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Old 07-01-2019, 09:13 PM   #1
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Got the new Garmin RV 785 today

It just came out and since I was within the return period for my RV 780 I decided to trade up. https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/660552

The RV 785 has a built-in dashcam but it appears to be the same one as used in the dezlCam 785 (the trucker GPS). I can't find the specs on the RV 785 dashcam but the dezlCam has a 50-degree viewing angle which is pretty narrow. "Viewing angle" refers to what the camera can see so plus/minus 25 degrees.

Garmin actually did the built-in dashcam correctly in earlier dezlCam models. Rather than having the camera lens embedded in the rear case like the 785 series, they had that half-cylinder vertical "hump" on the right side of the back. The camera lens was in the "hump" and it seems to have a left-right adjustment tab. The RV 785 has no such adjustment and it appears it must be aimed straight ahead rather than angled towards the driver. I have not had a chance to actually drive with it yet to see how limiting that will be. Hopefully Garmin adds an electronic left-right adjustment.

The dashcam is used for lane departure warnings and collision avoidance. How it works remains to be seen since all it has for a sensor is the camera, which may not be pointed directly forward.

This thing is actually massive compared to the RV 780. It looks like they added a rubber case to it so it's a lot heavier and thicker as well. It's 7 3/4" from side to side and 4 7/8" from top to bottom. The screen is still 7" diagonally.

The entire thing is actually an Android 6.0.1 device that has the Garmin GPS software running on it. Yes, "Marshmallow" in Android parlance. v6.x is now past its end-of-life date however the unit shows a security patch from February 2019 is installed. Hopefully Garmin will update it to a supported Android version soon.

If you're familiar with Android smartphones you'll be right at home with the RV 785. It has the same soft buttons at the bottom of the screen, it has an Internet browser built in, etc.

One of the odd things is in the Vehicle Profile settings. You can select "Motorhome with trailer"but there is no car icon. There is a travel trailer icon, a flat trailer icon and a boat trailer icon but no car. It's just the display but really? Garmin doesn't know motorhomes usually tow other vehicles?

The route editor is easy to use. When going to Florida from northern Ohio you may not want to take I-77 because it runs through the mountains of West Virginia. I-71 to I-75 in SW Ohio is a flatter route although about an hour longer. Just bring up the route, click Edit Route and touch one of the "dots". When I picked the Columbus, OH "dot" on I-71 it changed the route to use I-71 to I-75 and showed the distance and time change. Easy peasy.

It pairs to the Garmin Drive app for weather, traffic, etc. But even though I have all Smart Notifications unchecked in the Drive app, they still show up on the GPS. When an email comes in it still shows on the RV 785. On the plus side, the device reads the incoming message aloud and it is very understandable.

As I use it I'll update this with anything I find interesting. If you have any specific questions please feel free to ask.

Ray
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Old 07-02-2019, 12:08 PM   #2
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What was wrong with the 780? I just got one.
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Old 07-02-2019, 12:18 PM   #3
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GPS has become like cell phones. There is a constant stream of new models, with changes so small it hardly makes any difference in their performance. I have a 770 and it does exactly what I need it to do.
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Old 07-02-2019, 03:37 PM   #4
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What was wrong with the 780? I just got one.
Nothing at all. I wanted one with a built-in dashcam instead of having to hassle with installing and removing two units. The separate dashcam has a tiny screen (2.5") and sits way forward from the driver. If I move it back then it picks up some of the coach rather than the road.

I almost bought the dezlCam 785 instead of the 770 and then the 780 came out so I bought it instead. From what I've seen so far it looks like the RV portion in the 780 and 785 are identical.

I do find it interesting that the 785 exposes the Android operating system like it does. I wonder if the 785 is the prelude to Garmin coming out with their own tablet-based device.

Ray
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:37 PM   #5
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I was wanting the Garmin 760LMT. I can still find it. Do you think the 785 is better for RVing? It sure is cheaper than what a new 760LMT used to cost. Thanks
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Old 07-04-2019, 08:04 AM   #6
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I was wanting the Garmin 760LMT. I can still find it. Do you think the 785 is better for RVing? It sure is cheaper than what a new 760LMT used to cost. Thanks
The 785 is currently $500, a hundred more than the 780 because of the dashcam. How much was the 760 when new?

I looked at the manual for the 760 and it does not seem to have the Vehicle Profile setting where you can select Car, Motorhome, with Trailer, etc. That feature lets you set the height, weight, length, width, maximum speed and the number and size of propane tanks. Depending on your setup and where you drive that may or may not be important to you.

I have three vehicle profiles, Car, Motorhome and Motorhome with Boat because I pull a car on a dolly occasionally. I picked "boat" because its icon looks the closest to a car. That profile lets me have its weight set to GCWR and also increase the total length.

The Vehicle Profile certainly cannot handle all road imitations but it has to help if you're driving in a new area. This site can add more bridge heights (or so they claim) but I have not bought it: Low Clearance POI - GPS Data

The 760 has America Parks and Services and the 770 added TripAdvisor and FourSquare. The 780 also has Ultimate Public Campgrounds, KOA, iOverlander and PlanRV, HISTORY, and National Parks Directory. The 785 seems to have just added the dashcam. The Garmin Drive phone app can provide traffic, weather, etc. when paired to the GPS.

Sure, that's nothing you cannot already do with a phone app but with a twist. The same campground will show up multiple times depending on who has it listed. That can give different information on facilities etc. So it's a bit more information in one place rather than jumping back and forth between apps. (Wow, have I gotten lazy! )

One subtle change is that the 780 and 785 no longer carry the LMTS designation indicating free lifetime maps and traffic services. But they each say "Includes map updates". Perhaps they are just getting away from "Lifetime" because that's kind of a nebulous term and not because they are going back to the old model of annual subscriptions. Until everyone else does that I cannot see that happening.

The 770 does not seem to include the traffic receiver power cord, a $70 option, which is included with the 780 and 785. I have it on my car GPS and it works very well in metropolitan areas but isn't quite as real-time as Waze. You can still get traffic from Garmin Drive if you have cell service. And their app is not down.

The 780 does not include an SD Card while the 785 comes with an 8 GB SD Card. The 780 probably does not need one anyway.

The 785, because it's based on Android, has an Internet browser in it but so does my phone. The 760 has the 6.95" display which is nice.

I've had Garmin units for many, many years and I like that they still keep the old ones updated. The firmware updates keep adding features as well.

What a hodge-podge of information, eh?

Ray
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Old 07-08-2019, 04:10 PM   #7
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We did the first trip to a local place yesterday. The dash is kind of "bouncy" due to the thin plastic and I use the large Garmin weighted mount. The heavier weight seemed to keep it from bouncing around as much as the lighter RV 780.

The dashcam seems to work well. It does have a narrow viewing angle but that may not be a problem. I had it slightly offset towards the driver and it could still see the entire road. I have not had the Lane Departure Warning or the Collision Warning go off yet.

On some really bumpy roads the RV 785 did trigger an "Incident Detected " alert. That's supposed to happen when you get slammed in an accident. It triggers an automatic video save of the minute and a half before and after.

The "sharp curve" warning was accurate and I was very pleased that when I selected the campground we were going to, it took me in the correct entrance of many entrances and down a winding road to the registration building.

I've never used Voice Command with any of my Garmin's before but it definitely comes in handy in the motorhome and it works well.

So far so good.

Ray
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Old 07-09-2019, 05:27 AM   #8
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Thanks for the feedback. I haven't used my new 780 yet and won't be able to until fall. I did buy the largest SD card the unit will hold. Not sure if I need it but it was cheap enough. I have been laying out several trips on BaseCamp that I will load into the 780 once I am happy with our campgrounds and fuel stops. I have been using Google maps to look at fuel stops and then loading them into BaseCamp so I have quite a few acceptable fueling locations.
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Old 07-09-2019, 08:36 PM   #9
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We did a second one today. It's pretty nice. For example, if the speed limit changes shortly the speed limit "sign" changes color to yellow and the new speed. Then when you're in the new speed area it changes back to black and white. None of my older Garmin's do that.

As you're coming up to a campground this little blue icon appears on the road ahead.

Ray
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Old 07-17-2019, 07:11 AM   #10
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Thanks for the feedback. I haven't used my new 780 yet and won't be able to until fall. I did buy the largest SD card the unit will hold. Not sure if I need it but it was cheap enough. I have been laying out several trips on BaseCamp that I will load into the 780 once I am happy with our campgrounds and fuel stops. I have been using Google maps to look at fuel stops and then loading them into BaseCamp so I have quite a few acceptable fueling locations.
I recently downloaded BaseCamp to use in conjunction with RV Trip Wizard (RVTW) and my Garmin Drive Smart 61. My goal is to build routes in RVTW; download route to my PC; import file to BaseCamp; and transfer to Garmin. RVTW has become my favorite trip planning tool and gives me the hazard avoidance capability but I'm having some difficulty in doing all the transfers. Have you tried this process and made it work? I've tried to do this process a few times with limited success. Is there a detailed tutorial on how to do this? Thanks!
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Old 07-17-2019, 03:51 PM   #11
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I recently downloaded BaseCamp to use in conjunction with RV Trip Wizard (RVTW) and my Garmin Drive Smart 61. My goal is to build routes in RVTW; download route to my PC; import file to BaseCamp; and transfer to Garmin. RVTW has become my favorite trip planning tool and gives me the hazard avoidance capability but I'm having some difficulty in doing all the transfers. Have you tried this process and made it work? I've tried to do this process a few times with limited success. Is there a detailed tutorial on how to do this? Thanks!
Sorry, not yet. I downloaded BaseCamp and have been reading up on RVTW but right now there are other priorities, like figuring out this new car dolly and where to put the safety chains. That pretty much killed all of today and likely tomorrow. <sigh>

Ray
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Old 07-17-2019, 05:46 PM   #12
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There is a transfer feature in BaseCamp that allows you to either bring in a route from the Garmin or vice versa. If you generate waypoints in BaseCamp that are not in your Garmin, they will upload with the route.
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Old 07-18-2019, 10:15 AM   #13
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There is a transfer feature in BaseCamp that allows you to either bring in a route from the Garmin or vice versa. If you generate waypoints in BaseCamp that are not in your Garmin, they will upload with the route.
Yes can do all of those functions. Once you connect your device to the computer with BaseCamp running all of the data on the device will show in BaseCamp. All you need to do is move/copy/send it wherever you want it to be. BaseCamp is easy once you understand how it works.
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Old 07-18-2019, 02:12 PM   #14
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I've been considering the 785 over the 780 simply for the camera, and for that incident record capability. But have been wondering if it only records when the vehicle in which it is sitting is "jarred" or if it can sense an external incident, i.e., two vehicles in front of you colliding. Anyone know.

Yeah, I'm not sure how it would sense that, but have to ask.

Thanks,
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