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Old 11-23-2014, 03:42 PM   #1
1999 25' Safari
Vancouver , Washington
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 7
Trying to Decide On A Portable GPS. Your thoughts?

Before we hit the road this spring, I'd like to get a portable GPS to help Bertha (our AS Safari) get to her next destination in a more less straightforward manner. Consumer Reports puts four Garmin models and one Magellan model in their top five of units with a 5" screen and above. And with my eyes, bigger is better.

But I'd appreciate hearing about your experiences with these or any other brand...the good, bad and yes the ugly as well. And if you were buying one today, which brand and model would be riding in your vehicle tomorrow.



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Old 11-23-2014, 03:54 PM   #2
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2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
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I have several units. The best I use is the early Rand McNally RV with 7 inch screen. unit with lifetime updates. It can be a pain sometimes to put in actual addresses. I understand the newer version has updated some of the user issues.

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Old 11-23-2014, 04:01 PM   #3
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I don't think you are going to go wrong with picking any of the top 5 that Consumer Reports recommends - make your choice based on their recommended features.

I have an old very basic Garmin Nuvi on my dash that is still going strong (and even older Garmins that I use for fishing and hiking). It is a simple unit that I have never had problems with and have never felt the need to upgrade. I did purchase the mapping updates that are good for the life of that particular unit - which kinda suggests your choice (at least for the Garmin) should be good for the long haul. I have also loaded onto it POI's (Points of Interest) for campgrounds, parks, Walmart locations, Tim Horton locations (a Canadian thing), Canadian Tire locations (another Canadian thing) and rest stops.

You'll do fine - with any of those recommended by Consumer Reports.

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Old 11-23-2014, 04:27 PM   #4
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I used Garmins in the past. Today I use my IPhone.
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Old 11-23-2014, 04:29 PM   #5
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2005 28' Safari S/O
Paradise , California
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The Bad

I have an older Garmin Nuvi and it works good, but I hate to program trips into it as it is not very user friendly. I can add a starting point and a destination point but it will only allow me to add one via point (waypoint) between the two. This makes it difficult to plan longer trips with specific routes. It will automatically choose the route for you based on one of three criteria...either shorter distance, faster time, or least use of freeways. You can't change the route it selects without going through and setting multiple destinations on a trip.

I do most of my route planning on Google Maps on my laptop which is very easy to use. The Google Maps App for phones and tablets is not nearly as intuitive. Once I get the route I like, trying to program it into the Garmin is a PITA.

On the bright side, it has been a very reliable unit, although I wish it would break so I could get a new one!
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Old 11-23-2014, 04:45 PM   #6
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1976 31' Sovereign
Oswego , Illinois
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Most truckers I no use garmin units. I have older garmin nuvi 1350, simple to use if you go off course it picks up where you are. I don't use very often as I just point and go from flying days, but once in awhile I have to get gps directions.
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Old 11-23-2014, 04:48 PM   #7
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Monroe , Iowa
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I have used Garmin for many years. They used to charge for updates, so I just bought a new one every 3 or 4 years. Updates don't give you the new features, just updated maps.

Then they started giving free lifetime updates. I did a few updates on the nuvi model that I had. Every time I updated, my map coverage got smaller. I kept losing sections of the country. Then the thing started acting irrationally.

So, I threw it away and bought a new one. Now, I'm back to just buying a new one instead of updating the old one. Besides, they keep coming out with new features.

I hope they get like ONSTAR where you can give voice cammands instead of typing out your destination.
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Old 11-23-2014, 04:57 PM   #8
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I have all but given up on the various GPS/in vehicle navigation units. I use my smart phones or tablet. Google Maps is pretty good, just watch their routing. Biggest thing I like about it is that it can be done via voice on the fly.

FWIW I use Android based stuff.

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Old 11-23-2014, 05:07 PM   #9
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I think if I were looking right now, I would consider this Garmin RV 760LMT GPS for RV's. You can also use it with a wireless backup camera.
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Old 11-23-2014, 05:54 PM   #10
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Hi from AZ. . . I agree with Steve, that Garmin RV unit looks pretty good. BUT, I've had such up & down experience with Garmin. One's great, lose it, next one takes 3 to get one that works, free update downloaded, never works right again. . . Geez... Reviews of Rand McNally are not too good either, & you look at reviews of any of them though, they are all over the place. You pays your money, you takes your chances, eh ? good luck, Craig
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Old 11-23-2014, 07:22 PM   #11
1999 25' Safari
Vancouver , Washington
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Your In Put Appreciated...

Appreciate your input for pointing me in a direction.
I'll do a little more research, settle on one Consensus seems to get one of the Garmin units, but even then as RambinManGa said, 'you pays your money and takes your chances'.

I'll do a little more research (in other words--find one the top rated units at a good price), give it a workout and then let you know how it goes.

Thanks again

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Old 11-23-2014, 07:43 PM   #12
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I use my IPad and Copilot GPS. Hasn't led me astray yet.

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Old 11-23-2014, 08:12 PM   #13
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Trying to Decide On A Portable GPS. Your thoughts?

As a truck driver I use the 7" Garmin dezl 760 bought this past summer. The traffic alerts included at this price are worthwhile as alternate routes through a metro area are just great. GPS is best for two things and those are the time/distance features (leg by leg through the day) and display of the mile marker.

The GPS is adjunct to the MCRA and DeLorme state atlases as well as to the CB. The large screen makes easy changes on the fly, and adjunct to it in turn is RADAR PRO on the iPhone.

These things weren't worth having until the real time traffic alert and planning features. They are in no way dead accurate. I trip plan the night before to choose the places for the two hour break period as well as a fuel stop. I may search out a recommended diner. The current series are okay for these but it still pays to check satellite photos as well as USDOT website for the states and their road reports.

Given all this I find these units can assume a role and fill it well.
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:16 PM   #14
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I have a Garmin with lifetime updates, that's about 5 years old. It still works, but occasionally it gives incorrect directions. The problem with it is that it will no longer accept the lifetime updates. I think it does not have enough memory for the larger files that have been created for the updates.

2014 Silverado 1500 5.3L maximum trailering package (yes, I'm towing the 34')
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