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Old 06-27-2015, 11:23 AM   #15
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Last Wednesday we were in Beverly Hills, CA and both the Santa Monica and Wilshire Blvds was jammed to a stop.

DW pulled out trusty smartphone with apple maps and we were able to get around all the mess and find supulvida blvd, then quickly on the dreaded I-405. (was in car)

But for our lengthy trips, it's always paper map first to lay the routes out.
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Old 06-27-2015, 11:25 AM   #16
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GPS (Garmin) is a backup to my maps and laptop. Checks and balance make sure everything and everybody are on the same page.
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Old 06-28-2015, 12:49 AM   #17
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I always used Garmin GPS in my boat, and for the life of me I don't know why I didn't buy a Garmin for the MH. But I didn't. Three years ago I bought a RM, and within a couple of months it tried to lead us (12 ft 7 in) under an old stone RR arch (11 ft 0 in) in NJ. It also has battery life deficiency and what we both think is a cumbersome display. Bottom line is we haven't bothered with it since 2012.

I now do my planning myself. On Interstates it's a breeze-- you know the clearances will be ok, and you can check out the sat view of any big interchange while sitting at your table the night before. If you need a GPS to tell you what lane to be in, then you're not paying attention. And if you miss something, so what? Just keep going and pick up an alternate route, or drive to the next exit and reverse course. For smaller roads I check low clearances on the AITA website, and scan the sat view of the road on Google maps. If I see any 18-wheelers on the road I want to take, I know I'm good to go.

Rand-McNally cheaped out on their GPS data early on, and now that they're tied up with Camping World/ Good Sam marketing you just know it's not going to get any better.

It really isn't that hard to rely on yourself. Between iRV2, iExit, and other sites, everything you need to know is there.
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Old 06-28-2015, 03:19 AM   #18
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Our Garmon has gotten us to the wrong place more than a few times. So has the Delorme. Anyone who trusts these things can be in danger if out in some remote areas.
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Old 06-28-2015, 05:25 AM   #19
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I was an earlier adopter of GPS technology,,,, back when you had to read the manual to even come up with a destination. I currently own 2, one of which is a Rand McNally. They all have the same problems, they are as good and acurate as the maps loaded.

A good friend of mine has a 45' coach. I just was talking to him last week about the north end of the Garden State Parkway. As he was planning a trip to south Jersey. He had just gotten off the phone with the authority that runs the parkway, and acording to the data shared with him, the north end of the parkway is restricted not because of weight, but due to the older legacy toll booths.

He had passed thru there a few weeks earlier, and observered no other RV's etc. He added that his coach very nearly didn't fit through the booths as they are very narrow. He had to stop, and squeeze thru with just a few inches to spare on his mirrors, despite having a Easypass. No one stopped him, but he thought before he did it again he would verify it was okay.

In that case, the GPS maps probably show it restricted.

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Old 06-28-2015, 05:51 AM   #20
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Garmin RV 760LMT

I just bought the new Garmin GPS specifically designed for RV's for a trip from Buffalo, NY through Canada into Michigan. I loved it. It has a 7" screen, you can touch the screen like an iPad and it is voice activated. It shows on the screen restaurants, gas station, and RV service centers.
It was wonderful and I would recommend it.
I paid $385 on Amazon but you can order it for low $300 on Walmart website, the Garmin RV 760LMT (lifetime maps).
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Old 06-28-2015, 06:20 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFXG View Post
I always used Garmin GPS in my boat, and for the life of me I don't know why I didn't buy a Garmin for the MH. But I didn't. Three years ago I bought a RM, and within a couple of months it tried to lead us (12 ft 7 in) under an old stone RR arch (11 ft 0 in) in NJ. It also has battery life deficiency and what we both think is a cumbersome display. Bottom line is we haven't bothered with it since 2012.

I now do my planning myself. On Interstates it's a breeze-- you know the clearances will be ok, and you can check out the sat view of any big interchange while sitting at your table the night before. If you need a GPS to tell you what lane to be in, then you're not paying attention. And if you miss something, so what? Just keep going and pick up an alternate route, or drive to the next exit and reverse course. For smaller roads I check low clearances on the AITA website, and scan the sat view of the road on Google maps. If I see any 18-wheelers on the road I want to take, I know I'm good to go.

Rand-McNally cheaped out on their GPS data early on, and now that they're tied up with Camping World/ Good Sam marketing you just know it's not going to get any better.

It really isn't that hard to rely on yourself. Between iRV2, iExit, and other sites, everything you need to know is there.
It is great to have a second source or person to verify the accuracy of the GPS but sometimes you are the only on in the RV as happened to me last week. I was in Wakarusa, IN returning to Cincinnati. US 6 was under construction and the locals told me that the roads would be difficult to navigate an RV through and to take a different route. As expected my GPS kept wanting me to take US 6 and at some point the GPS re-routed me and took me through every small town and back road in Northern Indiana adding 1 ½ hour to my trip. BTW, I have my RM set to favor interstates! If I was in a car I could have pulled over to see if I could find a more favorable routing but I was in my RV traveling alone and there were no place to pull off on these county routes L Rand McNally, Garmin, and others keep selling their equipment and never suffer anything but a few of us griping on some blog and they turn a blind eye to our problems. I do not expect the GPS to be correct 100% of the time but I do expect it to be close.

If I buy a GPS advertised to be for RV’s they should understand that many people do not like to navigate through small towns or back roads where you could encounter low overpasses or bridges that will not handles the weight of your RV. The clearance and weight info only applies to major highways not county roads.

I have traveled on US 31 North out of Indianapolis several times in the past 2 years and Rand McNally still doesn’t recognize about 40 miles of this road that was reconstructed several years ago. Yes, I check for updates every month by docking with my computer. Garbage IN, Garbage OUT!

I am looking for something more accurate and I will check before I buy to make sure any new GPS does not used the same map supplier that Rand McNally uses otherwise I have fixed nothing!
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Old 06-28-2015, 08:33 AM   #22
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Ah yes, that trusty (or not) GPS. Last fall we took a trip through New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI. There were several times our car based Garmin 2597 led us astray. It wouldn't have made one iota difference if we had used their RV version as the directions were just plain wrong. Three come to mind - first one - we left our New Brunswick CG and took the GPS recommended road back to NB 1. Yeah, sure it was. That road wandered around until it ended .... at a cow path. Luckily there was a construction road and I was able to turn the 59 foot combined length around after doing a bit of back bumper excavation. Next, on PEI we were able to get within a few miles of the CG we had reservations for when it put us in a circle of roads which took my paper maps to unsnarl. Then a third time - we were going out for dinner from the PEI CG. Still not being completely familiar with the area, was relying on the GPS directions to that restaurant. OOPS - it took us 180* wrong. Again, out comes that paper map and off we go. Do I trust a GPS - not 100% now. I always plot where we are going in general on paper maps and one of the on-line sources, normally not Google as I have 'proved' them wrong too many times, but I usually have to leave the local roads to the GPS. Jumping ahead - we are taking an extended trip soon. I've got my new Michelin map book and a US road map for the broad based driving and have sent for vacation guides with state maps for most of the states we will visit. I've tossed a coin as to whether I need to buy an RV based GPS, but it hasn't dropped yet. It will, if the coin lands heads up be a Garmin after reading about so many RM failures here and other sites plus the fact that it's too tied in to Good Sam and Camping World.

When it's all said - I hate to love these gadgets, but they do work correctly most of the time, 100% if you do your homework with paper maps and the internet sources. Even an RM
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Old 06-28-2015, 02:37 PM   #23
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I would worry less about who is supplying the maps vs who is programming the device. The maps on my devices are the same, but the logic of choosing a route is different.

Also, the manufacture may provide an ability to update the maps but that does not mean they have an agreement with the map company to do so or to do so very often. Garmin has a huge variety of products that use the same maps. So they must keep on top of it, but how many products does RM have? But even though Garmin has so much invested in keeping maps updated, does that mean the truck/RV department keeps up on their small niche and how easy or hard is that to do?

It's just one tool I have and as a solo full-timer, I wish it were a better tool.
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Old 06-29-2015, 10:40 AM   #24
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My RVND7710 brought me 2 years ago in Maine on a small road with a 11' overpass, I had to stop the traffic behind me and backup in a private property to do a u-turn... I notified RandMcNally and I think they updated their map.

You can see in google maps the clearance as 11'

http://goo.gl/maps/vW4xM

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Old 06-29-2015, 11:13 AM   #25
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I have the 7710 also and was ready to toss it shortly after the purchase. I finally called them after the power cord shorted out. Inlet the poor customer service guy have it with both barrels. We quickly let me know that they know of lots of issues with the 7710 and sent me a new cord. He also gave me free map updates and traffic for life. Last but most importantly told me to update the firmware. The firmware fixed lots of issues and although it's not perfect I do like the gps now. I do run Waze on my phone on all trips just to keep them honest.
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:30 AM   #26
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Just a dissenting opinion - We LOVE our Rand McNally GPS's

BUT - remember, it's a machine. You gotta' be smarter than the machine...

We have a 7710 and 7720 (RM was running a super sale near my B-Day to have 2 ) so both front seats can enjoy the BIG 7" screen and all the RV POI's in these units.


We use a smart phone for searching about the local area too...BUT as soon as the phone has no 3G/4G signal, it cannot provide mapping data (or anything, really), so that makes it a No-Go for our GPS needs.

As an early adopter of GPS (anyone remember the Street Pilot?) I know these are very good GPS's.

Ours have only made 1 mistake (1 block off at a campground) and because they both did it, we know it was the maps, not the GPS. The POI's and the new WiFi systems for weather overlays make the RandMcNally the best brand for us...YMMV.

One reminder - Users should dock the RVND as often as possible to get updates and new maps when they come available.

Safe travels
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:49 AM   #27
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GPS is just a tool. Like any tool, they're only as good as the person using them. I frequently use mine just for the moving map, as I generally know what roads I wish to take.
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Old 06-29-2015, 01:07 PM   #28
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What about RV Trip Wizard? Has anyone used that and is it worth it?
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