GPS or old school paper maps for you? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 08-26-2014, 04:39 PM   #15
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Long before GPS I was taught orienteering by use of map and compass. The old military maps of the early fifties were 1 inch to the mile and a grid mark put you in 1/10 of a mile of your location. New GPSmethods get you within feet. Good to know that when your GPS fails you still can find your way home using the old system.

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Old 08-26-2014, 05:23 PM   #16
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who knew???

Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
Last year I went in search of a good atlas. When we travel, we like to look at the atlas to decide where to go next. I bought both Rand McNally and Micheiin. Very disappointing. Neither is anywhere near as good as the American map atlas I wanted to replace. These are no longer in print so if you have one, hang on to it.
Rand McNally not american?? who knew

Rand McNally - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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Old 08-26-2014, 05:32 PM   #17
Name: Sue
Trailer: Casita Patriot '13
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Bob's right:
If I want a location 500 miles away I consult the maps, and then only turn the gps on for the more detailed parts.
It's always best if you choose the highways and your exits before getting in the car. These things will drive you through a downtown area because it seems shorter. But the reality is, always take the suburban loops and then use the GPS just for the local street turns.

It will save me going to work a few times a year when an accident blocks the highway. It will get you through a local neighborhood when you need a work-around in a town you don't know.

Good trick: If your highway backs up, change the navigation avoidances to "Avoid highway" and it will take you locally. Best tool on there.
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Old 08-26-2014, 06:38 PM   #18
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My Garmin has occasionally put me in tight spots when towing. One time it tried to put me down a washed out gravel road with no place to turn around. Fortunately, it didn't look right to me so I knocked on someone's door and asked. I would have still been there trying to back out. It has done some crazy things. While some people on this forum name their trailers, I have named my Garmin. I call her (female voice) "Stupid." While very good most of the time, be prepared to take what it tells you with a grain of salt.

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Old 08-26-2014, 06:51 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Franswa View Post
teach the eleven year old how to read maps....and make it his job to get you where you want to go... get lost? he's got to find the way out...(you drive and nothing else).......he'll acquire a skill none of his contemporaries have (and probably never will), he won't get bored and he'll feel like being part of it all....not just baggage in the back seat......oh, and remove the the front passenger headrest so he can see ARE on vacation, right?
LOVE THIS ADVICE! No batteries required. I'm a geek, but still appreciate some old skool stuff. Learning to read a map should be a requirement. As I said, NO BATTERIES REQUIRED. I can't believe the number of people I know that can't figure out "where's North"?

But... be adaptable. Life should be a journey...
Donna D.
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Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:00 PM   #20
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One of my many jobs in the Army was training units in convoy operations. Every single driver was given a strip map with points of interest, reporting points, fuel stops and landmarks etc. that would aid in navigation if the convoy was separated. Leaders were responsible for making that happen. I still go over my route in google maps or in an atlas pre-trip, and often hand draw a strip map to refer to as I drive. Trying to pick out details on a busy map while clipping along at freeway speeds, is like texting behind the wheel. I think asking your child to prepare a strip map and helping them accomplish that would be a good way to get them started in the process.

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Old 08-26-2014, 07:13 PM   #21
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Name: Jack L
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For some of the western states I use the Benchmark Road and Recreation Atlas and a simple GPS that just provides latitude and longitude. The Benchmark Atlas shows latitude and longitude and I have been into some very interesting places with the help of both the GPS and Benchmark Atlas.
I was exploring some unmarked dirt roads on the Navajo Reservation in Monument Valley this May and made a wrong turn. With the compass in my truck, the GPS and he Atlas it was easy to get back on track. Knowing exactly where I was and where I needed to be made it simple. I consider a good map showing latitude and longitude and a GPS a must for boondock trips.

A handheld GPS like mine (20 years old) just tells your global position from satellites and my inexpensive, old and sturdy unit is very accurate. Common sense, a compass and a GOOD map will never let you down.

The newer GPS with software and the ability to give directions probably would be useless in this application.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:20 PM   #22
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Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
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Thom (Parkliner owner.) suggested the navigation program Co pilot. I downloaded it on a tablet and it works very well. I really like the fact I can plan my route the night before and can pick from different route options and move routes as needed. When traveling I just prop the tablet between the shifter and the dash. With a 10" screen it is easy see at a glance. I also carry paper Maps.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:35 PM   #23
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We have added a Garmin more than a year ago and use both paper and the Garmin.

Have added a point of interest app that shows us all the campgrounds within about 20 miles of where we are on the road, that has been helpful and shows many community campgrounds I would never know about.

Was surprised that we use this device so much, finding a place to eat, gas stations on our side of road, etc.

Would never travel without the paper atlas though. My ragged one has 4 routes highlighted on the way to Oregon. At the end of the day sit down with your daughter and highlight the roads you traveled. You could highlight before, but we often end up on different roads.

Yes, the Garmin is often wrong. Still like it.

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Old 08-26-2014, 07:52 PM   #24
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We have a Garmin, but seldom use it any more. The maps are getting a little stale, and I don't get free updates. So, I tend to use the Google Maps on my phone. My Garmin did a pretty good job most of the time, but it never did know know that US 30 exists in Ohio. You could drive all the way across Ohio, with it screaming "Turn Left! Make a U-Turn! Turn left! Recalculating!" For what it is worth, US 30 is a divided 4-lane limited access highway for much of the way, and has been there for years.

When I was a teenager, a friend and would often play a game. We would take his dad's '72 Camaro, and I would lie down in the back seat and take a nap, while he drove wherever felt interesting to him. Eventually, he would pull off, and it was my job to figure out where we were, and navigate us home. No maps allowed, and it was usually played late at night. It was excellent exercise for the brain!

When I started getting hooked on GPS, I noticed that my built-in navigating skills started to rust. So, now, I more often only use the GPS in heavy traffic areas, so I can focus on not becoming road-kill, instead of having to figure out which exit to take in a major city.

By the way, +2 on what Franswa said -- have the kid navigate! If he gets you lost, have him figure out how to get back on track, without fear of being in trouble. Make it an adventure, and have some fun with it. That's the stuff that memories are made of. He will brag to his friends about that for a month!
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:57 PM   #25
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I always take the belt and suspenders approach. Tom-Tom + Triple A map + print out from Mapquest or Google maps. The GPS is most handy when we are at our destination and want to go out to dinner or just go exploring and are unfamiliar with the area. We can always find our way back to our campsite.
Brian M.

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Old 08-26-2014, 08:19 PM   #26
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I'm a paper map kind of guy. I still have AAA make those flip-book "Trip-Tiks" for me.

A friend of mine who is a total geek (1st adopter of any tech gadget) was aghast that I didn't already have a GPS so he gave me a Magellan for my birthday. I stuck it in a drawer for a month... then out of curiosity started to learn how to use it. First thing I discovered was being in the drawer ate up my "free update" period, updates are now $100 per year. Then Southern California is so much under construction that whole new roads pop up, and old ones are re-routed that this thing isn't aware of. ...and it thinks my work address is a tenth of a mile west of where it physically is. It only recognizes the front street address. If a property is on a corner to your left, it will send you down to the next block to make a U-turn so that "You Have Arrived" at the front door to your right.

The City of San Diego has official streets that were never built, but they show up on the GPS. If I come to a dead-end at the edge of a canyon where the street continues on the other side of the canyon, and I nake a detour that is not programmed into it, it will "recalculate" to bring me right back to the dead end. It directed me once down a private driveway that it thought was a street to end up behind a locked gate across the actual street that the address I was looking for was on.

I got it for nothing, and it's worth every penny of what I paid for it.
Frederick - The Scaleman
1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:00 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by stevebaz View Post
For paper back-up I use Delorme atlas Gazetteer delorme atlas & gazetteer
Ditto on the DeLorme, especially if you don't want to be on the interstate all the time. Very detailed and lots of other useful information.

If you don't have one and decide you need more detail in an area, Office Depot and such usually have them in stock for the state.
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:13 PM   #28
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The Delorme and Benchmark maps are similar. If you buy one be sure you get the latest one. Sometimes they are several years old when a newer one is available

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