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Old 06-24-2021, 06:30 AM   #15
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Waze has an option to avoid dirt roads.
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Old 06-24-2021, 06:43 AM   #16
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I use RV Trip Wizard for planning and RV Life for navigation along with Google maps and sometimes paper. Paper is great for an overview but does not show many of the back roads in detail.
Nothing is good all the time and in every situation. If you are going into a remote area, try google earth to see what you might be getting into.
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Old 06-24-2021, 07:38 AM   #17
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RV Trip Wizard settings can be set to avoid unsaved roads. Donít think it will actually highlight them for general browsing/viewing.
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Old 06-24-2021, 07:40 AM   #18
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When I use Google maps, which I do often to plan my trips, I'll drop the street view guy on the road path to see it. I'll also drop him at intersections that I need to turn at so I can get a visual on what's around. I'll use it to see exit numbers as well. I might make a note to turn on Road whatever by the Cracker Barrel or whatever is at that intersection, or maybe when I see the Ford dealership, it's after that.
BIG WOW!! I've been using google maps for years - never knew about the "little yellow guy" at the bottom. Thank you for sharing!

I share the concerns of the OP and have been winging it, which has brought some white knuckle moments.

I have also used several different GPS apps while driving, often at the same time! I like how Waze appears on my dashboard and the route and directions are easy for me to follow. Of course, the problem with Waze is it will take you down some odd routes to save 2 minutes and 500 feet. Waze does have an "avoid dirt roads" option if you look at preferences.

I've used Trip Wizard and the RV GPS app. I'm guessing those routes are the most RV friendly - but I have to say they have been a bit bizarre. Taken me 20 miles out of my way when the more direct route seemed just fine. Plus - I've found the GPS map difficult to read and the timing of the verbal directions has seemed a bit off to me, and of course the map doesn't appear on my car's large screen, although I understand that's being worked on.

I first check Trip Wizard to see what the RV friendly route is being suggested. I then compare it to Waze's suggestion. Now that I know about the little yellow man in Google maps, I'm probably going to replace Waze with Google maps so that I can actually see the route that's being suggested, which will avoid the dirt roads and funky intersections.

Just curious - how many of you use Trip Wizard's RV GPS app? Do you find it dependable? The best thing about it on my last trip to remote areas, was that it was usable when I didn't have cell reception.
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Old 06-24-2021, 09:15 AM   #19
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The 'little yellow guy' lights up roads in blue, gravel roads don't light up.
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Old 06-24-2021, 09:26 AM   #20
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The 'little yellow guy' lights up roads in blue, gravel roads don't light up.
Not quite. The Google Street View will highlight in blue all the roads which have had a camera record the images, regardless of the pavement or lack thereof.

True, far fewer dirt/gravel roads will have Street View images recorded, but the existence or non-existence of Street View is not related to the road construction.
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Old 06-24-2021, 10:03 AM   #21
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Not quite. The Google Street View will highlight in blue all the roads which have had a camera record the images, regardless of the pavement or lack thereof.

True, far fewer dirt/gravel roads will have Street View images recorded, but the existence or non-existence of Street View is not related to the road construction.
Agree. Of course, the road type can be verified in street view. But only the segment that the little yellow guy is standing on.
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Old 06-24-2021, 10:15 AM   #22
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THAT'S NICE GUYS BUT...... I am not about to use paper maps. I need to zoom in to more detail, plus use a website or app that gets updated regularly.
You use a paper map/atlas with a large scale. That's your Zoom.

We look at a paper map (Benchmark is our favorite) and plan our route with scenic stops along the way. THEN we put OUR route into the GPS just for turn information. We'd never rely on a GPS to get us where we want to go. How would it know without our research?

We do scenic drives as we travel; not interstates from A to B. We weave all over the place to see things. A GPS can't do how we travel.

Planning our drives is fun for us because we study the maps for unique places to go.

With our 16 years of full-timing and driving secondary highways 95% of the time we never encountered a road we couldn't drive or a bridge or tunnel we couldn't fit under.

How ever did folks manage to travel before GPS?

You stated you find yourself on dirt/gravel roads...... why do you keep driving on them if that's not what you wanted? As soon as you see it's a gravel road then stop. Did you read the recent post here of a RVer with a motorhome who took a gravel road and found himself stuck? It took a tow overnight to free him (probably an enormous cost) and he blocked traffic all that time. One just doesn't wander on gravel roads with a RV without researching it beforehand. We HAVE taken our MH on gravel because we love to boondock on public lands but we read all we can about the road before driving it.
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Old 06-24-2021, 01:01 PM   #23
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How ever did folks manage to travel before GPS?
They pulled on either the left rein or the right rein and the horses followed his lead!
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Old 06-24-2021, 01:06 PM   #24
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When I use Google maps, which I do often to plan my trips, I'll drop the street view guy on the road path to see it. I'll also drop him at intersections that I need to turn at so I can get a visual on what's around. I'll use it to see exit numbers as well. I might make a note to turn on Road whatever by the Cracker Barrel or whatever is at that intersection, or maybe when I see the Ford dealership, it's after that.
What if it doesnít have street view to do that?
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Old 06-24-2021, 02:25 PM   #25
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What if it doesnít have street view to do that?
It's just one more tool in the took box. When I drove truck last year we were taught to use Street View whenever possible so that we could scan for "no truck" signs or weight/height issues. Doesn't work everywhere, but when it does it is very helpful.

Route planning is not an either/or situation, it's an all-of-the-above situation.
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Old 06-24-2021, 04:25 PM   #26
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I agree that Google's street view is an excellent help in this regard. I love Google maps for turn-by-turn directions and traffic info. Since I'll be using that during the drive, I prefer to do all my planning electronically so I can just click on it and go.

Our current rig is so small it has not been much of a concern. However we're going to be "upgrading" soon. With that in mind, I recently subscribed to RV Trip Wizard and begun revising my trip planning process.

While RV Trip Wizard will give you a theoretically "safe" route, if you want to deviate from that route it seems you basically defeat the whole "RV Safe" idea.

When Trip Wizard wanted to send me through the center of a town, I noticed a small "highway" (and I use that term loosely) that went around town. But was it safe??? Street view to the rescue. I looked at street view (directly accessible from Trip Wizard by right-clicking or by dragging the "road" icon). While the road appeared a little narrow, it would be more than sufficient for our planned rig.

I would find it impractical to use street view to preview the entire route, but I did use it to scout out where I was choosing a route other than the recommended road ... as well as a few placing where turns looked very sharp (looks like I'm making an 135-degree left turn through a triangular intersection somewhere in SC). Again, street view to the rescue and it's not nearly as wacky as the map makes it appear.
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Old 06-24-2021, 09:23 PM   #27
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Trip Planning

We use an Atlas, Google Maps and a slightly obsolete Magellan to plan the route, including lunch and fuel stops. On a few occasions, the Magellan has advised us that part of our route would be on "unimproved" roads. We do have the occasional problem where the Magellan isn't updated to new construction... I tried to update it once but ran into problems online doing it and haven't bothered to try since.
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Old 06-24-2021, 11:21 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by RV Vagabond View Post
THAT'S NICE GUYS BUT...... I am not about to use paper maps. I need to zoom in to more detail, plus use a website or app that gets updated regularly.
So what have you decided to do now?
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