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Old 12-18-2018, 11:00 AM   #1
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Mapping Solutions; Garmin, CarPlay, CoPilot, Google, Apple, Waze

Ok...Iíve been running parallel tests for the past month or so, and have some interesting findings to share:

For $350, The Garmin RV 770 LMT-S is hard to beat for RV purposes for those that donít like the Rand-McNally solutions built into the XITE head unit. Itís fast and responsive, a bright 7Ē display, lifetime maps, and easy to use; even my wife agrees, and sheís intimidated by these things. Yes, you can input your RV specs for special conditions. The OS allows voice control (and you can change itís wake up command, too.) and we found that itís VERY forgiving to terminology. Searching at given areas is ďokĒ when compared to a Google search, but selecting major features and addresses was virtually flawless every time.

Software/App wise, I found some interesting points. While, yes, Google Maps is the standard, it has the short-coming of needing an internet connection to function and provide searching/routing. I HAVE downloaded maps for offline purposes, but this isnít for everybody and still requires some pre-planning. Google maps DOES provide multi-stop planning, but no easy way to pre-plan and save that route; this is where the Garmin shines.

CoPilot was a bit of a surprise. I downloaded the FREE version...whatever that is...still trying to figure it out. Downloaded the entire US Maps, which was 2.5GB. Plugged in my RV specs and did some driving in my truck for a few days. Itís CRAZY quick at re-routing when you make a turn off the suggested route. The voice was nice, the standard Apple voice. I just donít like the $30-$40 subscription model. As for the reliability of their map sources, I cannot speak to that, and therefore have some reluctance when compared to Garminís or Google maps.

The most interesting finding was when I disabled all connections on my iPhone with AIRPLANE mode. CoPilot just kept on working as if nothing happened. The only thing that was offline, was the traffic...big whoop!

During the ďkilled internetĒ test, I tried Google, Apple, and Waze. I tried to do a simple ďGo HomeĒ navigation and the ONLY app that could still function, was WAZE...yeah, wasnít expecting that! I thought, for sure, that at least I could tell Apple or Google maps where I wanted to go, and it would figure it out...but, nope. Still not sure how this didnít work, since I know that both will continue working on a CURRENT route. It may have to do with the way the apps need to have an internet connection active BEFORE establishing a route.

Though a HUGE fan of software solutions like Google Maps, Iím continually challenged by lack of service at the worst possible times. We just completed a 1500 trip from LA up to Zion, Bryce, Provo. And, the reigning champ of ALL conditions was the GARMIN! It never complained about anything.

FYI, I did this trip in my Raptor which has Sync3 and wired CarPlay. While I love the on-board NAV system for visual mapping, the operation of that nav system will drive you to insanity!

I love the coolness of CarPlay, whether wired or wireless, and have used both for years. But, here is the biggest problem with it: it commandeers your master head unit; and renders your iPhone useless or in some cases, a secondary display (ie. Turn-by-Turn) directions. If you need your iPhone for another purpose, ie. Yelp, Google, messaging, etc., you will kill CarPlay and will lose your mapping display on your main unit! In the case of Wired CarPlay, you simply unplug the USB and use your iPhone. Wireless ainít so pretty. So, as techy as I am, this has become a less than ideal way to operate mapping if I need my iPhone for other purposes.

So, the configuration I used, with the most versatility and hassle, was this setup:

On-board Sync Nav: display map zoomed out for overview
Garmin: active navigation/routing
iPhone: Yelp and Google searches, streaming music from library or Apple Music (when service is available)

Iíve probably left some small points out, but hopefully this provides some answers for those whoíve been wondering.
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Old 12-18-2018, 11:20 AM   #2
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Thanks. I have used my old Garmin Nuvi for years in cars. It seems with any of these, including the Jensen in the MH, it helps to have a good idea of where you are going ahead of time. The gps will get you there, but I find that it often takes me through city streets when there is a much easier and and simpler 4 lane or highway route.



I will take a look at this one. I have not found any that I trust implicitly to steer me clear of tight streets and low overpasses.
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Old 12-18-2018, 12:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainGizmo View Post
..While, yes, Google Maps is the standard, it has the short-coming of needing an internet connection to function and provide searching/routing.
Good analysis. The best solution for navigation depends on the configuration of the coach. The decision tree begins with the quality of your cellular data internet connection on the go. With a quality connection you can then rely "almost" exclusively on the excellent navigation services on the internet that are free, robust and real time (real time traffic, real time road and construction updates).

I drove the configuration posted in my video showing the NA cockpit from central California to Wisconsin and back last Summer. I had excellent internet coverage using the PepWave modem/router and external antennas. I very, very rarely lost coverage using Google Maps and Waze through the entire trip. When I did go out of range of the nearest cell tower the outage was always less than 5 minutes.

I used Google Maps and Waze exclusively on that trip. When there was a break in internet coverage Google Maps continued to work in all cases since Google Maps prefetches a lot of data around your current location. I never had a situation when I drove beyond the prefetched Google cache before the internet came back.

Waze behaves in much the same way except for traffic updates. Waze prefetches map data all around your current location to keep you going with short internet outages. However, when Waze has a lapse in internet coverage you will see "Searching for Network" in Waze to let you know the traffic updates and other Waze reporting is going stale.

I have CoPilot loaded on my iPad Pro and iPhone for backup. However during my entire round trip from California to Wisconsin I never had to use it when I had short breaks in internet coverage.

So back to my first point. If you have a coach with poor or no internet coverage on the roll, hands down a device like the Garmin navigator is absolutely the way to go.

On the flip side if you have robust internet coverage on the go in your coach you have a wide variety of options (most free and do not require database updates).
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Old 12-18-2018, 04:42 PM   #4
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Garmin all the way

i started with RV Co Pilot and two times it routed me incorrectly which is two times too many. Once onto a narrow one lane bridge I had no business being on and the traffic had to back off the bridge in the opposite direction and the second time on a road that restricts coaches and buses over 40 ft in California.

CHP was doing traffic control and flagged me down and asked why I was on the road. Luckily, he was a nice guy and was understanding about relying on my GPS. He gave me directions to turn around and get back out which was really helpful.

I contacted Co-Pilot after both incidents and the first one they said "I should look at routes options and it would have given me other options than on the bridge". Isn't the whole point of GPS to NOT send me down a road with a bridge I should not really be traveling on? The second incident they said I should submit the restricted California roads as a map improvement.

With that, I ordered my Garmin RV GPS and never have had a problem since.

I would like to use my Ipad and the internet to route like TurboPilot, but i need to know the application is going to work the way it needs to for my needs.

That was in 2017 so i am sure there have been enhancements to Co-Pilot since then.

Just my 2 cents on GPS routing.
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Old 12-18-2018, 08:01 PM   #5
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Yes, having internet makes everything mo bedda. However, the FREE solutions, thus far, do not provide the ďRV savvyĒ routing and guidance. To some, this is critical and, therefore, makes the Garmin 770 rise to the top regardless of whether or not you have internet.
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Old 12-18-2018, 09:03 PM   #6
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Thanks for your thread will be adding to the Info for Newmar Owners link.
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Old 12-18-2018, 09:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainGizmo View Post
Yes, having internet makes everything mo bedda. However, the FREE solutions, thus far, do not provide the ďRV savvyĒ routing and guidance. To some, this is critical and, therefore, makes the Garmin 770 rise to the top regardless of whether or not you have internet.
I understand. If I was driving a King Aire it would be more important to me. With the New Aire at 35,000 lbs, 12'3" tall and 11,000 miles of experience I have not yet run into a height or weight restriction that altered my route. Of course most of those 11,000 miles have been West of the Mississippi.
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Old 12-19-2018, 10:11 AM   #8
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Mapping Solutions; Garmin, CarPlay, CoPilot, Google, Apple, Waze

I am running Copilot right now, and recently had to replace my Bad Elf from which my WiFi only iPad gets its GPS data while using the Copilot app. My issue is the last release of Copilot removed the Motorhome configuration so now the app wonít route around low bridges. I have to buy the RV specific app for this for yet more money. They have said they will offer a discount in January for the RV app so I have time to think about this.

One thing I have considered is just getting a GPS that is RV specific like the Garmin RV 770 LMT-S but some of the Amazon reviews were a bit concerning. Thanks for the feedback and testing, it will help with my decision going forward. Other responses have also been very informative. We are taking a trip next month but I know the routes donít have any low bridges so I can take my time selecting a replacement for my current setup and use Copilot for our upcoming trip.
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Old 12-19-2018, 01:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I am running Copilot right now, and recently had to replace my Bad Elf from which my WiFi only iPad gets its GPS data while using the Copilot app. My issue is the last release of Copilot removed the Motorhome configuration so now the app wonít route around low bridges. I have to buy the RV specific app for this for yet more money. They have said they will offer a discount in January for the RV app so I have time to think about this.

One thing I have considered is just getting a GPS that is RV specific like the Garmin RV 770 LMT-S but some of the Amazon reviews were a bit concerning. Thanks for the feedback and testing, it will help with my decision going forward. Other responses have also been very informative. We are taking a trip next month but I know the routes donít have any low bridges so I can take my time selecting a replacement for my current setup and use Copilot for our upcoming trip.


I donít understand what ALK did with CoPilot. Like I mentioned, I downloaded the free version and it DOES have RV specs.

As for the Garmin, buy it; youíll be very happy. Iím extremely critical with tech apps and devices and I donít have any deal-breaking complaints about the 770. If you have any other concerns feel free to PM me!
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Old 12-19-2018, 08:21 PM   #10
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AllStays Truck and Travel shows low bridges
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Old 12-20-2018, 04:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainGizmo View Post
I donít understand what ALK did with CoPilot. Like I mentioned, I downloaded the free version and it DOES have RV specs.

As for the Garmin, buy it; youíll be very happy. Iím extremely critical with tech apps and devices and I donít have any deal-breaking complaints about the 770. If you have any other concerns feel free to PM me!
This is was just posted by ALK in response to my complaint about removing RV specs -

https://support.copilotgps.com/en/su...es/19000094433

Quote:
Removal of RV/Caravan (In Auto and Truck profiles) in iOS v10.10
Modified on: Dec 20, 2018

The RV/Caravan profile that was previously available in Auto and Truck apps was limited in its functionality and not designed to take into consideration dimensions for weight, width or length when calculating a route.

Feedback from users of this profile led us to create the CoPilot RV/Caravan app which provides RV/Caravan safe routing by permitting users to enter dimensions for their vehicle and obtain appropriate routing to avoid low bridges, narrow roads, and weight restricted roads.

Our latest CoPilot GPS update for iOS (Android following soon) benefits from a redesigned user experience that makes it possible for all types of vehicle navigation to be supported from a single app including our fully featured RV/Caravan navigation.

At CoPilot we believe that offering both a limited RV/Caravan profile as well as a fully featured profile in a single app would cause confusion for our users, and therefore the decision was made to remove the limited RV/Caravan profile from existing Auto and Truck profiles.

We encourage users of RVs/Caravans to explore the benefits of our fully featured RV/Caravan profile via a free 14 day trial in the CoPilot GPS app. (Creation of a new CoPilot ID will be required in order to do so)
Not sure how they will handle existing customers but they are also moving to a subscription service at least for iOS devices.
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Old 12-20-2018, 06:17 AM   #12
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This is was just posted by ALK in response to my complaint ...
Not sure how they will handle existing customers but they are also moving to a subscription service at least for iOS devices.
Where do you see that they are going to subscription? This would be a complete reversal of how they have done business for years. They have some items like traffic that are subscription, but the app and maps are still listed as lifetime updates.
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Old 12-20-2018, 06:20 AM   #13
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The whole thing is convoluted, in that there are so many different apps in iTunes currently but here is one screen shot from their website.

Click image for larger version

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This is from their "how to buy"

Quote:
Apple App Store (iOS)
The CoPilot GPS navigation app is free to download. New users receive a 14-day free trial. During or after the trial period, you can purchase a subscription to continue using the app’s voice-guided navigation, real-time traffic and 3D maps. Subscription options for new users include:
Automobile routing (12 months of navigation and traffic)
RV/Caravan and auto routing (12 months of navigation and traffic)
Commercial truck and auto routing (One month of navigation and traffic; or 12 months of navigation and traffic)

With a subscription, you also receive maps from one primary region of your choosing. Auto subscribers can choose from: North America, Europe, Africa, South America, Middle East, Asia, Oceania. Truck and RV subscribers can select North America, Europe or Oceania.

The remaining map regions for each vehicle type can be purchased separately in the app, as a single group of maps of the world.

If no upgrade has been made after the trial period, the only available function will be follow-me in 2D mode, without any planning or voice prompt.
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Old 12-20-2018, 06:28 AM   #14
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I'm all in on the Garmin 770 dash mounted (using RAM mounts, adhesive pad) to be at eye height for safe driving while referencing the GPS. As a former A-10 low level pilot, we're trained to hold the maps up to view while looking out the front and not look down, that will get you killed. The same applies to driving a MH, looking down to a NAV display is dangerous especially if having to interact to rerouting, etc.

Using something that does not take into account your MH dimensions AND weight is extremely dangerous. You may study your route using an atlas prior to departure but if you have to reroute or get off the path for a gas or meal break, then it's all bets off and you're at risk and you're not taking into account construction, detours, etc. I have experienced roads with weight limits in my short time RV'ing of only 1-1/2 years/22K miles and certainly have seen height restrictions one time was getting off the highway for a fill up and having to go under a low bridge.

The Garmin 770 will warn you of issues, protect you by planning routes by your dimensions and weight specification as well as number of axles and other profile data as set. My backup system is the Pioneer AVIC-8201-NEX which has extensive profile data and is great as well but I as stated above do not endorse looking down for NAV which is why I got the Garmin 770 despite the additional money paid (wasted) for the Clarion system that came with my coach, later replaced and sold for $50 in a yard sale (poor guy).

To each their own but hopefully describing my lessons learned from flying low level can help you understand why I believe GPS at site level while driving can help someone. I don't know the specifics of laws but in some states having iPads or even iPhones may be illegal as I was told when I briefly posted a thread here of my mounting my iPad Mini up front dash mounted as well for solar info, entertainment use, etc. As I agreed it was not smart to set an example like this as some may not be able to manage distractions such as this and could be a danger I removed the thread.

SAFE travels...be smart about your choices and understand the consequences.
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