard way.


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Old 11-23-2014, 08:23 PM   #16
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Corpus Christi , Texas
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First time I saw a moving map display would have been around 1992 in a friends hot rod Mooney. I was more than a little awed as I was folding and re folding those sectional charts. Garmin, of course.

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Old 11-24-2014, 09:13 AM   #17
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2017 30' Classic
Upper St Clair , Pennsylvania
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Garmin. Have a number of units, cars, trucks and motorcycles. Purchased a 7" unit by Garmin, I thinks its the 760, which is for trucks and RVs. Worked great with our motorhome, avoided traffic as well as low bridges etc. Always routed us right to our campground.

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Old 11-24-2014, 09:50 AM   #18
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2012 Interstate Coach
Metairie , Louisiana
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My first portable GPS was a Magellan. I liked it well enough, but customer support left a LOT to be desired. Their answer for every problem was, "Ship it back to us, FedEx only, in the original box, please, at your expense, and we'll replace it with a remanufactured one that's probably older than the one you started with. Oh, and you'll lose all of your waypoints, and you'll have to donnload the latest maps and firmware all over again because we won't pre-load that stuff for you, either."

After the third go-around, I smashed my Magellan GPS with a hammer (and did that ever feel good!) and bought a Garmin. Which I still have, though I hardly need it anymore between my built-in GPS units in each vehicle's dashboard and my new smartphone. Main reason I keep it is because I can use it in a Government vehicle at work, or a rental or loaner car if necessary.
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Old 11-24-2014, 09:57 AM   #19
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1986 25' Sovereign
Allegan , Michigan
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 79
Rand McNally. I used to have a Garmin and won't go back. The Rand McNally is designed for RV use - you tell it what your rig is and it keeps you off roads without enough clearance. It also has a campground directory. While it always takes time to learn how to use a new device, I found the transition rather easy. Right out of the box I put it in the truck and ran some errands. It "found" all the places I that I was going to I.e nearest grocery, Post Office, bookstore etc. When traveling it is our first reference when we have to find something. Basically, it is a well designed RV tool.

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Old 11-24-2014, 10:25 AM   #20
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2007 22' International CCD
Corona , California
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I use my iPhone and the Navigon application most of the time. It updates for free, once you buy the initial app from the App Store. Has some good features like traffic camera alerts, tons of points of interest.

I've tried and given up on Tom Tom and Magellan stand alone units. Too big a pita to update, stupid routing at times and lousy traffic reporting.

I've also had success at using Google Maps as well on this phone. YMMV.

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'The Silver HamShack' (2007 International 22FB CCD 75th Aniversary model)
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:30 AM   #21
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1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
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I must be the only one using TomTom. We bought a RV/Truck model this year. Seems to work fine. Sometimes you have to know when to over ride itl
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Old 11-24-2014, 01:13 PM   #22
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1977 31' Sovereign
San Luis Obispo , San Luis Obispo
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 6
Smile Gps.

Use an iPhone Great app, access to with Google Maps, constant update via internet.
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Old 11-24-2014, 01:47 PM   #23
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
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If you have never used a GPS it is going to be very hard to decide. I say that because no 2 units have the same features and the features they taut on the box are not always the features you will want. I have 3 different units now, 2 vehicle mounted and my I Phone. Features that I have on one that I wish were on the others are, the ability to touch the map and say go there, the speed the unit takes to accepts my change in direction, the ability to mark locations on the map for future travel. the time it tells you you have to turn before the turn.

Touching the map and saying go there is great when you are traveling some distance and don't have a destination address but you know you have to go on route xx to get there. Changing the route because you know of a short cut to grandma's house and not having the GPS spend the next 10 miles telling you to "make a u turn if possible". The vehicle mounted one in my VW has instant response and plots a new route, once I turn. The Panasonic in my Excursion fights me to the end. Time to turn is important while traveling on an interstate at 70 miles per hour. Some units tell you after you have passed the turn off and it 20 miles to the next exit assuming you are in New York city traveling 10 mph. Marking favorites directly on the map with symbols is much better they a large file of names and addresses.

Another thing to consider is service. Garmin is great. You call them and you will get an English speaking individual who actually has knowledge of the product.

I also have a Garmin Oregon 450 used in the field for Geocaching.
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 11-24-2014, 01:56 PM   #24
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1972 29' Ambassador
Boynton Beach , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 309
I use Google Maps in my trip planning, then open up the map on my Samsung Galaxy S4 Android phone for navigation. In their infinite wisdom, Google decided to separate My Maps (AKA My Places and Maps Engine) from the vanilla Google Maps. So you need both GM and Maps Engine on all devices.

I've saved dozens of maps in Maps Engine that I can look up on my phone. Since my travels are primarily in Florida, I have maps specific to restaurants, breweries, architectural salvage, springs, kayaking spots, shopping, etc. Whenever I read an article or review about something interesting, I put it in a map.

If anyone wants a peek at these various maps, drop me a line with your email and I'll share them with you.

As a co-leader of a kayaking Meetup group, for each trip I'll make a custom map with the campground, put-in, take-out, outfitter locations, paddling route, motels, bar/restaurants, and post that for members to download.

That being said, I recently picked up a Garmin Montana 600, mostly for on-the-water navigation. It does read Garmin's CityNavigator maps (Bluechart and TOPO, as well), so it can be used for turn-by-turn navigation. Garmin finally has a mostly modern interface on a touch screen device that plays well with others. The Basecamp application (or HomePart for the marine Bluecharts) is a good tool for managing the Montana. Remember the saved maps from above? I can download them as a .kml and load that directly into Basecamp. I then save the routes that I already did, along with the waypoints, and shoot them over to the Montana. It actually works a lot slicker than I'm making it sound.

Another good tool is using the free Evernote app to keep a record of my trips. All the notes that I collect for a trip go there, campground info, contacts, and any wrap-up notes for next time. I can paste in the .kml file to archive it, and clean it off the Montana. I share the file with the other trip leaders so I never have to resend info that someone misplaced.
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Old 11-24-2014, 02:21 PM   #25
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I love google maps on my lap top for planing. My Verizon not so smart phone is a pain to use. I have an antique Magellan that would cost $80 to upgrade, so it ain't. My main complaint is no way to chang routes from what Magellan wants. I learned to pick half way points.
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Old 11-24-2014, 02:27 PM   #26
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Nixa , Missouri
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My wife has an old iPad 2 with Verizon 3g and she used the built in GPS on a trip out to Utah and back. She is technologically impaired (don't tell her I said this). She states it works like a GPS and has voice prompts telling where to go. She likes it a lot. So if you have an iPad check out the apps before buying a Garmin etc.

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Old 11-24-2014, 02:40 PM   #27
Don't forget your cat nap
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Port Orchard , Washington
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If you want something to talk to you Verizon's VZNavigator is not too bad, although I don't care for its graphic display.. I used it one time when my Garmin lost all its voices in an upgrade error, and it didn't discover it until it was too late. So I watched the maps on the Garmin GPS and listened to the lady in the Verizon phone tell me where to go.

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Old 11-24-2014, 03:41 PM   #28
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2002 19' Bambi
Northwestern Ontario , - on the backside of the map and just above the big green spot
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I'm surprised at the number of folks who seem very happy with smartphones, Ipads etc. for their on-board routing - I'm guessing cell towers are a lot more common in the U.S. than a lot of rural areas in Canada - my caution would be to be careful about a long-distance trekking to large rural areas (particularly in Canada) - the presence of a signal is absolutely not a guarantee.


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"I'm not young enough to know everything ....."
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