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Old 06-09-2020, 03:46 PM   #1
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Is the Garmin 780 RV worthless

Does anyone have a positive experience with the Garmin 780 RV? I've been using mine for a few months and without question it takes the longest, time consuming routes possible. I realize it takes into consideration bridge height and weight restrictions, but I find it wrong most of the time. I started using it in conjunction with Waze for a 100 mile trip and there was initially a 45 minute estimated arrival time difference. I followed the Waze directions and only used Garmin to avoid height issues. Eventually the two were in synch and my Garmin time dropped to that of Waze. There was also a weight limit warning that didn't exist. This is one of many trips I've taken using both navigation apps and the results are always the same. I've chatted with Garmin, watched the instruction videos, updated the software and adjusted the settings. Still is terrible. Is it me or are others having the same issue. The best thing I didn't do was get this installed by the dealer.
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Old 06-09-2020, 04:03 PM   #2
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Maybe ignorance is blise, but our previous model rv760LMT has been great... do I double check the routes it offers? No, but imho, 30 minutes in a 400 mile day isn't a show stopper if I don't have to do anything but dumbly follow directions from something other than the DW's hysteria
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Old 06-09-2020, 04:03 PM   #3
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I've got three Garmin units - a slightly older version of the RV unit, a Dezl 785 for when I drive a truck, and an older unit in my car.

In my experience, it will learn your driving style as well as the road conditions as you use it. The ETAs will get more accurate with time. I've tried using Garmin side-by-side with the unit built into my car and generally find the Garmin to have better routing. Same for when I run the Garmin side-by-side with Waze or Google Maps. No doubt though, there are some areas where one company's maps may not be as good as another.
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Old 06-09-2020, 04:05 PM   #4
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I have a Garmin 760 not 780. My experience is Google Maps in general will always be faster and more direct. However google Maps is way more likely to get me into a jam of some sort. Google maps is not taking an RV friendly route. It won't necessarily lead me to a catastrophe like a low bridge or dirt road. Google maps may lead me to other headaches like smaller streets, cut through a neighbor hood or residential area, take a tight turn at a congested intersection.
The 760 will always take an RV safe route, yes that route is often longer but the idea is that it is RV friendly.
If your feeling lucky or in a familiar area Waze or Google maps are fine. However if your in uncharted territory, it's wise to take the RV friendly route even if its longer.
You can always review the routes and compare them, but understand the RV route is often not the quickest or shortest route.
Are your observations above based on 1 trip? Before you give up on RV friendly directions take a few trips. Waze only has to get you into a jam once for you to understand/appreciate the value of RV friendly directions.
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Old 06-09-2020, 05:06 PM   #5
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We never would put in travel from A to B without double checking on a paper map as to the way we 'wanted' to go. We enjoyed traveling secondary highways rather than interstates and don't mind meandering to see specific things. Even with the 40' MH we were never concerned about weight restrictions or bridges and never encountered an issue. Perhaps if we had done more in the eastern areas it would have made a difference but certainly not in the midwest and west.
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Old 06-09-2020, 05:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lantley View Post
I have a Garmin 760 not 780. My experience is Google Maps in general will always be faster and more direct. However google Maps is way more likely to get me into a jam of some sort. Google maps is not taking an RV friendly route. ...
Very good point.

There was an incident last year where a passenger bus driver was following a GPS which was not taking into account the height of the bus. He ended up on a parkway in New York with very low clearances, and the result was the roof of the bus being sheared off.

Please be extremely careful if you try and save a few minutes by using a non-RV GPS unit so that you don't inadvertently end up on a dangerous route like the bus driver.
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Old 06-09-2020, 05:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Lantley View Post
Are your observations above based on 1 trip? Before you give up on RV friendly directions take a few trips. Waze only has to get you into a jam once for you to understand/appreciate the value of RV friendly directions.
No, this is the standard for all my trips with Garmin. Iíve reached the point where I use Waze and when my Garmin is constantly suggesting I get off a road, I will. Iíve had it RE-route me around low height clearance bridges but still took me in a round about way. I do like the feature when it alerts me to a hazardous condition, but thatís been only a few times.
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Old 06-09-2020, 07:03 PM   #8
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Part of the problem is the accuracy of the information various jurisdictions report to the database administrators. For example, there is a road between an industrial park and a truck storage yard. We all know it's rated for heavy traffic, but the Garmin is still pulling data from an old database. It happens.

By and large though, unless I'm going on local roads to get to a specific destination I try and keep my coach on roads that I know to have the proper weight limit and no low bridges. And at times I can't use the Garmin, I try and verify the safety of the route with something other than Google Maps or Waze. Sometimes that means using the Motor Carriers Atlas, and sometimes it means virtually "driving" the route using Google Earth so that I can check for signs along the route.
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Old 06-26-2020, 07:04 AM   #9
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We bought a 780 a year ago and love it. One of the best features is the ability to shape a route, if you don't know how to do that it can be frustrating.

In the RV model GPS units safety is the first priority so it will pick the safest route it can regardless if it's an out of the way process.

Everytime we go someplace I look at the route on Google Maps and plan my route the way I want it. Then I tell the 780 the same destination, if i disagree with it's routing I'll either disregard it or I'll shape the route to my preference. Remember GM has no idea your in a huge box that needs special considerations.

When we travel my phone is on Waze, my wife's tablet is on Google Maps and we have the 780 on with a route. Waze alerts of what's ahead, she uses GM to stay ahead of us for traffic issues and she can focus in on any stop we are going to make and figure it out before we get there. May not be your cup of tea but it works well for us.
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Old 06-26-2020, 04:10 PM   #10
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I have the 770 and after 3 years, still love it. I've been using Garmins since 2000. Best thing ever for marine, outdoor and road travel ever.

I always plan my routes using waypoints and let the Gramin plot the route. In other words, I do not plan a route on on Base Camp and transfer it. I simply enter waypoints (by address, name or coordinates) and select it as the next stop.

I also run along side an older Garmin 478 which I use to experiment with and as a backup check. This uint does not have the height, length function so I do get some variations of routes.
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Old 06-26-2020, 08:18 PM   #11
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We love our Garmin RV 785, which is the 780 with a built-in dashcam. Yeah, some routes are screwy in our town as compared to an auto Garmin.

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Old 07-03-2020, 09:34 AM   #12
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We have had the 770RV for a few years. Never used the trip planner feature. We get in, put in the destination, then off we go using old faithful MS Streets & Trips 2013 which had had the days intended route put into it.

Invariably the 770 is not happy about this situation as the route it wants & the route I want is never the same. The 770 likes interstates. I like secondary roads. It gets worse. The DW navigator makes changes on the fly upsetting S&Ts sometimes.

In any case the 770 has done us well from Newfoundland to Alaska with only a few attempts to put us into some cow pasture.
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Old 07-03-2020, 11:01 AM   #13
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I use a Garmin Dezl 770, which is their commercial truck model, closely related to the RV 770 (found it used at the right price). Overall I like it, though it does tend to route along the interstate highway, and tries to find the route with the highest speed limit. My work around for this is to use a waypoint strategy, setting up a route from town to town to town, then removing them using the voice command as I approach each one so that it will reroute and use loops around the towns, etc.
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Old 07-04-2020, 06:56 AM   #14
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I've been using Garmin Dezl 785, which is a version of the latest Garmin designed for commercial trucks. I assume that it's using a similar platform to the latest model for RVs.

Once I enter a destination and the Garmin calculates the route, I can use the route editing feature to specifically choose roads I want to travel on and get the route to suit my needs nearly perfectly.

The route planning feature allows me to save the edited route, so that if I were to want to drive it again I don't have to re-edit the route.

Lots of stuff in the background of these devices. You can just run them as a simple GPS or you can dig in deep and use the advanced features.
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