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Old 08-14-2017, 11:13 AM   #1
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Where in the World is Carmen Sandiago?

Navigation Topic
Of course my phone has the best maps so what's the problem? I don't like looking at a tiny portion and having to scroll all around to see where I'm going. Many times, I've missed good places of interest. Y not knowing we were so close. But maybe the biggest problem is 'no service' and then we fly by the seat of our pants. We do use a GPS for directions. BUT I WANT A MAP! I'm the 'find good places to go' copilot. I'm the one that looks ahead to see what is of interest. So I need recommendations for a great set of maps that would include roads and places of interest such as natl park, state parks, and lots of extras. What does everyone use? Thanks in advance. Happy and safe travels.
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Old 08-14-2017, 11:44 AM   #2
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We start with the basic
Rand McNally map book and buy a new one every other year or so at a big box stores for under 10.00$.

Yes phones, gps and apps are great but I'm looking for a big picture first. After the big picture we can focus on narrowing down specific locations.

If I'm going from point A to B we always look what parks, monuments or significant features we will be passing by.

I also want to see what the options for going home, how can we change the route.

When a destination looks very detailed or confusing I look at detailed maps, Google earth, paper maps etc to help us get where were going.

Safe travels and happy navigating.
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Old 08-14-2017, 12:12 PM   #3
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I don't know if it's still available, and it hasn't been updated for several years, but I have a copy of Microsoft Streets and Trips 2013 (last version released). There is a feature that shows you points of interest by category (restaurants, parks, monuments etc.) wherever you click. You can set the radius of the circle and click on a spot. It also lets you print out a map with turn by turn directions like the old AAA Trip tick. It has other tools, like dragging a line along a planned route to show various distances.

I like it because you don't need an ISP, everything is in the software. It lets me plan a trip with multiple stops, including fuel stops and overnights. I have used it for many years, I don't leave home without it.

There is also the book "the Next Exit", which tells you about each Interstate exit. https://www.amazon.com/Next-EXIT-201.../dp/0984692150
If you are just traveling along your route the passenger/co-pilot/navigator can check out upcoming exits for points of interest.
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Old 08-14-2017, 06:18 PM   #4
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I too am the copilot and official map reader. Like you, I like to see the big picture. We make a habit of stopping at rest stops with info centers to get a new state map and quiz the locals on what to see and do. But the info can be hard to get on the weekends with the number of travelers stopping for info. Weekdays work best. We met a wonderful man in Georgia who helped us a lot, brought out pictures of his own weekend fishing trip and gave us recommendations where the locals stop to eat. Wished they could have cloned him for all other stops.

Next Exit was a great resource when on the interstates. Lists all the available restaurants, gas stations, etc available at each exit. We used it to locate the larger truck stops so stopping for gas with a long trailer wasn't such a hassle.

I also read a lot of billboards and would look up interesting places on my phone to decide if we wanted to stretch our legs. Found a great pecan stop, Ellis Brothers in Vienna, Ga that had samples of the many varieties of pecans so you could try before you buy. Great jalapeńo strawberry jam too!

This forum is also a great planning resource. I read people's travel blogs, check out what's outside my door pictures, and ask for recommendations too.

I try not to rely on google maps at all. The second time it failed us when it took us the wrong way into the smoky mountains and we had to get special permission from the ranger to go across a one lane bridge to enter the park. There was no way for us to turn around. It was a 90 degree turn to get on the bridge and we barely made it. Found out from camp hosts that it happens all the time. Problem was that someone had taken out the bridge and most of his trailer a couple of months before causing closure of the bridge.

I also read a lot of full timer blogs and they will post pictures of their adventures around the country. Info is available, just have to take the time to look and plan.

Good luck in your travels.
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Old 08-14-2017, 07:49 PM   #5
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I don't have a copilot. My cat can't read a map to save her life! She can shred one into confetti, however!

I generally plot my routes on my laptop since my tablet died, and figure out my waypoints. Then I laboriously plug my waypoints into my GPS one at a time, and connect the dots.

I do carry a spiral-bound highway map book— spiral-bound is easier to handle than one with a stapled or glued spine— and check it during my cat's litter-box stops, my Airstream's fuel stops, or my bathroom stops (never while driving). And whenever I cross a state line, I make a point of stopping at the nearest State visitor's center, where I can pick up maps and literature about the state's attractions. That visitor's center stop is also a good place to discard the pre-programmed route in my GPS and put in a new one that goes to the attractions I've just read about.
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Old 08-15-2017, 01:53 PM   #6
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DeLorme Topo State Atlas and Gazetteer. Relatively expensive but great detail. Separate book for each state.
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Old 08-16-2017, 12:17 AM   #7
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What about using your tablet or laptop ( for larger viewing) before you go to down load the maps for say the first two days. If you stay in a rv park then download using their wifi even if you have to go the office to get a good signal (or there's always Starbucks). Some rest stops also have wifi.
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Old 08-16-2017, 04:52 AM   #8
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DeLorme Topo State Atlas and Gazetteer. Relatively expensive but great detail. Separate book for each state.
Another vote for this incredible resource. Lots of detailed info for each location. Garmin bought them out, but you can order them online. Most larger camping and outfitter stores stock the atlas for their state IMO.

Ray Eklund's thread discusses them, but the sale info is probably outdated:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f382...ff-146957.html

Also, from another thread -- click on arrow in quote to go there.
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
. . .
Garmin bought them out, but they are still available online, and in some retail stores I believe:

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/575993
. . .

Happy Trails!

Peter

PS -- And ditto to the basic spiral-bound road atlas as a good starting point for planning a long trip.
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Old 08-16-2017, 03:54 PM   #9
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Most larger camping and outfitter stores stock the atlas for their state IMO.
Cabela's carries DeLorme maps. As far as I can tell, Bass Pro Shops doesn't.

I just bought DeLorme maps for 6 states from Cabela's online.
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Old 08-17-2017, 03:37 AM   #10
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Good to know, thanks. We use Cabela's quite a bit for clothes and camping gear.

Never have "boondocked" [ ] at one of their stores, but have read here that they are friendly to RV's in general.

Thanks again,

Peter
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Old 08-18-2017, 09:56 AM   #11
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Good to know, thanks. We use Cabela's quite a bit for clothes and camping gear.

Never have "boondocked" [ ] at one of their stores, but have read here that they are friendly to RV's in general.

Thanks again,

Peter
If your travels take you past their home location in Sidney, NE, they have a regular campground there, right next door to a huge Cabelas.

We camped there in a tent on our way back from Oregon. Storm came up and nearly took the tent away. We ended up sleeping in the Sienna. [That was our last family campout in a tent. Within 7 months we bought the Airstream.]
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Old 08-18-2017, 10:15 AM   #12
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I never thought it possible but I found roads(?) on Google Earth that weren't listed in the Gazetteer.
I like Gazetteers
GPS
WalMart atlas
Google maps
Google Earth (to see the campground layout.)

Since I tour solo, I feel like time spent looking at a map is less time towards my destination. I need to get over that feeling.
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Old 08-18-2017, 01:56 PM   #13
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I never thought it possible but I found roads(?) on Google Earth that weren't listed in the Gazetteer.
That's okay, I've found roads on Google Earth and on my GPS that aren't roads at all. Like in Morgan City, LA, where my GPS tried to route me through a cemetery (and through a closed and locked gate) instead of routing me around the cemetery.
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Old 08-18-2017, 02:22 PM   #14
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Thanks guys Great ideas here. I did think there would be more choices out there- we could all get rich if we could come up with the ultimate map set. So we don't use paper maps but GPS and google have served us well enough. In just two years we've been from NY to Cali , NY to Nova Scotia and NY to New Orleans. We haven't gotten lost yet. I just prefer the bigger picture and feel I need a map. You know what I have used though, a book called Road Trip USA by Jamie Jensen. There are 11 possible road trip options and the book gives some great tips on restaurants and campgrounds and such. Plus he includes roadside curiosities such as Wall Drug store, and local history and parks. It's my fav actually and I forgot to mention it in my opening comment. And for each possible road trip he has pictures for detail and a few maps for each of the 11 options. I love it and recommend everyone get a copy.
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