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Old 09-01-2011, 04:19 PM   #1
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Motorhome Friendly GPS??

I have seen ads for and heard about so called motorhome friendly GPS units. We are fairly new owners of a 40' DP and have quickly discovered that our Garmin has no idea that we are as big as we are! Finding restaurants with adequate in and out, fuel, etc. Anyone who has first hand experience with a GPS or other device to make road life easier, I would sure like a recommendation on what to buy. If it can also direct us to roads less travelled (we don't like the interstates) that would ba a plus.
Thanks so much in advance,

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Old 09-01-2011, 06:10 PM   #2
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There are "trucker" GPS that do a better job with big rig routing, including the GArmin 465T and similar, but I don't know of any that couple size with the POI database. If you ask for nearby restaurants, you get what is there and have to make your own judgment about accessibility. I'm not even sure I would want to GPS to try to guess whether I could maneuver my rig into any particular location anyway. For example, I might fit fine if the parking lot is empty, but not at all is full. How would it know?

Just my opinion - others may vary.

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Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 09-01-2011, 06:20 PM   #3
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I have no idea how good this is but the latest Family Motor Coaching magazine has an advertisement for a Tripmaker RVND 5510 and says "built for RV adventures". Says for more information visit randmcnally.com/rvgps. No price listed but lots of words about how great it is.

I'd be interested to hear if anyone has bought or used this device.
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Old 09-01-2011, 06:21 PM   #4
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The restaurant thing can be tricky. I went to 2 Cracker Barrels that are listed on their website as "RV Parking Available" and there was none. I just went to the end of their lot and took up a bunch of car spaces.

One hint: Eating at off hours such as 10:30 AM and 3:30 PM is easier, since the parking lots are not so full.

I usually plan a day ahead using the web for restaurant listings. A phone call ahead can give you an idea about access for an RV.
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Old 09-01-2011, 06:39 PM   #5
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Gary, has some good advice for you. I'll add MHO, the use of GPS's requires a little common sense, don't program in shortest route, unless your in a convoy of off road Jeeps. There are some real horror stories out there. in one case in northern Nevada, they are still looking for a body.
Also the road less travelled has no rest areas, truck stops or any amenities for rigs of our size. Went up from 43' truck and fifth length to 58' "A" and toad and have noticed a huge diference , even on roads we've driven before. Not that I intend to be stuck on the interstate, just very careful of the roads I drive. Maps for now, plan the day's travel the night before and hope the co-pilot is up to the task.
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:42 PM   #6
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Buy yourself a copy of The Next Exit, it will tell you who has truck size parking. You also need a paper map with Garmin, it ain't fool proof. Tried to take us in a dirt service road for Bhia Honda State Park among many other mis routings. Skip is right, set it for quickest and it will keep you on the main roads. The new GPS for RV ers is too new to recommend as the users who have posted have very mixed reviews
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Old 09-01-2011, 08:22 PM   #7
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If you us a laptop you might try Streets and Trips 2011. After installing the program go to the internet and download POI Mega File. The POI file has a lot of information such as under pass height, big rig unfriendly sites, Fly J, Pilot, etc: along with any other sites you might what to see upon you route. We use a Tom Tom, just because it's small on the dash, but DW plots out our next leg using Streets and Trips with the POI file. Works for us, you might check it out.

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Old 09-01-2011, 08:25 PM   #8
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We have had a tomtom for years and it works good, but it doesn't know how big your vehicle is and is known to take you off the beaten path. We just use an atlas as well, unless we are familiar with the area, and have had minimal problems. It also gives phone numbers to restaurants, we just make a quick call and ask about parking our rig. We bought a garmin nuvi465t. It's supposed to be for truckers. It lets you enter the size of the rv, which is good and keeps you on truck routes. But, that being said we only used it twice, and found it doesn't give good advance turning, which lane to stay in, and near the detailed info on miles to go and that sort of thing as our tomtom. So now trying to sell the garmin! So for us tomtom and atlas and cell phone best option.
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:08 PM   #9
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My Garmin 7200 will let you set whether you are a car or a bus. However, never trust a GPS. It will lead you to very difficult places. We are 60' long with the toad and we rarely get off the interstate. If we have to go somewhere in town, we first take the toad to see if the MH will fit. It just avoids problems.

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Old 09-02-2011, 04:30 AM   #10
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The Rand McNally unit has a msrp of $350. There has been extensive posts on anotgher rv forum. Most seem to have sent it back.

I like the idea of having a GPS'r for us RVers. While the Garmin 465T is specefic for big rigs I have read that it is not the best for our group. I purchased a Garmin 1450LMT, purchased a one year license for LowClearances.com and downloaded essential to me, POI's from the POI Factory.

I use Mapsource to plan my trips, then download the route to the GPS'r. So far it's working pretty good. However, as others have said, GPS receivers are just a tool.
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Old 09-02-2011, 06:02 AM   #11
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We have the Rand McNally 5510 and really like it. As you travel along it will tell you where the construction sites are..how far it is till you get to your exit, whether it will right or left exit,etc. It will also tell you what's coming up ( if you touch the symbols ) for gas, eating, stores, etc...and will list the walmarts coming up with phone number..
Other features are altitude you are at...it's just a really neat tool.
We keep it attached to the co pilot window. Seems to be no problem with reception. We have the 5 in. Screen, which is really not a problem to see and you can also take it out of it's holder and use it hand held for a few minutes if you really want to look something up. They are coming out with a 7 in. This fall.
We got it for under $300 at camping world.
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Old 09-02-2011, 06:08 AM   #12
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Meant to mention..we also use our next exit book, and atlas at times..
Never really trust a GPS no matter how good it might " seem".
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:30 AM   #13
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GPS search

Trie the Magellan RoadMate Pro 9165T GPS Receiver, they said was made for RVrs, a friends of my got one and said he is very happy with.

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Old 09-02-2011, 08:33 AM   #14
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I have used the Mopar GPS in my PT Cruiser for years, added a Tom Tom for use in my Jeep and Tow Rig, but have now added the Garmin nuvi465t for use with the MH. I have used the Garmin nuvi465t for 4 weekend trips and found it very good. It also picks up the traffic broadcasts when available and has routed me around traffice jams after I sat in one for two hours the first time because I did not trust it.

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