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Old 07-31-2020, 12:40 PM   #1
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Looking for a tester or two for RVTW --> GPS app

Hi,

I have developed a little PC app that reads an Excel file exported from RVTW and converts it to a GPX file suitable for import to (at least) a Garmin RV890.

It only runs on a PC and I have only tested it on Windows 7 and Windows 10 where it seems to work.

I'm looking for a person to test the app and see if they can get a Trip full of Stops from RVTW to a late model Garmin GPS.

PM me if you would like to do this.

Tnx,
paul
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Old 09-15-2020, 02:37 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeTheUSA2 View Post
Hi,

I have developed a little PC app that reads an Excel file exported from RVTW and converts it to a GPX file suitable for import to (at least) a Garmin RV890.

It only runs on a PC and I have only tested it on Windows 7 and Windows 10 where it seems to work.

I'm looking for a person to test the app and see if they can get a Trip full of Stops from RVTW to a late model Garmin GPS.
Hi Paul,

How is this project working out?

Thanks,

Ray
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Old 09-16-2020, 11:53 AM   #3
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Ray,
I did get a PC based app to do the translation and it works pretty well. The app is not packaged for easy distribution though.



So I converted it to a web based app where you can upload a CSV file (taken from the RVTW exported XLSX), convert it to a GPX file, and then download it for moving to your GPS device. It even works on tablets, pcs, PCs, etc.


I put the project on hold while doing some work on our coach and getting the Jeep ready for towing.


I hope to have the web app available online in a week or two and will ask for testers at that time.


Thank you for asking
Paul
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Old 09-17-2020, 11:33 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by SeeTheUSA2 View Post
I did get a PC based app to do the translation and it works pretty well. The app is not packaged for easy distribution though.

So I converted it to a web based app where you can upload a CSV file (taken from the RVTW exported XLSX), convert it to a GPX file, and then download it for moving to your GPS device. It even works on tablets, pcs, PCs, etc.

I put the project on hold while doing some work on our coach and getting the Jeep ready for towing.

I hope to have the web app available online in a week or two and will ask for testers at that time.
Thanks for the update. Perhaps RVTW will collaborate with you on this to add it as a standard function. They could give you a lifetime subscription to RVTW or something for compensation.

Ray
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Old 09-20-2020, 09:01 AM   #5
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To anyone willing to help in testing:


I have converted the stand alone app to a web based that you can access from your browser.


PM me to get a link to the online version.


tnx,
paul
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Old 09-25-2020, 09:08 AM   #6
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Unless the GPS you're importing to also has an RV mode, the imported trip won't necessarily result in the same route that RVTW does. CSV imports are typically just GPS coordinates for start and stop. Your GPS will calculate the corresponding route on its own. Without RV settings you'll end up under that RR bridge you'd rather avoid. You can force it to avoid RV hazards with waypoints, but that requires you to know in advance which RV hazards it's avoiding, and trust that your non-RV GPS won't route you through others.

I truly wish Google Maps had an RV mode, even as a paid subscription. Perhaps RVTW is using a Google Maps API, supplemented with additional information? It doesn't seem so, though. RVTW routed us to a dead-end rural road that both Google Maps and Mapquest showed as dead end, while RVTW was using it as a route to another road. If RVTW were using Google Maps as an information source, it wouldn't have done that.
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Old 09-26-2020, 07:44 AM   #7
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The importing device must be able to route RVs safely

I completely agree. The conversion app is designed to copy RVTW stops to a GPS as waypoints.

No routing nor tracks are copied as they don't exist in the exported Excel format.

The app only creates waypoints that the device into which you import will use to fashion a safe route.

From the app's help file:

If you are doing this conversion for an RV, you should make sure the destination GPS device that will supply the routing knows about any special routing requirements of your RV. It is up to you, the user, to assure you are taking a safe route.


Tnx,
Paul (still looking for a tester :-)
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Old 09-26-2020, 09:14 AM   #8
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Since RVTW offers the means to export GPX, what is the purpose of your conversion utility? (I don't own a Garmin so I don't know the difference between it and others that import CSV.)
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Old 09-26-2020, 12:05 PM   #9
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Looking for waypoints, not tracks or routing

Hi,

RVTW can "Send to GPS" with options for GPX or CSV file format.

The GPS format contains the track and routing information for your trip (e.g. the GPX file contains trk and trkseg elements). I did not want the RVTW routed track, but did want the Stop information.

The "Send to GPS" CSV file contains a stop's Lat/Lon and stop name. Close to what I wanted, but...

I was looking for as much info as possible (e.g. url, phone number, CG description, etc.) as well as the stops for a single RVTW "Trip" assembled into one GPX route (<rte>) with route waypoints (<rtept>) as well as the waypoints in a non-route list (<wpt> elements). These are placed into separate storage areas of my RV890 GPS.

All this info is conveniently available in the RVTW Export to Excel function. All I needed to do was read that spreadsheet file and spit out a properly formatted GPX file, all w/o having to touch the data by hand where surely i will mess up something

That is why i wrote this little conversion app.

tnx,
paul
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Old 09-26-2020, 01:24 PM   #10
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... All this info is conveniently available in the RVTW Export to Excel function. All I needed to do was read that spreadsheet file and spit out a properly formatted GPX file, all w/o having to touch the data by hand where surely i will mess up something ...
Sounds useful. Too bad I don't have a Garmin to import it. The Excel export may provide some value to me, though. I'll check it out.
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Old 09-27-2020, 06:51 AM   #11
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The GPX file produced is in a standard format with three sections:
1) <metadata>
2) a list of <wpt> elements
3) a route element <rte> with <rtept> entries for each waypoint.

Theoretically, it should import into any device/app that can process these GPX sections.

That's a big "Theoretically" though
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Old 10-05-2020, 08:56 AM   #12
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Online conversion app is avalable

Hi fellow RVTW and GPS device users,

The converter described here is available now as a web based app where you can upload a CSV file (taken from the RVTW exported XLSX), convert it to a GPX file, and then download it for moving to your GPS device.

This is an online app like RVTW that works on tablets, pcs, PCs, etc.

This app does NOT create tracks. The Excel file exported by RVTW does not contain track info. It is assumed that the GPS device into which the converted file will be imported will do its own routing.


The process overview is:
  1. Create a trip in RVTW and export it as an Excel file
  2. Run ithe XLSX file through Excel, Google Sheets, or other spreadsheet and export a CSV file
  3. Go to the online converter app (PM me to get link/password), load the CSV file and do the conversion
  4. Export the GPX file
  5. Import that file into your Navigation device that can import well-formed GPX lists of waypoints, and do the safe RV routing. This will be a good time to compare routing on your GPS device to the RVTW routing.
  6. Have a good trip
PM me for the link to this app.

tnx,
paul
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Old 10-07-2020, 12:41 AM   #13
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This app does NOT create tracks. The Excel file exported by RVTW does not contain track info. It is assumed that the GPS device into which the converted file will be imported will do its own routing.
Then you are throwing away all the RV Info related to RV routing in RVTW, and you are assuming that whatever GPS that the .gpx file is imported into has up to date info. I pay for a subscription to use RVTW, and nothing to export my trips to my RV GPS.

If all I wanted was stop info, I would just use Google maps, but it would not keep me from going somewhere I shouldn't (low bridge, narrow road, etc.) in a 35 foot DP with towed car.

No, thanks. I'll keep using RVTW and export my tips to the RV GPS.

Oh and a lot of people use Apple MacBook computers, so they're excluded.
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Old 10-09-2020, 10:58 AM   #14
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Mr. Goodbar,

The converter is not throwing away track information. No track information is exported into the Excel file. If you want tracks, use the Export to GPS option.

It is clearly stated in a few places (at least replies #7 and #12) that the main purpose for using this converter is to send waypoints to a standalone GPS device that is fully capable of routing RVs; that is, it knows about size and weight restrictions and can route accordingly.

Using the converter to get another routing system (in our case a Garmin RV890) to do its thing will give us possible alternative routes, maybe catch route issues RVTW might have missed, and provide redundant on-line/offline routing. It is often a good idea to look at more than one routing solution.

Also note that when an app runs in a browser (e.g. RVTW) it also likely runs on MACs, raspberry PIs, PCs, androids, etc.) I just have not tested all the possibilities.
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